East Providence Girl Scouts Hold Virtual Meetings
The Covid-19 pandemic has made it almost impossible to hold regular Girl Scout meetings. Instead, East Providence Girl Scouts are holding virtual troop meetings using Zoom, a cloud based video service that you can use to virtually meet with others - either by video or audio or both - while conducting live chats. Some troops are using Google Classroom. Virtual meetings create new challenges and opportunities for girls to experience Girl Scouts. It allows them to get comfortable and tech savvy as well as to gain character, confidence and courage by expressing themselves and learn leadership skills to take them into the virtual world. For every adventure that can be done in-person, there is another that can be shared and taught and experienced virtually.
East Providence Girl Scouts have done just that! They've gone virtual during the Covid-19 pandemic. Troop 417 enjoyed a conference call with a local bee keeper family, the Pendens. During the call, the girls learned about the bees life cycle, the bees role in the environment, what a bee hive looks like and watched the bee keepers harvest honey. The keepers also shared videos showing the girls what a box of bees look like when building their hive. As an added treat, the girls were given small samples of the harvested honey to taste. The girls all had fun learning about bees and didn't get a single sting!
Troop 516, a Junior Girl Scout troop, visited two different Brownie troops via Zoom to share their experiences as Junior Girl Scouts. They talked about their favorite adventures, the favorite patches they had earned and told them what they were looking forward to doing as Cadette Girl Scouts. They shared this information so the Brownies would know what to expect when they become Junior Girl Scouts next year.
The "Be Prepared Not Scared" patch was earned by Troop 447 through a Google meeting. People are told to be ready for an emergency but how do they actually prepare for it? During natural disasters, it is neighbors helping neighbors who are often the first responders. That is a scary thought. Through this patch program, girls were taught what items they need to have on hand (food, water, shelter, communication devices, light sources), animal care and what first aid courses they need to take in order to be prepared for a natural disaster. It is the intent of the program to take away the fear and replace it with empowered Girl Scouts.
Virtual indoor and outdoor scavenger hunts were held by Troop 491 members and their families. They also painted coffee mugs for their mothers on Mother's Day while talking with one another via Zoom. The girls enjoyed socializing during these activities. It gave them a a sense of life before Covid-19.
Troop 117 earned their 2020 Lockdown patch. Girls were asked to document their experiences during the COVID-19 health crisis. They took pictures of some items that were different because of the COVID-19 pandemic: safe distance lines on the floor of banks and grocery stores, playground entrances wrapped with caution tape so children wouldn't play on the equipment, teddy bears placed in the windows of homes, and thank you signs for first responders. They wrote a letter saying how the pandemic affected them. Their parents also wrote a letter explaining how the pandemic affected them too. For the project portion of the patch, girls painted the trunk of a tree on paper. They asked each person at home with them to paint the palm of their hand and then press their palm over the tree trunk creating the tree's foliage. Each person was asked to sign their name under their hand-print. When it is safe to do so, all of these items will be placed in a time capsule at the East Providence Scout House and will be opened in 20 years.
Undoubtedly, Covid19 has changed our way of life in so many ways. All of us have had to make adjustments in our daily routines in order to keep safe and healthy - Girl Scouts included. Virtual meetings have made it possible for Girl Scouts to continue to have meetings (on line) and socialize with one another while in the safety of their home. Covid-19 hasn't dampened their Girl Scout spirit.