GSSNE 2018 ANNUAL REPORT Girl Scouts_2019_ Annual Report_FINAL_reduced2 - Page 9

MATTER During the spring of 2018 , Community Outreach and Extended Learning facilitator Jackie noticed that many of the girls in her troop were unfamiliar with each other and some girls were experiencing adolescent growing pains. She said, “With the efforts to get the girls comfortable and associated with one another, I thought we would work on our Brownie Making Friends Badge…it would be perfect for this group because we had previously talked about being a good friend, sisterhood, and girl power.” Given the non-traditional nature of Community Outreach and Extended Learning troops, where girls are meeting in an after-school environment, Jackie had to get creative with the badge requirements. While she was unable to invite another troop into their meeting, she brainstormed alternative ways for girls to communicate and interact. After discussing with the troop, everyone decided it would be fun to make new friends via letter writing! Troop 1309 from Johnston exchanged pen pal letters with Troop 3131 from Cranston. Like any pen pal situation, the girls knew nothing about whom they were writing to, but the initial hesitation wore off after they received their first letters back! Everyone was so excited, and the girls not only looked forward to receiving their letters, but also enjoyed the forgotten art of letter writing. Girls wrote inspiring messages to each other, and were thrilled to learn what they had in common. They exchanged letters three times, and through this process Jackie saw the girls’ growth, stating, “Overall, I think the girls enjoyed meeting and talking to each other as pen pals. It was especially exciting when they were able to relate! I think the concept of writing letters was interesting to them seeing that communication and technology is so easily accessible today. The girls felt empowered and important when sending and receiving letters to their new friends.” Facilitators like Jackie, and the entire Community Outreach and Extended Learning Program, truly make a difference in the lives of girls who may not have had the opportunity to be a Girl Scout in a traditional troop environment. Here at GSSNE we believe every girl who wants to be a Girl Scout, should be a Girl Scout!