For the month of June, Girl Scouts are being encouraged to learn about the North Carolina Coast and explore the state’s coastal counties for the Patch of the Month. The North Carolina Coast patch program is a combination of retired Know Your Coast and Coastal Carolina Living patches. The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management helped with the development of the Know Your Coast patch program, and Silver Award recipients Dane Sweitze and Crystal Roland helped design the Coastal Carolina Living patch program. To earn the patch, the girls must Discover, Connect, and Take Action in regard to the North Carolina Coast.
Through the North Carolina Coast patch program, Girl Scouts will discover and learn about the climate, culture, attractions, and animals of North Carolina’s coastal counties. To do so, they can complete activities like mapping out the coast and marking notable locations such as Kitty Hawk, where the Wright Brothers flew the first plane, and the locations of lighthouses. If girls would like to focus more so on the coastal ecosystem, they can learn special facts about animals and plants native to the coastal region, like the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, the Bottlenose Dolphin, or the Cypress Tree. Girls take the lead in deciding the coastal aspects they are most interested in.
After learning and discussing the coastal environment, girls can connect by creating a coast-inspired craft like a seashell necklace, interviewing someone from the coast about their life there, or embarking on an adventure by taking a visit to one of the eight coastal counties in Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines council. Popular destinations include Wrightsville Beach, Oak Island, and Beaufort. While in the coastal town, girls can see first-hand what life by the ocean is like and why it is so important to protect the North Carolina beaches.
After learning about and connecting with the North Carolina Coast, girls must complete a Take Action project to benefit it. Projects can include doing a beach clean-up, making a poster to encourage others to pick up their trash or save the beach from erosion, or starting a No Straw pact, as many plastic straws end up in the ocean and cause problems for wildlife. Projects like this help girls develop environmental stewardship so that they are more likely to protect the planet through service for years to come. Following the completion of the North Carolina Coast patch program, troops can choose the Know Your Coast patch, the Coastal Living patch, or both if they prefer.
Girl Scouts encourages girls to seek out adventure and new experiences. The “North Carolina Coast” patch programs gives girls the opportunities to learn more about the state they live in while Taking Action to help make the world a better place.