Latina Outreach Coordinator, Marcela Gomez Griffith works to increase Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s (GSCM) footprint in areas and schools that have a high Latino population. She has had great success in increasing awareness of Girl Scouts in the Latino community by partnering with local businesses and organizations and, offering relevant and exciting programming.
Pedro Palomino, owner of Mundo Latino newspaper has been a great partner and shared stories about Girl Scouts and Girl Scout programs in his paper. EBLO (Education Based Latino Outreach), is another organization that has partnered with GSCM by supporting programming efforts in the Latina community. These combined efforts resulted in over 150 Latina girls participating in Girl Scout programs and activities, including summer day camp.
“As an Outreach Coordinator, I managed the United Way project for a year and a half. Immediately, after accepting oversight of the project I realized that my in-school program students were missing a huge part of what it means to be a Girl Scout – participating in environmental stewardship and camping. It’s because of this,” Marcela shared, “that I decided to apply for a scholarship* to attend Audubon’s Educator’s Week at Hog Island.” The program is solely dedicated to educators and teaching practical environmental activities to incorporate into teaching while exploring Maine coastal and island habitats with experts. “I learned about birds and marine life, visited multiple islands and studied their geology, went on hiking excursions all while being surrounded by other educators who are committed to the environment. I left Hog Island with a bigger understanding of ecosystems and how to share information with children.”
Marcela returned from this experience ready to share her newly acquired knowledge with girls in central Maryland. On October 20-22, 2017, 55 girls from three schools in Baltimore County participated in an encampment at Camp Whippoorwill, funded by the United Way of Central Maryland. Girls participated in team building, stream exploration, the outdoors, self-esteem, nutrition, and physical exercise activities. Volunteers from Featherbed Elementary School attended the encampment which allowed them to obtain training and develop their leadership skills. As a result, the volunteers will run their first encampment in May 2018!
“Thank you to United Way for funding the initiative to increase after-school programs at schools in need of after-school activities.” Marcela added, “I am [also] infinitely grateful to the Monadock Garden Club scholarship which covered my room and board [at Hog Island] and allowed me to have an amazing professional development experience that I could share with girls in central Maryland.
Want to start your own adventure and unleash the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader)™ in you? Become a Girl Scout today!
*If you are interested in attending an Audubon Hog Island program, scholarship requests are being taken now.