Thirteen years ago, Rose Frank joined the Girl Scouts.

Encouraged by her family, including her parents and an older sister, Frank not only participated in the organization she took on leadership roles, sold cookies and earned achievement requirements all culminating with her most recent accomplishment.

Frank is a member of an elite group of Girl Scouts having earned its highest rank – the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Girl Scout Gold Award recipients are challenged to make a difference at the community and global level by addressing an issue through the development of a plan that helps to find solutions and impacts people.

For Frank, her Gold Award project was personal.

Called “Injury Prevention 101,” Frank’s plan started with an injury of her own. An ACL injury she experienced the summer after she finished eighth grade led her to learn more about injuries, recovery and how to keep them from happening in the first place.

In late June, Frank hosted a free basketball camp as an opportunity to share with the next generation of local athletes some of the things she has learned, as a way to help them know what things they should be doing to best prevent getting hurt.

Frank’s gold award included three elements that she has accomplished, including development of a injury prevention curriculum, hosting a camp and creating a series of videos that go through different parts of the injury prevention lessons she has developed.

While the camp Frank hosted, with help from volunteers including Nicole Stoen, one of her teammates as a member of the Redwood Valley girls basketball team, featured basketball, what she developed can be used in any sport.

“We held the camp in the Redwood Valley gym. My goal was to have 15 athletes at the camp, and there were 20,” said Frank. 

While the free one-and-a-half hour camp provided the opportunity for participants to learn more about the sport of basketball, Frank said the majority of the time was spent teaching them the tips she has learned to minimize injuries as an athlete.

“We spent a lot of time with them doing warm-ups and stretching,” said Frank.

Having been through physical therapy following her own injuries over her career as an athlete, as well as an opportunity to shadow local experts at the Redwood Area Hospital, provided Frank with much of the information she utilized in the development of her curriculum. Her goal is to pass that on to local coaches providing them with another tool they can use.

In talking with Frank about injury prevention, one can see this is something she is passionate about, and she is just as enthusiastic as she talked about her personal experiences as a Girl Scout.

“I have had so many positive experiences in the Girl Scouts,” said Frank, adding many of the friends she had growing up started in the Girl Scouts.

To earn the Gold Award, Frank was required to meet certain requirements, including investing at least 80 hours of time into her project. Frank surmised that she has closer to 170 hours invested, adding even though she may have met the prerequisites does not mean she is done fulfilling all that she wants to accomplish through her “Injury Prevention 101” program.

Working to achieve the global impact requirement, Frank said she has set up her own YouTube channel where the videos she has already created can be found, and she has plans to do several more.

Although the finished product was done this summer, the work toward earning the Girl Scout Gold Award started much earlier, as Frank made her way through the other steps as a Girl Scout.

To earn the Gold Award one must first earn both the bronze and silver awards.

Frank said the bronze award was a project she did in eighth grade as a group task with other Girl Scouts in her troop. That task had the Scouts working with the local animal shelter.

Achieving the silver award helped Frank begin to develop her skills as a leader and organizer, as she did a project with the food shelf.

Recognizing injury prevention is not limited just to young athletes, nor is it merely a sports-related issue, Frank said she has expanded her program. She will be offering some injury prevention tips to local Special Olympics athletes, and she is also working on a plan that would allow her to introduce some of what she has learned to senior citizens in the community.

Frank’s Girl Scout experience has also included coaching the local swim team, earning “Stars,” which she equated to merit badges in the Boy Scouts, and making trips, including one to Savannah, Ga. the birthplace of the Girl Scouts.

These are all opportunities that have helped to make Frank who she is today.

The daughter of Duane and Shereen Frank is a 2018 graduate of Redwood Valley High School. This coming fall, Frank will be attending the Mankato campus of Minnesota State University where she plans to pursue a degree in the health care field. Unlike others her age, Frank stuck with the Girl Scouts and has wrapped up her career as a Girl Scout by earning the Gold Award.

Even though she may not be able to continue as a Girl Scout, Frank does not intend to stop being involved. She plans to help out in some leadership capacity as an adult, and she also intends to continue coaching the local Girl Scouts swim team.

Frank was mentored through the Gold Award process by Connie Lunde, an RVHS teacher and coach, and wrote a Thrivent Action grant and is using her troop funds to spread the word about injury prevention to as many people as she can.

Frank said she would encourage any young girl to consider joining the Girl Scouts, because it provides to many opportunities to grow as a person, to accomplish tasks, to lead and to help make a difference on so many levels.

Frank is glad she joined the Girl Scouts 13 years ago, adding she appreciates the impact it had on her life and the impact she has been able to have on the lives of others.