Friday, July 17, 2015

Moyock Girl Scouts Have a Wild Week at Camp

This week, the Moyock Library was crawling with slithery critters, furry pets and feathered friends as nearly 30 girls attended a wildlife and animal-themed camp for hosted by Girl Scouts. The five day camp was organized by Girl Scout volunteers to teach girls about wildlife and introduce them to a variety of unique career paths related to animals.

Girl Scouts Allison, Courtney, Jasmine, Rachel and Bethany
with Samantha Iulo of Mane and Taill
On Tuesday, July 14, Girl Scouts welcomed a special guest speaker to the camp, Samantha Iulo, the director of Mane and Taill, a nonprofit therapeutic horsemanship academy in Poplar Branch. Iulo is a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Certified Instructor and talked to the girls about how she uses horses to help children and adults with a wide variety of special needs. Iulo talked about the unique personalities of each of her horses and how people with special needs benefit from not only learning how to ride horses, but also seeing how the horses interact with people and with one another.

“I’m not always focused on making someone the best rider, but I am focused on making them the best person that they can be,” Iulo said.

Iulo also talked to the Girl Scouts about ways that they can help Mane and Taill and learn about horses by volunteering at her academy. Following her presentation, Iulo invited Girl Scouts outside to participate in a mock-horseshow using stick horses. The girls walked, trotted and cantered their way across the field.

In addition to hearing from Iulo, Girl Scouts welcomed guests during the week from a variety of local animal groups, including Sacred Friends Wildlife Rehabilitation, Network for Endangered Sea Turtles, Canine Companions and JB’s Rattles Traveling Reptile Show. The girls also made a variety of animal-themed crafts, including ladybug bookmarks and owl door hangers.

Girl Scout Allison, Jesse Richardson, CIT II Becky and
Girl Scout Trinity
Jesse Richardson, a Girl Scout volunteer who organized the camp, chose the theme for the week after attending Girl Scout National Convention last year and being inspired to host a camp for girls that would encourage them to get involved in more outdoor activities. During the week at camp, Richardson wanted girls to learn that animals are more than just pets and be informed about what creatures they may encounter in their own backyards.

Last month, in an effort to provide additional outdoor programming for girls, Girl Scouts of the USA launched a new set of outdoor badges. Richardson is looking forward to continuing to offer outdoor experience for girls by helping the Girl Scouts in her troop earn the new badges in the fall.