The Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas today unveiled its first solar education program in conjunction with a new solar-powered pavilion at Camp Bayview, the result of a $35,000 donation from the Green Mountain Energy™ Sun Club™.Â As the first Girl Scout troop in South Texas toÂ introduce hands-on activities for learning about how solar energy works, the Girls Scouts of Greater South Texas are at the forefront of educating young girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and giving them the tools to build brighter futures for themselves. Through the program, scouts from ages 5-17 can earn a “Solar Champion” patch.
The 7.5-kilowatt solar array comprised of 30 panels and covering 600 square feet on the top of the structure will help power the camp’s cabins, pool and other facilities, while also providing shade for outdoor learning programs. A solar array of this size can generate an estimated 11,100 kilowatt-hours of pollution-free energy and avoid an estimated 13,100 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year that’s like not driving 14,700 miles.
To personalize the solar education program, the Sun Club® worked with Girl Scout staff to design the Solar Energy Patch Program, which is partÂ of the Girl Scouts’ STEM initiative as well as Green Mountain Energy’s first such collaboration with Scouting. Upon completing the program, which ranges based on age-level from observing experiments on how plants use solar energy to building a solar-powered oven, girls are awarded theÂ “Solar Champion” patch to wear on their uniforms. Details about the program will be available on the Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas website.
“We are so excited to be working with the Sun Club to not only save the council money that can be put into use for more programming, but to be able to offer education on Solar Energy to our Girl Scouts,” said Danielle Altenburg, director of fund development for the Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas. “Girl Scouts is about teaching the girls relevant topics that apply to today, and solar energy is a hot topic that we can teach the girls in a fun and exciting way.”
On a mission to help girls build courage, confidence, and character, the Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas welcomes girls from ages 5-17 across 26 counties throughout South Texas to participate in various camps and other programs that inspire the highest ideals of character, conduct, and patriotism. The Sun Club is a unique program enabling Green Mountain Energy Company and its employees, customers and supporters, including those in the Rio Grande Valley, to donate solar power to non-profits like The Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas.
“Incorporating solar energy into the operations and activities at Camp Bayview reduces electricity costs for this non-profit organization while bringing new learning experiences to scouts pursuing the Solar Champion patch,” said Tony Napolillo, Sun Club Program Manager, Green Mountain Energy Company. “As renewable energy becomes an increasingly important resource to help us power our homes and businesses, it’s more important now than ever that our future leaders students across the country understand both the impact and necessity of cleaner energy sources.”
About Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas
Girl Scouting (gsgst.org) helps girls develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision-making; and contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others.Â Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas serves over 16,000 girls in a 26 county jurisdiction with service centers in Laredo, Corpus Christi, Victoria, and the Rio Grande Valley. The Girl Scout Mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.
About Green Mountain Energy™ Sun Club™
Green Mountain Energy™ Sun Club™ (gmsunclub.com) is a program empowering Green Mountain Energy Company, its residential customers and employees Â to donate solar power to sustainably minded non-profit organizations.Â Since the program’s founding in 2002, the Sun Club has donated more than $2.5 million to help install over 600 kilowatts of solar power, which has the potential to avoid more than 924,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year. That’s like planting 110 trees every year.
About Green Mountain Energy Company
Green Mountain (greenmountain.com) is the nation’s longest serving renewable energy retailer and believes in using wind, sun and water for good. The company was founded in 1997 with the mission to “change the way power is made.” Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, as well as a variety of carbon offset products and sustainable solutions for businesses. One of Green Mountain’s largest customers is the “world’s most famous office building,” the Empire State Building in New York City. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid more than 30.6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.