Archive for Education

This is What Getting Back Up After A Setback Looks Like!

Meet Erin Bailey, a Girl Scout volunteer in Cowlitz County who has learned a lot by serving as a troop leader for Kindergarten and first grade girls.

She has modeled to her girls, through her own actions, that sometimes things won’t go as planned, and you have to keep trying, but half the fun is getting messy while you figure it out!

Lessons in Trying Again After Defeat Colors Your Confidence

ErinBailey2 “Being a Girl Scout troop leader doesn’t come naturally for me. I constantly battle doubt and my fear that I’m falling short of my duties to my Daisy troop. That being said, I’m reminded of a quote from Juliette Gordon Low, who founded Girl Scouts in 1912: ‘Scouting rises in you and inspires you to put fourth your best.’ So true!

Last year was my first year as a Daisy leader (girls in Kindergarten and 1st grade). I didn’t have any experience leading–not only a troop of little girls, but anyone…EVER! I was nervous, but I became comfortable in my new role rather quickly. I had a lot of support from my fellow leaders and a co-leader who encouraged my creative thinking and planning.

One such creative plan I had involved introducing the Daisies to the wonderful world of art journaling. I had it all laid out in my head. It was going to be the most magical of meetings–a meeting that would change the world! My Daisies would create such wondrous expressions of their inner beings and an army of artists would be born! It was quite beautiful…in my mind.

The day of the art journal meeting came and I was practically bursting with excitement. My co-leader and I had all our supplies at the ready. I even made simple smocks for each girl (you can’t be too careful, right?), and briefly explained what art journaling was and showed examples of some of my own artwork. Every Daisy was all ears. I had their full attention. This was going to be epic! ErinBailey

My co-leader, parent helper and I began to pass out the various supplies–journals, scrap paper, glue, markers, brushes—and you could feel their excitement grow. The room vibrated with energy. Then we passed out the student grade acrylic paint.

When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan…

I’d love to tell you that the meeting went according to plan, that my dreams became reality, that tears weren’t shed. But I can’t. Within just moments of passing out the acrylic paint, pure chaos ensued. The noise level tripled. Girls abandoned their brushes and self-control. Paint was flying to and fro, getting everywhere. Tables! Carpets! Chairs! Nowhere was safe! At one point I witnessed a girl smear paint all over her face as if it were moisturizer. It was total mayhem.

I can’t remember too much after that. I was in a daze. I do know that messes were cleaned up, supplies were organized and hands were washed. The meeting was over and I survived.

That was the one and only meeting that year that we did anything with paint. Until last week. Now, I know what you’re thinking. I must be out of my mind to even think of allowing paint back into our meetings! Believe me, I cringe every time I think about those art journals. But I also think about the lessons I learned. Lesson 1: Split into smaller groups. Lesson 2: Use washable paint. Lesson 3: Discuss and be clear about the ground rules. And last, but not least: Don’t be afraid to try again!

Face-Their-Fears_GSWWPutting Forth Your Best

So getting back to Juliette Gordon Low’s quote: ‘Scouting rises in you and inspires you to put fourth you best.’ Well, that paint-splattered meeting, chock full of failure, was my best! It was what inspired by my desire for adventure. To open up a whole new world of possibilities to young and impressionable minds, and ultimately, to have fun–that’s exactly what that meeting was! It was epic!

Going forward, I could take the safe and easy approach, providing activities that are mess-free and lackluster. Allowing my fear of failure to dictate my choices and my creativity. Trying to completely avoid stress and chaos. But that’s not me. That’s not my best! I am full of creative and sometimes fanciful ideas. What scares me more than failing is the thought of being too afraid to put forth my best.

Nowadays, when I’m mulling over the plethora of ideas that come to me, I spend more time improving them, using the lessons I have learned, all while learning to lead. To me, that’s success, which is the real art.”

Read an awesome ParentMap story, Embracing Failure, which talks about many of the same things Erin mentions above. Plus, Girl Scouts of Western Washington is referenced in the story, and we are pretty excited!

Recycle Your Holiday Lights at Our Girl Scout Offices!

We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium once again on their holiday lights recycling program!

Thanks to a longstanding partnership between the zoo and Girl Scouts of Western Washington, when visitors come to the zoo between now and mid-January, they can bring in their old light strings for recycling and leave them at the main entrance.

There also are several places around Puget Sound where lights may be dropped off until mid-January, including all five Girl Scouts of Western Washington regional offices!

“The holiday lights recycling program truly highlights the Girl Scout motto of using our resources wisely and making the world a better place,” says Girl Scouts of Western Washington CEO Megan Ferland. “Recycling lights and keeping them out of landfills while supporting animal conservation is truly remarkable, and we’re happy to do whatever we can to support those efforts.”

A Local Girl Scout’s Bright Idea!

lightsThe recycling program began eight years ago as the brainchild of  Girl Scout Jessica Lam. And in 2009, Girl Scouts of Western Washington jumped on board to join her in her conservation efforts! Each year, the proceeds from the recycled lights go to support a different animal conservation effort. This year it’s walrus conservation!

Check out a story about Jessica’s bright idea, and how it started a wonderful recycling program still going strong today.

When Girl Scouts have ideas and find ways to make them become reality, everyone benefits!

Recycling Drop Spots

To recycle lights, remove all twist ties and rubber bands and put the lights directly in the bins with no boxes, bags or other extraneous material.

Drop off your holiday lights between now and mid-January at the following locations:

Metro Parks Tacoma locations

  • Northwest Trek Wildlife Park (during open hours)- 11610 Trek Drive E., Eatonville
  • Metro Parks Tacoma headquarters – 4702 S. 19th St., Tacoma
  • Tacoma Nature Center – 1919 S. Tyler St., Tacoma
  • STAR Center – 3873 S. 66th St., Tacoma
  • Center at Norpoint – 4818 Nassau Ave. N.E., Tacoma
  • Portland Avenue Community Center – 3513 Portland Ave., Tacoma
  • Peoples Community Center – 1602 S. MLK Jr. Way, Tacoma

Girl Scouts of Western Washington
Closed Dec. 19-Jan. 3
Call ahead to check office hours: 1-800-541-9852

  • Seattle Administrative Office – 601 Valley Street, Seattle
  • King County Regional Office – 13029 NE 20th St. Bellevue
  • North Region Office – 3224 Wetmore Ave., Everett
  • Peninsula Girl Scout Program Center – 1600 NE Winters Road, Bremerton
  • DuPont Girl Scout Center – 1000 Davis Place, DuPont

Go Gold: Building a Library in Sierra Leone

What does it take to build a library halfway around the world? To find out, Port Gamble Girl Scout Martha took on the challenge.

LOY-151122-MarthaR_02Growing up, Martha Rabura understood that education was important. “My mom’s a teacher,” she explains simply.

But it wasn’t until high school that Martha realized how many young people—especially girls—don’t have access to education.

“I went to see the documentary, Girl Rising, at a local theater. While the documentary only shared the stories of a few girls, their stories symbolized the 66 million girls in the world who have been thrown away, forgotten by their countries and denied the human right of an education,” she pointed out in a recent Legion of Youth interview.

“It’s one thing to claim I understand the importance of education but I walked out of that theater wanting to fight for it. Read more

Go Gold: Who is Julia Doherty?

Julia DohertyWho’s Julia Doherty? Here are a few hints:

  • She made it possible for 120 teens to become certified in CPR and First Aid each year.
  • She interviewed Congresswoman Suzan Delbene.
  • She is captain of the Redmond High School swim team.
  • She just received the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
  • She earned a full tuition scholarship to the University of Southern California.

And this one (which will probably give it away): She participated in the Girl Scout Leadership Institute at the 2014 Girl Scout National Convention in Salt Lake City.

The answer is clear: Julia Doherty is a Girl Scout! Read more

Awesome Woman: Kylee Kitchens

Pacific Kitchens, Kylee 07-21 cr.AS

This time of year, visions of sugar plums frequently dance through our heads. What perfect timing! Kylee Kitchens, a soloist for the Pacific Northwest Ballet, is dancing her way through the Nutcracker! It’s probably every little girl’s dream to be a ballet dancer, and Kylee is one of the few (and lucky) dancers who gets to dance professionally for one of the country’s most acclaimed dance companies.

Read more

This Awesome Woman Dreams Big – On and Off the Yoga Mat!

Anne_Phyfe

Most of us think a dream takes years, maybe even a lifetime, before it becomes real. We assume we have to put careful thought, planning and effort into getting something off the ground. Though that is certainly the case for some dreams (like becoming an astronaut!), sometimes, all it takes is a single conversation to get you started. For Anne Phyfe Palmer, owner and education director of 8 Limbs Yoga Centers in Seattle, that’s exactly what happened. Read more