“Sports are very important:” More than 150 Girl Scouts from MPS participate in “Girls of Summer”

MILWAUKEE -- More than 150 Girl Scouts from Milwaukee Public Schools played softball in the shadows of Miller Park on Wednesday, July 26th. But this tournament wasn't really about winning.

Girl Scouts Host 17th Annual Girls of Summer All-Star Day

The Girl Scouts were ready to play in the 17th annual "Girls of Summer" tournament at Helfaer Field.

"I love hitting and I like playing shortstop," said Sienna Clarke, fourth grader.

They had been practicing and were ready for some friendly competition.

"I know that I can hit well and I can catch. I have been practicing catching," said Tamera Wright, seventh grader.

It's part of "Girls of Summer," a collaborative program between the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast, the Brewers Community Foundation and Milwaukee Public Schools.

Girl Scouts Host 17th Annual Girls of Summer All-Star Day

Girl Scouts Host 17th Annual Girls of Summer All-Star Day

Since 2000, the program has been engaging girls who have completed grades three through five in a non-competitive softball league.

"We are trying to expose girls to things they might not normally get a chance to do, so softball and sports are very important to leadership and development," said Christie Brown, CEO, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast.

For three weeks, the girls were taught to play softball at their local program site, and they met twice a week at Wick Field. Once training was complete, they came together at Helfaer Field where teams played in a round-robin schedule.

Girl Scouts Host 17th Annual Girls of Summer All-Star Day

The Girl Scouts received an outdoor badge for participating, and the activity ties into the largest Girl Scouts programming roll-out in the last decade: 23 new STEM and outdoor badges came out this week.

Girl Scouts Host 17th Annual Girls of Summer All-Star Day

"They want to be involved in technology. They want to get outside. They want to do challenge-seeking and problem-solving," said Brown.

This game was about collaboration and cooperation.

"You are supposed to have fun. It is not all about the winning," said Clarke.

New this year, there was an awards ceremony with the girls selecting recipients for the Most Improved Player and Best Sportsmanship awards.