Girl Scouts from around the area spent Saturday at Boyd Pond Park learning more about the great outdoors as well as their own potential.
The “Aiken STEM, Naturally” event was held Saturday and about 60 Girl Scouts from the Aiken, Lexington and Columbia areas attended to participate in several activities to help them earn their Naturalist badges. The groups included Girl Scout Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors.
Feature activities included a talk accompanied with live animals by the Savannah River Ecology Lab, a trip to the Boyd observatory, flower planting, a natural trail walk with Master Naturalist Susan Birt and more.
One of the benefits of this event was teaching these young ladies that they can get involved in any field they desire even if it's male-dominated, said Girl Scout Troop Leader Wendy Dietzel.
Angela Drake, co-leader of Aiken Girl Scout Troop 5335, said her group spoke to a female biologist at the event who told them that confidence in their own knowledge and skills will get them far.
“She taught us about plants, trees and flowers, but she also taught them what a professional, competent woman scientist looks like,” Drake said. “Our girls learned valuable lessons today.”
Birt led the scouts on a nature hike, pointing out different plants and how to identify them. She said she hopes that she instilled confidence in the girls when it comes to being in the woods.
“I want them to be enthusiastic about being in the woods and connected with nature,” Birt said.
Valorie Vance, a South Aiken High School science teacher, works with the Girl Scout service unit. She volunteered her time Saturday to discuss logging with the girls. She said they were very engaged, offering both pros and cons of the topic.
Vance said that having such an event at the pond is great because the girls are surround by the subject matter that they are learning about, and it helps them gain even more of an appreciation for nature.
“It's a beautiful place,” Vance said about Boyd Pond. “I think events like this for our girls allows them to get outside and allows them to learn what they maybe never would have in the classroom.”