USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs
Similar to “bring your kid to work day,” German companies give young adults the chance to experience what life after school can be like. The idea behind “Girls’ Day” was born around the year 2001 when government organizations and private associations decided to focus on encouraging girls to take a peek into technical and scientific professions — jobs that are mostly done by men. Very soon, “Boys’ Day” was added with a similar idea behind it. Once a year, many German companies and organizations invite school-aged students fifth grade and above to participate in this event, empowering young adults to choose a profession that they truly enjoy.
U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden participated this year by giving four girls and three boys the opportunity to experience one day with the staff of the Directorate of Public Works and the Fire Department.
André Varela, 10, explained that it was “awesome” to ride in an excavator and that he couldn’t wait to ride in the fire department’s crash truck. His friend Hannes Zeisberger enjoyed learning how to measure the height of a tree with only a simple ruler. “I would like to be a Lego Technic inventor when I’m older,” the fifth grader said.
After they had spent the first half of the day at DPW, the three boys met with firefighter Christian Schipper, who, in his free time, teaches a youth group at a volunteer fire station off post. He showed them around the fire station and explained how to properly check a respirator, also called a self-contained breathing apparatus or SCBA.
“If I don’t do my job correctly,” he emphasized, “my colleagues could die.”
Of course, all students got the chance to put on parts of the firefighter gear. In the end, everybody left with a smile on their face.
“This was so cool,” André said.