Saturday, April 22, 2017

Take Action and Lead!

Not everyone who hikes the Elliott Wildlife Interpretive Trail at Camp Andree Clark knows exactly what they’re looking at when they see a vine twisted around a tree branch or a red-feathered bird flying through the air. And that’s where Girl Scouts comes in—specifically, girls whose Take Action projects provide hikers with opportunities to learn more about the plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds they might encounter along the way.

The interpretive trail was developed by Green Corps Girl Scout Cadettes from the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York. The Green Corps program is designed for girls who have a special interest in the outdoors and preserving our environment. Visitors to the Edith Macy Conference Center can can check out a backpack with a trail map and a designated iPad, loaded with educational videos created by corps members.

To learn more about the most recent of these particular Take Action projects, we talked to Jennifer, a Cadette from Girl Scouts of Greater New York. Working with other Girl Scouts, Jennifer was able to build her leadership skills, tap into technology, and make the wonders of the Elliott Wildlife Interpretive Trail more accessible to visitors.

What inspired you to be part of this project?

What inspired me to become a part of Green Corps was the fact that I wanted to learn more about the Girl Scout community and Edith Macy. I also wanted a chance to be a part of the great work that Green Corps accomplishes.

What challenges did your group face while expanding the Elliott Wildlife Interpretive Trail? How did you overcome them?

Members of my group worked well together, but we did face challenges. For one, we had to research specific plants and learn everything we could about them. But even though we had learned so much about the plants, it was really hard to find them in real life!

What is your favorite feature of the trail?

My favorite feature is the videos [we created]! All of the girls said the names of their plants and described them. We saved the videos onto an iPad that guests can check out.

How did this project educate you and others about the importance of wildlife?

This project educated me and continues to educate other people by supplying them with the names of the plants that they see (including pronunciation). The videos also teach others about why these plants are important.

What skills did you learn throughout this project that you think will benefit you in the future?

There were many skills that I learned during this process. Working as a team gave me the courage to speak up, the confidence to stand out, and the strength to lead.

What advice would you give to other Girl Scouts working on similar Take Action projects?

I would tell other girls working on similar Take Action projects to stand out, be creative, and not be afraid to lead.

The Elliott Wildlife Interpretive Trail was made possible with funding from GSUSA’s Elliott Wildlife Values Project.