2011 Gold Award Recipient—Elaine Rhoades

Posted: Apr 15, 2011

The Desert Vista High School Band has a lot of pride and a good hairstyle, thanks to Elaine Rhoades of Phoenix.  Rhoades is a Girl Scout and will be awarded the Girl Scout Gold Award for her community service project to help the band.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award that a Girl Scout age 14-18 may earn. The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into "going for the Gold." The project is something that fulfills a need within a girl's community (whether local or global), creates change, and hopefully, is something that becomes ongoing.

For her Gold Award project, Rhoades created a catalogue of the band’s awards, cleaned and rearrange those awards, and set up display cabinets for the trophies in the school auditorium.  When her plans for the second part of her project went awry, she found the girls in the band had a unique need, hair-braiding.

“The marching band requires that all girls have their hair French braided when in uniform, and most of the student braiders graduated with my class,” she said. “There were only 3 girls and 4 parents who knew how to French braid, but there were 70 girls who needed braiding every week, and often with only about 45 minutes to do so. My workshops helped to teach other students how to braid.”

“I received so many compliments on how nice the new plaques display was and how awesome the display cabinets looked,” she said.  “Practically speaking, though, the second half of my project was more helpful.”

Rhoades has also received the Girl Scouts Bronze and Silver Awards, as well as the Leadership Award.  She has been involved in Girl Scouts for 13 years.  “My mom was involved in Girl Scouts as a girl,” she said. “I think she wanted her daughters to have the same experience.”

Rhoades graduated from high school in May 2010 and is now a Space Physics major in the honors program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  When she has time, she likes collecting coins, reading, creative writing, and playing music.  She has recently developed an interest in photography.

“My parents encouraged me with whatever I wanted to do—Girl Scouts, gymnastics, music, marching band—so I was very fortunate in that respect,” she said.

Rhoades lives by the Golden Rule and the simple phrase, ‘no regrets.‘  “It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but I try,” she said.

Rhoades will be awarded the Girl Scout Gold Award March 26, 2011 at the Heard Museum.