I love being involved with Teen Girl Scouts – they keep me young and they keep me connected. Keeping connected with them, however, has been an evolving challenge.
Cell phones are a mainstay for my teens: It’s how they tell time. It’s how they take photos. It’s how they keep in touch. Many troop leaders may be uncertain how to include technology in their troop environment. It is important to have a troop discussion of what the rules regarding use of these technologies should be. Girl Scouts are smart and I believe they can be counted on to make appropriate-use rules about the use of cell phones during troop activities and stick to them.
Email can be great, too, and I thought it was the best way for keeping touch with girls…until this summer. In preparation for day camp at Camp Crossroads, we sent out an email to more than 45 Teens, asking the best way for us to get them information. It turns out almost all the Teen Girl Scouts had an email, but said they don’t regularly check their inboxes. I learned if I really wanted to get in touch with them I would text them! LOL. Time to adapt and change once again!
Facebook, Twitter (which coincidentally, now has more adults joining than youth), texting, emails, cellphones – my philosophy is that I need to meet Teens at their level, and once I’m there, I can introduce them to some very cool Girl Scout experiences. However, if I don’t keep up with where they are, I get left behind as they move on.
GSCNC and GSUSA are doing great things in the world of technology. In addition to being connected through social networking, Girl Scouts have developed the LMK project with Microsoft, to help our girls use the internet safely. My Teen Girl Scouts are already part of these digital communities . I’m more willing to engage them with these technologies knowing that Girl Scouts are helping girls use them safely and knowing that I can have an influence too…
Also check out the GSUSA blog at www.blog.girlscouts.org