Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee
Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee
4522 Granny White Pike
Nashville TN 37204
Tax ID/EIN: 62-0589380
Year Founded: 1926
Last Updated 2017-02-15
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Why are we a Messenger?
The EQUUS Foundation has designated our organization as a Messenger. Click here to learn more about our horse care and use practices.
Messengers are organizations on the Equine Welfare Network that demonstrate a commitment to public transparency and accountability by their willingness to publish and share extensive data about their operations.
Primary Focus involving horses (Horse Welfare, Public Service, Sport & Recreation): Public Service
Our organization is directly responsible for the care of horses to provide its services.
20% of our total programs and services are horse-related.
Our organization conducts its horse-related programs at one facility.
Our organization operates programs involved with horses and other animals.
Our Mission/How we are involved with horses:
Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
We provide traditional and non-traditional equine experiences for girls and the community, many of whom would not have access otherwise. Besides affordable progressive instruction, trail rides and horse-care workshops, we offer unique ways to connect through equine digital photography and art classes, horse-related STEM experiences, and vaulting. Our team-building program uses horses to foster communication, problem solving, leadership and teamwork. Our teen volunteer program builds self-esteem, job skills, volunteerism and work ethics. Responsible horse ownership is taught as well as modeled at our 42 horse facility which includes some horses retired from other careers and previously neglected horses.
Summary: The equestrian program of Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee includes year round programming for troops and individuals, summer camp equestrian programs offered as part of resident camp, and an older girl volunteer program called Vaqueras. Almost 4,400 girls participated in horse programs, including summer camp, from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 . Girls are racially, economically, and regionally diverse. A Horses and STEM field trip program designed to provide science and math experiences for schools is now included in our offerings. We served over 200 school children with this program in 2015.<br/><br/>Specifics for year round program: Approximately 3800 girls participated in year-round horse programs during the school year from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015. This number includes girls participating in grooming programs, ring rides, troop lessons, trail rides, workshops, weekday lessons, and the Vaqueras program. <br/><br/>Horseback riding lessons include both western and English. <br/><br/>Loving and Grooming includes a tour of the barn, learning general safety around horses and ponies, and hands on experience with grooming. <br/><br/>Pony Ready participants advance their grooming skills and learn to lead a horse or pony. <br/><br/>Ponies and Pals provides both introductory hands-on ground experiences with horses and a lead line ride. This program promotes participation of both the young rider and the parent.<br/><br/>Horse Day Camps include riding lessons, games on horseback and around the barn and learning how to get a horse ready to ride. <br/><br/>Ring Ride/Troop Lessons provide riding instruction based on the experience level of the group. <br/><br/>Trail Rides are offered for groups who are 4th grade and older.<br/><br/>Horsemanship workshops provide hands-on experience with the horses, including grooming, horse care, saddling and riding. <br/>Participants also learn about careers with horses and explore many aspects of horses and horsemanship. <br/><br/>Horse Smarts team building incorporates social awareness and a unique approach to enhancing leadership and communication skills by observing and interacting with horses. All activities are non-riding and do not require any experience with horses. <br/><br/>Horse Cents was developed to incorporate financial literacy in horse programming. Participants learn about needs of horses and associated costs as they explore responsible horse ownership in this non-riding program. <br/><br/>Digital Horses is a non-riding program that integrates horses, technology, and art. Experienced photographers assist participants in using digital cameras and laptops to create unique photographs of horses at Camp Sycamore Hills.<br/><br/>Dancing with Horses is an introduction to the sport of vaulting. Participants learn the basic moves both on a practice barrel and on a horse.<br/><br/>Drawing with Horses is a non-riding program which provides drawing instruction with the horse as the subject. <br/><br/>Horses and STEM is a program designed for schools and other educational interests to provide an educational field trip destination which integrates math and science concepts into hands on horse activities.<br/><br/>Specifics for summer camp: 631 girls participated specifically in horse programs during summer resident camp in June and July of 2015. This represents almost 7,000 girl hours at the equestrian center. Horses are also integrated into other parts of the camp culture which allow campers not in horse programs to experience horses. All campers had the opportunity to be a part of unique, often impromptu, horse encounters through fun experiences such as pony spas for the Brownies, all camp equine mysteries, horse appearances at campfire, barn visits, and horse pasture wagon rides. Horse programs are designed to be age appropriate progressive instruction as described below:<br/><br/>Sampler programs give participants introductory ground and riding lessons. Programs are designed for kindergarten and up.<br/><br/>Beginning instructional programs for entering 3rd graders and older have a daily riding lesson and barn time including grooming and other hands on horse experiences. Programs focus on English disciplines or Western disciplines. <br/><br/>More advanced programs have two riding lessons and two barn lessons daily. Programs focus on either Western or English. Participants have hands on experience grooming, tacking, and leading horses safely, as well as learn about careers with horses, horse anatomy, and health care. Our most advanced programs focus on jumping.<br/><br/>Specifics for volunteer program: A unique element of the equestrian program at Camp Sycamore Hills is the Vaqueras program which was started in August, 2005. This program provides middle school and high school age girls opportunities not only to learn and improve horsemanship skills, but to develop leadership and teaching skills while volunteering in the equestrian program. Vaqueras contributed approximately 2500 volunteer hours to the equestrian program from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015. <br/>Several recently graduated Vaqueras are participating on college equestrian teams. The Vaqueras program was their primary source of equine instruction before attending college.<br/> <br/>Several Vaqueras who have graduated from high school have qualified to be equestrian summer camp staff, lesson instructors, and equestrian facilitators. Many of their leadership skills as well as horsemanship skills have been nurtured in the Vaqueras program. We also have a summer camp internship program for experienced Vaqueras. This paid internship provides opportunities for honing instruction skills and understanding barn management. <br/><br/>Participants in the Vaqueras program, once trained, sign up to work on days when equestrian activities are offered to troops. Vaqueras assist getting horses ready, teach ground skills to younger Girl Scouts, and help riders with basic skills. At some time during the days they volunteer, Vaqueras also have a riding lesson or other horseback experience. These dedicated young volunteers have had a significant impact on the quality of the equestrian program. Although staff and adult volunteers always supervise the delivery of the equestrian program, having Vaqueras assisting means troop participants generally have one-on-one assistance when needed. Troop leaders have also expressed appreciation for the positive role models Vaqueras provide for their younger Girl Scouts. <br/><br/>The five-level upgrade process for Vaqueras provides motivation for girls to continually strive for excellence in all aspects of their participation, including safety, teaching, leadership, and horsemanship. Although the primary focus for Vaqueras is on weekend program, they also have opportunities to participate in special activities such as horse shows and workshops organized specifically for them.<br/><br/>Specifics for the Horses and STEM field trip program:<br/>Field trips can be tailored to the age and interest of the groups. Below is a list of topics currently offered.<br/>CLASSIFICATION using horse colors, size, and/or markings<br/>GENETICS using horse coat colors (a really fun topic for middle school and up!)<br/>MATH AND MEASUREMENT- predictions<br/> Height - conversions: inches, hands, cm, feet<br/> Height versus; length of stride<br/> Weight - weight tape versus formula versus scale weight- how we use to determine food and medicine <br/> Heart rates can indicate pain, level of fitness. Observe impact of exercise, breed, size<br/> Respiration - observe impact of exercise, breed, size<br/> Temperature - observe impact of exercise and environment<br/> Fencing - estimating materials, cost, etc.<br/> Acreage (how many acres/horse)<br/> Measuring feed<br/> Calories<br/> Water<br/> Budgeting and cost analysis centered around horse ownership <br/>Leadership/team building using horses - <br/>USING TECHNOLOGY<br/>Digital horses - photography, photo manipulation on the computer- limited group size unless they have their own cameras and laptops<br/>Infrared mapping of the horse<br/>OBSERVATION<br/> Characteristics<br/> Condition scoring<br/> Behavior <br/>ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT of horses<br/>FORCE AND MOTION - predict what forces are involved in horse and rider movement <br/>MEDICINE AND ANATOMY <br/> Vision of horse compare to human<br/> Vital signs - see measurement
Girl Scouts aims to empower girls and to help teach values such as honesty, fairness, courage, compassion, character, sisterhood, confidence and citizenship through activities including camping, community service, learning first aid, and earning badges by acquiring other practical skills. From our willingness to tackle important societal issues, to our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, Girl Scouts is dedicated to every girl, everywhere.
Programs are varied, but support areas of leadership, STEM, financial literacy, healthy living, and the arts. Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee has approximately 13,000 girls and 7,000 adults. In addition, outreach programs greatly impact communities in 39 counties of Middle Tennessee and beyond.
Other than horses and two barn cats, no other animals are owned by Girl Scouts, but many programs promote animal welfare. Numerous programs also educate girls and communities about environmental issues that impact domestic animals and wildlife. Many Girl Scouts, either individually or as a group, are actively engaged in making their communities a better place for animals.