Inaugural Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend at Crystal Cove State Park

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Girl Scout Cadette Akira Kircher holds a sandcrab during Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend at Crystal Cove State Park.
— Photo courtesy Girl Scouts of Orange County

More than 100 Orange County Girl Scouts of all ages and their families participated in the first-ever nationwide Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend at Pelican Point in Crystal Cove State Park, officials reported.

The local event was produced in partnership between Girl Scouts of Orange County and Crystal Cove State Park, GSOC officials wrote in an email statement on Wednesday.

Sunday’s special visit included guided hikes, naturalist tours exploring Crystal Cove’s beaches and tide pools, beach-themed crafts, and s’mores.

Girl Scout Daisy Elsie Mendoza explores the tide pools at Crystal Cove Beach.
— Photo courtesy Girl Scouts of Orange County

California State Park Life Guards presented a water safety talk and park rangers led the girls on a beach clean-up, gathering over 50 bags of trash, as well as trail maintenance to help eliminate invasive plants. Every Girl Scout in attendance received a commemorative Girl Scouts Love State Parks event patch.

Exploring Crystal Cove was an eye-opening experience for many of the girls, Girl Experience Coordinator Collene Anderson explained in the message.

“By participating in this event, the girls were able to discover marine life that they did not know existed,” she said in the prepared statement. “As they explored the area beaches and trails, they also learned about native plant and animal species in the area and about the importance of protecting our environment from invasive plants.”

It was also a great bonding experience, she added.

“Girl Scouts outdoor program opportunities like this are so important because they get girls and parents enjoying and discovering the outdoors together,” Anderson said.

Tim Arehardt from California State Parks shows Girl Scout Brownies different examples of seaweed during Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend at Crystal Cove State Park.
— Photo courtesy Girl Scouts of Orange County

July 13-14 was the inaugural Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend, supported by Girl Scout councils and the National Association of State Park Directors. This collaboration aims to get more girls and their families and friends outside to experience the great outdoors, an integral part of Girl Scouts’ all-girl leadership program.

During this special weekend, thousands of girls in hundreds of state parks across the United States found adventure, explored nature, and learned what Girl Scouts is all about.

Studies show that 71 percent of girl members ages 8 to 14 tried their first outdoor activity while in Girl Scouts, and half would not have had access to outdoor activities and programming if not for Girl Scouts, according to GSOC officials.

Girl Scouts of the USA’s cutting-edge environmental conservation; camping; and outdoor science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming is rooted in a passion for adventure and healthy risk-taking, combined with taking action to protect the environment for present and future generations.

For more information, visit girlscoutsoc.org.

Girl Scout Cadettes from Troop 3372 help pick up trash on Crystal Cove Beach.
— Photo courtesy Girl Scouts of Orange County
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