Times May Be Tough, but Girl Scouts are Resilient
To all the Girl Scouts out there, we salute you!
True story! Starling’s Placement Director, Diane, earned a black belt in Girl Scouting! Ok, maybe not, but she is a Girl Scout lifer. We were curious to learn how the Girl Scouts are adapting during this time, so we reached out to Diane’s sister and Edmonds troop leader, Jennifer Bardsley. You can read more from Jennifer in the “I Brake for Moms” column in the Everett Herald.
Everyone says they want to change the world and make it a better place for women, but Girl Scouts actually do this on a daily basis. From camping, to first aid skills, to financial literacy, to crafting–Girl Scouts has been teaching generations of women for over one hundred years. But what happens when Girl Scout troops in the Seattle area can’t meet in person?
That’s a question Jennifer Bardsley, the “I Brake for Moms” columnist for The Everett Herald, asked herself when she read the letter from the Girl Scouts of Western Washington canceling in-person events from now until August. How could her Junior troop of fifth grade girls continue programing while staying safe at home?
“Thankfully, we’d already completed the requirements for our Bronze Award,” said Bardsley, “which took my girls two years of work to earn. But the other events we had planned, like horseback riding, jewelry making, and completing our mechanical engineering badges, had to be put on hold.
The Girl Scouts of Western Washington provide a website full of resources so that all girls can keep scouting at home. “The website was helpful,” said Bardsley, “and I was also inspired by what I saw other Girl Scout leaders in my community doing. Some troops were writing letters for nursing facilities, others were figuring out how to continue badge work via Zoom.”
Bardsley’s troop of ten year olds has been meeting for six years and has always had a special emphasis on women in the workforce. This theme prompted Bardsley to think of ways she could help her troop continue that focus online. “I put out a call for volunteers on the Edmonds Moms Facebook group,” she said, “and within one hour I had dozens of women signed up to speak to my troop via Zoom meetings about their jobs.”
Since then the girls have learned from general contractors, fitness instructors, salon owners, and bakers about what their jobs entail. What type of training does the career require? What are the highs and lows of each position? Each speaker “meets” with the girls for twenty minutes. By now, the girls are Zoom experts, thanks to online school, and are well equipped for navigating the online technology. Bardsley always requires a password for the Zoom meetings, and follows the digital safety guidelines provided by the Girl Scouts.
“None of this can replace meeting with my girls in person,” said Bardsley. “But at least they’re continuing to learn life skills that will make an impact.”
Girl Scouts Deliver!
Like many charitable organizations, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington is struggling financially right now due to the health crisis. Cookie sales were impacted and the scouts are sitting on a massive pile of unsold cookies they need to sell fast, while the goods are still fresh. If you’d like to purchase a box of cookies for home delivery–or to donate to a Covid-19 first responder–you can make a difference for only $5 a box. Order here
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