Lauren Wong is an Ambassador Girl Scout with Troop 881, based in Anaheim, California at the Orange County Buddhist Church. Lauren is a candidate for the highest Girl Scout honor awarded, the Girl Scout Gold Award. Application for this esteemed award involves a 7-step process, which begins with the identification and selection of a global issue.
The candidate must then come up with a project that will inform, inspire, and educate people on the topic. Inspired by her grandmother, Lauren chose to create a Girl Scout patch program for the Japanese American National Museum. Lauren’s grandmother often told her stories of her imprisonment at the Tulsa Lake concentration camp, stories that would later inspire Lauren to learn more about Japanese American incarceration during World War II.
Realizing that this subject is often overlooked in American history classes, Lauren set out to inform the general public of this taboo era of US history. Her hope is that learning of this mistreatment will inspire people to think and not allow history to repeat itself. She created a project called “Experience the Past”, an educational tool comes to parallel the museum’s main exhibit, “Common Ground: The Heart of Community”. The worksheets help visitors to identify with, discuss, and connect the exhibit to life today, in contrast to life during this period of confusion.
Visitors to the Japanese American National Museum can ask for the worksheets at the front desk, and once they have seen the exhibit and completed the worksheets, participants earn the special patch designed by Lauren. Through this special patch program, Lauren hopes to raise awareness of Japanese American incarceration during World War II and its significance to American history as a whole.