Over the last few months, Girl Scouts across the state of Iowa have engaged in programming through Girl Scouts Online, a new initiative created by the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa (GSGI) Girl Experience team.
Girl Scouts Online is a virtual program for registered Girl Scouts that provides weekly programs and activities led by GSGI staff members. Girls can participate at home, while staying connected with other Girl Scouts.
“One of the essential functions that Girl Scouts provides is a space for girls to safely interact and socialize. Girl Scouts Online is a way for girls to take a break, connect with other girls, learn something new, and complete fun activities,” said Kate Kimple, Girl Experience Manager.
GS Online offers weekly activity sessions through pre-recorded videos, available to girls each Wednesday. These activities are based on Girl Scout programming and directly relate to badges the girls can earn.
Girl Chats are also held each week, where Girl Scouts come together to video chat about what they’ve learned, how their activity went, or even just about their favorite summer activity.
Erin O’Connell’s daughter, Bridget, is a Girl Scout in Troop 1837. As soon as they learned of the opportunity to sign up for GS Online, they did. O’Connell says she was excited to give Bridget the chance to learn and grow.
“She is an outgoing kid who loves to try new things and to interact with new people. The online Girl Scout activities have allowed her to make connections and continue to learn from positive women and girls in the Girl Scout Organization,” she said.
Over the past few weeks, a variety of GSGI staff members have created educational videos to go along with the weekly activity. “Space Science” encouraged Girl Scouts to explore the solar system and constellations. “Culinary Creations” lead girls through a fruit salad recipe. “Home Scientist”, led by Community Troop Manager Lainie Fickau, taught girls how to create rock candy through a science experiment.
“I’ve really enjoyed facilitating activities for our GS Online program because it gives girls the tools to empower themselves to try something new and provides them with opportunities to practice independence and self-sufficiency,” said Fickau.
Nearly 150 Girl Scouts have signed up so far, with even more signing up each week.
“What we know is that virtual programming is not going away – we know that our members want activities and programs that they can complete online or at home. The GE team is actively developing our virtual programming and looking at what types of programs we want to offer,” said Kimple.
To support Girl Scout programming, donate here.