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"Heads Up"in December 2021 with the Coral Chronicles

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida Introductory Badge Event

Recently, The Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida had their very first Introductory Badge Event with CRF™. The event was hosted in Key Largo at our public Exploration Center. This was an extremely exciting event for both the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida and our Coral Crew! CRF™ has recently started collaborating with The Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida working to create opportunities for the Girl Scouts to earn badges from CRF™. The badges will be awarded to those who complete coral specific educational lessons designed and taught by CRF™. The badges will be specific to each troop level and there will be multiple badge opportunities available for each level of girl scouts, from Daisy to Cadet!

Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida earning their CRF™ Badge! ©Joseph Ducker/Coral Restoration Foundation™

The first Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida to receive a CRF™ badge were the Brownies! We had five girl scouts and their parents attend the event. The event lasted two hours, during that time two CRF™ Interns interacted with the girls and their parents. We gave two presentations covering a specific subject related to coral reefs.

The first activity is titled “Amazing Acropora”and teaches the fundamentals of hard and soft corals and their importance for maintaining a healthy reef ecosystem. Following the first presentation the Girl Scouts participated in a hands on educational activity were they created a coral polyp out of marshmallows, twizzlers, frosting, crackers, and sprinkles. The girls had an absolute blast building their polyp. All the polyps turned out awesome and the girls loved being able to eat it at the end!

Girl Scouts make edible coral polyps to learn about anatomy! ©Joseph Ducker/Coral Restoration Foundation™

The second presentation covered “Reef Builders”. “Reef Builders” educated the girls on reef structure and the different types of coral reefs around the globe. The girls did an awesome job taking notes during the presentation and asking lots of great questions! It was wonderful to see a group of young girls so interested in learning more about coral reefs! It was also very rewarding to see how much they had learned in just 2 hours at our Exploration Center.

After snacking on their edible coral polyps the Girl Scouts learn about reef building corals! ©Joseph Ducker/Coral Restoration Foundation™

Following the second presentation the girls participated in one final hands-on educational activity where they got to design their own poster. On the poster the girls wrote down three new facts that they learned about coral reefs that day. Then they decorated the poster with all sorts of fun craft materials such as glitter, felt, pipe cleaners, and markers. The girls did a tremendous job creating their posters. Each one was unique and brightly colorful, not to mention extremely glittery. The glitter was the biggest hit by far and also the messiest but it was worth it.

The Girl Scouts create posters to summarize what they've learned and why they love corals! ©Joseph Ducker/Coral Restoration Foundation™

Needless to say the first badge event was a huge hit. Everyone had a great time and we are extremely excited for the future badge events to come with the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida!




Our Senior Restoration Associate Sam Burrel will be joining a panel of scientists from around the world to talk all things boulder coral!


"Heads Up" Editorial Intern

Molly Whiting grew up in Traverse City, MI where she spent her time downhill skiing, playing tennis, and sailing. At age twelve, Molly received her PADI open water dive certification and instantly fell in love with the ocean. In 2018, she volunteered with GIVE International Volunteers down on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua where she worked on marine conservation. While on Little Corn Island, she gained knowledge in coral identification/health, invasive species removal, and planting artificial reefs. It was through this volunteer program that Molly discovered her true passion for a career in marine conservation. Once back home, she received her divemaster certification and in the spring of 2020 she graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Natural Resource Management and her search for an inspiring marine organization began. Molly is extremely excited to part of CRF’s intern team and to help restore Florida’s coral reefs.


Madalen Howard is CRF's Marketing Associate. Madalen comes to CRF™ via a winding road from the Tennessee hills, to the South Carolina low country, ending here in Florida’s Coral Reef. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology and a Minor in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston in 2016. Her experience ranges from field research to education, and communications.

Madalen spent the last 4 years as a Field Instructor and Social Media Strategist for MarineLab Environmental Education Center. Here she was able to study and teach marine ecology, while snorkeling through mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs every day. While at MarineLab she combined her education and research background, entered the world of communications, and developed MarineLab’s social media department from the ground up.

Throughout her life Madalen has had a skill connecting people with nature. With CRF™, she is excited to bring people into the world of coral restoration, creating inclusive pathways to scientific discovery.

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