1. Why Journeys?
Each Journey gives girls the ability to lead. There are three themes to choose from, see Step 5. Through each Journey she chooses to take she discovers herself and her abilities, connects with others and takes action by making the world a better place. Explore ways you can encourage girls to complete a Journey this year.
2. Think national, act local.
While the Journey program is designed to be consistent across the USA, using local resources is necessary. As you review your Journey materials, keep notes on how you might be able to make this a “local” program.
3. Girl Scout Leadership Experience.
Take this 10-minute tour to see how GSLE will provide experience for your girls.
4. Leadership Essentials.
Take the 45-minute introduction to the use of Journey books with the GSLE.
5. Choose a Journey.
Review the Journey themes with your girls. What does the theme mean to you? To the girls? With your girls, choose a Journey to complete.
- It’s Your World – Change It! (Theme: Advocacy)
- It’s Your Planet – Love It! (Theme: Environment)
- It’s Your Story – Tell It! (Theme: Creative Expression)
6. Read the girl Journey book.
After selecting your Journey (Step 5), read the appropriate girl’s book for your level. Keep notes on ideas you have as you read the book to make your Journey more local — resources available, experts you might consult, organizations that you might partner with, other volunteers who have skills to complete steps, etc.
7. Read the adult Journey guide.
Read the facilitator’s guide that goes with the girl’s Journey book. Make notes for your Journey as you did in Step 6.
8. Journey maps.
Review the Journey map for your chosen journey. See how GSUSA looks at your Journey.
Brainstorm ideas based on the notes you took while reviewing the Journey. Break it down by each piece the girls must earn. Ask the girls to review your brainstorm list and add their own to create options to what you might do based on the Journey. For older girls, ask them to brainstorm first, then add your own ideas to theirs.
10. Sample sessions.
Find the sample sessions in the adult guide. With your brainstorm list, see if you’re on track with the outcome of the requirements. Will the girls get the same experience with the brainstormed items? Are any too easy for the girls or too difficult?
11. Planning sheets.
After the girls have decided on their activities, create a planning sheet with them. Depending on the level, you may ask for input (Daisies) through doing a final review to make sure they didn’t miss anything (Ambassadors).
Do NOT give older girls an answer to why something might not be appropriate. Instead, ask open-ended questions and start a dialogue. Take your notes and continue asking questions until they have a plan that you feel is appropriate for their abilities / age.
12. Parent encouragement.
Keep parents in the loop. They may have resources you are unaware of. If you’d like an expert but don’t know someone, ask your parents. If steps are to be completed individually, ask the parents to supervise younger girls. How else might you keep your parents in the loop? What other help might they offer?
Using local resources, utilizing planned events and other ways to customize your Journey. Anything you do that is not specifically in the book is customized. Review It’s Your Journey – Customize It! book or the PDFs available on GSUSA for the Customize It! and Transforming Leadership to keep your guidelines in mind as you customize your Journey.
In addition, the facilitator’s guide also has some ideas for customization. Be sure to review those to get more ideas.
14. Beyond your troop.
Look beyond your troop for possible activities, events, organizations or individuals that would help fulfill a requirement in your chosen Journey. Volunteer to help with an activity / event at your service unit or council to ensure that it is not cancelled. Discuss the event with your service unit / other troops so they can see how you plan to incorporate an event as part of your Journey.
For younger girls, ask to join with organizations whose goals align with your Journey plan. Ask individuals to share their knowledge with the girls to help them understand concepts / topics they need exposure to. Share your ideas and what the girls are planning to do. Encourage older girls to start the communication with organizations, service units, etc.
15. Resource kits.
See if your service unit or council has resource kits available to help girls with the Journey. If not, document what you do and start one to share. If others in your service unit are working on the same Journey, create a resource kit as a multi-troop effort.
16. Other resources.
Look online for additional resources. For example, through Yahoo! Groups you can find many level-dependent Girl Scout groups. So, if you’re a Brownie leader, you can join a Brownie group that focuses on that level. Adults often share materials they create for their own girls, so be sure to check out the Files area. Look for other online resources and share what you find.
Most Journeys have badges that accompany it. Review the supplement SUPP_Journey_QuickReference.pdf to see if the Journey you are working on has badges linked to it. If so, look at this with your girls and see if a little more activity while working on your Journey allows you to earn badges.
18. Higher awards.
The Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards can only be earned if the girls have completed a Journey. Unlike previous years, girls can now earn their Gold Award without earning their Silver. In this case, girls must complete two Journeys instead of one for their Gold Award.
Leader in Action (Cadettes) can be earned while working with another troop. Find the requirements to these awards and inquire if the girls are interested in learning even more about their Journey.
19. Take action!
Each Journey ends with Take Action project. These actions need to be sustainable. As your girls work on their final action, make sure they keep sustainability in the process.
20. Share your success!
Create an honor roll of girls who earn their journey leadership awards. Publish it with your local newspaper, council newsletter, etc. Find other ways to honor your girls for their achievement!
Sites to Explore
Printed / PDF Reference
Planning Guide: It’s Your Journey – Customize It!, GSUSA
It’s Your Planet – Love It! Series, GSUSA
It’s Your Story – Tell It! Series, GSUSA
It’s Your World – Change It! Series, GSUSA
Transforming Leadership, GSUSA
Transforming Leadership Continued, GSUSA
It’s Your Journey – Customize It!, GSUSA