In 2016, CCF was proud to welcome a group of talented young women from the Girl Scouts of the United States and Girl Guides from South Africa, to our U.S. office, located in Alexandria, Virginia. CCF staff presented the scouts with a CCF logo patch for participating in activities and a Q&A that included a Skype call directly with Dr. Laurie Marker in Namibia. In total, the scouts spent six days in the Washington, DC metro area which included visits to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, the Capitol Building, and Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The Girl Scouts’ visit to the U.S. capital was the first part of dual-nation, immersive, cheetah conservation experience called Destination: Namibia.
This July, the same group of young women were welcomed to CCF’s Research and Education Centre in Otjiwarongo, Namibia, for the second half of the Voice of the Cheetah Destination. The two-week trip included cultural and historical components, along with a hands-on educational experience at CCF’s Model Farm, veterinary clinic, and the Applied Biosystems Conservation Genetics Laboratory. The Livestock Guarding Dogs (especially the puppies) were a big hit! At the close of the stay at CCF, the Girl Scout group made Dr Laurie Marker an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Girls Scouts, and presented her with a lifetime membership.
It was a true pleasure for everyone at CCF to work with this group of thoughtful, intelligent and fully-engaged young women. The two-nation learning experience was the first-of-its-kind for both the Girl Scouts and CCF staff. The girls involved could be the next generation of educators, scientists, conservationists and political leaders and they may represent the cheetah’s best hope for a long-term future on this planet.
We hope to welcome many more Girl Scouts and Girl Guides groups in the future. For more info on the individuals who participated in this trip, their experience, and how they raised funds to participate, please visit the gsblog at girlscouts.org here and here.
– The group was led by Lesley Robinson, Vice President of Girl Leadership Experience, Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina, and the trip was sponsored by the Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina.