aMUSE Journey in a Day – My experience

I’m ambitious and well, maybe a bit crazy when it comes to challenging myself to take on tasks in Girl Scouts.  Personal challenges as a leader is what keeps it interesting for me!  So I decided to take on the aMUSE Journey in a Day.  aMUSE seemed the best fit for the venue we chose and for my girls’ personalities.

Logistical details:  Held on April 27th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Seven girls in attendance from the same troop (originally 8 signed up).  The session was held at a non-profit, with a large meeting room, breakout room and kitchen.  I was the only adult overseeing the session.

I knew if the girls were going to work for 8 hours, it had to be interesting.  There are a number of resources on the web for doing a journey in a day, journey in a sleepover, or a journey in a weekend.  I would have loved to do it in a sleepover but was limited by the time of year and my girls’ busy schedules.  It took me 4 days (several hours per day) of intensive planning and about 5 hours of research to put together the day.  Then an additional 3 hours to shop for supplies. I would guestimate that total prep time is 25-30 hours.  I bought the majority of supplies at three places:  Michael’s, the Dollar Tree and Party City.  Pinterest was an invaluable resource in putting this day together.

Seven of my eight Juniors attended the session which was held at my work, an ag education non-profit with an office (a converted farmhouse) on 200 acres. A school, church or community building would work just as well.  We also had access to a kitchen and a separate breakout room.  You need lots of space!  Originally the weather was supposed to be wet and rainy but the sun came out and so outside time was not only possible but necessary.  Remember that the adult book, “How to Guide Girl Scout Juniors Through aMUSE, It’s Your Story–Tell It! A Leadership Journey” is just a guide.  Think of it as an outline, or a book of ideas, rather than a lesson plan or curriculum.  You do not have to complete or adhere to every single activity or idea in the book.  At many of the Girl Scout leader retreats and trainings, the main advice service unit, council and seasoned leaders give:  “don’t get bogged down in the details.”  The books are full of ideas, but are not “requirements.”  A journey also doesn’t have to take six months to complete or feel like “school” to the girls.  Get creative, talk to your girls and plan what works for your troop.

The aMUSE Journey Award has three parts:   Reach Out, Speak Out, Try out. The Reach Out Award is about understanding the many roles women and girls play in the world around them and the leadership skills used to play them.  The Speak Out Award an awareness of how stereotypes could hold people back from trying on roles, and then taking action to help stop stereotypes; and the Try Out Award encourages the girls to have the courage and confidence to try out new roles.  Below are pictures, anecdotes, hints and do-overs from the day. A detailed outline of how I did the Journey in a Day to follow soon.

A Flurry of Roles!

Observation:  I was surprised by how strongly some girls responded to being assigned roles they thought weren’t right for them. One particular girl, whose mom runs a daycare business, did not want the businesswoman role.  I encouraged the girls to think outside of what they know about themselves and visualize themselves in a role, no matter how foreign it may seem.

Ultimately they chose one role they really wanted to be “when they grow up”.

Team Prop Box!

Do-over:  I would have the girls put down scrap book paper first to cover the box, then add the pictures and letters.  I would also have provided more varieties of magazines.  Time:  45 minutes

Take the Stage

Rather than writing “active” roles on index cards (page 31 adult guide), I downloaded the card game from the now defunct page. You can find all the resources from our aMuse Journey in a Day on my freebies page.

Role Models

Rather than make role model dolls, (page 20-21 in the girl’s book, each girl was given a prepainted canvas.  I instructed the girls to choose an action phrase “I am”, “I can”, “I will”, “I love”, etc.

This activity took an hour and was a favorite of the day!

Breaking the Mold

Do some words make you feel powerful, like you can do anything?

Once they thought of their word each girl decorated a pennant on the pennant of power.  Because I have a laminating compulsion {squeal} I laminated each pennant, including the extra spacers, scored them at the top and strung them on rainbow yarn (pics are not great…sorry!)

Panel Discussion

Sharing Our Accessories

This is my Story! Where Will it Go?

Present Speak Out! Project

Celebrate Us!

Summary of the Day

If it were any other journey, completing it in a day would not be possible in my opinion.  Many of the journeys require action projects that take more time and planning than the “How to Tell Your Story” component of aMUSE.
The biggest limitation for me was obviously time.  In the journey planner that I was using, most of the activities were only supposed to take 15 minutes.  Most of them took 30 minutes to an hour (the canvases and team prop box took over an hour).

In my personal opinion, many of the journey’s themes and lessons overlap to the point of repetition.  I was able to consolidate some of the sections by doing different activities than those outlined in the adult guide that fit multiple lesson objectives.Would I do it again?  It was a difficult day in that the girls were restless.  Although the activities were fun the girls were aching to expend energy.  I was limited by the weather in the morning but in the afternoon the sun came out.  I would have planned more outdoor activities and perhaps done some of the theatrical elements outside if I had known the weather would improve.My original plan was to provide Journey in a Day workshops to other troops.  The strenuousness of the day caused me to reconsider, or at least postpone the plan.  Logistically this would require a small girl to adult ratio.  Stations would have to be planned out to the nth degree, run quickly and efficiently, which is not always predictable.  It would also be somewhat difficult to bring girls together who don’t know each other as they may not feel comfortable enough to do the more dramatic elements of the journey.We did some things out of order, such as we had our panel discussion at the end of the day.  We did more art and creative play, rather than book work.  Our Speak Out! Project was partly digital and will be presented online through this blog and Facebook as well as in video form at our end of the year party and awards.  The girls also presented their discoveries and accomplishments to parents at the end of the day.Is it doable?  If you are ambitious enough, absolutely!  Most troops embark on a Journey in a Day so that they are able to earn the Journey Summit Award.  For us it was to get a journey done so that we could work on our Bronze Award Project.If you have any questions about doing a Journey in a Day, please feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.  I will answer them and then generate a FAQ.

20 thoughts on “aMUSE Journey in a Day – My experience

  • Kerry

    I am so glad I found this post. I want to do a Journey in a Day (more likely with an overnight for my Troop) in the fall. This is wonderful! I'd love to see your detailed plans. Thank you!

  • Unknown

    We plan to do this Journey as a weekend camp this fall. Your ideas and comments are incredibly helpful. Thanks!

  • daycarney

    This is awesome!!! I would love to do something similar. Do you have your detailed outline available?? THANKS!

  • Unknown

    Hi, Jen. I just found your site. You've given me encouragement that I can work with my troop to complete a Journey in a Day. Were you able to pull together the detailed summary? I would love to see it. My girls will be 4th graders in the fall and, like you, I'd like them to complete a Journey so they can focus on the Bronze Award. Thanks so much for the aMazing amount of detail in your post!

  • Dinine

    This is great. I love the way you set up your blog also. I am just starting Juniors this year as a Leader-would love for my girls to be able to follow a similar format. Would love to discuss any other pitfalls you were able to work around and great successes. Thanks so much!

  • Unknown

    Hi! I'm so glad I found you on Pintrest. Can I have a copy of your summary? I would like to do our journey in 8 hours, which is about 4 meetings. How did you do you casting call log and panel discussion? Thank you. Shannon

  • Unknown

    This is awesome! Have you put your detailed outline on your website yet? If not would you or send it to me. I want to get started on this. Thanks so much.

  • Unknown

    I too would like your detailed outline as my junior troop is tackling the aMUSE this spring.. Thank you!!

  • Anonymous

    Greetings. You're fabulous! I too am a stickler for giving girls activites that are fun & interesting but that make the light bulb over their heads go on. I recently attended a journey day but felt that it was somewhat lacking. I want the girls to feel like they really made an accomplished & intend to do some more of the journey activities with our Jrs and would really appreciate a coupy of your outline.

  • Anonymous

    Would love your detailed outline and a materials list if you have one. Also. we have 20 third grade girls in our troop bridging to Juniors next month, do you feel this can be done with a group this large and how many adults would you recommend having?

  • Amanda C.

    This is fantastic, thank you so much! We have a couple of months to complete this Journey but will definitely use a lot of your one-day suggestions. Your information makes it easier for me to be a volunteer!!

  • NishaLand

    Thank you for sharing! So very helpful. What did you do for your Take Action Project?

  • Anonymous

    Wow. Please send me some of your ambition energy and organization. This is my 1st year with juniors. I work snd have 4 children. I am really struggling to plan any single meeting. I get about 1 hour and 15 minutes with the girls every other week. Are meetings are at the public school the girls attend. If you have any pointers plz let me know. I really want the girls to have a good time and understand the impact they csn have on their world. I find my self so worried about making the most of our time i feel i end up accomplishing not much at all. But I really don't want to quit.

  • Unknown

    None of the resources you have noted in your packet are not available. Is there any way you could email me you file?


  • KanugaAHP

    I know a Girl Scout who needs to to a journey to catch up with her troop! This will be great!

  • Mumtaz

    Well we are planing to go on this workshop of journey.
    Hope girls will enjoy.this blog is helpful too.what should we have to take in our backpacks?

  • Mumtaz

    Well we are planing to go on this workshop of journey.
    Hope girls will enjoy.this blog is helpful too.what should we have to take in our backpacks?

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