COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State rowing team recently helped 45 local area Girl Scouts from the Central Ohio area, including troops from Olentangy, Worthington, Westerville and Dublin, earn an all-important badge at French Field House Feb. 23. Fifty Buckeyes, which included varsity and novice rowers, were on hand to help the scouts garner their “Sports Sampler” badge. In order to receive the badge, the girls learned about what may be an unfamiliar sport and gave them a chance to participate in some activities related to rowing.

“It’s always great to service the community, especially young girls who are interested in sports,” Patricia Goodeman, a senior rower said.

The scouts were divided into groups of 10-12 and took turns visiting six different stations. The groups included the history of rowing, proper stretch techniques and rowing skills. In addition, the girls received lessons in first aid and were taught Ohio State rowing cheers and were encouraged to invent their own chants. Ohio State mascot Brutus Buckeye also was there to encourage the young Buckeye fans to participate in the various activities. 

Ohio State relishes the opportunity to host events that benefit the younger members of the community. Many rowers had once been Girl Scouts themselves and recalled the field trips they had taken, so naturally the Buckeyes wanted to pay it forward.

With a limited amount of time to make an impression, the team was happy to see many of the girls take an interest in rowing.

As important as it was to promote rowing and Ohio State Department of Athletics, the Buckeye rowing squad also wanted to establish the importance of a healthy lifestyle. They advocated maintaining a healthy lifestyle through the participation of athletics, specifically the benefits rowing has on one’s health. The Girl Scouts were able to try out the rowing machines, useful tools when practicing indoors, as well as the team’s outdoor equipment. 

At the end of the three-hour event, the rowers passed out the 2008 spring schedule cards. When the parents came to gather the girls, scouts eager to see the Buckeyes in competition on the water greeted them.

With the positive feedback from the Girl Scout directors and troop leaders, many of rowers expressed wanting to repeat the event next year.

“I think the day was a great success overall,” Mary Sheehan, senior co-captain said. “I had a bunch of girls coming up to me at the end of the event asking if they were too young to start rowing or if they could start now and those questions just made the whole thing worth it.”