Student wins award for creating sign that benefits her community, local attraction


May 27, 2021

SUNY Oswego graphic design major Genevieve Egan recently received the prestigious Girl Scouts Gold Award for the construction and design of a new informational sign dedicated to the Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum. 

Egan, a dedicated Girl Scout, began working on a welcoming sign for the Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum nearly two years ago, having to delay the project for a few months due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

“I am honestly relieved that it is over,” Egan said. “It is just great to see it all finished and see what I have accomplished.” 

The Girl Scout Gold Award is not a mandatory requirement for all scouts. However, going the extra mile and working with the community on a project is a good step in achieving the award. Winning the award requires a minimum of 80 hours working on a project that benefits the community and is long lasting. 

When starting the project, Egan was attending Horseheads highschool. She took part in the county’s BOCES program which offered specialized classes in graphic design, giving her some prior experience before starting the project. 

She wanted to choose something that was meaningful to the community. “I wanted to design the sign because at that time in high school, I was already in a digital design class so I already had the equipment and it was something that I could do,” Egan said.

Before starting the project, a scout has to get all their plans pre-approved by their group leader. After receiving that okay, she had to get the town of Tanglewood council’s approval to design a new sign. 

Fulfilling a dream

“We had asked Tanglewood what they wanted and they said that their dream was to have a sign for Tanglewood with a map, times of operation and their website information,” said Egan. “But they didn’t think they could ever do it because it takes time to make a sign and it can be expensive and nobody on the council  really knew all that much about making a sign.” 

Egan mentioned that the process of working with the town was not difficult, as they were excited to have help in making their dream sign come to fruition. Egan also had worked with the town on a prior project planting flower boxes at the Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum for her Girl Scouts Silver Award project. 

“The town was nice and they already knew me from past projects,” said Egan. “The actual process wasn’t long. I just had to write a paper about why I wanted to do the project. The project had to be approved by the Tanglewood council and the Girls Scout council, both of which it did.” 

Overall, Egan was excited to win the Gold Award as it was the first project that was not school-oriented or mandatory. This project was something that allowed her to show off her immense design skills, thus solidifying her choice of design as a major when applying to SUNY Oswego.

“I chose graphic design because I realized that I liked working on real projects that would actually be helping people,” Egan said.

The hard work and labor put into completing the Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum project granted Egan the conviction that she is good at design, which dovetails with coming to Oswego and working on future projects. 

“I feel like working on the project helped me have more confidence when it came to working on projects in Photoshop,” said Egan. “Because I have that experience, I now know more realistically what teachers here are expecting.” 

The sign was planted this past summer and currently sits at the entrance of the Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum.