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Girl Scout Gold Award Project

My name is Sumana Naganathanahalli, and I am a junior at Cambridge High School. My Gold Award project was about creating a basketball court for my neighborhood. The Gold Award is the highest award that a Girl Scout can receive during her high school years. In 2020, 10% of Girl Scouts earned the Gold Award.

I chose to focus my Gold Award on giving back to my neighborhood. I got inspired to build a basketball court after I witnessed several incidents regarding the nuisance of basketball hoops. Normally, people have basketball hoops on their driveways, but it starts to get unbearable when you hear the balls being repeatedly smacked against garages. Also, one particular incident made me want to end this issue once and for all. One day, my next-door neighbor was really bothered by my brother and his friend’s playing basketball on our driveway and complained to my parents. My parents tried to control the situation, but things got serious when a police vehicle pulled up to my neighbor’s house. We figured it had something to do with the basketball issue so I wanted a solution that would allow the neighborhood kids to continue playing basketball.

Building a basketball court is easier said than done! First, I remembered that we had an empty field near the cul-de-sac in my neighborhood. I decided that it would be perfect to use that field for my project and I contacted my neighborhood HOA to see if I can use that field. After I got a response saying my request was accepted, I got straight to work. I contacted the power lines company to assure them that I won’t disturb the lines underneath the ground. Later, I got the field cleaned by removing rocks and unnecessary vegetation. Me and team then leveled the field and prepared the field for the cement foundation.
In order to fund the project, I asked for donations from my neighbors and used some of the HOA fund since it is a neighborhood project. With the money, I bought cement bags, tools, and basketball hoops. I used some of the money to pay construction workers that agreed to build the cement foundation of the court. After the cement dried, me and some neighborhood kids cleaned the cement surface.

Finally, we got the cement surface painted and outlined. We decorated the finished court with basketball hoops we purchased. I also got a sustainability letter from my HOA group, which means they would ensure that the court stays forever. This project has provided many benefits for me and my neighborhood. It helped me to strengthen my bonds with my neighbors and allowed kids to make new friendships while sharing the court.