A troop of girl scouts from the Port streets neighborhood are trying to make a difference in their community through positive blogging.
The now sixth graders aged 10 and 11 from Girl Scout Troop 396 went live with their blog “Forever & Always” a few weeks ago after privately writing about a variety of topics for the last year.
The girls started their blog “in response to constantly being overwhelmed with sad and disturbing news in our community and the world,” explained troop parent leader Leigh Donaldson Carman in an email. “Their goal was to find and spread good news.”
The girls tried to create a positive change in the community.
“We wanted to find out a way that we could help (our community) and work as a team to try and make things better,” said girl scout Riley Orcutt.
The troop includes: Orcutt, Caroline Leber, Genevieve Hilbert, Sophie Donaldson, Brooke Healy, Anna Wilde, Sophia Damore, Nikola Schmitt, Paris Crenshaw, Kristin Fredrick, Erin Esnard, Ella Musselman, and Janey Phillips. The second parent leader is Sindy Fredrick.
The entire journey started when the girls began the “Power of One” project, considering how they could make a difference by doing something on their own, Carman wrote.
They created trading cards of people they admired, then did something on their own and made cards for themselves, like “Recycling Queen” for placing recycling centers at schools.
Continuing the project to the next step, the girls worked on “Power of Team” by brainstorming ideas on how they could affect their community. They worked together and decided on a “Good News” blog, which was on a “safe” blog site and only available to students and teachers at first.
The journey went on to the “Power of Community,” and each girl created a code name and started blogging on different topics.
“They posted their blog site in the Port Street community in Newport Beach. There are 1,000 homes in the Port Streets and lots of people to enjoy all the good news,” Carman wrote.
The group started the effort to get their bronze award, the girls explained, to help out their community by blogging about things that made them happy, positive news items, or ideas for service work.
“People in the community might not be aware of some things that are going on,” and the blog is a way they can inform them, Esnard said.
It can help teach others about important issues, activities and news, Fredrick added.
“(The best part is) knowing that we made a difference and that we educated people on stuff they probably didn’t know about,” Healy said, “and now everybody knows about it and can help.”
They sometimes also blog about how locals can help non-profit efforts around the world.
“I’ve learned that you can help people no matter what. If something is farther away, you can still help,” Healy commented.
They also aim to be uplifting for others, the girls agreed.
“Instead of giving out bad news, we wanted to give out good news that would make people feel better,” Healy said.
The girls also wrote about their interests and hobbies, like fashion, animals, cheer and gymnastics, and “roomspiration.”
Donaldson said she enjoyed working on team projects, like when they blogged about their cheer team.
“We all made sure there was something different blogged about,” by each girl, Hilbert said. “So it wasn’t quite like all on one topic, so they weren’t all the same.”
They wrote about whatever they wanted, whenever they had time, Schmitt said.
Other topics of posts include: Family activities, shopping, school projects and events, safety tips and how to handle bullies.
They also came up with a creative and fun way to stay anonymous to strangers, screen names consisting of their favorite foods and their troop number, like friedchicken396, cookies396, and skittles396.
The girls, all sixth graders, are passing their blog along to the fourth grade girl scout group, which includes Crenshaw’s little sister.
They’ve learned a lot during their blogging experience, they all agreed.
“I’ve learned how to not focus on all the bad things and focus on something good that came out of it or the good that happened,” Damore said.
It’s really great that people are responding and are actually taking action, she continued.
“(I’ve learned about) not being negative and if something negative is happening then try to make it more positive,” Wilde added.
“To know that people are actually reading our blog and getting out there and helping,” Orcutt said.
That’s what really matters, the girl scouts agreed.
For more information, visi foreverandalways396.edublogs.org.