Teen Resource – Girl Scouts of America

Feature Photo for Teen Resource Blog Post

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

How was your week? Did you hear from that teen in your life? Did you reach out to them?

I had the pleasure of sitting in our family room with our oldest son as he’s learning how to play the guitar. It made me think about what my parents went through listening to me and my brother practicing our instruments. I listened to him play the same thing over and over and when he got it, we celebrated together. What a fun moment!

National Women’s History Month

Women's History Month Logo

I’ll be focusing my posts this month on women who have done inspiring things or made contributions to our country’s history.

Founded by a woman, the teen resource I’m talking about today continues to educate and empower young women in our country. The Girl Scouts of America.

Girl Scouts of America

According to Wikipedia, Girl Scouts of America is a youth organization for girls in the United States and American Girls living abroad.

The organization was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912 after she met with the founder of scouting for boys. She created a group called Girl Guides in England in 1911 and brought the idea to her hometown Savannah, Georgia and created a troop for the girls there. In 1915, Girl Guides became known as the Girl Scouts.

The organization prepares girls to empower themselves. It promotes compassion, courage, confidence, character, leadership, entrepreneurship, and active citizenship. There are many activities for the girls to particpate in to acquire life skills and receive badges for their participation and accomplishments. Each of these badges are displayed on a sash worn with their Girl Scout uniform.

Though their participaton in these activities, they visit some really fun and interesting places. I was involved in the creation of a program that taught a local group of Girl Scouts about Aviation and helped them earn their Aviation Badge. We created a three part day at a private airport where they learned about the elements of flying, met Elizabeth “Betty” Strohfus, a Woman Airforce Service Pilot, and they each were able to go out onto the ramp to touch, sit in and get a ride in a small plane. Each of these segments fufilled a requirement for the badge. So, if the girls completed the day, they also received a badge for their sash.

Girl Scouts and STEM

Last week I talked about women who used their knowledge of STEM principles to do great things like help build the Brooklyn Bridge and make key contributions to the Computer Science field. Here is a link to it in case you missed it. STEM Women Pioneers.

In Girl Scouts, some of the activities are set up to learn about STEM principles and earn badges for it. the program we created for the Aviation badge would qualify. According to their website, some of the badge categories which utilize STEM subjects are

  • Digital Art – badges help girls build valuable technology and computer skills
  • Science and Technology – badge connects girls to favorite science topics like video game development, the physics of roller coasters, and technology used to create new fabrics
  • Innovation – badges encourage problem solving using scientific methods from fields like anthropology, engineering, graphic design, and business

Is Girl Scouts for teens to get involved in?

Teen Wondering about

With the name Girl Scouts, one may ask if there is a way teens can become involved. The answer is Yes. It has groups for girls in grades K-12. High Schoolers involved in Girl Scouts are in groups called Senior or Ambassador. They not only become mentors for younger scouts or camp counselors, but they also work on projects that impact the community and themselves. If you are interested in checking it out, here’s a link to their website Girl Scouts of America

It’s not just about the cookies…

Even though, they sure are good.

It is that time of the year again to purchase your cookies and support the Girl Scouts of America. What’s your favorite kind? I’m a peanut butter patties fan myself also known as a Tagalong. Did you know that some of the cookies have two different names like my favorite? That’s because they have two different bakers making the same cookie. Due to trademarks, they each have to bake the same cookie under a different name.

Interesting thing about the cookies. Over the weekend we had one of the neighbor girls come to our door to sell us some cookies. My dad was always a fan of buying from the kids who take the time to go door to door. We bought four boxes and it warmed my heart. Not only to have the opportnity to support the scout who came to our door, but it also reminded me of my dad. Doing what he would have done to support the cause.

Girl Scouts is a great resource for teens. Involvement in the organization helps girls meet new friends to learn and enjoy amazing experiences with. If you are looking for a group to join, this may be the one for you. I’m glad to have been a part of the process by helping those scouts gain their aviation badge. Not to mention the multiple troops of scouts we are helping by purchasing all those cookies.

What experiences have you had with the Girl Scouts? Have you tried any of their cookies? Are you now or have ever been a Girl Scout? Please let me know in the comments below.

Looking for a great teen read?

Cover design of my first book

Paul Jones takes us through what it was like starting his freshman year of high school without his best friend, who recently moved away. As the school year continues to unfold, he shows us how he’s affected by the peer pressure those new friends provide and its consequeces.

The first book in The Way Series, The Hard Way, is available for purchase on the books tab of my website. Here’s a link to it. The Hard Way

Have a great week!

Write the Story Prompt from Writers Unite!

Good Morning and Happy New Year! Sorry I’ve been away for so long, many big life events took place last year which really consumed my time and energy and altered my life journey. But I’m making my way back.

Edits are moving ahead for Shawn’s Way. Looking at publishing early this summer. I’m in the process of revamping the website. I made contact with someone in my neighborhood who is going to help me with it. Look for updates and announcements coming soon.

One of my life events last year was helping my dad through his dementia journey. He’s living in an assisted living/memory care facility. The challenge I encountered is the amount of time and energy it takes to help our aging parents through their lives when and illness stops them from leading lives on their own. I friend of mine wrote a story about her journey. It is a writing prompt from the Facebook writing group called Writers Unite! Reading her story has made me think about what affects dementia has had on my own life journey.

Continue reading “Write the Story Prompt from Writers Unite!”

Working on the blog this week

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning Blog!

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. Our family spent time with family during multiple parts of the weekend. And as for the other parts? We did a little shopping. Got a couple of Christmas gifts, but did more to get somethings we wanted and needed for projects around the house.

Writing News for the week ahead

I am signed up to take on a blog Content Creation Challenge. The goal is to prepare blog posts for the entire month of December during this challenge. Excited to do it. Why not sit down and get ahead on writing the posts during the holidays? I am also excited to get some tips for writing my posts. I’ll let you know how it goes and share some more information with you when I post next week’s blog.

With the holidays last week, not much writing got done in the writing house. However, I have been doing some business planning for my author platform; looking into setting up a company and a website for the blog and sale of my books. Lots of brainstorming and research going on here to help me get the process for both going. All of the things that will help grow my author brand and platform. It is pretty exciting but a big next few steps.

Selma’s Thoughts

I took our dog Maddie for a walk tonight around the neighborhood. We checked out all of the Christmas lights the neighbors put up. Seeing lights and,spending time with family is getting me into the Christmas spirit. I am not a big fan of the snow and cold, which we have yet to see, but it is not only a part of living in Minnesota, but it is a part of the holiday season I have come to cherish. What parts of the holidays are some of your favorites?

With the holiday season underway and Christmas just around the corner, have you thought about purchasing your very own copy of my book The Hard Way? 

Looking for a good middle grade early teen read for a holiday gift? Be sure to pick up a copy of The Hard Way! It is available in e-book format on Amazon.com and in paperback on both Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

Here is the Amazon.com link! The Hard Way – Amazon.com

And the Barnes and Noble link! The Hard Way – Barnes and Noble

Another day, another thought

Happy Monday!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! I took four days off from my day job last week. Our sons’ half-sister got married on Saturday and I wanted to have time available to take care of last minute things. We spent some great family time together throughout the weekend and at the wedding.

It is 9:11 PM on Sunday night at the end of such a great weekend. I am having a tough time putting my thoughts together for the Monday blog tomorrow. I know I could write about all of the things my family and I did together, with our friends, and family this weekend, but that is something I am cherishing in my heart. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

In a writing class a few years back, I learned a way to battle writer’s block and get those writing juices going, is to just describe what is currently going on around you, and write it down. Well, I’m going to try it tonight and see where it takes me. Here is goes.

I’m currently sitting out on our deck feeling a nice light breeze and listening to the sounds of the night. We have an evergreen tree whose branches slightly overhang one edge of our deck. I just heard the sound of a pine cone falling and bouncing twice. I wonder, how often does that happen? Probably quite a few, but how often am I present for it? Not very often.

Our dog, Maddie, is out here with me. She usually just loves to lay out here and watch people during the day, and just listen to the noises with me at night. She seems a little anxious to get back inside, though I’m not sure why. Our sliding glass door is open and I start listening to what is going on inside our house. I can hear the boys opening boxes and wrappers for their before bed snacks. She probably believes she should be a part of that activity. Or, it could be, she needs some attention from me.

An update on my paperback publishing. I fully intended on getting it done this weekend. I’m not the type to make excuses, I tend to work until all things are done, even if it means staying up late and getting the minimum sleep. Sometimes life gets in the way of getting my writing goals accomplished. We have a big deadline for our new software implementation at work, so I put some of my time away from the office aside to get data ready for import. It was also a big family quality time weekend with the wedding. I’m struggling with the fact this isn’t done yet, but I need to be ok with it. Life will get in the way sometimes for good reasons. I’m so glad the deadlines are mine with this project since I’m self publishing. It gave me the power to put family first.

Have you been on Amazon.com to take a look at the book? It is really cool for me to see the ebook up and for sale. I know quite a few people are waiting for the paperback version to be ready. I am sure they will be willing to wait a few extra days for it.

Here is the link!

The Hard Way Thumbnail

The Hard Way E-Book

The process of publishing my first book has been an adventure. It is also a lesson in things will happen when they are supposed to happen. In their due time.

Sunday Morning

Happy First Day of Spring everyone! Follow me on my journey through Sunday Morning, the one that I experienced yesterday. I took the time to be in the moment. And it felt amazing.

******

After coming back inside from a nice morning walk with our dog Maggie, I mixed up my favorite chai tea latte and heated it up. After the microwave beeped and took the cup from the microwave, I considered how quiet the house was with Sam and the boys still asleep. I looked over and saw Maggie standing in the kitchen staring at me, wondering what I was doing. I was leaning against the counter typing the start of this blog entry, while my chai sat there waiting for me. Happy Sunday morning!

After putting the finishing touches on baseball shopping yesterday, we were trying to designate today as a day off to catch up on rest and relaxation before starting another busy week with school and work. But this week brings the first day of baseball practice for both kids tomorrow. It will also be the start of our crazy schedule with both boys in high school ball and summer travelling! We’ll be following four teams again this year. We know that’s just part of being a baseball parent. And we love it!

When I think about my writing, I love the storytelling part. I’ve had a creative mind since I was a kid and would come up with many stories on the fly. I wish I would have either recorded or written some of those down, there’s probably some good material for a book in there somewhere. I also remember the two roles that I liked to have when we all played together; teacher and storyteller. I enjoy helping people succeed and can come up with some creative ways to do it. I know that I have a passion to teach and tried to pursue it, but life directed me a different way. My life path got me a Bachelor’s in Sociology, an Associate’s in Accounting and now has me working as a Flight Scheduler for my “day” job. You just never know where life will take you on your journey.

Still standing in my kitchen, I hear what sounds like coffee brewing. It’s a typical sound that would be heard in many kitchens in the morning. However, not in mine this morning. I have my chai and everyone else is asleep. Must be the sound of one of them in deep sleep then.

I look down into the doorway and there is Maggie, checking up on me again. Dogs are one of the most loyal pets that are out there. She has been in my life now for almost twelve and a half years. I met Sam a year and a half before I got her. I smile at her and get a low growl in return. O.k. she needs a little attention. So I pick up my chai and find a place in the house to sit with her.

Our house is in a bit of chaos due to a cable rewire project. We’re still sorting and purging things to make the new cable outlet position work out and to get our house in order. As all projects seem to take longer than expected, we’re hoping to have some order before baseball gets into full swing.

As Maggie and I are sitting on the floor, she keeps trying to get my attention away from my phone, which I’m typing this blog entry on right now. I decided to set my phone down and just hold her. It’s a good thing for her and for me. As I pet her she just snuggles into my body and I can feel a calm settling into me. When I stop petting her, she starts to lick my chin, to comfort me. Dogs have a great sense of when those kinds of things are needed by the ones that they love. Many writers have written about similar experiences with their pets when they are trying to get work done on their projects.

Once she falls asleep, I’m able to pick up my phone and write again. Is this kind of like multi tasking for a writer? We snuggle like this for about fifteen minutes. I don’t know if she was ready to get up or if I shifted my body, but she woke up and laid down next to me on the floor.

With life’s demands, it’s hard to get good writing time some days. I find myself with quiet moments like this where I can just write and get into a groove with it. Once everyone wakes up though, it becomes harder to get this kind of time. Thank goodness for mobile devices! I’m able to write on lunch breaks at work or even sitting at baseball fields during the kids’ warm ups. I know that people have and still do get it all done with good ole pen and paper. I’ll do that sometimes when I’m having a hard time getting started or in a pinch when the mobile or electronics aren’t available. But I do appreciate my mobile device even more for the time savings it provides and the freedom to write when I’m away from my laptop.

Sometimes my best creative times come when I’m doing something other than actually writing. Some solutions for plot issues have come to me when out walking the dog, taking a shower or washing the dishes. All times when I’m away from the computer or phone and have no paper to write on. I try to grab my writing notebook when I get back or have dried off and get those things written down as soon as I can. If I don’t, they will disappear into the sky outside of my head.

I love these quiet mornings for several reasons. They become a great time for me to write, to stop and smell the flowers and to hear the birds sing outside the window. I really liked to be in the moment with Maggie this morning, to take that deep breath and appreciate what I have to be grateful for. My family, my house, and my life.