PCOM students gave online demonstrations on survival techniques, life skills and wellness topics to more than 80 Philadelphia area Girl Scouts.
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) students from the Wilderness Medicine Society Club and the Pediatrics Club joined more than 80 area Girl Scouts on February 7 for the Havertown Girl Scouts Health Fest, a first annual event featuring a series of virtual demonstrations on a variety of health and wellness topics, including basic survival techniques.
The event, organized by second-year DO student Jacquelyn Pearlmutter, included nine PCOM students leading presentations on topics such as first aid, a “stop the bleed” demonstration, meditation, CPR, outdoor cooking and a dance workshop. PCOM Associate Professor (and former Girl Scout) Barbara Williams-Page, DO, led the event with an introduction. Erik Langenau, DO, MS, professor of pediatrics and faculty liaison to the Pediatrics Club, helped coordinate with the local Girl Scout troops and the PCOM student clubs.
The Girl Scouts in attendance ranged from 4th-12th grades at the Junior, Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador levels and came from a number of local troops. The Havertown-area troops are part of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania (GSEP), one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country, serving nearly 40,000 girls in Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton and Philadelphia counties.
“Virtual meetings can be a struggle for both girls and adults who are feeling ‘zoomed out,’” said Kathy López, a Girl Scout volunteer who serves as Service Unit Manager and liaison between the local troops and the GSEP Council. “So we [were] especially excited for the creativity and willingness the PCOM students brought to this, and the girls (and leaders) were excited to learn some new things.”
The goal of the event was to “teach the Girl Scouts useful skills as well as bring them together in an isolating time to connect with each other,” said Pearlmutter. “When you can do things in person, it obviously makes things easier, but we tried to make it as interactive as possible.”
Following the event, both the scouts and the PCOM students were eager to coordinate similar events in the future. “There’s a lot of interest among the [PCOM] students,” said Pearlmutter. “We're excited about the prospect of PCOM students following up with individual troops in the spring, either in person or virtually, to help them complete [skill builder] badges,” added López.
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
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