Girl Scouts Earn Sportsman Badge Riding with Trips for Kids Marin
Trips for Kids Marin (TFKM) is proud to announce a new program for girls called “Learn it, Fix it, Shred it!” in partnership with Girl Scouts of Northern California and Heart of Central California. This exciting day-long adventure combines TFKM’s Earn-a-Bike and Trail Rides programs that teach basic bike maintenance, proper trail safety, and basic mountain bike riding skills. We recently hosted a few local Girl Scout troops as part of the launch of this new program. Judging from the smiles, laughter and positive feedback from them and their parents; we are off to a smashing start. Here is an overview of how the program works.
In the morning, the scouts learn from our Earn-a-Bike instructor to name the parts of a bike, inflate a tire, properly lube a chain and check that their bike was adjusted correctly and safe to ride.
After lunch, they hit the trail at China Camp State Park for an afternoon of riding the trails under the guidance and instruction of our experienced Ride Leaders, stopping for nature moments and bike games along the way. The program concludes with a closing ceremony where the scouts earn a merit badge on ‘sportsmanship’ or ‘practicing with purpose’, depending on their age group.
“ I learned to think about other people and not just be in my own world.”
There is often a moving moment when each girl presents their badge to a fellow scout with an appreciation and acknowledgment of the excellent sportsmanship that they had witnessed during the day. One young rider remarked, “I learned to think about other people and not just be in my own world”. Another girl said, “I learned that good sportsmanship is waiting for your team to get through challenges together”. After learning bike maintenance skills and completing a 10-mile mountain bike ride, everyone receives their badge, and the beaming smiles and pride of the scouts are palpable. It always an impactful experience, and we couldn’t be happier to have the chance to share this journey with so many remarkable young ladies.
To date, an official ‘biking’ merit badge does not exist in the Girl Scouts, but we’re hoping to change that with this program; our goal is to have it become a new national model and partnership between Trips for Kids and Girls Scouts of the USA. Ride on Girl Scouts!
Want to get your troop out on the trail?