Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On my honor...

On my honor I will try:
To serve God and my country
To help people at all times
And to live by the Girl Scout
The Girl Scout Promise, something that I learned when I was very young and have strived to live by for my whole life. Because I respect the promise I made so many years ago, I want my daisies to learn to equally respect it and strive to live by it and in turn the girl scout law. For those of you who don't know, Daisies are the youngest Girls Scouts, they are in kindergarten and first grade. Because this is their first experience with Girl Scouts they don't earn try its or other interest patches as the older girls do, they spend these two years learning exactly what it means to be a girl scout. The petals that they earn represent each part of the girl scout law.
I will do my best to be:
Honest and fair,
Friendly and helpful,
Considerate and caring,
Courageous and strong, and
Responsible for what I say and do,
And to respect myself and others,
Respect authority,
Use resources wisely,
Make the world a better place,
And be a sister to every Girl Scout
For the past several months I have spent a lot of time going over what each part of the law means and discussing with the girls how they can do each thing. As you can imagine 5 year olds have very interesting answers to these questions. It is important for me to let them come up with the answers on their own (with guidance from me of course) so it has been a little trying at times.

We've probably spent the most time talking about how to "help people at all times" or "be Friendly and helpful." In September I sat in front of a group of 7 girls five just starting kindergarten and two in first grade. All but one were new to Girl Scouts. I asked them "how can you help someone" at first they all seemed to thing they were too young to help anyone but after some coaxing, one said "we can help someone up if they fall." True, that is a way we can help someone and I was very excited that they had come up with this answer. Maybe I was a little too excited, they seemed to get stuck on this example and not just for that day but for several weeks. Of course they all thought they had come up with different ways to help by saying the could : get an adult if someone was hurt, help someone up, tell an adult, get someone a band aid... the list seemed to go on and on but always revolved around someone falling down.

As time went by a began to slip some suggestions about service projects or actual service projects into their activities. We drew pictures for service men (and women) for veterans day, talked about things we were thank on thanks giving and I made sure to bring up the "big" things like a house and food, and we made Christmas ornaments to take to the senior center when we visited to carol at Christmas time.

This past Saturday, I held a cookie training and spent some of the time talking with the girls about what they wanted to do with their cookie money, and any activities they wanted to do with girl scouts before the end of the year. They all told me they wanted to go camping. Then I told them I thought we should use some of the money for a service project, I reminded them of the things we had already done(specifically the senior center). I asked them if they could think of something else we could do to help people. As I held my breath scared of what they would say in front of all of their parents, i called on the oldest girl in the troop, "we could draw them pictures" I smiled, reminding myself that she's only 6 and this was a step forward from "helping someone up if they fall." Then one of the younger girls raised their hand and said "we could help the Ronald McDonald house" YES!! thank you, something has worked! I prompted her to explain to the other girls what the Ronald McDonald house was. Fortunately, I had already been in contact with them and knew some of the things we could do to help. Our newest girl scout then raised her hand and said we could help the homeless!!! I then asked the girls what kind of things they thought homeless people needed and got wonderful responses including: give them toothpaste, food, blankets, clothes... we ended the conversation talking about a local family shelter. I can't tell you how proud I am of them. It makes my heart swell to know they came up with these things on their own.
I can't for the snow to clear up so I can contact both of these organizations and find out if I can plan visits for girls this age and ways we could help!!
Sorry for such a long post I was just too proud not to write the whole story.

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