Screen-Free Ways for Girls to Stay Connected Right Now!
Now more than ever, staying connected to others is vital to our health and personal well-being. Staring at a screen for hours on end, however, can also have some unintended consequences. If anything, it's incredibly mentally exhausting (take a peak at what Zoom fatigue is all about!). Whether we're meeting as a troop, celebrating the holidays, or having a game night with friends, the way that we interact online is very different than how we as human beings are programmed to socialize. It's important for girls who are missing their friends and their normal routines to know that there are still ways to stay in touch without clicking on that "Join Now" button. Here are just a few:
An oldie, but a goodie— it’s always exciting to get something in the mail. Figure out a way for families who’d like to participate to share their contact information (troop leaders can potentially gather all of that information and share with the troop members who are interested). Girls don’t just have to stick to “regular” letters; encourage them to flex their creativity muscles. For example, they could try “Pass the story,” where one girl writes the opening line to a story and each girl contributes a subsequent line. Once all the girls have added their spin on it, the girl who’s last can read the entire story during your next virtual troop meeting!
Have a few bookworms in your troop? Encourage girls to start a book exchange. Girls can drop off (if they live near each other) or snail mail a book from their personal collection that they think their friend would enjoy. After they’re done, the recipient returns the book with a note detailing their thoughts and opinions about what they’ve read.
Arts & Crafts Swap
Books not up your troop’s alley? No problem—try an arts and crafts swap! Similar to the book exchange, an arts and craft swap lets girls share materials from their own arts and crafts collection (or finished artwork if they’re so inclined) with another friend. Girls can partner up on their own and work out how they’d like to swap supplies or items. Or for more Type-A swap organizers, you can have girls complete a short survey about their likes and dislikes, favorite colors, preferred mediums, etc., and then pair girls up that way.
We’re all eating at home a lot more these days, and some of us could use new ideas to spice up (literally) our meals. Set up a recipe exchange with your troop. Girls can use one of the many free printable recipe card templates to write down a tried-and-true family recipe to share. This would also be a cool way for girls to work on a cooking-related badge!
Of course we need to stay connected, but technology isn’t the only way to go about it. From sidewalk chalk messages to painted rocks, there’s no end to the imaginative ways that girls can keep in touch. Stay creative, Girl Scouts! And please don't hesitate to share the ways you and your troop are keeping up with each other at firstname.lastname@example.org.