"If we attack our problems with determination, we shall succeed"
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Out of the 2.5 million active Girl Scouts, only about 5% earn their Girl Scout Gold Award. The Forsyth County History Walk is one of these Gold Award Projects. Prior to earning the Gold Award, Clara Hamilton earned her Bronze Award, The Geriatric Activity Cart, at Northside Hospital Forsyth with her Girl Scout Troop 11805 as Juniors. In May of 2019, she earned her Silver Award by creating the Dementia Doll Therapy Program at Northside Hospital Forsyth Geriatric Unit. This required 40 hours of committment and sustainability. These projects prepared her for the most prestigious award, the Girl Scout Gold Award.
The Gold Award Project planning began in May of 2021 culminating with a 6 page proposal presented to Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta for approval to interview in September. Throughout this process, a Girl Scout assigned coach, Mary Williams, ensured the success of this project by advising, encouraging, and helping through challenges. This was followed by an interview with local representatives for Girl Scouts for final review and approval. This was a very tedious process but necessary for the trajectory of the project's success.
In the fall of 2021, George Pirkle (Forsyth County Historian) and Matthew Pate (Natural Resources Division Manager, Forsyth County Parks and Recreation) agreed to be the advisors for The Forsyth County History Walk. Jimmy and Martha McConnell, Co-Presidents of the Historical Society of Cumming/Forsyth County, committed to sustaining this project past Clara's creation and involvement. This was an essential piece to proceeding with the Gold Award project.
In the winter of 2022, Sawnee Mountain was determined to be the site for The Forsyth County History Walk for its accessibility. Discussions with advisors about the verbiage on the plaques began around this time as well. After several revisions, what visitors see today was decided upon. Printing of the plaques began in late April by the Forsyth Parks and Recreation.
The signs were installed on June 14, 2022 at the Sawnee Mountain Preserve Visitor Center by a team from the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation.
A ribbon cutting ceremony celebrated the completion of The Forsyth County History Walk on June 21, 2022.