Girl Scouting at Operation Breakthrough
Did you know that Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City, Missouri is the largest single-site early education child care and social services facility in the state of Missouri?! Operation Breakthrough serves nearly 400 children daily from the urban core!
The Girl Scout Outreach Program is proud to bring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to 55 girls being cared for at Operation Breakthrough. Girl Scouts gives these girls opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise to participate in a troop and experience the same things as other Girl Scouts across our community – to learn leadership skills, try their hand at science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities, hone their financial literacy skills, practice entrepreneurism, and have an opportunity to hike, sing campfire songs, and explore the great outdoors at Girl Scout camp!
Tyler Baker is the School-Age Program Coordinator for Operation Breakthrough and was eager to see Girl Scouts return to the after school program. “Girls from the urban core have expressed that they want to be sharing their dreams and aspirations and have a feeling of community, Girl Scouts is that vehicle,” Mr. Baker said.
There are three troops at Operation Breakthrough and Nikki Schraper leads the oldest group, the Juniors. Each week Nikki has her girls make nametags, without using their names. The six Girl Scouts write what they want to be when they grow up on the tags and take a few minutes each troop meeting discussing their chose occupations. This semester they have been working through the Agent of Change Journey – exploring their own talents and learning about women who have made the world a better place and for the past few weeks, Alesia has been writing ‘First African American Supreme Court Justice’ on her nametag.
“Girl Scouts gives girls a voice,” Mr. Baker said.
The Daisy, Brownie and Junior troops recently had their ceremony and received vests with the patches they had earned this past semester while working on the It’s Your Story – Tell It! Journey series’. The Daisies presented posters on how to properly care for animals, Brownies talked about preventing bullying and the Juniors presented a skit about not conforming to stereotypes and being the best woman you can be!
The impact of Girl Scouts goes beyond the troop meetings at Operation Breakthrough. Girls and troops are selecting Operation Breakthrough as the site for their Take Action Projects.
Last year, Gold Award recipient Eleanor Nash worked with fourth graders at Operation Breakthrough for her Take Action Project. She developed a skills program where they completed various craft projects such as woodworking, sewing, soap carving and knitting, just to name a few. She even got to see the sustainability of her project first-hand. Kids were telling her how they continued their crafts at home, teaching family members and having them join in on the fun. They came back each week eager to learn more.
We’re seeing Girl Scouting thrive in the urban core as it provides positive, stable mentors for young girls, helping them use free time in a productive manner, supplies missing support systems and encouragement, and opens a whole world of possibilities to girls who often cannot see outside their neighborhood!
If you’re interested in learning more about the volunteer opportunities with our Outreach Program, comment below!