Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Cadette: Science of Happiness

There are moments as a Girl Scout Leader when you wonder if you are making a difference at all. If you haven't been in that moment, believe me... it's coming. Prior to this meeting with my 8th grade Cadettes, I had been having many of those moments. What does that have to do with the Science of Happiness? Keep reading.

The girls lead their own meetings now. To the point that my co-leader and I just go into the room and sit and wait for them to start it. Sometimes a question of "Should we open the meeting?" is raised and if so, we reply "Well, it's your meeting and you know what needs to be done." Ornery, right? Hey, this isn't their first year in Scouts. So, they get chairs, arrange the tables, and stand in a circle to say the Promise and Law. I would interject here that no one has told them they have to carry on that tradition, but they do it. Partly because I'm sure they think it's expected and partly because they like the tradition.

Anyway, on to the badge... Science of Happiness.

Step 1: Make Yourself Happier
Count three blessings

The girls made a list of blessings.... they ranged from serious to completely ridiculous. As I sat their listening to one of the girls speak of her silliness as a blessing, I was reminded that adults take life way too seriously at times. She also counted having silly friends a blessing.

Step 2: Think Differently for happiness
Use your list of strengths

The Cadette leading the badge asked the girls to list their strengths to remind themselves how strong they really are. Again, I sat there thinking how easy it is to dwell on shortcomings and forget what we have going for us... even if it's as small as liking the freckle on your nose that is just like your Mom's as a reminder that someone in the world is cheering you own.

Step 3: Get Happy through others
Make something meaningful - thank you cards

The girls made 2 cards each. I will admit at this point, I wasn't really paying attention and there was a lot of writing and sharing notes and whispering... I let it go, because girls need secrets... and I'm so glad I did... when finished, they each presented my co-leader and I with a handwritten thank you note that I'll treasure forever.

Step 4: Do a helpful happiness experiment
Design your own 5 question-happiness survey

I think this proved to be the most difficult for them. I tried to explain how a survey should have a measurable result. Filling in the blank is good in some cases, but will make it difficult to truly see the results of a group if you don't have some sort of baseline. It gave us a great discussion on how to form questions in different ways to make sure you can have results from a survey.

Step 5: Create a happiness action plan
Create an inspiration collage with 5 top tips that help you stay happy

Last, but not least, the girls came up with their own tips for staying happy. They doodled and colored and made it all adorable, then discussed their lists and shared where they were planning on keeping it. One of the girls said she was going to snap a photo and store it on her phone, so she has it with her where ever she goes. That's a great idea, because we all know there are times you are out in the world and need a moment to regain your happiness.

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