PHOTO: Regan Coombs and her parents.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. — You may have heard of the Boy Scout’s Eagle Scout award, but have you heard of the Gold Award?  It’s the highest honor awarded to Girl Scouts, and Regan Coombs of Leonardtown recently earned that honor for an innovative project documenting historic sites around St. Mary’s County.

Not only did the project earn her an award, but it also sparked an interest in videography that she plans to turn into a career.

A Prestigious Award

Only 6% of eligible scouts earn the award, which has been around since 1918. To qualify for the honor, scouts must identify an issue or problem, research it, get others to help them, and develop a solution that will make a difference.

Regan, a 2021 graduate of Leonardtown High, says it took her a couple of tries to come up with the right project.

“My first plan was shut down by the Department of Transportation. I was certain there would never be another project for me out there, and my goal of earning the Gold Award was now impossible,” she said.

Thankfully a teacher came to her aid. “I decided to meet with Ms. Hager, my Media Specialist at Leonardtown High. I wouldn’t know then, but she would become one of my favorite teachers and a big supporter of mine. Ms. Hager and I bounced ideas, and before I knew it, I was heading off to the Girl Scout Gold Award Panel, so I could present my project to the Advisors at the Girl Scout Office.”

Regan’s idea was an app featuring historic sites of St. Mary’s County After a few rounds of changes to the initial idea, Sites of St. Mary’s was approved by the Girl Scout Council.

A Lot of Work

Regan then went to work researching locations. She borrowed video equipment from her school to film for the project and also received help from Ed Winson Delmoro, the owner of Winson Media.

At the award ceremony, Regan thanked Delmoro for helping her grow.

“Your work has inspired me to continue to increase my film skills and branch out for more community filming opportunities,” she said. “I am so glad you were willing to teach me along the way and to be able to continue working together today.”

Then it was time to edit the mountain of video and find someone to build the app. After that, came the testing process. “Once the app was built, it was in beta testing mode, which meant I could have my family and peers review it and give me feedback. Many of you took the time to check it out. Thank you for taking the time and your support of my project. Your feedback assisted in the process of approval from Apple.”

Scouting is in Her Blood

Regan’s mom, Joanie, says scouting is in her daughter’s blood. “I was in Girl Scouts from 2nd grade through high school.  I am a Co-Leader for Ambassador Troop #3311 and a Welcome Specialist for new troops starting out.  Her great-grandma Millie was in the Girl Scout organization for over 55 years.  She started as a leader and after her youngest daughter completed the program. She continued to serve by training leaders, organizing troops, serving on the MinnIaKota Council as a board member for six years and finally becoming her local town’s Girl Scout Day Camp equipment person. “

Her mom also praised the organization for helping her daughter discover her passion. “It brings me joy to know that being in Girl Scouts has led you to your passion….film.  And how exciting it is to see you pursue this passion as a career.”

Lifelong Dream

Regan’s project advisor Brenda Hager said that even though COVID-19 interrupted the project, Regan kept going. “Fortunately or unfortunately when Covid hit, Regan’s task log showed A LOT of film editing which was definitely something she could do at home while the world outside was waiting for the opportunity to once again visit these spectacular historic sites.”

Regan says earning the Gold Award has always been a lifelong dream.

“Ever since I was a young little Daisy, I set the goal to be a Gold Award Girl Scout,” Regan explained. “I knew the first step would be money to fund this mysterious project. Through the years, I would sell tons of Girl Scout Cookies, nuts and participate in as much as I could. It all added up, and when I started the process, I had plenty of funds to complete my journey.” 

Check out Regan’s App in the Apple App Store: