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Scout aims to earn Gold Award
5 Girl Scout pic1
Becca Bishop, a rising senior at Dawson County High, sits on a bench she and volunteers built as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project. - photo by For the Dawson Community News

A Girl Scout since she was a small child, Becca Bishop is in the final stages of earning her Gold Award, the highest honor in the organization.

One of the requirements for earning the award is to complete a project that has a lasting, positive impact on the community.

Bishop and several volunteers recently built a trail between Riverview Middle and Riverview Elementary schools.

"Some kids have to go back and forth because their parents work at one of the schools," Bishop said. "There are enough of them that the county had to hire a bus just to transport them every day."

Travel between the two campuses on foot requires either walking along a busy road, or a hike up a steep hill, neither of which is ideal for young children.

Thanks to the trail, those children will have a safe path from one school to the other.

It will offer peace of mind to parents, while giving the children a chance to experience nature on a daily basis.

The work was difficult and required detailed planning, but Bishop said she was happy to do something worthwhile for the community.

"It means a lot," she said of completing the trail. "It's physical proof that I finished a project that will serve a good purpose for the schools."

"I've had trouble finishing things before, so completing the trail is one thing that I can say I've finished."

Her parents, Joan and Donal Bishop, have been an integral part of the trail's construction.

Her mother said she is proud of her daughter's hard work and glad that she was able to help.

"Getting your Gold Award is a big deal, and I'm just proud that she stayed with it and that it will be something she can look back on with pride for the rest of her life," Joan Bishop said.

According to the mother, her daughter is among the first Dawson County residents to get so close to earning a Gold Award.

She said Ariel Buttram is also in the process of completing the requirements for the award.

In addition to a source of pride, the honor will be a strong addition to the girls' resumes, and may help land college scholarships.

"I want to go to Piedmont [College] and study to be a biology teacher," Becca Bishop said. "That's one reason I wanted to do this project. Teachers at both schools can use the trail in classes."

The Bishops are in the process of identifying and marking the types of trees, grasses and rocks that line the trail.

"I'm going to get their scientific names and their history, and then we're going to mark them all with numbers and give the schools the key so that the students can come out and practice identifying them," Becca Bishop said.