The Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay is helping girls to grow into the leaders of the future.
Selling cookies isn’t just a fundraiser. It’s a pragmatic way to teach young girls financial literacy.
Going to camp is lots of fun. But it’s also a place where girls can flex their brains in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) or build confidence by learning to swim or hit the bull’s-eye with an arrow.
“Through activities in STEM, financial literacy, outdoor leadership and community service, Girl Scouts have hands-on experiences and encouragement to think outside of the box,” says Anne T. Hogan, CEO of GSCB. “We believe that by investing in girls, we are helping them build their futures—no matter what career paths they choose—as well as strengthen our community. Girls in Girl Scouting spend thousands of hours every year in take-action projects benefiting many local organizations. We know that when girls succeed, so does society.”
GSCB serves about 14,000 girls in grades K-12 throughout the Delmarva Peninsula. More than 5,000 volunteers support the council through mentoring and leadership.
In 2011, Girl Scouts of the USA named the council a “STEM Advocacy Champion,” one of only 17 councils in the country to
receive this distinction.
The council offers leading-edge STEM programming at the Lynn W. Williams Science & Technology Lodge at Camp Country Center in Hockessin. The center is the first building in Delaware—and the first Girl Scout facility in the U.S.—to earn platinum certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Last November, the camp opened a digital media center with programs tailored to various age levels, says Jennifer Acord, a Girl Scouts spokeswoman. Girls can immerse themselves in technology during one-week summer camps.
“For girls in second and third grades, the program focuses on photography and computer generation, taking pictures and learning how to share them through the computer,” she says. “Girls in fourth and fifth grades will learn to edit photos, in addition to learning how to take them.”
Cadettes—girls in grades six, seven and eight—will learn digital movie making, from start to finish. They will develop storyboards, shot lists and scripts, then shoot and edit their videos.
Science camps provide hands-on education and fun on such topics as biotechnology. Instructors include a molecular biologist.
Camps Todd, Grove Point and Sandy Pines, all in Maryland, offer such activities as archery and water sports, as well as themes, including the popular Hogwarts camp based on the Harry Potter novels.
Nationwide, Girl Scouts have partnered with Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, to launch a Ban Bossy campaign. The initiative was inspired by a Girl Scouts study of girls ages 8-17 in which a third of the girls who did not aspire to be leaders said their motivation was quashed by a fear of being called “bossy” or being disliked by peers.
In Scouting tradition, the goal is to encourage girls to raise their hands in school and grow up to be leaders. (gscb.org)