Historically, women haven’t always been each other’s best cheerleaders. These often famed inner-female ruptures can be especially damaging when you consider that, too often, young girls and women already have to fight to find their place in a world of leaders that remains predominantly male-centric.
As scout troop leaders and general advocates for the girls and women that we all know would make great leaders, it’s especially important to highlight the need to advocate for, rather than against, other strong women who are attempting to find success. The question is, how exactly do you teach communion and support to a troop of girls who have been led by the media and society, in general, to continually compete against one another for the few female leadership scraps that they’re thrown?
A mile in someone else’s shoes
Often, inner-female divides originate from the narrow lifestyles and views that all of us are guilty of at any given age. For young girls, especially, there’s a temptation to stick within only a select friendship group and discard or actively compete against anyone outside of that. By instead encouraging your girls to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you can help to begin breaking down these limited empathies to enhance a generalized female attitude of support. For troops, especially, activities like fundraising for the purpose of building a school in Africa or the funding of scholarships for girls less well off than themselves can prove this point fantastically. Taking these chances to teach a troop about how other girls across the world live, struggle, and succeed especially ensures a future generation of empathetic female leaders who understand what life looks like for as many other women as possible.
An understanding of collective power
Too often, young women assume that they aren’t the right cheerleaders for a better female future because their voices won’t be heard. In reality, though, the ability to work together rather than against each other could see your girls being the perfect people to get a message across. Something as simple as setting up a troop social media page and working together to get a hashtag trending could prove precisely this, showing both the power of collective focus and the benefits possible when even incredibly different female minds come together.
There are a lot of great TED Talks out there talking about women and gender roles. This particular one is great at revealing biases at how both genders often perceive successful women and their “likability.”
A true lesson in teamwork
Speaking of bringing differences together, troop teamwork is also worth consideration in this sense. Instead of letting the girls choose their teams for each activity, it’s especially worth breaking things up on occasion with groups that you put together yourself. By taking time to pair girls that may not noticeably get along but actually have a lot in common, you can especially help to garner new friendships, understandings, and powerful pairings that, in future, ensures even conflicts don’t prevent this next generation of female leaders from boosting each other’s efforts.
By taking this time to teach your troop how to cheer for each other, and even other girls, you make it far more likely that they’ll go on to pave a future for V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!