Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Promise & A Sign

I've been a Girl Scout for a long time and in a variety of capacities. No matter my age or type of involvement though, camp has always been my favorite part of Girl Scouting. And one of my favorite camp activities is not one you necessarily expect to find at camp. It's not horseback riding, not swimming and not eating s'mores.

It's sign language.

I first discovered American Sign Language at Girl Scout camp and the first thing I could sign beyond the alphabet was the Girl Scout Promise. Since learning the Promise brought so much joy, interest and pride to my childhood camp experience, I want to share it with all Girl Scouts.

Now in no particular order, here are some reasons I think its cool to sign the Girl Scout Promise.
  • It allows Girl Scouts to share the backbone of Girl Scouting with more of their Girl Scout sisters.
  • It can be a great addition to any of your Girl Scout ceremonies or activities.
  • It is a relatively quick introduction to American Sign Language.
  • A slightly longer reason - American Sign Language can be a good second language option for students who struggle with foreign language or reading. My family discovered this firsthand when a very bright high school counselor suggested it for my brother. Once in the class, he excelled.
Learning this fun and useful language can build girls' confidence and empower them to try even more new things. I hope you find signing the Girl Scout Promise to be as exciting as I found it to be.

-Cheryl Black

P.S. Mastered the alphabet and the Promise and ready to move on? Try teaching yourself the signs to a favorite song! I once learned "Yellow Submarine" and when The Lion King was all the rage, I learned "Can you feel the love tonight."

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