Half a century before the first Earth Day was introduced, Juliette Gordon Low was already thinking about girls’ roles in protecting our earth. From the Girl Scouts’ first set of laws in 1912 to our Girl Scout Law today, we as Girl Scouts understand that it is part of our duty to use resources wisely and care for the earth, including its people, animals and plants. If you ever get the chance to read some of the first handbooks written for Girl Scouts (which can be checked out at our Service Centers and can also be found at your public library), you’ll see that Juliette understood that girls had a place in the great outdoors.
Getting outside is one of the core tenants of Girl Scouts, whether it’s for a hike, a Girl Scout camp, or just holding your meeting in a park! Join us as we celebrate Earth Day this year on April 22, and learn what it means to be a steward to our earth.
5 WAYS TO CELEBRATE EARTH DAY!
1. Earn a Badge: From Daisies to Ambassadors, we’ve got lots of great badges to bring girls down to earth – check out the Naturalist and Outdoor badges for your troop’s program grade level. River Valleys also offers the Go Green Girl patch program, an awesome way to get girls thinking about the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle. Another super fun option are the Girls’ Choice outdoor badges from 2015. The badge requirements for this year’s topic, Art in the Outdoors, will be available for download after May 30. For both years that GSUSA has done the Girl’s Choice badge program, girls have spoken loud and clear – they want MORE outdoor badges!
2. Take a Journey: I’ll be celebrating Earth Day this year with a couple hundred Brownies and Juniors earning their It’s Your Planet – Love It! Journey awards. These Journeys are awesome ways for Girl Scouts at every program level to really delve in to an environmental issue and take action for a greener planet. Older girls can do their own or find a younger troop to teach about environmental conservation while guiding them through their Journey. Cadettes who help a Brownie troop through their WOW Journey will earn their Leadership in Action award!
3. Get Outside: We are lucky to live in a place where natural space abounds – take your girls to a park, lake or nature center this earth day to explore the great outdoors! Check out our field trip page to find awesome nature centers near you that offer green space, trained facilitators, and even badge programs for girls’ earthly curiosities (including the ones we highlighted in our spring field trips blog post).
4. Serve Your Community: When I was growing up, my parents used to take my brother and me out to the ditch on the side of the highway with our plastic bags and gloves and we’d spend all of Earth Day trying to find the weirdest piece of trash we could… ah, the nineties. You and your troop can be of service in a lake, river or park cleanup in your community this Earth Day – just be sure to follow Safety-Wise!
5. Celebrate! Many cities host their own Earth Day celebrations where communities get outside to celebrate nature and clean up their parks or plant trees together. We’ve found a few for you, but feel free to hit the Google machine to see what’s happening in your neck of the woods! Contact the coordinators of your local event to see how your troop can get involved and lend a hand.
St. Croix County Earth Day Celebration
Sunday, April 17, 12 pm-4 pm
YMCA Camp St Croix
Minneapolis Earth Day Cleanup
Saturday, April 23, 9:30 am-12:00 pm
Mississippi River Gorge Minneapolis
Roseville Earth Day Celebration
Saturday, April 23, 10 am-2 pm
Harriet Alexander Nature Center
Winona Earth and Arbor Day Celebration
Saturday, April 23, 10 am-3 pm
East End Recreation Center
Mankato Earth Day Celebration
Saturday, April 16, 10:30 am-12 pm
Blue Earth County Library
Rochester Earth Fest
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!