KENNETT SQUARE—Local Girl Scouts collected wriggling stream bugs, went fly-fishing with expert anglers, and became empowered explorers of their backyard streams.
Twenty Girl Scout Juniors and Cadettes from across Chester County flooded Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, for the first-ever STREAM Girls program in southeastern Pennsylvania. Designed by national Trout Unlimited (TU), this hands-on, minds-on program combines STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education with outdoor aquatic recreation and art to connect young girls to their backyard water resources and inspire them to become anglers, artists, scientists, and stewards alike.
In 2018 in central Pennsylvania, the Spring Creek Chapter of TU launched the very first STREAM Girls in our Keystone State in partnership with the Pennsylvania Council of TU, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and local volunteers. Now, in 2019, Stroud Water Research Center hosted and co-taught the first generation of southeastern Pennsylvania STREAM Girls. Together with the Valley Forge Chapter of TU and 12 partner organizations, including the PFBC and the Delaware Valley Women's Fly Fishing Association, fourth through eighth grade Girl Scouts explored stream habitats studied year-round by Stroud Center scientists, discovered the six-legged creek critters who call them home, learned fly-tying and fly-fishing from lifelong anglers, and camped under the stars at a scientific research facility.
“This was one of the most engaging, educational programs in which we’ve ever participated,” said Troop 4241 Leader Anna Marcotte, who watched two of her own children become STREAM Girls during the weekend of discovery and adventure in outdoor STEM. “STREAM Girls provided a great amount of in-depth information, and it gave them a wonderful first-hand experience in examining stream life, conservation, and learning fly-fishing… The program exceeded all expectations above and beyond.”
Each new STREAM Girl departed the program with a certificate of participation, a "swag bag" of freshwater science giveaways from partner organizations, and two fun patches: the TU STREAM Girls Fun Patch and the Stroud Center Education Programs Fun Patch. However, STREAM Girls aims to leave girls with the greatest parting gift of all: a richer appreciation for their backyard water resources and the courage, confidence, and character to protect those resources for a lifetime.