Girl Scouts organization not just for younger girls
DeKALB – To celebrate 100 years, officials with the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois intend to show the organization is for more than just younger girls.
“Usually by eighth or seventh grade is when there is serious fallout in Girl Scouts just to participate,” said Miriam Fleig, co-chair for an anniversary event held Saturday in DeKalb. “This way they can see that you can continue and there are plenty of things for Girl Scouts to do.”
The Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois held its Centennial Celebration on Saturday at the Convocation Center at Northern Illinois University.
There were exhibitions and interactive booths from vendors such as Brookfield Zoo, Brunswick Zone and Kim’s Black Belt Academy. There also were live musical performances.
One of the activities was a LEGO booth, which was sponsored by the Education Blueprints Association by way of the LEGO Education Showcase Grant, according to a news release.
Participants used LEGOs to build items or products that they envision will be used during the next 100 years of Girl Scouts.
Pam Schnecke, a program specialist with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math, said the grant is intended to encourage kids to use their imagination.
“We ask [volunteers] to encourage the kids in their creativity, and when they finish their piece, say, ‘Why did you do that?’ ” Schnecke said.
Kayla Henrey, 8, constructed her LEGO creation to express excitement.
“I’m building a campground,” Kayla said. “I’m going camping this year with Girl Scouts.”
Some of the other kiosks were just as interactive as LEGOs.
Jeremy Benson operated the NIU STEM Outreach kiosk where children could play a video game that taught them about the composition of various atoms.
“The goal is to teach middle schoolers about the periodic table,” Benson said. “It’s intended to be tied into a curriculum where they’re already discussing these things, just to kind of reinforce that and make it a little more fun than just doing a worksheet or watching somebody write things on the board.”
Children also learned how to build general life skills. Madelon Koerner, director of Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois’ product program, operated the financial literacy booth.
“We’ve gotten coins here so that the girls can learn how to make change,” said Koerner, who noted selling cookies is a large part of the program. “For the older girls, we’ve got two different boxes of cereal, and they can compare the cost from the healthy brand to the generic brand and see which is the better value.”