What I Learned from Girl Scout Training

Kara Powell | Mar 22, 2010

So I’m now a volunteer Brownie leader for my daughter’s troop. The last place I wanted to be last Wednesday night was a 3-hour volunteer training. Lucky for me, the trainer wanted to get home to watch “American Idol” with her kids so we only were there for 90 minutes. But in the midst of those 90 minutes (and I multi-tasked for 60 of them, perusing some sticky faith documents), I was struck by several things:

-I love the idea of an organization that builds courage and character into girls.

-Their values are discover (which focuses on knowing yourself), connect (building relationships with others), and take action (changing the world). Not bad at all.

-I LOVE LOVE LOVE how purposeful they are in the skills and values they are trying to instill in the girls. Everything is so intentional and builds toward important life milestones.

Now granted, this sort of purposefulness can easily lead to a works mentality (especially when selling Girl Scout cookies is involved). And it’s probably a bit too structured and goal-focused. But at the same time, I kept thinking to myself during the training, “There’s a lot the church could learn from having such clear goals in their teaching and experiences.”

Do we know how we hope kids are growing intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and socially this year?

Do we know how this year builds toward next year? And the year after that?

The Girl Scouts do. Maybe we could learn something from them. I know I did.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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