Healthy Habits from Together Counts & Girl Scouts

Disclosure: As part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network, Ann Arbor with Kids was compensated for sharing this information by Together Counts/Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital. 

When I was approached by the Mom It Forward Blogger Network about working on a project for Together Counts and Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital about their Healthy Habits initiative, I knew that I was a perfect fit. Not only am I a current Girl Scout Parent (and volunteer), but three of my years as a Girl Scout were spent in Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital council. You can learn more about Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital by visiting them on Facebook and Twitter. My daughter and I are now member of our local council, Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan (GSHOM) which includes the Ann Arbor area, Brighton, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Saginaw. You can find GSHOM on Facebook and Twitter. If you don’t live locally to Ann Arbor, the Girl Scout Council Finder will help you locate your Girl Scout Council by zip code.

I loved my years as a Girl Scout and knew that I wanted my daughter to have similar experiences. My daughter has been a Girl Scout since Kindergarten and loves it. She has had so many great experiences that it is hard to list them all – camping, zip-lining, boating, archery, geo-caching, and much more. She has also learned a lot over the years through her troop’s work on Journey Projects, Badges, and the annual product sales.

 

Together Counts Healthy Habits Booklets

Together Counts is a nationwide program by the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) that aims to inspire active and healthy living through both nutrition and physical activity. They focus on the concept of “energy balance” between Energy In (i.e. calories from eating or drinking) and Energy Out (i.e. calories burned through physical activities).


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Girl Scouts and Together Count have created themed “Healthy Habits” Booklets. These booklets are available as a FREE download and include ideas that can be incorporated into meetings, events, and more. Each of the booklets aligns with a journey at either the Daisy, Brownie, or Junior level.

  • Between Earth & Sky with Healthy Habits  – Aligns with the Daisy Journey: Between Earth & Sky
  • WOW! Wonders of Water with Healthy Habits  – Aligns with the Brownie Journey: WOW! Wonders of Water
  • Get Moving! with Healthy Habits – Aligns with the Junior Journey: Get Moving

Girl Scout Journey ProjectsOver the years, my daughter’s troop has completed both the Between Earth and Sky and WOW! Wonders of Water Badges. I know they plan to complete the Get Moving Journey in one of their years as a Junior. For idea on incorporating Healthy Habits into your troop’s activities, be sure to check out the Together Counts Pinterest Boards, especially the Girl Scout board. There is also great information on the Together Counts Blog and Twitter account.

Together Counts Girl Scouts Computer


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My daughter has loved experience camp as a Girl Scout. She has attended Summer Day Camp, Summer Resident Camp, Troop Camping, and Encampments (multiple troops pooling resources). Since I don’t like to camp, I am grateful that my daughter is having these experiences through Girl Scouts.

Together Counts Girl Scouts Reading at Camp Out

My daughter’s favorite Brownie activity was earlier this month. My daughter’s troop used the money they had raised from cookie sales to go to the West Bloomfield Adventure Park. I probably would not have taken my daughter to the adventure park (ropes course and zip-lining) on our own. After the physical ropes course, there was pizza, carrots, and brownies available for dinner. But my daughter was so busy on the courses that she didn’t want to take a break for dinner. She truly loved the experience and was thrilled to return this week to treat her aunt to a day on the course (while I provided babysitting).

Adventure Park in West Bloomfield

When my daughter’s troop went camping early this spring (in a heated cabin with a kitchen), they worked on the Snacks badge for Brownies. As part of the badge, they made healthy snacks, both savory and sweet. My daughter came home not just with a badge, but with a new love of smoothies! On the campout, they balanced their snacks with plenty of hiking and other physical activity.

Last weekend, my daughter was at an encampment (multiple Girl Scout troops from our area pooling resources) and had a great time. She was able to go out on the lake in both a rowboat and a canoe. Her group was more successful than last summer when they got stuck on the lake and had to be towed back to shore. They also went geo-caching, went on hikes, helped at camp by raking leaves, did crafts, and much more. After the activity of the day, they enjoyed sweet treats at a bonfire each night. The first night they made traditional S’mores, but my daughter’s favorite treat was the second night when they made S’mores with Girl Scout Cookies using Trefoils and Thin Mints to replace the graham crackers and chocolate.

Trefoil Thin Mint S'mores

Photo by Rebecca Richardson – Used with permission

Over the years our troop has gone camping several other times. Their outdoor adventures have included winter hikes, sledding, collecting trash on the school playground, and studying the water. We have also visited both Splash Village and Splash Universe on Girl Scout trips. One of my favorite trips was when we went to the Kalamazoo Invasion in 2012 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts. As a kindergartener, my daughter (and I) had the experience of staying in a college dorm room, eating in a dining hall, and attending a late night party with scouts from the entire council. It was definitely a great experience for her to get a glimpse of what college is like.

My daughter has attended Girl Scout summer camp each year since 2012. She has done “traditional Girl Scout camp” (both day camp and resident camp) and themed day camp at the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Center. She has loved all of her camp experiences.

At Girl Scout Resident Camp - Camp Merrie Woode

I am extremely appreciative of my daughter’s wonderful troop leaders who plan our amazing adventures. We are fortunate that Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan has such amazing camps and offers great programs throughout the year. It is truly a vibrant council thanks to the amazing team of staff, volunteers, and parents. The support that Girl Scouts receives from the community through support of cookie and product sales, fundraisers, and donations truly helps to provide a wonderful experience. If you have daughters, I strongly suggest that you investigate Girl Scouts and find a troop or camp for them.

 

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Anna Mae

Anna Mae owns & operates Ann Arbor with Kids, a website dedicated to Family Activities in Ann Arbor. My husband and I moved to Ann Arbor in 2003 and our daughter joined the family in 2006.

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