Thanks very much to my friend Sue Hutchinson, who posted this great reading/activity to the Guiding Mailing List!
First, read the following story to your girls:
You have accidentally discovered a doorway leading to another dimension. In this dimension, Guiding does not exist. Women do not work. Girls do not go to school. Women must stay at home and look after the house. Women definitely did not wear blue jeans! Here, women have no rights, no say, and do not matter.
The men here go out once a week to a group meeting. You have found you're brother's handbook hidden under his bed. You find out they have a secret sign and handshake and at these meetings they plan all kinds of exciting activities. You also see they are planning on having a huge party tonight at a local meeting hall.
Quickly, you contact the women's underground movement on the internet. You and a handful of other women dress up as men and sneak into this meeting. You soon realize you are over your head as over a thousand men are there as well as their international leader BP himself. Camera crews are all over the place. You feel like everyone in the world is watching as you boldly march forth to present your demands to Lord BP. Your message? "We can do it too!"
How to set up: Have the girls close their eyes as you read them the above scenario. Ask them to stage a demonstration at the rally, reminding them TV crews will be there. The Leaders act as the Men and voice their opinions "What are you doing?! You can't do this! Don't be ridiculous!" etc. The object is to make the girls debate their reasons for being here. When the debate becomes heated, end the scenario. Ask the participants to explain how they felt when they were pushed around and told they didn't belong. Allow them to voice their frustration. Bring them together again and read the following:
"The year is 1909, the place is Crystal Palace in London England. Lord Baden-Powell is holding a Rally for all the members of the Scouting Movement. He is certainly impressed by the thousands of boys parading past him. He is even more surprised when a group of girls file by. When asked who they were the girls courageously answered "We are the GIRL Scouts".
How did you feel when you were told you weren't allowed to join? Why do you think the girls almost 100 years ago felt any differently?
A great introduction to the Crystal Palace Rally and Guide History!
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