Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rodeo Recap: Girl Scouts Ride with Women Bike PHL

We asked our intern Natalie Lang to write about her experience volunteering at the bike rodeo we did with Girl Scouts at Penn last weekend, as part of our Women Bike PHL campaign.

Every semester the Girl Scouts At Penn club partners with local Girl Scout troops for a day-long event where troops can earn patches related to a particular topic. This past weekend the Girl Scouts at Penn partnered with the Bicycle Coalition to present a health and wellness event called Stand Up and Get Fit! The event focused on healthy living and the importance of exercise and sports.

As one portion of the event, The Bicycle Coalition hosted a bike rodeo to teach girls safety both on and off of a bicycle. After a brief introduction, girls were split up into groups that rotated to various stations. The off-bike stations focused on educating the girls about the parts of a bicycle, properly locking a bike and conducting a helmet check. The on-bike stations involved maneuvering, stopping, scanning and signaling.

BCGP volunteer Diane teaches girls about stopping and scanning. Photo by Anne Dutlinger.

While I’ve been volunteering at the Bicycle Coalition since March, this was my first time helping outside of the office. When Megan told me about the Stand Up! event I was excited to take a break from the Excel and Word documents in the office and really see what the organization does in the community. When I arrived on Penn’s campus I had no idea what a bike rodeo was or what might be involved. I’ve attended one rodeo my whole life and it involved horses and clowns; I had a feeling neither would be present on Penn’s campus.

Liz from Neighborhood Bike Works teaches girls the parts of a bike. Photo by Anne Dutlinger.

While animals and clowns were not present at this rodeo I had just as much fun without them. The Girl Scouts were an amazing group of girls that made the event fly by. While the girls got to eat Lil’ Pop Shop popsicles and do yoga at the other stations, most of the girls said their favorite activity was riding bikes. The smiles on the girls' faces proved that overall the event was a huge success! It was a beautiful day and a rewarding experience seeing the girls active and having fun; working at the event only made me wish I had become a Girl Scout when I was younger. If only someone told me there would be bike riding and free popsicles.

BCGP volunteer Meghan helps a girl get pedaling! Photo by Jared Hoover.