Last weekend, the BirdLife Malta education team attended the Malta Girl Guides National Conference in Sliema where a new nature program was launched in collaboration with the Malta Girl Guides.
The new initiative has been designed to incorporate the outdoors into the current Guide program in order to develop conscious, pro-environmental behaviour amongst its members. As part of the program, Guides will also have the opportunity to gain four new activity badges with each focusing on a different aspect of engaging with nature – from exploring different local environments to conserving and raising awareness for protected areas and the species that inhabit them.
Online resources and leader training programs have also been created to help with the delivery of the program for leaders, parents and carers. These additional resources are intended to improve and develop skills, knowledge and confidence in youth leaders allowing them to effectively deliver engaging outdoor education activities.
The new program follows the success of the Malta Girl Guides’ participation in BirdLife Malta’s Youth Leader Training through the education department’s project Lifelong Learning through Nature (LLN) which aims to improve environmental education and understanding in all age groups.
Speaking of the collaboration, Malta Girl Guides’ Chief Commissioner Marjoe Abela said: “Connecting with nature when camping, trekking, abseiling, playing in the mud is fun and healthy for the body and mind. However appreciating the environment around us through fun activities is a step further for a complete meaningful experience of the outdoor education.
This partnership with BirdLife Malta supports our leaders to encourage the girls in their unit of any age in working for the new badges. BirdLife Malta’s employees are providing our leaders with resources and offering on-site tours and activities at their nature reserves to compliment the curricula to motivate the girls to observe and experience the natural environment through fun activities. They are also encouraged to protect the environment and be aware of threats across the world.
The Malta Girl Guides programme thrives on advocating issues which are relevant to our members. Hence nurturing a passion for preserving natural environment and species will have a butterfly effect on their families, friends and community”.
BirdLife Malta Education Officer Sarah Brady commented: “It has been a rewarding experience to collaborate with the Malta Girl Guides and develop this new program of nature badges, leader training and educational resources. I am looking forward to continuing our partnership and encouraging Malta Girl Guide leaders and members to connect with nature, learn about the environment and provide support to take action to protect Maltese nature”.
Read the Maltese version of the press release here.