Local Girl Scout earns Gold Award, creates history-making trail for all to enjoy

Published: Oct. 29, 2016 at 8:12 PM EDT
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It was a historic moment to celebrate.

"It's so neat to see everybody so excited about it," said Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Ellie Leonard.

Not only did Leonard earn that award, she also created a first-ever trail named after the organization's founder.

"The trail is named after Juliette Gordon Low. She's the founder of Girl Scouts. In 1912 she started this organization," said Leonard.

The trail's opening at Westwinds MetroPark drew hundreds of people to witness history in the making.

But getting to this point wasn't easy, Ellie says it's a project that came with long days and lots of hard work.

"It started with people pulling garbage out of the woods," said Leonard. "We pulled out refrigerators and stoves--crazy stuff like that just so that they could clear the trail for us."

While it's considered a finished project, Ellie says she isn't.

"I want to make this trail accessible for girls to improve upon it, so I'm thinking like benches for older people so if they want to walk it they can sit down and take a break and sit down part way through," said Leonard.

Toledo is home to the first chartered Girl Scout council in the entire country. So it's only fitting that the first trail named after its founder is housed right here in Northwest Ohio.

"It's a huge accomplishment," said Troop 407's leader Liz Athaide-Victor. "It's the first Girl Scout trail in the world. Ever."

Athaide-Victor believes it's an accomplishment that makes a big stride for Girl Scouts everywhere.

"It's the greatest thing ever because now we have trails--where the Boy Scouts have trails and mountains and beaches and everything. And we had nothing. So this is the first," said Athaide-Victor.

By finishing her project, Ellie hopes she can inspire other scouts to make history, just like her, right here in Northwest Ohio.