By Jimmika Robinson
Founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, a youth empowerment organization for girls in the US and American girls abroad, has taken strides towards turning young girls into the future leaders of tomorrow. Through various activities such as camping, acquiring practical skills and community service efforts, the girls learn first hand important values such as honesty, compassion, fairness and sisterhood.
The Girl Scout troops of Greenbelt who are a part of the Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital council covering Washington DC, parts of Maryland and Northern Virginia, have made strides over the years to staying connected to their community by performing various community services.
In the past, support from the Greenbelt Community Foundation (GCF) has allowed the Girl Scouts of Troop 4816 to work on 4 watershed restorations projects as a part of their silver and silver trefoil awards. The Girl Scouts were able to plant a rain garden, study the ecology of the retention pond at Hanover Parkway and Ora Glen and establish a water quality program for youth. The girls have continued their work on improving the environment each year by participating in clean-up activities for both Earth Day, Public Lands Day and National Parks Day. Besides clean-up, they plant new flowers and trees, separate and transplant existing flowers, and pull invasive and other weeds to keep gardens such as Schrom Hills Park, the Community Center and Springhill Lake healthy.
Besides environmental projects, some of the troop’s other projects include sponsoring the annual Children’s Pet Show at the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival and participating in World Thinking Day, a day of international friendship, implementing projects that celebrate that friendship, and speaking out on issues that affect girls and young women around the world. These a just a few of the community projects carried out by the Greenbelt Girl Scouts.
Many volunteer members like Shazada, who was a girl scout herself as a teen, have stayed active volunteer members and leaders in the organization because they truly believe in the girls and want them to achieve their fullest potential.
As part of the GCF Explore Your Greenbelt campaign, the public is invited to visit the public gardens at Schrom Hills Park, Springhill Lake Outdoor Classroom , and the Hanover Pond any day between June 16 and July 1 to see some of the wonderful projects the girls have executed. Sponsored by the Greenbelt News Review, Beltway Plaza, and Paradyme Management, Explore Your Greenbelt is an awareness campaign celebrating GCF’s 10th anniversary. It is a series of 14 events and activities that feature organizations who have received GCF funding. All are invited to attend to learn about these organizations and how GCF lives out its mission of “nourishing all of Greenbelt’s Neighborhoods”.
For more information go to greenbeltfoundation.net or email firstname.lastname@example.org.