In December, over 20 Girls Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for 2013. Not only was the event hosted at Smyrna High School but a graduate of SHS was one of the award recipients.

Danielle Lubbers received the Gold Award for her "Sprouting the Future" booth at the Smyrna Farmers Market last year. The award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, and recognizes scouts in high school who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects. Only five percent of Girl Scouts achieve this designation.

Lubbers recently took time to talk to the Sun-Times about her project and the award.

Q Why did you become a girl scout?

A I always loved camping, and in 8th grade my friend Sierra would tell me about her troop's frequent camping trips and all the fun they had. So she invited me to their Christmas party coming up, and I had a blast and stuck with them ever since.

Q Tell me about your project, "Sprouting the Future." What exactly did you do?

A My project was a booth at the Smyrna Farmers market, teaching the public about horticulture. My gold award was a booth at the Smyrna Farmers Market this summer, with a program targeting children to fuel their interest in agronomy. At my booth they were exposed to the importance of agriculture, including; beneficial insects, local produce, biological processes, and the reality of agriculture dependent products. In addition with the help of Fifer, the public was able to each take home their own pumpkin plants. This project was in total over 80 hours of work, but the booth physically took place on Saturdays at the market.

Q How did you come up with the idea?

A I've always been interested in the environment and agriculture in turn. But the idea kind of came up out of the blue. I follow the Farmers Market on Facebook and saw they were requesting more participation in hosting booths this summer. And I thought that would be a great way to reach people, a perfect opportunity. I've always been interested in the human impact on the environment; from eutrophication to loss of biodiversity. But I was especially interested in our over population, coupled with the shrinking number of farmers in the United States. With our population increasing to 314 million, even industrial farms with advances in technology cannot keep up. But I believe self-sustainment, through urban farming, would have a largely positive impact.

Q How do you feel about receiving the Gold Award?

A I'm completely ecstatic that I got my Gold Award. I attempted it last summer with a different project, but was unable to get sufficient funds. And this summer I worked Sunday morning to Friday night at the Girl Scout camp Grove Point. It was a long and tiring time. But I had a blast those Saturday mornings talking with the folks in town. I loved seeing the kids' faces excited about their new plant, quite a few dragging their parents back, plant in tow to show me how big it had grown. I'm just proud I was able to impact those families and help make a difference.