Posts Tagged ‘Girl Scouts’

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Citizen Science Series: Building a Rain Garden

December 15, 2013

By Kristin Yerkie, Camp staff

group photo with dirtTen Girl Scouts are participating in Girl Scout – NC Coastal Pines’ Citizen Science series program which focuses on soil science and the impact eroded soil has as a stream pollutant in North Carolina. This fall, the girls have met with scientists and local engineers to learn about causes and costs of erosion while developing their own plan for a rain garden at Camp Mary Atkinson in Selma, NC.

In their first session, the girls met with Amanda “Dirt” Leisch a Soil Science PhD student at NC State University to build their own 3D model of the Leadership Center at Camp Mary Atkinson and the surrounding grounds using kinetic sand. This project allowed the girls to test out different shapes and designs for their rain garden.

The girls then met with wetland scientist from Sepi Engineering, Shawn Clark, fish and wildlife biologist with US Fish and Wildlife Service, JohnAnn Shearer, and conservation incentives program director with NCDENR, Scott Pohlman. The local professionals explained their design and implementation process for the rain garden they built.

The second session brought the girls out to Camp Mary Atkinson where they got down and dirty! Using augers the girls took soil samples of several locations and saw firsthand the different levels of soil that exist beneath the surface. There is an entire history underneath our feet every day and these Girl Scouts certainly had to put all their energy into digging it up.

Session three brought the girls to the research grounds of NC State University. The girls tested which covering would provide the best filtering for their rain garden by using a rain simulator. The next experiment taught the girls about polyachrilamide, PAM for short. This substance is used to assist in the filtering of water by adhering to the particles in the water and making them clump together.

imaging software2The team then got to use state of the art technology in the Tangible GIS Visualization lab. Using the 3D model they had created a couple sessions previously, the kinetic sand and the Kinnect imaging software, they tested which shape would lead to the most filtration and decrease in polluted runoff from the Leadership Center.

During these first sessions the girls learned a great deal about the science behind building their own rain garden. They couldn’t wait for their final two sessions where they would create their final design and submit it to the engineers for approval. They are truly Citizen Scientists in action!

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How to Connect With Your Girl Scouts: New Troop Leader Series

October 6, 2013

By Tiffany H., New Daisy Troop Leader

Be sure to read other helpful blog posts as part of our New Troop Leader Blog series.

I Can’t Wait To…START!

When I last blogged I was getting ready to meet the girls and parents of my troop – this time as their new leader instead of just a parent. The initial meet-and-greet went great and as I said goodbye to all the parents I realized that the next week was the first real meeting with the girls.

Each of the leaders in our troop is assigned to teaching a specific grade level. I’m assigned to our veteran girls – our second year Daisies (1st graders).  As I left the meeting I was looking forward to our first troop gathering. I had experienced that initial adrenaline rush when you start something new and exciting – I couldn’t wait to host my first meeting! 

That’s When It Hit Me…

I’m teaching on my own?  Suddenly my adrenaline left and was replaced by nerves and anxiety.  How would I handle this?  The girls only know me as my daughters’ mom and that volunteer parent.  Somehow I had to reintroduce myself and make the transition from parent to leader.  My oldest daughter is also in my Daisy group .  How do I handle that?

tsandchucksGetting To Know Them…

I thought on everything and decided on something that would help me bond with the girls. The first night we met the parents and girls, I wore a hot pink Girl Scouts NC Coastal Pines t-shirt with a pair of “Chuck Taylors”. The girls had noticed both my fun shoes and bright shirt and loved them, so I figured I would make this my ‘trademark’. I have stocked up on hot pink T-shirts and my favorite Chucks are always present.

It worked! As soon as the girls arrived for our first meeting we started talking with an icebreaker.  I told them how happy I was to be their Leader now and that when we were in a meeting or troop activity, my daughter was a Daisy just like them.

It Was That Easy…

Children are naturally willing to be your friend if they can feel that you are willing to be the same.  So, just like that my fears and anxiety disappeared.  We were off to a great start and I knew these were my girls, my daisies, my troop.  I am so proud of each one of them already and I Can’t Wait To… see how far they will go this year.

How would you introduce yourself  to a Troop? Do you have any ice breaker games or ways to get to know your Girls better?

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