1. Parenting

Agent of Change, a Junior Girl Scout Journey

Session 1 of my Girl Scouts' Journey in Agent of Change

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The Journey Meeting

Our first Journey session began with a circle, many Girl Scout ceremonies do, and Agent of Change used the circle symbolically throughout so. We each shared why we participated in Girl Scouts and picked a couple values from the Girl Scout Law we hoped to improve upon in ourselves during our Journey. We wrote them on index cards and taped them to a poster which we'll add thoughts to in future opening ceremonies.

We then got into our Journey workbooks. I introduced the girls to the concepts of individual, team and community power and we started talking about individual power.

First up was the definition of power -- or rather 2 definitions of power. One being that of giving orders and controlling people, which we decided was not the type of power that makes people feel good about themselves or gets things done. The other being the type of power we each have within ourselves, our strengths.

We worked on pictures that represent ourselves surrounded by words that we believe describes us. I asked the girls if one quality or strength was more important than another and was surprised to hear "yes". In fourth grade these girls are setting themselves up to think poorly about themselves because they feel their qualities may not be as important as someone else's -- maybe GSUSA is onto something! So I tried to emphasize that each individual strength is just as good as the next -- being talkative is just as good as being quiet, being creative is just as good as being thoughtful (and vice versa) etc.

The next step was looking at a couple of women in history who have made a difference and then at a couple of women and girls, too, currently making a difference in the world (otherwise know as Herstories). This is mainly a preparation for next week where will will look a bit at the qualities of some of these women and how they used their individual strengths -- their Power of One -- to make a difference. We will also look further at ourselves and our strengths.

The girls are supposed to keep a log for one day of what they do and how they use their Power of One. We'll talk more about that next week along with Herstories and do a couple short bios or trading cards. I'll encourage the girls to add to our poster -- something they've discovered about themselves this week. And we'll complete an obstacle course -- blindfolded -- which will be our first introduction to the Power of Team.

Thought About the Journey Process so Far

Overall, I think our first session was a positive experience. It was a little awkward trying to get the girls to think about themselves and their strengths. We had a difficult time getting past "I help others", but I think they'll begin to recognize their strengths more as we go on.

I need to encourage my girls to do more of the leading in this journey while I do more of the listening.

I still think the program is a little touchy-feely. I could listen in on the other group of Juniors completing solid requirements for their work and had to wonder a little if my girls were getting. Watching their faces, I think they wondered a bit, too, but at other times they looked totally engaged. Maybe this week was just a little too much talking and not enough doing for this age? Something I'll have to consider when I do the program in the future. Next week, with the obstacle course, should offer them some variety.

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