Thursday, July 26, 2012

Girl's World Forum: Day 5, the full run down

You would think that in such a short amount of time, very little could be accomplished.  The fact is, Girl Scouts and Guides are efficient, and we pretty much conquered the world in five days!

At breakfast on day 5, the ladies from the Cook Islands treated us to a lovely dance and thanked everyone at GWF, especially a big thanks to the planning (they earned it!).  Several other scouts and guides got up during breakfast to reflect on the past few days by sharing some songs and words of wisdom.

Our last day was on the low key side, but still very beneficial.  A number of great organizations came in for a networking session in the morning.  That list includes the Peace Corps, Care, Forever Green (yes, the GSUSA project was out there being represented!), Care, Heifer International and a number of other wonderful organizations.  Each stop offered a number of amazing materials that could benefit all of the scouts and guides in any of the take action projects they were already formulating.

From there, we split up for one last session.  For the adults, it was a chance to learn about a number of projects already going on within GSUSA and WAGGGS and do some last minute networking.  At the end of our session, we had the opportunity to make a commitment and add our "leaf" to the "tree."  I made two commitments on my leaf, but more about that in my wrap up post later!

The real work began after that.  A few nights before, I had given Sa'Haara and Madison a homework assignment to help them start thinking about what they wanted to do for their projects.  I was very glad I asked that, because we were then tasked to sit down and finalize their projects.  That too I will save for my wrap up, since I happen to think they chose very ambitious, amazing projects!

We were treated to one last joint session before the closing ceremony.  During this session, a panel of girls were assembled to talk about what guiding and scouting has done for them.  I think the best way to sum up that panel is that each girl sitting in that chair is already setting the world on fire!

Guess who came to speak at our closing ceremony.  No, really, guess!

Dr. Tererai Trent the same lady who was also featured on Oprah for the work she has done.  Her educational background was not a traditional one, but was inspiring because she overcame some of the harshest of realities to get to where she is today.  More so, she is proof that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything.  At the end of her speech, she told us that to see this many empowered young women together was an inspiration to her, and for me, that reinforced all of our hard work.

Such a crack up they were!

The declaration was re-presented, to affirm our commitments to the work we have been doing.  We are committed to making the Millennium Development Goals a reality!

Ok, confession time.... when the girls began thanking the adult members who helped them plan GWF, I started crying.  Then, the crying turned into bawling, and let's just leave it at that mmk?

We had just barely one hour before dinner and a last hurrah, so what did we do?  Went to the John Hancock building with the Irish!

Up, up and away we went!  The elevator we rode in took exactly 40 seconds to climb 94 floors!

I have to tell you about one amazing Irish Guide who nearly made me cry again!  The Guide in the middle is named Lauren, and she's a bright young woman!  Lauren is not a fan of heights, but didn't want to let every down and miss out on this experience, so came with us.  She was very unsure the entire time, but made it through.  I am so, immensely proud of her!

Interesting photo above- I took this photo while in the John Hancock building.  The tall, silver building on the left is Trump Tower, and the tall, black building in the right is the Sears Tower (I know it has a new name, and I do not remember what it is, sorry!).

We headed back to the hotel for one last hurrah.  We were in for a real treat too!  A group of salsa dancers came to give us a lesson, and they had giant summo suits out for us to play in!  I got some great photos of Heather and Jannelle going at it.  

And, what's a good party without some dancing?!

The next morning, we headed out bright and early.

Even the Irish were sad to go!  We were all sad to leave, but we made it home, safe and sound.


Yup, those are my smelly feet again (and yeah, my $1 nail polish survived the week!).  My feet took me all over Chicago, and they took me on great adventure.  I admit, it's nice to be home, but what I came back with is literally invaluable.

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