Monday, April 16, 2018

Zoo Fest with Girl Scouts

Over 1,000 Girl Scouts filled the Virginia Zoo on Sunday for a day full of G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ activities.

Before the day started, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and the United Service Organizations of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia (USOHRCV) recognized some special Girl Scouts.  

Girls who sold more than 108 boxes of Gift of Caring Girl Scout Cookies, cookies purchased by customers to be donated to the USO, received a thank you certificate from USOHRCV President and CEO, Paula Moran. Then, the girls worked together to fill two USOHRCV vans with cookies. The girls donated over 27,000 boxes that will be distributed to the men and women who serve our country. 

“This means a very, very great deal to the USO,” Paula said during the ceremonial donation. “Those Girl Scout Cookies mean home, comfort and they are just delicious! Thank you so much for going that extra mile for your service members.”

To hear more of the ceremony opening remarks from GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller and Paula Moran, click here.

The go-getter Girl Scouts were also treated to a VIP session with the zoo’s only sloth, KC. Girl Scout alum and Gold Award recipient, Stephanie, introduced the VIPs to KC and taught them about the sloth’s day-to-day activities, hobbies and shared other interesting facts about the animal.

As the day progressed, more girls arrived to spend their Sunday learning about the zoo creatures, their habitats and how Girl Scouts can help protect them and their environment.

Girls of all levels worked on badges and journeys throughout the day with the help of experts stationed in various parts of the zoo. They also participated in environmental activities with the help of organizations like the Butterfly Society of Virginia.

The day was packed with interactive stations for the girls to visit as they worked together to make projects and spend time outdoors.

Getting outside is a large part of the Girl Scout experience. Compared to a national sample of girls, Girl Scouts reported much higher levels of environmental stewardship, according to the Girl Scout Research Institute. The institute also found that the difference between girls involved in Girl Scouts and those who are not may stem from the Girl Scout organization’s dedication to environmental service, which may provide girls with a sense of purpose and socialize them into an environmentalist mindset- one that promotes connection with, concern for, and conservation of the environment.

Girl Scouts continue to thrive in an environment that is constantly changing with the help of events such as Zoo Fest that allow them to develop knowledge of the outdoors.

To view more photos from the day's festivities, click here.