Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What the Lime Green Giraffe has Meant to Me

No comments :
 
By: Allison B.
            Our lives are filled with the mundane and the ordinary. We get up, go to school or work, come home, and then do it again. But then, every once in a while, we have an experience, whether it’s over six seconds or six years that truly enriches and changes our lives. These are the kinds of experiences we never forget. Moments like these, from getting into the college of your dreams to finally receiving your Girl Scout Gold Award, warm our hearts when we think about them. As I prepare to go off to college in a matter of months, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the most meaningful of these to me. The one that often comes to mind is all my time here, on the staff of Lime Green Giraffe (LGG), over the past six years. And it all started with a phone call.


The day my LGG journey began, I remember sitting in my room second semester of sixth grade in the spring of 2011, when my mom came in with the phone in her hand saying “Alli, it’s for you.” She had the biggest smile on her face. I took the phone and heard the great news: I had made it onto the staff of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s  online Girl Scout magazine Lime Green Giraffe! I was so excited. My true voice in writing, one reporting for the LGG has allowed me to discover, could now be read by girls all over Georgia and the world. Little did I know as my 12-year old self that over the next few years, I’d not only be given the opportunity to write informative and inspirational articles, but to also grow as a person and meet other Girl Scouts as passionate for writing as I am.
It didn’t take long for me to realize how special the group of girls was that I’d become a part of. In everyday life, we girls are always told to be ourselves, but that is far easier said than done. At school, with all the judging eyes, we sometimes find ourselves feeling the need to wear a mask and act the way everyone else wants us to. I know I struggled with that, but with the LGG it was different. Here, whether through my writing or my actions, I could truly be myself along with everyone else. We were, and are, a team: a team of talented, hard-working, respectful, and often zany girls. Who each of us was at school, didn’t matter. What mattered was the laughter that rang through the air after every joke or crazy game we played. What mattered was the energetic brainstorming of ideas from each girl that we all new could inspire and change the life of at least one girl, if not more. What mattered was how we could all be true to our identities as we worked together as a team of leaders, putting ourselves into words and compiling them all to create something beautiful, amazing, and important.

In the LGG, the older girls often play a huge role in helping the younger ones discover themselves as writers and become fearless leaders. I remember a special moment at the meeting after I’d had my first article published in the LGG. Back then, we met at Georgia Tech, and we were all walking around the campus, excited to begin planning our next issue. Suddenly, one of the older girls came up to me and told me that my first article, one about the Georgia Special Olympics, was very well written and heart-warming. To hear this was all I could have hoped for to reassure me that my writing truly means something and that people take notice. This is the kind of staff I’ve been surrounded by for the past six years, where the experienced writers help the up-and-coming ones get to where they want to be. This special mentorship between us girls helps build everyone’s confidence in her writing and herself as we support each other throughout the writing process. At the beginning of my writing career with the LGG, it was moments like these, when the girls I looked up to reminded me of the power my words have, that encouraged me to write more challenging articles with even more inspirational messages.
Since my Special Olympics article, not only have I spent hours at meetings helping plan issues and photo shoots or sitting at my computer putting my thoughts into words, but also out in the world. Each article is unique and special in the steps I had to take to get to the final product. I’ve done research and interviews, gone to Girl Scout events, and tried new things to bring all I’ve learned about something to readers. From SWAPS to STEM, from Girl Scout Gold Awards to Golden Retrievers, from college to cooking, I’ve written more than 15 articles. And because the LGG is an online magazine by girls, for girls, I’ve also written about women who were once Girl Scouts themselves and have gone on to become great leaders and role models: like a NASA Astronaut, an EPA lobbyist, and a Three Star General. The LGG has allowed me to share with others the opportunities they have in store for them, both in the near future and later in life. This is what makes me most proud to have been a reporter for the Lime Green Giraffe. The girls and Girl Scouts today are the future of our country, so to know I’ve helped inspire them to go on to do and be great things is an incredible feeling.
The opportunities I’ve had writing for Lime Green Giraffe are all because of three incredible people: Marnye, Melissa, and JoAnne, the LGG adult volunteers. All the articles every girl writes are what readers see. What they don’t see is the time our adult volunteers put into helping us not only develop our writing and come up with ideas, but to also learn how to create the LGG online magazine. And even after all the hard work they put into the meetings and photo shoots, they never fail to give us even more. Every year the adult volunteers coordinate a service project and a field trip that all the staffers enjoy, like creating care packages for the families at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, followed by eating at the Varsity and visiting the World of Coke. They’ve also helped us plan some wonderful Writer’s Workshops each year to build a passion for writing in other Georgia Girl Scouts. And that’s what makes them so special. Each adult volunteer is so passionate about Lime Green Giraffe; they’re the reason it exists in the first place, allowing the staff to share our thoughts with so many others.

The past six years have been full of ups and downs for me, but being a part of the Lime Green Giraffe has been a truly unforgettable and exciting experience. I’ve matured so much as a writer, and even taken the writing voice I’ve developed to school where I’ve further strengthened my skills by taking classes like AP Language Arts. Every article I’ve written, every experience I’ve ever had with the LGG, hasn’t just made me a better writer, but also a better person. I’ve grown in my confidence and leadership and developed interviewing, communicating, and planning skills that I will take with me when I go off to college and throughout the rest of my life. I’ve learned the impact that writing, that just a few words can have on one person or hundreds of people. And for the past three years, I’ve enjoyed being on the staff with my younger sister Emily, who will continue to write for the LGG even after I’m gone.

The good thing about writing is that, even though my time on the Lime Green Giraffe staff is coming to an end, many of the things I’ve done will never truly be forgotten. Years from now, I can go back and read an article I wrote for the LGG and think to myself Wow! What a cool thing I was able to do with so many incredible girls. And to think that I maybe inspired others through my writing, one article at a time!

No comments :

Post a Comment