As we continue to build our solar movement, it’s important to keep our eyes focused on the future. That’s why Solar United Neighbors is developing youth programs to engage tomorrow’s solar leaders. We aim to educate young people about the benefits of solar energy and the opportunities created by installing solar panels in their community. We also hope to make supporting solar fun for all ages!
Our first youth program to come online is the Girl Scout SUN Patch Program. This patch program includes an age-appropriate curriculum of activity-based solar learning to help explain how solar works. Through the SUN Patch Program, girl scout troops can discover solar energy at work in the world around them and learn how to become solar ambassadors to help grow solar in their community.
Since launching the program earlier this year, more than 495 girl scouts from 48 troops across 19 different states have earned their SUN patches!
The first troop to earn the SUN Patch was Troop 32512 from Tampa, Florida. The troop leader said that the girls had a lot of fun going through the SUN Patch Program, and that knowing people in the community who had already installed solar panels helped to make the project tangible.
Other troops to complete the program had a similar experience.
“We had one of our parents, who has solar panels on her house, come in and talk to us,” said Amanda Dein, leader of Troop 517 in American Fork, Utah. “Then we went on a neighborhood scavenger hunt [for solar] and made solar s’mores. The girls were quite excited to find out more about solar power, and they learned that solar was more prevalent in our neighborhood than we realized.”
Thanks to the success of the SUN Patch Program for Girl Scouts, Solar United Neighbors has also developed a SUN Patch Program tailored for the Boy Scouts of America. The program is being pursued by several troops around the country and includes the ability to be customized for scouts pursuing an Eagle Scout project!
Solar United Neighbors will be continuing to expand our offerings in youth engagement in the coming months, so stay tuned. We are always looking for new ideas and opportunities to increase youth engagement with solar, so if you have any ideas please reach out to us at: [email protected].