Wider Ops

Ideas from our Leaders

Squire Boone Cavern

Wider Opportunities, or Wider Ops, are merely excursions that take place outside the regular meeting place and time. They can be as simple as a trip to the park or as elaborate as a visit to the Juliette Low Birthplace or one of the Girl Scout World Centres. These are known as Troop Wider Opportunities.

Wider Ops with Nationwide Participation - events run by sponsoring Girl Scout councils that are open to a specified number of participants from across the country and sometimes from around the world.

"Wider Ops" Publication lists events available and is generally available in August as well as published online on the GSUSA Just for Girls Wider Op page.

Events:

o   cover widespread topics from science and engineering to history and the arts

o   can include outdoor skills such as canoeing, biking, or backpacking. Skiing and other snow sports are offering during the winter.

o   leadership seminars at the Girl Scout training facility in New York, the Edith Macy Conference Center.

o   No matter what the topic, meeting Girl Scouts from across the country is always a high point.

Accommodations can range from

o   local Girl Scout camps

o   dormitories at local universitites

o   home hospitality where the girls stay with a host family for a portion of their stay.

 

International Wider Opportunities:

o   usually at one of the four World Centres (Pax Lodge in London, Our Chalet in Switzerland, Our Cabana in Mexico, or Sangam in India)

o   Girls must be at least 14 years old to participate and a special application must be filled out

Steps

o   Participants submit a written application to their own Council for the event they wish to participate in.

o   Girl Scouts are then interviewed by local staff or volunteers.

o   Their application and Council recommendation are then forwarded to the council that is sponsoring the event.

o   Applications are again reviewed and selections are made.

 

Application Hints

Before filling out applications for a Wider Op, Girl Scouts can review the hints listed on the GSUSA site.

o   There is an online application form to fill out and then print.

o   Essay portion of the application - list interests or skills that are related to the topic of the event.

o   For example, if your event is going to Kentucky to learn about folk arts of the region and you have previously earned the Folk Arts Interest Project or Badge, that should be in your essay.

o   Make yourself unique in some way and make sure you identify a reason other than it "being fun" for you to apply for the particular event.

o   For example, if you come from a family of engineers, mention that for an event that deals with science and engineering. If you belong to an environmental club at school, mention that for an ecology event.

o   At least one of your references should be from someone who knows about you in relation to the event topic.

o   For example, a reference from your Girl Scout leader would be appropriate for a camping event, a history teacher would be appropriate for an event studying the history of a certain area, and a coach would be an approrpiate reference for a sporting event.

o   Provide one reference who knows you well enough to detail that you are capable of living away from home. If you have gone on an extended trip in the past, an adult supervisor for that trip would be an excellent choice as a reference.

o   Ask references if they would be willing to write a short paragraph detailing your strengths in specified areas. If the reference form is merely presented to a person many times they will just fill out the form and not write anything. A written paragraph is a much more positive presentation.

 

Interview Hints

o   Arrive at the interview on time

o   Wear your full uniform to the interview. Most Wider Ops ask that you travel in uniform so you will need to have one anyway if you are chosen. Make sure that your uniform is worn correctly and that all insignia is placed properly.

o   Think about your answers before you speak. Take a moment to form your answer in your head. Your answer will be clearer and you will make a better impression. Try to eliminate unwanted "uh's."

o   Do preliminary research about the event topic or the event location.

o   Know the learning objective for the Wider Op and then relate your interests, strengths, etc. to that objective.

o   Relate a possible career interest, favorite hobby or actual topic experience when asked to relate why you chose a certain event.

o   Relax! The interviewers are not there to scare or intimidate you. They are only trying to determine your readiness for your chosen Wider Op.

o   Practice interviewing with your troop, your leader, your family or other adults and then have them critique you.