My Girl Scout Gold Award project started after a huge swell brought in a large amount marine debris. I saw a father and his son playing frisbee while avoiding the trash. It was a powerful image. Of course I didn’t expect them to take time out of their fun to pick up debris, but it got me thinking about what I could do to help make picking up the debris fun. Dale McDowell, the Seaside Public Works director phrased it perfectly, “making picking up debris less about litter and more about community and fun.” My project evolved into a junior ranger-like booklet wit fun activities which teach about marine debris and the fauna of Seaside. The Seaside Scouter Activity Book is for all ages, including those 18 and older, and will be available at the Seaside Visitor Center.
The program is meant to encourage visitors and locals alike to have fun while helping the Seaside community. My favorite aspect of the program is the badge participants earn when they’ve completed the booklet, because it’s a lasting reminder of the work they have put into learning about and contributing to end marine debris. I highly urge everyone to participate in the product of my Girl Scout Gold Award, as well as take action past their involvement in the Seaside Scouter program: research what you can do at home to minimize waste, volunteer at SOLVE’s monthly beach cleanups, donate to organizations like Ocean Conservancy, and simply do what you can. Seaside is special place for so many people and we should strive to keep it clean and beautiful so it can be that special place for many more people in the future.
Carmen Reddick is a high school senior and Girl Scout in the midst of earning her Girl Scout Gold Award.