Princeton Troop 805 Ambassador Girl Scout Lacee Broding recently participated in a perfect advance ceremony to honor an important symbol flown during Fourth of July celebrations across the land.
Late last month, Broding handed over the keys to a U.S. flag depository to Princeton VFW 806 Commander David Good as her family and community members looked on.
The early evening dedication ceremony took place outside Bremer Bank June 20. The box stands outside the bank on Rum River Drive and proudly boasts the colors of the American flag.
Along with the dedication, Broding has another reason to celebrate. Her Girl Scout career will finish off with the Gold Award.
Completing a Gold Award project includes approximately 100 hours of work and requires a 7-step process, Broding said.
After her project proposal was approved by the board, Broding carried on with her goal to create a place for “worn and torn” flags to be disposed of in a “dignified manner.” Her project started last fall when she identified an issue in her community, the first step to receiving the Gold Award.
Broding noticed the lack of flag depository box locations in the Princeton area. She wanted a location accessible at all hours so more flags could be disposed of correctly.
According to Girl Scouts of the USA, the first Gold Award was presented in 1980 and it has “inspired girls to find the greatness inside themselves and share their ideas and passions with their communities.” Fewer than 6 percent of Girl Scouts receive the Gold Award annually.
“It felt really accomplishing because it’s the highest ranking you can get as a Girl Scout,” Broding said.
She admits the project seemed daunting, but encourages any Girl Scout to make the effort. “It gave me a big sense of responsibility,” she said.
The Gold Award allows Broding to enter the U.S. military one rank higher and list the award her college applications and scholarships. Broding’s project included a visit to Princeton elementary schools where she taught students flag etiquette and proper flag disposal.
She also worked with Princeton’s VFW Post 806 where Commander David Good signed off on the box and agreed to maintain it.
The VFW has discussed the need for a better system for community members to retire old flags.
Good has known Broding’s family for several years. He appreciates their involvement in the task.
“She’s an all-around good kid,” Good said, regarding Broding’s work in the community and the Girl Scouts. “I wish we had more involvement from people like her.”
Lacee’s brother, Riley Broding, 21, received his Eagle Scout Award, the Boy Scouts of America’s Gold Award equivalent, when he was Broding’s age.
“My brother and I are both in the military and the flag is an important symbol to us,” Broding said.
She will continue to follow in Riley’s patriotic footsteps to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where her brother will be stationed, and Broding will be completing her Advanced Individual Training, or job training.
Broding leaves July 9 for basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and will return in December as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.
Broding said she is proud to be serving this country and feels anyone can honor the USA, even doing something as simple as retiring a flag.
Emma Eidsvoog is the Union-Times summer news reporting intern.