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Growing the Game in East Brunswick, N.J.: Scouts Silver Award Project

By Prisha Dhruve, USA FIELD HOCKEY GIRL SCOUTS SILVER AWARD (TROOP 80130) | June 29, 2020, 10:19 a.m. (ET)

I have been a Girl Scout since I was in kindergarten. I started playing field hockey in the fourth grade through Total Dutch Field Hockey. In my township, recreational field hockey starts from fourth grade but not enough girls participate and this is due to a lack of awareness of the sport. In East Brunswick, N.J., we don’t play games or tournaments until eighth grade. This year, the majority of my teammates were holding a field hockey stick for the first time in eighth grade. Being a Girl Scout, I wanted to address this issue by introducing the sport at an earlier age (third grade and up). This will give the players an advantage because they will start at a younger age and have more exposure to the sport.

With support from Coach Todoroff, USA Field Hockey, East Brunswick Recreation Department and Total Dutch Field Hockey, I was able to pursue my idea. To get started, USA Field Hockey was kind enough to loan me 24 loaner sticks and balls. Later, I received a FUNdamental Field Hockey Grant from USA Field hockey to retain the 24 loaner sticks and balls and donate them to the East Brunswick Recreation Department. This enables the East Brunswick Recreation Department to continue the program in the future. The East Brunswick Recreation Department granted me access to use a large grass field to hold the clinics. A total of six girls participated in a 1.5 hour, 8-week long clinics. There were older girls who joined the program and helped out too! 

All the girls were exposed to new field hockey skills and played games that incorporated what they learned. On the last day of the program, coaches Brett Clay and Izaak Pels, from Total Dutch, held a clinic for all of the girls. I would like to thank my Girl Scout advisors Mrs. Laurel Van Leer and Mrs. Elisa Acosta for their support, Coach Tordoroff for helping me plan this amazing program, USA Field Hockey for the loner equipment to get started, East Brunswick Recreation Department for the grass fields, Total Dutch Field Hockey for holding a clinic and as always, my family for all the encouragement and support in every step of the way. There is no way I would have been able to complete my project without their help. 

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USA Field Hockey believes that field hockey supports the missions of both the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the United States, and together, they can support the growth and development of youth across the country to be the leaders of tomorrow. If you’re interested in hosting a Scouts Field Hockey Clinic, or looking to create a partnership between your local field hockey program and a Boys or Girl Scouts troop, contact sportdevelopment@usafieldhockey.com. USA Field Hockey can provide "Fun" patches to registration and materials to run a 90-minute introductory clinic.