The highest and most prestigious award Girl Scouts can earn is going to one of our own. Kristen Pileri is bringing home the Gold! The Gold Award that is, for her ambitious project to provide band music to inner city kids.
A member of the award winning Carmel High School Marching Greyhounds, Kristen decided to merge her enthusiasm for music with her commitment to help others. The Girl Scout Gold Award Program is achieved by less than 6 percent of the eligible Girls Scouts in the United States. To earn the Gold, Kristin had to invest a minimum of 80 hours of her time identifying a community issue, investigating it thoroughly, getting help and building a team. Then, she had to inspire others to take action and implement her strategy.
Inspiration was the easy part. Getting up every morning during the summer months and making her way to the Day Nursery of the Ruth A. Lilly Center, musical instruments in hand and joined by her co-inspired band members, Daniel Smith, Paul German, Connor Powell, Hannah Ardery, Cameron Prill, Austin Smith, Nicole Ridge, Theresa Spall, Aaron Suggs, Nick Vasuta, Kathryn Dawson and Kenzie Gerber, required serious commitment. Once there, teaching, listening, playing and sharing the sound of music outweighed any sleeplessness.
Kristen serves as the drum major for the Marching Greyhounds and in her position, is used to leading and directing. She also values the lessons she learns from being a part of a decorated organization. “We have great people who support us, and one of the lessons they teach; the more you get, the more you have to give,” Kristen said. She is well aware she has a lot to give and therefore, the next step was obvious. “I want to give back.”
Her project centered on the basic question, to play a song for children will entertain them for the moment. But, will appreciation for music enable them to nourish themselves, maybe even change themselves, for a lifetime?
Kristen and her friends will most likely never know the lifelong impact of the tuba, piccolo, trombone and snare drum fun the preschool kids had this summer. But the Gold Award is proof that Kristen Pileri is a fine Drum Major both on and off the field.