Kids Care: Local Girl Scout Troop Advocates for Cleaner Air

Kids these days! Wow!

The young women of Girl Scout Troop #41084 in Lacey not only care about their community, but they work diligently to make it a better place to live, work and play.

That troop then launched a months-long project last year to help their community achieve cleaner air and healthier conditions for its residents.

Below, Troop Leader Diana Kildow describes what that troop accomplished.

On their Girl Scout BREATHE Journey, the Cadettes in Troop #41084 worked throughout the 2010-2011 school year focusing on the Earth’s air, the science of air, observing and recording air-quality issues and determining their reasons for caring about air. Through a process of Aware-Alert-Affirm, the Cadettes planned a project, took action and evaluated the impact of their project on the earth’s air. The Air Care Team included members of ORCAA.

The purpose of their project was:  To educate and inspire others to explore the use of electric or hybrid vehicles in order to reduce smog and pollution.

The 6th and 7th graders developed a timeline which included a research phase and visits to auto dealerships.  They interviewed owners of an electric/hybrid car and published an informational brochure/display boards showing how electric/hybrid cars are alike/different.  A map was developed showing plug-in stations in Olympia.

The final requirement was to determine an audience and schedule a meeting to share what the Cadettes learned during this Journey.  This was easily accomplished at Lacey’s Alternative Energy Fair on May 7, 2011.  An evaluation determined the impact and proof of progress.

Cadettes included in this project were 7th graders:  Makenzie Ritzman, Patricia McCowan and 6th graders: Abby Huennekens, April Pigue, Brianne Horst, Rachel Ballew and Jordan Jekel.

ORCAA’s Board of Directors expressed great admiration for, and support of, the members of Troop 41084. Executive Director Fran McNair sent the following letter to Troop Leader Kildow, as well as to the Regional Offices of the Girl Scouts:

On behalf of the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency, I would like to thank you and Girl Scout Troop #41084 for your participation in the recent Lacey Alternative Energy Fair. I would like to recognize Cadettes Makenzie Ritzman, Patricia McCowan, Abby Huennekens, April Pigue, Brianne Horst, Rachael Ballew and Jordon Jekel for their outstanding work researching, understanding and implementing their air quality project. Their understanding of the causes of air quality problems and their desire to look for solutions and share those ideas is an invaluable life long lesson. It will enable them to make good decisions about how they can keep our air clean and be a resource to others as they provide this information.

Two of my Compliance staff, Aly Dyson and Stephanie Sears met with your troop a number of months ago to talk about ways to promote clean air in our communities. I am a very strong proponent of educating our youth about how they can contribute to clean air practices. Your young women in the troop obviously listened, learned and then applied their knowledge about how to promote clean air practices. The brochure they developed for the fair says it all. “The purpose of this project is to help educate and inspire others to explore the use of electric or hybrid vehicles in order to reduce smog and pollution.” Their support and promotion of clean air practices sets the tone for now and the future. I feel that education is the best way to change behaviors in a very positive way.

As the Director of the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency, I strongly support and encourage my staff to provide education and information to the community through a variety of venues. We would be happy to follow up with Troop #41084 or any other Girl Scout troop or community group to provide information and education on clean air programs.

Thank you for allowing the Olympic Clean Air Agency to work with your troop. They are clearly a very intelligent and highly motivated group of young women who are eager to help protect our air and our environment.


Fran McNair, Executive director



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