Girl Scouts tour BLM field office |

Girl Scouts tour BLM field office

BLM officials touch on career opportunities, fire safety

Bridget Manley

Megan Neton, 5, shakes hands with Smokey Bear on Wednesday afternoon at the Bureau of Land Management Little Snake Field Office. Megan accompanied her two older sisters, Alexa and Molly, to a Girl Scout field trip to the office.

Being a Girl Scout is about discovering all that a girl can do.

That’s something Bonnie Hickey has experienced first-hand in her 16-year career with the Bureau of Land Management.

She started working for the BLM as a staff assistant.

But she didn’t stay there. She eventually moved into accounting and later became a land law examiner for BLM’s Little Snake Field Office in Craig.

Her job requires her to review permit applications submitted by entities that wish to drill oil and gas.

“When I started with BLM it was just, for me, an eye opener as far as how many different careers you can” have with the agency, she said.

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She wanted to give a similar experience to local Girl Scouts.

Hickey organized a 1.5-hour tour Wednesday of the field office and the adjoining dispatch station, which serves the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service.

During the tour, 21 Girl Scouts from Brownie Troupe No. 202 and Daisy Troupe No. 3438 got to squirt a fire hose, peek into the dispatch station and get a hug from Smokey Bear.

Female firefighters also spoke to troupe members and displayed the equipment they use on the job.

“One of our laws is to be courageous and strong,” Girl Scout leader Cassia McDiffett said, adding that some girls’ courage was tested when their turn came to operate the fire hose.

Other Girl Scouts, however, had a different reaction to the experience.

Gavyn Cox, 9, a Brownie, said shooting the fire hose was her favorite part of the tour.

She was so excited in remembering the afternoon that she could hardly speak. She moved her hands impatiently as she tried to recall it.

Girl Scouts not only saw what careers they could potentially pursue through the BLM, but they also got tips on staying safe.

Lynn Barclay, BLM mitigation education specialist, quizzed her audience about fire safety and prevention measures. Topics she covered ranged from what children should do if they find matches to who they should call if they spot a wildfire.

From what she’s seen, children retain what they learn about fire safety and pass it on.

“A lot of times, like with the campfire safety, the kids will actually be the ones to remind the adults around or their parents or their older siblings about what they learned,” Barclay said.

When the field trip was over, Hickey watched the last of the Brownies and Daisies leave the office with their parents.

As she reflected on the day’s events, she echoed McDiffett’s words.

Being a Girl Scout is about finding out what a girl can do, but it also entails something else: courage.

“I think it’s important that girls learn they can take on these : jobs that they don’t think they can do,” she said.