As Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa continues to find innovative ways to bring Girl Scouting to girls, a small group of council staff have launched a virtual troop pilot program that reaches all across Greater Iowa. The pilot program stemmed from staff who recognized a fair amount of registered Girl Scouts that were unassigned to a troop. This is normal and can happen when troops are not available in a girl’s area, or if there is lack of volunteer support to create troops. Up until now, the main option was for girls could become a Juliette (Girl Scouting on an individual basis), but with the shift to virtual in today’s world, the virtual troop idea was born.
“The purpose of this program is to show girls who want to be in a troop what Girl Scouts is about and get them earning badges and gaining Girl Scout experience without having to wait for a local troop to start up,” said Mariam Vahdat, one of the staff members leading the troop.
The virtual troop meets two times each month for an hour. The meeting functions as a normal troop meeting would, starting with reciting the Girl Scout Law and Girl Scout Promise, and then diving into activities to earn badges. So far, the girls have earned their Girl Scout Way badge, their Philanthropist Badge, and their Feel Good About Myself patch.
Girls aged Kindergarten through Fifth Grade from across Greater Iowa participate in the troop, offering a way for girls to learn from and connect with girls they normally wouldn’t locally. The program is free of charge for any Girl Scout, with help from donor support of the Show Love campaign.
“It’s really nice to have an active part in something to see the impact we are having on girls and to teach girls the Girl Scout Way, to see the mission in action,” said Vahdat.
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