Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Discover, Connect and Take Action!

Discover, Connect and Take Action are the keys to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Most people know about the fun things that Girl Scouts do, how they hang out with their friends and laugh a lot, how their Troops take on projects to help the community, how girls do crafty things and maybe go to camp.  All of these activities are calculated to help girls build courage, confidence and character so that they can make the world a better place.  So, how does this work together? …

All Girl Scout of Nassau County activities and programs use at least one of the three keys.  Some activities incorporate two or even all three … Lots of top thinkers and practitioners in youth development have been part of designing the new Girl Scout Leadership experience, and while we have new books and materials, all of this builds on a strong foundation of Girl Scout programs and activities that have been around for almost a century! The following three blog entries will discuss each of these keys. Let’s first look at Discover

– Girl Scouting helps every girl to discover more about herself and the world around her.  Crafts and community service projects produce a finished product at the end, but along the way a girl may have mastered a new skill, polished an existing talent, gathered information on how something works, and practiced self-control and perseverance.

My very first project as a Brownie was to make a “sit-upon” out of folded strips of newspaper. For many girls this may have been a continuation of craft skills learned at their mother’s knee. However, I come from a very un-crafty tribe.  There were a few aunts that sewed, but, by and large, I was never encouraged to do anything that might involve making a mess, or using scissors.  Imagine my seven year-old delight to come away with a finished usable product!  For weeks I saved all the newspapers I could find and made these mats for everyone I knew … I discovered that I could create useful things!  -- I took the sit-upon skill and figured out that it was the same principle involved in making potholders , with a little loom.  And over my childhood I must have made hundreds of those.  – And while arts and crafts does not play a major role in my world, I do still know that if I try a project, I’ll probably be able to do it!  

Not every exploration finds gold  or a “sit upon” at the end of the rainbow, so girls may also learn what they don’t know, they may have to start again, and they may discover things that they did not know about themselves.  For a generation that is sometimes described as the “Blue Ribbon Generation,” learning that one can fail and still survive, that one can start over, that things don’t always work, and that hard work has special rewards are very valuable life lessons.  Discovery is not just a highway, it is a whole map and some roads lead to adventure, some to success,  some may go in circles and others maybe dead-ends.

I’ve learned so much about myself through Girl Scouting … -- I can’t wait to see what I will discover next about  ME.!

Next up, we’ll tackle the Girl
Scout key, Connect!

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