Girl Scout features the beauty of nature to achieve her Silver award

Alexandria Dove teaching how to create natural watercolors during Paint and Sip natural watercolors workshop.

Girl Scout features the beauty of nature to achieve her Silver award
April 07
10:51 2022

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

Earning the distinction of having achieved the Silver Award is no small feat. The Silver Award is the second highest award offered by the Girl Scouts of the USA, and the highest award that a Girl Scout Cadette can earn.

Alexandria Dove’s project began by leading a workshop in natural tie dying in September 2019 at the Story Circle at Gateway Nature Preserve near Washington Park. Alexandria’s participation in previous Creek Week activities was the inspiration for her project, Naturally Beautiful. Her passion for both exploring nature and art led to Naturally Beautiful, that  “… combined the beauty of nature with the creativity of art, designed to engage, inspire and educate participants about the natural world around us.”

The project took almost two years of planning, fundraising, and collaborating with Forsyth County’s Creek Week. When asked why she chose this particular project, Alexandria simply explained that she “just likes nature.” 

Alexandria has already earned a succession of badges and this service project must be completed before moving to the next school grade level. According to Girl Scouts, a girl must earn her bronze award before 6th grade, her silver before 9th grade, and her gold before graduating from high school. 

To support her project, Alexandria organized a hotdog run at Loves United Methodist Church in Walkertown, where her Girl Scout troop #2609 meets, along with other donations to support the project and pay for the materials she provided for the art workshops.

Collaborating with Forsyth Creek Week was a great way to promote her event, as well as promote Creek Week, the annual clean-up of creeks and waterways in our community. Naturally Beautiful held watercolor workshops for children and families to learn how to make watercolors out of natural elements and to enjoy painting with natural colors. The painting classes were organized by age, 3rd to 5th graders and 6th to 8th graders, and were virtual workshops. For high schoolers and adults, Alexandria held a Paint and Sip workshop at Salem Marina. She also put together instruction kits that people could pick up at local libraries that had all the things they would need to start making their own natural paints to create their art project.

Along with the art of painting, Alexandria incorporated the art of photography. She challenged people to explore the outdoors and take photos “up close and personal,” abstract “slice of life” photos of just small pieces of plants, rocks, or other natural objects. Then they uploaded them to a website where people could view the natural art, guess what it is, and enter to win prizes. She wasn’t sure what to expect but was surprised that over 100 photos were submitted to the website.

The last part of Alexandria’s project will be a report to her Scout leader, Penny Swain. It took a lot of planning and perseverance, but Alexandria said she is happy it went well. The success of Naturally Beautiful has provided the opportunity to present her project to youth and families at both the Central and Reynolda branch libraries, beginning this summer. She has already been asked by a couple schools to come into their classrooms and teach the natural watercolors to the elementary students. 

Alexandria is an 8th grader at Hanes Magnet School and will be attending Atkins Biotechnology High School in the fall. She aspires to one day be an archaeologist. Her mother, Alvie Dove-Ali, comments, “My daughter has been digging in dirt and exploring the world around her since she was two years old. I’m not just proud of my daughter, she inspires me every single day.”

Alexandria will receive her Silver Award during a ceremony in May. 

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