Las Vegas NAWIC Educates Girl Scouts

Staff | September 28, 2010

Many of today's women professionals have memories of being an active member of a Girl Scout troop in their local community as a young girl. As Girl Scouts, young girls are given the opportunity to obtain a variety of skills and knowledge through troop activities, volunteering, camping, and earning badges and awards.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, the National Association of Women in Construction Las Vegas Chapter 74 collaborated with the Girl Scouts of Frontier Council. The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and the Girl Scouts hosted workshops to educate the girls on careers in construction, along with assisting them to earn their "Ms. Fix It" badge. This is the second year NAWIC and the local Girl Scouts have hosted this event.

To earn their "Ms. Fix It" badge, junior Girl Scouts must learn how to do basic repairs by completing six of 10 activities provided in their badge handbook. Some of these activities may include learning how to fix a plumbing problem, improvements or repairs around the house such as painting or patching walls, or learning what to do in an emergency.

More than 50 junior Girl Scouts attended the event. The Girl Scouts were assigned to groups that participated in seven 25-minute interactive workshops.

The workshops included:

The Sewerway — hosted by Bureau Veritas North America, Inc. There is no need for a professional plumber or Drano. In this workshop, girls learned about the Gilispie Sewer Design as well as what is good and not good to put down the sewer. Girl Scouts selected from materials such as mayonnaise, pancake syrup and raspberry vinaigrette, and had to choose which material would go down the sewer best. In addition, the girls learned about the Clark County Water Reclamation District slogan FOGG; Fat, Oil, Grease Grit. The girls selected from a variety of product photos such as chicken, peanut butter, cream cheese, etc. They then had to place each photo under the appropriate category.

Painting and Decorating — hosted by CertaPro Painters of Las Vegas. Home improvement stores around the valley should be prepared to be busy in the months ahead. In this interactive workshop, the girls were exposed to different types of paint: flat paint, semi gloss and egg shell. Also demonstrated were the different types of brushes; straight brush, angle brush and rollers. The girls learned how to use the rollers on a wall by making big W's. The different types of stencils were also explained. As an exercise, the girls selected a stencil, paint of their choice, and created beautiful artwork on paper.

aTile and Pavers — hosted by Par 3 Landscape and Maintenance, Inc. Dads can put away the tools! In this interactive workshop, the girls learned how to lay pave stones. The demonstration included sand bed preparation, laying stones, cutting stones, compaction, spreading sand, and compaction again.

Project Start-Bookmarks — hosted by McCarthy Building Companies Inc. The girls were given a small introduction to project management. They then used what they leaned to create Valentine's Day bookmarks.

Careers in Industry — hosted by Southern Nevada Carpenters and Millwrights Apprenticeship and Journeyman Training Trust and Committee. The girls were educated on the various carpentry career paths such as apprenticeships, journeyman, foreman, project management, and entrepreneurship. A Girl Scout was given an opportunity to dress in construction jobsite gear. While she was putting on her construction job site gear, each item was explained. Some of the items included a safety vest, hard hat, safety glasses, tool belt, hammer, tape measure, and utility knife.

Fixing the Traffic Jam — hosted by Orth-Rodgers and Associates Inc. Even though the girls are too young to drive, they were able to experience a traffic jam firsthand. The girls participated in an interactive traffic skit. The girls were assigned a car and given directions on which way to drive their car. The exercise began with no street signs to demonstrate what would happen. Eventually signs and traffic lights were added. In addition to the skit, girls were educated on the 3 E's: Engineering, Education and Enforcement, different types of signs and the importance of consistent shape and color, use of traffic signals, and construction such as bridges, adding turn lanes, and roundabouts.

Safety Works — hosted by McCarthy Building Companies Inc. In the Safety Works workshop, the girls learned everyday safety such as following rules, wearing seat belts, bike helmets, buddy system, and wearing protective gear. They also participated in an interactive exercise "What is wrong with this picture?" One photo was a construction photo. The girls identified no safety gear or safety harness, and not the right equipment for the job as some of the items wrong with the photo. Most importantly, the girls learned the number one reason for an accident is not paying attention.

The founders of NAWIC were 16 women with careers in the construction industry in Fort Worth, Texas. These women all shared a common goal of creating a support network. In the beginning — 1953 — their support network was known as Women in Construction of Ft. Worth. It was in 1955, with the addition of more chapters, that the network became the National Association of Women in Construction.

Today there are 179 chapters in almost all 50 states. There are also international affiliations with NAWIC — Australia, NAWIC — New Zealand, NAWIC — United Kingdom, Canadian Women in Construction, and South Africa Women in Construction.

NAWIC is open to any woman employed in the construction industry, whether she is a tradeswoman, works in the administrative area or serves as a project manager. Members include bankers, attorneys, bonding agents, as well as employees and owners of general contractors, material suppliers and subcontractors.