Project Profile: 2002–03 Girl Scout Summer Day Camp

October 24, 2008

In a recent interview, 2002–03 Community Action Grantee Marianne North talked about her work with the Girl Scout/Tech Trek Summer Day Camp in Wyoming. An active AAUW member, having served as both a branch and a state president, Marianne was familiar with the research findings that men are more likely than women to choose STEM fields. She wanted to be part of the solution to this long-standing issue.

Marianne knew that she wanted to offer a technology camp, and she began thinking about how theater could draw on a variety of applied sciences. Partnering with the Girls Scouts in 2002, Marianne helped develop a free, six-week day camp in Casper, Wyoming, that offered 25 girls ages 7 to 15 an opportunity to explore applied sciences through the arts, specifically puppet theater.

Camp participants developed a story idea — involving a dragon that steals Girl Scout cookies — and used computer design and electronics to create the puppets and light the stage. Campers also designed and built the stage themselves using actual blueprints. By the end of the camp, the girls had acquired many new skills, ranging from sewing and computer graphic design to stage lighting and set design.

Marianne says that other branches interested in creating a project like this one should gather as many resources as they can. She had help from the local school district, VISTA, AAUW, and the Girl Scouts. The resources provided by the AAUW Educational Foundation were vital to the project.

Marianne recently moved to Western Colorado and is thinking about adapting the camp to her new location. AAUW and the Girl Scouts will continue to work together, fostering the innovation and goodwill of people like Marianne and creating opportunities for girls to break through barriers while learning and growing together in all academic fields.

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