For National Women’s History Month, we want to celebrate women who continue every day to show the world that courage, confidence, and character are alive and well in our modern age. Here are four inspiring women who exemplify the Girl Scout Mission and who have risen to meet the challenges in their careers and lives with grace and grit. Ladies, we salute your efforts and the unsung heroes who work hard every day to make the world a better place for future generations of women everywhere.
1.Major Tammy Duckworth: Veteran
2. Margaret Wild: Wildlife Veterinarian
3. Erin Schlager: Bioscience Technician and Park Ranger
4. Sri: Gold Award Recipient and 2013 National Young Women of Distinction
Now that you have heard these amazing stories, explore the story teller in every girl through the Storytelling Badges available in the It’s Your World, Change it! Journey badge sets. Girl Scout Brownies can discover their family story, while Juniors explore the power of the pen, Cadettes experiment with screenwriting and Seniors find out just what it takes to write a novel. In the words of poet Muriel Rukeyser, “the universe is made of stories, not atoms” and Girl Scouts is excited to see what the next generation of story tellers can do. Make sure to visit GSUSA’s photo wall and upload a photo to share your Girl Scout story with others or share it through art by designing a mural and then seeking out a place in your community to display it.
Camp is an exciting pathway for girls to participate in Girl Scouting. At Troop Adventure Camp, the troop and camp pathways merge to create an experience girls and leaders will never forget. Troop Adventure Camp (TAC) is slightly different from our other summer program opportunities – it’s designed for the whole troop!
- What makes TAC different? Girls work together to schedule their TAC session. They pick their activities, their cook-outs and their troop rules. This means that troops get the progressive camping experience that they’re ready for. There’s activities for first time troops and experienced campers.
- Do adults have to pay? The adults needed to keep proper Safety Activity Check Point ratio do not pay to attend TAC. Any additional adults not needed for ratio are required to pay.
- Do adults have to stay the whole time? No, we realize that accompanying your troop to camp for a session is a big commitment. That’s why we allow rotating adults. You can trade off “shifts” with other adults in your unit as long as they have completed the volunteer approval process.
- Do the troop leaders lead the activities? No, Junior Instructors and camp staff lead the program activities, adults are needed for ratio, supporting the girls, providing good behavior management techniques and first aid. If the troop schedules in down time, troop bonding time or an off-site trip; the leaders are responsible for leading those type of activities.
- What activities can we choose from? There are many activities to choose from at TAC. Some of the activities you can choose are letterboxing, nature hikes, creeking, pottery, sewing silly monsters, complicated contraptions, egg drop engineers, cooking methods and survival skills. Girl Scout Juniors and older can do archery and the low challenge course.
- What if we’ve been to TAC before? Don’t worry, there’s still more to explore! Besides doing the activities you’ve never done before, there are off site destinations to explore! Go canoeing with Rivers Edge Outfitters, take a zip line canopy tour at Camp Kern, hunt for fossils at Caesar Creek State Park , visit Fort Ancient or check out the Air Force Museum.
- How do we register? Registration opens February 26, register using the paper registration form found at http://www.girlscoutsofwesternohio.org/What-We-Do/Program-Opportunities-Events/Summer-Camp-Opportunities/Summer%20Camp%20Documents/1302016-001%202014%20Camp%20Registration%20Troop%20Adventure%20Camp%202013.pdf.
- How can I make sure my girls are ready for summer camp? It might be hard to believe right now but warm weather is on the way. Move your troop meeting outside or to a local park to get the girls used to operating outside. You can also take time to work on badges that inspire the girls to explore the outdoor world around them. There is a Naturalist legacy badge in The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting for each grade level.
Two Girl Scouts work together during the 2013 Design It, Build It, Go STEM event cohosted by Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and Cincinnati State
February 16-22, 2014, is National Engineers Week. This is a perfect week to begin introducing girls to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers and topics. It’s okay if you aren’t an expert in these areas yourself because the girls will love seeing you discover along with them. You may be wondering why this is so important to girls. Here are few facts that you should know:
STEM careers are growing five times faster than any other occupation.
By 2018, nine out of the 10 fastest-growing jobs in the United States will require significant training in science and mathematics.
STEM workers command higher wages, earning 26% more than their non-STEM counterparts.*
*SOURCE: Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, July 2011
The status of girls:
Not enough girls are pursuing STEM careers.
Only 20 percent of engineering degrees, 25 percent of math and computer-science degrees are earned by women
40 percent of earth, atmospheric, ocean and physical science degrees are earned by women.
Why are girls underrepresented?
- Girls have less confidence in their STEM abilities even though they have the same capabilities in mathematics and science as their male counterparts.
- Girls have less exposure to hands-on STEM activities.*
- Girls have few female role models in their lives that are engaged in STEM fields.
- Girls are more interested in careers that “help people” and lack and understanding that STEM careers can help people.
- Girls are unaware of STEM career opportunities.
*SOURCE: Lemelson-MIT Invention Index
What can I do?
- If you are a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador leader, contact your local Girl Scout Center to find out more about the Imagine Your STEM Future curriculum.
- Help connect girls to women in STEM fields. Get the parents associated with your troop to tap into their networks to invite special guests to share their careers with girls.
- Many colleges, universities and museums offer STEM programming for youth that would be perfect for a Girl Scout field trip.
- Share the above research with the parents in your troop so they know the barriers that girls face.
- Learn more about girls and STEM by reading the Generations STEM study conducted by GSUSA which is where we pulled most of the data listed above. If that’s too lengthy for you, this summery has all of the essential information.
- Check out this resource which will tell you how some of our National Portfolio links to STEM topics. These tips are helpful too!
- Do some research about each aspect of STEM on the internet. You’ll discover all sorts of free resources. Discovere.org is a great place to start.
A Girl Scout birthday celebration, circa 1960s.
Image:Girl Scout National Historic Preservation Center
One of the most powerful things about Girl Scouting is the connection that girls have to the rich history of women in Girl Scouting who came before them. Black History Month is a great opportunity to celebrate African-American women as you help girls make a connection to the important role that African-American women have played in the history of our country and the Girl Scout Movement. Here are some ideas of how to help make that connection:
- This is the perfect time to kick off the It’s Your Story-Tell It Journey . This Journey introduces girls to inspiring women through various forms of story-telling. While the Journey has women interwoven throughout each Girl Scout grade level, you can add in a few additional African-American women in honor of Black History Month. You can even have girls do their own research and bring the story of an inspiring woman back to their next meeting to share with the group.
- You might be saying, “I’m not a history buff!” That’s okay! It’s great for girls to see you learning right along side them. Visit www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov to get inspired yourself! The menu on the left side of the screen has great tools. The images tab has photos of great leaders in our history along with information about them. Have fun exploring yourself and then let the girls take the lead.
- GSUSA has great information about Girl Scout history on their website which includes women from all backgrounds.
- Search for Black History Month celebrations and exhibits at local history museums, cultural museums, art museums and universities. These type of events are a great way to learn along side the girls and get out in the community. Did you know that we have an AMAZING museum called the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center right in our council’s jurisdiction? Check it out!
- Simply talk to the girls about what they are learning about in school during Black History Month and what they think about it. This approach might help you find out what the girls are really interested in and allow you to let them explore in a way they may not get to in school.
A big part of being a Girl Scout is taking action to make the world a better place. This video does a great job of teaching girls how to create a PSA (public service announcement). This is a great way for girls to rally their friends, family and community around a cause that they believe in. The more people the girls get involved, the bigger impact they can have. Each Girl Scout Journey guides girls towards a take action project that can impact their community. Use this video to help teach girls about different ways to spread the word about their plans.
Today marks the national holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. This is a great opportunity to tie the history lessons that girls have learned in school about Martin Luther King Jr. to their Girl Scout Leadership Experience. When Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouting, she intended it to be for all girls. Many girls today have heard the stories of Rev. King who headed the civil-rights movement fighting for equality for all people, but they don’t know that he too recognized that Girl Scouting was progressive in the civil-rights movement and served as a good vehicle in breaking down the barriers of racial segregation. In 1956, Martin Luther King Jr. described Girl Scouts as “a force for desegregation.” (Black History and the Girl Scouts of America. AARegistry.org. January 14, 2014).
Girl Scouting has gone through many changes since the 1950’s, and the advocacy that Martin Luther King Jr taught the nation and the hopes of Juliette Gordon Low still rings true in Girl Scouting today. The Girl Scout’s National Portfolio focuses on social justice, skill building, inclusion and creating systemic change to create confidence in ALL girls to become the leaders of tomorrow. Through Girl Scout Journeys, girls work together to Discover, Connect and Take Action on important issues facing them and their communities. Girls get to try new things and gain new skills through The Girls Guide to Girl Scouting; and don’t forget Girl Scout’s Highest Awards (Gold, Silver and Bronze). These awards have girls plan a project to make a sustainable impact in their communities.
If doing a Journey, badge or award isn’t on the schedule for this week, that doesn’t mean that you can’t share the important role that Girl Scouting has played advocating for the equality of all people as you celebrate Martin Luther Kings Jr. and his legacy.
Here’s to honoring the mission of Martin Luther King Jr. today, and everyday, as Girl Scouts.