Girl Scouts on the Go: Junior League of Baltimore

logoLooking for an exciting Girl Scout program in Baltimore? Check out the Junior League of Baltimore! They have an awesome Kids In The Kitchen program that you can try.

We asked the Junior League of Baltimore a little bit about themselves and this exciting program, here’s what we found out:

Tell us about what Junior League is and what you do.
The Junior League of Baltimore (JLB) is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The Junior League of Baltimore (JLB) reaches out to women of all races, religions, and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and a commitment to volunteerism

Why did you decide you wanted to work with GSCM?
We are so impressed by your mission to instill courage, confidence and character in girls throughout Central Maryland. Both GSCM and JLB are dedicated to improving our communities and creating leaders, and we could not be more excited about our potential to partner through our Kids In The Kitchen program!

Are there members of Junior League who were Girl Scouts? What was their experience like?
Yes, there are members of the Junior League who were Girl Scouts. Suzanne Auer, one of the co-leaders for the Kids in the Kitchen/Girl Scout partnership, and Gigi Martin, the Kids in the Kitchen Assistant Chair, both had awesome experiences as Girl Scouts. They have fond memories of their Daisy & Brownie Teddy Bear Teas. Gigi still has her Teddy Bear and pictures from that event. They both reminisced about their Girl Scout experience and how it taught them about giving back, being accepting of all people (even if they were different religions, nationalities, ethnicities etc.) and most importantly, to make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold — lessons that they still carry today!

How did you come up with the Kids in the Kitchen program?
Kids in the Kitchen is a national Junior League program in its eighth year that focuses on children’s health and wellness.

Inspired by The Junior League of Calgary’s Junior Chefs program, which began in 2001, the Junior Leagues’ Kids in the Kitchen initiative and others like it are now active in 200 locations around the world. They provide lessons and demonstrations in the preparation of healthy meals and snacks in partnership with local organizations, chefs and nutritionists. Used by some Junior Leagues as a spring board for building childhood nutrition programs that address hunger, fitness, gardening, and life skills, the initiative is now undergoing a Phase 2 expansion in breadth, scope and resources. The expansion will enable Junior Leagues to make a greater impact on the communities they serve and to lend their expertise to the building of programs that address other aspects of wellness.

This is the sixth year for the Kids in the Kitchen (KITK) committee within the Junior League of Baltimore. The KITK committee used to hold a 1 day event at Port Discovery. We provided bus transportation to children from 5 or 6 different Baltimore City elementary schools. The committee set up different stations throughout the Port Discovery building that included exercise, interactive snack, nutrition lessons, chef demonstration, football and soccer drills, and we provided lunch for everyone. JLB decided to stop hosting this one day event because it was so expansive that we couldn’t gauge the kids’ learning from this experience.

In the 2013-2014 Junior League year, we re-vamped and revised the KITK committee to include a 5-week curriculum, pop-up booths (held at festivals and farmers markets) and the Girl Scout partnership. This has expanded our portfolio to make a greater impact in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Some of our future projects will include training other non-profit organizations and Be Healthy Family Night.

What would you say that girls will gain from participating in Kids in the Kitchen, other than having a great time?
We believe girls will feel empowered and excited once they go through our workshop! Healthful and balanced food choices are lessons that the girls can carry with them at home and beyond. With schedules more hectic than ever for parents, and gym classes being cut from schools, healthy food choices and exercise are not guaranteed lessons anymore. We hope to provide a fun and engaging experience that the girls can learn from — and of course, to have a great time!

Is there anything girls should know about Kids in the Kitchen, Junior League, or cooking before they come to a program with you? How can they get ready for it?
Bring an open mind toward foods you may have never considered or tried before! Wear comfortable clothes and appropriate (athletic) shoes for the activity session.

Did we forget to ask anything? What else do you want us to know?
We forgot to tell you we are so excited to hold this workshop with you and your troop! We also forgot to tell you that if you want to have fun and learn about healthy living please contact either Suzanne Auer (srkassir@me.com) or Erika Amundson (erikalynn.amundson@gmail.com)

You can find more exciting programs in the Girl Scouts on the Go section of the GS411. Download it here and flip to page 46.

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