Girl Scouts promote bike safety

By Mark Iacampo, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, HohenfelsJune 6, 2014

Always wear your helmet
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Safety first
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HOHENFELS, Germany -- Hohenfels' Girl Scout Junior Troop 663 shared safety tips for cyclists in the community at their Bicycle Rodeo, recently.

As part of their Bronze Award project, the rodeo featured bike inspections and maintenance, a training course, safety equipment display, a quiz, and lots of laughter.

"This shows a great partnership across our community," said Mike Haney, HMC deputy manager, pointing out participation from the Military Police, Outdoor Recreation, AAFES, the Health Clinic and more.

The Junior Girl Scout Bronze Award involves two community service projects and required the troop to go out and explore their community looking for ways to help.

"They had to learn to really focus on their surroundings and notice what can be done better than it is right now," said Dominique Schnell, troop leader.

"We had all these different ideas for community service projects, like cleaning the theater, which we did," said scout Brigitte Schnell. The girls decided on the bike rodeo for their second project in order to do something more creative.

Brigitte said that Sgt. Joaquin Vazquez, investigator for the Provost Marshal Office, met with the troop and provided safety information, which the girls subsequently used to create an informational pamphlet.

"That was the most fun for me," said troop member Emily Lyon. "Making the poster for advertising and getting the pamphlets all handed out."

Vazquez also attended the rodeo, providing cones for the riding course, and a briefing on properly fitting and wearing a helmet.

The riding course was designed to allow participants to practice proper techniques, such as halting at stop signs and maneuvering around obstacles.

Outdoor Recreation adventure programmer Dan Ives discussed how to navigate roads safely in Germany and gave a brief tutorial on various hand signals. He also performed safety checks on participants' bikes and discussed general maintenance.

"Always check tire pressure, wheels, brakes and gears," Ives said. "That way you don't start on a journey and then discover a problem that you could have found when you were closer to a toolbox."

The girls also created a quiz to test what participants learned during the rodeo.

"Having people actually here is the best part, seeing them having fun and laughing," said scout Mae Atkinson.

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