Genevieve Ritz received the Gold Award, the highest Girl Scout award, Sunday at a ceremony held at the Grandview Heights Public Library.

Genevieve Ritz received the Gold Award, the highest Girl Scout award, Sunday at a ceremony held at the Grandview Heights Public Library.

Six scouts from Girl Scout Cadette Troop 1074 also received the Silver Award during the ceremony.

Ritz, a member of Ambassador Troop 1933, had to first earn a Gold Leadership Award and Gold Career Award before qualifying for the Gold Award. Her final project was the building and installation of a bat box at the Wallace Community Gardens.

"I've been involved in my school's FIRST Robotics team and I like building things," said Ritz, who is a senior at Grandview Heights High School. "I thought I could use my love of building things in doing my project for the Silver Award."

The bat box is installed "and in the spring we'll see if it's successful," she said.

The box could attract as many as 80 to 100 bats to the gardens, Ritz said.

The bats will eat insects harmful to the garden plots, such as gypsy moths and Japanese beetles, as well as mosquitoes, including those that carry the West Nile virus, she said.

Attracting bats to the gardens will also lure them away from homes and other buildings in the community where their presence would be more of a nuisance, Ritz said.

The scouts earning the Silver Award were eighth-graders Charlotte Gross, Autumn Lee, Rosaley Milano, Emma Pommering, Elizabeth Ritz and Erin Wood.

To achieve the honor, the girls completed service hours and earned Silver Leadership and Silver Career awards and completed a project planning and organizing a weekend campout for a fourth-grade Brownie troop.

"We planned a lot of activities for the Brownies, including hiking, creeking and fishing," Milano said. "It was a way to help teach them outdoor skills."

"One of the reasons we decided to do this project was because none of us got to go on a camping trip when we were in the Brownies," Wood said. "It was nice to provide that experience to the girls."

There was an extensive amount of planning for the trip, including deciding what activities would be held and making sure all the necessary supplies and equipment were obtained, Lee said.

A special cookie sale was held to raise money for the trip, Elizabeth Ritz said.

The younger girls stayed overnight on a Friday. After they left, the older scouts enjoyed another night of camping.

"It was challenging at times, because the Brownies were a little excited at times and you had to make sure they were safe," Gross said. "The only thing we couldn't let them do was build a fire.

"It was a lot of fun to meet and get to know the Brownies," Pommering said. "I've become friends with one of the girls who went on the trip."