Take A Step ISERVICE nto and start leaving footprints that can change the world Teaching Archery Service is Giving Amandsaâ€™s Blog
Teaching Archery page 4
Service is Giving page 10
Volunteer and bond with
Volunteering at camp Amandaâ€™s Story
Making a Fleece Hat How to make and Donate
Women are strong, powerful, impressionable beings. They’re active, giving, generous, caring and resilient. How? I know that it was how I was raised, not by pure genetics. By getting involved in youth programs such as Girl Scouts and 4-H, I learned skills that I could never been taught without. I learned the golden morals of respect, responsibility, and reasoning. I was forced to work and cooperate with others at a young age, to where now, I’ve grown to accept everyone and suppress my judgment (or had respect enough not to verbally comply it). In the MIAD Bridge, I want to emphasize the importance of getting young girls involved with service, volunteering and helping their community. By getting girls involved at a young age, they will become not only more independent and compassionate, but strong willed. Self-esteem is a big enemy when they enter high school, the peer pressure can be misleading, and the rumors can be hurtful. Youth programs can make them over come these issues by giving them an opportunity to find themselves, to learn right and wrong, to work and communicate with others to reduce drama. If young girls can work together happily and effectively, they can handle the real world when they are forced to work under corporatist. A girl should not be held back because she’s female. She should not be undermining as useless, boring, and incompetent. She should not be seen only for her looks to where she is forced to obtain a particular style, look, idealistic figure, and wear mass amounts of cosmetic paste. A girl should love herself, and learn to love others for who they are as well. I want to communicate that we live in a world together with others, not separate or in someone else’s. We’re all important, we all have goals, and we all should strive together.
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cure for most evils
may have found a
it has found
apathy ” of them all—
of Human Beings.
Designer & Editor
Why do I take off a week of my summer to go to a day camp and teach young girls archery? When her time is of essance to party, date, and work on her career objectives, Shannon, a twentny-one college girl sacrifices her summers to volunteer as a certified archery instructor and teach young girls the safety and how to shoot bow and arrow. In busy times of the year, she manages to keep in mind the worth of giving back to a community that has done so much for her when she was a young girl as well. To her, the reward for volunteering is the pure gratitude and smiling faces she endures each day at the camp. What Goes Around Comes Back Around Personally, I just enjoy it. I used to be one of those girls. My favorite thing about being a Girl Scout was going to the day camp every summer. There would be hikes, out door cooking, crafts, swimming, games, music, and of course, archery. I was able to enjoy all these adventurous activities because parents and young adults like myself took time out of their summers. My mom was a great example of one of these amazingly selfless
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adults. She would volunteer all week, and made sure my group and I had fun. So I continued on her steps. I used to shoot bow and arrow all the time—thanks to my mom—and decided to bring my skill to the camps. It’s a Way of Learning When working with the girls I learn how to take control over situations and be in charge. Safety is a priority of mine when I teaching them how to shoot, so there is a tendency to be strict when it’s needed. There’s also the satisfaction of being able to communicate to them how to improve. I make sure they understand that their form is the first thing to focus on: straddled legs, straight back, straight arms, lowered elbow, and remind them to only use their finger tips on the string. The beginners take a while, but it’s marvelous how quickly they improve. Once they
When teaching archery to any children there’s a few things to keep in mind:
remember the steps of how to safely load an arrow, they work on their form. Then, they can concentrate on their aim, hopefully staying consistent. I don’t think there’s a better reward for what I do, the gratification. I can’t believe the countless times I, myself, have been shocked when a girl hits the bulls-eye of a target as soon as I suggested a simple step such as: aim for this red ring instead. They get so excited, their parents become proud, and I feel more confident in my teaching skills. Just like these girls learning a new skill, I learn more about teaching as well. Every year I go back, I focus on communicating more efficiently. I’ll ask them questions and let them participate in my lectures. Instead of taking the bow out of their hands, I’ll carry my own boy to show the girls how to hold theirs.
It Brings Families Together Volunteering has also brought me closer to my younger sister. We’re eight years apart, and she’s not at that age where we can talk about make up and fashion senses just yet. However, when we go to camp to volunteer together, that gap is less apparent. Yes, I’m still the older sister in command, but our goal is to just have fun. With her in mind, I strive to become an example like my mother has been, and teach my sister the importance and value in volunteering. Maybe, when she goes through high school, she’ll still give back to the camp that has treated her so well. If only we could touch the souls of those young girls we work for to keep the Girl Scout Day Camp running better than before.
Inspect all Equipment. Before anyone shoots, the equipment must be proofed and approved for shooting. Any frayed strings or warped limbs could break and inflict harm. Give Demos. If you’re teaching a new group, it helps to give a demo on the first day. Even if they shot before, some children need reminders on the parts of the bow and how to load properly. Remove loose Articles. Necklaces, earrings, even baggy sweaters can get caught in the bowstrings, which could cause potential harm to the shooter. Stay Patient. You may have to remind them over and over about the position of the index feather, how far they pull back or their posture. If archery is new to them, you may have to remind them step by step on what to do. Keep a Passive Voice. Young girls can be sensitive, and even when they do something incorrect, you must inform them without yelling. We want them to have fun. Be Present. Even if they’re advanced, you should keep mind that accidents do happen. Have Encouragement. It can be frustrating for kids to try something new, but it’s not working out for them. You don’t have to force them, but let them know that they can do this. Say Positive Statements. Compliment the kids and let them know that they’re doing something right. After, you can inform them on something they can improve.
Amanda’s Story Amanda is a middle school girl going into eighth grade this year. She’s been an active Girl Scout over the years, but her favorite event is the Girl Scout Summer Camp.
From being a P.A, I learn the roles of authority. I may not be the leader, but I have to present myself as one. The girls relate to me more as I fill in the gap between them and the adults. I don’t treat them as ‘kids’ but as little sisters. I enjoy being that fun ‘older sister’ as they idolize me as a role model. I’m the youngest in my family—the baby, the one that gets picked on, the one that no one take seriously—so it’s refreshing, for once, to change the roles.
“I like volunteering and I can’t wait to go back next year. It’s the highlight of my summer.” This year has been my first year as a program assistant at girl scouts Day Camp. A program assistant (P.A.) is someone who helps out the unit leaders of each groups, and station areas like fishing, boating, and out door cooking. I enjoy this position because the younger girls look up to me, and they get more excited for camp activities. I love when I loose my voice at the end of the day, because I sing at the top of my lungs all morning to entertain and boost the moral on hot humid days.
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Girl Scouts Summer Camp 2011 This year I helped out in multiple places for camp. I participated as a helper for fishing, archery, and for a fly up group, which consist of girls from ages 10-11. I really liked working with the fly ups the most because I was able to get to spend time with the same girls, get to know them, and they got to know me as well. However, I would volunteer to help out in fishing and archery anytime as well. Each station allowed me to understand to learn the skills as well as teach them to some one else. I was also given the experience of working under a ‘big sister’ other than an adult. I was treated as an equal and given responsibilities that can be expected from me. Fishing I volunteered for fishing because I enjoy to fish and I was aquatinted with the instructor, Rebecca, from previous Girl Scout activities. Becca’s assignments for me were to cut up worms and bait the girl’s hooks when they needed more bait. Touching worms, which Becca was especially proud of, personally didn’t gross me out. I think that fishing with my dad allowed me to ‘toughen up’ and deal with it. “If you want to fish, you have to take the good with the bad,” he said. Becca normally kept an eye on untangling lines and watching to make sure no one hooked another.
There are a few significant items and activities that girls enjoy about going to camp. Lacing is one of the most popular crafts at camp. Every Girl Scout gets to learn how to weave and as they get older each year, the lacings become more challenging. Lacing allows girls to be unique by how they weave and what techniques they choose to use. This activity would have girls occupied for a few hours and the down time is very refreshing, you can even make them at home. Camp Names allow the girls to be creative and express themselves with there own name while learning how to socialize with others. This idea has been inspired by Native American heritage, which named one another after the characteristics of nature. Camp names can be their favorite animal, food, or even cartoon character. Bead collecting is a tradition at camp. Each group and station has a different colored bead and the girls go around to collect them all, interacting with others and making new friends.
“I felt that adding a social aspect to my job made my chores more fun, and hopefully made the girls feel a little more important.”
Our station was on a small shore between the boating and swimming area, and we sometimes gained two groups at a time, naturally, girls were crossing their fishing lines all the time. Then there were some that just hand the line wrapped around the pole, but asked us to unwrap it to gain attention. When no one was standing in lines for bait, I would help untangle the lines. Although, there was one group that constantly kept loosing their bait because they kept reeling in really fast. When I was baiting, I would talk and ask the girls about camp and how they’re days were. I felt that adding a social aspect to my job made my chores more fun, and hopefully made the girls feel a little more important. Archery My mom got me into archery when I was eight, and I knew how to shoot… to an extent. I helped out with archery because the activity was fun, and I would be able to shoot during down time, and also because my sister was the instructor of the station. She can sometimes be a little strict, but I understand the different precautions from fishing and shooting: both can have accidents, but the worse of archery is more sever than the worst injury from fishing. Since archery is considered to be an advanced station, I only worked with girls who were 11 and older. This was easier, because the older kids had more of an understanding of archery safety, but they weren’t scared to try. My sister taught me how to communicate with girls, as well as informing me what to look for. Together we were able to correct a shooters form, instruct them how to load the arrows on the bow properly, and watch if the shooter needs to try a different bow (a lighter one, a left-handed one, an easier one).
“It’s important to keep going back and play my role because the younger girls will have a greater experience at camp.”
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There’s many skill building and outdoor survival knowledge that kids can learn
I found teaching this sport very exciting. There could be a quiet girl in her group, and as soon as she hits the bull’s-eye on the target, she becomes the center of attention for most of the day. Archery gives an opportunity for someone to get notice, unlike the other stations that consist of just singing, just swimming, just learning nature, and working in arts and crafts. Archery unleashes secret talent that awes everyone. The Experience By working with younger kids, I also learned to stay calm even though I get frustrated. I realize that I can’t expect them to always understand things the way I do. I have to be patience, stay gentle, and take extra effort to show them till they finally understand. In the long run, patience is always an important virtue when later things don’t seem to go my way. As long as I don’t let it get to me, I can solve any situation. My reward for volunteering is the attention. I love that they always want to talk to me, to listen to me, and ask me questions. I like that they call me a ‘goofy’ name all day instead of just ‘Amanda’, or mean nick
“I think volunteering is important. When you do something good for the community, something good comes out of it.” names that reduce my self esteem. Getting involved with Girl Scouts at a young age is one of the greatest opportunities to teach middle school girls about services. It’s something to look forward to every summer, and also some day when they’re older they would want to be a P.A. too. It’s important to keep going back and play my role because the younger girls will have a greater experience at camp. The more they come back, they continue to stay active and keep meeting new people. I think volunteering is important. When you do something good for the community, something good comes out of it. If I were to cut the grass at the park, more people would go to that park and have fun. When you provide a service, it gives yourself a good image and makes everyone else around you more grateful. It also looks good on a resumé.
GIVING If we all GIVE, the world can be a better place for the environment and for human kind
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What does ‘service’ mean? Service could have many meanings, I’m a server at a restaurant, so for me there could be many definitions of service. For me a lot of what service deals with is beneficial to another, whether I be doing community service or serving food. Service is giving. Giving or offering help, in other words, a service. At a young age we are taught by our parents and our teachers that it is important to give back to those who are with less, service is part of that giving process. For me personally I find myself very kind hearted and willing to offer what I have in order for someone else to have, if even for a moment, the feeling of happiness and calm, that everything will be okay. I know from personal experience that that is all it takes to change a persons day and hopefully their life. Parents are Vital Influences In many senses, the two people I interviewed, my mother and father, both responded similarly to their ideas of what service really means. Both stated that service has to deal with helping humans. Growing up with two very strong minded parents, I was taught that the basis of life was to be healthy, mentally, emotionally and physically. They instilled in me that helping other people and human contact are huge parts of healing, for ourselves and for those whom we assist. In high school I joined a group, and later became Vice President, of Kids4Kids. We raised money and got the opportunity to help foster kids of all ages.
“Service is giving. Giving or offering help, in other words, a service.”
Many children, when they turn 18 and age out of the system are left with little help or introduction to the world. We would make hats and have coin competitions in order to raise as much money, through our school, for these foster children. Having two younger siblings, I really felt for these children, so young, yet dealing with so much. Helping them, even in a small way and watching their faces light up was priceless for me. Exploring the World Another experience I was lucky to partake in was a trip to Costa Rica. In the eleven days I spent there, I planted trees, guided baby sea turtles to the ocean and spent most of my time with the children of whatever small village we were currently staying in. Absorbing the new culture of Costa Rica and being able to improve the life down their was incredible. Living so simple was so easy for them and to be able to ground myself in that culture and open my eyes to how some people live and continually give to one another was once in a lifetime. Bringing Communities Together In June, the summer of 2008, I was a senior in High school. I had lived on the river since I was born and knew that this time was flood season. We ended up getting tons of rain and everything melted around us. The water from the Milwaukee River started to get higher and higher and at some point came into our garage. My mom and I weren’t worried, as it had happened the spring before. We slowly watched the water rise higher and higher. I was surprised to find that in time of need people rise to the occasion to help. I had friends from school helping sand bag and neighbors and just random volunteers offering their time and their hand to help us save our house. The water rose over our five hundred sandbags and flooded our entire first floor, everything had
changed. In a time of need people came out of the wood work and were there to help us in our time of need. The experience of losing so much, yet having the support, love and service of friends and complete strangers really made moving on that much easier. It is in times of need that people offer their hand to help another. Teaching Good Mental Health I interviewed both parents, not only to compare the two, but also because both of my parents have histories either in health or mental health. Mary Kay, my mother is a psychotherapist and has been for 36 years and counting. She provides counseling so peoples emotional health is improved. The outcome of therapy is hopefully that when people are done with it they have improved mental health, less anxious, has learned coping skills and gained insight and understanding to emotions. My father on the other hand has done everything under the sun. He was an EMT and volunteer firefighter. Most of his early life he worked as a Rolfer, rolfing is basic deep tissue body work, I say it’s painful but effective. He currently is Senior Manager of Community Engagement and Development for Greenopolis, which is a part of Waste Management. He also runs his own consultant business that works with bigger companies like Nike and Harley Davidson, to conceive ideas on how to make the products more “green”. You could say he is a man of many trades. I found it interesting interviewing both my mother and father because their lifestyles are so different, I knew their opinions would follow that pattern. I was surprised to discover that their responses to what service really meant to them, were surprisingly similar. My father had thoughts on how human contact is a huge part of healing and that service is all about helping humans. My mother thought that service was assisting people with an action that will change the quality of their life. We all agree that service is helping, helping someone, or preforming an action that is beneficial for a cause.
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Moral Rights and Beliefs They also find the balance between individual rights and the rights of innocent citizens to be a tricky balance. My mother believes we can’t intrude on people’s rights but we also can’t let people hurt others. My father on the other side thinks that rights are only rights as far as they extend in his skin. Rights have to be limited, you have the right to bear arms, but not the right to hurt someone else with those guns. I agree with both, we can’t intrude, but how do we know when we cross the line, if we don’t even know where the line is? In regards to mental health, my mother believe Jared Loughner should have been stopped. She stated that we don’t have a system that babysits anyone with severe psychological problems. She also believes it to be a tragedy that a crisis, such as the Tucson shooting, had to occur before anyone could step in. Although people did see warning signs, our system isn’t set up so that we can scoop up anyone with
“I was taught that the basis of life was to be healthy, mentally, emotionally and physically.” disturbing behavior. If we could, my mother believe that our mental hospitals would be overflowing. On one hand, she states, people have individual rights, but on the other, the only way someone is admitted is if they are harming others. My father, with the sense of humor, thinks that you can’t lock up creepy people, if you were to, congress would be behind bars. He says people need to look at things systematically, there is a disconnect between individuals. Society as a whole is lacking centeredness and soulfulness, he believes that as a culture we have lost our center. He references how churches and synagogs used to be the tallest buildings in cities, today the tallest buildings are insurance companies and other big businesses. It shows us what we value nowadays. I agree with my father, everyone gets so caught up and they loose focus on what is important in our society, taking care
â€œSociety as a whole has to come together and work together in order to be a successful nationâ€? of our fellow citizens and offering ourselves, I know that if roles are reversed I would want the kindness and caring. Learning about Ourselves In interviewing my parents and evaluating myself Iâ€™ve discovered that we all have the same idea, give or take a few thoughts. Society as a whole has to come together and work together in order to be a successful nation. Service has many meaningful definitions and interpretations. Each definition is individual to each person depending their life experience and service experience. What it comes down to is service is all about giving, unconditionally and willingly. If everyone could understand the concept of service, this world would be a different place. Article by Lauren Howie Laur
Illustration by Allyson Sawatske
VOLUNTEER Horses and bond with
Every princess wants to have a horse, but you don’t have to buy one
How often have you heard your younger girl run up to you going, “mommy mommy, I want a pony?” How many times can you relate wanting a horse yourself when you were younger? It’s almost inescapable. All these movies out there that have girls and there love with a horse: ‘Black Beauty’, ‘The Princess Stallion’ (1997), ‘The Horse Whisper’ (1998), or the new 2003 of ‘Seabiscuit.’ Another year, there’s another heart moving horse movie and lets face it—there’s a good chance horses will be your little girl’s favorite animal once in her life. I remember being obsessed with horses when I was growing up. My dad was a fan of all the western movies, so I was exposed to all kinds of horse movies. The over played VHS was a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie called ‘How the West was Fun’. As I was growing up, I owned tons of the collector horse toys, my little ponies, and Babies’ pony. I loved them. My dad even made a wooden stable to keep them in and my mom signed me up to take horse back riding lessons. There were some that we would take turns riding and leading, and then play games. But these farms weren’t worth the knowledge of horses that I learned from actually working on a ranch. But there are a lot of expenses to go through to get a horse. You either need the six acres to have one, or rent to board them. Then you have to worry about caring for it. Horse can easily be a big expensive dog. Your daughter will “promise” to always take care of it, but life can sometimes get in the way. She will probably get bored and move on to video games or get
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involved with fashion. What about when she gets into high school? She’ll probably never have time with the over load of homework, friends, and joining multi clubs and sports. So how can you give her this experience of bonding with a horse without dedicating your wallet and life to it? Have her volunteer to help out at a local farm. This would give your little girl, older girl, and even boys an excellent experience of caring and working for the animals they love. All you need is that local ranch looking for some extra free hands. The Importance of Grooming Your kids will learn how to groom horses, which is considered to be the most important moment of bonding. Horses need grooming before they can be ridden, but it’s also best to groom them at least once every two days. When you groom a horse, not only do they love it, but also you get to feel for the cuts and scraps that they may have gotten into. It’s almost like a health inspection, but essential. If you were to ride a horse who has a wound right were the saddle would be rubbing up against, you can almost bet that neither of you might have an enjoyable ride. When I first started working at a place down the road from me, Lisa, the owner gave brief instructions on how to do everything once: to fetch, lead, groom, tack, halter, and not as much fun, clean stables. I had so much fun having a quiet time grooming the horse. Each horse is different, and what took me a while to remember was identifying which horse is which. After a summer, I felt like I knew each horse, and how to take proper care with them.
The Other –Not-so-Fun- Work Your children will learn both the pleasures and nasty jobs of taking care of hoses. Stables need cleaning and the nicer they look all the time, the more pleasant the atmosphere. We grown up hearing that
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“it builds character doing the crappy jobs,” it can’t be avoided. However, this could persuade your kids to be more ambitious when they get older. Once they know they don’t like working the cruddy cleaning jobs, they’ll be more motivated to work hard, save for college, and work a cushiony office job Some important facts: You will get dirty. When you groom, horses come in with hard mud and dirt all through out their bodies. You won’t always be able to use a brush on some area’s like they’re legs (which can get the most dirty!), so you’ll have to use your fingers and hands to brush all those clumps off. When bridling a horse, some won’t be so cooperative to just open their mouth as you put the bit in. Yes, sometimes you’re going to have put your fingers in their mouth to find the gap between their teeth and open their jaw for that bridle bit. Hay also has an attachment to closes. The Right Cloths It’s best to wear jeans and a t-shirt. There might be hot muggy days, but jeans breathe, and help as an extra protection to the hard work. You’re going to get dirty, but if it’s on your jeans—who’s to worry? Wear tough leather or steal toes shoes. When leading a horse, they don’t really look at their feet when they’re walking, it also doesn’t hurt them to step on you. What does hurt is the weight of their 700 lbs on one of your toes. So, be careful where you step.
Be the Boss In some special cases, you’re going to have to show who’s in control. This goes hand in and whenever working with horses. There are cases where some animals are naughty. I remember when I was grooming the hooves of a gorgeous Ranch bay horse named Maverick and he would turn his head to nip me in the butt. In this case, you’re going to have to smack them and let them know. When you’re going off on rides, you’re the one giving the lead. Strict and assertive are necessary characteristics that you’ll need or build on too. Be a Little Clever I know for a fact that some horses aren’t so easy when it’s time to bring them out from the pasture for grooming and tacking. They just don’t want to be caught! If you go out there with the halter and rope, they could be running circles around you for hours, and you’ll get tired before them. The best way is to hide the halter behind your back and sometimes it helps to bring a little treat to distract them and you slip the halter on.
How to Make and Donate
The Weather Outside is FRIGHTENING But you can keep someone warm with a fleece hat It’s about that time of the year, where the temperature gets a little cooler and the sky gets a little cloudier. The wind gets a little harsher— nipping at the ears of those who don’t have the proper wardrobe to keep warm. You can help out this year by making fleece hats and donating to the less fortunate. The soft material of fleece provides a cozy warm comfort of someone’s thoughts and protects from the winter chill. Get your family together to share the wondrous adventure of creating and donating.
Make and Donate a Fleece Hat Easy 20-30 minute activity Materials * At least 1yr of fleece * Thread * Needle (or sewing machine) Children should be accompanied by an adult if using machine
* Scissors * Template (use paper to make one)
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Step 1 Make a template about 6in x 6in Round the edges
Step 2 Cut out a rectangle of material about 23in x 6in (22.5in is average circumference of adult)
How to Make and Donate Step 3 Use template pattern to trim out head edges
Step 4 Pin the sides together. When you pin the top, there should be an â€œxâ€? shape
Step 5 Use a needle or sewing machine and sew the pinned edges together. (Have an adult accompany children when using the machine.)
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Step 6 Turn hat inside out, and fold up the bottom to give it a 2â€? hem. Pin it down
Step 7 Sew the hem.
Step 8 Clip away any loose hanging threads, and donate your hat!
Get Creative! This is just a basic design for fleece hats, but there are opportunities to enhance that creativity in you such as adding bows, flowers, buttons, or using fabric paint to add just a slight touch of art and class.
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Published on Nov 7, 2011
Designer: Shannon Winkowski. This magazine is targeted towards middle school girls and to encourage them to get involved with community serv...