Observation. This weekend I attended a Girl Scout event, Thinking Day. Every troop picks a different country and creates a small presentation about it. The younger girls go around to each booth a learn about countries from all around the world. Now for our troops country we choose Canada. It’s wasn’t the most interesting presentation but there was lots to learn about the similarities and differences between our culture and theirs. As we spoke our presentation to each group, I couldn’t help but notice how the younger girls seemed uninterested. Of course they were, all we had been doing was rambling on about something they don’t care about. In past years we made an effort to have the girls be active and learn through movement, but due to lack of space, this was not possible.
Ah-ha here comes the real observation. It was time to switch. Now, the other girls present while we walk around and learn about the countries. The first group talked quietly and looked to their moms for assistance. These were not young girls. Must of been 5th, maybe 6th grade. This experience is supposed to make them comfortable with talking in front of people. I had learned almost nothing about Kenya yet! They had notecards. They were prepared. But they could not look any of us in the eye and speak about their researched country. (After a while I found out this group was home schooled and that discussion is for another blog post).
The second station was more promising. Five little girls all wanting to speak at the same time. Information overload! Wow! Did I learn about Mexico! The one girl on my left was more excited than I had seen anybody talk about anything. She repeated the same thing over and over and wanted to take my hand and show me Mexico herself. She was enthusiastic and I admired her for that at such a young age. But what surprised me is the fact that the other girls scolded her for repeating information or getting too excited. She did not mean harm. She really just wanted me to learn everything there is about Mexico. I tried to ask questions as much as I could.
Mexico was the ONLY station lead completely by girls, with no adult help. The other stations were adult lead or the girl looked for the adults help. It surprised me dependent these girls were and how insecure they felt about talking in front of people. A