Girl Scouts run mini-city, learn about environment

August 4, 2010 (CHICAGO)

The traditions of friendship, fun and cookies will always be a part of Girl Scouts, but moving forward into the 21st Century, the focus is shifting to give girls opportunities to reach their full potential.

"Girls can now have careers that you and I never even imagined at this point, because there will be so many advances made, so helping them understand they can be owners of their own future, owners of their own businesses," said Maria Wynne, CEO Girl Scouts Greater Chicago and NW Indiana,

The organization recently added a facility called Journey World, made up of two floors in a Near North Side office complex with two different programs. The first is a mini- city with businesses, organizations and a city hall the girls run. "Being Mayor is a real popular job, it's one of the first ones to go! They can be running a newspaper, they can be working at a TV station, they can run an ad agency," said Wynne.

"I think they understand that as girls, they're powerful, they can come up with solutions and they can think outside the box and people will respect them," said Rebecca Ng, Girl Scout leader.

"I'm on the board of directors, I go to board meetings, I see the business side, the money side, I learn what it takes to run a business," said Emily Brennecke, 11.

On the other floor, called It's Your Planet, Love It, girls learn environmental awareness.

"They are learning about jobs that scientists or geologists or engineers have to carry out to right an environment that might have been upset," said Wynne.

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