BRYAN, Texas — Social isolation and the disruption of people’s daily routines can affect both your physical and mental health.
When you think of girl scouts, you might automatically picture cookies and vests with patches. What you might not think of is young girls struggling with mental health.
“COVID-19 has changed children’s lives in profound ways, so they’re fearful for themselves getting ill, or family members becoming ill, they fear the unknown of what’s happening, how long they’re going to be isolated, how long they’re going to be social distancing. All that uncertainty has really impacted children’s mental health," said Girl Scouts of Central Texas CEO Paula Bookidis.
Girl Scouts of Central Texas served more than nineteen thousand girls last year through virtual programming which keeps troops, volunteers and girls connected in the region.
These virtual adventures also include outdoor experiences so girls can virtually be at camp. Having this kind of programming during the pandemic is meant to build a feeling of community for these girls.
“One of the common misconceptions is younger kids aren’t impacted, that their families and home lives if they’re stable, can provide a foundation for mental health that really sets them on their way...all kids are developing sound mental health from the time they are engaging with other humans and if you think about the socialization that most of our kids get from Kindergarten forward, all of that impacts their wellbeing and their mental health," said Bookidis.
Girl Scouts of Central Texas currently has twelve thousand volunteers and several thousand troop leaders who are meeting with girls through the pandemic in a safe way to provide them with interaction to help their mental health.
This year from March through July, Girl Scouts of Central Texas was able to bring its virtual programs to more than nine thousand girls.