Risk-Taker: Girl Scout Designs Rose Parade Float

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Cat with the theme of the 2018 Rose Parade.

Through Girl Scouts, girls gain the confidence they need to explore their potential, take the lead, and learn from setbacks. Senior Girl Scout Catherine “Cat” G. took a leap when she entered the City of Burbank’s 2018 Rose Parade float design competition. Early in 2017, she found out the Burbank Tournament of Roses Association had selected her design—making her one of the competition’s youngest winners ever (she was in eighth grade at the time).

Cat’s entry, called “Sand-Sational Helpers,” portrays a beach cleanup scene (with help from some sea creatures), and reflects the theme of the 2018 Rose Parade: “Making a Difference”—a topic all Girl Scouts know about! She spoke with us about her design and how she’s getting the float ready, with help from her sister Girl Scouts in Troop 7156.

IMG_9424All Girl Scouts are G.I.R.L.s – which trait do you identify with most: Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader? And why?
I try to identify with all of our traits but the one I identify with the most is the Risk-taker. When I first started Girl Scouts I wouldn’t have known what to pick, but by being a Girl Scout I actually have learned to become a stronger person. I now like to try new things that might have scared me. Things like climbing up ladders at Girl Scout camp to zipline down, or even going to a camp by myself where I don’t know anyone. I have learned to try new foods and especially to try new adventures. I think that if I wasn’t a Girl Scout, I might not have actually tried to even enter my design.

Why did you decide to enter the float competition?
This was actually my second time entering Burbank’s float contest. I entered both times because I really felt strongly about the messages the Rose Parade was promoting each year. I have been working on floats since I was seven years old and this year’s theme is “Making a Difference.”

What inspired your float design?
I was inspired to make a float design because of what I learned in my English class and also by my own values and loves. In English class, we were studying recycling and I started to think about all the trash that I have seen at the beach and all the trash I have helped clean up. I love the ocean and want to be a marine biologist so I started to think about what if the sea creatures started to recycle at the beach; and then just thought that would be a great idea for Burbank’s float.

Cat (top right) with her sister Girl Scouts in Troop 7156.

How have you involved your sister Girl Scouts in building the float?
I have been really lucky that my sister Girl Scouts have supported me totally with my amazing honor of designing this float. My troop sisters [pictured above] have all come and worked on this float and they also fully supported me with a wonderful chance to help more than 200 Girl Scouts to be able to earn a Rose Parade badge. I spent hours putting together a presentation that covered all the steps they would need for their badges. Then when it came time for the Girl Scouts to work on the float, all my troop came to support me and help me host this event, teaching all levels of Girl Scouts what to do. I really love that my sisters were there for me.

How did being a Girl Scout help you come up with your design for this year’s theme, “Making a Difference”?
I really think being a Girl Scout helped me come up with my design for this year’s float. Being a Girl Scout has taught me all about making a difference. We learn to help others and to make the world a better place. I feel that knowing this and living by the Girl Scout Promise and Law made it easy to come up with an idea. It wasn’t hard to think that even sea creatures would want to make things better.

In what ways have you made a difference in your community as a Girl Scout?
In the years I have been a Girl Scout, my troop and I have been able to make placemats to give to the elderly to cheer them up for the holidays. I have collected food and toiletries in front of stores to be able to make baskets to help needy families. I have used steps of my badges to be able to clean out invasive plants from neighboring hillsides to bring them back to a natural state. I was also able to use my Silver Award to help a cause that I now feel really strongly about and continue to be a part of: I put together baskets with items that parents of premature babies might be going without. I have been really lucky to be a Girl Scout so I can make a difference in my community.

Congratulations to Cat for having the courage to enter the design competition again—and succeeding!

UPDATE: Cat’s float won the Founders Award for “most outstanding float built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization.” We’re so proud!

Here are pictures from the day of the Rose Parade:

rose parade 3
Cat (far right) with her mom (center) and Frederick Fraleigh (far left) who helped bring Cat’s float to life.

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rose parade 2
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Looks like an amazing experience Cat will never forget!

You can read more about her design in the Burbank Leader and see the official list of winning floats here.

4 comments on “Risk-Taker: Girl Scout Designs Rose Parade Float”

  1. You did an amazing job on your float! I love it. Thank you for all your hard work & letting us see your creation. I am going to share this with my 4th grade daughter who is also a Girl Scout.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic float!!! My daughter is a fourth grade girl scout and loved your float when she saw it at the New Year’s Parade. Kudos for the inspiration, recognition, and sisterhood that you displayed, Cat. Thank you for sharing your incredible story!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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