Thursday, September 4, 2014

Junior Girl Scouts: aMUSE Journey Day One

Our girls are beginning fourth grade, and this is their first year as Junior Girl Scouts.  During their two years as Daisies and their two years as Brownies, we have never done a Girl Scout Journey.  Every spring, the girls have voted on the badges they would like to earn during the next school year.  They voted to try a Junior Journey this year.  While I should have had them vote for one of the three Journeys available, I didn't.  Instead, I borrowed both the girl and leader guides for each of the Junior Journeys from the library.  After flipping through the materials, I knew the aMUSE Journey was a great fit for our girls.  

Since this is our first attempt at a Journey, I did some research.  I learned that some troops take two to three months to complete a Journey.  Other troops hold a Journey Overnight.  I discovered an amazing resource online for a one-day workshop.  I decided it would probably be best for our girls if we attempted to fall somewhere in the middle with our timeline.  In addition to the Journey materials that can be purchased from Council, I used that one-day workshop as a model as I developed our plan.  

We will spend every Wednesday in September on this Journey.  This year, we added an additional half hour to our meetings in the hopes that we would not feel so rushed.  We now meet from 4:30 to 6pm.  Parents are asked to drop their girls off around 4:15pm, so we can get started by 4:30pm.  In this post, I will describe what we did during our first Journey meeting and how it worked for our girls.

4:15pm  Girls arrive.

4:30pm  Girl Scout Promise and Sharing.  The girls begin each meeting by reciting the Girl Scout Promise.  They decided they do not wish to recite the Pledge of Allegiance this year, specifically because they say the Pledge each morning at school.  Since it is their troop, we allowed it.  The girls spent a few minutes sharing a special memory from summer break with the others in the troop.  

4:45pm  Explain Journey and Awards.  I wanted to introduce the girls to the Journey and to the associated Awards they will earn this month.  The day before the meeting, I prepared what I was going to say.  I pulled from both the Junior Journey Book and the Adult guide.  Here is the introduction I presented:
           We are doing a Journey.  For the next four Wednesdays, we are going to focus on lessons and activities that will help you discover yourself, connect with each other and your community, and take action to make the world a better place.  DISCOVER + CONNECT + TAKE ACTION = LEADERSHIP.  As Girl Scouts, you are learning different skills to be great leaders.
            For each level of Girl Scouts, there are three different Journeys.  You probably should have voted which Journey to do, but I flipped through them and thought the aMUSE Journey fit our troop well. 
            It's about having fun trying on roles, and being a leader who stretches herself to play new parts.  You'll also be inspiring others to try new roles (page 5, Junior Journey Book).  Read Pg. 6 Junior Journey Book.
Does anyone know what a stereotype is?  Stereotype--word or phrase used to categorize a group of people and this idea is generally believed or accepted by others.  Example:  “The nurse gave me a shot.”  When I say that, do you think the nurse is a man or a woman?  Why?  That is a stereotype.
Show Awards.  From Pg. 12 Adult Guide (Pg. 8, 9 Junior Journey Book).
                        Reach Out:  You will understand the many roles women and girls play in the world around you and the leadership skills needed to assume these roles.
                        Speak Out:  You will be aware of how stereotypes can hold you and your friends back from trying new roles, and you will learn how to stop stereotypes.
                        Try Out:  You will have courage and confidence to try out your new roles.
            Read Pg. 30 Adult Guide (last two bullet points).
          Sing “Yes She Can?”
This song is SUPER cute, and we had such fun singing it.  The girls wanted to sing it again, and they asked if they could sing it as loud as they could.  LOVE IT!

5:00pm  Flurry of Roles.  Prior to the meeting, I wrote the different roles found on page 29 of the Adult Guide on small post-it notes.  I added a few roles like doctor, horse trainer, and lifeguard.  I placed the post-its all over a door in our meeting space.  We explained the activity, and the girls were given one minute to stick roles on themselves.  They were instructed to choose the roles they thought were a good fit.  Then we discussed the questions on page 29 of the Adult Guide.

5:15pm  Take the Stage ("Charades").  Before the meeting began, I wrote the roles found on page 31 of the Adult Guide on slips of paper.  Again, I added a few roles like Chef, Teacher, and Auto Mechanic.  Each girl took a turn choosing a role and acting it out in 5-10 seconds while the rest of the troop guessed the role being played. 

5:30pm  Role Model Dolls  Following the instructions on page 20 and 21 in the Junior Journey book, the girls made dolls out of a button, pipe cleaners, and yarn.  We had pipe cleaners, yarn, felt, and googly eyes remaining from previous crafts.  I picked up some large buttons at Joann's.  I used a 40% off coupon, so a package of six was only $1.37 plus tax.

The girls loved making these dolls!  They worked for the rest of the meeting, giving their girls capri pants or skirts, headbands and purses.  Some of the girls took extra materials with them to finish the dolls at home.  Before we knew it, parents were arriving.  I didn't get a picture of all of the dolls.  We also failed to close our meeting.  Oops!  

We allowed the girls to take the Junior Journey Book home.  They were told they could read everything up to page 23, if they were interested.  We asked them to work on pages 12 and 13, letting them know that they would be sharing their New Character with the troop at the beginning of our next meeting.  We also asked that they read pages 14 and 15 and work on the Casting Call Log on pages 16 and 17 before the next meeting.  We will build off this Casting Call Log over the next few weeks.  I would have liked to address these pages with the girls during our meeting, but we chose to spend more time on the yarn dolls.  The girls saw the All-My-Roles Paper Dolls on pages 22 and 23 and seemed excited.  We encouraged them to make the paper dolls and asked them to bring them next Wednesday.

Thank you for reading.  Hopefully I will have more pictures of the yarn dolls and maybe even some photos of paper dolls to share in my next post.  See you next week!

UPDATE:  The girls added some finishing touches to their yarn dolls at home.  Here is a photo of the dolls they brought to our meeting yesterday.


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