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Check out my other blogs: Sow What Journey http://sarahsowwhat.tumblr.com www.100actsofgreen.org As a homeschooling Girl Scout I am often doing my Journey's as part of my school work. Which means that I have to plan and implement them myself. I have been asked to share this with others. My first blog was with the Senior Sow What Journey. Since I plan to earn 5 other Journeys -- this will be the site for all information.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

GirlTopia - Session 8 - Create It

           This Girl Scout Journey asked for me to create a way to express my thoughts through a visual media or a written way. Since I am doing this alone and I don’t paint or sketch. I decided to do poetry and photography, but then decided to just do poetry.
            I use Teen Ink as my platform to share with others because it is a way to show my poetry to other teens and youth my age, what I’m doing and how I’m feeling through my works. They read, rate, and comment on it. This gives me an idea on how they enjoy and see what I see. This site is an easy and constructive site, not once has someone said they hated my poetry, but they have given me feedback on what needs work.
            My piece of poetry I have written for this Journey is posted on Teen Ink; it has gotten 168 views and a few comments. All of them are constructive feedback, positive and helpful. This particular poem has five out of five stars. And really conveys how I think girls scouts is, and how the world would be like, if everyone was a girl scout.
            This is the link to the poem… I hope you enjoy it.

GirlTopia - Session 3 - How's Our Community Doing for Girls?

So when I drafted the survey -- I was looking specifically in my community of 50k and specifically related to the "offerings" of the Parks and Recreation department.

I was not surprised by the results of my survey -- basically there is almost NOTHING for girls or even teens -- let alone teen girls in the community.

Because I am doing this project in a "Juliette" format - I decided to take my results to the Parks Department.

This worked out well since I had been selected by City Council to serve of the Parks and Recreation Commission.

During my City Council interview -- the Mayor asked me "What do you think we need to do?"  My response was have more activities.  I wasn't well prepared with an example.  However, the next day I found out that the Mayor had run a triatholon.  So I decided that it would be a GREAT idea for the Mayor to start a running club with teens.  HE would run one mile one Saturday a month along our trails wtih the teens.  This would give them a 1 on 1 opportunity to hang out with the Mayor and to exericise. 

When I presented it to the Parks Director and the Parks Commission -- they LOVED it.  We are now working with the Mayor to actually make it happen.

Since I don't really run and government isn't really my thing -- this is going to be a stretch for me to get up one Saturday a month to do this.  BUT, I am excited about seeing this come together.

GirlTopia - Session 2 - What's On Girl's Minds?

In Session 2 - In addition to finding our creative side -- I am supposed to get feedback on community issues.

Below are the questions of the survey that sent to friends and to other girls who live in my area. -- I am just getting around to posting it -- but, I did the survey about 6 weeks ago.

  1. What’s your age?
  2. Where is your community located? (ex: Austin, Texas)
  3. Are you involved in your communities Parks and Rec activities? [] yes [] no
  4. If no, why?
[] I don’t know anything about them
[] There’s nothing for me
[] I live too far away
[] other _________________
  1. Do you feel you live in an ideal community for girls? []yes [] kind of [] no
  2. If no, why not? _________________
  3. Do you think that you have as much activities in the Parks and Rec department in your community for after school programs for girls, as there are for boys? [] yes [] no
  4. Do you feel discouraged that you can’t do as much, if there are not as many activities for girls in your community? [] yes [] kind of [] no
  5. Do you wish to see more opportunities’ for girls in your community? [] yes [] no
  6. If yes, what kind of opportunities?
[] sports opportunities
            [] Competitions (ex: more competitions for girls sports teams)
            [] Sports teams (ex: more girls sports teams)
            [] Specific sports
If specific sports which kind? (ex: Rock Climbing, Basketball, Baseball) ___________
[] Enrichment opportunities
            [] Classes (ex: Dance classes, Art classes)
            [] Clubs (ex: After school Girls Debate Club)           
  1. Do you think that girls get enough say in your community? [] yes [] kind of [] no
  2. If no, would you change that if you could? [] yes [] no
  3. If yes, how would you change it? ________________

Girltopia - Session 7 - How Will We Lead the Way?

"Vision without action is merely a dream.  Action without vision just passes the time.  Vision with action can change the world."  This quote by Joel Barker is in the Adult Guide for the Girltopia Journey. 

It really helped me see what I had been doing was more than "How Will We Lead the Way" -- it was the Vision and the Action...

As the new student member of the City of Pflugerville, Parks and Recreation Commission - I am excited about the possibilites.  Last night was my first meeting -- I had questions and even more I requested that  items be on the next meeting agenda:
1.  Neighborwoods
2.  It's Our Park Day
3.  Mayor's Mile Buddies

I thought you might like to READ my speech that I gave to City Council.

I am Sarah Young and being the Youth Director for Discover Green I feel that I am in a unique position to serve on the Parks and Recreation Commission. And you are in a position to do the best for the city by putting me in the position.


Because, I have two years left in high school and a proven interest in the community  

Not looking at this as a way to "pad" my resume before college applications.

In the last three years I have been involved in marking 2525 storm drains. The last 25 where marked in August 2011,

Because my mother has not been able to get city staff to order more drain markers.     

From January - April 2012, Discover Green has held
o    22 events in Pflugerville, with a total of
o    528 volunteers with 425 youth volunteers
o    We have planted 796 trees
o    Picked up 143 bags of trash estimated at 20 pounds per bag
o    We have educated 715 youth as part of educational outreach 400 thru NaturePfest that Discover Green facilitated for the city.
o    1 play house was painted
o    75 trees were mulched
o    And 1467 volunteer service hours  

In the rest of 2012, I am continuing my Ecological Restoration project where so far we have planted 750 trees along trails after removing invasive ligustrum with a group I started “The Trail Tamers”. 

4 years ago – the city started the Neighborwoods project providing street trees to area subdivisions – the city only completed 2 of the 3 promised years – I AM WRITING a GRANT and as part of my Gold Award project and COMPLETING THE 3rd YEAR! Another 500 street trees.

I am working with Bruce and Jim to run the first “It’s My Park Day” during Family Volunteer Day in November – where each park will be adopted by a group of volunteers who will mulch trees, remove invasives, plant native trees and do a trash pick up!

Finally, I will continue to train other teens thru the Eco-Inspiration Coach training – last year I trained 50 youth – 10 lived and went to school in Pflugerville.

Since the dissolving of the city Arborist position and the minimal use of the Tree Care advisory board, the trees that the city invested in during the last 4 years, need their own Lorax. 

We need someone to speak for the trees; we need someone who will make sure that the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on trees in the last 4 years are not wasted because of it not being a

"priority" to elected and appointed officials.

It's time to make the RIGHT choice for Parks and Rec commission, not just the way it has always been.

In the words of the Lorax,
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Girltopia - Session 4 - Choosing to Take Action

Choosing to Take Action

I know that I want to make a difference.  I know that our community falls short when it comes to meeting the needs of teens and girls in the parks and recreation department.  I feel that we also have a real need for someone to get the attention of the adults.  To make them aware of the educational needs of the community as it relates to the environment.

Having been involved in the community with the annual Nature Pfest (a project with the school district), this is the only opportunity we have to teach kids about nature. 

I have tried to post signs about ecological restoration projects I have worked on completing.  I am trying to get more storm drain tiles.  It has been frustrating and feel that I have to be in a different position to really make something happen.

I applied to be the student representative for the City of Pflugerville Parks and Recreation Commission.  On June 26, 2012, stood in front of City Council and told them WHY they needed to choose me.

See Session 7 for the transcript of my presentation.

Girltopia - Session 5 - Advocacy - What Would You Do?

           Advocacy was a foreign word to me. My mom tried to explain it but I still did not get what it meant. Then my mom had a great idea, I could watch the movie Erin Brockovich. Now this movie definitely is not G rated, nor is it PG, but it is a great movie. It taught me about what advocacy was, through a movie about a true story.
            In this movie Mrs. Brockovich is determined to help a small town, living next to a large company, get what they deserve. She was not a lawyer, nor did she fully understand how court and jury worked. But she stood up for these people anyway.
            Through this movie I learned that advocacy is standing up for someone or something through an important cause, no matter the cause. And now that I know what advocacy means, I can truly say that the Lorax was a true advocate.