Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I should have been a Girl Scout

In kindergarten, I remember sitting in an assembly hall and learning about scouting. I left that assembly and couldn’t stop talking about wanting to be a Girl Scout. I wanted to wear that cute little outfit. I wanted that sash with all of the embroidered and earth tone patches. I saw myself cutely walking around school with my head tilted up, pig-tails flapping (with coordinated colored barrettes, of course), wearing that brown uniform. I wanted to go camping and cook stuff outside and grow something and learn first aid. I wanted the whole experience, outfit and all.

I attended a couple of introductory meetings in elementary school, but never had the chance to join a troop. However, I still learned lessons about citizenship, preparedness, safety, and even outdoor skills. Some I learned from my mother and her colleagues. (She was a Parks & Recreation worker who did youth and young adult activities, such as games, arts & crafts, swimming, hiking etc. in the summer and after-school). Other skills like orienteering, marksmanship, first aid, field dressing small game and making knots, I learned in ROTC in high school and college. (Yes, I was in ROTC and was this close to joining the Army). However, all these years later I still have this nagging longing to participate in the Scouts. Oh, I know I can join as an adult member and volunteer; but I really want to do the activities, learn the lessons, and earn the badges. I still want that snazzy sash!

Yet, on a more mature note, I really appreciate what scouting is all about and Girl Scouts in particular. Their mission and programs foster leadership, character, and independent thinking in girls and young women. Their traditional programs in nature and outdoor education appeal to me as both a nature lover and environmental educator. Plus, they also promote math, science, and technology education and career pursuits in young women from all walks of life. Girl Scouts has a strong and long history of both community service and community outreach. These are all values that I share and support in real life, in my career, and on this blog.

I don’t know of any obvious job opportunities with the Girl Scouts, but I do know that I could definitely see myself working with/for this organization. Specifically, my expertise in science/urban ecology could be a resource to enhance the already awesome leadership programs and contribute to the STEM (science, technology, engineering, & math) science careers, and environmental awareness guides and activities. I have found that informal experiences can really provide the perfect setting for hesitant students to grow academically and personally. Students from diverse and under-represented groups may not have the amply support and opportunities to cultivate their interest in science. Outdoor experiences and community service experiences are perfect ways to foster science interest. Compared to science outreach programs for elementary and middle school age children, there are fewer programs specifically for teens. This is regrettable because such programs are woefully needed to fill in the very large curriculum gap from high school to college education. Finally, I have a strong background in mentoring and outreach to teens and urban audiences. I could be a mentor and a resource to young women (and their families) who may want to further explore their interests in science. Today, it is easier than ever to reach out to all girls all over the world. With live interactive workshops as well as interactive media such as blogs, video interviews, and live chats, Girls Scouts from every region could call on Dr. DNLee to help her shape her future.

This is all so exciting for me to ponder because Girl Scouts have the existing programs, infrastructure and community resources to support my personal career goals related to outreach.

Now, all I have to do is find out who I need to pitch this idea to…Any ideas or recommendations?


Anonymous said...

I'm sure you know GS & NSF have a long history of working together ( I'd go straight to the top - looking through the national Leadership Team, it looks like Laurel Richie might be very receptive to your idea. Send her a note with a link to you blog.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post -- why don't you have a "print this" button?

Anonymous said...

Nice dispatch and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you for your information.

Unknown said...

ministerandprofessor said...

i like it. mind reading. wish you would come join the afam environmental group i've started at fb.

dianne glave

ministerandprofessor said...

can i add your girl scout link to the afam environmental group on fb?

Anonymous said...

Interessanter Beitrag

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