Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, in partnership with Growing Climate Solutions, has launched a new climate change patch that recognizes Girl Scouts who are willing to advocate for the environment.
Girl Scouts earn patches for participating in events, activities and programs, and display their patches on the back of vests or sashes. To earn the climate change patch, which is specific to Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, girls must complete three components:
- Discover: understand the science behind the carbon cycle and global warming, as well as their impacts.
- Connect: recognize how to measure and reduce an individual’s carbon footprint through a series of discussions and activities.
- Take action: Address climate challenges by working together to develop and implement solutions.
“Climate change is one of the top issues concerning U.S. girls, particularly teens,” said Mary Anne Servian, CEO of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida. “As Girl Scouts, we pledge to use resources wisely and make the world a better place. We pride ourselves on taking action, and the climate change patch is an important tool for environmental education and positive change.”
Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida serves nearly 6,000 girls in 10 counties across Southwest Florida. The mission of Girl Scouts is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.
Growing Climate Solutions: Path to Positive Southwest Florida formed in 2019 as a partnership between the Community Foundation of Collier County, Collaboratory (formerly the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Florida Gulf Coast University and Conservancy of Southwest Florida. It has since expanded to include community leaders from the business, health, civic, faith and nonprofit sectors across the five-county region.
Girl Scouts and Growing Climate Solutions launched the climate change patch on June 3 during a virtual kickoff event, which featured four distinguished women who are excelling in science, education and business while advocating for the environment: Tiffany Troxler, a climate scientist and director of the Sea Level Solutions Center at Florida International University; Camille Coley, vice president of the American Natural History Museum; Mary Draves, chief sustainability officer and vice president of environmental health and safety at Dow; and Dawn Shirreffs, Florida director of the Environmental Defense Fund. Discussions focused on the science of climate change, carbon footprints, creating a more sustainable lifestyle, research and organizing campaigns to change laws and protect the planet.
The idea to create a climate change patch emerged during Growing Climate Solutions’ leadership kickoff meeting in March 2020. At the time, Girl Scouts joined Growing Climate Solutions because both organizations are focused on protecting the earth and its natural resources.
“It will take several generations to develop true climate leadership, and we have to start with this next generation of leaders,” said Ana Puszkin-Chevlin, Ph.D., regional director for Growing Climate Solutions. “These girls are the best ambassador for protecting and advocating for the environment and the future because they will be living in and leading the world for decades to come.”