Tag Archives: World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

Two Sisters Experience the Juliette Low Seminar from Different Hubs

Submitted by Krista Beucler

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

The Juliette Low Seminar takes place about once every three years, and, in 2019, it took place in 18 hub locations around the world, all at the same time. We learned about the new WAGGGS leadership mindsets, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and how to fight gender barriers to leadership.

Girl Guides and Scouts from all over the world would be participating in JLS at the various hubs and we were so excited to see old friends and make new friends. I was assigned to the Thailand hub and my sister, Anna, was assigned to the Nigeria hub. All of the hubs were unique, but also shared the camaraderie of participating in a world movement. Since Anna and I participated in the same seminar in two different hubs, we’d love to share with you how our experiences were similar and different.

How did you get there? What was your hub like? Who was there?

Krista: After about 30 hours of travel (graciously paid for by Diane Saber and supported by the Look Wider Scholarship), I arrived in Bangkok and was met by representatives from the Girl Guide Association of Thailand. They brought me back to the GGAT headquarters where the participants would all be staying and experiencing the seminar. The Thailand hub hosted 23 participants representing 14 different countries, and five facilitators each from a different country. Helping our facilitators was the wonderful Thai logistics team made up of GGAT members who helped to keep the whole week running smoothly. Of our 23 participants, five were local Guide leaders in Thailand. In Thailand, schools decide if they want to participate in Guides and if they do, then all the girls in the school become Guides and their teachers are the leaders. My favorite part of attending international Guiding and Scouting events is always making new friends and learning more about their countries and their Guide organizations.

Anna: My journey started with research and obtaining a visa to visit Nigeria. Once on my way, I spent 24-ish hours between driving, flying, and layovers getting to the hub in Lagos. I was also met by local guides at the airport and was surprised by a familiar face! I had met Debbie last year when I volunteered at Kusafiri during the JLS facilitators training and now she was here in charge of the logistics team for Nigeria Hub! Such a small world! Nigeria Hub was located at a conference center near the airport in Lagos. We had 25 participants representing 14 countries. I definitely want to thank Diane Saber and the Look Wider Scholarship for making our trip possible!

How did you communicate?

K: Our hub took place in English, though we often paused to make sure everyone understood and the Thai participants helped to translate for each other.

A: While Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba are widely spoken, the official language of Nigeria is English. Many of the countries surrounding Nigeria were colonized by France and speak French, so Nigeria Hub was conducted in French and English.

What did you eat?

K: Thai food! Our fabulous kitchen prepared us a variety of traditional Thai dishes throughout the week. My personal favorites were pad Thai and cashew chicken.

A: Lots of jollof rice! Other Nigerian favorites on offer included pepper soup, fried rice, boli, and groundnut. They made sure we were never hungry with the usual mix of meats, seafood, bean, rice, and of course, plantains all cooked in a myriad of combinations.

What was a typical day like?

K: The weeklong seminar basically involved learning about the six leadership mindsets that make up the new WAGGGS leadership model, gender barriers to leadership, and the Sustainable Development Goals during the daytime sessions. In the evenings we did activities like Thai culture night and international night. Thai night involved performances of traditional dance by local students, learning Thai crafts and games, and trying Thai snacks. At international night, each of the participants set up a table and shared snacks, badges, and small gifts from our countries. We also all shared short performances of dances, songs, and games from our countries. I brought some Girl Scout Cookies to share and taught everyone the classic camp song, Fred the Moose.

A: Krista summed it up! I imagine all of the hubs had similar sessions on the WAGGGS leadership mindsets, gender barriers to leadership, and the Sustainable Development Goals, but facilitated in different ways according to the culture of the location. And of course, we celebrated Nigeria night instead of Thai night!

Did you connect with other hubs?

K: Yes! During our opening ceremony we Skyped with the Taiwan hub, which passed the international guiding light to us, ceremonially lighting our candles, and we passed it on to the Maldives hub during their opening ceremony. We also got to Skype with other ‘mystery hubs’ where we played a guessing game to figure out where they were located. We spoke to Poland and the Maldives as mystery hubs. We also got to call into one of the UK hubs to hear Nicola Grinstead, former chair of the World Board, give a short speech. There was also a WAGGGS event app that helped us connect with others by posting photos in the participant space and message scouts from other hubs. I messaged Lisa at the Nigeria hub and Priya from the Sangam hub and we shared what we were doing at our hubs.

A: Despite trouble with technology, we managed to connect with Kusafiri in Tanzania for their presentation by Kate. Kate now works with Days for Girls in Tanzania educating young women on menstrual hygiene and female genital mutilation. Her journey to this point in her life was not easy. She told us how she escaped female genital mutilation herself by hiding in the trunk of a visiting family’s car when they left to return to thier home. She lived on the street for a time and used drugs before being befriended by a local pastor who helped her. She summed up her story by saying that sometimes you only need one person to see you and you may never realize how much you have helped someone by seeing them and reaching out to them. This inspiring thought helped us to start brainstorming our 100 girls projects. Besides this connection there were other attempts that did not work to connect virtually with other hubs but we knew they were there thinking of us as we connected on the online participant space.

Did you get to be tourists?

K: There was some time to be tourists in Bangkok. I arrived one day early for the Seminar and had a chance to visit a floating market and Wat Pho, one of the most famous temples in Bangkok, with two of the other participants–ladies from England and Madagascar. One evening, we also had free time to go out to dinner. The Thai participants wrangled the rest of us through busy public transportation to an open air market and we all had dinner together. After the seminar was over, I stayed a few extra days to visit an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Rai and see a few more of the sights in Bangkok.

A: We mostly stayed in the hotel learning about leadership, the Sustainable Development Goals and the culture of Nigeria. We were surprised on our community day with a visit to the Lekki Conservation Center where we got to do the longest canopy walk in Africa! We challenged ourselves and got to see views of the city. That day as we were driving around we got to see some of Lagos and drove over the longest bridge in Nigeria!

What was the most inspiring part of the seminar?

K: In preparation for our 100 Girls Project, we did a mini Lead Out Loud project in small patrols. Each patrol was to address a gender barrier and do a small project that would reach 30 people in four hours. I was pretty skeptical that we could have even that much impact in such a short time. My group decided to talk about catcalling and harassment women experience on the street. We made a Google survey asking about people’s experiences with catcalling and we filmed some video clips with people on the street and our fellow participants, asking them to share opinions and experiences. We made a poster with the results of our survey and after four hours we had received 40 responses. I was surprised we had managed to reach that many in such a short time, but I was even more surprised when I kept checking the results of the survey over the next few days and we had more than 400 responses from people from all over the world aged 14 to 55, more than 95% of which reported having been catcalled. Hearing about the mini projects the other groups at my hub did, I was surprised at the reach all of us were able to achieve. It taught me about the power of social media and teamwork, and helped make the 100 Girls Project seem less daunting.

A: The most inspiring part of the seminar for me was interacting with the other participants and discussing issues in their community. It inspired me to see how dedicated this group of young women was to making their world a better place.

Did you spend any time in the community?

K: We had a day to visit a community outside of Bangkok called Baan Khoksalung to learn about community development and leadership. The community is primarily from the Thai Bueng ethnic group and has faced some challenges related to the flooding of the nearby reservoir which wiped out a lot of their agricultural activities and forced many families to move. As a way to both preserve their traditional culture and identity, and to supplement their income, the community set up a local museum that hosts tourists for the day or overnight and shares dances, traditional craft making (mostly weaving and toy making), and cooking with guests. Baan Khoksalung is just one of many local museums all over Thailand that has found a unique way to keep their cultural traditions alive in a changing world. The community was so welcoming to us and shared their strategies for leadership in the community: dialogue, networking, system thinking, and strategy. The community really stressed communication as a way to bring happiness and harmony, and a way for the young people to learn from the elders, and in turn, for the elders to learn from the young people. We had the chance to learn traditional weaving of cloth and reed mats, and how to cook Thai pancakes.

We got to hear from a member of a local organization that supports leadership in business on our community day. She talked about gender equality and led a few activities on gender equality. After we went to EduPoint, a company that was started by graduates of the business leadership program that connects students with tutors. This was followed by lunch and tour of the Nigeria Girl Guide Association Headquarters. All of us participants did a Stop the Violence photoshoot on the roof of the headquarters. We got to meet with local Scouts from our logistics team and all went on the canopy walk together.

What is the 100 Girls Project?

K: At the end of our seminar, each of us returned home with a plan to share what we had learned about the leadership mindsets, the STGs, and gender equality with 100 girls and young women. While in Thailand, I made a plan for my 100 Girls Project, hoping to share what I learned at Our Chalet as a volunteer, and during my planned volunteering at a leadership workshop for young women in Guatemala this fall. With COVID-19, everything is pretty uncertain. I won’t be going to Our Chalet this summer, and Girl Scout camp won’t be in session either, nor will I be going to Guatemala. So right now, I’m working on a new plan to create an Instagram campaign about the WAGGGS leadership mindsets, sharing activities and inspiration for girls who are stuck at home. The Creative and Critical Thinking leadership mindset helps us adapt when things don’t go as planned and helps us find unique solutions to new problems.

A: I’m hoping to create a program for girls in Colorado who are thinking about doing a Gold Award. The program will help girls think about the WAGGGS leadership mindsets and the UN Sustainable Development Goals to identify a project that meets a need in their community. The goal will be to help girls create really thoughtful and impactful projects that make their world a better place.

That sounds awesome! How do I get involved in more international Guiding opportunities?

Anna and Krista: We’re so glad you asked! A lot of people are surprised when we tell them all of the international opportunities we have had through Girl Scouts, but we think it’s really important to remind everyone that Guiding and Scouting is a global movement and we’re all working together to support girls and young women of courage, confidence, and character around the world. If you’re still an active girl member, you can plan your own international trip! I recommend trying to connect with a troop in the country you want to visit to learn more about Scouting in their country, or visiting a World Center for a program. You can also check out GSUSA’s Destinations. If you are an adult volunteer, you can also participate in World Center programs, or you can volunteer or intern at the World Centers. Anna and I have both been World Center volunteers and we highly recommend it. Join the Global Leadership Opportunities pool, follow WAGGGS on social media, and check their website periodically to find out about global events like JLS. Scholarships are available to support girls who want to participate in international events, so make sure you check those out! The Look Wider Scholarship for Colorado girls is always a good place to start. We have made so many international friends and have gotten to feel like a part of a global movement; we just cannot recommend getting involved in international Guiding enough.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Virtual Tours of all WAGGGS World Centers

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is hosting virtual tours of all WAGGGS World Centers during the week of May 18 – 22, 2020! Recordings of each session will be available via the GSUSA virtual calendar after each program.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

World Center Tour of Our Cabana and Lucha Libre Mask Activity

UPDATE: This experience is now open to Girl Scouts of all ages.

Girl Scout Brownies can take a virtual tour of the Our Cabana World Center, located 47 miles from Mexico City and learn about “Lucha Libre” on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 2:15 – 3:30 p.m. MDT. “Lucha Libre” literally means free wrestling and it is a practice that has become a huge part of Mexican culture. The fights are a colored and joyful show that many Mexican families enjoy watching. You will create your own wrestler mask and then find a partner to play with. With your masks on, you will play thumb wrestling.

Materials Needed: Printed mask, crayons, markers, glue, scissors

Register online: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6591479156623302925

This event is hosted by Girl Scouts of the USA.

*We recommend that you participate using a computer so you can see the presenter’s webcam.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

WAGGGS World Centres: Online Global Campfire

WAGGGS World Centres are excited to bring members together on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 5 p.m. UTC (11 a.m. Mountain Time)  for an Online Global Campfire to connect and #sharethelight.

Register online: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSekCXfajiUV_LWhQPdj_i-uxQTw4v3bu20ZjCZmCpHJh8Po7A/viewform

There are limited places available for #sharethelight. If your registration is accepted, you will be sent the link and a password required to attend this online event and a PDF of songs which will be sung. It is very important that you DO NOT share this link with anyone else. It is just for you and the people in your household to join on one device.

If your registration is NOT accepted (due to numbers), you will be notified before April 18. You will then be sent a link to a YouTube clip by April 20, so you can join anytime. This clip will have those songs that we have copyright permission for and will therefore not be the full programme.

If you are between the ages of 13 and 18, you must have the permission of your parent/guardian to be online for this event. If you are under the age of 13, you must attend the event with a caregiver.

#sharethelight will be facilitated in English with songs sung in Spanish, French and Arabic during the campfire.

This is a FREE event brought to you by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Melinda Caroll and your World Centres.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Emma Popkin, Colorado Springs, “Alternative Gardening at Palmer High School”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I successfully obtained the necessary funding for and installed two hydroponic (meaning that they do not require soil) Grow Towers into the library at my school. These Grow Towers are currently growing a variety of herbs and vegetables that are being incorporated into a series of educational workshops meant to both educate students on the importance of locally sourced and healthy food options and allow the students to sample some of the actual produce grown. I also prepared a slideshow on how climate change impacts food supply and the need for locally sourced food that is being displayed next to the Grow Towers. Along the way, I established a central working committee of teachers, staff, administrators, and students to carry out my project and have involved representatives from two local community organizations doing similar work (the Pikes Peak Urban Gardens and the Colorado Springs Food Rescue).

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

Throughout the duration of my project (especially during and after the educational workshop that I hosted), I continually questioned my target audience to gauge what they knew before my project and what they had learned after seeing my project. Additionally, I was approached by many of my peers and teachers several times and informed that they have gained a greater understanding of the issue from my project.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

My Gold Award project will be sustained by my project advisor, Mr. Chamberlin, and an environmental club at Palmer. Mr. Chamberlin will assist the members of the environmental club with the Grow Tower maintenance and will also continue to facilitate educational workshops with other groups of students at Palmer. The library staff will also help maintain the Grow Towers. Moving forward, the members of the environmental club will also explore additional ways to involve more students in other classes with the Grow Towers. Additionally, Mr. Chamberlin is spear-heading a new horticulture class that will be offered at Palmer.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

To fulfill my global connection, I created an informational brochure about Grow Towers and my project and sent one to the New York branch of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), along with a short introduction of myself and a description of my project. WAGGGS is an international Girl Scouts organization that is assessable to Girl Scouts all over the world and highlights the projects of numerous outstanding Girl Scouts. My hope is that this organization will include my project on their website so that Girl Scouts all over the world can learn about my work and become inspired to complete a similar project of their own.

Additionally, my project inspired efforts to initiate a horticulture class at Palmer (my advisor is leading that effort). I also presented to a science class at Galileo Middle school about my project and inspired teachers there to work towards obtaining Grow Towers of their own.

What did you learn about yourself?

Along the way, I learned several things about myself:

  1. I possess a strong work ethic
  2. I possess the ability to excite others about my project
  3. I possess strong leadership skills (public speaking, coordinating meetings, contacting staff members and other community leaders, etc.)
  4. I am good at public speaking
  5. I possess resiliency, flexibility, and the ability to adapt to changing conditions during the various project stages

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

Upon completing my Gold Award project, I feel more educated about my issue (the impact of climate change on food production) and more inspired to pursue a career to help address this issue or a similar issue in the future. This project has helped me develop and utilize several important life skills such as public speaking, leadership skills, budget-making, and problem-solving. I feel confident that I will be able to tackle any challenge moving forward.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

I believe that completing my Gold Award project was an excellent way to cap off my Girl Scout experience. I have been in Girl Scouts since second grade and have completed both the Bronze and Silver awards, a Journey, and many different badges. I believe that the Gold Award project was great way to put all of the skills that I have learned as a Girl Scout into action and complete a project that I really care about.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

After completing my Gold Award project, I feel that I have become a better innovator and leader. Throughout this project, I encountered many different obstacles that required me to problem solve and innovate possible solutions. Additionally, I believe that I grew as a leader – this project required me to facilitate several meetings, phone calls, and presentations, work with my team to create several budgets and timelines, reach out to other community organizations doing similar work, and conduct a press conference with a local newspaper and news channel.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org.

Celebrate World Thinking Day March 7, 2020

Submitted by Melissa Marty

Metro Denver

Northglenn

Looking for a fun activity for your Girl Scout?

Join us for The Woods Service Unit World Thinking Day 2020 on Saturday, March 7  from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Admission is $10 per tourist. https://my.cheddarup.com/c/the-woods-service-unit-646

Where: Al Lesser Building, Adams County Fairgrounds Brighton

Tourists will learn about other countries that participate in WAGGSS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts). Attendees might experience food, SWAPS, songs, art, etc. during a three -five minute presentation from each represented region.

This is not a drop off event, parents/leaders must stay onsite.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Request a returned Peace Corps volunteer to speak with your troop

Every year on February 22, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world participate in globally themed activities allowing girls to acknowledge they are a part of a worldwide movement. GSCO understands many troops/service units celebrate World Thinking Day after the cookie program ends. If you’re planning to do that, consider inviting a returned Peace Corps volunteer to speak with girls. The Speakers Match program will help you find speakers in your area who can speak about their countries of service. Use this helpful online form to request a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer to speak with your troop: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfv43ukvBd9lb9tvBq4h5nHSIT0Scw_9-M9og57yP99hlAaEw/viewform

Celebrate World Thinking Day on March 7, 2020

Submitted by Melissa Marty

Metro Denver

Northglenn

Troop 66796 invites you to join The Woods Service Unit to celebrate World Thinking Day 2020!

When: Saturday, March 7, 2020

Location: Al Lesser Building 9755 Henderson Rd Brighton

Time: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (check-in and booth setup at 8:30 a.m.)

Investment (cost): $10 per girl

For the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), leadership is a shared journey which empowers us to work together and bring positive change to our lives, the lives of others, and wider society. All of us can practice leadership by choosing to explore our “ways of being and thinking about the world” and using what we learn about ourselves to work on our behavior as leaders, every day.

At this World Thinking Day event, each registered troop will host a booth with a presentation about the country to share with other troops. Troops may also share food, SWAPS, songs, art, etc. from their chosen region, and should likely plan to use at least one/two meetings to prepare their materials. We realize that many first year Daisies, Juliettes, or other Girl Scouts may wish to attend this celebration without hosting a country booth. Girls are welcome to attend as a “tourist” at the same registration cost. (Max. number of tourists allowed will be 50.)

Sign up to host a country here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080a4ca8ad2ea6f85-world

Please purchase your admission once you have selected your country or to be a tourist: https://my.cheddarup.com/c/the-woods-service-unit-646

Leaders can also purchase a WTD patch.

40963104_wtd2020

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Celebrate World Thinking Day with your Girl Scout sisters

Take the lead on February 22, 2020 to celebrate World Thinking Day with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from 150 countries! (That’s one big celebration!)

Promoted by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), along with Girl Scouts across the USA, World Thinking Day originated in 1926 when delegates from around the globe met at Camp Edith Macy—now called Edith Macy Conference Center—in New York state.

Every year since, World Thinking Day has called Girl Scouts and Girl Guides to join together and take part in activities that promote changing the world for the better. This year’s World Thinking Day theme is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; check out our activity guides to explore many different ways girls can be leaders and create the change they want to see in the world—and celebrate being part of the global sisterhood that is Girl Scouts and Girl Guides!

The GSCO Global Action Committee also wants to hear from you about your exciting plans for World Thinking Day. If you are planning a World Thinking Day celebration, please fill out this form so the Global Action Committee can compile data and help you make your celebration the best it can be!

More updates from the GSCO Global Action Committee!

New Global Girl Scout flyer available

The Global Action Committee is thrilled to launch an updated flyer about all the global opportunities available to Girl Scouts. Available online through the Global section of anytime activities.

Celebrate World Thinking Day with GSCO

Take the lead on February 22, 2019 to celebrate World Thinking Day with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from 150 countries! (That’s one big celebration!)

Promoted by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS for short) along with Girl Scouts across the USA, World Thinking Day originated in 1926. That’s when delegates from around the globe met at Camp Edith Macy—now called Edith Macy Conference Center—in New York State and agreed that February 22 would henceforth be known as a special day for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts worldwide.

Every year since, World Thinking Day has called for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides to join together and take part in activities that promote changing the world for the better. This year’s World Thinking Day theme is Leadership; check out our activity guides to explore many different ways girls can be leaders and create the change they want to see in the world—and celebrate being part of the global sisterhood that is Girl Scouts and Girl Guides!

The GSCO Global Action Committee also wants to hear from you (VSS, Service Unit Managers, troop leaders, etc.) about the exciting plans you’ve been working on for World Thinking Day. If you are planning a World Thinking Day celebration, please fill out the form linked HERE so the Global Action Committee can compile data and help you make your celebration the best it can be!

More updates from the GSCO Global Action Committee!

Celebrate International Women’s Day with GSCO

Girl Scouts of Colorado is excited to celebrate International Women’s Day and we are asking YOU to help. For our part, GSCO wants to invite you to participate in a video project. On March 8, we are celebrating International Women’s Day with #PressforProgress and aiming to enhance gender equality. Full instructions on how to participate are on the blog!

New Global Girl Scout flyer available

The Global Action Committee is thrilled to launch an updated flyer about all the global opportunities available to Girl Scouts. Available online through the Global section of anytime activities.