This is a guest blog written by Andrea Kennedy, Community Program Coordinator at GSCM
Earlier in this Girl Scout year 15 second and third graders participated in a Girl Scout Community Program called Be A Friend First (BFF). In BFF, girls get to explore thorny issues like peer pressure, stereotyping, gossip, and cliques through engaging role-plays, creative writing, games, and discussion exercises.
The girls were so excited and energetic every time we met. They loved the songs we sang, the crafts we created, and the lessons learned. I found them often applying real life situations to what we were discussing. Whether it was ‘stereotypes’ or ’empathy,’ each little girl was anxious to share her personal, life experiences.
As all good things must come to end, eventually so too did our six-week, high impact program. It was at our last session together that I saw their sad, sweet faces plead for more programming. I urged them to encourage their parents to volunteer as troop leaders because, although the anti-bullying program was complete, they were still Girl Scouts for the rest of the year.
Then there was Pei Ling. Since week one, she always embraced me with warm welcoming hugs and helped me to clean up materials after each weekly lesson. During this last session, she repetitively shared her sentiments about it being our final time working together. I assured her that I would be back for the next school year, if funding allowed me to do so. Sadly, she shared that she would not be around next year, because her family would be moving back to China in the summer.
After we closed the meeting with the traditional Friendship Circle ceremony, she whispered to me that her wish was that I could move to China and continue to be her Girl Scout leader there. Believe me, I reached out to her and gave her one of the biggest hugs I had to offer, and reminded her that we would always be Girl Scout sisters, no matter where she is.
I can’t wait to make even more everlasting memories with them as well.