175 Girls Scouts from all over Orange County, along with a hoard of Zombies took learning about Emergency Preparedness to the next level. Education became an adventure and the event was a great success. I am proud to say this was my event. I worked over a year looking up things on the internet, getting together unique teachers to run the stations, putting together crafts, calling makeup artists, learning monster makeup myself and of course finding an enthusiastic bunch of zombies. (or is it a plague of zombies?)
Using the urban legend of zombies, we had a fun and informative event that sold out faster than I ever could have ever imagined. Everyone, including myself is obsessed with zombies right now and adding this element to what could have been a boring day got the Girl Scouts very excited. A zombie apocalypse theme helped keep a difficult discussion about survival more light-hearted. The girls learned many of the steps needed to be prepared for an emergency or disaster, whether it is an earthquake, pandemic, flood, fire or even a zombie apocalypse.
Staff from our local American Red Cross taught two of the classes. Using the zombie theme Lilia and Alex gave the girls the basics of First Aid, Emergency Preparedness for many types of disasters and how to put together an Emergency Kit at home.
Our other stations were a bit more unique. Eddie Kim from our local REI store in Tustin taught a really fun and educational station. First he gave an overview about zombies; what they are, why they are and how do deal with them. With the help of a “real” zombie he made the information really come to life – well sort of, I guess zombies aren’t really alive! After the zombie info they went outside and he had a demonstration about water purification. The girls got to see dirty water purified into drinkable water; very important information to know how to do for an emergency situation. The REI store was kind enough to supply each girl a free reusable water bottle too!
Our next station, Home How-To, was a busy one, taught by my husband Tim (who is an avid camper and outdoor guy) and friends Pam Hargrove and Lianna Lawrence. Tim got the girls up to speed on quite a few subjects including making a solar oven, home safety, building a shelter, and compass vs. GPS. Each girl got a solar flashlight compliments of Goal Zero. Pam and Lianna taught the girls about edible plants you can grow yourself or find in your garden and which plants are NOT edible and could make you very sick or worse.
Another fun station was the How to Make Survival Gear out of Household Items. Dr. Invention aka David King challenged the girls to “think out of the box” and use items they have around the house for survival. Some examples were bandanas, duct tape, rope, pantyhose, even cheese puffs to light a fire. At the station each girl made a fire starter and a paracord survival bracelet.
Last but not least was the How to Defend Yourself from Zombies station. Led by scientist Dan Miller the girls learned many skills of survival in Zombieland. The first rule being cardio!! You need to be able to out run those darn zombies. After donning protective masks, the girls went through a zombie infested obstacle course, did zombie target practice with balls, practiced their cardio, learned some important knots and made a zombie alarm with recycled cans.
Even at lunch time the girls were entertained. The City of Orange Fire Dept. sent us some awesome firemen to demonstrate their Heavy Rescue Truck, the girls got to tour a real-life Survivor Truck, and a few lucky girls got to be transformed into zombies themselves through the magic of makeup.
The amazing volunteers that worked the event made this a day the girls will never forget. The idea that we may face a global or local disaster is not if, but when and the girls need to be ready. I hope this event helped them get more than just a little prepared.
The Girl Scout motto is “Be Prepared”. Using the Rule of 3″s- You can go 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, 3 hours with shelter and only 3 minutes without air, our Girls Scouts can learn to prioritize and be prepared the best possible at home or wherever they are at the time of any disaster.
Girl Scouts are not just about cookies, although cookies would be nice to find in your survival kit!
I just have to share my favorite zombie joke from the event- What is a zombie’s favorite street? A Dead End!
The Red Cross was very helpful with our event- for more information please go to their website- Redcross.org