Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Dash of Culture with the Girl Scouts of Nassau County by Guest Blogger James Langan

Guest blogger James Langan is not a fan of television, movies or much of popular music, but he does love the Girl Scouts! – He reminds us here of the need for parents to be ever-vigilant when they allow mass media into their homes and before the eyes and ears of their children.  We encourage you to find ways to bring more “kulcha” to  our girls …What has your troop done with the arts lately? – peace, dc

Mass culture can be somewhat disconcerting:  A flood of images and noises gushes forth from wide-screen TVs, drowning all in its path. Sarcasm and presumptuousness permeate the “dialogue” blurted out by one-dimensional characters smirking and sneering and conning and cheating and posing and threatening to get what they want.  And only when they are not punching and kicking and gouging and blowing things up.
A lot of movies – apparently devoted to redefining “box office gross” – offer nothing better; and most video games propose far worse, encouraging children of all ages to gleefully embark on a digital odyssey of unbridled mayhem.   In any case, messages extolling the products of mass culture and advocating their immediate acquisition abounds – while opportunities for higher cultural expression remain elusive. 

Yet these opportunities do exist.  They do and  Girl Scouts of Nassau County is such a place.  With our Chorus and Theatri-Gals theatre troupe, girls not only learn to appreciate culture, they also create it for the community.  And in so doing, they not only elevate themselves culturally, but also their friends and neighbors in Nassau County and beyond, making the world a better place. 

Our Chorus includes 50 Girl Scouts, between the ages of eight and 17, singing all over Nassau County and the metropolitan area. Their songs range from the patriotic and American standards to the classical; they also sing for the holidays and Girl Scout events. For the past 23 years, our Chorus has added spice to the lives of thousands of Nassau County residents – rescuing them from their daily routines and making them smile with a just a dash of culture.

Theatri-Gals, made up of Juniors and Cadettes, has created and presented two one-act plays exploring themes of bullying, friendship and acceptance of others.  Improvisation, character study and development, and story formation and development all come into play – to give girls self-confidence and  problem-solving and critical thinking skills, making new friends along the way. With Theatri-Gals, the Girls Scouts of Nassau County really has its act together

Both our Chorus and the Theatri-Gals programs offer girls a fresh opportunity for authentic cultural expression and a respite from the mindless gruel dished out by pop culture.  All girls deserve the chance to enrich and elevate themselves culturally, and the Girl Scouts of Nassau County is forging ahead to make sure they get it. So that we may continue bringing cultural awareness to our girls, we ask that you do what you can to support our efforts.  In the meantime, it might be a good idea to turn off the TV and read a good book.