The Ohio State Fair: A Look Back

Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland was excited to be back at the Ohio State Fair this year. After a year of hiatus due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, being back at the booth meeting face to face was refreshing. 

Before the pandemic, our booth was different from the one some of you may have seen this year. We had a program focused on girls participating in competitions and submitting projects for judging. The booth was typically filled with large display cases and Girl Scouts projects, showcasing a variety of competitions. As the fair reopened, there was a decision to focus on interactive play and exploration versus competitions and projects.

The 2022 Ohio State Fair was rejuvenated this year with fairgoers. At every corner were fun rides and delicious fair food like funnel cake, cotton candy, cream puffs, giant pretzels, popcorn, and elephant ears. Our mouths are watering, thinking about how much food we ate.

Hot weather, dizzying rides, animals at the petting zoo, giant butter sculptures, laughter, and thrills captivated fairgoers. The music, sights, and sounds were intoxicating at each glance, creating a memorable afternoon for the whole family. 

One could find our booth in the Lausche Building near the north entrance to the rear of the fairgrounds, noticeable by our long cookie line. We were there daily, representing our Girl Scout councils throughout Ohio.

My kid is really good at archery. Who knew?”

Catching up with the community was great, and we helped them rediscover the magic of Girl Scouts. Fairgoers immersed themselves in our various activities, such as fun games and creative challenges like archery, winning prizes, getting Girl Scout swag, building a mini helicopter at our STEM table, and lounging in a camp-inspired area with an outdoor feel and, of course, indulging in our signature cookies.

In addition, fairgoers learned some fantastic initiatives our girls are completing in our surrounding communities. 

“I was a Girl Scout, and my daughters are Girl Scouts. We love it. We love it all.”

We are 2 million strong, and we are more than cookies. We are showing others what Girl Scouts is all about by sharing the girl experience and emphasizing the impact of Girl Scouting was essential.

Our girls have been hard at work servicing our communities, learning about STEM, traveling, developing skills, and challenging themselves to be future leaders.

“I had no idea Girl Scouts were doing so much. This is amazing!”

Our booth was an eye-opener for those unaware that Girl Scouts are more than just cookies. We provided visitors with information on what girls have been learning, their achievements, travels, and adventures—continuing to redefine what is possible for girls everywhere and giving them something to aspire to.

Watching as families challenged themselves with the archery station and building a helicopter using a battery and lead connector was so much fun! The activity opened the door for discussions about STEM and Girl Scouts of the USA’s pledge to put 2 million girls into the STEM pipeline, creating a higher demand for women in the fields. We informed visitors about our Dream Big Initiative and how it will address the current disparities with women being underrepresented in STEM fields.

We look forward to next year’s fair and hope to bring more specialized learning environments and, of course, more cookies to the booth. We can’t wait to see you next year.

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