“Going Green” with GECCo and Girl Scouts!

Remember when you got your first badge? Or that blustery day when you were with your troop, picking up litter along the beach and learning about coastal organisms? Perhaps, like me, you remember last year when you brought home two boxes of Thin Mints from the Annual Cookie Sale. No matter what the precise memory, for most, a mere mention of “Girl Scouts” sparks multiple positive connotations—after all, the Girl Scouts have established one of the best-known leadership, mentorship and service programs for young-to-adolescent girls across the country.

This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the Girl Scouts—and the national theme for the centennial celebration is “Going Green”.  Our local council—the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts (GSEM)—is adopting a TERC-created patch program for Juniors and Cadettes called GECCo (The Girls Energy Conservation Corps) that educates Scouts in energy conservation, energy use and climate change, and environmental stewardship. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the GECCo project team created tools, activities, and games to help girls understand how they use energy; how they can save it; and how they can act as leaders in their communities.

So, the quick story is this: GECCo helps girls increase their self-and-collective efficacy about making a difference for the environment. And—as any GECCo patch recipient would tell you—“going green” has never been so much fun!

While the GECCo project has already reached over 4,000 girls in Eastern Massachusetts due to this partnership with GSEM, it will now have a potential audience of thousands more girls nationally. In addition, the GECCo project team is hoping to develop a second iteration of the project that will be gender-neutral and can be worked into after-school programming. Go go GECCo!

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