Saturday, May 12, 2012
I've been a Girl Scout leader for 9 years now. My daughter has been a Girl Scout for all nine of those years, too. She is at the end of her last year of Cadette Girl Scouting and will bridge to Seniors in a week and a half. Cadettes can choose to earn their Silver Award.
Unfortunately, MK was in Cadettes during a transition time of changing from an old program to a new program. She and her troop spent two years working on pre-requirements to even begin starting their Silver and this year, GSUSA went and changed the requirements and made it so much easier to earn the award! Oh well.
Colleges and Universities and scholarship application committees take Girl Scout Silver and Gold Awards very seriously. At a time when many girls quit Girl Scouts because it is no longer the cool thing to do, their future colleges and universities are looking at and considering the leadership skills that their earning.
I've had a lot of contention this year in my troop. When you bring a group of girls from various backgrounds and religious denominations together, there are bound to be questions. My girls were constantly talking religion this year. Constantly. To the point that I think some of the other girls quit. I even had a mom call me to say that we were spending too much time talking about religion.
And these girls had so much misinformation about each other's faiths. Hurt feelings were bound to happen and they did often. For me, things came to a head when we were learning about our World Thinking Day country, Cambodia, and I wanted to start a discussion about Buddhism as part of their culture in this country. The conversation quickly evolved (or devolved) into Buddhists worship Buddha.
Their first Silver Award take action project fizzled. I came across a story about a Girl Scout who conducted an Interfaith conference for a Gold Award project. I told the girls about this idea and a project was not only born but was embraced by my Protestant, Catholic and Jewish girls!!
Their goal was to promote tolerance and understanding. They put together an Interfaith Forum and invited religious leaders from different faith communities- even from faiths that made them a little uncomfortable.
The Interfaith Forum was tonight. The girls did a wonderful job. They gave some of their own speeches. The panel of speakers were awesome and informative. Their goal was to promote tolerance and understanding but I think the people who were most changed in their viewpoints might just have been my very own Girl Scouts.