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Many councils have embedded Inquiry in the Community in their workshops for volunteers, and have found it to be engaging, effective and fun! Our curriculum teaches participants to build youth leadership and to create opportunities for experiential and cooperative learning, a.k.a. the three Girl Scout Processes girl-led, learning by doing, and cooperative learning. At the same time, it gives volunteers the tools to facilitate science inquiry with girls.
Want to check out the facilitator's guides and participant handouts? All the workshops are in our Curriculum Library, and in formats you can easily download and customize to your council's needs. There are both longer workshops and shorter "mini-sessions," so you can mix and match to get your desired results.
We want to make sure that the volunteers and staff who lead these workshops feel comfortable and supported, too! When you revise your workshops to include our curriculum, you'll need to help your workshop facilitators (or trainers) make the switch. First, have a curriculum "kickoff," where you introduce your new workshops. Then, use different ways of following up with your facilitators to provide support as they need it. Whether they're staff or volunteers, these actions will ensure a successful adoption of the curriculum in your council.
Many councils have annual facilitator gatherings to promote networking, introduce curriculum changes, and create a sense of community. If you have a yearly gathering, use this day to share your new workshops and make plans for the future. Our experiences with different councils have led us to adopt this format:
If at all possible, involve a few facilitators in planning and delivering this kickoff session to their peers. Let them experience the curriculum first, then start planning together. And, be sure to have them help facilitate the sessions at the kickoff.
Councils have many ways of providing ongoing support to their facilitators. Here are some ideas we've seen used in different councils:
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