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GIRLtopia Journey


Toward an Ideal World for Girls


Imagine if every girl in the world could attend school, pursue her passions, and choose the career and family life she wanted. Imagine a world in which girls could influence policies that really matter – education, health care, housing, employment.

RIGHT NOW, THIS ISN’T THE CASE. Consider these statistics:
Half the women in the world above age 15 cannot read or write.1

World wide, 62 million (62,000,000) girls are not attending primary school.2

Violence causes more death and disability worldwide among women aged 15 – 44 than war, cancer, malaria, or traffic accidents. 3
1 Women’s Learning Partnership/womankind.org.uk

2 Because I Am a Girl: The State of the World’s Girls 2007 (Plan International)

3 Directorate of Public Health, UK, via womankind.org.uk
GIRLtopia is your invitation to envision a perfect world – a utopia – for girls. On this journey, you will create an ideal community where girls’ values, needs, and interests are respected and celebrated – always. And along the way, you just might discover that when you can envision a change, you can make it happen.
Why GIRLtopia? Explains the need for a GIRLtopia with facts, and invites you to create a vision of your perfect, girl-focused world through art: poetry, painting, sculpture, video – or whatever you choose.

CREATE IT gets you going with inspiration for your GIRLtopia art project.

In DISCOVERING YOUtopia, you’ll uncover the “you” in utopia. You’ll get to know your real self better than ever. And, you’ll explore the “ideal” you – the best you you can possibly be.

In CONNETING Toward GIRLtopia, you’ll gain strategies for partnering with others on your GIRLtopia vision. You’ll build the network you need to make an ideal world for girls.
TAKING ACTION on Your Vision supports you as you plan, organize, and do a Take Action Project based on your vision.
Keep in mind: With this map, there’s no hard and fast route to follow. So mix it up! Go forward, swing back, dip into the middle. Choose your own adventure through GIRLtopia.
What’s important is that throughout this journey, you act as a VISIONARY – a creative thinker who can foresee a future in which girls take center stage and are empowered to make a difference in the world. That means you’ll be a leader with the confidence to bring the world, locally or globally, one step closer to ideal. After all, an ideal world for girls really means a more ideal world for everyone, right?
Getting to GIRLtopia . . .

It’s Up to You!

You’ve Got CHOICES. You Decide . . .
Your Level of Creativity . . .

You decide how much time to spend on your artistic vision, how detailed to make it, and whether and how to showcase it (see pages 20 – 27 of your book for ideas).

How to take Action . . .

GIRLtopia is crammed with information to inspire you as you bring the world closer to your ideal. Use it to choose your Take Action Project and to decide how to accomplish that project – on your own or with a team. Your goal is to use your time and resources as wisely as possible to create the most impact.

Who’s on Your Team . . .

You can take this journey with a team or solo. And, your Take Action Project, too, can be done with a team or on your own. Either way, gathering with others from time to time to talk and reflect can be a good thing. If you have a team, you and your teammates will make choices together as you venture forward. Your Girl Scout adviser will have a journey guide with sample sessions that suggest one way to travel to GIRLtopia – but you can partner and customize your journey any way you like.

But you don’t have to do all of these things. You can do just one, or maybe two.

On the road toward GIRLtopia, each CHOICE is yours. And, you have one more CHOISE: whether or not to pursue . . .


This journey can earn you a major Girl Scout award – or not. Again, the choice is yours. To earn the Girl Scout Senior Visionary Award, here’s your three-part “must-do” list.
Create It! Complete a GIRLtopia art project (in any medium, and as an individual or team effort), and then share it. (See pages 20 – 27 in your book for ideas.)

Guide It! Guide others through a GIRLtopia topic: Organize a discussion, lead a meeting, or share a topic that interests you from this book – such as ethics, the Girls’ Bill of Rights, or any of the various “Think About It, Talk About It” discussion subjects.

Change It! Complete the 12 stages of the Take Action process, in a team or on your own, for a big or small project that moves the world one step closer to your vision (see page 80 of your book).


Why GIRLtopia?


0 … number of countries in the world where women’s wages equal those of men1

1 … percentage of the world’s assets held in the name of a woman2

2 … percentage of senior management positions occupied by women in business worldwide3

50 … percentage of sexual assaults worldwide that are against girls 15 or younger4

53 … percentage of American 13-year-old girls who say they are unhappy with their bodies5

66 … percentage of 15 – 19-year-olds newly infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa with


70 … percentage of the 1.5 billion living on $1 a day or less who are female4

75 … percentage of war fatalities who are women and children6

100 million … number of girls missing around the world4
1 Women’s Learning Partnership/womankind.org.uk

2 unesco.org, womankind.org.uk

3 businessweek.com, womankind.org.uk

4Because I Am a Girl: The State of the World’s Girls 2007 (Plan International)2

5 healthyplace.com

6 Network for Good, womankind.org.uk

UTOPIA? Island of Ideals

The word “utopia” comes from the Renaissance author Sir Thomas More. It was the name he gave to the imaginary island of his 1516 book, Utopia. More’s Utopia, a place of order and harmony, had perfect legal, political, and social systems. Residents enjoyed six-hour workdays and education for all. Plus, no one owned land, bartering took the place of money, and gemstones were simply children’s toys.

Start thinking about your ideals.

How will they inform your vision of a GIRLtopia?

How would the world be better for everyone if we had a GIRLtopia?

What is the future for a girl who can’t read?

When women don’t earn enough, what happens to their children?

What issues does society categorize as “women’s

issues?” Why aren’t they everyone’s issues?

How could everyone help create a GIRLtopia?

Juliette Gordon Low a TRUE GIRLtopia Visionary

In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low recognized the need for a place where girls could discover their strengths as leaders, connect with other girls and adults who encourage them to succeed, and take action to better their communities.

Low believed that all girls should have the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. She foresaw a world in which girls were agents of change

“I want to appeal to every Girl Scout,”

she said, “to . . . help to make a ‘newer

and better world.’”
Low’s vision of a “GIRLtopia” is still going strong. Girl Scouts has grown from its original troop of 18 in Savannah, Georgia, to 3.6 million members in the United States and 90 countries around the world. And, that’s not counting Girl Scout alumnae – now estimated at 50 million throughout the world.
In an ideal world for girls, the world will be more ideal for everyone.

think about it, talk about it

Consider the all-girl environments of which you know or in which you take part – formal ones, like Girl Scouts, and informal ones, like a group of your best girlfriends. Think about places in your community where girls have fun together, feel empowered, and are free to be themselves.

  • Are there advantages to sometimes hanging out just with girls? If yes, what are they? If no, why not?

  • In an “ideal” group of girls and boys working together on a project, how do boys act?

  • How do girls related to one another in all-girl environments?

  • Do girls sometimes change the way they relate to one another when boys are around? If yes, in a good way? In a bad way? How?


To make a real change in girls’ lives, you need to be knowledgeable about the quality of those lives right now in the real world.

Think about your school, community, country, the world at large. What makes life hard for girls? What obstacles do girls face? Ask your friends, and check out the daily news.

Is there anything less than “GIRLtopian” in your world? How about around the globe? Who’s already doing something about it?

After the hundreds of stories I’ve heard of atrocities around the globe, I know that if you’re a woman born in the United States, you’re one of the luckiest women in the world. Take your good fortune and life your life to its highest calling.

- Oprah Winfrey

Look back at page 9 in your book, at one or a few of the statistics, or consider other facts that you have found. What are your wishes for girls around the world?
How would you make it real? Brainstorm.


\i•MA•jen\ verb: to form a mental image of (something not present)
When asked to imagine a GIRLtopia, here’s what some 9th- and 10th-grade girls said:
In a perfect world,

  • Girls would “be strong leaders in all areas.”

  • Girls would be “honored for their intelligence, not only their looks.”

  • Girls would “be able to do whatever they want whenever they want, without limitations.”

  • Girls could “choose any career or lifestyle because there would be no more stereotypes about what they can or can’t do.”

  • Girls would “feel empowered to be leaders through compassion and kindness.”

S – T – R – E – T – C – H Y O U R V I S I O N

Share your wishes from the previous pages with your family and friends. For what do they wish?

Did anyone’ vision surprise you? Did you learn anything new about someone? Did someone’s vision stir your own imagination?
In a perfect world . . .

girls’ dreams could be limitless, and

no one would shoot them down.
Now, take your wishes and BUILD them into

Complete the following phrases – and let your imagination run wild!
In an ideal world, girls could . . .

girls would . . .

girls have . . .

girls are . . .

Try writing your definition of GIRLtopia.


\vi•zhe•NER•ē\ noun: one having unusual foresight and imagination
A visionary needs confidence and a handful of practical skills.

List your Top 10 qualities, values, skills, or talents for a visionary:

Review your list and circle those qualities, values, skills, or talents that you have. Take a moment to appreciate them.
Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” – Jonathan Swift, from

“Thoughts on various Subjects”

S – T – R – E – T – C – H Y O U R V I S I O N

Share your list of visionary qualities and skills with friends and family. Which do they think you already have?

Do they see something in you that you didn’t even consider?

Which qualities, values, skills, or talents on your list do you want to develop on this journey? Write them down:

Think about it, talk about it

Are all visionaries leaders? Are all leaders visionaries? Why or why not?
They say my work is just a drop in the ocean. I say the ocean is made up of drops.”

- Mother Teresa


Get those creative juices flowing

Go Green

Anything’s Possible

Listen in

Embrace your avatar

Paint, Writer, Draw

Girl Topia
Take it to the limit

Show it off!

Big, Small, Any Size

\in(t)•spŭ•RĀ•shŭn\ noun: the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions

Look at some big things, like the buildings of Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid, where floors curve and walls twist, roofs jut and swoop, and walkways zigzag toward the sky – a greater reminder that things don’t have to be the way they usually are.

Look at some small things, too, even pie-size – like “Eight Slices of Pie,” an artist’s book by Emily Martin of Iowa City, Iowa. Each slice holds a recipe and personal memories and reflections. Imagine a GIRLtopia pie in which each slice is a different size – to represent exactly what GIRLtopia needs.

Or maybe go interactive and let your viewers take part, as they do in Lygia Clark’s “Cabeça Coletiva” (“Collective Head”). This mixed-media work, which the Brazilian artist created with her students, started with a wooden platform hung with food, clothing, and letters. Clark and her students took it out into the streets and let passersby take from it and add to it. Perhaps you could create a way to let viewers add to (or take away from) your GIRLtopia.

Maybe your GIRLtopia can be a haven of visual beauty and a community gathering space. In Parc Guell, a community space in Barcelona, Spain, architect Antoni Gaudí layered his utopian vision into a fairy-tale world of light and color. Vibrant mosaic tiles decorate everything from a winding bench in a central square to a magical dragon in a stone fountain. Parc Guell was supposed to offer housing far from the city’s havoc. Now, it’s a peaceful, public gathering place.

Shangri-la in Lost Horizon, a 1933 novel by James Hilton, is an idyllic valley hidden in the Himalayas, where the people, who never age, live in peace and harmony and abide by principles of moderation. They devote themselves to the pursuit of wisdom and enlightenment and work for the betterment of humankind. The term “Shangri-la” now, often, refers to any hidden paradise or dream world.

The 1937 film “Lost Horizon” – the big-screen version of the novel – has been called “a beautiful, feel-good movie with great performances.” It’s available in video and DVD. Next time you plan a movie night with friends, why not go a little retro and have a screening? See if you think Shangri-la looks like a beautiful place to live.

think about it, talk about it

Where’s your Shangri-la? Where do you go to feel safe, happy, and peaceful? Is it your bedroom, a park bench, a corner of your local library, a shady spot by a creek?
Is there a place in the world you consider ideal? Or a place you imagine to be ideal that you’ve always wanted to visit? )Check out the travel opportunities at www.studio2b.org/escape/destinations .)

What other movies, TV shows, books, or songs showcase a utopia?

What movies, TV shows, books, and music speak to the world’s problems and the desire for a more ideal world?

Let Songs Inspire You

Like these:

Independent Woman, Part 1 by Destiny’s Child

(Words and Music by Corey Rooney, Samuel Barnes, Jean Claude Olivier, and Beyoncé Knowles)


(Words and Music by John Lennon)

Hammer and a Nail by the Indigo Girls

(Words and Music by Emily Saliers)

I Know A Place Girl Scout song

http://www.edonyourown.com/campsongs.html Song Snippet: Often sung with Flicker of the Campfire


Embrace Your Avatar


\AV•ŭ•tar\ noun: an embodiment or personification, as of a principle, attitude, or view of life; a graphical image that represents a person, as on the Internet

Avatars are everywhere – chatrooms, discussion boards, personals pages. These graphic images, whether individual creations or characters borrowed from the worlds of superheroes and cartoons, are how real people represent themselves online.

What’s your avatar? Try drawing an avatar to represent the ideal YOU in your GIRLtopia:
think about it, talk about it

One person’s utopia may be another’s nightmare.

Can a utopia be an ideal world for some, but not for others?

Is it realistic to expect a utopia to please everyone?

Can a truly utopian world exist?
Every great dream begins with a dreamer.

Always remember, you have within you

the strength, the patience, and the passion

to reach for the stars to change the world.”

- Harriet Tubman


\VI•shŭn\ noun: 1. A thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination. 2. The act or power of imagination.
the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

ever and ever announcing your place

in the family of things.

- Mary Oliver, from the poem “Wild Geese”

You can approach your “Create It!” from any angle:

Make a poster Build a sculpture Make a drawing Write a story or a play

Write a song or rap Paint a picture Sketch Write a poem

Create a film or video

The notion of a perfect society has captured artists’ imaginations through the ages.

Let it capture yours.

As you prepare to create your vision of GIRLtopia, let your imagination run wild.

visit a museum l attend a gallery opening l peruse coffee-table art books l read at a poetry slam l take some photographs l talk to an artist l draw with crayons l watch a play l design a Web page l keep a dream journal l stand on your head and see the world upside down l look at fancy pastries l pick some flowers l cut out pictures l savor a snack from another country l gaze at the stars l record children’s laughter l peer through a magnifying glass l dig your hands in some clay l watch kids at play l sing in the shower

Feel free to take your time on this art project.

Perfect it as you travel through the entire journey.

You might even consider doing a group project with friends.

Stuck For Ideas? Try This:

Write a short poem, rap, or song that expresses your vision of GIRLtopia.

Include at least two of these words:

imagine dream respect paradise create possible vision lead invent power justice beauty

Or try any little way to get those creative juices flowing!
To Share Your VISION, consider these possibilities:

  • Take your creation to a party.

  • Explain it to younger girls.

  • Display it at your Girl Scout council or local library.

  • Create an online photo gallery or slide show.

  • Work with others to showcase all your art projects in a gallery setting.

  • Don’t forget to sent out invitations and publicize the unveiling of your vision.

Imagine Your Vision on a Taxi!

More than 23,000 New York City kids and adults teamed up in fall 2007 for Garden in Transit, a first-of-its-kind art, education, and creative therapy project. Kids in schools, hospitals, and community organizations painted huge, colorful flowers onto giant decals. The decals were then placed on the hoods, trunks, and roofs of thousands of New York taxicabs. Before long, the streets were bursting with multicolored blossoms on wheels – an effort that got kids of all ages, cultures, and races to join together to beautify their concrete jungle. Can you imagine your GIRLtopia vision traveling through the world like this?

CREATE IT! Part 1 of the Visionary Award

Now that you’ve turned your GIRLtopia vision into art, how about a mini review?

What’s your medium and why did you choose it?

What inspired you most?

What’s the BIG MESSAGE you are putting forth?

What’s your absolute favorite part of your CREATE IT?

What does your CREATE IT say about you? What doesn’t it say?

If you could change one thing about your CREATE IT, what would it be?

If you could share your CREATE IT in more ways, how would you do so and with whom?


Signature Date
Ethical you
Decisions decisions

Make your day!

Who is it you want to be?

Name Your Values

Discovering YOUtopia

Girl Topia

Who are you now!

Who is the person you aspire to be?

Feeling confident?

Lead on!

Get courage!


\LĒ•dŭr\ noun: a person who has commanding authority or influence

In Girl Scouts, girls become leaders from the inside out by:

Discovering themselves and their values

Connecting with others, and

Taking Action to improve the world.
Imagine you are the leader of your ideal world. What kind of leader would you be?

What makes you a good leader: What makes an ideal leader?

What’s on Your List? Name your Top 10 leadership qualities (values, skills, or talents):

Review your list you’ve just created. Which qualities or skills do you already have? Are there any qualities or skills on the list that you want to develop on this journey? What can you do to develop them?

S – T – R – E – T – C – H Y O U R V I S I O N

Ask friends, family, or others in your world to make their own list of leadership qualities. Compare their lists to yours. What’s the same? What’s different? What did you learn about them?

think about it, talk about it

Leaders are wide-ranging, from presidents and corporate executives to community activities or artists to personal role models to someone who does a small act that makes a difference. Think about situations in your own life where you used your various leadership skills.

What’s YOUR

leadership philosophy?

Leader What’s your definition?
Leadership Bracelet

Make one for yourself or someone you admire. Using your “Top 10 Leadership Qualities” list, assign each quality a color bead. (Red might represent courage; yellow, a sunny outlook on life.) Then, string the corresponding beads into a symbolic bracelet.

Ode to a Leader

Write a letter of appreciation to a woman you consider a role model. Choose someone you know personally or a widely known leader. Consider including one of the following phrases: “You inspire me because . . .” or “One way in which I imagine I am like you is . . .” Present, or send, your letter to your role model.


Leadership Talk Show

Create a “talk show” (for radio or TV) that features interviews of top female leaders. Make a list of women who have made a difference in the world, internationally, nationally, locally, or personally. Brainstorm questions to ask them. Arrange chairs for the host and “guests” (girls pretending to be those women leaders). Take turns being the interviewer. Consider turning your show into a public performance.

think about it, talk about it

  • When you were being interviewed, what message did you want to get across?

  • What did it feel like to be the leader?

  • Did you speak differently from the way you usually do? How? Why?
  • Do you think a group of boys or men would have a different discussion? Why or why not?

Fine-Tune Your Vision

  • Are there any real-life leaders you’d like as role models in your ideal world? If yes, who are they and why did you choose them?

  • How about leaders who, in our opinion, misuse or abuse power? What would you say to them, and what role would they play in your world?


\KŭR•ij\ noun: the quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or difficulty with bravery
To create a better world, you need the courage to speak up for yourself and others.

Every time you show your courage, it grows.

- Juliette Gordon Low
Got Voice?

Think of all the communities of which you feel a part. Where do you feel your voice is heard?

Take the survey in your book.
think about it, talk about it

In your community, does anything prevent you from expressing yourself? If yes, what? What can you do about those obstacles?

Think about how you communicate. Are you passive, aggressive, or assertive? Is your communication style effective in getting your voice heard?

  • Being passive is not expressing your feelings but is hiding behind silence (it heightens hostility – in you).

  • Being aggressive is expressing yourself in a threatening, sarcastic, or humiliating way (it triggers hostility and can lead to conflict).

  • Being assertive is asking for what you want or saying how you feel in an honest and respectful way that does not infringe on another’s safety, dignity, or well-being (it engenders respect).

Check out the strategies for being heard on the next page.
Get Voice!
Give yourself a voice makeover. Check out the strategies below for being heard:

  • Be a good listener: Ask good questions; listen non-judgmentally; paraphrase what the other person is saying; show empathy for the other person’s position.

  • Express your feelings with phrases such as “I think,” “I feel,” or “I believe” (instead of bursting out with raw emotion).

  • Use assertive communication: Say what you think and feel in an honest and respectful way that does not infringe on another’s safety, dignity, or well-being.

  • Identify passive and/or aggressive communication in others: “I think you are not telling me how you really feel,” or “I feel that I can’t talk with you when you speak in a threatening or sarcastic way.”

Just for fun

With a friend, act out the original conversation and the new scenario you write on the chart on the next page. Discuss the different outcomes.

In an ideal world, everyone’s voice would be equally valued.
Leaders care that all voices are heard.

Keep a journal about your voice makeover. Celebrate successes. Reflect on more effective ways to make your voice heard.

Write a scenario to optimize your voice – and improve your communications.
think about it, talk about it

Think of a leader you admire. How does she make her voice heard?


\KAN•fŭ•den(t)s\ noun: belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities

Leaders have confidence in their abilities and they seek opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills. So discover your skills (which you’ll use to plan and carry out your Take Action Project). Fill in or check off as much as you can:

MY ACTIVITIES/CLUBS: Example: Girl Scout cookie sales

SKILLS/TALENTS THEY REQUIRE: Making a sales pitch, keeping track of inventory

MY JOBS/INTERNSHIPS: Example: babysitting

SKILLS/TALENTS THEY REQUIRE: Creating fliers, nurturing, inventing games


outgoing? a logical thinker? a problem-solver? an idea person? a people person?

good with numbers? a conflict mediator? patient? a writer?

good at public speaking? impulsive? an athlete or dancer?

have musical talents? work well with kids? follow through on plans?

have artistic talents? like techy stuff? think like a scientist?


Elizabeth, 18, used her computer skills to build a Web site for Good Shepherd Services of Orlando, a grassroots program for homeless women and children in Florida. Elizabeth taught the staff how to maintain the site, and within a week, the organization had greatly broadened its clientele. Thanks to the powerful reach of the Internet, this Florida-based group was soon helping people from as far away as Ohio.


When 15-year-old Neela visited her grandmother in India, she was horrified by the many gaunt and ragged beggars and children living on the streets. Back home in Texas, Neela decided to use her science smarts to fight world hunger. She tested various concentrations of vitamin B nutrients to see which would be best for cloning potatoes. She discovered that a full-strength vitamin mix was best for the plants, but a less costly half-strength solution produced fine results. Her experiments won her the 2005 Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”


\E•thiks\ noun: a set of moral principles or values

Ethics is the subject of dealing with what is right and wrong, and what moral obligation we have to behave in a right way. Ethics is a code of values to guide our choices and our actions, and the course of our lives.
Ethics in your own life, or doing the right thing
Sometimes it’s easy to tell right from wrong.
Would you:

  • Steal from your friend?

  • Cheat on a test?

  • Spray graffiti on a building?

  • Download music illegally from the internet?

Other times it’s a little more complicated.

Would you:

  • Buy your favorite brand of clothes after you learn that the company uses child labor?

  • Tell friend A’s secret to friend B when friend A “steals” your boyfriend?

  • Keep a ring that you tried on a t a store after accidentally going all the way home while still wearing it?

What other girls say

A survey by Girl Scouts of the USA, “The Beliefs and Moral Values of America’s Children,” presented high school students with hypothetical situations that required moral decisions.
5% of the students would take money from their parents without asking
36% of the students would lie to protect a friend who vandalized school property
66% of the students would cheat on an exam
How would your friends respond? Ask them to take the “Ethics in Your Own Life” quiz on the previous page and compare answers.
think about it, talk about it

Do leaders have a special responsibility to make good ethical decisions? Why or why not?

To whom would you go for advice when trying to make a difficult decision? To which adults would you turn? Which friends?

On what are your ethical standards based? Check all that apply:

  • Whatever does the most good and the least harm

  • Whatever treats everyone as fairly and equally as possible

  • Whatever is best for most people in the community

  • Whatever is consistent with your character

Although not everyone shares the same sense of personal ethics, most people in the world have many ethical principals in common. Think of the Golden Rule*! It can be found in various forms around the world – and throughout the centuries:

Confucianism What you don’t want done to yourself, don’t do to others.
Buddhism Hurt not others with that which pains thyself.

Jainism In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our

own self, and should therefore refrain inflicting on others such injury as would appear

undesirable to us if inflicted upon ourselves.

Hinduism Do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain.
Christianity So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law

and the Prophets.

Judaism What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.
Zoroastrianism Do not do unto others all that which is not well for oneself.
Sikhism Treat others as thou wouldst be treated thyself.
Islam Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.

Do you know any other versions?


Answering no to most of the question in the following four tests would probably leave no doubt in your mind that an action is wrong.

LEGAL Test: Is this choice against the law? You can break the law by mistake, but you can also choose to break it. Do you know the consequences?
GUT-FEELING Test: What’s your gut feeling? Physical reactions often let us know we might need to think a bit more before taking action.
TOP-NEWS-STORY Test: Would you feel proud of your choice if it were the day’s top news? What would your friends, parents, or community think?
ROLE-MODEL Test: Think of a person you highly respect, perhaps a leader you know, and ask yourself if she would make the same decision you are considering.



When faced with making an ethical decision, consider the four tests above and think of situations in your life when one or more of the tests applied.


Scan the local news and consider what kinds of ethical dilemmas your community faces. Ask others what kinds of ethical issues they think your community faces.


What kinds of ethical decisions do you face as a global citizen? Consider ethical issues that concern everyone – environmental, economic, social, technological, political.

*Adapted from the Institute for Global Ethics© Ethical Fitness© Seminar. Copyright 2008 Institute for Global Ethics©. All Rights Reserved.
Be an Ethics Coach

Use your ethical standards to advise the girls in the following scenarios. Try to incorporate the Legal, Gut-Feeling, Top-News-Story, and Role-Model tests.

Victoria and two friends are at the multiplex, deciding which movie to see. No one agrees. “Why don’t we buy tickets to ‘Rocket Girl,’ which starts now, and then we can just slip into the theaters that are showing the other movies afterward,” Kayla suggests.

“I don’t think it’s right to see three movies if we only pay for one,” Erin says. “I’m buying a ticket to ‘Emma’s Diary’ for later this afternoon. You two can do whatever you want.”

Victoria can only pay for one ticket.
How would you advise Victoria to do the right thing?
Mandy was having a great time dancing and singing karaoke at Kanchana’s party. When she went upstairs to use the bathroom, she accidentally walked into Kanchana’s bedroom, where she found her best friend, Olivia, looking through Kanchana’s jewelry.

Olivia picked up a silver-and-turquoise bracelet and put it on her wrist. “I’m just going to wear this on my date tomorrow 0 it matches my outfit,” Olivia said. “Don’t tell Kanchana – I’ll put it back when we come here for our Girl Scout meeting next week.”

Mandy was pretty sure Olivia would return the bracelet undamaged, but was it still OK for her to borrow it without asking?
How would you advise Mandy to do the right thing?

Kendra skipped a Sunday outing with her friends to Amazing Adventures Amusement Park so she could study for a World History test. When she took the test Monday morning, she felt really good about her answers. When she stopped at her locker to get her lunch, Zach, a hottie who had been on the Amazing Adventures trip, stopped her.

“Hey, Kendra, I have World History last period. Can you tell me what the test questions are?” he asked, winking.

Kendra has a huge crush on Zach. It would be so easy to rattle off several of the exact questions she remembered from the test.

How would you advise Kendra to do the right thing?
Paola spotted her teammates from field hockey standing near the bonfire, holding marshmallows over the flames. “Yum – S’mores,” she thought as she wove through the crowd of teens gathered on the beach for an end-of-summer bash.

When she reached the S’mores makers, Imani, the hockey team goalie, handed her a stick and bag of marshmallows. Another girl gave her a red plastic cup with some golden, frothy liquid in it – beer.

When Paola lived in Spain, she had been allowed to drink a glass of wine with dinner sometimes, but alcohol is illegal for teens in the United States.
How would you advise Kendra to do the right thing?

Tasneem was at the grocery store to buy some apples that were on sale for just 50 cents a pound. She wanted to try out a recipe for her aunt’s caramel-pecan apple pie.

As she was picking out her apples, Lucas, a classmate from school, walked up to her. “You should really buy organic apples from the farmers’ market across the street. Not only are they free of pesticides, you would be supporting local farmers!”

Tasneem feels torn between wanting to save money and supporting local organic farming.
How would you advise Tasneem?

Watch the 2002 movie “John Q.” John Q. Archibal, played by Denzel Washington, is an unemployed factory worker in this PG-13 film. When his young son needs an emergency heart transplant, the hospital administrator claims that John’s insurance won’t cover the procedure because it’s too expensive. Knowing his son will die without the transplant, John holds the hospital emergency room hostage in a desperate attempt to save the boy’s life.

think about it, talk about it

Is it OK to commit a crime to save the life of a child?

Would it make a difference if:

. . . you would be saving a 45-year-old instead?

. . . the 45-year-old was your dad?

. . . another child/person will die if you save this one?

The Promise and Law

Official Girl Scout Values

The Girl Scout Promise and Law are shared by every member of Girl Scouting. Since Juliette Low founded the Girl Scouts in 1912, more than 50 million girls have pledged to live by these values. Read the Girl Scout Promise and Law below. Reflect on what they mean to you.

The Girl Scout Promise

On my honor, I will try:

To serve God* and my country,

To help people at all times,

And to live by the Girl Scout Law.
The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be

honest and fair,

friendly and helpful,

considerate and caring,

courageous and strong and

responsible for what I say and do,

and to

respect myself and others,

respect authority,

use resources wisely,

make the world a better place, and

be a sister to every Girl Scout.


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