“I think they were really surprised that people in the real world do service projects like we do,” she said. “That’s so important for them to understand.”
Her older group, fifth graders, is completing a project with an animal shelter, where they are donating a bench and conducting a drive for pet supplies.
She said Panera Bread has been an ideal field trip for the Girl Scouts for several reasons. The girls learn about fresh food, business, financial literacy and the practice of businesses giving back.
Panera is also a favorite for many of the girls and she said there has been a conscious move to empower girls to make programming decisions for themselves.
“Programming needs to be girl-led,” she said. “That leads to greater empowerment.”