Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I know, I know...

So I have been MIA for the past month (WHAT!?) Basically I am in my final year of university and my time is filled completely by school, work, and volunteering so I haven't had a whole lot of time to do anything exciting with the projects. I am sorry and I will try to make it up to you over the Christmas break because I do not have school from December 15 to January 9!

I thought I would share all of the articles I have written about my projects for my area newsletter because I am in class right now and should be paying attention.  :)

This one is from the January/February 2011 Newsletter:

“Little steps, huge impact, lifetime legacy.” These six simple words became the theme for the Young Women’s World Forum after Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee spoke about changing the world. In October 2010 I was fortunate enough to be one of two representatives of Canada at an international Girl Guide conference in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. Sixty countries, in all five WAGGGS regions sent young women to discuss and take action on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set out by the United Nations ten years ago. The three focus goals at the Forum were ending poverty, achieving gender equality, and attaining environmental sustainability. By the end of the forum we had discussed, campaigned for, and created a declaration outlining what governments, civil society, and WAGGGS can do to achieve the MDGs.
 Girl Guides from around the world were brought together to discuss important issues, learn about each other’s cultures, and make connections that will last for a long time. But it was not all work; we had a lot of fun as well! We celebrated the end of Girlguiding UK’s centenary in style with the Chief Guide, fireworks, and a video of us saying our promise broadcasted throughout the UK and on a huge screen in Trafalgar Square in London. We had guest speakers including a female Member of Parliament, representatives of non-profit organizations, WAGGGS World Board members, and even the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom!  Not many people can say that they can travel anywhere in the world from Australia to Malawi to Norway to Brazil and have a friend to visit, but because of this forum I can proudly say I fall in this category. The honour of representing Girl Guides of Canada at such an inspiring and motivational event was life changing and now that I am back home I want to make changes in my community, city, province, and even country. Because most Canadians do not have to struggle with the MDGs like other countries do I want to promote awareness for the goals and help people, especially Girl Guides, understand that even the smallest actions can and will make a difference and standing up and fighting for something you believe is one of the most powerful things you can do to show your girl greatness!

This one is from the most recent one November/December 2011:

Do you want to change the world?
www.girlguideforchange.com
< is a brand new website for Girl Guides around the world who want to make a difference. After attending the Young Women’s World Forum 2010, I am driven to change things and help to accomplish the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. This website is a part of my project. I want to make others aware of the MDGs and inspire them to make changes in their own life for the better good of the community. There are forums, photos, blog posts, and resources related to making a difference in your own community and around the world. Still not convinced? Coming January 2012 there will be a full challenge program for Sparks through Rangers about taking action on things they are passionate about and making a change launched on the website (crests included!). This is my challenge to you, my fellow sisters in Guiding- check it out, think of what you would like to change in the world, gather a team together, and get involved.
Join the movement.
I know this isn't the most exciting post, but I had to get something up! Talk to you again soon.
-Shannon

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One Year Later!

I am absolutely blown away that it has been an entire year since the Young Women's World Forum 2010 in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. It feels like yesterday that I was waking up in my hostel in London after three days of extreme tourist-ing, getting all packed up, and maneuvering around the tube with my huge backpack. I remember so clearly getting to Heathrow and having no idea where I was (even though it was where I had got off my plane three days earlier) and seeing a small group of young women with ties and trefoils. I was so relieved and excited that it had finally come! I was finally ready to go to the Forum! The energy in the meeting room on the first day was incredible- we all just chatted and made small talk- sometimes across different language barriers and we were quite comfortable with each other because even though we were from all across the world, we had something in common, we were a part of a global organization- the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. I remember thinking that everything my leaders had said throughout the years was true! There really were Guides around the world and they all wore different uniforms and spoke different languages, but we were all connected.

I really believe that YWWF2010 changed my life. It helped to give me a sense of purpose and a platform for making a difference.
I know that I have been really slow in getting things started for whatever reason, but now that I am going it has become a hobby, almost an obsession. I am constantly thinking about what I can talk about in my next blog or what I can add to my next project- if the more than one hundred people who were at the conference feel a similar way than the world will be in a much better state.

I am so grateful that I had this opportunity and I look forward to seeing what will happen next both in my personal projects and on a global scale. I also cannot wait to go to Chicago in July 2012 to experience the Girls' World Forum. I think it is really cool that I will have attended the first and the last of the Forum series to celebrate the Centenary`s of Guiding. :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Exciting News!

I am typing this on my iPod so if the font is wonky or if there are a bunch if errors that is why.
This morning I got an email from Girl Guides of Canada inviting me to attend the Girls World Forum in Chicago,IL in July 2012 as a chaperone for two youth members. The conference will sort of be split in half because WAGGGS is asking for the chaperones to be members who attended another one of the world forums. I am very honoured and excited to again represent an organization that I really love on a global scale. I accepted the opportunity and am looking forward to getting to meet the young women I will be traveling with.

In other news the website is launched and has already got a lot of hits from all over the place, but I would love to have more members so sign up! It will be a lot of fun!

Thanks for listening.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Past Two Weeks

It amazes me how fast time flies! I have been incredibly busy since about mid-August with school, work, and of course Guiding! Since I last blogged I have started Sparks up again and gone to two camps, plus some other very exciting things, but I will talk about that at the end.
          - I have eight girls in my Sparks unit and I love how enthusiastic they are about EVERYTHING! It makes me so excited to see them grow and learn through out the year and I love teaching them about Guiding and the world around them.
         - Standing Committee Workshop was last weekend and it was a lot of fun. I am one of my area's international adviser's and I am fairly new to the position so I wasn't really sure what I was supposed to be doing. We had some great discussions about challenges and trips and even got some advice from the Chief Commissioner which was awesome! I have a lot of ideas now and I am excited to get started.
          - Campfire Magic is the camp that I just got back from. It was amazing! I learned so many new tricks, songs, games, and activities over the weekend and I had a lot of fun. My favourite part of the event was our Saturday night campfire and it was so beautiful with sparklers, flaming arrows, and colourful fire. I also got a lot of ideas for my classroom and my work with Sparks.
         - I have a Twitter that I try and update at least once a day so check it out!

        
Here comes the exciting news:


As of tomorrow Monday October 3, 2011 at 6 PM- www.girlguideforchange.com will be live!!!! I am very excited about this as the finishing touches are all coming together, but this will be another way to get involved.

CHECK IT OUT!

Monday, September 12, 2011

10 Years Have Passed

***I wrote this yesterday and for whatever reason it didn't post so when I say today
I do mean September 11***

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City in the United States and it is hard to believe that it has been so long, but at the same time it feels like it should be longer than just ten years.
I remember that day very clearly despite the fact that I was eleven years old when it happened. I was sitting on my parent's bed brushing my hair like I did every morning and my dad came in and turned on the TV. I heard that there was a plane that crashed into a building in New York and everyone was scared. I remember just sitting there watching the TV and hoping that nobody was hurt and then another plane hit the other tower and the cameraman started swearing and running. There was screaming on the TV and my dad told me to go and get ready for school- I think he didn't know what was going to happen next and if something worse were to happen he didn't want me to see it. At school we said a prayer for the people in New York and then my grade six class watched the news all day. That is all we did and I remember it was a boy in my class's birthday and he was mad because we didn't sing to him. It wasn't a time for singing. After school we went to the grocery and there was already a newspaper about the attacks. I was shocked! Newspapers come in the morning, not at night- that was one thing that really surprised me.
So many things have changed since that day and I do not think they were for the better. I might be upsetting some people by saying this, but September 11 sparked a campaign of unjust hatred for certain groups of people like Muslims and Arabs and made things like racial profiling acceptable. It is even more difficult to travel and feeling taken advantage of or violated in an airport is not uncommon. There are wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that should not be happening and were started for a terrible reason. I am completely against having Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan because the Western World cannot just swoop in and fix something that they do not understand- it has been done before and it has failed several times, just look at the history of wars in Afghanistan. 
I hope for a world in the future that does not judge by skin colour or facial hair or religion or ethnic group and tolerance for all people. We are all in the same boat together and September 11, 2001 made it difficult for us to work together and make the world a better place for everyone. 

Thanks for reading,
Shannon 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

So...

I guess I am not doing a very good job of getting my blog out there so I am going to try something new. I have started a twitter account and I am hoping to get some more views that way and I will also put a counter at the bottom of my blog so I can see how many people visit. I am also considering launching a full on interactive website and maybe a facebook fanpage. Pippa seems to have been far more successful than me in the getting out there department, but she has also worked a lot harder than I have... we will see!
Thanks for listening to my grumblings.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: Change the World for Ten Bucks

Now I know what your thinking, a book review? This hasn't been done before. But I bought this book back in February of 2010 at the Vancouver Olympics and I haven't really looked at it since then. So much has changed since that time in my life and I have a new idea about what I want to do with my life.

This book is really quite interesting as it is not a typical book because it has action statements on each page and it is made specifically for Canadians. I really enjoy that there are little jokes and stories in it that are not typical of "change the world" books. The ideas in it are also really simple and easy to do like don't use plastic bags and spend time with someone from a different generation to learn new things and recycle your books. The things seem really easy to do and I like that. It makes it accessible to the masses and that is really important. It also goes with my philosophy that little things make a big difference. I would highly recommend it and I cannot wait to pass it along. :)  

I am just curious who actually reads this blog. If you do please let me know! Either comment on this post or send me an email at girlguideforchange@hotmail.com. Thanks!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Perspective

Today I went to the funeral for one of my really good friend's step mom and it really gave me some perspective. She battled with cancer for nineteen years and never lost hope or faith in her family, herself, or her goals and dreams. The people who gave the eulogies all talked about living each day to the fullest and never leaving things until tomorrow. It made me think that I am not working hard enough or fast enough on my projects. I am also working on figuring out what to do to make myself accesible and open to helping others with their own goals and dreams. I want to help people to make change and I know that the first thing to do is get myself together so I can help others have success. If that doesn't make sense I apologize... I have a lot of thoughts and feelings right now that are not translating into words properly.

I just want to end with a quick thought that was shared at the funeral: Don't live like you are dying, live like you are living. That is what I will do for the rest of my life and I hope that this idea will inspire me to make time for my MDG work and other Guiding committments.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Brainwave!

I had a brainwave last week when I was thinking about my project and it made me really excited to get started on making a difference. I was trying to think of a name for my "organization" with little success. I really wanted something that is eye catching and interesting and I just couldn't think of anything. Then it hit me. Girl Guides for Change. It's simple and easy and applies to anyone who wants to join the movement. I want to make a website or something to launch the crest program and badges. We will see what happens but it is all very inspiring. I hope to have everything done by mid August so stay tuned!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Update on the goals.

Holy Smokes! Where have the last six weeks gone? I kept thinking to myself I have to do an update on my blog and I guess I never did it. I apologize from the bottom of my heart and I will work so hard on updating more often. A friend of mine visiting from the UK was asking about my projects a few nights ago and I was kind of embarrassed by my lack of action. I have what I like to call "so many thoughts and not enough time to act on all of them." I know it is a terrible excuse, but I am hoping that I can work harder from now on and accomplish all of my goals set out at the beginning of the year and my future goals. I just want to take a look back at my resolutions for 2011 and talk about what I have done so far.
 
1) Create a presentation that I can give to Girl Guides, the general public, and family and friends.
 I have created a presentation that I have used for various audiences, but I am still looking at creating a program for different ages of Girl Guides and the general public. I hope that my social media outlets will help with this to make it more accessible and engaging.

2) Give at least 5 of these presentations within the year.
I have done this! I have given four unofficial presentations and one very official one for Provincial Council. I have also accepted the position of my area's co-International Adviser and I will be given many more options to speak out with this position. I am lined up to do a few more presentations before the year is out so that is great as well! 

3) Create a five year plan for what I want to accomplish and who I want to help.
I am still working on this one. This is where I feel I have not been very successful. My goal is to present my five year plan by September 1, 2011 and be fully committed to achieving the goals on the plan.


4) Have fun with and learn a lot from others who have the same goals as me.
I am still in contact with a few members in other organizations, but I wish that I was more involved. I will make an effort to talk with other YWWF2010 delegates and hopefully we can be supported by each other.

5) Update this blog at least once a week to record my progress and keep others updated on how I am doing.
           Well... this has been difficult and I have said that I will work on updating regularly. I also want to create an archive of all of my "inspiration of the weeks" so I do not lose track of what I have said already and so people who are new to the site can see them.

That is all I have for right now and I vow to be better at updating.
Thanks for listening,
Shannon

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"Walk the Walk, Change the World!"

This morning I participated in the World Partnership Walk with my sister and my fellow Girl Guides. It was a lot of fun and the weather was fantastic. It was supposed to rain today, but instead it was bright and sunny with just a hint of a breeze. Now I know that I shouldn't be talking about the weather for this entire blog post, so I will continue on. There were a few speakers and presentations before the walk began and the girls did not seem too engaged in what was going on, but I think they were excited to be there. There were quite a few Girl Guides there which was really nice to see. I remember doing the walk back when I was in Guides and it was such a great experience so I was really glad to see that there were so many Sparks, Brownies, Guides, and Pathfinders participating. The best part of the morning was the Jazzercise-esque warmup. It was a lot of fun and everyone was really enthusiastic. The walk started with a pipe band and a cheerleading team cheering and handing out waterbottles. We did not actually do the entire walk because the Pathfinders and Rangers had volunteered to do face painting so the rest of the Girl Guides just followed suit and went back to the main site. We met a friend of ours and had the barbecue lunch on site. Overall the event was very well organized and a lot of fun. There was music and dance performances and a place called the Global Village where you could post on a map why you were participating in the Partnership Walk. There was also a lot of information about some of the organizations funded by the walk were doing in developing nations and I was pleased to see that most of them were focused on education, particularly education girls and young women. I am so happy that I participated this year and I plan on doing it again next year, but maybe I will volunteer so I can be more involved.
That's all for now,
Shannon
  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thoughts about my projects...

In case you haven't noticed, I haven't been doing a whole lot project wise. I don't want to give excuses about being really busy or not having any ideas for activities or programs I could do, but I really have no idea what to do. I am kind of stumped and need some ideas! I have my program plan from the Forum, but I feel like my desires for change have shifted, but I don't quite know what they are. Stay posted over the next month and I will post my complete plan for the next year and the next five years.
Thanks for putting up with me,
Shannon

Friday, May 13, 2011

International Youth Week

My goodness how time flies! I was just thinking to myself the other day that I should update my blog and then I realized that I haven't updated in almost two weeks! I can't believe it! I apologize completely for having such big gaps in between posts.
So last week was International Youth Week and I was lucky enough to participate in two events to celebrate the occasion. The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta hosted a speaker presentation and luncheon for representatives of various service organizations. I was a representative of Girl Guides of Canada. The speaker of the event was Dr. Robert Steadward, one of the creators of the Paralympic Games and a very influential man in the international sports world. He spoke about the importance of volunteering, especially when you are a young person. He has met so many people from Princess Diana and Prince Charles to Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. I found his speech very interesting and inspiring. After the speech there was a mingling session where the young people from different organizations could talk about their projects and why they are a volunteer. Then there was a lunch that was a lot of fun, the food was delicious and the conversation was fantastic. It is so special to be a part of the afternoon and I learned a lot about all of the opportunities for volunteering in my city.
The following day I went to City Hall to accept a Youth Excellence Award, again to celebrate International Youth Week. I was very honoured to be nominated and I give my heartfelt thanks to the person who nominated me. I am always very humbled to win an award and I know that by getting out into the community and telling my story I can try to open the minds of others and plant a seed of change.

I thought that after school finished I would have so much time to work on my projects and that time just has not come yet. I know it will though! I will try and be better with my blog posts next week.
Thanks for listening,
Shannon

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Provincial Banquet Presentation

Well it has come and gone, my presentation at the Alberta Girl Guides Provincial Banquet and overall I think it went quite well. I have never been too nervous about doing presentations, but I was for this one because the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta was attending and commenting on my presentation afterwards. I was lucky enough to sit to the right of His Honour at the dinner and he was very kind to me and was interested in my experiences at the Forum as well as what I am studying in school, other activities I do etc. I was very honoured to have the opportunity to speak to him and spread my message to the Guiding members at the event as well as the special guests. The dinner was good and as we got to dessert I was starting to get a little bit nervous, what if I forgot a page of my speech? what if my computer doesn't work? what if I sneeze? All of these questions were running through my head as they often do before I give a speech or presentation, but I just opened my mouth and began speaking. All was well for the first little bit but I felt like I was out of breath, stuttering, and looked like a nervous wreck. The sound of the video wasn't the greatest and I hope that everyone was able to hear it. I don't think that I went over my time limit so that was good and I think overall the presentation went quite smoothly. My funny parts were funny outside of my head and I didn't sound like the teacher in Charlie Brown. When I finished everyone clapped and I felt incredibly special when His Honour stood up and pulled my chair out for me before I sat down.
After the evening had finished I was quite surprised that so many people came to talk to me about my presentation and tell me that I did a good job. Apparently I made some people cry! I was not expecting that at all, I thought I sounded like a mess but I guess I was composed. The moment that effected me the most was when our provincial commissioner showed me a piece of paper that she wrote on while I was speaking that said "Future Chief Commissioner." The Chief Commissioner is the head of Girl Guides of Canada so I was very touched by this idea. I know that I will probably end up as some sort of commissioner when I am older, but I don't know if I would be able to do something that huge! I suppose only time will tell, but I feel very blessed that people are listening to message from the Forum and beyond and I am even more confident that I can make a difference.

I have a few exciting events happening this week that I will blog about later so check back soon!
Thanks for listening,
Shannon 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

YouTube

Hello Everyone!
I have started a YouTube channel for more visuals of what I am working on after the Forum. Take a look!

Thanks,
Shannon

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thoughts on the Election (Round Two)

*This is the second time I have written this*

I am sitting in my living room right now watching the Leader's Debate for the federal election that is happening at the beginning of May. I find it very interesting to hear what they have to say based on questions sent in by Canadians from across the country. One of the topics was how Canada can redeem itself on the global stage. I find this topic very interesting especially listening to the different responses from the different political parties. I'm sorry but a bunch of men in suits should not (and in my opinion do not) make up what the world thinks about Canada. It is the people and the communities and the families that make a country what it is, not the government. I hope that I am not alone in thinking that the government is not the only thing that can make change in Canada. I believe that I have the power to make a difference in my community and I know Girl Guides and other members of society that can make a change in their community and then- BAM the entire country has changed. This is how change can happen and this is how change should happen, not just through governments or politics.
 
I know I sound a bit rant-y but I think it is important to show that I care about what will happen in my country and I have the responsibility as a Canadian citizen to make my voice heard. There are people all over the world that are fighting and dying for their right to vote so we as Canadians need to use our right, our responsibility to shape what our government looks like and what they choose to do. It doesn't matter who you vote for or why you vote for a specific party just make your voice heard and vote on May 2nd.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Alberta Girls' Parliament

     I did not update last week because I was at a very exciting event called Alberta Girls' Parliament. This year was the fortieth session and it was a lot of fun. I am always really interested to see the passion and the excitement in the young women who come to AGP and it is incredible to see how much they learn and grow in five short days.
     We had guest speakers from the University of Alberta Debate society who taught the girls about public speaking and forming arguments. They also played some games about improvisation and speaking. We also had two Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta (MLAs) from opposing parties the Conservatives and the NDP. Hearing about the provincial government from two different sides was very interesting because it gave the girls something to think about. The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Donald Ethel, came to prorogue parliament and then spoke to the girls about how important an event like AGP is.
     The debates were very interesting this year because the girls debated difficult topics like making Alberta's organ donation program an opt out system, having mandated sexual health classes for students Kindergarten to Grade Twelve, and requiring all livestock to be raised free range and chemical free. These topics are pretty tricky but generally the girls did a great job and the people who watched were very impressed.
     The trip to the Legislature is always an interesting event because I have been there so many times and I feel like I know a lot about the history, the symbols, the architecture, and the artwork, but I learn something every time! We got to sit in on question period which was neat because there are a lot of things going on in our government right now. Overall it was a great experience.
     I don't want to bore you with the details but it was a good event that really encouraged female empowerment and using your voice to say something you think needs to be said. I hope that the girls learned a lot and will continue to use their voices when they feel that they need to be heard.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Support for Japan

I know this post is a bit delayed, but I had to think really hard about how I was going to phrase this post. At the Forum I made connections with people all over the world and watching the earthquake, tsunami, and now the possible nuclear meltdown in Japan on my television has been terrifying. When I first heard about it the first thing I thought of was my friends in Japan and I was hoping and praying that they were safe with their families and friends. I couldn't remember where in Japan they lived so I was constantly checking Facebook seeing if they had posted anything about their experiences. Thankfully they are all okay, but the whole experience was hard, I can't even imagine what it would be like to live there. I have since realized that I have a personal connection with pretty much anything that will happen in the world and I am still not sure if that is a good or bad thing. On the one hand I think my "North American apathy" will be diminished and I will think about the personal stories occurring in things like natural disasters and human conflict, but on the other hand I am worried that every little thing will cause a great amount of distress in my life, which I do not need. Maybe I am being completely irrational and selfish by thinking these things, but it does cause a lot of worry for me.I hope that this disaster will be different than all the others, people will try and act above themselves and work towards a better world, not just forget in a week or two, once the news coverage slows down and something else happens.  I am still praying for all of the people in Japan who are affected by the disasters there and I hope that there isn't a nuclear meltdown. Overall I am so thankful that I live where I do because we can never have a tsunami and an earthquake is pretty unlikely, but I hope that the Earth will calm down soon, I don't want it to get any worse.

Thanks for listening to my babble,
Shannon

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy International Women's Day!

Hello Everyone,
I just wanted to do a quick little post on the 100 anniversary of International Women's Day. I am so proud of how far women have come in the past hundred years. It is crazy to think that 100 years ago women could not vote, own property, or were even considered people! I wonder what the women of that time like the Famous Five would think of what women are doing today. I hope they are proud and I hope that in another hundred years there will be gender equality and women will be empowered to fight for what they believe in and stand up for themselves and their right to choose their own futures!
Take care,
Shannon


"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."
-Helen Keller

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I am still alive!

Hello Everyone,
I realize that it has been more than a few weeks, but I cannot believe that I have missed so many blog posts... I will try to make it up this time- I promise. Not a whole lot has happened on the front because I have been super busy with school. I sort of justify my decisions to focus on school instead of my projects because A) I am not paying tuition to work on the MDGs, B) I will have all summer to focus on my projects for next year, and C) by getting my education to become a teacher I am getting the skills and knowledge I will need to help others, particularly children, to work on their own goals to change things. In my social studies curriculum class we talk a lot about what it means to be a global citizen and I think the title is something that cannot be easily explained. When I think about the characteristics of a global citizen I often think about people who are worldly, compassionate, driven, and selfless. Someone who can look beyond themselves to see the rest of the world's needs, before their own. This kind of person seems like a superhero or a saint, but I think that the identity of a "global citizen" can be attained by anyone who has the desire to make a difference in the world and the drive to take action. That is my goal, to become a global citizen. I don't know about how I will judge when I have reached this goal, but it is a goal none the less. Wish me luck!
Until next time,
Shannon

Monday, February 21, 2011

Second Presentation and Thinking Day!

Hey Everyone,
I had my second presentation this weekend and it was okay I suppose. I really wanted it to go well, but the audience was less than favourable. It was presented on the morning of their sleepover after they were up until four in the morning, one of the leaders babies was crying, and the girls were laying on the floor in their sleeping bags. I thought that I could find some inspiration deep within them to want to make a difference in their world, but there was nothing. I felt kind of silly just talking about how much I enjoyed the Forum and how badly I wanted to change things and they just weren't having it. Maybe I effected them sub-consciously, that is what I can hope for right now and maybe I will try again later.

On a happier note tomorrow is World Thinking Day! I am excited to celebrate Guiding and Scouting around the world and I can't wait to proudly wear my uniform, (just like the Facebook event told me too...). Last week I was with my Sparks and we taught them about Thinking Day and Lord and Lady Baden Powell and they were so excited it was adorable and I felt like I really was making a difference. They are just beginning to learn about Guiding and it is kind of fun to see them learning about and getting involved in Guiding around the world. I need to get more involved in my projects because I feel like I am falling behind on my goals. For now on the Forum will take a high priority in my life and I will continue to work hard to accomplish my personal goals to accomplish the Millennium Development Goals.


That's all for now,
Shannon

Friday, February 11, 2011

Just a quick update...


I know, I know it has been a few weeks, but honestly I haven’t had a whole lot to talk about. School has been pretty busy and I haven’t had a whole lot of time to work on YWWF stuff, but Reading Week is coming soon! I cannot wait to have a whole week off to relax and get caught up on stuff. A few exciting things have happened since the last time I wrote so I will share those with you now.
1) I am lined up for a total of THREE (!) presentations at a unit, area, and provincial level! My first one is coming up right away on February 20 and the other two are later on. On the 20th I will be speaking to a group of young women that I have known since they were little (Sparks, Brownies, Guides) and I was their Pathfinder leader a few years ago so I know them quite well. I am looking forward to talking to them because I feel like they will really listen to what I have to say and because I see them quite often I can help them if they want to start any projects of their own. 
2) A few days ago I got an email from Our World, the WAGGGS magazine, asking for me to do an interview about the Forum. I was really excited because that is a huge opportunity for me to get my message out on a global scale! I never thought that I would say that something I have done would go global!  I hope that I sound okay in the interview because it would pretty embarrassing to mess up in an international magazine…

Overall I am pleased with how I am doing so far (except for the gaps in between blog posts, but I will work on that.) Thanks for listening and happy February!
Until next time,
Shannon

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thoughts on today...

I am currently sitting in my University library with a few of my friends and listening to some of the conversations happening around me (yes I am one of those people who listens to other people's conversations) and I am shocked and slightly disturbed by what I hear. You would think in a university there would be some people who care about the world around them and other people besides themselves and the cast of Jersey Shore. I don't know if I am feeling this way because I am sensitive to the world around me and am deeply concerned about world issues, or because I am in a slightly grumpy mood today but I want to turn around and smack the people who are complaining about how much their lives suck because they have a lot of studying to do and they have to work tonight. At least you have a job! At least you have the right to go to school and the resources to support a post secondary education! There are so many people in this world who would give anything to have a job and an education. I hope that I am not the only person (and I doubt I am) that is upset by these sorts of remarks. Some people just don't know/understand/care how good they have it. Compared to a lot of the world even the poorest Canadian has it pretty good. There are things like public health care, education, and social services that can help the poorest of the poor in Canada. I hope that my generation and all future generations will take action towards fixing world issues instead of just complaining about how hard they think their life is. I am thankful that I live where I do and I make sure to try and show my appreciation for all that I have and all I have been blessed with but I am not perfect. I do sometimes complain about things and I just have to take a step out of myself and go back to my thankfulness and appreciation for the life I have and accept the responsibility I have as a global citizen to take care of and help the people in my community and beyond.

Rant ended.

Thanks for putting up with this,
Shannon

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Promise Video

I skipped a week... oops. I will just have to do 2 posts this week. The video underneath this is an idea I had as soon as I found out I was going to the Young Women's World Forum and I think it is really cool because even though we all speak different languages and have different promises we all have them same goals and ideals to be achieved. I hope you enjoy and I want to thank all of the young women in this video for allowing me to pester them to get their promise!

video

Sunday, January 9, 2011

First Presentation

This week I gave my first (very brief!) presentation to my Area council. Overall I think it was well received, but I feel like it was only the beginning of something that is going to grow and grow over time. My favourite part of doing the presentation was showing the video of the promises from around the world. Although it wasn't too hard to edit together I was very glad that it turned out the way it did in my mind. I am pretty sure that this is the first time that something has successfully transferred from my head to the real world. Anyways I hope that I inspired a few people to learn more about the Millennium Development Goals and take action towards accomplishing them. I know that my drive for change has increased exponentially since I actually started presentations. I hope that university doesn't get in the way of my projects, I am sure it will be fine but you never know. This is very short, but I don't have anything to say so that's all for now.
Until next time,
Shannon

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year is a Time for Change!

Today is the day that my journey towards helping accomplish the Millennium Development Goals. Now that it is 2011 it means that there are only four years left! That scares me a little bit because the past ten years did not see much progress in the successful completion of the MDGs. After the conference I was so inspired and excited to get started on projects and presentations about my experiences and what I wanted to do towards the MDGs, but then real life got really busy and changing the world fell on my priority list. That sounds awful, but the things I was doing were very exciting! I started my teaching career with a bang as I did my first round of student teaching. Now that it is the new year full of exciting opportunities, experiences, and promise I want to get started right away on my projects. In the silly tradition of New Years resolutions I have a few that I would like to share with everyone (if anyone even sees this...)

1) Create a presentation that I can give to Girl Guides, the general public, and family and friends.
I want to make an impact on people and hopefully inspire them to take action and make a difference. I want to stress that the smallest of actions can change things and I like to share the almost cliched story about starfish.
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. 
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The boy said, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely to the man, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf.  Then, smiling at the man, he said
"I made a difference for that one .”
 
2) Give at least 5 of these presentations within the year.
I hope that I am able to seek out opportunities to give speeches and show videos about both the Young Women's World Forum and the Millennium Development Goals. I hope that by showing I did something that seems impossible or highly unlikely others, especially young girls, will want to do similar things in their future as a Girl Guide or in another situation.

3) Create a five year plan for what I want to accomplish and who I want to help.
I am a big believer in planning for success and I really like having a written record of what I want to do so I can compare it to what I have done. I have chosen a five year deadline so I can work hard for the next four years to the deadline for the MDGs plus an extra year to finish off any projects I started.

4) Have fun with and learn a lot from others who have the same goals as me.
By staying in contact with others from the Forum and people in other organizations I will have both a support system and a team to work on projects with.

5) Update this blog at least once a week to record my progress and keep others updated on how I am doing.
I want to spread awareness about the cause and social media seems to be the way to go. I may even start a YouTube channel later on once I get some of the projects rolling. 

That's all I have to say for right now so I wish everyone a very happy New Year and I look forward to this grand adventure. 

Until next time,
Shannon