By Samantha Polon, Learning Programs Developer, Providence Children’s Museum
Scouting is often a springboard for youth to learn how to be stewards of their communities. Learning about teamwork, problem solving and even meeting workers from fireman to teachers to find out about their professions are all common and enriching activities Scouts participate in. But what about teaching youth to be stewards of the environment? Expressions like “going green” and “eco-friendly” are commonplace these days, everywhere from the grocery store to schools, but what do these ideas really mean? What actions can we take and what visions can we share about our future that will help to preserve and protect the natural resources we see threatened around us?
As a Girl Scout growing up, I was presented with the opportunity to spend time in the out-of-doors, hiking, camping and swimming all over New England. My mother, a lawyer, loved the chance to take a group of suburban girls on overnights where we got away from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. While we were on those trips, we did so much more than roast marshmallows, sing songs and learn to identify different varieties of birds. Those times in the forest taught us to look for and appreciate the nature all around us. They offered us a place of respite and a moment to reflect. After those trips, we sought the same feelings of peace and joy in local parks and hunted for leaves in our neighborhood playgrounds.
Providence Children’s Museum’s Eco Explorers adventures present Scouts with the opportunity to learn about conservation by working through hands-on problem solving activities that explore finite natural resources – like water and wildlife – that can be found in the deep wilderness and in the city. Scouts investigate simple circuits and the energy expenditure of LED and traditional bulbs, which can help them support their schools and families in making energy conscious decisions. They learn how to look for signs of animals and recognize shelters so they can preserve these creatures’ habitats. Most importantly, Scouts learn to value the natural world that is all around them – and is a critical part of their communities and everyday lives.
During the first Eco Explorers event in December, I watched as Scouts built simple water wheels from plates and cups. One boy exclaimed, “I never knew that water could make energy!” It’s realizations like these, which arise through fun, hands-on learning, that will help kids become the next generation of stewards our planet needs.
Eco Explorers Scout Adventures at Providence Children’s Museum
Cub Scouts | February 27
Brownies/Junior Girl Scouts | March 13, March 27, April 10 and May 1
Scouts learn about conservation, recycling and the wonder of the natural world through creative interactive science experiments and art activities. Explore energy and create circuits, construct a water wheel, create an animal habitat story and more! Events include engaging educator-led activities, a Scout skill badge or Science Belt Loop, an Eco Explorers fun patch, a snack, and a pass for a future Museum visit.
Space is limited; register NOW to join the fun! Click here to learn more.