News Release

For Release:  October 8, 2008                                                           
Contact:  Stephen Razo 951-697-5217  Email: srazo@ca.blm.gov or  JoAnn Schiffer-Burdett 951 697-5369  Email: jschiffe@ca.blm.gov
CA-CDD-09-03

BLM's "Take it Outside!" offers Girl Scout Treasure Hunt

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) California Desert District Office is partnering with the San Gorgonio Girl Scout Council and Hidden Valley Wildlife Area to provide a day of global positioning system (GPS) training and "Leave No Trace" activities for 50 Girl Scouts and leaders on Saturday, October 11, at the Hidden Valley Wildlife Area.  Girl Scouts and leaders will receive basic compass skills and learn how to use maps and GPS devices to collect and mark waypoints, as well as find a hidden geocache or "treasure" placed just for them.  

The BLM and partners received a $5,000 "Take It Outside!" grant to purchase 12 GPS devices and to provide the GPS fun day event.  The teaching cadre will consist of cadette Girl Scouts from Troop 348 and 403 who practiced their skills by teaching GPS to 60 scouts and troop leaders at the recent San Bernardino County Sheriff's Rodeo at Glen Helen Regional Park.  Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) of Rancho Cucamonga provided discounts for the GPS devices and provided the GPS training for the teaching cadre.

After the fun day event the GPS devices will be available for Girl Scout leaders to check-out for troop program use through the San Gorgonio Council's "Program in a Box."  Troops and leaders who attend a GPS orientation training will be certified to check out the GPS devices for their troop use.

BLM's "Take It Outside!" program promotes and supports outdoor activities and experiences of children on public lands. The program strives to improve the health of our nation's children, families, and communities, while at the same time developing the next generation of public land stewards. The BLM's "Take It Outside!" initiative stemmed from author Richard Louvs' book "Last Child in the Woods."  He coined the term "nature-deficit disorder" to describe what happens to young people who become disconnected from their natural world.

For further information on the BLM's "Take It Outside!" program, visit http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/content/wo/en/prog/more/Children_and_Nature.html

-BLM-

California Desert District Office – 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, Ca - (951) 697-5200