NOAA Fisheries has teamed with the Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital organization and other partners to develop a new Endangered Species Act patch. Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador level Girl Scouts from any state can earn this patch. They must complete a five-step process to explore, investigate, create, experience, and present information about plants and animals that are protected under the Endangered Species Act.
The patch is a great way to introduce Girl Scouts to the challenges facing many species, including marine species. “It is a great example of teamwork, showing how it takes all of us working together to recover species and prevent extinction,” said Donna Wieting, Director of the Office of Protected Resources. “This initiative not only teaches Girl Scouts about endangered species, it engages the next generation of female leaders to take action and help us recover species in peril.”
Carrie Horton, Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital Program Specialist, echoes that thought. “My hope is that every Girl Scout who is exposed to this patch program has a newfound passion about endangered species and why protecting our planet is so important.”
Engaging Future Endangered Species Conservation Leaders
Connecting young girls to leadership and nature is not new for the Girl Scouts or for NOAA. Current NOAA Fisheries scientist Kris Petersen developed a love of the outdoors and wildlife as a Girl Scout. “I still have all of my Scout books, vests, pins, and songbooks,” says Petersen who rose through the ranks as Brownie, Girl Scout, and Leader. “My love for nature was fostered by Girl Scout adventures, camping, and summer camps. This patch is a great way to encourage more girls to learn about species that need our help to survive.”
An on-line booklet guides girls through the process to earn the patch. Girl Scouts will learn about local, regional, and global species that need help and how federal policy aids in protecting our environment.