Girl Scouts Instruct Members in ‘Girl-Relevant Environmental Thinking’

Michelle Obama
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First lady Michelle Obama with Girl Scouts in the White House garden last year. Obama is the honorary national president of the organization. (AP Photo)

( – The Girl Scouts’ National Leadership Journeys program requires girls to embrace environmental justice, climate change and green energy in order to earn awards.

The Journey Awards–“aimed at giving them the benefits of the Girl Scout “Keys to Leadership”: Discover, Connect, Take Action”–are described on the Girls Scouts website as being designed for girls from kindergarten through high school.

The “It’s Your Planet–Love It” journey page is illustrated with a photograph of a “green roof” at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Calif.

“Girls are being exposed to ideas and discussions on the environment every day and everywhere,” the description of the various journeys with this theme states. “Girl Scouts journeys are packed with the latest research and girl-relevant environmental thinking and offer adults a way to interact with girls on topics of great importance in their lives.

“In this journey series, girls at each grade level have an opportunity to learn about grade-appropriate environmental issues such as clean water and air, noise pollution, global warming, soil contamination, and agricultural processes,” the description states.

The list of programs with the planet theme include ‘Between Earth and Sky” for kindergartners and first-graders, called Daisies.
“On this Journey, Daisies learn about the natural world around them and how to keep the Earth healthy,” the description states. One suggested activity is to “put on a play about protecting the Earth.”

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The Brownies’ journey, “Wow! Wonders of Water” (for second and third graders) states that girls will “learn how to protect the waters of our planet.”

Girl Scout Cadettes (grades seventh, eighth and ninth) go on a “Breathe” journey.

“On this Journey, Cadettes learn all about the air they breathe and how to improve its quality,” the description states. “They may take a trip to a wind farm to see how sustainable energy is harvested, invite an environmental scientist to talk about air-quality control, or perform fun experiments about air.

“Then they team up on an air-quality project they care about,” the description states. “They might create a no-idling zone in their school parking lot, plant an indoor garden at a community center, or develop an anti-smoking social media campaign.”

The most senior scouting journey – ambassadors who are in their junior or senior year of high school – will learn about “environmental justice.”

“On this journey, ambassadors learn to identify global environmental issues and create their own vision for change,” the description states. “They may interview an environmental scientist to find out how she uses data, debate environmental controversies, or find inspirational quotes, poems, or song lyrics that ignite their vision for justice.

“Then they team up to present and share their vision of environmental justice,” the description states.

The “It’s Your World – Change It” journey programs teach girls how to change the world, including how to “navigate cliques, and look past stereotypes” for Cadettes. Juniors (fourth and fifth grade) will “team up to become agents of change in their own community, perhaps by putting on a skit at school about using less energy or creating a sustainable ‘meal in a bag’ solution for the local food bank.”

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Ambassadors will “take action on an issue they care about. They might make the case for more bike paths by presenting to their city council, create a social media campaign to encourage the use of reusable bags, or lobby government officials for no-texting-while-driving laws.”

The third journey offered to Scouts – “It’s Your Story – Tell It” focuses on caring for animals for the younger girls and media campaigns and relationships for older girls.

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