BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 561

Big day at the BIG Expo

Assemble 4,000 Girl Scouts, representatives of everything from Beauty School to BLM and what do you get? A super exciting day of non-stop energy, enthusiasm and awareness for girls, their leaders and the general public attending an amazing expo at the Palm Springs Convention Center. (text continues below)

Girl Scouts host a desert toad
Jennifer Wohlgemuth and Barbara Croonquist of the BLM's California Desert District office (CDDO), Dee Dechert (CDDO volunteer), assisted by Tracy Albrecht (Palm Springs FO) and their reptile friends entertained and educated enthusiastic Girl Scouts all day at the BIG expo.

BIG -- which stands for Believe in Girls -- is an annual exposition held in Southern California by the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council of the Girl Scouts of America. Not only is the volume loud, but the excitement is contagious for all involved as the girls experience  hundreds of hands on activities, teenage celebrity appearances and demonstrations designed especially for them.

BLM was well-represented with several activities including a career opportunity book for girls and live reptiles from the California Desert District office. Slytherin, James Bond, Walla the Chuckwalla and their scaly friends were, as one person put it, “rock stars” at this event. Their BLM handlers were busy all day interacting with the girls and encouraging them to get out in nature and learn about their wild neighbors. Since many of the girls had never touched a live reptile or heard of the BLM, events such as this are invaluable opportunities for BLM to introduce our agency and the special opportunities that await our visitors from the desert to the sea. Many of the girls were enthralled with the concept that women can work in such cool jobs. We look forward to meeting several of them again in the near future as volunteers with our public lands.

the toad readies to move to another girl's shoulder
toad on a shoulder
a Girl Scout with a desert snake draped around her neck
Girl Scouts visit the BLM booth

-  Barbara Croonquist, BLM California Desert District (December, 2012)

BLM California News.bytes, issue 561 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.