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What do frogs and Girl Scouts have in common? Girl Scout Rachel H.!

July 15, 2014

By Samantha Herring, Communications Intern

Today our council recognizes an amazing project completed by one of our very own Girl Scouts! Girl Scout Rachel H. first became interested in amphibian conservation when she was in the sixth grade and learned that amphibians were the most endangered group of animal species on the planet. This issue was at the heart of her Girl Scout Silver Award project. In addition to numerous awareness activities, she partnered with the Save the Frogs organization and Governor Beverly Perdue to institute a Save the Frogs Day in North Carolina. Taking her advocacy even further, she helped establish two state amphibians, the Pine Barrens Treefrog – now our state frog, and the Marbled Salamander – now our state salamander!

Every day, Girl Scouts in our council do amazing things: from Gold Award projects aimed at saving endangered species to making a difference in their world by giving back through community service. Girl Scout Rachel Hopkins is no different. As a result of her volunteer work to save the frogs, she was awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Distinguished Finalist bronze medallion during the May 20th Raleigh City Council meeting. The award represents the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service.

Girl Scouts - NC Coastal Pines

Rachel also received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, which included a letter from the president of the United States, Barack Obama. In his letter, the president wrote, “Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise.”

Our goal at Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines is to give every girl the opportunity to be the leader she wants to be and to be the leader the world needs her to be. Rachel truly embodies the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Thank you Rachel for representing all Girl Scouts who work to make the world a better place!

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Leave No Trace in Your Outdoor Adventures

July 8, 2014

By Meridith Orr, Program Executive

Outdoor Education in Girl Scouts - NC Coastal PinesOne of my favorite Girl Scout – NC Coastal Pines experiences is the weekend I spent camping to earn my Outdoor Skills certification in the Fall of 2012.  During that October weekend, I experienced both fair weather and foul, bonded with my patrol mates and an amazing band of volunteer facilitators, and learned new skills I would never have attempted otherwise!  I still enjoy tossing out tidbits of my training when meeting new people.  For instance, you’d be surprised at the reaction you’ll get when telling people a Dorito chip makes an excellent firestarter!

The most important lessons I learned were those of observing, admiring and respecting nature. My training included not just setting up and breaking down my campsite, but minimizing the impact of my adventures on the environment.  As we work together to provide fun, unique and memorable outdoor experiences for our girls, let’s remember to share with them as well as model these important practices of “leave no trace.”  These principles uphold many parts of our Girl Scout Law, from using resources wisely, to being responsible for what we say and do and making the world a better place.

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles have been a part of Girl Scout outdoor education for many years. Summarized here, they ask us to:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Our Founder, Juliette Gordon Low, was an avid outdoors adventurer and her stories are legendary, including one hilarious fishing expedition with poet Rudyard Kipling in formal wear during a party.  Our outdoor programs in Girl Scouts not only connect girls’ experience to her, they enrich us as parents, staff and mentors as we teach them how to be good stewards of our environment; to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

How do you and your Girl Scouts support the Leave No Trace Behind? 

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