Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Girl Scouts Explore the Outdoors at Norfolk Botanical Garden

Since Girl Scouts was founded over 100 years ago, the organization has provided opportunities for girls to get outdoors to explore the natural world around them and learn respect and appreciation for the environment. On Saturday, October 25, this tradition continued as over 150 Girl Scouts visited Norfolk Botanical Garden to learn about local plants and animals, as well as ways to conserve natural resources.

Girl Scouts spent the day in the WOW Children’s Garden, a three-acre area designed with interactive learning stations for families. The girls went on a scavenger hunt to identify different types of plants, made rubbings of tree bark and leaves and learned how to tell time on a sundial. They also decorated their own flowerpots that they later planted a seed in and learned about the parts of a flower. In Exploration Station, an indoor classroom in the garden, the girls made nature journals, where they were able to keep track of what they saw in the garden, as well as jot down the ways they learned to protect the environment.

“One of my favorite parts of the day was the educations station hosted by Merly Konathapally, a Girl Scout Ambassador who completed her Gold Award at the Garden over the summer,” Jen Erving, director of youth education at Norfolk Botanical Garden, said. “Her project not only taught younger Girl Scouts about the importance of protecting the monarch butterfly, but also inspired them to reach the Ambassador level of Girl Scouts themselves.”

For children, spending time outdoors can make them better problem solvers, more creative in their reasoning, less aggressive and better at concentrating; yet, research shows that children are spending half as much time outdoors than they were 20 years ago. Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, with the help of community partners such as Norfolk Botanical Garden, is committed to providing girls with opportunities to explore and discover in the outdoors. In fact, the Girl Scout Research Institute found that 97 percent of Girl Scouts participated in at least one outdoor activity during the past year.

Families interested in learning more about getting outdoors with Girl Scouts and joining the organization can attend Step Outside with Girl Scouts on November 7 from 2 to 4 p.m. at A Place for Girls in Chesapeake. This event, which is free and open to the public, will include family-friendly outdoor activities and the opportunity to register to become a Girl Scout. Find more information at www.gsccc.org.

View more photos from the day here.