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Camp Libbey receives enhancements to promote STEM for young girls

Women are under-represented in STEM fields and the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio are trying to change that.

DEFIANCE, Ohio — Empower Her! That is what the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio are doing at Camp Libbey in Defiance. 

Data shows only 28% of women hold careers in STEM. STEM includes fields relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Girl Scouts of Western Ohio said exposing girls to STEM is a critical piece of the work the Girl Scouts do. The group also promotes STEM for all ages.

"We know that girls as early as elementary school are deciding whether or not they enjoy STEM careers," Christy Gustin, Director of Regional Services for Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, said. "And so, by exposing girls to different fields of STEM; whether it’s space science, weather, STEM in the outdoors, girls are getting a chance to see STEM fields from all different sides."

Credit: WTOL 11
This new yurt is one of the many enhancements at Camp Libbey in Defiance, Ohio. A yurt is a circular tent made of wood with a heavy cloth draped over it.

New experiences at the camp are a yurt, astronomy tower, new climbing wall, trails, and coming next year, a weather station. The weather station will not only connect girls but also show the impact they have on the world around them by being outdoors and exploring different fields.

Credit: WTOL 11
The camp's EmpowerHer campaign has raised money to build an astronomy tower to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics to girl scouts.

The Girl Scouts of Western Ohio have four camps that will have weather stations.  

Gustin said the scouts will be able to use a weather app. "Girls are going to be able to look at data - that scientific data - and measurements from all those different weather stations to see what’s happening and make those scientific comparisons."

Credit: WTOL 11
Educational signs are installed on the new features at Camp Libbey. These signs educate girl scouts, outside of the classroom, on STEM careers.

The weather station will be installed at Camp Libbey in spring 2023. 

In between then, the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio are fundraising through its Empower Her campaign. Already many local organizations in Defiance have made contributions along with the State of Ohio. You can also support the group's cause at the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio's website.

By experiencing the new enhancements at the camp, the girls come away with more than just a badge. Camp advisors say the girls become more confident in their own resilience and their own problem-solving and critical thinking.

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