By Gemma Cleanslate
Jadyn Firehawk of Yosemite let me know that the region was hosting a Gurl Scout Jamboree this past weekend. I went over to visit and see what was going on. I arrived early in the morning and found sleeping scouts so I tiptoed quietly away. Later when I came back there was a rowdy bingo game going on which all were enjoying. I saw by the colors of the tees there were quite a few troops taking part. These are adult gurl scouts.
I was interested in background of the gurl scouts in Second Life since I actually bought some cookies last year from a scout. WixenWednesday introduced me to the founder of the movement , April Loire, and we had a nice chat. April told me she started a troop way back but then sort of let it go until someone approached her to ask advice on running a troop. The project then took on a life and at this time there are about 400 gurl scouts in nine troops around Second Life. Eight troops are involved in this first jamboree.
WixenWednesday, leader of one troop, says, “Troop Honey Bee 754 is all about focusing on scouts, friendship, community, and fun. We are a small troop that is looking to grow while remaining a small close-knit family.The sense of community and solidarity filled with happiness and love plays a key role in the troop and it is something that is certainly felt throughout our troop home!”
April Loire handed me a book of badges so I could see what it was all about. Remember this is an adult project so some of the badges are indicative of that fact. In the front of the book I found the pledge which is similar to the actual Scouting pledge. It begins,” I will do my best to be honest and understanding, considerate to all, helpful and kind, ...”
The work to earn a badge is difficult and must be proven. They each take a lot of work! The badges cross a variety of activities from growing to fishing and into the arts and all aspects of Second Life. She explained that they work closely with the Digital Farming System and that is reflected in many of the badges. Cookie Obsession is the name of the Scout badge book and it looks like there are new badges being created all the time. There is cookie selling in Second Life and half of the proceeds go to a charity of each troop’s choice and the rest of the money is used to support the troop. The uniforms are cute and the banner with the badges is worn with pride across the front.
There are other activities through out the year according to each troop’s choice also. There is to be an Octoberfest coming up. April interrupted her fun at the jamboree and took me over to see the Headquarters where each troop has a Kiosk with something indicative of their troop.
Later in the day I went back to Yosemite to check out what was going on and they were all preparing for the first jamboree group photo. In the evening there will be skits , campfires and finally a sleepover in the John Muir camping area.
It looked like all were having a great time. I saw a few boy scouts were visiting also. One of the troops is going to be sponsoring an Second Life kid’s troop very soon. The jamborees will be held quarterly with a season theme in the future. The women have formed a bond that carries over into their Second Lives though they may all be different and live in different regions and involved in many projects.
When I went to the HQ to look at the kiosks I met Truuli and commented on all the work for each badge and she said ”Oh yes, we want them to feel a sense of achievement and proud of the work they have done... (laughter), when we say that you earn badges, you really do earn them (smile). It is up to each troop to decide what they want to do.“
If you are interested in the concept visit the headquarters http://maps.secondlife.com/