Monday, October 26, 2009

From Ambassador to Adult: How to Transition Girl Scouting into College and Beyond

Just a few short months ago, you marched in to Pomp and Circumstance, listened to some bittersweet graduation speeches, and held that permanent symbol of your past four years of hard work in your hand - you graduated from high school.

Now it's September, and you're probably starting on a new chapter in your life - whether you're working for a couple years, pursuing a career in the arts, working in the armed forces, or pursuing a higher degree of education, you've changed - you're an adult now.  And as we've all learned courtesy of Spiderman, "with great power comes great responsibility."  Perhaps you've been swamped with registering for classes and shopping for college or been overwhelmed with the demands of daily life, but have you taken a moment to think, "How can I continue with Girl Scouts?"

Consider some of these suggestions to give back to the community that gave you so much:

DISCOVER:
Contact your local Girl Scout council - whether it's GSCSNJ or a new council, find out how you can volunteer.  To find a council in your new locale, check out http://girlscouts.org/councilfinder/ and plug in your new zip code.

Serve on a community committee - did you earn your Gold Award?  See if there are any openings available as a member of the council's Gold Award committee!

See what community service opportunities are available in your area - see if you can help a local Girl Scout troop by assisting them in volunteering in your new community.

CONNECT:
Find a club or group at your school for your particular interest
- Love ballroom dancing? Enjoy writing newspaper articles?  Check out the club fair and join a club at your new school of your own passion to see if you can work with the members to plan an event for local Girl Scouts.

Join a group that serves women's interest related to your profession - Engineer?  Look for a chapter of Society of Women Engineers.  Interested in business?  See if there's a Women in Business Club.  Look on your college's website at the club directory to find the group that best matches your professional interests.  I'll be joining USWIB (Undergraduate Stern Women in Business) at NYU - I talked to their officers at the club fair and found out they are working on collaborations with local Girl Scouts!

Work with Greek Life - Greek life big at your college?  Interested in rushing this fall?  Most sororities serve the community as part of their activities - see which ones would want to work with Girl Scouts!

TAKE ACTION:
Develop an outreach department
- create or assist in developing an outreach department in a club, and have your club develop programming linked to Girl Scouts.

Run badge workshops or journey programming - collaborate with leaders and create your own pathway for helping Girl Scouts discover, connect, and take action.

Chair a Thinking Day event - chair a Thinking Day event and see which cultural clubs on campus would be willing to volunteer to help your cause.

Create a chapter of Campus Girl Scouts - if your school does not have a chapter, find five friends and petition to your college or university to start a chapter of Campus Girl Scouts.  For more information, check out http://www.girlscouts.org/join/campus/ .

To all the soon-to-be alumnae (after all, we're still technically ambassadors until October 30th!), consider these options as your transition into your new life as an adult and as an Adult Girl Scout.  If none of these seems right for you, develop your own adult pathway!

Yours in Girl Scouting,
Kat Corson

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