The Looking In, Reaching Out IP is an interest project from the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital.
To complete the Looking In, Reaching Out Interest Project, you may select one of the following paths:
Path A: Set Your Own Goals
This method follows the format used in the Focus Book.
- o Purchase or borrow a copy of the Looking In, Reaching Out Focus Book. If you borrow a copy, keep a journal to record your responses.
- o Skim through the topics and the 24 activities covered in the focus book.
- o Decide what activities will help you learn more about yourself and set a goal for what you would like to accomplish based on your interest and needs. You do not have to do a minimum number of activities, but the more you do, the more you will you will gain new skills that can help you to develop courage, confidence, and character that allow you to contribute to making the world a better place.
- o Complete the activities you have chosen.
Path B: Follow a Structured Path
This method gives you guidance in selecting a variety of activities. You may complete the IP using the information contained in this insert and recording your thoughts in a journal, or you may purchase or borrow a copy of the Focus Book. The focus book contains additional activities and “Chat Room” tips to help you connect with others. The activities included here combine various activities so numbers do not always correspond to the book. To follow Path B, choose activities from the following pages based on the guideline below:
- o DISCOVERY – Compete 1 activity
- o CONNECTION – Complete 1 activity
- o LEADERSHIP – Complete 1 activity
- o ACTION – Complete 1 activity after you have completed the Discovery, Connection and Leadership Activities.
- o DESIGN – Complete 1 additional activity where you set your own goal and design your own activity
- o REFLECTION – Complete 1 activity
Whether you choose Path A or Path B, you will benefit most from these activities when you provide thoughtful and honest answers that reflect your unique personality. If you are doing this IP with friends or sharing your thoughts with others, try to be as honest as possible with the answers you enter into your book or journal, even if you decide to “pass” during sharing time.
DISCOVERY: activities that help you explore your thoughts and feelings and discover your interests and skills
- Make a list of your “favorites” using the ideas below or your own ideas. Why are they the best?
- 2. Make a list of your strengths. What are you good at or are you most proud of? This is a time to boast, not be modest. Ask friends to add things to your list. Did some of these take hard work and practice or did they come “naturally”? Make a list of things you like to do. Are the same things on both lists? Are there ways you can improve any of these? Can you think of careers that use your strengths and the things you like to do? Ask someone to help you come up with additional ways to use these skills in the future.
- 3. Difficult decisions or situations that bother you can be a source of stress in your life. Think about the following situations and possible ways to handle them. Brainstorm with friends or trusted adults on other ways to handle a similar situation or a real situation you are facing.
- A friend wants you to do something you think is wrong.
- Two of your friends are mad at each other and you are caught in the middle.
- You feel you are being punished unfairly.
- You promise to help a friend with a project on Saturday but then get invited to a party.
- You hear people at school spreading gossip about your friend.
- The “popular” clique at school wants you to join them, but not your best friend.
- There is someone in your class who is always bullying you to share your homework.
- Your little brother is always hanging around your room when your friends are over.
- 4. What are your secret dreams? Are there things you have always wanted to do? Perhaps you want to try out for the chorus, become an actor, or try skiing. What are the obstacles in your way? Share your dreams with friends or the girls in your Girl Scout troop. Do others share your dream? Some dreams can never really come true, but you can make many of them come true if you try hard enough. Brainstorm ways you can overcome the obstacles to make your secret wish come true.
CONNECTION: activities that help you connect with people and issues in your community
- Think about all of the adults who play a role in your life. Consider family members, teachers, coaches, Girl Scout advisors, neighbors, etc. Now think about the types of conversations you have with each of these adults or ways they help you and record this. The two ideas shown below could be used or use your own idea. Keep this handy where you can add to it, or use when you need to talk to an adult about something.
- Example 1
- Mom – for help with an important issue
- Uncle Bob – to talk about my future
- Mrs. Smith (teacher) – help with homework
- Mr Abdula (counselor) – when I feel lonely
- Grandmother Miller – help with a family issue
- Grandpa Lee – to help with a problem
- Miss Alice – troop leader – help with a problem
- Ms Maria – neighbor – When I am home alone
- Example 2
- 2. Expand the network of adults in your life. Think about adults you meet or would like to meet and how to connect with them. Consider adults you meet through Girl Scouts, your house of worship, sports, or school. Do you know someone who has an interesting job you would like to learn more about? Could you write a letter to them and ask about their job and the training they received? Do you know someone who is in college who might be able to give you some tips on preparing for college? Brainstorm ways to connect with these adults. Be sure to get your parent’s permission before you contact adults you do not know.
- 3. Become more comfortable talking with adults. Practice making “small talk” so you can more easily talk to adults. Perhaps you could ask them some of the same questions you have answered in the activities above. Make a list of other questions you might ask, such as the questions below. Practice asking them of a friend.
- o When/ how/ or why did you decide to become a (dentist, teacher, gardener, etc.)?
- o When you were my age, who was your best friend and what did you like to do?
- o If you could have your teenage years back, what would you do differently?
- o Do you have a hobby? If so, tell me about it.
- 4. What are some of the issues and problems in your community? Read the newspaper, listen to TV or talk with others in your community and make a list of some of the issues that are raised. Does one issue particularly interest you? Why do you care about this issue? Make a list of things you would do or change to make the situation better. Think about people who could help. Are there organizations in your community that deal with this issue? Save your list so you can add ideas or come back to it later.
LEADERSHIP: activities to help you develop skills needed to assume responsibility for making things happen
- Time management is a critical leadership skill. Determine how you spend your time and take steps to make changes if necessary. Record everything you do each day for a week. You might make a list like this:
Now draw a circle to represent a 24-hour clock. Divide the circle into wedges like a pie to show how you spend your time. If you have a computer, try using Excel or another program to make a pie chart. Would you like to change the way you spend your time? Look at the things you can control and draw another chart or clock to show how you would like to spend your time. What can you do to make these changes?
2. What would you do if you were in charge? Leaders must be able to look at the “big picture” and make plans that take into account things like safety, budget, time, and how to make the best use of all resources. Pretend you are in charge of your school, your Girl Scout troop, your soccer team or something similar. How would you organize it? What rules would you have? What schedule would you have? What activities would you include? Try to “think outside of the box” to come up with an innovative plan. Do you think your plan is realistic? What obstacles might you encounter when you tried to implement your plan?
3. What qualities make a person a good friend? A good leader? List at least 10 qualities that you look for in a friend, and then list the qualities you look for in a leader. Use the ideas below to get you started.
Do you have the qualities it takes to be a friend? A leader? Are some of the qualities the same on both lists? Would a good friend always make a good leader? Would a good leader always make a good friend? Some leaders are chosen because they are popular. Others have good leadership skills but use those skills to achieve unhealthy goals. Look at leaders you know to see how you would rate them as leaders.
ACTION: activities that help you combine what you have learned to take action
- Chart a course for your future. Pick one thing you would like to accomplish. It might be to expand a hobby, develop a skill or talent, get an A in math, try something you have not done before, or even just get up the courage to talk to the new boy in school. List the steps you need to take to accomplish this goal. List the people who can help you. Now take the first step! Keep moving forward until you have accomplished your goal. If you run into obstacles, re-think the steps you need to take or adjust your goal if necessary. Try following the same process to chart a course to accomplish a long-term goal. Take the first step.
- 2. Use one of the activities you explored in the Discovery, Connections or Leadership sections to create a way to share what you learned with others. Some ideas to consider include:
- With friends, share your skills by holding a talent show. Perform for younger Girl Scouts, residents of a retirement community, homeless shelter, or for your families.
- Develop skits based on the situations from # 3 and present them to a group of girls bridging to your level. Remember to use sensitive issues permission slips if you skits are about sensitive topics.
- With other girls, plan and carry out an activity you listed in # 4 and start to accomplish this dream.
- Plan an event that will help you connect with adults. Ideas include a career fair, a community block party, or a mixer at a retirement community. Use the ideas in # 6 & 7 to start conversations.
- Choose an issue you listed in #8 and take steps to work toward solving the issue. Join a group or plan a service project that will help address the issue.
DESIGN: your own activity
Be creative in designing an activity of your choice to help you Discover more about yourself or your community; make a Connection with adults and issues in your community; develop Leadership skills; or take Action. Your goal should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely).
REFLECTION: lets you think about what you have learned and how to relate it to other areas of your life
- Think about what you have learned by completing the following sentences:
- o I want to BECOME ...
- o I like to BELONG to ...
- o I BELIEVE in ...
- o I can BUILD a better world by ...
- 2. Do one of the following to summarize what you have learned