Did you know that, according to research by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 9 in 10 kids eat more than their recommended daily allotment of sodium? Doing so increases kids’ risk for high blood pressure now and can lead to an increased risk of heart issues down the road. Along with providing opportunities for regular exercise and offering a range of healthy choices at meal-time, education is invaluable when giving kids the tools they need to be motivated to make healthy and sustainable choices for themselves.
Girl Scout Ambassador Natalie of Troop 1659 earned the Gold Award by completing a project she titled, “Steps Towards a Healthy Heart and a Healthy Lifestyle.” Natalie wanted to educate youth in her community about the risks of living an unhealthy lifestyle and ways to lead a heart-healthy life. To accomplish this, she developed a curriculum geared towards 4th-8th graders which details MyPlate, an FDA-approved, balanced eating guide, and created a fun, follow-along exercise video (see below). She also designed and developed her own Girl Scout patch program, named Heart Health Awareness, to go along with the activity booklets as an indication of completion.
As part of the project, Natalie presented the curriculum to 4th-8th grade campers at Victory Family YMCA’s summer camp program in Yorktown, Virginia. She delivered the program over two sessions and guided the students through her Heart Health Awareness patch program and the follow-along videos.
“I have a heart condition that encourages me to pursue a healthy lifestyle and share my knowledge,” Natalie said. “Starting young is ideal for building solid, foundational habits and decreasing future chances of CVD (cardiovascular disease).”
Along with the summer programming at Victory Family YMCA, she also delivered her curriculum packets to three other area childcare facilities where the program was presented by their staff. In all, 100 kids completed her program over the summer. The Heart Health Awareness patch program is currently available through GSCCC, and all Girl Scouts are encouraged to check it out!
Girl Scout Anna’s wildflower meadow and other improvements made an impact.
Girl Scout Page started a mental wellness club for students at her high school.