Every year, at Williams and Hall, we help send multitudes of Boy Scouts into the BWCA wilderness. We are proud of this because we think the boys learn something about themselves that they never knew before. They are a little better for the experience.
But where are the girls? We are lucky to have one Girl Scout group come through our lodge each summer. The girls that we do see always come back with the same smiles as the boys. They, too, seem a little changed for the better for their experience.
There may be some good news on this horizon. This month’s issue of Outside Magazine features a story about how the Girl Scouts are making new efforts to get girls into the outdoors. In fact, the Girl Scouts of Colorado have introduced a pilot program called Outdoor Adventure Club. The program is designed to deliver outdoor adventure opportunities to their members. The pilot program sold out immediately! In addition, at the national level, the Girl Scouts now offer ten new outdoor badges, including five for adventure.
This is all great news for Girl Scouts. It’s also great news for our nation. We need to get our kids connected to the outdoors and nature with hands-on experience. Experiencing the wonders of our planet via technology is ok, but being immersed in the real thing is unequaled. Places like the Boundary Waters offer unique opportunities to truly understand that we all share one fragile planet. When we better understand out inter-connectedness, we position ourselves to improve things.
Beyond this inter-connectedness, a trip to the Boundary Waters wilderness can teach girls valuable lessons in leadership, team building and self-reliance. Resilience and confidence follow. Girls gain a better sense of being on control of their destinies.
So, you go girls. You belong in the wilderness just like any boy does.