The Baltimore Children and Youth Fund (BCYF) is a fund dedicated to supporting Baltimore’s children, youth, and young adults. The Fund was launched in 2015 by and approved by voters in November 2016 with over 80 percent support. This past year, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland was lucky to be chosen as a grantee for BCYF funds.
This award provided an exciting opportunity to fund a new initiative, aimed at reaching girls in the Park Heights neighborhood of Baltimore. Over the past year, Girls Rise in Park Heights has focused on leadership development, academic enrichment, exposure to STEM and robotics, life skills and self-esteem development, health and wellness, and more, all in the girl-led, girl-focused environment that Girl Scouts provides.
See some highlights from throughout the year below!
Back to School Event
When girls arrived they were given name tags, pedometers and served a light breakfast. Girls were then divided into their Girl Scout levels—Daisies, Brownies, Juniors and Cadettes—to rotate through three activity stations.
Station 1: STEM
At this station, girls learned about water quality, how to identify the watershed in their school, where Conowingo Creek is located and their roles in protecting the environment. Using research and investigation skills, they came up with an action plan to reduce pollution discussed the importance of water quality testing.
Station 2: Physical Fitness & Nutrition
Girl Scouts began their session with 20 minutes of physical activity. They then learned about the importance of healthy eating, talked about the 5 food groups and learned to make a Fruit Sundae Cones, which they discovered is a healthy snack that is as fun to make as it is to eat!
Station 3: Social-Emotional Learning
To kick things off, girls opened up to one another through an ice breaker activity. Next, they learned about healthy friendships by reading One of Us by Peggy Moss, and Stick and Stone by Beth Furry. The girls then were able to take a photo with a friend and design a shadow box about their new, or continuing friendship.
Girls STEM Ahead: Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s Women in STEAM Festival
Girl Scout Juniors and Cadettes from Creative City and Arlington had the exciting opportunity to participate in Girls STEAM Ahead at UMBC. At this event, they gathered with over 100 Girl Scouts to learn about female professionals in the fields of robotics, engineering, biology, architecture, computer science, graphic design, and more.
Throughout the day girls rotated in sessions of their choosing to do activities from learning how to check reflexes and take blood pressure, to learning about led lights, and building a model solar system.
Everyone loves spending their Saturday in their pj’s, Girl Scouts included! At this event, Girls arrived wearing their pajamas, ready to for a day of self-care. With the help of Black Girls Cook and Kid in Heart, girls spent their day learning to maintain a healthy body through eating and cooking with healthy ingredients, and how to maintain a healthy perception of themselves through affirmations and self-esteem workshop.
Black Girls Cook gave simple instructions allowing girls to create healthy meals for themselves. Daises made yogurt and fruit parfaits while the Brownies created muffin omelets with vegetables. The Juniors and Cadettes were able to make waffles with fruits for the entire group to enjoy at their next activity—brunch!
After eating their delicious creations, Kid In Heart facilitated a self-esteem session where they read from “Johnny’s Mommy’s Magic Words.” The girls then worked on choosing self-affirmations that were placed inside of stuffed animals and sent home with each girl.
So what’s next for Girl Rise in Park Heights?
It wouldn’t be a Girl Scout experience without summer camp! Some girls are spending time at Camp Conowingo, in Conowingo, MD for resident camp, and many others are participating in Science of the Arts Day Camp at Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s Program Center in Baltimore. Stay tuned to see what exciting adventures these girls go on next!
Thanks to BCYF and all of the Park Heights community members that have stepped up, making all of this possible!
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