Adobe Stock / Stephen Coburn

Wearing their hard hats and neon construction vests, Girl Scouts in Minnesota constructed two tiny A-frame homes as part of a five-day camp this summer. The girls worked on the 8-by-8-foot structures’ exteriors by adding siding and roofing to the shell of the houses. The inaugural camp filled up quickly this year and another is in the works for next year, when the girls will work on the house’s interiors. The Star Tribune’s Mara Klecker says once the tiny homes are completed they will be donated to an organization of the girl’s choice.

For years, Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis has offered day programs for Girl Scouts to learn construction and engineering skills. But the tiny houses were by far the biggest such project, Reynolds said. All the materials were donated from local businesses, and Dunwoody students helped oversee the work.

For Hannah Gilbert, the STEM director at Girl Scouts River Valleys and the director of Camp Lakamaga, the Power Camp’s popularity proved what she’s long known: Girl Scouts don’t want to be associated with just friendship bracelets and cookies.

“I think this helps bust the myth about what girls are really into,” she said. At next year’s camp, she added, the Scouts will be able to earn badges including one called “Think Like an Engineer.”

Fostering those interests early is key, Reynolds said. By middle school, girls already have been exposed to peer pressure that may discourage them from taking a shop class or pursuing an interest in construction trades.

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