Wheatland native Gracen Mount earns Girl Scout Gold Award while recording local history

Gracen Mount, a junior at Wheatland High School finished her final project and earned her Gold Award which is the highest award that the Girl Scouts give. Mount came up with an idea that combined technology with history to bring to life the history of downtown Wheatland.

WHEATLAND – Gracen Mount, Wheatland High School Junior earned the Gold Award which is the highest award that the Girl Scouts could give and finished a project that honors the history of the community.

The Gold Award is to Girl Scouts as the Eagle award is to the Boy Scouts and this brings Mount’s career with the scouts to a pinnacle. To earn the award, Mount had to do 80 hours of work geared toward community service.

Mount’s service to the community is in line with the current push to bring the downtown area to a historic downtown status.

“I went and interviewed people around the town for historic buildings,” Mount said. “Linda Fabian and Dan Brecht were the main two. I found out information about the courthouse, my dad’s office and did some buildings where I researched them on my own.”

The research and the information she gathered was not to be shared just for her own enjoyment and knowledge, but was to become her project for not only the current community, but for generations to come.

“I made two QR Codes and gave them to all of the buildings I did,” she said. “And I did 10 buildings.”

QR is an abbreviation for “quick response” and the code can be quickly read by a cellphone or scanner.

According to Marc Lynne who did an article for the website searchengineland.com, “A QR Code comes to us from Japan where they are very common. QR is short for Quick Response (they can be read quickly by a cellphone). They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it in to your cellphone. You may soon see QR Codes in a magazine advert, on a billboard, a webpage or even on someone’s T-shirt. Once it is in your cellphone, it may give you details about that business (allowing users to search for nearby locations), or details about the person wearing the T-shirt, show you a URL which you can click to see a trailer for a movie, or it may give you a coupon which you can use in a local outlet.”

The QR Codes that Mount created will be placed in the buildings that she’s researched and instantly, people will receive historical information about the building they are viewing.

“I gave the codes to the building owners and I don’t know if the code is going to be outside or inside the building,” Mount said. “They are deciding where to display the code. When you take a picture with your phone, it will appear as a link. You can then tap on it and takes you straight to YouTube and you can watch my informational videos about the building.”

Each video is approximately 2-3 minutes long explaining the history of the building that was scanned.

The idea for this project was actually born and bred in Mount’s mind while she was in Queensland, Australia on a three month visit when she was in the eighth grade.

“I was visiting a girl scout troop there,” Mount said. “When I mentioned pursuing my Gold Award, there was a girl there who did a similar project, so I did my own thing, but compared to her thing.”

Dixie Mount, who had accompanied her daughter to Australia shed some light on the foreign QR Codes.

“It’s very common there,” Dixie Mount said. “They use those QR Codes for absolutely everything. Instructions to how to do things to maneuvering the menu at McDonalds. I was amazed at all the places they were used.”

So, Mount brought the Aussie techno idea back home to Wheatland and the information that people can garner from her research will be used by community members, visitors, school children and Real Estate promoters. Not only currently, but for years to come.

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