This blog is written by Girl Scout Volunteer, Troop Leader, and Authentic Leadership Community (ALC) member Kate Allen. ALC is centered around the principles of Authentic Girl Scout Leadership, formerly known as Leadership from the Inside Out. “We are committed to helping you discover, unlock and develop your leadership superpowers so that you can guide and empower your girls as they grow into leaders themselves.”
When I first began my journey as a Girl Scout Troop Leader, I remember pouring through the GSACPC website for clues about getting started. During my search, I came across materials called Leadership from the Inside Out (LFIO) booklets. The four booklets of this volunteer leadership curriculum cover the topics of Circle, Ceremony, Reflection, and Co-generational community.
They profoundly resonated with me. I read and learned about Girl Scout Circles, the many Girl Scout Ceremonies and traditions, the role of storytelling, and the multi-generational approach to Girl Scouting.
A couple of years into my volunteering, I was invited to participate in a retreat hosted by the GSACPC Authentic Leadership Community (ALC). A retreat was just what I wanted at the time, so I said yes. That retreat became a pivotal moment for me as a Girl Scout Volunteer. It genuinely helped me grow and understand my place as a leader, which eventually led me to become a core facilitator for ALC.
Together, with many generations of wisdom included in this circle, ALC updated the LFIO booklets. Our conversations were accompanied by ceremony, traditions, and authentic, vulnerable, open-hearted storytelling. We updated the booklets to reflect the work that volunteers do today and studying our work month after month, gathering information, sharing, and deepening our individual and collective stories in new ways. In addition to revising the existing LFIO material, we discerned the desire for a fifth section: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), considered through the lens of the Girl Scout Promise and Law. The fruit of this collective effort to rework the LFIO material will be shared in the coming months with GSACPC Volunteers: Authentic Girl Scout Leadership (AGSL).
Working through this curriculum with the ALC team has allowed me to try out the concepts with my troop. As my multi-level troop tries things out, I notice them taking a new interest in one another and their shared time. Our circle time gives a ritual framework that they can lead themselves. Their stories about what interests and engages them became a framework for planning troop meetings and ceremonies. Learning Girl Scout traditions like song-singing and skits not only empowers girls in my troop to be brave but gives the girls a common language for their sisterhood. Learning how to witness and honor the experiences of others while having a safe space to give voice to their own experience is how my girls have learned the vital concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion, which are the concepts that will challenge and attempt to heal our world.
The girls in my troop are becoming go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders in ways I didn't anticipate, and that is the curriculum's magic. As a Troop Leader with AGSL at her fingertips, I feel empowered to empower my girls to lead the way on their journeys as they discover, connect, and take action to make the world a better place.
With this empowerment, I invite Girl Scout Volunteers to consider deepening their relationship with this work. You can start by reading the new booklet or asking yourself how you translate your authenticity through Girl Scouting for your troop. Attend a workshop or offerings from the Authentic Leadership Community to experience this work.
Want to learn more about our work or joining ALC? Email us and let us know!