Hopkinton Girl Scouts Focus on Vaping Epidemic for Silver Award

contribute's picture

Vaping has become a huge problem for teens nationwide and to date, over 68 deaths have been confirmed in 30 states. For their Girl Scout Silver Award, Hopkinton Girl Scouts from Troop 65294 chose to focus on the dangers of vaping in adolescents. The girls hope to educate the parents and students in their community to create awareness and encourage changes in their behavior.

While researching this problem, the girls met with health teachers and administration faculty at the Hopkinton Middle and High Schools, pediatricians at local doctors office, the town’s Board of Health Director, Hopkinton Youth and Family Services, Hopkinton Organizing for Prevention and more. All of these groups supported the efforts of the girls and were invaluable with their assistance through this project.

The girls’ original plan was to create a “Hidden in Plain Sight” event to be held at the middle school in early May. This event was to focus on educating adults on how easy it is for adolescence to hide vape devices among their typical daily instruments, from cell phones to USB drives. They also developed a PSA for students at Hopkinton Middle School, and worked in collaboration with Hopkinton Organizing for Prevention to design and print pamphlets to be distributed at local pediatrician offices.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these Girl Scouts were forced to find a different way to complete their project. They decide the best way to reach out to their community was by creating a website. This website would include a digital version of their pamphlet, their PSA, and a survey to find out how much their community knew about vaping. To visit their website, click here (https://les4072.wixsite.com/learnaboutvaping).

Dawn Alcott, Director of Hopkinton Youth & Family Services and founding member of Hopkinton Organizing for Prevention, was very impressed by their project, and said, “[The girls’] maturity, determination, willingness to learn, ability to adapt, and care for their peers has been evident in every step from the early stages to completion of their Silver Award vaping prevention project."

A lot of people in Hopkinton and nearby communities have been directly or indirectly affected by this addictive device. The girls seek to make an impact that changes people’s perspectives toward vaping. They hope to teach that vaping is never worth the risk.

About Girl Scout Troop 65294

Girl Scout Cadette Troop 65294 has been together since 2011. There are seven rising-9th grade girls in the troop, three of whom are participating in this particular Silver Award project -- Agnes Agosto, Hannah Connors, and Lauren Strechay. They are passionate about this project, and hope that their message spreads far. The girls will be bridging to Girl Scout Seniors in June 2020.

About Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts

We’re Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts ― 50,000 strong, with 35,000 girls and 15,000 volunteers in 178 communities in eastern Massachusetts. We’re here to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. For more information, please visit gsema.org.