RIO RANCHO, N.M. — The Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails will be hosting its annual G.I.R.L. Extravaganza, which will feature STEM and outdoor activities, as well as talking sessions about sensitive topics, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 at Rotary Park in Bernalillo.
Scouts will pay a reduced admission fee, but the event is open to the public; all girls from kindergarten to 12th grade are welcome to attend with their troops and/or families.
In the past, the event was known as the “STEM Camporee,” said Allie Burnquist, the Girl Scouts’ STEM program manager (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The event was changed this year to focus on more than just STEM.
“This year’s event is a great opportunity to do hands-on activities,” said Burnquist. “We wanted to provide hands-on activities in STEM, as well as outdoor activities.”
The extravaganza will feature a day event and a camp out. The day event will include a variety of exhibitors and activities, among them a drone brought by Central New Mexico Community College, face painting and a ninja course, said Burnquist.
Girls from sixth to 12th grade can also register for three of nine “G.I.R.L Talks,” which will begin at 9 a.m. and run until noon. The talks will cover a variety of topics, ranging from healthy dating to cyberbullying.
Burnquist said one of the speakers that many girls are looking forward to is poet Gigi Bella, who will be doing a session on poetry and self expression.
“She’s one of our most popular draws and is back by popular demand,” said Burnquist.
The day event will be immediately followed by the camp out, which will last until 10 a.m. Oct. 1. Dinner and breakfast will be provided, and Burnquist said the night will feature a poetry reading and gourmet s’mores.
Individuals can register for both parts of the extravaganza or the day event only. A registration form can be found on the Girl Scouts’ website, nmgirlscouts.org. An order form for an event T-shirt, which costs $15 and must be ordered by Sept. 19 to receive at the extravaganza, and a registration form for the G.I.R.L. Talks will be posted, said Burnquist.