Local Girl Scouts are learning new ways to put their go-getter, innovator, risk-taker and leadership qualities into action as the country adapts to living with COVID-19. Empowered by an organization that promotes compassion, courage, confidence and character, leadership through citizenship, and activities that involve community service, girls are virtually earning badges and practical skills. In spite of the sudden disruption to their school and sports activities, girls can participate in Girl Scouts activities online.
Girl Scouts of Central Maryland (GSCM) developed a series of online and virtual programming for Girl Scouts in grades kindergarten through 12. Hundreds of girls in central Maryland (and in other states from as far away as Washington, Texas, Michigan and Florida) follow step-by-step activity instructions on their computers, led by older Girl Scouts and Girl Scout staff, to learn and build their skills and work towards earning badges. Programming has included art in the outdoors, home science (a favorite since girls learned how to make rock candy and geodes) and space science. In sessions led by GSCM’s camp ranger, girls learn about and “meet” the animals that live at the Caitlin Dunbar Nature Center. During these virtual experience girls can get “up-close” to snakes and owls and learn how their unique physical traits help them survive and hunt food. Each week an array of virtual, online and pre-recorded activities, badge work and explorations are available for girls to participate in. At the end of the first week of Maryland school closures, summer camp staffers took to Facebook to host a live campfire and sing-a-long. Over 800 girls participated in the engaging and interactive broadcast learning new songs or reminiscing about their fun and friends at summer camp.
Local Girl Scouts have also engaged in leadership activities by serving their communities. Daisy Girl Scout Natalie made care packages that included bottled water, toilet paper, disposable gloves and homemade cookies. Members of Troop 744 showed appreciation for Mercy Hospital ER staff and firefighters in their community by providing them with Girl Scout cookies. Older Girl Scouts have put their Girl Scout experience to use by leading online activities for younger Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts of Central Maryland has also provided resources for families to use to help them talk with their kids about how and why their lives are changing: How to Talk to your Kids about Coronavirus; 7 Ways to Deal When the World Is Just So Overwhelming, and, Girl Scouts’ Gold Award projects, like this one by Kelly Dodge, provide helpful ways to deal with kids’ questions and anxiety during these uncertain times.
For more information about Girl Scouts’ programming during the COVID-19 sheltering in click here.