Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Strong Girls

More than 100 Girl Scouts gathered at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) on May 6 to learn about health and the professionals who help people get and stay healthy.

For the younger girls, those in kindergarten through fifth grade, the day started on the lawn among the buildings that make up the EVMS campus. Led by Love Ur Healthy, a platform and movement focused on healthy living, the girls took part in a relay obstacle course, fitness tic tac toe and other teambuilding activities, while learning about fun ways they can exercise and stay active. The girls also made their own fitness journals.

In addition to exercise, the girls learned about nutrition. They saw examples about how much sugar is in foods they eat and practiced identifying different types of fruits and vegetables. The girls also made and enjoyed their own healthy snacks.

“We love to get kits excited about becoming healthy and provide them with fun ways to incorporate activity into their day,” Glenda Campbell, founder of Love Ur Healthy, said. “Teaching girls the importance of healthy living at a young age will help them create long-term habits towards a healthy lifestyle in the future.”

The Girl Scout teens at the event spent the day in EVMS labs, where they took on the role of medical students for the day. The girls learned about taking pulse and blood pressure and practiced CPR on a manikin. They also used virtual training methods to try their hand at laparoscopic procedures and suturing knots. In addition to the technical skills of medicine, the girls worked with EVMS standardized patients to learn about doctor-patient communication techniques.

While women make up a majority of healthcare employees, they have yet to reach parity as key decision makers in the industry. Women are nurses, working in doctors’ offices and home healthcare workers, but less than one-third of practicing physicians are women. For the second year, EVMS hosted this event to give Girl Scouts the opportunity to interact with female role models who work in healthcare and learn about the wide variety of careers in medicine.

Girl Scouts is committed to providing girls with opportunities to learn about ways to be the best they can be, now and in the future. By working with community partners, such as Love Ur Healthy and EVMS, Girl Scouts can help instill in girls the healthy habits and knowledge for their futures that will influence their emotional and physical health. Girl Scouts and its community partners help girls adopt healthier habits by giving health a social relevance, emphasizing physical activity, making good health an attainable goal and utilizing adult role models to show girls that positive outcomes result from healthy behaviors.