By: Oona Mada
“Mom, I want to join Girl Scouts.” That’s how it all started.
Thank you to my daughters Malissa and Jessica, who begged me to join Girl Scouts in grade school. While I wasn’t sure exactly what our journey would be like, I did see the program as a way for my girls to learn how to become effective, confident leaders in their own right while giving back to our community. Little did I know that I too, would be a Girl Scout (leader). I would have the opportunity to forge a path towards enhancing my leadership skills, collaborating, and working with incredible people to create a great girl and leader/volunteer experience.
As a Girl Scout leader, new or experienced, we are given many resources to help us live out the Girl Scout Law and traditions and get started. When I began my Girl Scout journey, I did what all leaders are guided to do; complete trainings, review Council rules, apply safety rules when traveling with our troops, and observe and practice traditions. This helped me become a confident troop leader and I quickly dov ein.
However, it wasn’t until I attended an Authentic Leadership Community (ALC) retreat called “Hit the Pause” in 2020 that Girl Scouts genuinely changed my life. Girl Scouts created a program that encouraged me to be my authentic self and develop into a better leader and person through discussions that involved the adoption of Authentic Girl Scout Leadership Methods in everyday situations.
As a member of the ALC, I am honored to be a part of a team that aims to help our leaders learn and experience the essential elements of Girl Scouting. Several of these elements may be familiar to you, and for those that may not be as familiar, you can learn all about it as well. Here is what ALC aims to provide:
- Circles – Safe spaces where everyone is equal, heard, respected, and valued. There is no hierarchy. Examples include Friendship circles and Circle Agreements.
- Reflection – Pausing to take time for self-discovery and awareness; helping girls and adults connect with their inner compass related to their life’s purpose. The ALC offers a variety of programming for adult leader development to identify personal core values, enhance interpersonal communication skills, and navigate /appreciate personality differences.
- Ceremony – Recognizing, celebrating, and marking an accomplishment or beginning of a new program. Examples include bridging, investiture/rededication and candle lighting.
- Co-Generational Community – All levels of girls and adults working together. No one outgrows their potential, and the profound effects it has on the whole community.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) – The unique differences of individuals that make up our Girl Scout Community - the intentional inclusion of every girl, family, and adult no matter their background, while also making sure every member belongs, and their inputs are valued. ALC offers a variety of programming for adult leader development to incorporate DEI thinking in your Troop / Service Unit activities.
ALC is currently offering an Introduction to Authentic Girl Scout Leadership for Service Units. If you would like to schedule this workshop please connect with your Service Unit Manager and complete this form.
Visit the Authentic Leadership Community (ALC) webpage to learn more.
Check the Activities Calendar for upcoming ALC events and retreats in 2022.