Sunday, December 4, 2022

Yorktown Girl Scout Earns Gold Award, Starts Lacrosse Clinic for Military Youth

Caitlin Verdura (provided by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast)

YORKTOWN — Girl Scout Ambassador Caitlin Verdura of Troop 1659 of Yorktown recently earned the Gold Award, the highest award that can be achieved in the Girl Scout organization.

To earn the award, each girl must complete two Senior or Ambassador journeys, or complete one Senior or Ambassador journey and have earned a Girl Scout Silver Award. After completing either of these requirements, a minimum of 80 hours is suggested to complete the steps to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, according to the organization.

Verdura completed her Gold Award with her project “Cait’s Lacrosse Clinic.” Verdura has a passion for lacrosse and wanted to increase the exposure of the sport to kids in her community. She worked with Margaret Senecal, director of youth sports and fitness at Langley Air Force Base (LAFB) in Hampton to organize and host several lacrosse clinics for military youth K-8.

“Most military children have not been exposed to lacrosse because of the curriculum structure, the public perception, and military families’ frequent moves,” Verdura said. “The children who participate in the clinics will have a healthy outlet while learning new skills, forging new friendships, and hopefully will develop a passion for lacrosse. Studies have shown that participating in organized, well-structured youth sports and ongoing physical activities play an important role in a young person’s life including teaching teamwork and problem-solving skills.”

During the clinics, Verdura worked alongside youth to practice basics like how to hold a lacrosse stick and how to catch a ball and later advanced to games and relay races. After each session, students were given feedback about their performance and were able to track their skills and progress from one clinic session to the next. 

Along with the in-person clinics, Verdura also created a YouTube video series where viewers can follow along as she teaches the basic rules and functions of the game. Verdura fostered a relationship between April Loquist, lacrosse coach of Tabb High School, and Margaret Senecal of LAFB, for high school lacrosse players to volunteer and sustain the annual clinics beyond Verdura’s involvement. 

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