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Our Girls are struggling with Media Images

Did you know that most 8-18-year-olds spend an average of 10 hours of their day engaging with media? That is more than other activity besides school and sleeping. The messages from these media sources are powerful ones and can limit children’s ideas of what is possible in the world, being detrimental to their physical, emotional and social health. For girls, all of these facets of health are interrelated. A girl’s self-esteem and body image are a critical part of girls’ health and can often be manifested socially and physically.

According to the Geena Davis Institute, in the media girls are often depicted as sexualized objects valued only for their physical attributes and are often depicted as passive and submissive to men with limited aspirations. Even media images directed at children reinforce stereotypes that girls and women must achieve physical perfection to be valued. These representations limit girl’s aspirations and leave them without any active, ambitious female role models in the media to emulate.

The emotional pressure from the media for girls to attain a certain standard of physical attractiveness places negative ramifications on girl’s physical health as is demonstrated in the recent study by the Girl Scout Research Institute, Beauty Redefined: Girls and Body Image 2010. This study found that nearly 90 percent of girls feel pressure from the media to be thin, and 60 percent of girls compare their bodies to fashion models. Only 46 percent of girls believe that the fashion industry does a good job of representing people of all races and ethnicities.

The problem is not only what girl’s think- it’s also what they do. The same survey found that more than half of the girls admit to dieting to try to lose weight and 31 percent admit to starving themselves. These pressures have resulted in younger girls developing eating disorders and undergoing cosmetic surgery. Low self-esteem is also contributing to girl’s decreased success in school and extracurricular activities, premature sexual activity, and unhealthy and unsafe relationships with boys and partners.

Even though we have seen a rise in girl-centric media there is still not an equal playing field or enough positive representations of women and girls. However, if we continue to get the right messaging out there, we can help girls have a more positive body image, higher aspirations, and healthier relationships.

We at the Girl Scouts provide a safe place for girls to grow into women of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Through the use of the new Girl Scout Leadership Journeys, It’s Your Story-Tell It!, and It’s Your World-Change It!, Girl Scouts of Colorado is bringing new programming opportunities to raise awareness about the importance of promoting healthy media message for girls and women and teaching girls how to create their own media to tell their stories. However, it will take the support and effort of our entire community to ensure that our kids are receiving healthy media images.

Girl Scouts of Colorado asks our community to join us in promoting policies and practices among our local government and businesses to provide healthy media images for girls and women. It is time we make a strong commitment towards creating a community truly invested in girls’ success and health. Together we can create an environment that fosters its children’s health and wellbeing.

To take action locally, visit http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/activities to enroll in our film screening of the 2011 critically acclaimed documentary, Miss Representation featuring a guest panel of local experts and participate in our Healthy Media for Youth Community Conversations moderated by Cynthia Hessin from Rocky Mountain PBS.

For additional information or to share ideas, contact Cortney Healy at Myworld@gscolorado.org

Opportunities to further Support Healthy Media:   

Watch What You Watch PSA

·Watch it. Post it. Share it. (click here for link)

· Pass along the YouTube link to those you care about

· Feature the PSA on your website and social networks


Healthy Media for Youth Act

· Send a support letter to your Members of Congress

· Ensure your organization endorses this legislation

· Encourage others to take action

· Join the Girl Scout Advocacy Network at www.GirlScouts4girls.org

 

Highlight Girl Scout Research and Programming in your work

· Highlight the Girl Scout Research Institute findings

· Feature Girl Scouts of the USA’s newest program, It’s Your Story-Tell It!


Promote the Issue

Help spread the word through your website, blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Finally, please share any ideas or suggestions you might have for us as we move forward by e-mailing Cortney.Healy@gscolorado.org

 Want a new reality? Girl Scouts does too! Stand up for girls and join us to Take Action!

Girls of Service Unit 702 participate in Festival of Trees

Submitted by Marla DeJohn

Each year the City of Greeley hosts the Festival of Trees during the week following Thanksgiving. Businesses, groups, schools and individuals participate by decorating a tree or donating items to a silent auction. the public can get reduced admission by bringing items to donate to the Weld County Food Bank.

The girls of Service Unit 702 participate by earning our display place through working with the children who visit the Festival at the Kids Kraft Korner. The city provides the supplies to make a craft project and a button  and the Girl Scouts help the kids make their projects.

We also create ornaments for our tree that go along with the theme that the leaders decide at our Service Unit meeting. This year’s theme was “100 Years of Friendship.” As you can see, the girls came up with wonderful ornaments and had a great time decorating and viewing the ornaments. They also worked with hundreds of local children at the Kraft Korner.

100th Anniversary Patch design selected

Nicolle H.’s  100th Anniversary patch design was selected from 47 entries in the 100th Anniversary Patch Design Content.  Nicolle is a member of Troop 2510 from Wheat Ridge and Nicolle lives in Lakewood.  Congratulations, Nicolle!

This is a must-have keepsake patch for Colorado girls and will be available at the special price of 100 pennies!  We’ll let you know as soon as they’re in the Shops.

Girl Scout Cookies in the media in Colorado

IMG_3950It’s no secret that it is Girl Scout Cookie time in Colorado. And Colorado’s many wonderful media outlets have been helping us get the word out. Here is a sample of some of our recent placements, as well as pictures taken at these media interviews. More media placements are coming in every day, and we will continue to add to this list so check back with us. Go Girl Scout Cookie time!

Get ready for an exciting “Year of the Girl”

Who would have thought when I joined Girl Scouts as a Brownie that I would have a career in Girl Scouting and be celebrating our 100th anniversary!

My experiences through community service, camping, destinations and leadership training have served me well. I am proud of my First Class Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts which is now called the Gold Award, and all the lifelong friends I have made. It was a bumpy start when I joined Girl Scouts. There were eight of us at my school and no one would step forward as our leader. Finally, each parent took one month, and we had a fabulous year and the most diversified program. I think that is what helped to bond us since we stayed in Girl Scouts all the way through high school.

Girl Scouting, and my leaders, reinforced the values that my parents were trying to instill in me. I learned how to make decisions, not what decisions to make, and life skills that have served me well at home and in my career. My husband learned early on that to suggest I couldn’t do something becomes an opportunity to prove to him I can – every time!

And this next year is a time to celebrate all that Girl Scouting is during our 100th anniversary! In fact, Girl Scouts has declared 2012 the Year of the Girl: a celebration of girls, recognition of their leadership potential, and a commitment to creating a coalition of like-minded organizations and individuals in support of balanced leadership in the workplace and in communities across the country. Girl Scouts will be using this important moment in its history to launch a major initiative to increase the leadership opportunities for girls and young women. The initiative, which also includes the largest advocacy campaign dedicated to girls’ issues in the nation’s history, will be formally announced later in January and will extend well beyond the Year of the Girl in 2012.

During the Year of the Girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado, along with Girl Scout councils nationwide, will be mixing celebrations of the organization’s 100 years as the premier leadership experience for girls with efforts to create a sense of urgency around girls’ issues. We will also be introducing ways everyone, no matter the time you have to give, can get involved in to show your support.

The 100th anniversary is truly a time to recognize the millions of girls and women who have positively impacted our communities, taken on leadership and continue to change our world. I know I will be personally contacting my sister Girl Scouts from my troop in Ft. Worth, Tex. as it’s a time for a reunion, a sing-a-long and a commitment to the next 100 years! I also invite you to learn more about Girl Scouts of Colorado’s 100th anniversary Year of the Girl plans on our website, and make plans now to join in on this exciting year of fun! Additionally you should join Girl Scouts of the USA’s Year of the Girl website and sign up for email alerts. Another great place to stay updated on the latest news related to Girl Scouts’ and Girl Scouts of Colorado’s 100th anniversary plans is our social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Girl Scouts of the USA’s Alumnae Association social networking site.

I look forward to celebrating Girl Scouts’ Year of the Girl with you!

Songbirds Girl Scout Choir

Do you like to sing?  Do you remember singing around the campfire at camp?  Would you like to learn new songs as well as “oldies, but goodies” in the Girl Scout traditions? The Songbirds Girl Scout choir will be the place to gather for songs, games and generally having a great time.

Would you like to learn how to play the guitar? If you are at least 10 years old and own a guitar, you can come to a free class once a month and learn to play chord progressions to accompany Girl Scouts in their singing efforts.

Would you like to help perform in events around the state to celebrate our 100th anniversary year, as well as possibly singing at fundraising events, maybe even on the radio or TV and other “gigs” as we have requests?

The Songbirds Girl Scout choir meets the 3rd Saturday of every month, September through April each year. Guitar class runs from 9 – 10 a.m., and the sing-along choir practice is from 10 a.m. – noon.  We usually take a short break about 11 a.m. There is NO registration, no cost, and the group is open to all ages, including dads, brothers, neighbors and friends. Whole troops can come. You will be provided with a song book, and a clapping games book as well as a guitar book for guitar students.

For performances we will wear a royal-blue logo polo shirt, which will be provided, and either black or khaki bottoms. No special shoes are required.

The more the merrier ! The more folks we have the better we will sing, and the better we sing, the more we can learn. To sign up please contact director Penny Roberts at 970-577-2027 or e-mail Penny at proberts@larimer.org.

Alumna Blog: Girl Scout license plates kick off 100th anniversary celebration year

By Penny Roberts, Colorado Girl Scout alumna and volunteer leader behind creating the Girl Scout license plate

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The Girl Scout license plate project began over two years ago, and followed a complicated and circuitous route to completion this last week, when the plates themselves were delivered to County Clerks’ offices across the state. The plates are a visual expression of our pride in our 100-year heritage of Girl Scouting and the impact it has had on girls and women all over the world.

If you are or ever have been a Girl Scout, if you are a leader, grandmother, businessman or anyone who recognizes the value of this important organization, you can display that support by registering the plates to any of your vehicles, including motorcycles.  The cost is a one-time extra fee of $50, and there are no additional costs or qualifications to obtain the plates.

The Promise Partners Northern Colorado alumnae group’s organizing committee toured the Territorial Correctional Facility this fall to watch the original issue of license plates being manufactured.  From the ink printer that put the colors onto the plastic roll at the beginning of the process to the plastic computer photo graphic of the design and numbering system through to the slipping of the plates into the plastic storage sleeves, the committee saw all aspects of production at the facility in Cañon City. An 80-foot-long machine eventually combined the colored plastic piece, the aluminum metal and the clear-coat cover, welding them together and then cutting them into separate sets of plates for distribution.

The committee was also privileged to see other aspects of production in the Colorado Correctional Industries, including the sign shop, the print shop, the machine shop and more. Most interesting and exciting is the part of the facility that is beginning to make custom motorcycles for sale. Yes, more than just license plates are manufactured here! In all, more 35 different products are manufactured, farmed or produced in prisons across the state.

So, you can see from the photos here that I finally helped complete the process by registering and installing the plates on my own car this past week. To find out more information about obtaining Girl Scout license plates, contact any County Clerk’s office. If supplies run low, ask them to order more. Help us celebrate Girl Scouts’ 100th Anniversary year in 2012 and watch for many more Girl Scout activities to highlight this exciting year in Girl Scouts!

Fort Collins Girl Scouts help seniors through Santa program

By Joyce Kohlmeier

The Senior Santa program was started about 25 years ago and has been run by different people. Troop 884 has always participated in this program. For the past 10 years, it has been run by a Troop 884 Girl Scout who graduated from high school in the year 2000.

The senior citizens that we help are seniors who are considered to “fall through the cracks” so to speak. They may own their own home and cannot get any help from other agencies because of that fact. The names come from a local church.

We are given a senior name and then we start collecting food and other household items through our troop. We talk about dietary needs of the seniors and what we could provide to make sure that dietary needs are met. We also spend time discussing the cost of different items and what might be a luxury item for our seniors that we would never think was a luxury item for ourselves.

This year, we were able to provide a couple eight boxes of food and household items. The seniors appreciated this very much and the girls felt good about being able to help someone in their community.

Young Women’s Forum highlights Girl Scouting at its finest

Photo of Rae Ann Dougherty & Eloise Golden with the Opening Ceremony candle

By Rae Ann Dougherty

In March 2011, I experienced first-hand the leadership development and growth of many young women as a facilitator at a special event held at one of our World Centers, Our Cabaña. The four World Centers (Sangam in India, Our Chalet in Switzerland, Pax Lodge in the United Kingdom and Our Cabaña in Mexico) are an important resource for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). WAGGGS mission is to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world.

The Young Women’s World Forum (YWWF) 2011, the second in a series of three centenary projects for WAGGGS, took place simultaneously at all of the World Centers. 157 young women from 81 countries from every corner of the world was represented. It was exciting to have delegates from all five regions at every World Center at the same time! Myself and another volunteer with roots in Colorado (Eloise Golden) were the only Americans at the event held at Our Cabaña. For me it was a powerful experience. For the delegates it was life changing and enhancing!

The event began with the Opening Ceremony; thanks to technology all four World Centers were connected concurrently and Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from all over the world were able to join in the ‘virtual’ celebrations for the first time.

The focus for of this event was WAGGGS’ Global Action Theme, “Girls worldwide say together we can changeour world.” In doing so delegates addressed the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The YWWF 2011 program focused on the three following MDGs:

  • MDG 1 – “End poverty and hunger”
  • MDG 3 – “Promote gender equality and empower women”
  • MDG 7 – “Environmental sustainability”

These topics were selected in consultation with the young women. The program included the opportunity to develop advocacy skills, the design of a process plan for change by each delegate when they returned home, and field visits with partners.

On the last day of YWWF 2011 each participant made a pledge to implement a project in their own country. Before an emotional closing ceremony, everyone shared their personal pledges. For example:

I pledge to… empower girls to make a change no matter how small – Kerri (Guyana)

I pledge to… train and inspire girls and women to take action on MDGs in their communities – Dominica (Jamaica)

I pledge to… Inform. Inspire. Innovate. – Mandy (Canada)

I pledge to… share my love, knowledge and skills to give hope to other girls and

young leaders, and together we can build a better world. – Nurnuha (Malaysia)

I pledge to… save the environment! – Hanna (Belarus)

As a result of the Forum, each delegate is aiming to realize the following:

  • Implement a community project linked to the MDGs
  • Advocate about the MDGs to their governments and the international community

Thanks everyone dedicated to the mission, these young women are reaching their full potential (and more than they ever expected possible) as they are now motivated to change not just their own lives but the lives of their peers and their communities. Girl Scouting at its finest!

Learn more, “Like”, and follow the events of all of the Young Women World Forum’s at www.Facebook.com/YWWFSite.