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Hickory, North Carolina - What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear "Girl Scouts"? Most likely, “Cookies!” And we don’t blame you, because let’s be honest, Girl Scout cookies are delicious. But did you know that Girl Scouts of the USA has been empowering girls across the country since 1912?! Founded by Juliette Gordon Low, Girl Scouting helps girls develop their full individual potential through a myriad of enriching experiences, community services and cultural exchanges. Today, there are 3.2 million Girl Scouts and volunteers and more than 59 million alumnae in the U.S. who enjoyed Girl Scouts during their childhood. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.
A big part of the Girl Scouts program is responsible participation in the out of doors. This includes hiking adventures, camping excursions and wilderness clean-up projects. Girls earning their prestigious Girl Scout Gold Awards have built artificial reefs to sustain coastal ecosystems and rallied school programs to radically reduce waste. These girls are on a mission to save the earth and treat the environment with the respect it deserves!
On Saturday, November 3rd, Traveling Trainers Dani and Roland helped celebrate a century of leadership as the Girl Scouts of the USA turned 100 years-old. The celebration was held in Hickory, North Carolina and included local troops across the state. The day was full of festivities - crafts, games, food, music and sunshine! Over 700 girls - kids and parents combined - attended the event. We promoted the Seven Leave No Trace Principles with simple interactive games to boost environmental awareness and encourage stewardship. Here are a few of the games we played which are great for any age group at any event:
Camp Oh No! - Set up a campsite crime scene. Examples could include a tent built on top of wildflowers, litter in and around a camp fire, food left out in the open for animals to find. This is a great introduction to all Seven Principles! Have a discussion with participants as to why these examples are less than Leave No Trace.
How Long Does it Last? - Display several pieces of common trash items. This can include a plastic bottle, an aluminum can, fruit peels, a paper bag, or a glass bottle. Have participants guess how long a certain article will take to decompose/break down and why it is important to Trash Your Trash and recycle.
Durable Surface Hopscotch - Set up an obstacle course comprised of durable and non-durable surfaces. Have participants navigate their way through the course by Choosing the Right Path. Explain why it is important to stick to the trails when outdoors.
The Girl Scouts Anniversary Celebration was a blast! It was wonderful to see young leaders who are focused on conservation, responsibility and taking action to ensure the safety of our planet for future generations to come.
Ninjas for Nature - dani and roland