By Jennifer Farner
Last month I had the honor of helping facilitate an Authentic Leadership Community (ALC) retreat at the beautiful Parsons Leadership Center in South Phoenix. It was a wonderful weekend with an amazing group of eight Girl Scout Volunteers from all over the state. The common theme among all the women that weekend was how much they cared for and took care of everyone else, but rarely took that same care for themselves. They also all carried these burdens alone. Maybe you feel that way too? Always giving to others and not always having that same support for yourself.
Sitting in a circle with these women, I could feel the shift as each woman shared their experiences, and we all came to realize that we are not alone in our struggles. We are all unique yet share some of the same feelings. As we learned together, shared meals and conversations, attempted archery, and walked the labyrinth, something remarkable happened. Connection, friendship, and the feeling of support - sisterhood.
It struck me that this is the power of Girl Scouting. When our girls go camping, rally together to sell cookies, or support their community and each other through challenges, they learn what it means to be a sister to every Girl Scout.
There is something special about sitting in a Girl Scout Circle and something that I think we have all missed over the last few years. As an ALC volunteer, I cherish and look forward to our Circles. It is a safe place where all are welcome, and all belong. It’s a place where you feel heard, seen, and affirmed. For our girls, this could be a small yet powerful element of developing their confidence. I know as an adult, it is powerful to feel seen and know you are accepted, valued, and not alone.
- For your girls: Be intentional about creating a Girl Scout Circle, a center, and taking a full-stop moment with your troops.
- For you: Consider joining the ALC. Come sit in Circle with us at one of our monthly meetings held on the second Thursday of each month at Parsons Leadership Center. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- For your Service Unit: Invite ALC to do a deep-dive workshop on Circle setting - its history, purpose, and tools on how to incorporate it.