Girl Scout Allyson Willis, who spearheaded the movement to make the Channeled Whelk Delaware's state seashell, now has her sights set on achieving the Girl Scout Gold Award.To obtain the award, Willis must commit 80 hours to a “take action project” that will benefit the community, while also having a sustainable impact. Willis plans to collaborate with Townsend Mayor Rudy Sutton to help unlock the community's past.

Girl Scout member Allyson Willis, the girl who spearheaded the movement to make the Channeled Whelk Delaware’s state seashell, now has her sights set on achieving the Girl Scout Gold Award.

The Gold Award is the highest and most prestigious award a Girl Scout can obtain. It is only open to those in ninth to 12th grades, and it can only be obtained after one has achieved the Silver Award.

Willis achieved her Bronze Award by leading the campaign to name the Channeled Whelk Delaware’s official state seashell. Gov. Jack Markell signed the bill that established the Channeled Whelk as such May 6, 2014.

From there, she earned her Silver Award by educating Delawareans on the newly minted official state seashell. Willis made brochures for her middle school agriculture teacher to pass around when teaching classes about the symbol, while also writing blogs for the Delaware Museum of Natural History, even setting up an exhibit on the Channeled Whelk as well.

Targeting the Gold Award is no small feat, with only 5.4 percent of the applicants finding success. To obtain the award, Willis must commit 80 hours to a “take action project” that will benefit the community, while also having a sustainable impact.

Willis plans to collaborate with Townsend Mayor Rudy Sutton to help unlock the community’s past.

“I plan to collect photos of the area to create a ‘then and now’ of the building in the community,” Willis said. “Then I will write a history synopsis of the community, followed by interviewing people who have resided in Townsend their whole lives and are now witnessing changes.”

Willis also plans to create a walking tour of historic Townsend and create an ‘About’ tab on the Townsend website detailing reason why Townsend would be a good place to live. She hopes her project will layout the framework for a Townsend Historical Society.

“I chose this project for my Gold Award because I'm intrigued by the town’s history,” Willis said. I’m also surprised by the fact that no one has tried to preserve it in the past.”

While there is no set timeline for the completion of the project, Willis noted that she hoped to finish by December 2017.

“The next submission deadline is December of 2018,” Willis said. “I hope to earn my Gold Award at the ‘On My Honor’ Ceremony in January 2019.”

To contact Willis to help her in her endeavor to uncover the history of Townsend, call (302) 887-9603, or email allysonrwillis@yahoo.com.