Girl Scouts learn about heart rate and blood pressure measurements in the “Explore the Magic of Motion” workshop.

Exploring the magic of motion

Physical therapy student develops program for Girl Scouts


2:17 p.m., Jan. 29, 2013--As a Girl Scout, Jazmine Tooles participated in activities like self-defense classes and mock space shuttle missions, so it’s not surprising that she chose the organization as a way to teach young girls about the field of physical therapy.

Now a student in the University of Delaware’s doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program, Tooles and her colleagues in the class of 2013 recently hosted a workshop called “Explore the Magic of Motion” for Girl Scouts ranging from 6th to 12th grade.  

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Tooles also created three Scout badges and had them approved by Girl Scouts USA last fall.

The Magic of Motion badge teaches 6th to 8th graders how to be physically active and demonstrates the role exercise plays in healing the body and maintaining health. It also invites girls to investigate professions that use exercise for healing.

The Healing through Motion badge teaches 9th and 10th graders how physical therapy improves the quality of life for many people and encourages girls to promote healthy living through exercise as physical therapists.  

The Healing People, Changing Lives badge is a career-oriented patch that teaches 11th and 12th graders about the profession of physical therapy and the steps involved in becoming a physical therapist. 

“Jazmine did an amazing job designing these new Girl Scout badges, and she developed a great program for the 40 girls who attended the workshop,” says Laura Schmitt, associate director of clinical education in UD’s physical therapy department.

The workshop used four stations — “Technology that Treats,” “Muscles and Machines,” “Follow Your Heart,” and “Stress Strategies” — to teach the participants many of the principles incorporated into the badges. The scouts also toured UD’s PT Clinic, made their own stress balls, and created information cards about stress management so they could promote wellness to family and friends.

“The event stemmed from an idea sparked at an American Physical Therapy Association conference I attended in 2011,” Tooles says. “A prominent topic was how physical therapy professionals could better promote the field and show that it entails much more than just giving massages. As we brainstormed in small groups, I reflected on the many experiences I had as a Girl Scout. That’s when I decided that creating Girl Scout badges would be a great avenue for promoting the profession to young girls and their parents.”

Tooles hopes to see the program continue at UD after she graduates in December.  Her bigger dream is for it to be shared with other physical therapy programs around the nation.  

“I think the Girl Scouts is a great way to reach girls who are beginning to think about not only what what they want to pursue in college but also how to gain control of their own health,” Tooles says.

UD’s DPT curriculum includes a service learning requirement that comprises four categories: diversity, promoting the profession, promoting primary and secondary prevention in health and wellness, and volunteerism.

Article by Diane Kukich

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