Girl Scouts from all over the region descended on KDMC on Scioto Trail in Portsmouth Saturday for the fourth Annual Go Red for Girl Scouts event. GoRed for Girl Scouts serves a dual purpose – education and earning merit badges.
Amanda Williams of Girl Scouts of America’s Heartland was busy organizing the girls into tour groups that learned about the heart, toured an ambulance, made first aid kits and even saw the operating rooms up close and personal.
“The girls love to tour the operating room because they get to put on their safety sterilized suits,” Williams said.
Williams said there is a point to the entire event.
“They have activities that they go through to earn their first aid badges,” Williams said. “Some of the younger girls also have recognitions for Girl Scouts that they will earn and they will complete activities that will fulfill those requirements that they have to do.”
Why does KDMC get involved?
“We arranged this program so that they can actually earn a first aid badge, which is a requirement,” Kerry Tague of KDMC said. “Some of these programs they just get a Go Red badge, but with this one they earn a required badge. They get to meet with the EMTs, they get to meet with the physicians, the urgent care, they build a first aid kit, and those are all components that they have to have to earn that first aid badge.”
Ola Khraisha MD, a cardiologist, held the group’s attention as she took them through a description of the heart and taught them all the things they need to do to stay heart healthy. Khraisha told the Daily Times reaching people in their early years can save lives.
“Healthy habits need to start early,” Dr. Khraisha said. “Once you develop that lifestyle it just becomes easier to get used to eating healthy food, staying away from junk food, making sure you’re within a healthy weight limit, because it’s hard and we need to put forward an effort to do better and if you start earlier it’s easier, like anything.”
At one point the children lined up for healthy banana splits, and dietician Malissa Sarver assured those present, they were not your ordinary banana splits. These were made with yogurt and the girls could select from the variety of fruits they wanted on their individual treat.
“We think this is a great way to get girls aware of heart health and ways to make their hearts happy,” Sarver said. “Through exercise, through healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime, to show them hands-on different foods that are going to be good for them and to show them eating healthy can taste good.”
As the day went on, the girls were able to learn first-hand that things like ambulances, hospitals and doctors are not as scary as they may have originally thought, and by viewing the facilities, also learned a new respect for people and facilities that could one day save their lives.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.