Libby Gillis of Tupper Lake earns Girl Scout Gold Award

Libby Gillis speaks in a climate change awareness video. (Photo provided)

TUPPER LAKE — Libby Gillis earned the Girl Scouts’ highest level, the Gold Award, in October 2020 for her work to raise awareness about climate change.

A Gold Award is equivalent to the Boy Scouts’ Eagle Scout designation.

Gillis is a junior at Tupper Lake High School and the daughter of Robert Gillis and Lisa Littlefield-Gillis. She is part of Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York Service Unit 454, Troop 4123 of Tupper Lake.

With the support of her school’s environmental club, the Green Team, Gillis started an annual Green (spirit) Week at her school. She also created a Green Week video to raise awareness outside of the school, which won awards at the AdkAction Beyond the Peaks Student Film Festival, in both its category and second place in the Audience Choice category. She also created a video to teach others about the school’s cafeteria composting system, which she was instrumental in starting.

She has participated in Girl Scouts since first grade, so this is her 11th year, and the eighth year she has been under Troop Leader Wendy Moeller and Co-Leader Nanci Smith.

Libby Gillis smiles as a Girl Scout Daisy in 2011. (Photos provided)

“Libby is that easygoing girl that gets along with everyone,” Moeller said in a press release. “She is the epitome of a well-mannered young lady whom I have no doubt will excel at anything she sets her mind to. There is so much I enjoy about being this troop’s leader, and having Libby successfully complete her Gold Award is an embellishment.”

The Gold Award is earned by a high school Girl Scout who works to address an issue she’s passionate about in a way that produces meaningful and lasting change.

“Climate change is one of the biggest issues in today’s society, and it is already affecting all of us,” Gillis said. “My generation is the one that will have to deal with its more severe consequences unless we start spreading awareness and making changes right now. Another reason I am passionate about this topic is because I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and want to preserve our winters for future generations.”

Libby logged 117 hours working on her project, and numerous community members supported her. Kali DeMarco, youth climate programs coordinator at the Wild Center museum in Tupper Lake, was Libby’s project advisor. Lee Kyler, Tupper Lake Middle-High School’s Green Team advisor, as well as other Green Team members were also significant contributors. Previous newspaper articles about her project as well as Instagram posts gained interest from Tupper Lake village Mayor Paul Maroun, Tupper Lake town Supervisor Patricia Littlefield and New York state Sen. Betty Little. Whether it’s on a local, national or global level, Gold Award Girl Scouts provide innovative solutions to significant challenges.

“Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better; they change it for good — and Libby embodies everything this achievement stands for,” said Mary Buszuwski, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York. “Libby addressed an issue that’s important to her — climate change — for her Gold Award, and we congratulate her on this momentous accomplishment.”


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