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Snapshot of the Journey SNAPSHOT OF THE JOURNEY SESSION 1 Blare in the Air! SESSION 2 Scent Sense Girls focus on the sense of hearing as they explore both the noise people routinely create and the sounds of silence and nature. Girls begin to consider: • how what they value can influence how they care for Earth’s air • the importance of making silent time for themselves Girls explore how various scents make them feel. They begin to consider: • relaxation techniques • why their AWAREness of air matters SESSION 3 What’s in the Air? Girls investigate the science of air. They use what they have learned to: • create an air-quality observation tool • deepen their AWAREness of the importance of caring for air SESSION 4 Get AWARE Girls observe and record air-quality issues at their chosen location. They also consider: • the special flair each girl brings to the team • their own reasons for caring about air SESSION 5 ALERT Who About What? Girls earn their AWARE Awards and: • share their personal reason for caring about air • make a team choice about an ALERT project to engage others in caring for air SESSION 6 Inspiration, Please! Girls plan the specifics of their ALERT project, including: • identifying an Air Care Team • choosing how they will influence the team to act for air 8
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SESSION 7 ALERT! It’s Happening! SESSION 8 Take the Pulse Girls put their ALERT project in motion by: • using what they know to educate and inspire an Air Care Team to act Girls earn their ALERT Awards and consider the impact of their efforts. They: • develop ideas to AFFIRM the results of their actions and pass them on to Girl Scout Juniors • enjoy “Air Time” activities SNAPSHOT OF THE JOURNEY SESSION 9 Signs of AFFIRMation Girls create their AFFIRMation collage and a special note about it for Girl Scout Juniors. They also: • earn the AFFIRM Award • finish “Air Time” fun • plan their Closing Celebration SESSION 10 Up, Up, and Away! Girls celebrate their accomplishments on this journey and as Heirs Apparent of air and all Earth’s elements. Friends and Family Network It’s great for Cadettes to have a wide network of people in their lives. Reach out and see how parents, aunts, grandmothers, cousins, and other relatives and family friends can be involved in the journey. They might pitch in on the girls’ ALERT project or suggest guest speakers or field trips. They may have a craft expertise to share. Or they may want to assist in planning celebrations and ceremonies—or support the team with transportation and snacks. 9
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Awards Along the Journey AWARDS ALONG THE JOURNEY A long this journey, Cadettes have the opportunity to earn three prestigious leadership awards that engage them in improving the world’s air quality while also supporting and nourishing their own abilities as leaders who are aware, alert, and able to affirm all they do. In the girls’ book, activities leading to the awards are marked by the icon on the right. Here are the three awards and the steps Cadettes take to earn them: 1Keep an Air Log throughout the journey. Record what you see, hear, feel, and smell in the air. 2Identify two experts who can guide you to greater air awareness (meteorologists, biologists, wind farm or aeronautical engineers, parasailing instructors, astronauts, physicians or other health specialists, fragrance specialists, yoga instructors.) 3Increase your AWAREness about the issues that impact Earth’s air. Check out all the air issues throughout Breathe. Take a walk, with some Cadette friends (and of course a trusty adult), around a school, business district, a mall, or other area in search of air issues. Think about trees (see pages 52–63 in the girls’ book) or think about noise (see pages 17–31 in the girls’ book)! 4Decide the most important, personal reason you care about Earth’s air. Write a statement that explains why this reason matters to you and why it should matter to others. Share your AWAREness statement with your sister Cadettes. 10
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1With your Cadette team, choose an air issue to act on together. Learn as much as you can about it (use experts you’ve met) and write a statement that explains why it’s important to educate and inspire others on this issue. 2Decide whom to educate and inspire—this is your Air Care Team (ACT)! What groups of people would be best to join with you? Principals and teachers? Parents? Your peers? Who can best assist you in moving forward? 3Decide what you will ask your Air Care Team to do. What call to action will you deliver as you educate and inspire? How will your ACT’s efforts on this call to action improve your air issue? 4Decide how to reach your Air Care Team to inspire them to act on your air issue. The medium and method are up to you. The goal is to engage all their senses and create a sustainable effort! Air needs more than just a one-time gathering! 5Educate and inspire! Give your ACT its call to action. Feel the rewards of influencing others in a lasting way! AWARDS ALONG THE JOURNEY 1Gather proof of progress or improvement through your efforts to educate and inspire. What is the ACT doing to benefit air? 2Share the impact with your ACT and maybe even go further. Contact a local media outlet or ask your library for display space. 3Get with your Cadette team and reflect on your efforts and their impact. Take some time and talk it through. What will you do differently the next time you decide to act for Earth? 4Affirm your commitment to strive to be an heir apparent of air and all of Planet Earth’s elements. 11
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SAMPLE SESSION 5 SAMPLE SESSION 5 ALERT Who About What? ALERT WHO ABOUT WHAT? AT A GLANCE Goal: The girls assess what they learned during their observational visit, and their reasons for caring about air. They use their insights to make a team decision on an ALERT project and begin planning it together. • Opening Ceremony: Earning AWARE • Observing the Observations • Choosing an ALERT • Journey Logistics • Animal Sense • Closing Ceremony MATERIALS • Opening Ceremony: The girls’ book; AWARE awards. • Observing the Observations: Paper and pens; observations from field visit. PREPARE AHEAD Check out all the examples of Alert projects in the girls’ book. You’ll be guiding them to choose a project to educate and inspire others to act for improved air quality. As you do this, remember: • The ALERT project is an opportunity for girls to educate and inspire others to join them in Taking Action for air. So they need to identify and organize an Air Care Team—not just plan to Take Action on their own. • The ALERT project can be big or small, depending on the team’s interests and resources. What matters is that the girls are able to: (a) try engaging others, (b) develop and implement a plan, (c) explore sustainable—not one-shot—solution-building. 62 AS GIRLS ARRIVE Chat with any assistants about their roles before and during the session.
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SAMPLE SESSION 5 Opening Ceremony: Earning AWARE Perhaps girls have planned something or want to continue a tradition of quiet time or sharing how they have been “Tuning In.” Or you might read this quote attributed to a fifth-grade teacher and ask the girls to say a few words about what it means to them: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” If the team has completed the steps to earning the AWARE award (page 102– 103 in their book), they might like to begin with a little ceremony as they receive the award. Suggest a few minutes of quite time for girls to write their statements about why they care about Earth’s air (the last step to earning the award). Then encourage the girls to share their ideas with each other. Wrap up by congratulating the girls for earning this award. You might say: Leaders learn to be AWARE of what goes on in the world around them. Right now we are concentrating on air, but you can use your AWARE award to remind yourself that you strive to be AWARE of all that matters in your world! Observing the Observations Get the girls started on a discussion about what they observed during their field exploration. Here are some discussion prompts to get the team going: • What did you notice that surprised you? Did you observe anything that you had never really thought about before? • What did you notice that says something positive about the air we breath? What did you notice that could be a sign of air-quality issues? • Did you see any signs of cigarette smoking? • What noises were in the air that were bothersome? Did you hear any nature noises you’d like to hear more of? TIPS FOR SHARING AND DISCUSSING As the girls say their “cares,” they might make broad statements like “smoking causes cancer” and “idling trucks, buses, and cars stink.” Encourage them to try to personalize why they care. Ask: How does this affect you and your well-being? Your health? Others? Earth? As you keep working with the girls, remind them to practice expressing their “cares” to inspire—because that leads others to care. You might say: If you can convey a personal impact and your own passion, it will be easier for others to care, too. Here are examples of personalized statements: “The asthma epidemic is getting worse. My sister has asthma, and I want to do something about the environmental triggers in our home and neighborhood, so she’ll have fewer asthma attacks.” “All that loud media static out there affects my ability to pay attention. When I can’t concentrate, I can’t be a good student or a good friend.” ALERT WHO ABOUT WHAT? • What senses did you engage? • Who did you talk to? What did you learn from them? What did the conversations make you think about? 63
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SAMPLE SESSION 5 ALERT WHO ABOUT WHAT CLEARING THE AIR AT SCHOOL ALERT Project Possibilities DETOX YOUR SCHOOL (OR SCHOOL DISTRICT) This will involve research into what kind of cleaning supplies and pesticides the school uses; reaching out to administrative staff and perhaps a contracted cleaning company; and creating buzz around the issue by educating students and parents. Ultimately, the Air Care Team the girls have mobilized could propose the introduction of new approaches—or ask the school administration to adapt a three-year plan to take steps to change! NO-IDLING ZONE If the girls have noticed exhaust invading their classrooms and school grounds or other places in which they spend time, or have recorded complaints about exhaust enveloping the entire neighborhood around the school, this might be their project. After they check out the suggestions for de-fuming in their Breathe book, they’ll be ready to influence the school administration, the school district, the block association, or maybe even the entire town to do something about fumes from idling school buses and cars. 68 ANTISMOKING PROJECTS GETTING GREEN WITH PLANTS The positive effect of plants on air quality, personal health, and psychological well-being is also something the girls can read about in their book. Greenery can also screen ugly or distracting sights outside classroom windows, plus help buffer noise. If the girls launch an indoor greening project for their school, they may reach out to students, school administrators, and community members, sounding a green ALERT about plants and their benefits. Not able to do it at school? Where else in the community would more plants be useful? NO-BUTT ZONES Because many middle schools are adjacent to a high school or commercial zone where people smoke and the girls have read some of the statistics about the health effects of secondhand smoke, they may decide to take action in this area. After they research the subject, they can reach out to school staff, the medical community, and the local office of the American Lung Association. To kick off their advocacy, the girls may want to organize a Smokers Be-W-Air fair, with booths offering various experiments and activities that highlight the hazards of smoking. They might also survey how nonsmokers feel about their friends who smoke and use their findings to create a media campaign in their school.