HONEOYE FALLS, N.Y. (WROC) — A local cadet girl scout troop in Honeoye Falls is on their way to being the first “Stream Girls” badge recipients in all of New York State.
Stream Girls is a national watershed STEM program started by the non-profit organization Trout Unlimited, where young girls have the opportunity to observe and learn more about the environment around them.
Lindsay Agness, Vice President of Youth Education for Trout Unlimited says the Honeoye Falls-Lima Troop 61011 will be the first troop of girls in New York State to receive the Stream Girls badge.
As a Trout Unlimited volunteer, Lindsay Agness made it a goal after she retired to partner with a girl scout troop in her area; leading them to earn the unique badge by becoming stewards of a stream in their community.
“…I’m so excited because when I was younger, I would’ve been involved with the Stream Girls badge because I love, love, love fly fishing and I love guiding and teaching, so this is a perfect opportunity to take something I love and teach the girls how to fly fish,” Agness says.
Besides fishing, the girls are encouraged to make a personal connection to the stream they adopt by observing it through the eyes of a scientist, collecting flow data, looking at aquatic bugs, and recording their thoughts and observations.
Girl Scout Troop Leader Shannon Wisnowski says having her own two daughters be a part of this program has been an enjoyable experience for them.
“They’re learning and they love it, and they love fishing, so to be able to learn more about the healthiness of the water and the ability to make their own flies and make their own bait is very important for them,” says Wisnowski.
Participating in a stream walk right along Honeoye Creek has been Lily Wisnowski’s favorite part about earning the badge so far.
“It’s really fun and they try their hardest to get so that you’re excited about doing fly fishing as a whole,” says Lily.
The hope is that exposing girls to outdoor activities that may seem intimidating outside of the classroom during their middle school years will give them confidence to engage in STEM related fields as they get older.
The girls are expected to earn their stream girls badge from their troop leader after their last fishing event on July 29.