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Unread 01-03-2007, 08:36 PM
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Gold Award Project- Please Help!

Hey CD users-

I'm in need of some help with an important project, and I thought that maybe some nice CD users could help me out

Currently, I am working on my Gold Award project for Girl Scouts. It is the equivalent of the Boy Scout Eagle Scout award, and it requires at least 60 hours of work.

For my project, I decided to write a book about grief for teenagers who experience the loss of a parent. My mom passed away when I was 12, and I searched endlessly for things to read, and I was very unsuccessful. My ultimate goal of the project is teenagers who experience the loss of a parent can turn to a small book with advice and stories from another teenager. It's not a "professional opinion" its one of somebody who experienced the real deal. (My English teacher thinks I should try to get it published, but thatís another task on itself.)


Now hereís what I need help:

I'm running out of things to write about! I've written about 2/3 as much as my goal (which is 20 pages single spaced size 10 font.) Iíve written about a variety of topics ranging from holidays to family to stress to ways to cope with loss.

If you were in that situation, what would you want to read about?
What might be some of the things you would experience that you would want to know how others felt?
What might be some advice you would seek??

I'm just looking for any ideas or thoughts you have in regards to the topic.

Thanks for your help!

-Kim
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Unread 01-03-2007, 08:38 PM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

Could you maybe list off what topics you have already listed?
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Unread 01-03-2007, 08:40 PM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

-the stags of grief (and how they annoy me)
-annoythings people say to you
-holidays
-family
-friends
-relationships
-moving
-when your parent starts to date again
-school and other stresses
-the initial shock
-how to help others
-moving forward
-ways to remember/honor your loved one

oh yeah and the other thing is I want to have my book done by march. thanks!
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Unread 01-03-2007, 08:46 PM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

Maybe examples of how others coped with it. Not just you, but a couple of different poeples opinions on how they got through it.
Your overall feelings over certain time periods and just generally what to expect from certain things.
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Unread 01-03-2007, 08:47 PM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

Maybe you could mention groups that can help with something like this. I'm not sure of any but something like al-anon but grief and not alcohol.
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Unread 01-03-2007, 08:53 PM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

Hmmm... I lost my mom about two years ago.
Probably the hardest thing for me to deal with was/is the casual "your mom" jokes that are so often thrown around anywhere that there are teenagers. At first it was hard to decide how to act, and I would have loved somewhere to turn to for advice. Maybe a section on how to effectively tell others that they are doing something that makes you uncomfortable? I don't really know, but I'll try to help if I think of anything else.


Good luck with this project,

-Cody C
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Unread 01-03-2007, 08:53 PM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

Kim:
A worthy project.
I am sorry for your loss, I lost my father when I was almost 16. It was tough.
One topic that stayed with me through teens was, was it really over? Gone?
And, if yes, how to resolve that loss.

Through time I have found some of the answers in my self.
A smile, laughter, a memory. He isn't gone, he just isn't here - but, he is with me.

Your topics are excellent. Best wishes as you move toward the Gold Award.
Jane
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Unread 01-03-2007, 08:57 PM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

It sounds similar to the "Chicken Soup for the _______" books. They offer a series of anecdotes that their particular target audience would find motivational and inspirational. Have you read any of them for ideas about how to structure things and maybe for the kinds of writing that might be helpful?
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Unread 01-03-2007, 09:07 PM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Marra View Post
It sounds similar to the "Chicken Soup for the _______" books. They offer a series of anecdotes that their particular target audience would find motivational and inspirational. Have you read any of them for ideas about how to structure things and maybe for the kinds of writing that might be helpful?


Well basically what I did was I have a topic title and some information underneath. Each topic has between a page and three pages of advice and other information. That way, people could turn to a certain section and just read about that topic and not have to flip through the whole book. Maybe I could put a story or poem or something to go with each idea.
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Unread 01-03-2007, 09:32 PM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

I'm not really sure but maybe you could talk about how people dont recognize that your mom died and they say stuff that hurts you. Also maybe something about how teachers might not recognize that your mom died and they also say stuff that might hurt you. Something around those lines. I dont know what it is like to lose a parent at a young age but im sure it is painful and I will keep on thinking of ideas for your book.
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Unread 01-04-2007, 07:34 AM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

Kim,

My sympathies for your loss - I lost my father when I was 15 and I know the toll it can take. In retrospect I realize that I went through the "four stages" (denial, anger, depression and acceptance) not about his death, but rather, how much the loss meant to me and how it would affect me. It took me a long time to realize that, and because I didn't address it at the time, I now believe that I subconciously rebelled against my father and his values for long after his death.

At the time one high school teacher really tried to reach out to me - to help me deal with my loss, and to help both me and my mother by being something of a father figure for me. However, because I was in denial over my own state, I rejected his attempts, to my loss.

I know it's easy to get annoyed by well-meaning (and often condescending) people at a time like this, and some may not be all that sincere in their offers, but if I had accepted a little of that man's help and advise, I might have saved myself some the years of subliminal grief and problems caused by my denial of my loss.

p.s. Congratulations on sticking with Girl Scouts this far and pursuing the Gold Award. I think your choice of project is an excellent one. I am the very proud father of a Gold Awardee and know what dedication it takes.
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Unread 01-04-2007, 09:24 AM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

Kim:

I think it's an excellent project for a Gold Award- my sister's in GS, and just got her Bronze Award, and I'm finishing up the final 2 merit badges/last touches on my project for Eagle Scout.

I think an emphasis on what you did in whatever situation you are discussing is very important. Now, tell me if this is how you have it structured. I haven't lost any family members close to me yet (thankfully), but this is what I would do/ want to read:
  • Start out with what you did,then go into what was good about it (helped you) and what was bad (didn't help you)
  • What you wish you had done differently
  • What you recommend they do

That can be modified, as I'm brainstorming from a theoretical point of view, where as you have experienced it and know what you're talking about.


If you need help/a second opinion with anything else, just let me know.
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Unread 01-04-2007, 10:24 AM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

I think adding a list of outside resources is a good idea - where can you look for help at first and then later.

Did you find any books, either fiction or non-fiction, dealing with the same topic? Maybe a review of some of those would be good for a section. You could also add movies and discuss whether they would be helpful or not, realistic or not...

How about info on finding a mentor or someone that can be with you when you need an adult support and your remaining parent is not available or appropriate?

Good luck! I'm proud of you for going for the GOLD! My daughter has her Gold project proposal review next week, I will be so glad whe she finally gets it over with!!!
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Unread 01-04-2007, 10:46 AM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

Kim,
One policy that has stood the test of time for me, is to not remember what people say at funerals. They are often so grief stricken or in shock that they say things they don't mean or wouldn't normally say. So rather then get angry, I just forget they ever said anything and treat them as if they never said anything. Society just doesn't prepare us for death of people around us. We don't know what to expect, what is required of the survivors or what we should know is normal behavior for ourselves in these trying times. Rarely will we even have a chance to speak with a person and find out how they want us to act after their passing. It does help to talk to friends and relatives and it is OK to grieve.
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Unread 01-04-2007, 11:21 AM
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Re: Gold Award Project- Please Help!

Kim:

As a fellow Girl Scout, lifetime member, I commend you for an amazing project. My best friend (also a Girl Scout) lost her dad in high school. I am going to direct her to this thread to see if she would like to assist you at all.

Ashley
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