PERRY, Ga. — For Girl Scouts, it's all about earning the next patch to sew on their uniform, and 7 Central Georgia girls earned the most-prestigious badge you can for projects that help create solutions to problems within their communities.
Kaitlyn Hammonds-Wills recently finished her latest project, the one she's worked towards her entire Girl Scout career, making room for one more badge on her vest.
"My many trips, what I've done, life skills, fun patches," Hammonds-Wills explains while showing off her accomplishments.
It's safe to say Kaitlyn has earned many badges in her 13 years as a Girl Scout.
Around 100 patches overflow off the back of her vest, but her newest one is the most-prestigious badge she can add. "It means all the many years that I've been a Girl Scout, it finally means something."
The Gold Award outshines them all, and it's Kaitlyn's rain garden creation that brought home the gold. "It gets rid of the polluted water."
Basically, it stops all the nasty stuff that seeps into our water after a rainy day, keeping us and nature away from ingesting any polluted water.
Kaitlyn says even though she's finally earned a gold patch, nothing beats the friendships gained along the way. "They're like sisters to me."
Growing up, Kaitlyn suffered from epilepsy. It affected her learning and her social skills, but her troop brought her out of her shell. "They're definitely the reason Girl Scouts are fun for me," she said.
Now, she has the best of both worlds -- lifelong friendships and the shiniest patch in her collection.
She has one more year as a Girl Scout, but not a whole lot of room left for awards. "I'm going to try to just layer it full."
The seven winners receive their award Sunday, May 5th from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Camp Martha Johnston in Lizella.
The other Central Georgia recipients include Alexis Gunerman, Suzannah Johnson, Virginia McArthur, Mallory Snider, Jessica Willing, and Samantha Willing.