Teaching Girl Scouts about Appalachia’s female heroes.


It’s always been part of the Girl Scout Law to be “honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, and courageous and strong.” But the Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council—which covers 61 counties throughout Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia—hopes to teach those traits by example through its “Mountain Mommas of Appalachia” program.

The curriculum, which debuted last October, covers a different woman each month. The list includes singer-songwriter Dolly Parton, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, Mothers Day founder Anna Jarvis, and lesser-known heroes like Diana Baldwin, one of the first female coal miners. “We hope they gain some confidence in themselves through hearing these stories,” says Meghan Smith, the council’s external relations manager.

The stories are paired with activities to help the girls dive deeper into Appalachian history and traditions. Although the program was developed by the Black Diamond Council, it’s available for Girl Scouts nationwide. Smith says troop leaders from as far as away as Texas are implementing the program with their girls.