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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Leaning In Hard!

We added a new feature to GE this year, a discussion of Sheryl Sandberg's book "Lean In" and its relevance to us as women and as leaders of girls.  After we came to that decision, her foundation approached GSUSA to ask that they partner with them to help change the perception of girl leadership in the United States, resulting in the "Ban Bossy" campaign (we'd no idea that was going to happen when we chose the book.)

The results of this choice were more far reaching than we anticipated.  Members of the committee who read the book found that it was changing our outlook towards some of the things we do as a committee dedicated to providing services to Girl Scout Adults and raising funds to benefit our GSEM camps.  At least two people who read the book approached it thinking that they did not agree with Sandberg, and found that their attitudes changed, perhaps not totally, but to some degree.
 It also provided little epiphanies to those of us who work with girls outside of Girl Scouts.  I was  called out for correction  (literally - no hand raising for this young lady!)  by a "difficult, disruptive" fifth grader last year and instead of reproving her as she expected me to do I rewarded her for her strong leadership skills!    (See the Camp Runels blog for an account of another "ah hah moment." )

After the discussion, some of us agreed that we needed help with constructive ways to try to balance encouraging girl leadership while maintaining inclusiveness in our troops, and we'll be asking the GSEM Volunteer Development Team to help with that - we'd like to see some workshops at Symposia/Conferences.  In the meantime, check out this tip list from GSUSA: Leadership Tips.

Those who participated in the discussion enjoyed it very much, and our leader, Julie, did a wonderful job.  So next year, we'll choose another book. We'll announce the choice here ASAP so you can beg, borrow or download a copy.  Julie has already volunteered to facilitate next year and she has some great book suggestions.  We hope you will join us between the end of Saturday workshops and the beginning of dinner next year - whether you've read the book or not. (The weather cooperated so that we could sit outside the dining hall and snack on our appetizers while we talked!  Let's hope September 26, 2015, is a beautiful day.) 

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