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Archive for June, 2012

Well its been a while since my last post so let’s catch up. Here’s what I’ve been up to since my last post..

– I Started a new job as Outreach Development Manager at Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois where I am trying to bring our  Girl Scout programming into schools, community centers and housing units.
– My husband and I took a trip to Chicago and I crossed U.S. Cellular Field off my list of stadiums I have yet to visit. (And got to see good friends..always a plus)
– I took a week-long trip home to attend my hometown music festival, Steamboat Days, which I haven’t been to in 3 years.
– During that week-long trip I held a yard sale at my mom’s house for which I went through boxes and boxes of childhood memories.
– I rode a Segway. The same segway, actually, that Justin Beiber rode when he was in St. Louis and apparently crashed because he was texting.
– I started a 5 day cleanse which lasted 2.5 days.
– I attended my husbands 10 year high school reunion.
– I found out one of my best friends ever is going to have a baby. (So happy but yet…so scary)

OK, Now that you’re caught up, I’ll go back to the new job part.

My supervisor and I have been doing a program at a Children’s Home in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. From what I’ve read the home originally started as an orphanage a million years ago and since the needs of the community have changed it is now a home for runaways and/or troubled youth. I’m not exactly sure how the girls get placed there…If the parents send them there or if the system does. And I’m not exactly sure what the girls do to get placed there (they aren’t allowed to talk about why they are there to anyone but their therapist…not even each other) But the girls range from probably 14-18.

Now..I’ll admit I was a little hesitant about going there. After all…I had NO IDEA what these girls did to get in there, AND they’re teenage girls which is a whole other kind of dangerous. I thought they would be mouthy, have a bad attitude and sit with their arms crossed rolling their eyes at the thought of doing Girl Scouts (much like I would have been at age 16.) But after being there the first week it was very clear these girls were nothing like that. I was more than surprised.

These girls sat quietly, were engaged, answered questions, laughed, all got along and respected us and their surroundings. A few even gave us hugs as we left and thanked us for coming. Really?  I thought. I guess a change of surroundings can change anyone. Some of these girls I could see that in the right surroundings and situations they could be problems, maybe being egged on by their peers. But other girls were quiet as can be, polite and even seemed innocent.

Ever since I was younger I had this fascination about why people are the way they are. I people watch ALL the time. Make up stories about people and families in my head. Try to determine their life story. I want so badly to know the stories of these girls so that I can understand why they are in the position they are in. Have they had a horrible home life? Were their parents really strict and now they’re rebelling? Was everything at home perfect and they just ended up with the wrong crowd? Have they been abused? I know I’ll never know the answers to any of those questions but I still try to figure out their story in my head when I’m there.

I’ve now visited the home 6 or 7 times and actually enjoy going there. I like watching the girls continue to learn life skills that will hopefully help them when they leave the home and go out on their own. I like to think that we are instilling some values in them that they can use in the real world. After all….that’s what Girl Scouts is all about, right? I guess the old adage is true…don’t judge a book by its cover. Noted.

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