Saturday, January 24, 2015

Show True Appreciation on National Compliments Day!

National Compliments Day is a great opportunity to make someone smile, better their day and promote positive connections with those around us! But are random, off-the-cuff compliments (or compliments for compliments-sake) really that helpful? And what are we really complimenting?  What messages are our words sending?

We as women almost always instinctively compliment girls' and other women's clothes/outside appearance. Though intended as a kind offering, these compliments reinforce to girls (and women) what it often seems, that our culture values most about them. 

Instead, of complimenting a girl on her sparkly shoes or adorable dress, what if we ask a girl what she's reading?  What does she like or dislike about the book?  In doing so, we get the girl talking about what's really important. We show her that we take her ideas and thoughts seriously. And in doing so, we model what smart women think and care about.

Want to compliment her?  Call out the clever way she responded to a problem. The kind way she helped a friend.

If it's true, tell her you think she's fun and funny!

Girls and most kids see through inauthentic compliments or praise. When a compliment doesn't feel sincere, it gives us pause. It makes us wonder, why did they say that? What was their motive?

When a compliment or mention feels authentic, it feels great that someone else noticed. 

At Girl Scouts, we know there is so much more to girls than their external appearance. On this Compliments Day, let’s commit to switching it up and consciously compliment girls on those characteristics we value in them and want to boost—those characteristics that we want her to notice in herself and value, too.
Friday, January 23, 2015

Three Things You Can Do on World Thinking Day

When you’re a Girl Scout, you’re part of something much bigger than just your troop or group. Your “network” stretches across your state, throughout the nation, and to more than 150 countries in the world where Girl Scouts or Girl Guides are found. Together, you’re a powerful force!

Every February 22 on World Thinking Day, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world unite in purpose to focus on one issue, or theme, to make the world a better place. This year, the World Thinking Day theme is “Create Peace Through Partnerships.”

Here a few things you can do to make this World Thinking Day special:

Share your #guidinglight

Candles have always been a powerful symbol of friendship for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world. This year, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides will light up social media with the glow of thousands of candles on World Thinking Day. So how do you participate? Here’s the short version: Light a candle. Take a selfie. Upload it to social media using the hashtag #guidinglight. Include a message that inspires others to do the same. And don’t forget to tag @girlscouts, @WAGGGS_world—and any other friends you might want to join you! Check out more details.

Show that peace is in your hands!

We all have the power to make changes for the betterment of our world. Learn about the international symbols for peace. Trace your hands and draw one of the symbols between them. If you want to start a conversation with members of your community, see if you can display your artwork at a community center, a local business, or house of worship. Invite community members to an “art opening” and talk about this year’s World Thinking Day theme.

Earn your World Thinking Day award!

Explore this year’s theme, “Create Peace Through Partnerships”! There are lots of ways to participate. Reading books, watching movies, constructing a “peace pole,” inviting a returned Peace Corps volunteer to talk to you about her/his experiences… Girl Scouts of all ages can participate in World Thinking Day. Check out our list of activities by grade level.

Questions about World Thinking Day? Learn more.
Thursday, January 22, 2015

Girls want to be Outdoor Explorers!

We’re excited to announce that girls and adults overwhelmingly selected Outdoor Explorer as the topic for the next series of outdoor badge offerings!

In the month of November, Girl Scouts of the USA began the polling process for the Girls’ Choice Outdoor Badges by giving girls the option to vote on three themes: Outdoor Recreation, Outdoor Environment and Outdoor Survival.

Outdoor Recreation won.

Then in December, girls selected their favorite topics from options within Outdoor Recreation. The choices were: Outdoor Challenge, On or in the Water and Outdoor Explorer.

Outdoor Explorer was the clear front-runner.

Now the real work begins! We are rolling up our sleeves to begin the work of writing the badge activities. Each badge will have five steps and three choices per step. It’s a long process to write badges but we will make sure that they are girl approved!

So keep your eyes on March 12 when final badge activities will be announced!
Friday, January 16, 2015

The Women of the West a Huge Success!

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and Los Angeles-based Ideas Exchange Zócalo Public Square launched “What It Means to Be American,” a collaborative three-year initiative aimed at engaging leading thinkers, public figures and Americans from all walks of life to explore how the United States became the nation it is today. Wednesday night’s kick-off event featured former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, at the Heard Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Phoenix. (podcast below)

The initiative will foster a national conversation through a series of free public events across the U.S. The first event, “The Women of the West,” featured native Arizonans—O’Connor and Chávez—discussing what it means to be a Western woman and what particular opportunities the region has offered women. For a very insightful run-down of the entire event, look here.
Thursday, January 15, 2015

Alabama Girl Scout Earns National Life Saving Award

In Alabama, a Girl Scout named Ashley has been pinned with the Bronze Cross, a Life Saving Award given on behalf of the Girl Scouts of the USA, for saving the lives of two men who were drowning in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ashley has been a Girl Scout for 11 years and earned many awards through her Scouting career, such as Junior Aide, Bronze Award, Cadette Leadership Award, Silver Award, and is currently in the process of working on her Gold Award, the highest award earned by a Girl Scout.

The Life Saving Award is given to a registered Girl Scout who has saved or attempted to save human life under circumstances that indicate heroism or risk of her own life. The criteria for the Life Saving Award includes being a registered Girl Scout at the time of the rescue, and saving, or attempting to save, human life only. Only four Bronze Crosses were awarded in 2013 and two were awarded in 2014, with Ashley being one of them.

16 years old at the time, Ashley was spending time with family at Crab Island in Destin, Florida, when two men became distressed in the deep current of the water. Seeing the men didn't know how to swim well, she jumped in to their rescue, pulled them into safer water and gave them life-jackets to float on until she could swim them to safety.

Ashley was pinned with the Bronze Cross on January 9, 2015. Elizabeth Brent, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama said, “Girl Scouts build skills that will last a lifetime.  Ashley recognized a need, knew she had the skills, and came to the aid of someone she could assist.  She exhibited one of the keys of the Girl Scout program, "take action" and there's an individual alive today because of her courage to act. She is a great role model for all of us.”