Allow Our Kids
to Experience the World
We want our children to try new things. School teaches basic skills. Sports clubs usually expose them to a single sport. Youth organizations have programming they want followed. So, what do you do if your child is interested in a subject that’s not available?
You can point them to YouTube or other video sites. Numerous apps can share how to do things digitally. Both are a great way to learn (I do it all the time), but as adults we know when to question what we’re told. We understand not to take anything we’re told as truth without doing some exploration on it ourselves.
My problem was I wanted to be involved. I wanted to make sure they were engaged in the things they wanted to do and these things were presented in a positive light. In addition, we had a rule. If my girls wanted to try something, they had to try. If I paid for a month of lessons, they were going to do them — whether they found they liked them or not.
I became heavily involved in Girl Scouts because of the bad experiences I had as a child in the organization. It didn’t take long to realize that the reason my experience was bad due to my leaders more than GSUSA.
Each volunteer walks into an organization with a set of skills, experiences and knowledge unique to themselves. Crafters want to share crafting. Religious people want to share their beliefs. The best volunteers want to improve themselves and bring new information to their girls. It can be hard to find a way to learn new things, especially if you need it presented so you can share it with others. In Girl Scouts, there is a lack of support for enrichment training.
This is why I started blogging in May 2010. I created digital badges that included steps to learn about a subject, links to additional information online and sometimes supplements when I couldn’t find the examples I felt needed to be shared. At this time, I have over 200 badge programs that include crafts, hobbies and even STEM.
Girl Scout adults have used these activities at Service Unit meetings as well as house-bound leaders using the materials to bring activities to their girls that they never thought they could.
I added Grab ‘n’ Go sheets as single activities in November 2012 that could be added to meetings or events. Most are designed to use minimal and / or easily found materials. The idea was to have something you could grab and present with minimal preparation.
Ultimately, the reason I’ve done this is to expose the girls to a variety of activities, crafts, etc. The more they are exposed to, the more likely they are to find things to carry over into their adult lives that they enjoy doing. It might be a career, a hobby or even leading their own kids to a larger world.
Now, it is September 2016. After providing all of this information for free, I’m looking to expand the offerings of the badge programs and help even more people. I have created so much that it’s hard to dig through. So, a few things are changing.
Some materials that I release will be purchasable.
Badge programs and Grab ‘n’ Go sheets will remain free. However, more complicated supplements, ebooks and other materials that take a lot more work will help me not only cover the costs I’ve been eating for years, but I am hopeful will allow me to make this my full-time job so I can create and share even more.
Instead of one site, I am breaking it apart so it is easier to find things.
My main site, larajla.com, will become the overview of everything I do online. The Enrichment Project badge programs and Grab ‘n’ Go sheets will move to larajlaenrich.com. My new Etsy store and offerings will be reflected on larajlacreates.com. Though not ready yet, larajlabooks.com will cover both print and digital books I create. I have a lot more ideas, but we’ll see how it goes.
You can follow what’s happening by subscribing. I’ll be giving away some different freebies as well through my various venues from time to time.
If you see something that might benefit someone else, please share. Most of the materials are not Girl Scout-specific. Not only have I used them as extracurricular activities at school, I’ve also helped a nursing home activity director with using them.
Lastly . . .
You might want to meet up with me elsewhere. While I could give you a list of social media sites, it’s easier just to ask you to search for “larajla.” You’ll find me easily.