Brownies did an ‘All About Me’ art project to earn the Discovering Me Key in their journey. The Brownies did a wonderful job decorating their self portraits. Each girl chose words, stickers and decorations to make their project unique and reflect their own talents/qualities and personality.
Our troop has been working through Free Being Me as our self-esteem project this year. The program is great because it comes with age appropriate curriculum so the same thoughts, ideas and lessons can be taught to all the girls in our multi-level troop, but in ways that are easy to understand depending on the age of the girls.
We have paired our Juniors up with their Cadette sisters, from troop 10065, and the discussions have been truly amazing.
Most recently the girls were “media detectives”. They were asked to pick a photo out of a magazine, one they felt typified the image myth. The “myth” being that perfection is attainable and that everyone SHOULD look this way. Then they were asked to answer a few questions about the photos they chose. A few really stood out.
The image myth is fake because…
“Her face looks perfect and the skin is smooth and flawless. The makeup is perfect and so are the eyelashes.”
It’s not worth trying to look like this Image Myth because…
“I hate makeup, for one, and I know this isn’t me. I like hunting and school, I don’t want to look perfect.”
WOW! It is more and more impressive to the leadership of our troop that each and every week we realize just how much these girls GET IT! Not only are they perceptive about the world around them, but they really truly know who they are and they are very proud to be just that!
The image myth is fake because…
“It is all fake! Everything you see in magazines are photo-shopped. Nobody ever will be that perfect, EVER!”
It’s not worth trying to look like this Image Myth because…
“The time and money needed to try to be half way into the Image Myth is ridiculous! No matter how you try, people will never think you are perfect”.
Not only is this Girl Scout not buying it….she also (if you look closely at her photo) noted, “What have we done to our youth?” AND drew clothing on the drawing implying she felt it was probably a bit over the top.
If you haven’t ever looked into the Free Being Me program, co-sponsored by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS) and Dove, you are missing a golden opportunity to make an amazing impact on the self-esteem and positive body image of young girls. Go take a look, you won’t regret it!
Since when we did this, with our Daisies, the first time this year, our photos all turned out crummy… we did AS PROMISED and followed up at the end of the troop year. It actually worked out, as predicted, a little better the second time around. Not only did the girls understand the premise, they knew each other better and could be more descriptive than “nice”.
All of our smart, outgoing, friendly, helpful, courageous and loving. They are all uniquely gorgeous, inside and out. LOVE these girlies!!
Recently, our Junior girls got to take a really cool field trip to the St. Mary’s helipad. One of the medivac nurses is a personal friend of one of our troop leaders so was able to give a personalized tour of the facility.
We were lucky that the helicopter was there even though it was on standby to go out. Each girl got to sit in the helicopter and we went out on the helicopter pad as well.
The flight nurses were great talking about different situations. And we saw the equipment they used with the little babies.
We then went down to the NICU and one of the Neonatologists who was a female visited with us. Because we are working through a journey focused on female stereotypes and strong role models, we were very excited and lucky to see so many strong female role models on this tour.
The tour was amazing and the girls had great questions.
SPECIAL thanks to Angie Novak and her pals for the time and experience. We are very grateful!!
We created a Self-Esteem Program last year after one leader watched the documentary Miss Representation at her sorority’s convention. This film had a HUGE impact on her (several of the other leaders were able to catch a showing when it came to our small town later in the year…if you get a chance, SEE IT!!). Without being able to show the film to every level of our troop, as some are pretty young and the film is fairly graphic, we came up with a program that promotes positive body image, good morales and character, self-actualization and embodies the theme of the film, “how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence.” We have touched on a lot of topics including, bullying, air brushing, exercise and good food choices, to name a few.
Last year, it was kind of a free-for-all show-and-tell where the girls could share something they saw during the week at our circle time. It was always positive and the girls definitely got the gist of what we were attempting (in addition to each and every one of them feeling comfortable and confident enough to share in front of the group…another thing on which we diligently work) but, some weeks we got a lot of “it didn’t make me feel good to see a naked woman in the magazine when what she was selling was perfume”, or something along these lines. So, this year we added a little more focus.
Each week 3 girls are assigned “homework” and they get to present the following week. Their assignment is specifically to be sure she has something to share with the group that supports positive attitude, body image, etc. Each girl should find something in her daily life (from a magazine, TV, etc) that makes her feel proud to be a girl. She should be able to talk to what is making her feel good about what she is picking. She has up to 3 minutes to present. Not only has the limit of 3 girls allowed us to have better time management of our all-troop circle time, it also focuses the conversation. The assignment as “homework” also encourages the girls to research and work with their parents as if it is a “project” rather than just show-and-tell. We have been MORE THAN pleased with the results so far!
In the few weeks since we have started our troop year, topics have varied greatly. Topics have included conversations about the positive influences from some of our favorite media, such as the American Girl movies and magazines, and Discovery Girls magazine, especially with regards to setting goals and working towards them, being a good friend, and anti-bullying (the photo above shows one of our Brownies discussing this very topic). One girl did some research on famous women in the field of study she would like to pursue when she is an adult, Marine Biology. Surprising to her, and her mom, were how few women are actually in this field. Another talked at length, with FANTASTIC visual aides, about why she loves Merida, from Disney’s Brave, and how she was disappointed when merchandise marketers changed her look to be more “cartoon” and “sexy” just to sell their products. One girl made a poster board with a collage of pictures from several magazines with a photo for EVERY aspect of her life that makes her proud to be a girl. In such a short time it is truly amazing to see the creativity!
We don’t always but, this week we remembered to take photos!
Here Brownie M., is talking about a movie she watched where the character had lost her shop but set goals for herself and worked hard to get it back and reopen. We all talked about how when you use hard work, dedication and believing in yourself, anything is possible.
Daisy S., brought in a visual aid with some “I would rather be” quotes describing how good, healthy and smart choices make you a well rounded person. Sometimes what people assume is the better option isn’t always the most healthy option. We also talked at great length about how everyone is different and it shouldn’t matter what others think of you if you are always doing and being your best self. Our favorite was “I would rather be athletic than skinny”.
Junior E., chose a member of her own family to discuss. Her great-great grandmother staked claim, riding side saddle, in the Oklahoma land run. At a time where women didn’t have very many rights and weren’t considered to have the abilities of men, she beat out over 60,000 other people to stake a piece of land on which to build her home, even in a super long dress! E. also brought in a photo of her great-great grandmother AND the horseshoe from the horse she rode in the run, 120 year ago!
We are very proud of this program and have talked at length about how if even one girl, when she is a teenager (or older…or tomorrow!), hears our voices in her head when she comes to a crossroads…then we have done our job!
This is the Official Trailer for the movie. WARNING: It IS graphic, visually and verbally.
We have continued with the Nice Words Project with our other 2 levels. If you recall, Brownies started us out a few weeks ago. We have gotten through the rest of the troop with just as much chaos as we seemed to have with the Brownies!! It’s not an easy project to keep everyone on task when you really only have 2-3 girls “working” at a time. However, the Juniors “warmed up” fairly quickly and got a good system down for rotating the group through to be more efficient. (pictured below is a sampling)
We also did this project with the Daisies. They were all pretty quiet and shy and seemed to write the same words each time. Unfortunately, when we got home to pull the photos off the SD card, every one of them was blurry! URGH 😦
This project has the potential for MAJOR impact so we feel it is important to see it through with acceptable results. We would like to stress to the girls that “positive attributes” do not have to (and actually should not) pertain to the way a girl LOOKS! While “Nice”, “Pretty” and “Good friend” are all positive assets, we want them to think deeper and come up with better descriptives of how their sister-friends inspire/motivate/encourage/etc them. We will definitely do this project again towards the end of the year.
One of our leaders found this REALLY GREAT idea on Pinterest (a fave of most of us!) to work into our Self-Esteem program. The whole point is to have each girl sit in front of a whiteboard and have her troopmates write positive/nice words about her then take a photo. As we only have access to 1 whiteboard in our troop space, we opted to break this up over 3 different weeks and have a level at a time take their turn on the board. So, Brownies started.
Here are a few photos from what we are going to have to call “the experiment” because it wasn’t necessarily as successful as it SHOULD have been. Either because the Brownies were a bit rowdy that day or because it is just a little too early in the year for everyone to know each other well enough to put something meaningul on the board behind everyone. See- “I don’t no you”. Or….and this is probably the best answer….it was a little bit of both!
We are going to go ahead and complete the project over the next few weeks with the other 2 levels so everyone has the same experience. Then, we will probably do it again late in the year to compare and contrast the photos and “nice words” to see how much the girls have grown themselves and with each other.
Sometimes, when you are responsible for 40 KIDS things change on the fly 🙂