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Forest Service Goal of Getting Kids Outdoors, Educating Young People Fits with Girl Scouts Legacy

In 1995, the Girl Scouts of the USA adopted “Linking Girls to the Land,” a program supported by the U.S. Forest Service and one that echoes the non-profit organization’s nearly decade-long legacy of helping to build girls of courage, confidence and character, and who make the world a better place.

On Saturday, March 12, as they have all week during National Girl Scout Week, the organization will honor founder Juliette Gordon Low, who organized the nation’s first Girl Scout Troop with just 18 girls in Savannah, Ga., 99 years ago. Congress chartered the Girl Scouts of the USA on March 16, 1950.

Today, there are more than 3.2 million Girl Scouts and more than 50 million American women who wore the uniform during their childhood.

By partnering with the Girls Scouts and other federal natural resource agencies and partnering organizations, the Forest Service is helping to provide girls with the tools to discover stewardship principles as a personal value, to connect with a natural or cultural resource agency, to participate in a career program and take action on addressing environmental issues.

The 16-year-old program shows that by learning from women mentors who are natural resource professionals, girls in the program see first-hand the vast array of careers available to them in environmental, outdoor, and science fields. The program has reached about 40,000 girls – more than half from underserved backgrounds.

Some Forest Service women work directly with Girl Scouts in outdoor camps where federal resource agency employees mentor girls on environmental education, career exploration, outdoor skills development and action and service learning. Others work with the Girl Scouts through many Forest Service-sponsored programs, such as during National Public Lands Day, National Get Outdoors Day and Take Pride in America.

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