Junior Girl Scout Troop 42120 have been together since they were Daisy Girl Scouts, their leader Christie Eckardt has taught the girls about bullying and jealously, two things that can hurt a friendship and yourself. She shares a few activities she has done with her girls.
Why it is Needed: Having watched as girls go through different grade levels, it became obvious that somewhere around 3rd grade, jealousy between girls (not just Girl Scouts) begins to surface. Whether it is over pretty clothes or best friends or skills and talents, girls begin to compare themselves to those around them and some don’t handle it as well as others. This year I decided to make the first meeting of every year a very casual (no uniforms, no opening, closing, business, attendance, etc.) gathering called Junior Jabber. The girls are free to bring anything that is bothering them to the discussion. This might be a teacher who is treating them unfairly, trouble with a sister borrowing clothes, a friendship that is drifting, a bully who is making them feel bad, anything. The idea is that we all go through similar things but if nobody is talking about it, it sometimes feels like we are the only one. If others know they can support you. The girls are supposed to talk through the issues and come up with solutions among themselves. I try to provide a visual example of the topic for them to “take away” with them, a picture being worth a thousand words.
- drinking straws with the bendy part cut off (1 per scout)
- black Japanese Sukineko ink (or substitute)
- thick cardstock quality white paper (1 sheet per scout)
- black liquid ink rollerball pens (1 per scout)
What to do:
Leader: Have you ever been jealous of someone else? (pause for answers)
Leader: Has anyone ever been jealous of you? (pause for answers)
Leader: Jealousy is an entirely NORMAL thing to feel from time to time. Kids feel it a lot but even grown-ups feel it too. Feeling jealous doesn’t define who you are or make you a bad person. BUT how you handle it does say a lot about who you are. We need to figure out ways to handle this because it will come to visit. Some people call jealousy the “Green Monster” but we are going to make a picture of your own jealousy monster with black ink because jealousy makes us feel bad and dark inside.
Pass out all supplies except the ink. Tell the girls they need to blow through the straws to spread the ink all around the paper. Changing the direction of the paper allows crazy little spikes of ink to lap out from larger channels. Once the girls have their basic monster, they can use the pens to draw anything that makes them think mean – claws, evil eyes, spikes, thorns, tails.
Leader: So now you have your jealousy monster! He is NOT YOU. He is a yucky creature who tries to sneak up on you and make you feel bad. So the next time he takes you by surprise, imagine you are looking him straight in the eye for a minute. Recognize him for what he is. Then put him away. If you are at home, put him in a dark drawer and slam it shut. Tell him, “I AM DONE WITH YOU! GO AWAY!” If you are not at home, imagine stuffing him to the bottom of your backpack where he can’t get out. If you’re out, picture throwing him in the nearest garbage can. He can’t have power over you unless you let him.
The girls really enjoyed this and have told me it is really helping them.
Supplies: dessert plates, brooms and trash bag
What to do:
Leader: Have you ever been mad at someone? (pause for answers)
Leader: Did you ever say something mean you wouldn’t normally say because you were just SO mad? (pause for answers)
Leader: Everybody gets mad once in a while and sometimes we speak before we think. But what really happens to the person we were mean to?
Pass out a plate to each girl.
Leader: Pretend this plate is another person. I want you to think of something you’ve heard a bully say to someone or maybe you’ve said to someone that you didn’t mean in your heart. Now SHOUT it at the plate. (give them time to shout, at this point they think this is funny)
Leader: Now throw that plate at the wall/ground. (allow them to throw the plates and watch them shatter)
Leader: What happened? What does it feel like to be the plate? (allow them to answer)
Leader: So now apologize to the pieces. (pause)
Leader: Did that fix it? (pause)
Leader: Let’s try again but more heartfelt. (pause)
Leader: Did that fix it? (pause)
Leader: Okay this time with tears and pleading and all your heart and soul! (pause, they LOVE being dramatic and really get into this)
Leader: Did THAT fix it? (pause)
Leader: They say time heals all wounds so let’s pretend time has passed and the plate has been glued back together. It looks good from a distance but pull it close. Do you think evidence of the damage will still be visible? Will that plate be as strong as it was before? (pause)
Leader: That is what happens when someone says something mean to another person. Evidence of that hurt remains long after it is said. We should all try to stop and think before we react.
Then they have to help sweep up the mess. The girls LOVED getting to break something and the picture will stay with them longer than a “lecture” would.
These might be great activities to add to the Agent of Change Journey. Check out Makingfriends Badge in a Bag kit, and add these two great activities to your event.