Girl Scout Troop 2005 from San Gorgonio participates in an American Heart Association CPR class hosted by the YMCA in Palm Desert, CA.
Girl Scout Troop 2005 of the San Gorgonio Council learned how to help save lives in a unique CPR training experience tailored specifically for children, co-hosted by the YMCA of Palm Desert.
The 11 delightful girls, ages 6 to 9, from Troop 2005 attended the training accompanied by their troop leaders and moms. GSSGC Girl Scouts had an opportunity to speak with the women behind the idea.
"We were extremely fortunate to participate in this program," said Gail Solomon, Leader of Troop 2005, referring to the May 7 event held in Palm Desert, California.
The troop's co-Leader, Melissa Moll, was inspired by her work as a Site Supervisor for the YMCA and wanted to offer her Girl Scouts a special opportunity.
She began by contacting Paula Simmons, YMCA's Community Programmer, to teach a class.
Special training and supplies came from the American Heart Association, which donated 150 CPR Anytime® kits to the Palm Desert YMCA. Each kit includes a head and chest CPR dummy, as well as an instructional DVD.
Together Melissa and Paula integrated the American Heart Association's Family & Friends® CPR Anytime® Personal Learning Program and the YMCA's after-school programing into a Girl Scout experience where girls could earn badges.
"And they did great!" beamed Melissa.
Paula added, "I was surprised. I was able to keep them engaged the entire time and they had so many thoughtful questions."
The YMCA-hosted class, which is aimed at children third grade and up, taught the girls introductory CPR and the importance of being prepared for emergency situations.
"They do role playing, and they learn the basics of CPR, like how to dial 911 and complete chest compressions," said Paula.
During each practice scenario, the girls established rules for surveying the area and asking permission to help a victim. No artificial respiration was taught during the event. Instead, the girls could choose to learn breathing techniques at home.
At the end of the lesson, girls took home their CPR Anytime® kits to complete the larger goal of the Family & Friends® Personal Learning Program: that is, for each student to continue the experience by educating her peers.
"We're looking into a CPR badge to give the girls right now," said Melissa, "for completing the course and teaching five other people."
Once the girls successfully teach 5 people CPR, they can return a signed form with comments to their troop leaders. That's when they'll have officially earned their CPR badge of honor.
"The girls had a lot of fun; they were all very eager to demonstrate what they had learned. I was really impressed," said Paula.
Melissa finished our interview by proudly noting that, "There are now 12 extra people in the world who know how to respond in an emergency situation." That's 12 additional Girl Scouts who can save lives and the San Gorgonio Council is very proud to acknowledge Troop 2005's achievement.
Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio builds girls of courage, confidence and character who help make the world a better place.
To find out how you can get involved with Girl Scouts, either as a volunteer or member, call 1-800-400-GIRL (4475) or visit us online at www.girlscoutssangorgonio.org.
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