Monday, August 30, 2010

Channeling my inner Girl Scout

This past week I was in VT for LA-GLOW.  (You like those acronyms?!)  LA-GLOW stands for "Leadership Academy - Girls Leading Our World."  It's basically a free version of Girl Scouts.  The actual scouting program in Bulgaria is co-ed.

GLOW was created in 1995 by Peace Corps Volunteers in Romania.  Sustainability at it's finest!  GLOW-Bulgaria began in 2000.

It was such an awesome experience! Myself and three other PCVs had the opportunity to help supervise the camp and teach a couple of sessions.  There were 16 counselors and about 50 campers - all Bulgarian teenagers with one girl from Spain.  It was refreshing to see a group of intelligent, smart, well spoken (English and Bulgarian), and goal oriented teenagers!

I think that the camp was so special to me because it reminded me of the Girl Scout camps I attended growing up.  Looking back now, I realize how big of a role that Girl Scouts played in my life.  Obviously, that's not always something you appreciate when you're 16 or 17.  I began GS when I was five years old, went all the way through, earned my Gold Award (and some university scholarship money!) and became a lifetime member.  (Pretty sure that goes for my two sisters as well.)

During the week we touched on topics ranging from professional etiquette to sex education to goal setting.  All of the girls actively participated in small group workshops, various presentations, camp songs and so much more!  I think I might've gotten a little over excited on "Bonfire Night" when Ashley, Jill, Alison and I led camp songs with the girls! :)

One of the great things about GLOW is that it's free and they actively encourage the girls to start up GLOW clubs in their towns, cities and villages.  There is a definite need for female empowerment and leadership in Bulgaria and GLOW is doing its part to work with the future leaders here!  Hopefully once school gets started, we can get something up and running in the region.  I'm so full of ideas now!

Human Knot - Team Building

Team 6 preparing for the "Trashion" Show

"Trashion" Show models

Jill, Ashley, Valerie, Alison and the awkward group prom pose!


Lyndsey said...

Love it! Love you, love GS camp, and LOVE your hair extensions!
(and yes - true for your sisters as well)

Vicki said...

So glad you had that opportunity. Hope you can get something going in the village to encourage the girls to make the most of their skills, education, drive, etc.

And of course I'm thrilled all that Scouting continues to reap benefits!