WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Girl Power Juliette Gordon Low / Founder eight. She stayed with it through high school and is now the youngest troop leader in Massachusetts. Her relationship has stayed strong with the Girl Scouts because it conferred so much respect for the partici- pants. "You don't have to conform in Girl Scouts," she says. "I think I only earned something like three badges in ten years because we focused on other things like hiking or travel or community service." The Girl Scouts slowly let the girls gain control of their meetings. "Ideally, leaders are supposed to be teaching leadership skills and team building," says Grignaffini, "but by the time they are Cadettes in sixth grade they are doing their own planning and by high school, they run the troop. [Leaders] are just wallpaper." Because the girls run their meetings after a certain level, troops can unilaterally plan a project or, if there is enough counter interest, they can split and pursue another path. "We found the bigger the troop, the better it worked. You could focus on their interests," says Grignaffini. 86 "Some might be interested in a theater trip but others might want to go on a ski trip." Travel—international and domestic—is one area that has exploded in popularity over the past few decades. Girl Guides, as they are known overseas, and Girl Scouts are given opportunities to visit each other's countries to strengthen bonds and to learn from other girls around the world. Once again, girls oversee fundraising, all trip planning and pack- ing, the itinerary, in short, everything. Holly Boland, who went to Australia twice with the Girl Scouts, remembers it as the most central aspect of her experience. "I learned the importance of travel, to get out into the world and try new things," she says. And just at the age when girls start quitting Girl Scouts in seventh and eighth grades, the entice- ment of planning and attending a three-week international adventure gets dangled in front of them. "The international travel kept the older girls focused and gave the younger girls something to look forward to, Grignaffini says. " WellesleyWeston Magazine | summer 2012

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