- Associated Press - Sunday, June 28, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A Bismarck teen has won the highest honor for a Girl Scout by sharing her passion for ice skating with others.

Christina Feland earned the Gold Award through her project called “It’s Never Too Late to Skate,” the Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1fITERY ) reported. The project helped students in their teens or older learn to skate last fall.

Feland said she got the idea from friends who were interested in learning to skate, but were apprehensive because they didn’t want to be in classes along children.

“I knew a lot of friends who wanted to learn how to skate, but they didn’t want to take lessons with a bunch of 5- and 6-year-olds,” Feland said. She added that the best part about teaching people how to skate is seeing what they can accomplish after they’ve mastered it.

“I love seeing the difference from day one,” Feland said. “The kids have a sense of accomplishment, and they feel good about themselves. I like making that impact.”

During the project, Feland offered one-on-one coaching to an 8-year-old boy who wanted to play hockey. He went from not being able to skate to scoring the winning goal for his team at a state championship.

“From him not being able to skate or stop, then scoring the winning goal at state … That’s huge,” Feland said.

She credits her mother with cultivating her interest in skating and her own coach with helping her improve her skating skills.

Feland said winning the award feels like validation for her hard work.

“It’s a reassurance that you can make a difference in your community, if you set your mind to it,” she said.

Feland hopes she can teach a hockey skills class in Grand Forks when she starts at the University of North Dakota next year.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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