Toledo, OH — Meet Ellie Leonard of Toledo Girl Scout Troop 10407. When she learned the Girl Scouts had no official hiking trails, she took the opportunity to create one. On Saturday, October 29, she dedicated the first ever, nationally recognized Girl Scout hiking trail to Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts.
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"I grew up loving the outdoors, a passion Girl Scouts has fueled," said Ellie, now a freshman at University of New Hampshire. "I created this trail to inspire people to get outside and connect with nature and to raise awareness about Girl Scouting."
Ellie recruited 24 volunteers to pick up garbage, clear land, and define the approximately 1-mile trail in Westwinds Metro Park with posts and signs. She also worked with Hike America to design commemorative Girl Scout patches, pins, and medallions, which are for sale at jlowtrail.org. Proceeds from these items and other donations help offset the cost of her project, which was around $1,000.
"Toledo was the first registered Girl Scout council in the United States, so it's fitting that it's the home of the first ever, commemorative Girl Scout hiking trail dedicated to Juliette Gordon Low," said Ellie. "I hope to see lots more Girl Scout trails added to parks around the nation!"
Ellie proves that small ideas can make a big difference. She identified an issue in her community, made a plan, and took action, putting over 80 hours into her project and earning her Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Senior can earn. Way to go, Ellie!
Want to make a difference in your community and be recognized for it just like Ellie? Join Girl Scouts today at gswo.org/join!