Graphic Facilitation: It’s Not The Girls, It’s The Culture!

First off, yesterday was a run day for me but I did run. I spent 7 hours on my feet minus the few minutes I took to sit and eat my lunch. I’m not complaining at all…it was a GREAT day! Normally, I would run even after an exhausting day at work but with my hamstring injury, I’m taking things easy when I can. It’s party of my recovery plan so I can get back to half marathon training and THEN…train for my first FULL. (It’s still on my list).

I was asked by my counterpart, Nora to graphically capture what was presented at her Girls Soar – It’s Not The Girls, It’s The Culture Conference yesterday. I agreed only if my office co-worker, Melissa could join me. She’s my partner in crime not to be mistaken with Krystol who’s my running partner in crime 😉

We prepped a lot for this conference with it being our first “live” graphic facilitation session since we took Level 1 & 2 course last year. We had 70% of the presentations in advance which helped tremendously. I was really nervous about doing this live because I’m really not an artist or drawer by any means. Apparently, I’m okay at it 😉

I started off the day with a 1.5 hour drive that should have been 35-40 minutes tops because we had a little dump of snow and that made everything come to a halt in Halifax. Little did I know, getting to and from the workshop would be my most stressful part of the day – not the graphic facilitation.

I received a text from my husband wishing me good luck and to have fun drawing etc. You know, sometimes it’s those little things that make you feel really good. That was one of them and it help start my day off just right.

Melissa and I started cutting the paper and prepping our work area right away as we had very little time due to arrive later than expected.

We captures the key-note from Christine with Hard Girls Health Women:

Examining the Soil  - Where are we Planting the Girls ?

Examining the Soil – Where are we Planting the Girls ?

Then a Youth Panel:

PR Youth Panel

Youth Panel

Over lunch we tried to start the resource graphic but failed to finished it until the end of the day when everyone had left. We couldn’t leave it unfinished.


So happy to be done at the end of the day.

So happy to be done at the end of the day. She has a cute baby bump 🙂

In the afternoon, we were solo! We both did two session and it was basically free hand for me as I didn’t have the presenters’ presentations prior to the workshop. This is what I did:

Positive Psychology Skills – where I spelled “Psychology” wrong THREE times! Can you say nervous?!? In the end, I got it right.

PR Positive Psychology Skills Session

Then, I went upstairs to a smaller room and did “Our Contradictions and the Cost of Change”. There were three presenters.

Becky – she talked about body image etc (left side)

Sherry – she talked about Ride like a Girl (middle)

Tamar – she talked about drumming program (left)



Overall, it was an amazing day! We had so many complements and some people though we were actual artists! We corrected them right away to say that we are not artists but took a course. We even had a few people ask if we could come do the same thing for their work! Lots of complements and a big confidence booster.

We met, Stacy Chestnut, race director for Sole Sisters that support a program called Girls Gone Gazelle. She was lots of fun and gave us her business card….don’t worry, I’ll follow-up Stacy.

We met many recreation programmers that work with girls only groups. I really I wish I had more time to speak with them as they were all so interesting and I wanted to connect with them on the work they were doing and see what I could bring back to my region.

As I wrote this (last night), my hands are dirty and still covered in marker and pastels (chalk) but it’s a good kind of dirty. Yesterday’s conference/graphic facilitation gave me so much that I wasn’t expecting:

  • Confidence to draw live in front of others (and miss spell words)
  • Empowerment to challenge myself
  • Connections with community members / program opportunities
  • Reaffirmed that I want to be a positive role model for my daughters through running/being active and yes drawing too 😉
  • Taking a complement and really feeling good about it (it’s been a while since I’ve felt that way)
  • Thankful for friends who support you and encourage you along the way
  • Was really proud of the women I work with and that are all over Nova Scotia doing great things for girls and women to be active.

I think I could go on and on about yesterday’s experience. I wish I could have taped all the presentations so I could run their words through my head again.

So….I leave you with this…

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? How did you feel?

What do you do in your community to empower young girls and women to be active?

I dare you to step outside your comfort zone this month and tell me about it.

Don’t forget about the Manitoba Hemp Hearts Giveaway!!!