Be You Challenge

This is a new national challenge that replaces the NEDIC Love Yourself Challenge.  It covers some similar ground having the girls examine how the media shapes their perception of what it means to be a girl and builds their self esteem to counteract some of the more negative images.  The challenge starts with a backgrounder for Guiders that gives you word definitions and information on eating disorders, media etc.  It also includes core program connections.  Then there is a separate challenge document for each branch with age appropriate activities out lined in it.  Looking though the Guide challenge I’d expect it to take 3 or 4 meetings to cover the challenge well.  But it covers a lot of core program areas along the way.  And could make for a really meaningful month of meetings.

The activities are divided into three themes:

  • Media, Society and Me
  • Accepting Myself
  • My Balanced Life
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“Fat”

“Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her.

I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain…

I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ‘You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!’

‘Well,’ I said, slightly nonplussed, ‘the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’

What I felt like saying was, ‘I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?’ But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!

I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.”
― J.K. Rowling

Free Being Me

The Free Being Me challenge from WAGGGS aims at “Empowering girls through improving  body confidence and self-esteem”.  It is similar in scope to the national Love Yourself Challenge.  The challenge is structured around a five meeting outline.  There are two outlines livable, one for girls from 7-10 and one for girls 11-14.  There is also a leaders pack. The packs are beautifully produced with really nice looking hand outs.  Most of the activities are only 10-15 minutes long so if you didn’t want to spend 5 whole meetings on this subject you could spread them out over the whole year.

Crests are available from the WAGGGS site in packs of 10.

The Best We Can Be

If you can’t be the pine on the top of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley — but be
The best little scrub at the side of th hill,
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of grass,
Some highway to happier make.
If you can’t be a muskie, then just be a bass,
But the liveliest bass on the lake.

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail;
If you can’t be the sun be a star.
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail;
Be the best of whatever you are.

My Declaration of Self-Esteem

Caring and Sharing
 
If you have a gift-bring it
If you have a song-sing it.
If you have a talent- use it.
If you have a love – diffuse it.
If you have a sadness – bear it.
If you have a gladness – give it.
I you have a religion – live it.
If you have a prayer – pray it.
If you have a kind word – say it.
 
We all have gifts that we may bring,
We all have songs that we may sing.
We all have kind words that we may say,
We all have prayers that we may pray,
We all have low and joy to give.
 
And what a joy life is to live,
If we just scatter everywhere,
These things God’s given us to share.
 
– Virginia Sanir