Knox County fifth grader wins national Girl Scout essay contest


Gracie Ogle will receive a badge that has been to the moon

A fifth-grade Girl Scout from Ball Camp Elementary is the winner of a national essay contest titled “Girl Scouts to the Moon and Back.” Gracie Ogle participated in the contest and will be awarded a Space Science badge that has been to space on NASA’s Artemis I. That mission is NASA’s first step toward the goal of sending the first woman and the first person of color to the moon.

Girl Scout Gracie Ogle wears vest with badges she has earned.

Gracie Ogle

“We are over the moon about Gracie’s success,” said Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians CEO Lynne Fugate. “For more than 110 years, girls have explored, developed and sharpened their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills through Girl Scouting. They lead their own adventures, team up with others and learn valuable skills with hands-on STEM activities.”

Gracie, a junior-level Girl Scout member of Troop 22040, was one of just 81 Girl Scouts from across the country to have an essay chosen. She is the sole recipient from the state of Tennessee.

“If I was the first kid to go into space, I would go to the moon and do moon jumps. I would also collect glittery and special moon rocks. I would see what experiments I can do with moon dust, and then I would take a moon buggy ride. I would also start a map of the moon so future explorers could go to the other side of the moon and finish the map,” Gracie wrote in her essay.

NASA has been an incredibly dedicated and enthusiastic partner of Girl Scouts, inspiring girls to pursue careers in STEM. Girl Scouts encourages girls to dream big and see themselves in leadership roles. It’s inspiring for young women to see Girl Scout alums involved in the Artemis 1 mission – including NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy and the first female launch director, Charlie Blackwell-Thompson.

The Artemis I launched on Wednesday, Nov. 16, with the Girl Scout Space Science badges aboard the Orion capsule. Essay winners will have to wait until the capsule returns to Earth in 6-8 weeks to receive their badge.

“We think it will be well worth the wait to receive such an out-of-this-world prize!” Fugate said.

About Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians
Girl Scouts is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, offering programs that give every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of entrepreneurship, adventure, and success. The Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians has more than 13,000 girl and adult members in 46 counties from southwest Virginia, through eastern Tennessee, and northern Georgia. Membership is open to all girls from kindergarten through their senior year in high school. Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. For more information, visit or call 800-474-1912.