Wednesday, February 13, 2013


(Do you have an 11th or 12th grade girl interested in completing an Ambassador Journey?  Anne Rizzacasa and I will be offering one this summer, and we're looking for girls!  The attached info is our preliminary info.  We would love to have feedback, so that we can fine tune the Journey. We're excited to offer this Series to our Ambassador girls.)

               JUSTICE Journey Series 2013
      Here's our tentative plan for the Series:

Meeting Times
5 - 4 hour sessions during the summer
            (potentially Sundays June 23 and 30/July 14, 21, 28)
            (potentially Wednesdays instead, same weeks)

1 - overnight at Laguna Beach Scout House July 17-18

1 - Sunday afternoon in the fall (girls to choose) to come back together to celebrate the completion of their Take Action Projects and present awards.

Meeting place:  Anaheim or Irvine. Still working on it....

Field Trips - most included - going for a variety of experiences to find the issues that the girls may want to get Justice for. Contacting potential businesses to host a session and provide information.  Big use of girl's interview skills. Consensus building.  Sitting at every stone, and hearing all sides.

Optional side trips - not required, but will be offered based on interest

Price for Series:  Still trying to get that together

Included:  snack and beverages, transportation for trips, Journey book

Who:  11th and 12th graders, including incoming 11th graders

Will they earn the award in the 5 sessions?  No.  We will do the work that leads up to the Take Action Project, which the girls will do after our sessions.

What will the girls do?  
Search for Justice for the earth
Search out environmental issues, then identify the one(s) they want to address
Do the research to support their position
Create an "Equation for Justice" - "a definition of environmental justice and an
            equation for achieving it."
It's about environmental justice, and what it means to each girl
Then they invite people to think big.  And inspire others to make a "daily
            commitment to justice."
The Take Action Project is a presentation of their Justice for an issue

Series put on by:  Ann Crane and Anne Rizzacasa
949-254-5620 cel Ann

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Who's a Procrastinator?

“There are some who give up their designs
when they have almost reached the goal;
While others, on the contrary,
obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment,
more vigorous efforts than ever before.”
                                                     - Herodotus

Oh my, but does this sound familiar?  Do our girls ever wait til the last minute, give it the big push, and finish at the very, very, VERY last minute? Of course some do!

So what do we do?  We advisors for these wonderful high schoolers?  Maybe we make sure that we're not the girl's troop advisor AND Gold Project Advisor AND parent!  If at all possible, 'tis better not to do it all!  Everyone I've talked to about this has been adamant:  find someone else to work with the girl on the Gold.  That way the parent isn't nagging about cleaning her bedroom, finishing homework AND working on the Gold!

And maybe that could help the procrastination?  I can only hope that the girls will be a little more proactive working with a non-parent.   What will get a high schooler to do something done in a timely manner?  Carrot and stick? Rewards? Acknowledgement and encouragement along the way? Small goals that lead to big achievements?  Pep talks?  Yes/no/maybe so? 

Wouldn't it be nice if we project advisors were there to encourage, help facilitate, work together on deadlines and hold the girl accountable?  I think so. We want to be sure that the girl doesn't give up before reaching the goal.  And we want to be equally sure that we all don't turn gray, hoping for the last minute push!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Work Together

“People who work together will win,
whether it be against
complex football defenses,
or the problems of modern society.”

     - Vince Lombardi, coach, Green Bay Packers

One Gold Award Take Action Project at a time! Yes, that's how we're going to win:  working together!  And as in football, there is one leader, and s/he has responsibility for the team to achieve the goals set forward.  Okay, that's it on the football analogies! 

Our girls need to lead their team to success!  That's why it's one girl, one Take Action Project. There needs to be one girl who has a clear vision of the problem and the plan to fix it. And she needs to be able to communicate it to others. Get them to catch the passion and all work together to succeed.

The girls need to think big!  And then whittle down the idea to something doable. Something meaningful.  Something they have real passion and concerns for.  Sometimes, in our Gold Award Interviews, we see girls with tons of passion, but no focus on an issue.  These are the girls that we coach, give ideas to, and then send back to focus their proposals.  We know the girl has passion when we get the revision back the same week!

And we hope that the girl who waits months to re-submit her proposal can re-ignite her passion and address the issue.  It seems that most can!  They have just had to take the time to get a focus and create a team to help.

(As I write this post, it's the day before the Super Bowl.   Football sure seems to be on everyone's mind, in one way or another. Me, I'm going to go talk about the Gold with the girls at the Mission Sisterhood Series, and then go shopping. No lines! Go team!)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Thoughtful, committed citizens....

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” 
           Margaret Mead, American Culture Anthropologist

I don't know that I had ever seen this quote before, but I'm liking it for our Gold Award girls today.  

Aren't we asking that our girls who are going for the Gold use a thoughtful approach to the Gold Award Take Action Projects? We're asking them to identify a community issue. To do the research and figure out what the need is. Then to identify the root cause and commit to making a change.  With passion!

This is not a halfway measure.  Not milquetoast.  And certainly not easy!  But our girls can do it.  We may need to prod them a bit, ask them to reach, get outside their comfort zone and certainly to try hard.  And for that, they will have success in changing their part of the world.

One high school club or event or project at a time.  They will make a measurable and sustainable change that will make difference in the world.  And that's huge!  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Another Great Gold Award Project

 (From the GSUSA Blog January 15, 2013)

Miranda wanted to encourage and connect teens with service opportunities.  For her project, Miranda developed and implemented a comprehensive volunteer service program using social media and a Ning website to match service-based organizations with the 2,000 high school students who reside in the Northville school district.   Twelve communities/schools have requested a CIA (Community Impact Awards) implementation.  CIA has applied for a non-profit status.  Over 350 Northville high school students are already working on one or more awards, which translate to over 10,000 hours of community service.  Averages of 6.4 new members join each week.

Yes, this Gold Award Take Action Project is a good one! Miranda was recognized as a National Young Woman of Distinction by GSUSA for her work.  She saw a need and figured out a way to fill it.  And then made it possible for other schools to do the same.  What a great thing!  And the outcome was a total benefit to the community of students connecting to a non-profit and giving service hours. 

Miranda made it measurable and sustainable.  She also made it possible for the project to go global.  A perfect model for our girls to follow.  

Our girls can have the same success with their chosen issue, and create a Gold Award Take Action Project that makes a difference in the world, too.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What We Do for Others....

“Life's most persistent and
urgent question is,
'What are you doing for others?’”
            - Martin Luther King, Jr.

I saw this quote on Monday, and I liked it!  I think that there is a connection to Scouting here.  Our girls are great at providing service to others.  From the beginning, they are Scouting for Food, singing in Sr. Centers, creating placemats for luncheons, performing flag ceremonies and so much more!  They are the champs at doing something for others.

The Gold Award Take Action Project is the penultimate "doing for others" because not only does it call for action (a service) but it also requires sustainability.   So, we are asking our Gold girls to do something for others: address an issue in their community, seek out its root cause, and then work with a team to address it.  PLUS, find another non-profit or other entity to take it over, and continue that good work for years to come.

THAT is Taking Action, and giving great service, not just for now, but forever.  (Okay, or for the foreseeable future!)  An awesome task, and one, I think, that Dr. King would embrace.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Great Gold Award Projects

We're dipping into the GSUSA blog posts from January 15th again.  GSUSA has chosen their top 10 Young Women of Distinction Awardees, mostly based on the quality of their Gold Award Project.  (I'm assuming there are other considerations, too...)

Here's one from Mandy:

"Passionate about the health of the ocean and how youth education impacts global problems, Mandy designed an aquarium and a three-day curriculum that would expose 5thgrade students to ocean health and environmental threats to the ecosystem.  Carefully designed, the aquarium and curriculum serve together, providing basic information on an assortment of aquatic topics and linking the classroom to bodies of water all over the world.  Mandy is currently expanding the curriculum based on teacher request and continues to host lectures at the school.  She hopes to soon expand the program to include other schools and communities."

Lovin' it!  This girl found out how to connect her passion for ecology with a specific issue.  She identified the root cause and gathered her team, I'm assuming.  She worked with a school to provide a curriculum that can be used again, not only at one school, but at other schools in her district. GREAT sustainability!  And the global impact is easy to see.

This is a prime example of what we want to encourage our girls to do:  Discover, Connect and Take Action to make the world a better place!