This month, Girl Scout Junior, Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador troops, and leaders are encouraged to start a conversation about underage drinking with the April Patch Program “Talk It Out”, a partnership with the awareness organization by the same name. Underage drinking is a large program in North Carolina, and can have harmful impacts such as permanent scars on growing brains, mental health problems, and even death. The good news is that most girls understand the seriousness of this issue, and surveys show that in North Carolina, children say that if their parents talk more about the dangers of underage drinking, it will help stop the problem.
Through this patch program, girls are able to take the lead and educate themselves about the realities of underage drinking during troop meetings, and then share what they learn with families and friends. Girls identify the causes of underage drinking, like peer pressure, and the negative effects that can happen if they start drinking illegally. Girls will be completing activities such as a Website Scavenger Hunt on the Talk It Out NC website to learn the facts of underage drinking, drawing examples of positive and negative peer pressure, and coming up with a family pledge to not drink underage. All of the activities encourage prevention by awareness and open communication between children and adults. It shows families that there are tools available to build strong relationships and keep children from drinking underage.
Girl Scouts encourages girls to identify community problems like underage drinking and take the lead in helping to stop those problems. Additionally, it helps girls to develop the courage, confidence, and character they need to stand up to peer pressure to avoid engaging in harmful activities like underage drinking in the first place, and inspire their peers to do the same.