Medford Juniors and Cadettes Learn About Civil Rights and Honor the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

img_0755Members of Girl Scouts Junior Troop 67712 and Cadette Troop 72102 from the Brooks School, Andrews Middle School and McGlynn Middle School, all in Medford, Massachusetts, honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and learned about the Civil Rights Movement during an overnight winter lodge camping experience on Sunday, January 19 – Monday, January 20, 2020. Troop leaders Tracy Keene, Diane Cervati, Patricia Wheeler, Veronica Hunt and Paul Ruseau, also a member of the Medford School Committee, organized this troop outing at the GSEMA Camp Runels in Pelham, New Hampshire as a learning and service experience.

Troop 67712 co-leader Tracy Keene said, “We thought it was very important for our girls to learn about civil rights during this weekend honoring King’s legacy. The girls worked on two civil rights badges, Four Little Girls and Civil Rights History. They also earned a Martin Luther King, Jr. patch and patches for Winter Camping, Homeless Awareness, and Wildfire Relief.”3064007_main-01

Boston University professor of political science and Medford resident Timothy Longman led the eighteen girls in a discussion on Sunday on civil rights. Professor Longman provided a history of slavery, Jim Crow and the civil rights movement. The girls listened to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” discussed prominent African American women, and learned about the September 15, 1963, bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four girls. Carole Robertson, one of the girls killed, was an active Girl Scout.

The girls, ranging in age of 10-12 years old, also studied about segregation and civil rights in the Girls Scouts USA. Using material from the Girl Scouts Museum in Waltham, MA, the girls discovered disagreements over whether the first integrated troop in the US was the Red Rose Troop founded by Miss Emma Hall in New Bedford, MA, in 1913 – the third Girl Scout troop in the country – or a later troop in 1924. The girls were surprised to learn that even in Massachusetts, many troop remained racially segregated until the 1950s.

img_0767In addition to learning about civil rights, the troops participated in projects for the MLK Day of Service. They made pine cone bird feeders to hang around the snow-covered campsite. They also sorted and assembled care packages for the unhoused community. The troops are partnering with Ari Barbanell, Medford Resident and the Executive Director of the Winter Walk, to see that the care packages are distributed to members of our community who have found themselves without shelter during these winter months. Winter Walk is an initiative to raise funds and awareness about homelessness and will be held February 9 in Copley Square.

In addition, the girls made posters of encouragement and concern for the Girls Scouts and Girl Guides in New South Wales, Australia.  The girls learned that at least 28 people have died in Australia and more than 3,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged in the state of New South Wales alone and that millions of wildlife have be impacted.  The posters will be shared on the Facebook pages of Australian Girl Scouts and Girl Guides and mailed to their Council.

After the trip, Anna Shanley, said about her daughter, “Sofia still can’t stop talking about it and she really learned a lot of valuable lessons.”

It was blue skies for Medford Encampment 2019

71403500_10218651088521139_9194915507696828416_n.jpgOver 200 girls and adult volunteers from 18 different Medford Girl Scout troops came together at Camp Runels in Pelham, NH this past weekend for our first citywide encampment in nine years. Big thanks to Andie Farro and Evalyn O’Rourke for taking on the task of organizing everything as our Encampment Directors. It wouldn’t have happened without them!

During the day on Saturday troops from Daisies to Cadettes all had opportunity to go canoeing.  In addition, each troop could pick from a variety of other activities including: geocaching, fire building (both real and edible), parachute games, gaga ball, or making recycled fashions, going on a scavenger hunt or a nature walk, or making pine cone bird feeders.  All the troops came together for a campfire and s’mores and troops in the evening and troops that are Brownies and older had the option of staying overnight. The event opened and closed with a traditional Girl Scout flag ceremony and the weather couldn’t have been better!

 

 

 

 

 

Tufts Girls of Code win the Outstanding Service Unit Partner award for their contributions to Medford Girl Scouts

IMG_6765-editMedford Girl Scouts deeply appreciates the special partnership it has with the Tufts Girls of Code. Founded in 2016 by Dr. Laney Strange, a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Tufts University, the group brings together female computer science students to hold hands-on coding workshops for girls.  Their goal is to “create a welcoming environment for girls and other individuals who are frequently underrepresented in computer science.”  The Tufts students are fantastic mentors who show Medford Girl Scouts that coding is fun and something everyone can do.

Held in the computer science labs at Tufts, the workshops are free and open to all girls ages 10 and older and, each year, the Tufts Girls of Code give priority registration to Medford Girl Scouts. Recent workshop topics have included:

  • Animating in JavaScript
  • Programming games in the Python computer language
  • Using the language Alice to create 3D animations
  • Creating websites from scratch by coding in HTML and CSS

“It’s a really fun program to take because I’m learning a lot of new things that I can use later in life. Everyone that is teaching is patient and helps out when you need help with something.” – Cadence McPherson, Junior Girl Scout

““I really enjoyed it. They provided a positive environment and taught me things about coding that I hadn’t learned anywhere else. They made coding fun!” – Claire Gingo, Junior Girl Scout


Girls from the at least seven different Medford troops have jumped on the opportunity to attend the workshops. In addition to their general coding workshops, at the request of Medford Girl Scouts, the Tufts Girls of Code developed a special workshop just for Brownies who want to earn the Computer Expert badge.  They held three Computer Expert workshops and each was filled to capacity.  This was the first time the Tufts Girls of Code had led workshop for girls who were younger than 10 years old. The girls loved being in the lab, working on the computers, and seeing their work come alive on the screen.


“About half my troop participated in the Brownie Computer Expert workshop, and they all proudly showed their work at pickup time! It was such a gift to have this event. The young women leading it were great role models, and I think it is so important for our girls to see a wide range of leaders in addition to their own troop leader.” – Jane Hamel, Leader, Brownie Troop 72096


Tufts Girls of Code has a special mission to “spark engagement and interest in computer science.”  They strive, and succeed, in creating a warm and welcoming environment in which all girls get to code their own creations, and then play the games, or watch the animations, that they bring to life through their code.

Thank you to Dr. Laney Strange and the Tufts Girls of Code for expanding Medford Girl Scouts interest in STEM and coding!

About the Award:

The Outstanding Service Unit Partner recognizes a partnership that is instrumental in expanding program at the Girl Scout Service Unit level. In Girl Scouts, a Service Unit is a team of volunteers who organize and support Girl Scout programming in a particular community or region (such as the City of Medford.)  A program partner supporting a Service Unit has a direct impact on the local community which gives girls the tools they need to be successful leaders in today’s world, shows girls future career possibilities and supports one or more of the pillars of Girl Scouting (Entrepreneurship, STEM, Outdoors and Life Skills).

The award was presented to Dr. Laney Strange by Lu-Ann Souza (Manager, Program Partnerships & Member Benefits) and Jennifer Duczkowski (Director, Girl Program and Partnerships) at Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’s first Program Partner Brunch on June 16, 2018 at Camp Cedar Hill.

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Girl Scout Membership Has Its Privileges

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts offers Girl Scouts and their families discounts to arts, cultural, and sports events in the area.  Girls and their friends and families can attend any event on their own, or troops can arrange to go as a group.

Here are some of the upcoming member benefits:

  • Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions 2016 – Sunday, Nov. 13 at 7pm at the Boston Garden.  Tickets for Girl Scouts and their family and friends are $25 and must be ordered by Oct. 30.  The Scout tickets include a 2016 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions patch and Scouts can test their balance, flexibility, and strength at the Kellogg’s Fitness Zone on the concourse.  Click here for the form to order tickets.
  • Boston Holiday Pops – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 11 am and Sunday, December 4 at 11 am.  Join conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops in a performance filled with holiday music favorites, the traditional Pops sing-a-long, and even a visit from jolly old Santa Claus! You can  purchase a Boston Pops Girl Scout patch when you order your tickets. To purchase your tickets visit bostonpops.org/girlscouts
  • Wachusett Mountain – Nov. 15, 2016 – April 15, 2017.  Girl Scout discount for skiing and snowboarding tickets.  Click here for the flyer
  • Pats Peak  – Girl Scouts get special discounts on tickets if purchased online in advance at employeeactivities.com/patspeak. Enter code: GSEM under Company/Program name. Also, Girl Scouts get 1 free ticket for every 15 purchased as a group (1 for every 10 on Scout Weekend March 4 & 5, 2017).  Click here for the flyer

For a complete list of member benefits,  click here to see the list on the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts website.

Daisy Troop 72096 Makes a Difference in Medford

Medford Girl Scouts Complete “Take Action” Project by Releasing Ladybugs to Support Food Pantry Garden

GirlsWithGardenersThe girls from Troop 72096, who just completed first grade, gathered together on Saturday, July 16, with several master gardeners at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford to conclude their Daisy year with a Take Action project: the release of almost 20 ladybugs. These small insects are formidable fighters and eat aphids, tiny bugs that afflict vegetable gardens. Controlling aphids is especially important because the food grown at the church is donated directly to the Community Cupboard food pantry. Fewer aphids will equal healthier plants, which will mean more food for the 7090 families that rely on the pantry each week.

Sydney and JoanThe Daisy Girl Scouts spent the past few months learning about gardens. They planted and tended snow peas and beets at Grace Episcopal Church in Medford, which were all donated to the food pantry. Through this work, the girls learned about what gardens need to stay healthy.

They became interested in raising ladybugs and built small habitats to allow each girl to raise a few insects. Having tended them carefully through their larva and pupa stages, the girls were thrilled to watch numerous Spotted Pink Ladybugs emerge from their cocoons. On July 16 at dusk, after carefully watering the plants and inspecting for evidence of aphids, the girls released the ladybugs into their new home. The ladybugs now inhabit the Medford Community Cupboard Food Pantry Vegetable Garden, which is a new program started this year by the food pantry with support from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford and the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association. A team of Master Gardeners “champions” the program and are on site every Thursday from 1PM to 4PM, providing education, working with volunteers, and harvesting vegetables that are distributed at the food pantry on Thursday evenings.

Hannah and JoanThe girls very much enjoyed working with the Master Gardeners to contribute to this local food pantry and they eagerly look forward to the projects they may take on as Brownies this coming school year!

Have a Girl Scout Staycation in Eastern Massachusetts

Warm weather has finally arrived, and school is basically over for the year, so what’s a Girl Scout to do with all her free time? Earn our local council’s patches, that’s what. Each Girl Scout council in the United States has its own patches and Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts is no exception. You don’t need to be visiting from away to explore some of our local historic sites and attractions, and earn a special patch while you are at it.

Below are some of patches unique to Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. Each patch has its own requirements and, once you have completed them, you can buy (or order) the patch from one of Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’s stores.  Click here for store locations and hours.

freedomtrail

 

Freedom Trail Patch:  Starting in the Boston Common, follow the red line on the sidewalk to trace a path through history.  All levels of Girl Scouts are invited to answer one of two quizzes about the historic sites along the Freedom Trail to earn this patch.  Click here to download the requirements.

 


marathon

Marathon: Go the Distance! Patch:  Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors can earn this patch learning about the Boston Marathon, how to train for a marathon, and the history of marathons.  Girls must also help out,  or run in, a road race of any distance (or set up their own fitness routine.) Click here to download the requirements.

 


jfkJourney with JFK – the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Patch:  This patch is open to all levels and it offers girls a variety of different activities, puzzles, worksheets, and games, some of which they can do at home and some which require them to go to the JFK Museum in Boston. Click here to download the requirements.

 

fetchFetch! Patch:  PBS’s TV show “Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman” teaches kids to explore the world and try new things.  Brownies and Juniors can earn this patch by completing science and engineering activities, and then demonstrating what they have learned to younger kids (like Girl Scout Daisies, for example.)  Click here to download the requirements.

plimothPlimoth Plantation Patch:  Brownies and Juniors can earn this patch by visiting the Plimoth Plantation and learning about the history of the relationship between the Native Wampanoag people and the 17th-century colonists. Click here to download the requirements.
Plimoth Plantation also runs different programs for Girl Scouts throughout the year, including sleepovers.  Click here for details about their special programs just for Scouts.