PARKERSBURG- Young girls from the area got a chance to see all of the possibilities life can present to them with the help of an old friend.
About 75 girls, ages 5 to 8 years old, gathered at St. Andrews United Methodist Church Thursday evening for a Girl Scout Barbie Party. Through the use of the popular Barbie dolls and women from the community, the young girls are exposed to possible career fields they might want to explore when they get older.
”It is a Barbie career event,” said organizer Tracy Murphy. ”Women from around the community are coming in and talking to our kids. The girls get an idea of what they might want to be.”
The speakers included a doctor, a librarian, a teacher, a college student, a veterinarian, a chef, a photographer, a medical technician, an actress and a hairdresser. The girls then did crafts related to the career fields.
Mattel Toys partnered with the Girl Scouts U.S.A. for the Barbie Patch program, said MariJo Tedesco, Black Diamond Girl Scout Council membership coordinator for Wood County. The girls have to fulfill requirements to earn the badge.
”What they want to do is let girls know that there are careers out there that are available to them,” Tedesco said. ”Since these girls are in kindergarten to third grade, the best way to do that is through Barbie. We had a great turnout just because it was Barbie.”
In June, a Girl Scout Barbie is scheduled to debut. Barbie has been featured with 156 careers through dolls.
”That is the connection,” Tedesco said of Barbie. ”This is to get the girls to start thinking about careers, finishing school and more.
”Just because they are young, we want to empower girls and give them a sense of confidence and self-esteem. Barbie does that for them and they can have fun doing it.”
The event brought together Girl Scouts from Parkersburg, Vienna, Williamstown and throughout the area.
”It brings them together,” Tedesco said. ”There are girls here in Girl Scouts that normally would not get to meet each other.
”They see someone they might know from elsewhere and say, ‘I did not know you were in Girl Scouts too.’ They have that connection.”
Many of the girls present had a good time working on crafts, having their pictures taken with a live “Barbie” and being with their friends.
Bella Alford of Troop 1162 of Washington, W.Va., enjoys the different things the Girl Scouts do and being out with her friends.
”I am having a very good time,” she said. ”It is fun.”
Allie Blosser of Troop 5844 in Lubeck said the event showed that girls could be anything they wanted to be.
”I am learning about jobs,” she said.
Blosser likes being in the Girl Scouts.
”I get to meet new people, have fun and do activities,” she said.
All of the girls who attended got a career-themed Barbie doll, donated from local businesses, organizations and individuals. Around 100 Barbie dolls were donated for the event.
”I hope the girls see in our community the ladies in the careers that are offered to women,” Murphy said. ”I hope they go away with some knowledge of how important it is to go to school, finish school and have careers open to women.”