At Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, it is of utmost importance that we
keep our girls safe while role modeling courage during this brief
period of increased risk of illness due to the Eastern Equine
Encephalitis (EEE) virus carried by mosquitoes. At this time, the
first frost appears likely in mid-October, after which the risk of
contact with mosquitoes is greatly reduced.
In the meantime, we are taking the following precautions:
· Increasing mosquito-prevention activities such as looking for and
removing standing water where mosquitoes breed.
· Increasing both biological & chemical applications that target
mosquitoes, in partnership with our licensed vendors.
· Installing mechanical mosquito control devices in key areas.
· Moving all scheduled evening activities indoors as recommended by
the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, including
campfires, cookouts, and tent camping. Tent campers holding
reservations will be offered first choice to change their reservation
to a cabin reservation.
· Reminding campers to wear long sleeve clothing and apply insect
repellent containing DEET.
· Working with concerned troop and group leaders holding events
through mid-October to reschedule their event to a date after the
first likely frost, on a first come, first served basis, at no
This situation can serve as an example of how Girl Scouts discuss
and analyze the conditions of a circumstance and teach girls to
understand the steps in decision-making and problem-solving. As Girl
Scouts, we want our girls to learn the power of critical thinking
skills, and the importance of adapting to specific circumstances. A
calm, thoughtful dialog around and reaction to this issue allows us
the chance to further model the
outcomes of the Girl Scout Leadership
Experience that are so important to girls’ development and
future success. We’ve included a copy of Girl Scout leadership
outcomes and an outline of critical decision-making steps.
Keep in mind the three key processes of the Girl Scout Leadership
Experience: girl-led, cooperative learning, and learning by doing.
Below, we’ve outlined some steps to take when discussing this with
your girls and families. Please remember to involve your girls in the
decision-making process so they can develop their skills and
experience firsthand the value and importance they contribute in the
decision-making process. Girl-led decision-making gives girls the
chance to practice critical thinking skills and learn to maintain
grace and composure during a challenge. Our job as leaders is to
gently walk behind them to guide and encourage their engagement and
thinking around these real-life scenarios. Enjoy your girls! Watch
them grow in confidence and skills and celebrate the power of Girl
Scouting at its best.
· Step 1: Identify the decision. Realize the need to make a
decision and determine how to conduct a girl-led, cooperative learning
decision-making dialog around the issue.
· Step 2: Create a trusting environment for participants to
identify and share their feelings about the situation.
· Step 3: Gather relevant information and facts.
· Step 4: Identify the alternatives and solutions to the problem.
· Step 5: Weigh the evidence and all relevant data.
· Step 6: Engage the group in dialog on how the facts
impacted understanding of the issue, created clarity and thus impacted
their feelings around the issue
· Step 7: With the group, choose among alternatives and
cooperatively decide on a course of action and the steps needed to
· Step 8: Decide cooperatively which members in the group
will take action, follow up, and assist in details.
· Step 9: Review your decision & its consequences.
· Step 10: Discuss which competencies the girls learned. Have
each girl review the 15 outcomes sheet to discover what they learned
and share with the group.
These moments give you as leaders the chance to involve girls in a
way that builds many of these outcomes, further assuring the
development of their future leadership skills. We look forward to
continuing to offer safe opportunities for girls to build courage,
confidence, and character by participating in outdoor adventures at
our beautiful camp properties.