By Sophie Nulph
The Girls Scouts of America has teamed with the inaugural National Association of State Park Directors to conduct the first Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend.
Fort Harrison State Park will play host to one of the national events at 10 a.m. July 13.
Indiana State Parks have partnered with the Northern Indiana-Michiana, the Central Indiana and the Southwest Indiana Girl Scout councils to plan activities at each state park.
Although the event is new, the state parks have worked with Girl Scouts for decades, according to Angie Manuel, chief of interpretation with Indiana State Parks. She expects the 2019 launch to be the first of many future Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekends.
“They already have next year’s dates set up,” Manuel said. “I see this continuing for years and growing.”
Ten Indiana state parks are participating. Each is offering different activities, including opportunities to earn badges. Scouts attending the Fort Harrison event have a chance to earn their Bug Badge during a bug-identification hike. All Scouts who attend a state park event will earn a Girl Scouts Love State Parks Badge.
“I am really excited about the diversity of the programs that the girls are being offered,” Manuel said.
Manuel said the primary goal of the national program is to get kids outdoors to explore and appreciate nature.
Other Indiana state parks playing host to events are Turkey Run, Ouabache, Chain O’Lakes, McCormick’s Creek, Potato Creek, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, Patoka Lake and Salamonie Lake.