Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Not Your Mama's Girls Scouts

For many of us, myself included, it’s easy to forget that an organization like the Girl Scouts still exists. My personal experience with Girl Scouts ended when, as a Brownie, I went to sleep-away camp where my mother was a counselor. When I found out I had to share a tent with other girls I didn’t know, I refused and slept in my mother’s tent. That was the end of my Girl Scout days. (For those of you who don’t know, my nickname at that time of my life WAS "SHY"!)
So a few months ago when I was referred to the Girl Scouts USA organization to help 10 of their girls prepare presentations for an upcoming conference, I was intrigued.  I was informed that these 10 girls had been selected to be recognized as National Young Women of Distinction. They had been selected from thousands of girls across the country who had created Gold Award “Take Action” Projects. According to the GIRL SCOUTS USA website:
To earn her Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador (These are Girl Scouts age 16-19) designs and helms a “Take Action” project that: 

  • She is passionate about—in thought, deed, and action
  • Incorporates organizational, leadership, and networking skills 
  • Fulfills a need within her community (whether local or global) 
  • Creates change that has the potential to be ongoing 
Okay, being my NY jaded self, I had no idea what to expect with these projects: Quilt making for the homeless? But boy was I blown away when I read about what these girls had created: 
  • A traveling mini-van that brings education, food, and hygiene to homeless street children in the Philippines.
  • A martial arts program taught to a girl’s school in India so that they could gain confidence and feel safer dealing with what’s called “Eve-Shaming”: 
  • A heavily researched documentary on Human Trafficking AND another heavily researched documentary on Child Pornography;