Enjoying Our Differences Together
A Potpourri of Ideas: A Resource Packet for Leaders Riverland Girl Scout Council, Inc. Resource Packet #1 February 21, 1983
Troops and camps are excellent settings for appreciation of ourself and others to take place. One of the tools for its accomplishment is multi-cultural activities designed to stimulate understanding and sensitivity of human differences and similarities. The activities suggested here only scratch the surface of possibilities. Leaders and girls in troops and camp can do some creative planning together and produce new and exciting program activities along these lines.
Better understanding of people can happen when we appreciate and share our many customs. Every girl can feel important with an opportunity to contribute something special to the group. Around the campﬁre, in a Brownie Ring, an informal troop discussion, or in a get acquainted game . . . girls might discuss family backgrounds, countries great grandparents came from and customs handed down in the family that may be different from their neighbors . . . from that move on to: Let’s learn a song from their country — or game — or a craft. Or, if not from family backgrounds, from some of the cultures represented in your community or the Riverland Girl Scout Council area.
Music has Universal Appeal
Many of the songs Girl Scouts sing in troops and at camp have roots in other countries. Learn lullabies from several countries and then provide opportunities for the girls in sing them. For instance, troops in a camp, setting could serenade others after bedtime — or use lullabies as a closing at troop meetings or special events. Folk songs have always been the corner stone of camp music — a natural. An inter-troop folk song festival can happen any time through the year. Don’t forget how exciting sing alongs are. Senior Girl Scouts could help plan one for younger Girl Scouts. OR Write and sing your own troop’s folk song depicting the heritage of your members and events that have had meaning for your troop or camp unit.
Dancing is Fun and Self-Expressive
Styles or forms of dancing from other countries and cultures are fun to explore. Bosa Nova, Boogaloo, Waltz, the Oriental use of hands for expression, Native American Ceremonials, etc. Dancing can be part of party-time, a hobby or interest hour activity, a whole camp shindig, or entertainment by a few for the rest of the troop.
Dramatics may be a child’s ﬁrst formal experience at becoming another person. This creative opportunity can happen in the dramatization of songs, stories, or games. A helpful resource for troops is Dramatics in Play: Bibliography.
Art • • • • from different cultures provides variety in crafts, such as: Asian: Origami paper craft, batik, etc. African: Tie-dying, wood carving, etc. Native American: Sand painting, basketry, beading, etc. Mexican: Paper-mache ﬁgures, clay pottery, tin craft, etc.
Food is always a popular subject. How can it be used to enhance program and people to people understanding? Have a party featuring desserts from cultures represented in your troop, community or the Riverland Girl Scout Council area. Form small interest groups to cook, display, and serve . . . especially good for bridging activities, parent gatherings, Court of Awards, etc. OR Try a progressive dinner with each patrol serving one course chosen from a different country or cultural group. Costumes could add to the fun. OR A troop or camp unit could choose to cook a meal around a theme. What sounds good? • Japanese menu • Soul food • Polynesian luau • Scandinavian smorgasbord All camp or neighborhood inter-troop parties might be based on a single theme such as a Mexican Piñata Party.
Creative writing is an activity that deﬁnitely helps meet the objective of helping girls know themselves and achieve a sense of identity. Think about: Japanese Haiku as a starting place for girls as they create with poetry. OR Ceremonies for troop or camps that include a reading by the girls especially written by one group or an individual expressing universal human values. Good idea for a Scout’s Own ceremony. OR Be a legend in your own time — Indian stories or legends make for good story telling periods. Girls, after hearing some might develop a legend of their own about the campsite, a troop camping trip, a friendship troop experience, or their own troop. How about having the girls recap the year’s activities in legend form to share with parents, sponsors, and girls who are bridging into your troop. With games, contests, and physical skills the girls can discover the common fun of children worldwide. One general activity that might be fun would be a Culture Carnival. Combine food, music, dancing, crafts, writing, games and contests into one rousing all-camp, neighborhood or council-wide event.