In April of this year, my friend Andrea Sechrist asked if I would urge the Davis Joint Unified School Board to pass a climate action resolution, joining the Schools for Climate Action movement (see link below). My own kids graduated from Davis High several years ago, but I had remained active in working with youth, mainly as a volunteer Girl Scout trainer to teach minimal impact, Leave-No-Trace camping, backpacking, and other outdoor skills.

Girl Scouts are taking action

I knew that Girl Scouts offer an excellent environmental program (It’s Your Planet—Love it!) with age-level appropriate badges and journey activities for girls K-12th grade. Girl Scouting has moved away from just doing community service per se and is now encouraging girls to take action to address the root causes of community issues that they care about deeply.

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts (WAGGGS), representing 10 million members worldwide in 146 countries including the USA, has published their own strong position statement (see link below). With all this in mind, I realized my friend’s request presented the timely opportunity to recruit local Girl Scouts to address the “defining challenge of our time”: Climate Change.

Lupita and her daughter Xochitl, who were instrumental in persuading the DJUSD Board to pass the Call to Climate Action resolution this past June, participated in the Climate Strike planning meeting Monday September 2 in Davis by painting signs such as this one asking readers to “Love Your Mama.”

Davis school board passes resolution

After sending a request to the Davis School Board to develop their own resolution, I reached out to the Davis Girl Scout Service unit to form a Climate Action interest group. On short notice, Girl Scouts from Troop 199 came to the Davis School Board meeting in late June. Ten-year old Xochitl and her mother Lupita were among those who voiced their support for a climate action resolution.

We told the trustees that Davis Girl Scouts will be good partners to help educate youth and take action to address climate change. The connection between Girl Scouts and climate action makes sense, especially since worldwide, girls and women are already disproportionately affected by extreme weather patterns due to global warming.

DJUSD passed the resolution!

Climate Action Day planned for this November

Since the resolution was passed, the Davis Girl Scouts for Climate Action has moved forward planning a Climate Action Day for November for Girl Scouts in 4th-12th grades. Our group includes Lori Hansen, a long-term member of the Davis Service unit, several girl scout leaders and their troops, UC Davis students; and other community members.

Building on Girl Scouts’ commitment to use resources wisely and make the world a better place, the event will enable girls to explore issues related to energy use, transportation, waste reduction, and political action to address climate change. The organizers will also connect with other groups and engage in taking Climate Action.

Inspired by our efforts in Davis, the Heart of Central California Girl Scout Council, which serves Yolo and 17 other counties, is promoting a Take Climate Action Challenge opportunity for all Girl Scouts throughout the region in November.

Some useful resources:

DJUSD Call to Climate Action Resolution

Schools for Climate Action

World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts Position Statement for COP21 (2015)