I asked the girls, "Who can tell me what Authority means?" (Someone in charge, a leader, someone who sets the rules, helps us follow rules, and/or keeps us safe.)
Then I asked, "What are some examples of people in authority?" (Parents, teachers, principals, firemen, police officers, etc.)
We talked about respecting not only people in authority, but following rules and obeying laws. Rules and laws can help keep you safe. I asked the girls to come up with some examples of rules that help keep us safe:
- Wear your seatbelt/sit in your booster
- Look both ways before crossing the street
- Don't run in the halls at school
- Walk with your family in a parking lot
(And so on....)
I had contacted our local police headquarters a few weeks prior, and asked if they had anyone who could come and speak with the girls.
They sent a School Resource Officer, who is a policeman and wears a slightly different uniform (it's not as intimidating-looking), and he was kind enough to come in and give a talk to the girls about Authority and Rules.
At the end of his talk, the girls asked him some questions, and he gave them scenarios asking if each one was about respecting authority or not.
Some interesting examples (these can vary for your own troop, based on age and maturity, obviously):
- If an older kid/teenager tells you to do something, but it's against the rules, is it respecting authority to do what he says? (This was a toughie for some of the kids.) We talked about bullying and the difference between a bigger person and someone who is a Person of Authority.
- Is it respecting authority to cooperate when your teacher or parents ask you to follow the rules?
- If you disagree with someone in authority, is that respectful? (I loved this one and explained it's fine to have your own opinion. For example, if I said, "Blue is the prettiest color," that was my opinion. And it was okay to say, "Well, I think yellow is the prettiest," and that's just fine. You can disagree over an opinion, and be respectful about it. That is not the same as arguing against the rules though. In the moment, you follow the rules. If you have a question about them, you can ask and talk about them in a respectful manner.
In the end, I was surprised at how in-depth the discussion went, and I think we wore out the SRO. ;) We gave him a box of Girl Scout Cookies in thanks, and then worked on some crafts and had a snack.
For crafts we worked on some fun trefoil/St. Patrick's Day ornaments. I'd hoped the weather would permit us to go outside and play Red Light/Green Light.
Since the weather didn't cooperate, we did a fun craft instead.
More to come!