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Adult - GIRLtopia
| 2013-08-28 00:00:12
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    Toward the Senior Visionary Award TOWARD THE SENIOR VISIONARY AWARD SHARING THE “CREATE IT” Sharing the GIRLtopia art projects can be simple, even just showing them to friends and family. Or it can be more elaborate: hosting an exhibit night, creating an online gallery, or hanging a display at a local library. Poetry might be published in a school or local paper or literary magazine, shared via e-mail, or read at a “poetry night.” What matters most is that the girls consider, express, and then convey their vision to others. While journeying toward GIRLtopia, girls have the option of earning a major award—the Senior Visionary Award. The Senior Visionary Award is an important step on the Girl Scout leadership ladder; it signifies that girls have a firm leadership foundation. They understand themselves, are able to make ethical decisions, build teams, care about others, envision change, and take action toward it. To earn the Visionary Award, Seniors will complete three steps, which they can accomplish—as a team or on their own—one by one or simultaneously: 1. Create It: Create a unique vision and artistic representation of an ideal world, and then share it with others. Some girls love art, some don’t. On this journey, they can choose a simple yet thoughtful way to represent their vision or they can go all out on an artistic adventure. For example, girls might write a group poem that reflects their ideal community or they might compile favorite songs that address the possibility of a better world. They could make a video of girls talking about how society needs to improve or they could create and perform a short play on the subject. Girls can use any medium they want—photography, painting, collage, written or spoken word, quilting—the choice is all theirs! 2. Guide It: Guide a mini-discussion or group activity that engages other girls in thinking about visionary leadership. 6 GREAT IDEAS FOR “GUIDE ITS” The sample sessions in this guide also suggest “Guide Its” girls might enjoy, and the “Think About It, Talk About Its” throughout their book might generate some great girl-led discussions. This step builds on the leadership topics presented throughout the girls’ book, which range from making ethical decisions to creating a Girls’ Bill of Rights. Have the girls divvy up the topics that interest them—or come up with their own—and then take turns offering mini-workshops or discussion sessions for one another or other girls, older or younger, over the course of the journey. For

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    example, a girl might create a teamwork activity that pools the group’s talents in preparation for the Take Action Project. Or some girls might want to invite local women leaders to discuss ethical decisions they’ve had to make, building on the case scenarios presented in the journey. The girls could then follow up by leading a group discussion or interview. 3. Change It: Do a Take Action Project that moves the world (or a community) one step closer to ideal. Girl Scouting unites girls in a global sisterhood, so girls may use their Take Action Project to think globally, but act locally—or think locally and then reach out globally. Even as they concentrate on “girl issues” (page 9 in the girls’ book details the state of girls and women in the world today), they’ll likely see a broader impact on their whole community. Most important, girls will experience the 12 stages of taking action, as listed in the Take Action Planning Chart on page 80 of their book and pages 8–9 of this guide. These stages aid girls in developing a process for analyzing issues, getting input from others, assessing their resources (including time) realistically, considering the greatest impact they can have based on their resources, and then planning and acting accordingly. GOOD TAKE ACTION PROJECTS: CRITICAL THINKING MORE IMPORTANT THAN PROJECT “SIZE” The time girls spend on their Take Action Project is less important than their having a meaningful opportunity to progress through the stages of identifying, planning, and doing a project. So make use of the coaching steps spelled out in the Take Action Planning Chart on the next pages. The learning that takes place along the way is what will benefit girls now and all their lives. A simpler version of this chart is on page 80 of the girls’ book. THE HOW AND WHY OF “CHANGE IT” As girls begin to plan their Take Action Project, keep in mind the difference between service and action: Service is direct and immediate; it changes something right now. Action, in contrast, gets at the root of issues to effect real and lasting change. Pages 68–71 of the girls’ book further define service vs. action and offer up examples of how the two differ. The stages that the girls will follow in their Take Action Planning Chart help ensure that they reach toward long-lasting action. The larger goal is for girls to develop thinking, planning, and engagement skills they can use all their lives. Some girls may even uncover issues they care deeply about and want to pursue further through other Girl Scout award projects. TOWARD THE SENIOR VISIONARY AWARD 7

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    Sample Sessions at a Glance SAMPLE SESSIONS AT A GLANCE SESSION 1 GIRLtopia: What’s It All About? SESSION 2 What’s on Girls’ Minds? Girls learn about the choices involved in the GIRLtopia journey, including the Senior Visionary Award, begin to plan and schedule their journey, and • gain an awareness of the need for a “GIRLtopia” and begin to express their visions for it • explore their values • build their understanding of visionary leadership • start to plan their “Create It” projects and think about their “Guide It” Girls use decision-making skills to decide their approach to ceremonies, and • promote team-building by determining how to act as an “ideal group” • practice basic research skills as a way to explore community issues • enjoy “Create It” time • check in on the group’s dynamics SESSION 3 How’s Our Community Doing for Girls? Girls review the results of their surveys, and • identify community needs through community mapping • develop their own “Girls’ Bill of Rights” • continue their “Create It” projects SESSION 4 Choosing to Take Action Girls brainstorm to decide on the issue and focus of their Take Action Project(s), and • practice making team decisions as they create a plan for taking action • think about possible solutions to their issue 12

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    SESSION 5 What Would You Do? SESSION 6 What Do Leaders Sound Like? Girls consider their values, and • practice ethical decision-making • plan their action projects • assess their progress on shared goals • have time for “Create It” and/or “Change It” projects Girls continue “Guide Its” (consider topics such as “Courage” and “Promise and Law”), and • “Sound Off” on qualities of “leaders” and “nice girls” • assess their team dynamics • have time for “Create It” and/or “Change It” projects • start planning a closing celebration SAMPLE SESSIONS AT A GLANCE SESSION 7 How Will We Lead the Way? Girls wrap up their “Create It” and “Change It” projects, and • reflect on leadership values • assess their team dynamics • complete plans for their closing celebration SESSION 8 Do I Inspire You? Girls reflect on and evaluate their projects, and • reflect on and evaluate their group dynamics • reflect on leadership values (if not covered in Session 7) • celebrate their success 13

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    0million “In a perfect world… girls’ dreams could be limitless, and no one would shoot them down.” —one girl’s vision of GIRLtopia 02 53% 01 66… 5 3% 70 66… 100million

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    SAMPLE SESSION 2 What’s on Girls’ Minds? SAMPLE SESSION 2 AT A GLANCE Goal: Girls develop cooperation and teambuilding as they further develop their visions of GIRLtopia and begin thinking about possible Take Action projects by planning to gather information. Opening Ceremony (optional) What’s Our Ideal Group? (Girls might like to “Guide It”) “Catch” the Dreams Skills for Taking Action: Surveying and Interviewing “Create It” Time Assessing Our Team Dynamics MATERIALS Balls of yarn or string (for “‘Catch’ the Dreams”) Scissors Tape or pushpins Strips of colored paper (or luggage tags) Paper clips Map of your community “Assessing Our Team Dynamics” list (page 49 of this guide, to be created in the session) 43

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    SAMPLE SESSION 2 WHAT’S ON GIRLS’ MINDS? “CATCH” THE DREAMS Make a life-size, but simplified, dream catcher—really a web of yarn—to “catch” all the girls’ dreams for an ideal group. Start by handing out balls of string/yarn. As an entire group, construct the web (perhaps in a corner of the room) by securing its various threads to the walls or objects with tape or pushpins. Have girls hang their papers/ tags in the web with paper clips. Ask for a girl volunteer to write a list of all the ideas on a large sheet of paper. Skills for Taking Action: Surveying and Interviewing As girls begin to think about possible Take Action Projects, they’ll need some guidance about how to decide what would be a truly useful project for their community. It’s important for them to get out into the community to talk to people and observe what’s going on. Begin a discussion about the kinds of skills, such as surveying and interviewing, that the girls might need to accomplish this. Review with the girls the “survey” page in their book and emphasize that this is the kind of research needed to accomplish Step 1 on their Take Action Planning Chart. Ask questions like: • What can you learn by gathering information about what’s on other girls’ minds? • What are some ways of asking girls how they would describe an ideal world? Drill down to the specific questions the girls might ask in their survey: • What kinds of things or places would you like to see more of to support and celebrate girls? What’s your idea of a GIRLtopia? • What would you like to change in your community to make it more ideal? • How would you change it? • What issues do you care most about? Remind girls that if GIRLtopia is to be a place that reflects the diverse interests, values, and needs of girls, then every girl needs to be heard. Next, give girls time: • to design their own basic survey and/or interview questions and commit to using them before the next gathering • to make a list of people or groups they agree to approach with their surveys or interviews before the next session Let girls know that at the next session, they will review what they’ve learned through their surveys and interviews in order to move closer to choosing a Take Action Project (the “Change It” step toward their Visionary Awards). Perhaps they can keep their eyes and ears alert for potential ideas. They might also like to check out the “Righteous Indignation” examples in their books. 46

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