Be You Virtual Meeting: Part 1

This is my virtual adaption for the Be You Challenge activities on the Girls First Platform. You can find Part 2 here: Be You Virtual Meeting: Part 2.

About this Meeting

How does it feel when you’re “just being yourself”? What does that mean? Being yourself can be tough when there are so many messages and images out there telling girls what they should look like and act like.

The Be You Challenge helps you explore who YOU are and what makes you so special. In this challenge, you’ll build your confidence in your own abilities and explore what it looks and feels like to have a healthy balance in your life. (Here’s a hint: this looks different for everyone!)

Remember, this challenge isn’t about trying to be “right” or “normal” – it’s about understanding the things that make you feel your best, so you can look in the mirror and give yourself a high-five! The goal is to be YOU!

The Be You Challenge

Objective

To develop self-acceptance and embrace your uniqueness while finding balance in your life.

Outcomes

  • Express self-acceptance and confidence.
  • Understand what healthy balance can look like in your life.

The Meeting

Meeting Itinerary

This is my personal Meeting Itinerary (no I don’t make these up every time!), please feel free to use it, or arrange it however you like!

Activity DescriptionWho is leading it?Program to be coveredMaterials NeededTime needed
GatheringAll About Me Printable/ Discussion ROBeing YouAlll about you Printable5 min
OpeningOpening Songs and PromisesRO3 min
Activity 1Brownie PortraitROBeing YouPaper Brownie15 min
Activity 2Words that HelpROBeing YouSmiley Face15 min
Activity 3Shield YourselfROBeing YouShield Template15-30 min
Activity 4Encouragement CardsROBeing YouEncouragement Card Printable10 min – something to do this week!
ClosingClosing SongsRO2 min

The Opener

I like to start off by encouraging the girls to explore things about themselves and share it with others. This little warm up gets them turning inward and helping them gain some introspection, as well as help to improve their self-esteem. It also gives them something productive to do while we wait for everyone to arrive! Have the picture of the activity up on your share screen as the girls come into the meeting.

All About Me Free Printable

Activity 1: The Brownie Portrait

The Starter Activity is The Brownie Portrait. In this activity, Brownies will think about what special qualities make them unique. They will build confidence, self awareness and character, helping them to express self-confidence and awareness.

  1. As a unit, talk about the things you like and like to do, such as:
  • The activities you like to do
  • The toys you like to play with
  • The clothes you like to wear
  • The books you like to read
  • The shows you like to watch
  • The things you’re good at
  1. Using the Paper Brownie, as the girls to write down interests and the skills or abilities that makes them unique. I always find it helpful to do the activity along with the girls, while facilitating conversation.
  2. Have the girls share their Paper Brownies on screen with the rest of the unit. Give each girl a chance to say 1-2 things about their Paper Brownie.
  3. Engage the Brownies in discussion: When you look at all the portraits, what similarities do you see? What are the differences? What is one thing you really like about yourself or you’re proud of?

Words that Help

Words that Help–Words can change our feelings. Negative words can hurt our happiness and how we feel about ourselves, while positive words can help lift us up and make us feel strong and confident! Discover the power of words in this hands-on activity. This activity is designed to increase social- and self- awareness.

Note: This activity can be emotional for some girls, especially if they have been bullied. It’s really targeted at girls who have more of a propensity toward exclusionary behaviors. Be prepared to support girls who find this activity intense. Give them a chance to share their feelings and validate their emotions.

Every girl will have her own smiley face. In order to decrease the risk of triggering a traumatic memory, I have the girls name their faces (not their own names!).

  1. Call on each girl to share one thing they’ve heard about themselves or others that was hurtful. These might be comments about their abilities or physical appearances.
  2. After they have shared this comment, each girl will rip off a piece of her smiley face.
  3. As a unit, talk about what negative comments can do to a person who hears them. How is this like what happened to the smiley face?
  4. Let’s repair that smiley face! Call on each girl to take turns suggesting a positive or helpful comment that might make someone happy.
  5. As each girl says a happy thing, tape have the girls tape the smiley face back together.
  6. Discuss the face!
    1. Is the smiley face the same as when you started? What has happened to it?
    2. What happened to the smiley face as you shared the hurtful comments?
    3. How does it make you feel when you hear hurtful words or comments?
    4. How are positive and kind words like the tape used in this activity? When can they help?
    5. What kinds of things should people think about when choosing the words they use?

Shield Your Self-Esteem

In the last activity we learned how hurtful words can be. In Shield Your Self-Esteem, we will learn how to protect ourselves against harmful words. Girls, and even adults, often don’t realize having high self-esteem takes work! This is a great tool to help!

When you think about positive things, it can help your body and mind to feel more relaxed and confident. It’s not always easy to keep the positive things in your mind, so why not make a shield of positive thoughts and ideas to help protect you when you feel negative thoughts or words coming your way! This activity helps girls create self-acceptance and confidence.

  1. As a unit, talk about positive parts of your life;. Share something that makes you feel proud, strong, happy and/or confident.
  2. Now, talk about the negative things in life. Share something that makes you feel worried, afraid, sad and/or upset.
  3. Ask open ended questions:
    1. How did you feel when you were sharing positive things?
    2. How did you feel when you were talking about negative things?
    3. How did your body feel when talking about these things?
      • your stomach
      • your face
      • your neck
      • your chest
  4. Using the shield template, have the girls draw their first initial in the middle, then decorate the shield with images and/or words that make them feel positive:
    • Things you like to do or things that make you happy
    • Words that make you feel happy
    • People in your life who make you feel strong
    • Things you are proud of
    • Something you’ve worked really hard on
  5. Share & Discuss:
    • How do you think focusing on the positives might help you?
    • what are some other things you can do to shield yourself from negative messages in the world?
  6. BONUS ACTIVITY (if you have time): Use the shields! Engage in a little roleplay using some of the negative things you’ve talked about during this meeting. Show the girls how the thoughts on their Shield can help shield them from negative things.

Encouragement Cards

Helping others is part of our Guiding mandate. I also think sharing your positivity is a good way of maintaining it! Have the girls make Encouragement cards, or use this printable from Big Life Journal (I love their stuff!).

We usually don’t have time to complete this activity during the meeting, but try to get it started and encourage the girls to do it at home during the week.

Tips for Success

  • Send out all the printables ahead of time, along with requests for : scissors, colouring tools, and tape.
  • I always put the printable we are working on up on the share screen. It helps me and the girls stay focused, as well as help them know what we are working on (I find a lot of direction gets a little lost in the zoom).
  • Be prepared to go at the girls’ pace. These are sensitive issues, watch your girls’ reactions’ carefully. Remember, Brownies is a Safe Space, where the girls are free to share their emotions and feelings without judgement or fear of “looking stupid”. If they want to cry or feel angry, let them! Validate their feelings, share in their experiences, use your empathy and compassion skills! Conversely, if they fly through the activities without much discussion, know that they are processing it in their own way–don’t push. Keep inviting them to answer open-ended questions, and know that they are thinking about it in their own way. Don’t worry about your meeting going over or under, there’s always an opportunity to sing a song, or play skribbl.io; or you can continue your meeting next week! The important thing is the girls feel heard and respected.
  • Don’t feel weird if at any moment you need to stop and give the girls a virtual hug. Self-hugging is a great tool kids and adults can use to help themselves feel better anytime, anywhere.

Don’t forget to check out Part 2: Being You Virtual Meeting Part 2

Book Recommendation

I did not include this in the actual meeting, because this meeting is jam-packed!! However, I really love reading this book to my Brownies and it fits so nicely with the Be Yourself Programming.

Dear Girl, is a love letter written for the special girl in your life; a gentle reminder that she’s powerful, strong, and holds a valuable place in the world.

Find a place to read this book twice to your Brownies, maybe at closing the meeting before you begin the Be You meetings, just somewhere near the beginning. Then read it again to close up the Be You meetings. It really resonates with kids, and leaves your discussion sort of open-ended (the last pages tell the girls you will be there for them), so that they can revisit this learning anytime they need to.

Me and You is a gentle celebration of friendship and individuality by award-winning writer and illustrator Geneviève Côté. It will reassure young readers that they are loved and special as themselves. If I have a younger Brownie unit, I will read this one to them, so they can see being themselves, and being unique is good for friendships!

Don’t forget Part 2 of this meeting! Being You Virtual Meeting Part 2!!

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