Archive for the ‘Journeys’ Category

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Explore the World Around You! Trips & Travel within Girl Scout Journeys

June 8, 2015

Girl Scouts Trips and Travel

Many people don’t know, but American Girl Scouts get to travel the world, and that’s a very good thing, as the more we can expose our young people to other cultures, the better off we’ll be in this increasingly globalized environment. – Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Traveling, be it down the street or across the globe, provides our girls opportunities to explore the world around them, step out of their comfort zone, and embrace diversity and different cultures. It’s pretty awesome!

But how do you incorporate these amazing adventures and new experiences into your troop meetings or your Journeys? That’s where we come in! Let’s explore the different travel and trip opportunities available and how you can enhance these experiences by tying them back to your Journey!

For Girl Scout Brownies:

There are a lot of day trips throughout our council that would complement the Brownie Journeys. For instance, you could arrange to visit a local water treatment facility or contact DENR for water programs for the Brownie WOW Journey. Or for Brownie Quest, invite family members to a park where you can participate in healthy living activities like walking, playing Frisbee, or even arrange a super fun game of kickball.

What about World of Girls? Visit the North Carolina Museum of History to learn about stories from our past! Or you could set up a visit to a local assisted living center where the girls and residents will benefit from sharing stories together!

For Girl Scout Daisies:

Daisies can explore the world too – be their backyard, their community, or their state! Take your Daisy troop to a local arboretum or come to one of our council programs at the JC Raulston Arboretum for the Daisy Flower Garden Journey where girls explore all the wonderful things Mother Nature has to offer! For Between Earth and Sky, find a natural treasure in your area to learn about, like our rare carnivorous plants near the coast or visit the New River which is one of the oldest in the world! Are you working with 5 Flowers, 4 Stories , and 3 Cheers for Animals? Head on over to a local SPCA, Humane Society, Petco or PetSmart and learn the importance of caring for animals.

There are so many fun and fabulous ways to help girls experience the world around them!

Ready for your next big adventure? Share your stories with us on Facebook or in the comments below! If you need more ideas on how to infuse travel within your Journey, or if you have an amazing idea you would like to share with your Girl Scout sisters, send us a note at journeyhelp@nccoastalpines.org. Happy travels!

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Journey that makes you say WOW!

March 19, 2015

WOW Journey - Brownies - Girl Scouts

By Kim Henry, Program Director

Calling all Brownie Leaders! Looking for a how-to guide to incorporate Journey’s into your troop year plan? You’ve found it! This post is all about at what Journeys are, how to make them fun for your girls, and different resources available to help you shine even brighter as a troop leader. Ready? Let’s go!

WHAT ARE JOURNEYS?

There are three Leadership Journeys that girls can choose from!

It’s Your World – Change It!

It’s Your Planet – Love It!

It’s Your Story – Tell It!

On every Leadership Journey, everything girls do – whether it’s performing science experiments, creating art projects, cooking simple meals or learning to protect the planet’s water supply – is aimed at giving them the benefits of Girl Scouting. In each Journey a girl discovers her special skills and talents, connects with others, and takes action to make the world a better place.

Journeys are a great way to incorporate fun and leadership skills for girls while also providing a framework and guide for leaders. One of the most common misconceptions I hear is how leaders feel they need to follow the leader guide word-for word. That, my friend, is far from true!

The leader guides are just that, a guide, which you can customize to fit the needs of you and your troop. What’s important about the Journeys is achieving the outcomes of each so girls discover, connect, and take action throughout the activities and experiences. As long as the girls are achieving the primary outcomes, you can choose your own path on how to get there.

HOW DO I USE JOURNEYS?

We’re so glad you asked! Here we’ll walk you through some simple steps to get started. Let’s use our Wonders of Water (WOW) Journey as an example.

First, let’s find out what the outcomes are for this journey. Looking through the WOW Journey, you’ll see an entire page dedicated to the outcomes girls should achieve as they work on and earn leadership awards along the way. (We recommend opening this page while reading the rest of this post to help guide you along the way!)

Using the example above, let’s focus on the Love Water Award (the first leadership award within the Journey). The outcomes for this award are:

  1. Girls can show two things they know and love about water.
  2. Girls make and carry out one personal promise to protect water.

Now that we know the outcomes, we can begin to think about how our troop/girls might go about achieving these goals. So, where do we start? Well, what are your troops interests? Do your girls enjoy hands-on activities? Or perhaps they love going on day trips? Involving your troop in answering these questions keeps it girl-led and helps them identify and pursue their passions!

Great – you’ve got some insight into what inspires your girls and get them excited – now it’s time to utilize your resources!

  1. Volunteer Toolkit: Brownie Troop Leaders have access to our handy online Volunteer Toolkit (VTK). The VTK offers lots of troop meeting plans (similar to the sessions outlined in the Journey books) giving you great ideas to help achieve the outcomes listed above. New to the VTK? Use our online video tutorials to learn about all the great functionality, meeting plans, and resources! You can login into the VTK here.

  2. Pinterest: Another great resources that our leaders and staff love is Pinterest! Here’s a fun activity I found and don’t forget to look at our council Pinterest boards – there are tons of great resources and information just for Brownies!

  3. Experienced Leaders: I bet you also didn’t know that you have another AMAZING resource right in your backyard — other leaders!! Experienced leaders are your most valuable resource as they have tons of ideas and resources to help! There’s lots of ways to connect with other leaders including contacting your Service Area Unit for recommendations, participating in our troop mentor program (where we will match you up with an experienced leader!) or joining our Troop Leaders Facebook Group. You can also email us any time with questions at JourneyHelp@nccoastalpines.org.

Lastly, Journey’s don’t need to take all year. You can finish a Journey in a few sessions or meetings. To help you get started on your first award, here is an outline that I have used for my Jump Into Journeys: WOW! Program. I used activities from the leaders guide, Pinterest, and more. I customized it for a group of 20-30 girls to complete in two hours – and it was a total blast!

Remember – Journeys are all about the experience! Your girls will feel so accomplished as they make their way through the leadership awards and learn a whole lot along the way!

Do you have resources you’ve used to customize or plan Journeys? Share them in the comments below!

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