Thursday, July 19, 2018

By: Lillian Grace J.

This year I attended the Outdoor Blast 2018. This event was an annual fun and training filled weekend for adults but this year older girls were invited to come for the day on Saturday. Our leader brought this opportunity to our troop meeting and we picked the activities we wanted to do from there. We chose Gourmet Outdoor Cooking, Fire Starting, Lashing and Archery. I took away so much information from these activities!
On Saturday, we started with Gourmet Outdoor Cooking, which was great because that meant we were cooking our own lunch. For this course everyone took care of camp kapers then we got straight to work on our lunch. My group worked on garlic bread made in a box oven and rumaki that was made over hot coals.
The garlic bread ingredients consisted of garlic salt, Pillsbury biscuits and olive oil. The rumaki was created with bacon, wrapped around a piece of pineapple and a water chestnut that was cut in half.  Our gourmet cooking class was pretty productive as every group had something different to contribute to the meal.

For lunch we ate turkey, a green bean casserole, garlic bread, and a mashed mixture of marshmallow and sweet potato inside of an orange. And eclairs!

We even had this dish called bags of gold, which was tomato soup with biscuits in it. The biscuits were filled with cubed cheese! So when you bite into the biscuits it feels like a dumpling filled with warm, melted cheese. I was so delighted when I tasted that little cheese dumpling.
After lunch we moved on to our next activity, Fire Starting. While I did not have much success in the fire starting activity, I still learned many things. An instructor explained the different ways to start a fire, just in case we needed it in a life-or-death scenario. Or if we forgot matches. She showed many different gadgets that we could buy that have fire starters in them. I wanted to pull up the REI app right away, and fill my cart with survival necessities. I did practice starting a fire with the help of a Girl Scout in my troop. We tried and tried but we couldn’t get our lint and sticks to light. Yes, our fire consisted of sticks in a frame formation with lint in the middle, it was pretty amusing to look at. We tried to light the fire using a magnifying glass but it did not catch the sticks or the lint on fire.
We soon moved on to our next activity, which was Lashing. In this activity we learned the art of lashing. Lashing is a way of connecting two things using knots. It was wonderful to be able to create a God's-eye, (I've always wanted to do this, but I never knew how.). So we wrapped yarn around a stick at least eight times before it actually looked like a God's-eye. I was just so filled with glee. I think I got a little too excited because I finished my God's-eye that day.  
Our instructor also showed us how you can use lashing in the wild. The instructors showed us how to construct a table out of sticks, and how to hold up a pot with a teepee shaped formation of sticks. Both of these formations were held together using twine and the lashing technique.
Our final activity was Archery. I totally forgot we had archery, but how could I? I say that because my mother was one of the outdoor trainers and she was so happy to be at Archery. It was pretty cool seeing the protocol for setting up the bows and how to shoot. I rarely get to partake in fun events such as archery. When our outdoor trainer was running through the different steps, my allergies started to show. I started sneezing, my nose became painful to the touch and my head started to hurt. This is because of the evil pollen that is everywhere in Atlanta in the spring. I sat back tired, in pain, and wondering why I ever hated naps as a child because I really could have used one right then. I decided not to participate in Archery but I watched and learned anyway. It was kind of hard to see if the girls made it onto the platform because the pollen made my eyes a little blurry. After the girls took turns shooting, we started cleaning up so we could head back up to the Pavilion.
Before we left each class, the instructors handed out the cutest little swaps. When I got back up to the Pavilion I raced to my mom's car and I had a nap. Well of course before I could take a nap, I got my participation patch after I turned in my paperwork.
Looking back on the Girl Scout Outdoor Blast 2018, I am really proud that I attended. So many girls miss these wonderful opportunities to have training. Outdoor training will be needed if Girl Scouts want to become some type of Outdoor Specialist or want to lead fellow Girl Scouts at camping event. This information will last a lifetime and I'm so glad that I went.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

By: Emma B.

Being a Girl Scout without a troop is often seen as something akin to a boat without a harbor or a fangirl without a fan base. In fact, some people think it’s impossible to even be a Girl Scout without being part of a troop but this is simply not true.
A girl can be a Girl Scout with the same adventures and privileges as any other girl in a troop. The word for such a phenomenon is a Juliette Girl Scout. Juliette Girl Scouts are just as amazing, talented and incredible as any other Girl Scout.

What is a Juliette Girl Scout?
Well when trying to explain who a Juliette Girl Scout is, it is helpful to have a basic definition.
According, to the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta website, a Juliette Girl Scout is “… for a girl who registers in Girl Scouts individually, rather than as part of a specific pathway.” Juliette Girl Scouts often work alone or in very small groups with only one or two adult volunteers at a time.
This is great but I needed more information. So I conducted an interview with the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s Girl’s Experience Coordinator, Kathryn Schroeder, to get more details.  

The Interview:
Lime Green Giraffe:  The definition of a Juliette Girl Scout is simply a Girl Scout who doesn’t have a troop. So, what limits does this type of girl member have?
Ms. Schroeder: “So the technical term is: a single registered member. What kind of limits does she have? Not many. She can sell cookies, she can earn badges, and she can go camping.”

Later, in the interview Schroeder did say that in order for a Juliette Girl Scout to sell cookies, she cannot keep the money for herself. If a Juliette Girl Scout sells Girl Scout Cookies she has to sell them through a host troop or group and the money has to go into an independent “Juliette” account that is for Girl Scout purposes only and that is managed by the Girl Scout council directly.

LGG:  What types of badges and awards can a Juliette Girl Scout earn?
Schroeder: “She can earn the same awards as any Girl Scout. We do try to incorporate some Juliette only activities into our program once or twice a year.” 

She also stated that this weekend (at the time of writing this article), that Juliette Girl Scouts were going to the Atlanta Zoo to celebrate their Girl Scout Cookie sales.

LGG:  What are the qualifications for someone to stay a Juliette Girl Scout, by that does a Juliette Girl Scout still have to do a specific badge path or can they simply create their own to some degree?
Schroeder: “They must have a grown-up to help but what projects they do or badges they earn is up to them. Being a Juliette Girl Scout is really good for girls who are incredibly busy or who have dance and soccer. They can still stay in Girl Scouts.”

This interview gave me some much needed insight as to what it means to be a Juliette Girl Scout. With that, comes this question, how do you know when you want to be a Juliette Girl Scout?

A Few Possible Reasons to become a Juliette Girl Scout:
So with more information, one might be curious as to why someone would want to be a Juliette Girl Scout.
Well, surprisingly, I think, the most common reason could be time. Many girls, for one reason or another, can’t be with their normal troops all of the time which can cause a problem for both parties involved. Not only do some girls feel incredibly bad about not being able to support their troop members but the troop also suffers from the lack of contact with the girl.
            If she becomes a Juliette Girl Scout, there might be more time for her to focus on her own intentions and badges and still collaborate with her original troop every now and then.
            Another reason a girl might want to be a Juliette Girl Scout is independence. Sometimes girls, though they have aspects of their troop that they like, they are unsatisfied with their troop as a whole. Now, granted even if you love your troop not everything is going to go your way all of the time. However; if you feel like your troop is lacking in something, being a Juliette Girl Scout can be a nice way to still stay a Girl Scout. I do recommend talking to your troop before you make any decisions.
            There are also girls who prefer being alone. Perhaps, more introverted people or simply people who don’t like large groups, can often struggle in bigger troop settings. Being a Juliette Girl Scout can provide a nice alternative for those who still want to be in Girl Scouts yet prefer to work alone or with one or two close friends who meet up on occasion.
            Whatever, your preference on being a Juliette Girl Scout is, let one thing be known, all of it is okay. Whether you prefer a large troop or just you and a friend, being a Girl Scout is a way you spend your time. You can do it anyway you want, as long as you are happy and having fun.

Friday, July 6, 2018

By: Emma B.

Editor’s note: This is the first article in a series about musicals both the popular and the little known shows.

Be More Chill is a musical about high school. Unapologetically about the modern high school. However instead of filling the script with dumb jokes about emojis, Be More Chill gives high schoolers a chance to work through two issues that a teenager faces, the issue of popularity and fitting in. It also gives high schoolers something they normally never get.
It gives high schoolers the fantasy of being able to be amazing and cool in a moment. Yet it also warns high schoolers of the extreme desires of trying to fit in and be part of an identity that isn’t yours. This musical also shows how, surprisingly, both extremes intersect.
And how really; it doesn’t really matter.

The Basics
The basic premise of this musical is that a boy named Jeremy Heere comes into contact with a device known as a Super Quantum Unit Intel Processor or a S.Q.U.I.P. for short. This device starts telling Jeremy how to live his life so that he’ll be popular and more specifically win over the affections of a young girl named Christine.
Now with that premise alone, it doesn’t sound like anything particularly special, just another cute Off-Broadway show. However, where this show starts to gain a new level of narrative depth is not only how the characters interact with each other but how the theme of negative messages in your head begins to come to the forefront.

The Story:
Jeremy’s conflict throughout the show is more than anything a struggle of uniqueness versus popularity and how it affects him and the people around him.
It starts off with Jeremy incredibly insecure about his identity only to then discover the S.Q.U.I.P. through one of the more popular and well-respected boys in his school. His name is Rich. The audience later learns that Rich has a truckload of insecurities as well.
This leads to the theme of voices guiding you during your life and how during high school, the voices in your head can often mislead you in pretty negative directions.
This internal conflict within Jeremy is personified within two characters, Jeremy’s best friend Michael Melle and the S.Q.U.I.P. itself. It is how Jeremy interacts with these two characters that starts to paint his narrative development throughout the show.  

Michael in the Bathroom
Michael Melle personifies two painful elements throughout high school existence, the need to cling to the past despite growing popularity as well as abandoned friendships.
At the beginning of the show, he acts as the supportive best friend of Jeremy who reassures him that he’s okay. In the song Two Player Game Jeremy furthers this point in the line, “Guys like us are cool in college.”  He even tells Jeremy not to believe Rich’s rumors about the S.Q.U.I.P.
However once Jeremy takes the S.Q.U.I.P. pill, the pill starts the slow and painful process of separating Jeremy and Michael. It starts convincing Jeremy that Michael doesn’t care and is only weighing him down. This clearly hurts Jeremy but he blindly conforms to The S.Q.U.I.P. for popularity and also because he thinks getting Christine will solve all his problems.
All of this comes to a head about halfway through the show when Michael confronts him and when Jeremy ignores his warnings about the S.Q.U.I.P and how dangerous it is. Michael breaks down.
In my opinion, this shows, in surprisingly accurate detail, how painful it can be when friends leave you and you do not completely understand why. It makes Michael a relatable character in ways that he wasn’t before. However, it also balances Jeremy’s character.
Yes, in that moment Jeremy is supposed to be so lost that he looks awful yet because of Jeremy’s insecurities and heartbreak over not getting Christine we’re willing to forgive him later when he comes around and makes up with Michael.
I think, this reflects how teenage friendships can be. Teens can care about each other yet can be so lost in nonsense that they forget what’s important. I think this is what makes Michael and Jeremy making up later all the more satisfying. Which brings me to the other primary narrative voice throughout the play, the S.Q.U.I.P.

The S.Q.U.I.P.
I think the S.Q.U.I.P. is the metaphorical embodiment of insecurity. Whenever the S.Q.U.I.P. is mentioned in the show everything in the soundtrack becomes very computerized and technical. The S.Q.U.I.P. itself speaks with very technical terms with little emotion. It is commanding and as the show goes on, it finds more and more ways to take control of Jeremy and those who he cares about.
And yet despite all of that, it isn’t always right about things and I think that is the brutal irony of the S.Q.U.I.P.
Much like real-life insecurities, it seemingly calculates every possible variable and starts altering your life to make things seem better and yet it doesn’t always make things better, in fact most times it doesn’t.
Toward the beginning of the show, The S.Q.U.I.P. only gives Jeremy something of a confidence boost, giving him only small nudges in the direction it thinks he should go. Jeremy becomes more obedient after he disobeyed The S.Q.U.I.P. once. The disobedience? Jeremy simply wanted hang out with his friend.
After Christine, Jeremy’s crush flat-out rejects him in favor of another boy the S.Q.U.I.P. goes into complete overdrive. it pushes Jeremy into befriending the popular girls in school and abandoning Michael. All of this ultimately leads to Jeremy losing his friend and scaring away his love interest. It’s only when he realizes that The S.Q.U.I.P. is just using him and his class to infect everyone with its programming that Jeremy starts fighting back.

Warning: Spoiler Alert! If you don’t want to know what happens to the S.Q.U.I.P. skip to the next section of this article: In Summary.

This idea of the S.Q.U.I.P. embodying insecurity is further supported by the fact that Mountain Dew Red and Jeremy with Michael embracing his inner nerd is what ends up destroying The S.Q.U.I.P.  

In Summary
I think Be More Chill is an amazing allegory for teenage insecurity. Whether it be figuring out your sexuality, trying to be popular or keeping friends, it doesn’t matter. Being a teenager is hard and something coming along and seemingly providing all the answers is a teenager’s perfect fantasy. However, what makes Be More Chill good is that not only that is it a funny musical but that it also points out the flaws in such a fantasy.
I think, it points out that if we give up ourselves for popularity, we’re not really human anymore. We’re just a shell of our former selves which at the end of the day, is just as unhealthy as anything else.
The show also points out that hearing so many conflicting voices in your head is completely normal but the most important voice in your head is your own.
So go out there, play video games and live your life. Ultimately the voices in your head don’t define you, your thoughts can’t control you. Only you making smart and well-guided choices can control who you are.