Royals Blue and Girl Scout Green = a Beautiful Partnership

Girl Scout Day at the K was a Record-Breaking Success!

Well, 2016 Girl Scout Day at the K is a wrap! Nearly 12,000 Girl Scouts, friends and family descended upon Kauffman Stadium to cheer on our 2015 World Champs as they took on the Houston Astros!

With that many Girl Scouts in one place, it was our largest Girl Scout event of the year and you didn’t have to look far to spot a girl in a Day at the K shirt, uniform or even a homemade shirt to celebrate the occasion!

collage

The Kansas City Royals made sure that everyone else in the stadium knew that it was Girl Scout Day as well!

Girl Scouts who sold 300+ boxes of Girl Scout Cookies not only earned 2 free tickets, but the chance to walk around the field prior to the game!

 

Our top cookie seller, Girl Scout Cadette Tehya Frederick from KCMO was presented with a baseball autographed by Pitcher, Ian Kennedy prior to the game!

2016-06-26-DayattheK 315

Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient, Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff from Parkville, MO threw out the first pitch to Girl Scout Cadette Sarah Barlow from Leavenworth, KS.

2016-06-26-DayattheK 352

The colors were presented by Girl Scout Cadette Troop 1248 from Lee’s Summit, MO during the National Anthem.

20160626_130807

In the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat was Gold Award Recipient, Teresa Shockley from Leawood, KS. Teresa’s Gold Award project focuses on providing an alternative coping mechanism for teens suffering from mental illness. She created Little Free Libraries that were stocked with books and music suggestions specifically selected to help teens overcome challenges such as depression, suicidal thoughts and anxiety. Inside each book Teresa included a personal message about why that particular book can help with recovery. Today, there are eight libraries in locations that teens can easily access.

2016-06-26-DayattheK 398

Girl Scout Dad and volunteer CPT Milton L. Lewis II  was recognized in the Salute to Heroes seat! CPT Lewis is Incoming Commander at Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, KS.

20160626_132826

During the televised broadcast, three Girl Scouts who sold more than 2,000 boxes of cookies  (GS Cadette Rebecca from Spring Hill, KS, Brownie Jaycee from St. Joseph, MO and Daisy Emauri  from Eudora, KS) delivered a sweet snack break to Rex Hudler and Ryan Lefebvre. We found out that Rex is not a Thin Mint man. What? Don’t worry – he loved the Lemonades and did share his family are definitely Thin Mint fans!

20160626_134202

What an amazing day that we had AND our Boys in Blue WON! Following the victory a few of our super fans waited patiently to deliver a victory present of Girl Scout Cookies to LORENZO CAIN!

13495032_1435911409767934_7950468072588020763_n

Thank you to everyone who came out and participated in 2016 Girl Scout Day at the K! We want to hear about the memories you made with your girl, family or troop, so be sure to leave those in the comments below!

Be sure to check out all our photos from 2016 Girl Scout Day at the K and feel free to download, print and share!

 

Christine Perlinger – Highest Award Alumna

A First Class Role Model for Girls

Leading by example – that’s what Troop Leader Christine Perlinger is doing for the 10 girls (2 Seniors, 8 Ambassadors) in troop 1446 from Overland Park, KS. Christine does more than just support this troop, she’s an event coordinator for Service Unit 634, managing an awesome bridging ceremony for the whole unit! Her seniors did a beautiful bridging over a mountain they built, showing how high Girl Scouts can climb. As a First Class Award Recipient, mother of Eagle Scouts and Day Camp Director, Christine has devoted a great deal of her life to Scouting and the great outdoors.

ChristineFamilyCollage

Christine started her Girl Scout adventure as a Brownie in 1st grade (Daisies didn’t arrive on the scene until the 1980s) and continued through her high school career, achieving the First Class Award along the way around 1979. Just a year or so later, the award was given the name it currently has today – the Gold Award. During her 9th-10th grade years she served as an assistant to her leader in Raytown, Missouri, which may have inspired her to take on the leadership role as an adult. “I remember doing a lot of camporees and we lead a lot of the younger girls. We kept everything organized, kept them going and came up with a lot of the ideas,” Christine said. She loved camping at Prairie Schooner and being part of leadership.

After high school Christine attended Northwest Missouri State University (one of our awesome community partners) and soon after became a mother. She now runs her own business as an in-home daycare provider, taking care of children for a living. This also affords her the flexibility to plan and implement amazing experiences for her troop and Service Unit as a volunteer.

Now as a leader, Christine (or S’more as the girls call her at camp) gets to watch the next generation excel. Her niece, Zoey, just bridged to Brownie and her daughter, Gretchen (known at camp as “Big Bird”), is working toward her Gold Award by doing a project that combines Youth Ministry and music. Her son, Brendan, has Cerebral Palsy and completed his Eagle Scout project by running a housewares drive to outfit four apartments for young adults with Cerebral Palsy. Son, Noah, and husband, Dan, are also Eagle Scouts with son, Evan, working on his.

“Earning the Highest Award in Girl Scouts has given me the confidence to know that I can do anything I set my mind to. It’s given my daughter confidence and it’s given me confidence to be a leader. I was so shy in high school, I never thought I’d be able to do something like this, but Girl Scouts helped me break out of that shell,” Christine said. That’s why she’s such a strong advocate of the Gold Award and Eagle Scout Award and why she’s encouraged all of her kids to achieve these honors. In fact, most of her Girl Scout troop is on track for Gold as well!

ChristineGirlScoutCollage

Troop 1446 is where Christine focuses most of her charitable attention these days. The troop cooked a Thanksgiving turkey dinner on a brick oven they built in a fire pit at Camp Prairie Schooner. They even included Camp Ranger, Zac, his wife and son to the meal! As a senior project, the girls are working to build a full brick oven at Camp Prairie Schooner and have already received over 300 bricks so far! “We’re building the oven and putting together a recipe book so that younger girls can learn to cook in a brick oven out at camp,” Christine said.

The mission of Girl Scouts, the girls she works with and the impact it has had in her own life is what keeps Christine going as a troop leader after all these years. “I believe in the program. It’s a strong program that’s been around for 100+ years […] but what keeps me going as a leader is the girls. I love all my girls. Sometimes when I want to give up, my girls keep me going,” Christine said. The dedication is obvious – troop 1446 goes camping about once a month, tackles large service projects and volunteers as teen leaders at the Service Unit’s Day Camp. Her daughter, Gretchen, is also on the GSKSMO’s Teen Leadership Circle. It’s inspiring to see girls hard at work with a great role model leading them forward.

ChristineFinalCollage

We thank Christine and the entire Perlinger family for their time, dedication and support of Girl Scouts. We love seeing where Highest Award Recipients go in life. If you’d like to share a story about an awesome troop leader or volunteer, like Christine, comment below!

Celebrate Great Outdoors Month

June is Great Outdoors Month! Have you been getting outside with your service unit at Day Camp? Perhaps your girl attended Resident Camp at Camp Daisy this month? Well, if you haven’t ventured outside with your girl yet this month, lace up your hiking boots or throw on your tennis shoes and hit one or all of these hiking trails we’ve found for you!

marthalafiteMartha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary
Liberty, MO

The trails at Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary are perfect for the novice hiker. There are multiple short trails that connect to each other if you want to extend your trek! There are some paved and others are dirt/gravel/woodchip. There is plenty to see and explore all throughout the Nature Sanctuary, but they do ask that you leave your four-legged walking buddies at home.


Gary L. Haller Trail

Johnson County, KS

Located west of I-435 and I-35 is a 17.5 mile loop trail, which happens to be the longest trail in Johnson County. There are eight public access stations with a variety of amenities such as restrooms, water fountains, play structures and shelters. The entire trail is paved and is great for bikes and furry friends are welcome, just be sure to clean up after them! If the 17.5 mile loop is a little much for you, don’t fret! Just start at one of the public access point and pick a direction and go as far as you like, then head back!

katyKaty Trail State Park
Central Missouri

The Katy Trail is one of the most popular trails in the state of Missouri. This trail was once the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad corridor and ceased operations in 1986. This scenic trail is 238 miles long and is great to separate into segments and experience multiple times! The trail begins in Clinton, MO and follows the Missouri River and concludes in Machen, MO just outside of St. Louis. There are multiple access points and the trail is relatively flat, great for biking and hiking alike. There are many small towns along the trail that offer overnight accommodations for those who want to experience the trail over multiple days!

Riverfront Heritage Trail
Kansas City, MO

Take in Kansas City like you never have before on this 10-mile paved pathway through the Kansas City bi-state area! This trail is one of the first of its kind in Kansas City and winds through the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in the city. There are historical markers along the trail system that will map out the history of the area for pedestrians and bicyclists!

flinthillsFlint Hills Nature trail
East Central Kansas

Similar in concept to the Katy Trail, the Flint Hills nature trail was developed from an old railway system as well. It’s 117 miles in length across east central Kansas and passes through five counties. This trail is open to pedestrians, bicyclists and horseback riders! The Flint Hills are home to abundant prairie plant and wildlife species and in some areas the route travels along the Marais Des Cynges River between rushing waters and towering bluffs. This is the longest trail in the state of Kanas! There are more than a dozen access points, some with nearby parking and camping/lodging. Take a day and explore the Flint Hills!

Urban Trail
St. Joseph, MO

This nine mile trail runs north and south through St. Joseph, MO and is great for walkers, joggers, cyclists, inline skater and wheel chair users! The trail system is a mix of paved trails and sidewalks taking the trail through the city and even over I-29. There are many extensions off the main trail that connect to many of the city’s amenities and attractions!

This is just a tiny list of the awesome trails in our area. To find and explore more trails, near and far from you, check out Urban Trail Co., American Trails or your areas parks and recreation website!

When you get outdoors with your Girl Scout this month, use #gsoutdoors and #gsksmo so we can see how you’re celebrating this month! Just remember to take lots of water with you when you hit these trails and try to avoid being outside in the afternoon when it’s the hottest! It may only be June, but the summer heat is here!

It’s Summer and Time for a Girl Scout Road Trip

We’re back with more summer day trip adventures for you and the family (or troop)! Have you made it to any of the places in our first post on May 31 or the museums and historic sites that we shared with you on June 7?!

When you check out these awesome places, be sure to document your adventure on social media using #gsksmoroadtrip!

moonmarbleMoon Marble

Bonner Springs, KS

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10:00 am– 5:00 pm; Demonstrations run from 10:30 am – 3:00 pm

Admission: Free

Moon Marble in Bonner Springs has a little something for the kids and the kids at heart! Daily in the summer, you can see a demonstration of the marble making process! During the demonstration, the marble artisan will explain the process of glass working, marble history and other fun facts about marbles! Moon Marble is just marbles, they have antique and traditional games, a marble museum and more!

 

13151955_10153764995609615_3404418527193654736_nLouisburg Cider Mill

Louisburg, KS

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm; Sunday, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Admission: Free

We’re sure you’ve seen “Louisburg Apple Cider” in your grocery story, but have you ever visited the mill where it was first made?! When you visit the mill you can try fresh squeezed cider and their famous cider donuts! Be sure to also try their Lost Trail Root Beer and check out their events calendar for fun activities throughout the summer, including fireworks!

 

rabbitholeThe Rabbit Hole

Kansas City, MO

Hours: Fridays, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Admission: Free (donations accepted)

This is a perfect place to take those Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies! The Rabbit Hole is the world’s first explorastorium – kids can crawl, walk and climb through an evolving array of immersive storybook worlds and ever-changing galleries dedicated to the best of Children’s literature every Friday in June! They also have a touring program based around the popular children’s series Captain Underpants that you can visit at Kansas City area libraries!

 

cosmosphereCosmosphere

Hutchison, KS

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

Admission: Varies based on program

Take a day trip to Hutchison, Kansas and visit the Midwest’s Smithsonian-Affiliated museum! The Cosmosphere is home to the Hall of Space – the largest combination of U.S. and Russian space artifacts in the world and tells the story of mankind’s race to space! While you’re there, catch a show in the Carey Digital Dome Theater or a documentary in the Justice Planetarium! Or, step back in time to Dr. Robert Goddard’s 1930 laboratory and take a journey through the history of rockets with LIVE experiments (not to be recreated at home)! The Cosmosphere also offers Girl Scout specific programming!

We will bring you additional day-trip activities throughout the summer! If have a family favorite place that you want to see included, comment below or email kladdculp@gsksmo.org!

Don’t forget to use #gsksmoroadtrip when you visit these exciting places!

 

Cookies for a Cause

Top Cookie Share Seller, Rebecca McCreight

For Girl Scout Cadette Rebecca McCreight, Cookie Season is about more than earning a stuffed animal or Royals tickets. It’s about meeting her goals and selling for a cause.

This year Rebecca sold a total of 2,057 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. But that’s not the most impressive part…she sold 335 boxes alone for Cookie Share, an initiative that lets girls ask customer if they would like to buy a box or more to be donated.

Rebecca (right) also sold more than 2,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in 2015!

Rebecca (right) also sold more than 2,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in 2015!

Girl Scouts around the country partner with the USO to donate Girl Scout Cookies to those in the military. Here locally, we work with Ft. Riley, Ft. Leavenworth and Whiteman Air Force Base to distribute cookies!

Rebecca credits her troop leader and mom, Beth McCreight with inspiring her to work to give back. “My mom volunteers a lot in the community!”

Before Cookie Season each year, Rebecca sets a goal for herself and then holds herself accountable by telling each of her customers her goal. That way, when she sees them again later in the season, she can encourage them to purchase additional cookies to help her reach that goal!

This year something special happened, Rebecca really connected with the Cookie Share program. Not because she has family in the military or close friends who have parents who are on active duty, but because she thought it was a good opportunity to give back through Girl Scouts, just like her mom does.

Rebecca (right) with her Girl Scout sister Kori, selling cookies!

Rebecca (right) with her Girl Scout sister Kori, selling cookies!

So when Rebecca was interacting with her customers for a second and third time this season, she found that to be the perfect opportunity to ask if they would like to help her reach her cookie goal by providing cookies for our military. After all, she knows a person can only keep so many boxes in their freezer before they run out of room!

“Cookie Share is important because those who are over the seas might want something sweet and happy when they’re missing their families,” Rebecca explained.

It’s no surprise that the other girls in Troop 27 look up to Rebecca.

At one of their first booths, she came up with the idea to use the empty cases to make costumes and create a little song and dance. “The first time she did the song/dance, she sold 150 packages in 2 hours!  She was hooked and had girls from her troop participate in the routine to draw more customers,” Beth said.

Another observation that Beth has made is how Rebecca is personable with her customers, always giving them a friendly smile and “have a nice day” whether they buy or not. “This gesture causes many of the no’s to become yes’s and lead to the cookie share numbers and cookie sales,” she explained.

If your Girl Scout wants to set her sights high like Rebecca, she has a few tips for you:

  1. Set up booths at banks – it’s likely those customers will have cash!
  2. Sell around Valentine’s Day –who doesn’t like cookies for Valentine’s Day?!
  3. Set a goal and work towards it – If you meet your goal early in the season, set a higher goal for yourself!
  4. People want to help you reach your goals – ask them to donate to Cookie Share if they don’t want to buy for themselves!

Isn’t Rebecca one smart cookie?! We can’t wait to celebrate Rebecca and our other top cookie sellers at Girl Scout Day at the K on June 26!

Do you have a story about your Girl Scouts’ cookie selling experience? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Living the Girl Scout Promise and Law

blogHeader-VolSpotlight

A Volunteer Spotlight: Michelle Schmidt

MichelleAward

Combining faith and Girl Scouts is more than a lesson plan to help keep a troop on track, it’s a way of life for Girl Scout volunteer, Michelle Schmidt. This incredible volunteer recently received the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal for her work with Girl Scout Senior Troop 1569 in Shawnee, KS. This medal was inaugurated in 1980 and recognizes the contributions of adults who serve Catholic youth through Girl Scouts and similar organizations. Earning the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal means an adult volunteer has done an exceptional job of developing the spiritual lives of girls. As a devoted leader and Catholic, Michelle is the perfect example of the type of volunteer this Medal honors.

Michelle loves being a troop leader and the experiences it provides for her family. “If you want the best for your children, you have to be willing to put in effort. Volunteering in Girl Scouts has made me a better advocate for women and a better mother to my daughter. It has opened my eyes to what it is to be a strong role model for young girls and how very important that is,” Michelle said.
MichelleCollage1

The Schmidt family is all about scouting, with son, Lawrence, in Boy Scouts and daughter, Anna, in Girl Scouts. Anna joined as a Daisy and Michelle has been actively involved from the start. As the troop leader, Michelle works with other parents and her co-leader to make sure the girls fulfill their active plans! From patches to camping to service, the girls want to do it all. When they were in 7th grade, the girls wanted to do some international service work for women and found Heifer International, an organization that provides farm animals and other tools to help villages in 3rd world countries. While the troop’s first goal was to buy an animal for a family in need, the girls ended raising enough money to fund new stoves for an ENTIRE VILLAGE! Talk about driven girls with amazing leadership!

This dedication to service comes not only from the inner drive of the girls, but from the culture of giving that Michelle and her co-leader, Loriann, instill in them. When at camp, the girls have been taught to feed others before making a plate for themselves. Especially in a setting like camp, Michelle feels it’s important to make service a part of everything someone does in life. “They are always asking, “What more can we do?”  “How can it be better?” and “What can we do to help?” It has been a joy watching them go from playful little girls full of spunk to young ladies, still full of spunk, being silly, owning their quirks, but knowing that there is a world of possibility and wanting to explore their options,” Michelle said.

One of the ways Michelle blends spiritual development into troop activities is to help girls explore strong women in the Bible and what has and what has not changed in regard to women’s rights since biblical times. Even though some of the topics are not your typical campfire stories, the girls are able to learn about hard global issues (like child brides and slavery that still exists) in safe zone. She knows that the girls are going to enter a big world at some point and by exposing them to some of the harsher realities in a safe zone, like Girl Scouts, the girls are better prepared and driven to make the world a better place.

MichelleCollage2

Michelle strongly believes in a “judgement-free” zone for her troop and wants Girl Scouts to be a place that’s “a soft place to fall” for girls. By leading a troop, she knows it’s important to create the environment that girls feel safe, but strong. “Girl Scouts has given my daughter confidence in who she is.  It has helped her realize that she has worth beyond what she might think, that she can make a difference in the world and that she should not be afraid to do it.  It has showed her that she is a global citizen and what she does is important, and it affects others outside of herself and local community.  It encourages her to dream big, live her faith and be comfortable in her own skin,” Michelle said.

We love all the amazing work Michelle and the other incredible volunteers that make troop 1569’s experience possible. We are proud to have this amazing volunteer as part of our larger Girl Scout family and thrilled to see her efforts recognized. Thank you, Michelle! If you know of another awesome Girl Scout volunteer we should spotlight, share in the comments below!

Want to learn more about how your Girl Scout(s) can earn faith awards? Find out how!

Summer Day Trips for the Family- Museums & Historic Sites

As promised, we’re bringing you day trips and activities that are perfect for your family (or troop) throughout the summer! In today’s post, we have five places that are national historic sites and/or museums! You can see where Amelia Earhart was born, visit the studio of our region’s most famous painter and a few things in between!

When you experience these places, document on social media with #gsksmoroadtrip so we can see all the fun you are having!

1780204_988142464563983_298857605254602233_oMarianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art

Manhattan, KS

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; Thursday, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm; Sunday 12:00 – 5:00 pm

Admission: Free

The Mariana Kistler Beach Museum of Art is a collection of art from the region as well as around the world. The museum has a special activity “ARTote” that will enhance everyone’s museum visit and contain books, games, gallery activities and guide sheets to special works in the galleries! The museum is located on the Kansas State University Campus and parking is free!

 

Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

ameliaAtchison, KS

Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm; Saturday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm; Sunday 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Admission: Adults $6; Children 12 & under $1

One of the world’s most influential female aviators was born in this historic wood frame, Gothic Revival cottage on July 24, 1897! Amelia Earhart considered Atchison Kansas her hometown, and spent much of her childhood there with her grandparents, who were the homeowners’. The Amelia Earhart Birthplace museum is home to a model airplane which is a replica of the last plane she flew in 1937, a model of the famous backyard rollercoaster Amelia and her sister built, and countless artifacts from Amelia’s life. While in Atchison, make plans to visit additional locations that Amelia frequented in her childhood!

 

TRUMANThe Truman Home

Independence, MO

Hours: Sunday – Saturday, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Admission: Adults, $5; Children 15 and under, free

Harry S. Truman’s home is a National Historic site located in downtown Independence, Missouri. Every day in the summer, the Truman House hosts guided tours for groups up to 8. You must obtain tickets at the visitor center (223 Main) and they are on a first come, first served basis. On your tour you’ll hear about the President’s life and have the chance to see thousands of artifacts!

 

Thomas Hart Benton Home & Studio

thbhouseKansas City, MO

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Admission: Adults $5; Children 6 – 17, $3.50; Children under 6, Free.

Thomas Hart Benton is a world renowned 20th century American Painter. He was born in Neosho, Missouri but lived in New York, Chicago and Paris and taught Jackson Pollock. In 1935 he was awarded a commission for the mural in the Missouri State Capitol and moved to Kansas City where he lived and created a home studio from a stable for himself in the historic Roanoke neighborhood until his death in 1975. When you visit this State Historic Site, it’s like Mr. Benton has just stepped away from his studio with cans of paint brushes adorning the space and canvasses ready for the next stroke of paint.

 

Patee House Museum

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

St. Joseph, MO

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm; Sunday, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Admission: Adults, $6; Children 6 -17, $5; Children under 5, free

The Patee House Museum is the only National Historic Landmark in St. Joseph, MO. It was built in 2858 as a luxury hotel and served as the Pony Express Headquarters from 1860 – 1861 and played a role in Jesse James’ life. There are two full floors of exhibits and you climb aboard an 1860 train and ride the “Wild Thing” carousel.

 

We will bring you additional day-trip activities throughout the summer! If have a family favorite place that you want to see included, comment below or email kladdculp@gsksmo.org!

Don’t forget to use #gsksmoroadtrip when you visit these exciting places!

Girl Scouts Love to Get Their Hands Dirty Exploring the Awesome World of STEM

blogHeader-CPSpotlight

Community Partner Spotlight: Northwest Missouri State University

“Getting your hands dirty” is an expression we hear when we’re about to jump into a task that will take a lot of work and involvement. For girls who attend the annual Girl Scout Science Day at Northwest Missouri State University (NWMSU), it means getting a hands-on experience with awesome STEM activities, especially in the earth sciences area. Hosted by Sigma Gamma Epsilon (the Honor Society for Earth Sciences) at NWMSU, the annual Girl Scouts Science Day is an event where girls can get amazing experiences with science and learn that college campuses are nothing to be intimidated by.

Aaron Johnson is the facility advisor for the Girl Scouts Science Day and he also happens to be a proud dad to Girl Scout Junior, Ella. He has a special love for Girl Scouts because of what it has taught his own daughter and what he sees in the girls who attend the event. “The girls learn new things and by the end of the day, they just soak it up like sponges. As a faculty member, it’s great to see our students teaching because they learn so much more by teaching someone else than they ever could in a classroom,” Aaron said.

Collage1

At the Science Day, girls can do activities like geocaching, stargazing, geode exploration and get to participate in service by donating to a food drive. Using microscopes, the girls look at very thin slices of gemstones to see what they look like when you get up close! While the girls have an absolute blast, Aaron really loves watching the parents. “The best thing is to watch the parents. A lot of times, parents don’t understand exactly what we scientists do. Earth science is taught so infrequently, that there’s an ‘a-ha’ moment when they see what we do,” Aaron said.

The event goes beyond introducing girls to science – it brings them on to a college campus to show them it isn’t a scary place. Aaron has noticed that many of the parents and Girl Scouts come from places where college isn’t always in the plans, so it can be very intimidating. By bringing the girls on campus to let them explore, he believes it makes the college experience seem a lot more accessible.

Aaron and the students involved in bringing the Science Day to life each year love working with Girl Scouts because they know they are supporting an organization that positively impacts future leaders. “In general, what I’ve seen in Ella, Girl Scouts has enhanced her confidence in herself. She’s more outgoing, more likely go take a leadership role and think ‘that’s something I can do’ rather than it’s something she can’t,” Aaron said. “Overall, the message [of Girl Scouts] is: there’s nothing I can’t do, the only thing that limits me, is me,”

Collage2

For the 2015 event, 22 students and Aaron put in over 180 volunteer hours, gave out 110 badges and showed 80 girls what a life as scientist can be. Girl Scouts from 4 states (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri & Nebraska) participated, making it an extra special opportunity to meet new girls! What an amazing community commitment to empowering the future of STEM! But according to Aaron, there’s also a selfish angle for him, as a scientist, as well. “As a geologist, I’m greedy, I want to attract, retrain and recruit the very best people to be geologists. I don’t care what you look like, where you live, what your religion, race or gender is…so part of this is reaching out to kids, especially girls interested early, so that just maybe, some of the best ones become geologists,”

We are so appreciative to Aaron and all the incredible “Bearcats” at NWMSU! This event has been growing since the inaugural event in 2012 and we can’t see what’s in store for 2017. Thank you to our awesome community partner for changing the lives of girls – one STEM activity at a time.

If your Girl Scout or troop has attended a Girl Scout Science Day at NWMSU, share your experience in the comments below. Interested in attending the 2017 event? Check the NWMSU community partner page! Currently it’s planned for March 4, 2017, but be sure to watch the page in early 2017 to confirm all the details.