American Heritage Girl Builds Handicap-Accessible Picnic Table in Franklin for Stars & Stripes Award | Brentwood homepage

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The words “I promise to love God, cherish my family, honor my country and serve in my community” are what members of American Heritage Girls recite as part of their oath in cooperation with the Principles of his program.

Clara Burgess, a member of American Heritage Girls Troop TN0516 at St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Franklin, recently completed a 10-year journey with the American Heritage Girls by completing the work necessary to earn their highest honor, the Stars & Stripes Award.

American Heritage Girls is a national Christ-centered character and leadership development program for girls ages 5-18 that allows girls to earn a wide variety of badges to advance through the ranks as well as camping trips, faith-based activities and service projects, according to a press release.

To earn the Stars and Stripes Award, Burgess completed the required badges, community service hours, and leadership position in her troupe. She designed and implemented her service project for her community, a task that took 161 hours.

The Nashville resident’s project was to build a handicap-accessible picnic table for the Lions Sensory Garden for the Blind at Grassland Park in Franklin. This picnic table, designed differently from most picnic tables, has space on one side of the table for a wheelchair to fit comfortably. The Handicapped Accessible Picnic Table was built with heart and intention so friends with disabilities and their families can sit and enjoy the great outdoors on a picnic table designed for their convenience, according to the press release.

Burgess encountered many obstacles on her Stars and Stripes trip, including physical issues that required her to use a walker for months, lack of plans for this type of picnic table, weather delays and funding issues. Despite the challenges in completing the project, the organization says Burgess was able to persevere with her project to plan and design the work, seek donations, recruit volunteers, and set up tasks and workdays.

Each stage of the project had to be documented and submitted to the organization along with a story describing the leadership demonstrated by the candidate and the benefits of the work.

The organizations say Burgess embodies the AHG motto, which is to “build women of integrity in service to God, family, community and country.” This award represents proficiency in all areas of the AHG program (Heritage, Family Life, Arts, Outdoor Skills, Personal Wellness, and Science and Technology).

“American Heritage Girls had a huge impact on my life,” Burgess said. “They showed me how to be a good leader and role model, what great friends I have, how much fun I could have outdoors, and they helped me become the person I want to be. ”

The Stars and Stripes award is achieved by very few. Burgess is the No. 861 recipient nationally and No. 58 in Tennessee. It represents years of hard work, perseverance and strength of character. This award demonstrates an understanding of one’s community and nation and a willingness to get involved, according to the statement.

Some of the community service activities that Burgess participated in were flag removal ceremonies, food drives, Samaritans Purse Christmas boxes, making bags full of items for the homeless, working at the Baptist convention, trash pickup at local parks and many more. other service activities.

TN0516 Troupe Stars and Stripes Mentor Suzanna Gordon spoke of her happiness for Burgess.

“Clara exemplified hard work and thereby inspired everyone around her,” Gordon said. “Over the past year, she has overcome many unforeseen and difficult obstacles to earn her Stars and Stripes rank. I have cherished the privilege of guiding her through this period of her life and am thrilled to see how God will use Clara for His glory in the future.

For more information, visit www.americanheritagegirls.org.

Those interested in joining the TN0516 troop should email [email protected].


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