Alpharetta, Ga., June 11, 2009 – They look more like off-road warrior princesses than traditional Girl Scouts. But under the protective plastic armor and helmets are 10- and 11-year old Girl Scouts whose hearts are definitely in the right place … on the trail.
So much so that Junior Girl Scout Troop 3323 took it upon themselves to raise more than $700 to purchase signs for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Campus at Alpharetta. The donated signs remind trail users to AVOID SENSITIVE AREAS!, LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND! and TRASH YOUR TRASH!, messages that reflect the eco-friendly principles the girls learned while attending classes at the MSF Campus’ Outdoor Education Center. And earned the coveted Girl Scout Bronze Award for community service in the process. The highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can earn, the Bronze Award requires that she learn the leadership and planning skills necessary to follow through on a project that makes a positive impact on her community.
The Girl Scouts visited the MSF Campus at Alpharetta numerous times over the past two years to earn environmental patches as part of the Girl Scout badge program. They participated in the Campus’ highly acclaimed Outdoor Education Center, a free community outreach program that attracts 800 scouts every year and is open to all Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, schools, and other organizations.
“They’ve learned so much about nature and the importance of respecting the environment here,” said Troop Leader Jodi Strauss. “But most importantly, they’ve learned about giving back to the community, and that it really is OK for girls to play in the dirt.”
The Center’s Outdoor Adventurer course stresses the importance of outdoor ethics and environmental stewardship. It emphasizes the variety of vehicles, people, wildlife, and plants that share outdoor recreation areas, and the individual’s responsibility to protect the trail’s natural integrity and respect all who use it.
The course also includes a nature hike and fun outdoor activities, teaches the importance of off-road protective gear, and introduces students to properly-sized dirt bikes.
Other courses at the MSF Campus Outdoor Education Center cover earth-friendly topics such as the importance of plants; different cloud types; food chains; causes and effects of soil erosion; exploring life in streams; water quality and conservation; and respecting wildlife and the environment.
“What these girls have accomplished really brings the benefit of our center full-circle,” said Assistant Site Coordinator April Zoby. “This is a program for the community, and these girls wanted to give something back to the program and the community. The signs they’ve donated to the MSF Campus at Alpharetta will be seen by everyone who takes the Dirt Bike School or the ATV RiderCourse – reminding us all how we should tread lightly while recreating outdoors.”
According to Zoby, the girls’ participation in the outdoor education program has had a profound impact on them. “When they first started coming here, they had no idea what ATVs and dirt bikes even were,” said Zoby. “Or if they did, they thought it was something only boys could do. Now they’re like, wow, I can do that, too. It’s not just for the boys.”
The MSF Campus at Alpharetta is located at 1450 Morrison Parkway, Alpharetta, GA, and is one of three designated MSF Campuses in the United States. The MSF Campus at Alpharetta offers MSF RiderCourse motorcycle rider training courses, the DirtBike School, the ATV RiderCourse, and other related street and off-road training opportunities.
Since 1973, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has set internationally recognized standards that promote the safety of motorcyclists with rider education courses, operator licensing tests, and public information programs. The MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military, and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling.
The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory, and Yamaha. For RiderCourseSM locations, call 800.446.9227 or visit www.msf-usa.org.
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Members of Junior Girl Scout Troop 3323, left to right: Cassidy Buck,11;
Reagan Kearney,11; Charlotte Cuccia,11; Katie Coaloa, 10; Hannah Kitzmiller;
11; and in blue, MSF Campus at Alpharetta Assistant Site Coordinator April Zoby.
Members of Junior Girl Scout Troop 3323, back row, left to right: Cassidy
Buck,11; Reagan Kearney,11; Hannah Kitzmiller,11, Charlotte Cuccia,11; Katie
Coaloa,10. Front row: Gwen Cuccia, 8; MSF Campus at Alpharetta Assistant
Site Coordinator April Zoby; Janna Strauss, 9.