Archived Story

Scout finishes Gold project

Published 12:35pm Thursday, October 17, 2013

Beard’s texting video approved, released on YouTube

Receiving the gold is something that Caitlin Beard has wanted to achieve ever since she became a Girl Scout 13 years ago.

“I remember the last Hartselle Girl Scout who received the gold award and I wanted to be just like her,” Beard said.

Today, she has successfully followed in those footsteps after her Gold Award project was approved by the Girl Scouts of America.

Beard’s project was something that was close to her heart – a video about distracted driving. The inspiration for the project came from losing her sister 14 years ago when a train struck her vehicle at a crossing on Kayo Road.

She also remembered the impact she felt when two local teenage drivers were killed in car crashes.

“While this wreck didn’t necessarily involve distracted driving, I didn’t want anyone to have to deal with the loss of a sister or a friend like I had,” Beard said.

See Beard’s Facebook page

Beard said she wanted to do the video from the perspective of a teenager.

“Most of these videos were done from the perspective of a parent losing a son or daughter, but I wanted it to be from the perspective of another teenager,” Beard said. “I wanted the video to have an impact on them to make them be more aware of the dangers of texting while driving.

“Many times, teenagers think that it could never happen to them. If they saw a teenager having to deal with the loss of a friend, it might make an impact on them.”

Beard said she had to do something in the video that she doesn’t normally do – show emotion when talking about her sister.

“I’m usually a person who always wants to be strong, but this was a time that I realized that it would make more of an impact if I could talk about it and cry,” Beard said. “It was tough for me to do that.”

To film the movie, Beard said she and her mother, Kathy, were able to get some local teenagers to show distracted driving. The actors who participated included Alix Biggers, Thad Wooley, Jaime Reins and Nicholas King.

The actors were shown driving down the road doing various distracted driving activities including eating, using smartphones and even trying to entertain passengers.

The law firm of Siniard, Timberlake & League in Huntsville also sponsored the project. The videographer was Bill Heslip with Tree House Media in Huntsville.

Beard said she has enjoyed being in the Girl Scouts and she hopes that her Gold Award project will have a lasting impact.

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