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Girls Get Outdoors!


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Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council Announces Richard King Mellon Foundation’s $40,000 Commitment to Expose More Girl Scouts to the Outdoors

In the spirit of National Get Outdoors Day, Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) is pleased to announce Richard King Mellon Foundation (RKMF)’s $40,000 pledge and commitment to getting more girls from Central and Northern Arizona outdoors in unique and exciting ways. Over the next two years, the funding will help launch a pilot outdoor internship program at GSACPC and create a summer Girl Scout Destinations trip to a national park.

GSACPC is proud to collaborate with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) toward meeting these goals. SCA’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land. Regular exposure to the outdoors provides significant benefit to Girl Scouts and is a key driver of leadership, according to the Girl Scout Research Institute's More Than S’mores: Successes and Surprises in Girl Scouts’ Outdoor Experiences. Nonetheless, nearly 60 percent of girls are not getting frequent contact with the outdoors in Girl Scouts.

“GSACPC has been and remains dedicated to providing outdoor program opportunities to girls,” said Tamara Woodbury, chief executive officer at GSACPC. “We have a dedicated staff, multiple overnight camping facilities and a dedicated Outdoor Education team of volunteers. However, in order to sustain these opportunities for girls to explore the out of doors over the course of her Girl Scout career, we must build our volunteer capacity. With support from RK Mellon, we are thrilled to have the additional capacity to grow our program to address the needs to youth.”

The collaboration between the SCA and GSACPC will elevate current outdoor and conservation activities, which in turn will enhance the Girl Scout volunteer experience. Local Girl Scouts will also benefit from the grant by exploring national parks via Girl Scout Destinations trips during summer 2016 and 2017.

Over the course of two weeks in July 2016, ten Girl Scouts will experience cascading waterfalls, marvel at awe-inspiring vistas, and observe fascinating wildlife while working side by side with park rangers, as the girls participate in environmental stewardship projects at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The location of the 2017 Destinations trip has yet to be determined.

In addition to GSACPC, the following councils from other areas of the country will benefit from the Richard King Mellon Foundation grant: Girl Scouts of Alaska, Girl Scouts of Greater New York, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, and Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania.

To find out more about Girl Scouts’ collaboration with Richard King Mellon Foundation and the Student Conservation Association, visit our Partners' page