By Catherine Twing, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – One Marlborough High School (MHS) student is proving that Girl Scouts is much more than camping and cookies.
Katherine Corbin, a senior at MHS, recently received the Gold Award for her project on cyber-bullying awareness. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn.
Corbin has participated in Girl Scouts since Kindergarten, moving up the ranks from Daisy all the way to Ambassador. In her troop, she is the only one in her grade level still participating in Girl Scouts. She credits her continued involvement to great experiences and opportunities to support her community.
“All the different things I got to try, doing activities,” she said. “The most impactful part was really getting to help out in my community.”
Today’s Girl Scout activities include everything from community service to computer coding. Older Girl Scouts who choose to pursue the Gold Award create a project intended to address major issues such as homelessness, LGBTQ rights and bullying.
While not personally affected by cyber-bullying, Corbin knew peers who had been. This inspired her to make this the focus of her Gold Award project which she titled “An End to Cyberbullying.”
“I had seen how cyber-bullying had impacted certain people in my life,” she said. “I wanted to have an impact on that.”
First Corbin looked at existing resources and data. What she found was a lack of cyber-bullying resources written from a student’s perspective. After creating worksheets, presentations, group activities and games she shared them with the members of her school’s Interact Club for feedback.
Her project targets students ages 11 to 18 and is not meant to replace current materials, but rather to complement them. The Interact Club at MHS plans to continue to use Corbin’s project in the school even once she has graduated.
“Cyber-bullying is more common and can be more harmful than other types of bullying because the person doing the bullying cannot see the effect that it has on the victim,” Corbin explained. “The purpose of the project was to help students understand that their actions have consequences and they should really think before posting anything online.”
In addition to Girl Scouts, Corbin stays busy with Interact Club, Mandarin Club, National Honor Society, Arts National Honor Society and dance. She just started applying to colleges and plans to study bio-technology.
Michelle Juralewicz, marketing communications manager for Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, explained the importance of the Gold Award.
“The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouting. It requires high school girls to dedicate 1-2 years (80 hours) to a project that identifies and solves a pressing community issue in a sustainable way,” she said. “It’s just one way Girl Scouts are changing the world! Gold Award Girl Scouts enter the military one rank higher than their peers and are standouts in the college application process.”
Corbin will be honored at the Statehouse in June 2020 along with 74 other Gold Award recipients from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Council.