Polytech junior goes for gold

By Elle Wood
Posted 6/5/24

WOODSIDE – One small idea can help other people in big ways.

Kylie Yiengst, a junior on the Polytech High School golf team, learned this through her project she created to earn her Gold …

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Polytech junior goes for gold


WOODSIDE – One small idea can help other people in big ways.

Kylie Yiengst, a junior on the Polytech High School golf team, learned this through her project she created to earn her Gold Award for Girl Scouts.

She joined the Girl Scouts about 10 years ago. As she is about to head into her senior year of high school, her time as a Girl Scout is coming to an end.

The Gold Award is a way to use everything she has learned during her time in her troop. It is the biggest honor a Girl Scout can receive; it is like becoming an Eagle Scout.

Her project is related to golf, a sport she has played since a toddler.

“I started playing golf when I was three years old,” said Kylie. “I just have a great time playing golf.”

Her project was to build crates for each golf team in the Henlopen Conference to put at their home course for people to donate gently used golf balls for the students.

“I built crates out of wood and painted them for the Henlopen Conference golf teams because golf balls are the most expensive equipment for golfers,” Kylie said. “For three months you can spend about $500 on golf balls per player.”

She wanted to give back to the community that has supported her as she grew up.

“The golf community has supported me since I was little,” said Kylie. “My dad is the coach for Polytech, so I’ve gone out and practiced with the teams, go out and watched matches and say ‘Hi’.

“So, I feel like the community teams should have something that will be remembered.”

She wanted to find a way to help students that may not get as much help from their school or may not be able to afford better equipment for them to be successful on the course.

“In playing high school golf, I have seen that some districts are poorer than others and seeing other athletes playing with not the greatest golf balls you can play with.

“I’ve seen some people play with golf balls I have never heard of before, and they shouldn’t have to play with.”

This project has been about two years in the making for Kylie. She spent lots of time conducting research then around November began putting the crates together and adding them to the courses in early April.

The crates will stay at the courses as long as they keep them at each individual course. She is planning on going to each crate soon to give the donated golf balls to each school’s golf coach or athletic director.

The Gold Award requires a project that is sustainable and can keep going even after the award is received. She also has to complete 80 hours of service for the project.

Once Kylie reaches all the requirements, she will prepare her final report to present to the Girl Scout council. Then she will be presented the award at a ceremony.

Kylie has been successful during her time on the Polytech golf team. This year she tied for third at the conference match and placed third in the state match individually.

The team tied for third at the conference match and tied for fourth in the state match.

Although she still has one more year as a Panther, Kylie is looking ahead to the future.

“I want to play college golf and major in forensic science,” said Kylie.

Outside of golf and Girl Scouts, Kylie is involved with Project Unity. They work together with the Special Olympics.

One of her favorite parts about the group is Friday Night Live. This is a mimic of “Saturday Night Live” that they put on each February to raise money for the Special Olympics.

As she continues for project for the Gold Award, she gains a deeper appreciation for her support in the golf community and wants to show that same support to others that may not have the support.

“Golf in high school is one of the most forgotten sports,” said Kylie. “They don’t get a lot of funding and you have to do a lot of fundraising as a team, like selling raffle tickets or going to a restaurant to try and raise money and partner with them

“The school district will pay for some stuff, fortunately. Polytech has paid for a lot of our stuff, but I know that some other school districts can’t afford that or do not realize how much golf actually costs.”

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