Thursday, August 6, 2009

Girl Scouts of Central Maryland P.A.V.E. Camp

I have a renewed respect for teachers, administrators, or anyone else involved in youth education. Shaping the minds of today's youth is not only one of the most significant roles in society, it's one of the most challenging. After a day at the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland's P.A.V.E. Camp at Camp Ilchester in Ellicott City, I am absolutely exhausted! And never mind the fact I spent the day in wedge-heeled sandals (poor planning on my part), I was entrusted with over 100 children throughout the day, all under the age of 11 for 2 Health/Nutrition workshops!

In typical business-school fashion, I broke the children's groups into three teams. Among their objectives were to come up with a creative, health and nutrition inspired team name. I loved "Ants on a Log," and "The Carrot Clan!" From there, they shared their favorite activites, sports and hobbies which transitioned into a discussion about fueling their bodies for everything they were involved in. Insert a brief discussion about the Food Pyramid here and then let the games begin!

I'm a huge Rachel Ray fan and one of her recurring hosts is the editor of Men's Health who also happens to be the author of a series of books entitled, "Eat this, Not that." So my activity was loosely inspired by his revealing tips and surprising choices when dining out.

Lessons learned included: be aware of portion sizes (Breakfast at Panera for instance: a chocolate chip 'muffie' won out over a reduced fat blueberry muffin because of size and sugar content), and when given the choice, go grilled over fried (Battle mini sliders v. crispy chicken salad at a fast food giant was a hard sell as they were convinced salads are always the healthier option), etc, etc. Not only were they able to think through these hard decisions, they took little issue with sharing their ideas with the rest of the group. You couldn't draaaaag me in front of the class at "show and tell" when I was growing up-- my parents will attest to this. In fact, I believe I went home crying mid day circa 1989.

In any event, I was happy to join several other groups of volunteers including the Young Rembrandts, Howard County Police Department as well as a fun bunch from an old client of mine, T. Rowe Price. Seeing them on site reminded me on the annual service days we had at KPMG except everyone went to the same event and it typically involved rebuilding homes in downtown Baltimore. Not that I didn't enjoy wearing a face mask or tool belt all day, but well... I'm self admittedly the worse DIY-er this side of the city!

And one of the highlights of my day came at the end of camp when I took part in a Q&A with tens of teens.

Teen: Do you ride around the state in a limo?
Miss Maryland US: If you're referring to the black vehicle outside, it's a
Civic! But seriously, no limo. Although! My dad has volunteered to drive me to a
few events!

Teen: How important is school in being Miss Maryland?
Miss Maryland US: School is very important, in fact I always remind myself
I am a student first, Miss Maryland second. I think getting
an advanced degree set me apart from the other contestants!

Teen: Are you a supermodel?
Miss Maryland US: No, but my friend Courtney is!

Looking forward to Day Two, tomorrow-- stay tuned! Photos below are of me and the officers from the HCPD, Nicole from the Young Rembrandts, the T. Rowe'ers, and the executive team at GSCM!

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