Earning the Including All Girls Patch heightens Girl Scouts’ awareness, understanding and acceptance of people’s differences and disabilities. Junior Troop 88200 from Brookline, MA, recently earned this patch through the five steps described below.
1) Strengths and Weaknesses: Together, the girls looked at how individuals with disabilities are portrayed in advertising, and how this influences how they view their strengths and weaknesses. Then, they made lists of their own strengths and weakness, and discussed them as a group.
2) Including Everyone: The girls worked with the Adaptive Sports Center at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and learned to play seated volleyball. They were surprised that it was so difficult! The girls loved it so much that some of them spoke with their school gym teachers, offering to teach classes on this alternative form of volleyball.
3) Sense Making: A parent of one of one of the Girl Scouts is a registered dietitian, and she taught the girls about diabetes and proper diet. Together, the troop made snacks with a low glycemic index, and loved them!
4) Inspiring Athletes: Physical therapists from the Adaptive Sports Program at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital demonstrated adaptive ski equipment at one of their troop meetings. They answered questions about using a tether rope and ski guide, lift use, and adaptive ski racing.
5) Speaking Out: While earning the Horseback Riding badge, the girls were surprised to learn the stable was not handicapped accessible. The owner explained that costs for extra equipment and insurance were too much. The troop members felt the lack of handicapped accessibility wasn’t fair, and at their next troop meeting, they discussed customer service.
Take Action Project: Each cookie season, the troop sets up their cookie booths in a busy commercial area. People with disabilities come off of public transportation and stop to buy cookies. Together, the girls created a system to get cookies into the backpack or cargo net of chairs to make them easier for disabled customers to carry.
Way to go, Troop 88200! We are so proud of you!