Jennifer Goggans of Maryville has become the first girl in Tennessee to receive the Stars and Stripes Award from American Heritage Girls, a national scouting organization that emphasizes faith, patriotism, leadership and service.
The award is the highest achievement in the American Heritage Girls program. To acknowledge Jennifer’s accomplishment, Gov. Phil Bredesen declared Feb. 7, the day of her award ceremony at First Christian Church in Maryville, as a Day of Recognition for Jennifer.
Recipients of the Stars and Stripes Award must serve in a troop leadership position, earn a spiritual award, a level award and a minimum of 16 merit badges, contribute 20 service hours a year, as well as plan and implement a service project of at least 100 hours.
“In American Heritage Girls, I have learned to look beyond myself and to reach out to others. One way we do this is through service,” Jennifer said.
For her Stars and Stripes service project, Jennifer planned, coordinated and directed a improvement project to benefit the local non-profit ministry Camp Tipton. Last fall, she recruited volunteers and led them in clearing and landscaping the property around three of the camp’s cabins. Area merchants donated supplies for the project. Jennifer personally invested 187 hours, with an additional 240 hours of service donated by volunteers.
American Heritage Girls was founded in West Chester, Ohio, in 1995 with about 10 troops and roughly 100 members. Currently, the organization has troops in 35 states with more than 7,000 members. Maryville’s Troop 131, established in 2003, was the first troop in the state of Tennessee and now boasts over 70 members. American Heritage Girls offers merit badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities and outdoor experiences. For additional information, visit www.ahgonline.org.