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Adult - Your Voice Your World
| 2013-08-28 00:00:06
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    HOW TO PARTNER WITH GIRL SCOUT AMBASSADORS ON YOUR VOICE YOUR WORLD THE POWER OF ADVOCACY IT’S YOUR WORLD — CHANGE IT! A LEADERSHIP JOURNEY

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    Advocacy: What It’s All About ADVOCACY: WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT 6 WORLDWIDE SISTERHOOD GSUSA is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). This umbrella organization for our worldwide sisterhood, formed in 1928, advocates globally on issues of importance to girls and young women. For WAGGGS, advocacy means “speaking, doing, and educating.” Learn more about WAGGGS at wagggs.org. Advocacy may overlap with community service in many ways, but it is quite different from it. For a rundown on “Service, Action, and Advocacy,” see page 29 in the girls’ book. Webster’s defines advocacy as “the action of pleading for or supporting.” Whenever you try to persuade someone to do something or to see something your way, you are engaging in advocacy. Advocate comes from the Latin word for “voice.” Being an advocate means to raise your voice to affect change. When your group of Ambassadors goes out into the world as advocates, they will be joining a long line of women who have raised their voices for change throughout history. The girls’ book features a time line of women advocates through the years. Encourage the Ambassadors to check it out, talk about it, be inspired by it, and perhaps even add to it. Who knows? Someday they may be part of it! Advocacy in Girl Scouting Since the founding of Girl Scouts in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low, advocacy has been at the core of Girl Scouting. The organization’s advocacy efforts range from influencing legislation to reaching out as a leading voice for girls at the federal, state, and local levels. In recent years, the visibility of Girl Scouts as the preeminent advocacy organization for girls has increased around the nation, particularly on Capitol Hill. Successful advocacy efforts have included: • Securing significant federal appropriations to reach underserved girls. • Participating increasingly in policy dialogues as representatives of the interests of girls. • Using the findings of the Girl Scout Research Institute to support the creation of public policies that benefit girls. • Holding advocacy days in state capitals and the nation’s capital, to inform and educate policymakers and community officials about issues that affect the Girl Scout organization or the rights of girls. In 2007, more than 700 Girl Scout members—girls and adults—met with legislators to advance the issue of healthy living among girls as part of GSUSA’s Congressional Advocacy Day.

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    Toward the Girl Scout Advocate Award 8 Steps to Advocacy The road to advocacy can take many routes, but in this journey it follows eight sequential steps that the girls can easily fit into their busy lives—now and anytime they want to advocate. Each step builds on the one before, giving the girls new insights, stronger skills, and greater confidence. The 8 Steps to Advocacy do not have to be accomplished in the exact order given in the Advocacy Central chart on The Girl Scout Advocate Award pages 8–9, though that is likely the smoothest path to success. There are also no limits on the amount of time the girls can choose to spend on each step. They can take as much or as little time as needed. What’s most important is for the Ambassadors to do what they find intriguing, exciting, and engaging. First, though, they’ll decide whether to journey forward on their own or as part of a team. If you’re advising Ambassadors who are journeying solo, encourage them to collaborate as much as possible with friends, teachers, mentors, and other community members. Even those journeying with other Ambassadors may want to proceed with minimal adult guidance. Still, be ready to be needed. Even older teens can want, and flourish with, adult coaching and guidance. AS YOU READ THROUGH THE 8 STEPS TO ADVOCACY, THINK ABOUT: • Your own life experiences and what they’ve taught you about speaking up for what you believe in. • People you know in the community and the connections they may have. • Strengths, talents, and skills you possess that you can share with the girls. TOWARD THE GIRL SCOUT ADVOCATE AWARD No matter how Ambassadors travel through this journey, if they complete the 8 Steps to Advocacy, the prestigious Girl Scout Advocate Award is theirs. 7

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    Sample Sessions at a Glance SAMPLE SESSIONS AT A GLANCE SESSION 1 Introduction, Find Your Cause SESSION 2 Community Needs and Personal Causes Girls learn about choices involved in the journey and begin to plan and schedule their journey and • create a “girl-led” team agreement • explore the meaning of advocacy and the steps involved, and the usefulness of advocacy in their lives Girls identify their connections in their communities and • use their ideas about community needs to explore possible areas for advocacy • practice public speaking based on values of the Girl Scout Law 14 A is for adventure—the big one you are about to begin. SESSION 3 Tuning in on an Issue • consider trying on a “new mood” based on a personal outlook they want to practice Girls explore how their efforts could cause a “ripple effect” of action on their chosen issue and • practice making realistic decisions based on their available time and, through research, break their issue down, “tuning in” to one specific angle of it

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    SESSION 4 Building a Network of Partners SESSION 5 Reporting Back on Partners and Possible VIPs, and Planning the Perfect Pitch Girls assess what they have learned about their issue and then create realistic solutions they will try to advocate toward and • “harmonize” by identifying and beginning to reach out to partners who can strengthen their advocacy efforts • develop team plans to “divvy up” next steps related to working with partners and identifying the “VIPs” who can act on their proposed solution Girls assess and share progress mobilizing partners and identifying VIPs and • explore the kinds of power and influence the VIPs they have identified could have on the issue/solution • create and practice their presentation to VIPs SAMPLE SESSIONS AT A GLANCE SESSION 6 Closing the Loop Girls assess the effectiveness of their pitch to VIPs and • create plans for next steps or “closing the loop” so that their “butterfly effect” continues (whether or not they continue advocating) • plan their own Opening Ceremony SESSION 7 Reflect, Reward, Celebrate Girls reflect on what they have learned, felt and experienced on the journey and its impact on them and • celebrate their experience based on their plans – perhaps even “passing it on” in some way to others 15

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    “Study thoroughly and think deeply.” —Chinese proverb

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    SAMPLE SESSION 3 Tuning in on an Issue SAMPLE SESSION 3 AT A GLANCE Goal: Girls make a team decision and focus in on one realistic angle of their advocacy issue. (Experiences and discussions from Step 2 of the girls’ book) • Opening Ceremony (optional) • The Butterfly Effect • Time Crunch • Researching the Issue • Take an Assessment Break • Discover Your Inner Child • Closing Ceremony (optional) may try your patience just a bit. So give them room—to talk, hang out, and have fun. A is for adolescents. Remember: Ambassadors are teens! Their adolescent ways at times TUNING IN ON AN ISSUE 49

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    Encourage the girls to play a second (or even a third) round so that another girl can start off the game with a new action. How the game might play out: ROUND 1 GIRL 1 GIRL 2 GIRL 3 SAMPLE SESSION 3 I told a friend all about a book on environmental ethics. GIRL 4 A candidate for president of the United States read the editorial and made it part of her campaign platform. The friend was inspired by it and gave a speech to her class on environmental ethics. GIRL 5 The candidate was elected president and put environmental laws into action. Her teacher sent her speech to the New York Times, and it was published on the Op-Ed page. GIRL 6 The United States became a world leader in environmental policy. GAME OPTIONS The game can also be played with more TUNING IN ON AN ISSUE serious actions, such ROUND 2 GIRL 1 GIRL 2 GIRL 3 as “There’s an oil spill off the coast of California” or “A child gets bullied and I gave a book about environmental ethics to a friend. The friend donated it to the library. The library held a book drive to raise awareness about illiteracy. beaten up by a 10thgrader.” Let the girls decide if they want to go for fun/silly or significant/serious—or mix it up and do rounds of each. GIRL 4 A teenage girl from South America received the book and became a better reader and was accepted into a top university. GIRL 5 That girl went on to do medical research and discovered the cures for several diseases. GIRL 6 One of those diseases affected the original girl who gave away her book, and she was cured. After the game, ask the girls to think about how the Butterfly Effect is linked to advocacy, and how it might play out in their own advocacy efforts. Does it matter that we may not know the final outcome of our first action? Why or why not? 51

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