Getting Girls Outdoors:
Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania
Founded more than a century ago, Girl Scouts is the preeminent organization for providing girls with transformative leadership opportunities. It is one of only a few organizations that focuses on building relationships with nature and developing an understanding of the environment.
During the last two years, the Foundation supported a pilot program between the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and five Girl Scout councils to elevate girls’ outdoor and environmental conservation activities. Girls Scouts USA views its partnership with the SCA as a critical element of the Girl Scout’s national strategy to ensure that each scout has engaging outdoor experiences. In western Pennsylvania, more than 3,300 girls engaged in an outdoor experience and the council offered 14 outdoor programs that were designed and facilitated by SCA interns. The interns also provided outdoor training for volunteers to increase their ability to get girls outside more often. The four other councils in the pilot served more than 5,000 girls, trained nearly 150 volunteers, offered programming that addressed environmental impacts, connected STEM education to the outdoors, and formed partnerships with conservation, land management, and outdoor organizations.
"Richard King Mellon Foundation’s investment supports the training of hundreds of volunteers, responsible for mentoring thousands of girls who will experience the benefits of outdoor activities and become better stewards of the environment.”
A Foundation grant in the amount of $766,500 will continue the collaboration between Girl Scouts USA, GSWPA, and the SCA, and will benefit Girl Scouts from eight councils across the country. The grant will revive all-girl crews based on SCA’s proven model that combines conservation service, education, and recreation. In addition to providing transformative experiences, this initiative will promote girls’ interest in outdoor activities, commitment to protecting natural resources, and awareness of and interest in pursuing environmental careers.