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earth scouts: an inaugural meeting

We had a our first Earth Scouts meeting Monday. What is Earth Scouts you ask? Well, I had no clue about it up until a few months ago. I never thought I would want Aidan in a scouting program (I guess earth scouts unite Kids gather at our Earth Scouts inaugural meeting.  Earth Scouts inaugural meetingI just kept thinking of the paramilitary and homophobic scouting programs out there). But when someone from our homeschooling group introduced us to Earth Scouts I have to admit I was curious. I started reading more about it and I liked what I initially read–it seemed in line with topics that we believe are important to instill in Aidan. Then, after reading through the 300+ page facilitator’s handbook on the information and suggested activities I was excited to start. So, I became a co-facilitator of an Earth Scouts group.

Earth Scouts works to empower kids by having them work together and try to make differences in their communities and in the world. It focuses on five broad topics/principles (respecting nature, people around the world The Earth board represents children working together for the Earth.  The Earth boardpeace & nonviolence, economic justice, human rights, and participatory democracy). The idea behind it is that you provide different activities for the kids to introduce topics and to help inspire them, to provide greater understanding on these topics, to allow for them to demonstrate what they have learned, and then to provide opportunities for them to put the principles into practice.

I have to admit I was a little nervous about our first meeting and how well it would go. Not nervous so much in what we wanted to do but more with the size of our group. We have 21 kids participating in our Earth Scouts group. The facilitator’s handbook recommends no more than 10! In addition to having double the suggested number I was a little worried about how everything would play out since some of our regular homeschool meetings have seemed, in my mind, a little chaotic and noisy. But, everything aidan and mini-aidan Aidan creates a mini-Aidan to place on our Earth board.  Aidan and mini-Aidanwent well. It probably helped that a few of the younger kids who typically come to the regular meetings were not at Earth Scouts, and also that a number of the parents who typically sit off at the tables talking during our regular meetings were more engaged with their kids and our activities. The activities all seemed to flow nicely and the kids really seemed engaged and excited to be part of this. For this first meeting one of the main activities was that all the kids made a “person” to represent themselves which they will place around our earth board at each meeting. The final result of this was pretty cool!

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