Monday, September 10, 2012

Agent of Change: Session 1

I like things simple. I like to break it down into manageable chunks rather than take on the whole thing at once. It becomes overwhelming for me, if I don't break it down. So, that's what I did for Session 1.

The meeting before, I prepared the girls and we discussed what we were going to be doing. We talked about the theme of the Journey a few of the things we would be doing and how we were going to go about it. I made sure to let them know I was excited about this adventure and that it was going to be something we were all going to do together. Everyone is a key element in this project. I also talked to parents and asked for help with ideas and networking with people.

Basically, Session 1 consists of a few key elements:


  • Rope Ceremony
  • What is Power?
  • Her Stories
  • Power of One words
  • Power Log

Yep... our rope! Nylon, braided. The rest of the 50 feet was cut
into segments for knot work. 
We began our meeting with a Rope Ceremony. It is described in the Leader's book. You get a long piece of rope... long enough to go around all the girls. There is a knot for each girl to hold in her hand. The first girl takes the rope, says one thing about herself that she is good at. I explained this needed to be a talent and not just a simple "I'm nice". After she declared her talent, she would pass the rest of the rope to the next girl. She continued holding her knot in her hand. The next girl did the same... all the way through the group. At the end, my co-leader and I also took a knot and declared something we were good at. The next part is the tricky one. At least, it was for my girls. We remained in our tight little circle and went around one more time. This time, we all stated a part of the Girl Scout Law that we knew we needed to improve upon. As the girls said they wanted to be more fair to little sisters, considerate to Mom when she's busy, honest about how we feel.. I couldn't help but see my little Brownies psychologically bridging to Juniors and growing up. They are taking responsibility for themselves and identifying areas for improvement. That's a pretty grown-up task, in my opinion. Just a milestone I identified in their lives. After the verbal piece of our Rope Ceremony, we sat down and wrote what we said on a piece of cardstock and safety pinned it to our knot. Yes, we kept track of our knot. The rope is a symbol of our individual strengths and weaknesses. It is a symbol of our Power of One and together with each other's knots... our Power of Team. (Take a moment for a tissue here.. it is rather touching. I get a little teary when I think about how far these girls have come. Leaders all over know... these are the moments that make the late nights and stressful crafts-gone-bad moments worth it. Really.. they do!)

As we snacked, we discussed what is Power and Her Stories. We talked about what makes someone powerful. Is it muscles? Knowledge? Force? The girls were very intelligent about deciphering what true power is. I was very proud, although I knew my girls know the difference between power and power.

We read about several influential women from the past that have made a difference in the world. We talked about how each of our mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, and teachers all have a Her Story. They were quick to add that my co-leader and I also have Her Stories to share. (oh, if they only knew..) I also made sure the girls knew that they have a Her Story and many more to come. They are capable of making a difference in the world, just as the women we read about. I reminded them the women in the stories were once their age, a couple were even Girl Scouts just like them. For an "at home" project, each of the girls were given a sheet of paper with a basic outline for a Her Story. I don't want Girl Scouts to become like school. I feel it's important they do a few things outside of meetings, yet I don't want to make it so hard that they don't want to do it at all. So, I felt the basic outline given in the Leader's Book for the journey was something that would help them get started. They are to bring these with them to the next meeting. (see goodies below)

Back to school savings on these notebooks.
Seriously, they were 25cents. Score!
Then, it was time to identify our Power words. (see goodies below) I had made up a sheet of "power words" for the girls and printed photos from the last meeting. You are to keep a Power Log (fancy name for journal) with the Journey, so why not combine it into one project? The girls mod podged a photo of themselves and the power words they chose, plus making up some of their own, on to the front cover of a notebook. I will bring the notebooks back and forth with me, so they come back to each meeting when we need them, and then at the end of the Journey or year they will take them home with them.

I admit, the girls were not "thrilled" about the whole journaling thing. But, they grew more interested when I explained that I didn't expect them to sit and write for a long time. We are going to set aside 10-15 minutes at the end of each meeting for Power Log time. They can choose to write thoughts, write a story, write what we did in the meeting, draw a picture, doodle it out, whatever they want. It's THEIR power log and their way to reflect and build those powers. So, however they choose to do that is fine. I'm also going to make sure they know they can write questions for me and I'll answer them between meetings in their power log. I also plan on writing little notes about good turns I observed them doing during the meeting. They will be able to keep those hush hush or share. It's completely up to them.

Since the Power Logs were drying... we didn't actually write in them the first meeting. We did have a discussion about the Dream Team Trading Cards we'll be doing in Session 2 and I reminded the girls to collect a Her Story. The girls were very excited and thinking/sharing people they knew that would have a great story to share with the group.

That was Session 1. We hit all the main components and had fun in the process. In my book, that's success.

A couple goodies for YOU!

8 comments:

  1. Loved this, thanks for sharing. I have been struggling with the Journey and just really didn't want to get into it. Liked the old ways. This has given me some insight on how to approach it in a more giving way. To see it in a "fun" way. Thanks

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  2. I'm a new Girl Scout Junior leader this fall and have been very confused on how to do a Journey. Already loving reading what you did. Thanks!

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  3. Thanks for sharing!! I'm a new leader as well. Have to look and see if you have more!

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  4. I've been trying to make sense of this journey for a while now and your blog is finally helping me figure it out! Much thanks!

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  5. I'm so happy I found your blog!! We are starting a brand new program in Casablanca, Morocco, and the Junior Agent of Change Girl Guides and Adult Guides have not yet arrived!!! Your blog is going to help us keep up even without the materials...now if only I could find some scanned copies of the Girl Guide and the Leader Guide....ha ha ha ha!!

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  6. I love the way to summarized it. Simple and understanding. I thank you for taking the time to provide us with some guidance and ideas on how to get out book started.

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  7. Thank you so much for posting! I am a Senior Girl Scout and I am mentoring a troop and leading them through earning this Journey. Your blog helped me a lot since there were no Journeys when I was a Junior! Thanks again!!! :)

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  8. Thank you very much this post is very helpful!

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Thanks!!