Thursday, February 19, 2015

Guest Post: A Message from Anna Maria Chávez

Anna Maria Chávez, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA, has some exciting news to share about our commitment to ensuring all girls have access to the outdoors.

Today, I had the incredible opportunity to join President Obama, Interior Secretary Sally Jewel, and other federal park officials in announcing a major new White House initiative to ensure every fourth grader in America has access to a national park. The “Every Kid in a Park” program, which is part of a buildup to the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, will give every fourth-grade student and their family free access to national parks and other public lands for a year.

With more than 80 percent of American families living in urban areas, the program will ensure that every child in America has an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature and the educational opportunities offered by our National Park System. It is truly amazing for Girl Scouts, as a leader in the outdoor space, to have the opportunity to partner with the White House on this important initiative.

For over a century, providing girls with access to the outdoors, fostering resiliency, helping girls build vital skills such as problem solving, and encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle, have been cornerstone elements of the Girl Scout mission. To stand with the President to announce this initiative is a truly awesome recognition of the power of our Movement to help girls develop the skills they need to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Girl Scouts is committed to continuing to provide girls with outdoor opportunities, a commitment we renewed for our new triennium as we prepare to roll out new outdoor badges and programs.  This recognition as a leading authority on youth and the outdoors is all thanks to the work you do every day to provide girls with unique outdoor adventures, from camping, to community recycling activities, to Gold Award projects centered on sustainable energy.

Enjoy this moment and please share with your colleagues and community partners as we continue to work together to make sure every girl has a chance to experience everything that nature has to offer!