Girl Scouts of the USA Partners with the National Park Service to Give Girl Scouts Everywhere Access to the Outdoors

The Girl Scout Ranger Program Encourages Girls to Earn Patches and Certificates for Outdoor Projects in National Parks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Girl Scouts of the USA Press Room
media@girlscouts.org
(212) 852-8525

SAN FRANCISCO, May 2, 2015 -- Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) today is announcing a partnership with the National Park Service to launch the "Girl Scout Ranger Program," a joint venture connecting girls with National Park Service sites throughoutthe United States, including monuments, seashores, and urban sites.

Through the program, girls can participate in a variety of organized educational or outdoor service projects. Additionally, Girl Scouts may design their own project that aligns with their Girl Scout Journey experience, various badge activities, or a Take Action ("highest award") project. Girls who successfully complete projects will be awarded certificates from the National Park Service and Girl Scout patches.

"Providing girls with access to the outdoors is one of the cornerstones of the Girl Scout mission," said Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of GSUSA. "Through terrific partnerships and programs like the Girl Scout Ranger Program, we offer girls a chance to engage in outdoor activities that encourage a healthy, active lifestyle and a respect for the environment. We are proud to be teaming up with the National Park Service to help more Girl Scouts in more places experience everything the outdoors has to offer."

Girls and troops who wish to participate in the Girl Scout Ranger Program can visit the National Park Service website to locate a park ("Find Your Park") near their home. There, they can also explore the history of the park and learn about its natural and cultural resources. Troop leaders and parents can arrange for activities like hiking, biking, wildlife watching, and guided interpretive tours, and the Girl Scout Ranger Program will also allow girls to build their own unique park experience, earning badges and patches along the way.

Said GSUSA National Board President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, "Girl Scouts is very excited to offer girls this incredible opportunity to explore the outdoors. Our national parks are an important part of the American landscape, both physical and cultural, and they have provided generations of American families with unique outdoor experiences. Now, through this partnership, we can offer Girl Scouts everywhere a chance to get outside and learn about nature and the importance of taking care of our environment."

To announce the Girl Scout Ranger Program, today, May 2, approximately 5,000 girls and 1,000 volunteers, Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, and NPS Deputy Director Peggy O'Dell will walk across the Golden Gate Bridge together, celebrating this new partnership and bringing attention to the amazing outdoor experiences available to everyone at our nation's national parks and monuments.

"The National Park Service and Girl Scouts of the USA have the same goal in mind: providing meaningful and memorable experiences for girls through unique outdoor experiences," said Peggy O'Dell, NPS deputy director. "Through this partnership, girls will be introduced to the many ways they can play, learn, serve, and work in our national parks. We are committed to connecting our nation's cultural and national treasures with today's youth—so go 'Find Your Park'!"

WE'RE GIRL SCOUTS OF THE USA
We're the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. It began over 100 years ago, with one woman, Girl Scouts' founder Juliette Gordon "Daisy" Low, who believed in the power of every girl. Juliette organized the first Girl Scout troop on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, and every year since, we've made her vision a reality, helping girls discover their strengths, passions, and talents. Today, as yesterday, Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. And with programs for girls from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to do something amazing. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscouts.org.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.