The Main Patch, which is the California Desert, can be earned online or by visiting a national park or monument. Three monument specific patches can be earned by visiting the specific new national monuments and other actions. (Courtesy of Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio)(Courtesy of Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio)

REDLANDS >> The Girl Scout organization, representing 14,000 girls in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, is offering four “patches” for knowledge and service at the three newly created national monuments in the Mojave and Colorado deserts.

Redlands-based Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council partnered with Las Cruces (N.M.) Green Chamber of Commerce and Joshua Tree-based Mojave Desert Land Trust to create the patches, said Joyce Knoll, director of camps for the council.

In early 2016, President Barack Obama used the 1906 Antiquities Act to create three national monuments in Southern California that cover more than 1.8 million acres.

The new Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains national monuments include snow-capped peaks, sand dunes, many cactus varieties, Joshua Trees, Big horn sheep, desert tortoises and Native American petroglyphs.

The are four possible patches to earn in the series:

The main patch is the California Desert and can be earned online or by visiting a national park or monument, according to a handout page from the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio. 

Requirements for specific monuments:

  • The Mojave Trails patch focuses on environmental sciences, weather, endangered animals and native plant species.
  • Sand to Snow focuses on the animal and plant adaptations and the Pacific Crest Trail.
  • Castle Mountain focuses on the native people and how they interacted with the land, the uses of plants and animals native to the area. 

All three specific national monument patches encourage kids to write, draw or create art expressing themselves as well as participate in an act of service, such as picking up trash.

For more information about the patches go to

After hearing about what the Girl Scouts are doing, Boy Scouts of American Inland Empire Chapter CEO Joe Daniszewski, said he will check out their programs and ask the chapter’s High Executive Team to make a recommendation.

About 30 Girl Scouts visited the Sand to Snow National Monument in early December, and they took an interpretive hike “where they were able to see both pictographs from the Native Americans in the area as well as graffiti from the turn of the century… They learned about flash floods that helped shape the desert landscape,” Knoll said.

“On April 8, at least 20 girls from Riverside, Beaumont and Redlands will go to the Mojave Desert Land Trust’s spring open house at the Amboy Crater,” she said. “More will likely go from communities closer to the geological attraction in Mojave Trails National Monument,” Knoll said. “Scouts will be learning the second of the three bars related to the newly created monuments,” she said.

“This is the first time that the Mojave Desert Land Trust will host an “open house” not at the organization’s Joshua Tree headquarters,” said Samantha Schipani, the organization’s spokeswoman. The event, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., will include free food, crafts and a guided hike to the rim of the crater,” Schipani said.

“The view should be fantastic with an added benefit of wildflowers,” she said. “Not only will our picnic have crafts and snacks, but we will also have our friends over to chat about ants, volcanoes, wildlife, wildflowers and maps.” The picnic will include chocolate lava cake, according to a description of the event.

Located about 130 miles northeast of Redlands, the Amboy Crater is an extinct, approximately 80,000-year-old, cinder cone type of volcano. It rises out of a nearly 30-square-mile lava field.

For information about the MDLT picnic, contact Kayla Lawrence at 760-366-5440.

By Jim Steinberg, SB Sun

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