Eidelbes earns Girl Scout Gold Award

Thief River Falls resident Hailee Eidelbes has received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award to be achieved in the organization. She built four Stop Bullying Benches, which are located in Thief River Falls, Goodridge and Crookston.

Thief River Falls resident Hailee Eidelbes has received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award to be achieved in Girl Scouts.

Eidelbes earned her Gold Award by completing her Stop Bullying Benches project. For this project, Hailee built benches to bring awareness to bullying. She had members of the community put painted handprints on the benches to represent the number of people who experience bullying and remind those currently struggling that they are not alone. The benches are located outside of Just For Kix dance studios in Thief River Falls and Crookston, the west side of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls, and St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Goodridge.

Located outside of Just For Kix in downtown Thief River Falls, this Stop Bullying Bench was built by Thief River Falls resident Hailee Eidelbes. She built four of these benches to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award.

When Eidelbes was contemplating her project, she decided on Stop Bullying Benches while her brother, now in high school, was attending Franklin Middle School. At the time, she had heard about bullying at the school, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The benches, she said, are a symbol that you’re not alone and there is always someone else in the same situation.

“Hailee saw a need in her community and took action,” said Marla Meyer, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts-Dakota Horizons. “Her extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership is making the world a better place, and we’re honored to present her this award.”

Eidelbes was a member of Girl Scouts for about 10 years. Her accomplishments reflect leadership, citizenship, and foundational skills built through Girl Scouts. “It has changed my life. It helped me break out of my shell and experience events that I wouldn’t have been able to do,” said Eidelbes. “I have created meaningful friendships and built up my confidence and self-esteem.”

Eidelbes, a 2023 Lincoln High School graduate, has graduated from Girl Scouts. She may become a Girl Scout leader in the future after she has finished college. Eidelbes recently finished her first year at the University of Minnesota Crookston, where she is majoring in ag education.

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