Written by:Colleen Walker
12/9/2010 4:53 PM 

What is a journey? According to Webster, by definition, a journey is a trip or expedition from one place to another; a gradual passing from one state to another, often regarded as more advanced. However, if you’re a Girl Scout, the word journey takes on a whole new meaning! Girl Scouts of the USA created journeys to act as guides as a key part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience -- a coordinated series of activities grouped around a central theme. In turn, each journey is tied to some of the Girl Scouts’ fifteen national leadership outcomes for girls. The first two journeys included “It’s Your World – Change It” and “It’s Your Planet – Love It.”

If you’re new to Girl Scouts or if you haven’t started a journey, I’m very excited to announce the upcoming launch of the third journey – “It’s Your Story – Tell It!” This series promises to be more exciting, more user-friendly, and easier to follow. Specific activities will be linked to suggestions to help girls customize the activities to their own ideas and timeframe. And, leaders will find it easier to navigate, with stories and activities clearly delineated.

“It’s Your Story – Tell It!” uses a story-telling theme in a fun and grade-level relevant way for girls to better understand themselves and their potential. Building a strong sense of self is an underlying goal of the series. Older girls have an opportunity to delve into media literacy and explore how their thoughts about themselves and those around them are influenced by different media channels. All along the journey, girls have opportunities to engage in a variety of arts, including performing, visual, culinary, and new media – all in order to tell their stories and take action to make the world a better place. The activities suggested in this journey help girls understand themselves, think about what helps them to feel better about themselves and others, allows them to try on new roles and expand their friendship borders, and, ultimately, how to work together to better their communities and their world.

As we spend time over the holidays with our daughters, her troop members, or her friends, start a conversation about how other women leaders have told their stories. For example, Taylor Swift uses writing to express her thoughts through song, Rachel Ray tells her story through helping others enjoy and learn how to cook food, and our own Mary Ellen Weber tells her story through sharing her experiences as a NASA astronaut with audiences all over the country. Use this time to reflect on your own stories, talk about your dreams and passions and how the girl in your life can begin to form her own dreams.

With the challenges facing girls today, they need a strong sense of self on which to rely – through the sisterhood of Girl Scouts, we can ensure that girls develop the power to make them feel good about themselves and their place in the world.

Festivus, Kwanza, Christmas, Hanukah, Solstice… no matter how you choose to celebrate this time of year, my sincere wishes to you for a happy and healthy holiday season.


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