Here at River Valleys, we are always looking for ways to get girls out of their comfort zones and introduced to new and challenging experiences. My absolute favorite thing is when a Girl Scout comes away from an event, camp, or meeting, and she’s loving something she just got to try for the very first time. This summer, we have more choices than ever for girls looking to expand their horizons – from week-long horse camps to brand new day camps, there’s something for everyone.
One of the coolest and most unique options is our very own Robotics Day Camp for girls entering 4th-12th grade. But don’t take my word for it – check out this story about Claire, a GSRV Robotics camper-turned-leader!
Girl Scout alumna Claire is on her way to a bright STEM future. Claire first started attending Girl Scouts Robotics as a young girl, not because she was all that interested in engineering, but because her parents thought it would be a good idea. For most of camp that first year (and despite the best efforts of our staff), Claire remained seemingly uninterested in the various STEM challenges her peers were bravely taking on with their pulleys and gears and Legos.
But, something must have clicked. Because Claire came back the next year. And she kept coming back. In fact, last year she returned to Robotics Day Camp not as a girl participant, but as a volunteer.
It turns out that Claire had learned a lot about science and engineering over her years in Girl Scouts: not just design processes and computer programming, but more global skills like how to think critically, create solutions to practical problems, and approach challenges with curiosity and resilience. She also learned to love science and realized that there is a place for her – and all girls – in STEM.
This served as the basis of Claire’s Girl Scout Gold Award project: Increasing STEM Awareness for Young Women, which she completed in 2015. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest honor that a Girl Scout can earn, and requires girls to use their leadership skills to create positive, sustainable change in their community. Because of her own STEM experiences, Claire recognized that girls need more opportunities to explore STEM outside of school: fun activities that let them build skills through hands-on learning and connect them with STEM role models. Claire achieved her Gold Award in the spring of 2015, having invested over 100 hours helping girls build STEM skills and excitement.
After graduating from high school in 2015, Claire decided to continue her STEM journey at college, where she is currently pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. She is no longer the disconnected young girl afraid of STEM; she’s now a confident and poised leader, ready to use her STEM skills and her love of science and engineering to make the world a better place.
The STEM fields are ready and waiting for a girl-led takeover, and there’s no better place to start than a Girl Scout Robotics camp, where Scouts connect with other girls and work as a team to create and code their very own robot. Whether she’s a first-timer or a seasoned robot engineer, your girls will be saying “BEEP BEEP BOOP BEEP!” (translation: I love robotics!) by the end of the week. Find out more and register on our camp website.
Natasha Brownlee – Other than chatting with Troop Leaders and planning events, Natasha also works with Gold Awards and runs the In the Loop blog! Her background is in curriculum development, programming, and creative writing. She has bachelor’s degrees in Peace Studies and French and a Masters in Gender, Development & Globalization and has worked with various girl-centered organizations in the US and abroad. Natasha loves traveling around the world, practicing yoga, and hanging out with her dog, Rooney!