USA Architects Joy Cohen, AIA has been an active volunteer with the Heritage Patrol of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania for the past 5 years. Led by the Girl Scouts of Eastern PA., and by Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts, the Heritage Patrol’s main goal is to engage participants in exploring its local community’s heritage, which includes developing opportunities to share local culture and history with the general public, and provide service to organizations charged with the task of heritage preservation. The Heritage Patrol is a “girl-run” program based on the Guild System. Girls begin as apprentices and develop leadership skills as they earn their journeywoman, master and trainer levels. The middle school and high school girls teach younger girls (grades K-5) historic crafts as well as Moravian and Bethlehem, PA history.
In addition to her volunteer efforts at the “Krafts for Kids” program at Musikfest (the annual music festival held in the City of Bethlehem); Ms. Cohen is the Heritage Patrol’s Architectural Advisor. Recently, she was instrumental in the girl’s earning their Architectural and Environmental Design Badge. She spent a week teaching the girls about architectural drawings and specifications, building materials, and green building design. In practical application, the group performed a handicapped accessibility review of the Historic Bethlehem Mill building in North Bethlehem and finished the week with an Architectural Awareness walk through historic downtown Bethlehem, PA.
As the architectural professional continues to evolve, especially for women, mentoring is an important step to diversifying the field, creating more female licensed architects and women who are starting their own successful practices. Ms. Cohen is certainly a stepping stone for these young women.