Kids' Eye View: Being a girl scout in Beijing

We interviewed members of the Girl Scouts of Beijing to learn more about their activities and why it's worth signing up

Image: courtesy of Girl Scouts of Beijing
The Girl Scouts (GS) Beijing is an all-girl program led by volunteers throughout Beijing, with troops downtown and in Shunyi. The community is open to foreign passport holders or children enrolled at ISB, WAB or BSB aged five until Grade 12. Last year, they were engaged in a number of activities including archery lessons, a trip to the zoo, ice skating, discovery of local culture like on their visit to the Black Sesame Kitchen and their calligraphy classes, charity projects such as organizing a clothing swap and a few more.

So how do the members feel about being part of such a group? We interviewed 11-year-old Lilly Lyman of Junior Troop 15 and 13-year-old Claire of Cadette Troop 30 about their thoughts on GS and why they've decided to be a part of it.

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Lily in a discussion with fellow Troop 15 Juniors at their Children's clothing Swap for New Hope Foundation

1. What made you join the girl scouts?
Lily: While we were living in Oklahoma, my friend Rayonna took me to one of her meetings and I had so much fun that I wanted to join myself.
Claire: I joined because when I was living in Canada, many people I knew were doing it, and it was also an opportunity to meet new girls.

Claire
Claire at camp

2. What have you learned since joining the girl scouts?
Lily: I learned about the world, recycling, friends, how to save the environment, history of women and strong female influencers in the world.
Claire: I’ve learned a wide variety of things through earning patches, from the science of happiness to money management and to first aid.

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GS members learned how to do CPR

3. Would you consider yourself a leader?
Lily: Yes I would because last year for one of my projects I started a reading corner to read to children that were not in school yet.
Claire: I’m personally a more quiet person, but Girl Scouts does encourage leadership.

4. What activities have you done since joining the girl scouts?
Lily: I have gone camping and hiking around the Great Wall Area and joined the dance at the Girl Scouts Snowflake Ball. We are also currently working with robots which is super cool.
Claire: In Moscow, we went to a banya. In Macedonia, my troop hiked to the top of Mount Vodno, and in Beijing we went on a spring hike last year along the Great Wall.

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5. Are you involved in charity?
Lily: Yes. I participated in a Reverse Advent Calendar for New Hope and my troop this year hosted a Kids Clothing Swap for New Hope.
Claire: This year one of the troops organized a clothing swap and donated all the proceeds to the New Hope Foundation, a charity here in Beijing. Last year another troop

6. Girl scouts are also known for selling cookies as well through. Do you do that here in Beijing, too and what has your experience been like?
Lily: No, we are not allowed to but I love the cookies.
Claire: Unfortunately, here in Beijing we are not allowed to sell girl scout cookies, but in Moscow we did an annual pumpkin sale instead.

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7. What adventures have you gone on with the girl scout community?
Lily: We have gone on many camping trips and hiking events. My favorite is camping though was with my friends.
Claire: In the fall or spring, we often go on a hike here in Beijing. It’s nice to get out of the city and enjoy the serene environment out there. We usually organize it through Beijing Hikers.

8. How often do you go camping?
Lily: Once a year with the Girl Scouts.
Claire: We usually do an annual campout, and we get to do fun activities like shorter hikes, crafts, cooking, and s’mores.

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9. Can you tell us about the different awards you can get at girl scout and how to get those?
Lily: We earn badges for various activities such as completing our Robots and also our journeys.
Claire: There are three main community service awards you can earn in Girl Scouts: Bronze award, Silver, and Gold. Each of these awards requires doing a sustainable service project with a varying number of hours required. I am currently working towards my Silver Award and earned the Bronze Award in Moscow, working with Guide Dogs Russia.

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The Girl Scouts' Annual ball

10. Would you encourage other kids to join the girl scout community as well? Why?
Lily: Yes Girl Scouts is the best! We have so much fun and I have been able to to make so many new friends from all over the world!
Claire: Yes, I think it’s a good way to get involved in your community and meet new people and learn new skills.

For more information on how to get involved or how to enroll your daughter/s, please email beijinggirlscouts@usagso.org. Also stay updated by following their Facebook page.

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