As part of Girl Scouts’ “Think Like a Programmer” journey series, girls in Beyond Bars troops 7140 and 7856 created light-up holiday cards, with help from their mothers incarcerated at Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCIW) and from troop leaders. A facilitator from the Baltimore-based Code in the Schools organization, which helps students develop computer science skills, led the session in which the girls and their mothers designed and produced the cards, then programmed and installed lights into them. The girls then donated the cards to Meals on Wheels as a service project activity. The staff at Meals on Wheels was very grateful and impressed with the lights!
For 25 years, the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program has helped girls maintain bonds with their incarcerated mothers via troop meetings held at the prison. With the help of dedicated volunteers, girls also participate in Girl Scout activities outside of the prison, such as camping, college tours, service projects, and field trips. Begun here in Central Maryland in 1992, the Beyond Bars program has since been replicated by numerous other Girl Scout councils across the nation.