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Thread: Girl Scouts

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Florida
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    Laura-thanks for starting the thread. Glad you've done your training. Mine was so mismanaged I didn't get to Volunteer Essentials until January and we formed in September. So no outings until after that.

    Chimi- I think your leaders should have better communication but I also think that there's probably a personality mismatch there, too. From a leader's perspective, it can be hard to balance getting help and getting the help you need. If I think a parent is going to overstep, I'd rather err on the side of getting less help as I am the leader and the one whose name is on all of the paperwork.

    Taurus- I think you're going to rock it as a leader. You have a great background, understand the philosophy and have a lot of skills, and have a co-leader who shares your philosophy. Hope everything goes pretty smoothly. The organization has changed a lot, though, so hopefully you still have a good council.

    When I mean it's like school, the official curriculums asks you to sit and talk and read and have the girls share and write. This is from one of the Brownie books: "As the water heats, you might also add a little spelling lesson. You might say: Let’s all say—and then spell—the word evaporation. Uh, not on a Thursday night at 6:00. They're done. Attention spans of gnats.

    My takeaways from being inexperienced working with kids (I did when I was younger but had a whole different perspective):
    -They are inconsistent and unpredictable.
    -What your own kid or kid and her friend can accomplish together is not necessarily something the troop can do, or do easily.
    -ONE AT A TIME in the bathroom.
    -Everything takes 10 million times longer than you'd expect. Especially if your idea of girl-led means that they do the work.
    -It's really cool when you build your first campfire as a troop and they spontaneously start making up stories and songs about being a Girl Scout. Sometimes you don't think they are caring why there are there.
    C 3/21/07
    It's a girl! D 8/3/11

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    This is my 5th year as a leader of my DD's troop. The other 4th grade troop disbanded last year, so we have two new girls from that troop, plus THREE girls who are new to Girl Scouts (pretty much unheard of around here at their age), bringing our total to 12 girls. We have always taken a pretty relaxed approach to scouting, and our meeting days/times have changed according to everyone's schedules each year. Right now we are meeting once a month on half days--at my house for about 4 hours. That's a LONG time, but we get so much done. This is the year that they are starting to think about their bronze award, so we're getting serious about that.

    In addition to our own meetings and field trips, we have school-wide events at least three times a year; plus our district/neighborhood offers the occasional event. Our council also offers a lot of programs. For example, we are trying to get into the sleepover at the zoo one.

    This is the first year we've attempted camping. I went with my co-leader and another mom to council camp training this summer to get certified, and there is SO MUCH to know to do it properly. Last weekend we camped out overnight at a state park about 5 minutes from home, and it couldn't have gone better. We asked parents to bring a pot luck dinner that first night, and a lot of them stayed through dinner, tie dye, and s'mores. Two girls weren't ready to stay the night, so they went home before the girls went to bed. Everyone else did great! The girls helped cook breakfast the next morning, broke down the camp site, and we were done. *I* did not sleep much that night, but everyone else seemed to be functioning fine in the morning.

    The one thing I wish we had more of is parental involvement. After our first 4 years, we have plenty of money to do some really cool things, but getting parents to actually come to meetings is tricky. I do think some of our new girls' moms will be more available, so that's nice. Sometimes I'd like to have someone else delivering the message. And when our dog died during our first meeting this year and I was either hiding in my closet sobbing or at the vet's office, my co-leader was here alone with the girls for much of the time because no one else could get here right away. I don't even care if younger siblings are here, because my boys are too. Sometimes it's just nice to have another adult in the house.

    Some things that my troop enjoyed as Daisies: touring a fire station, tour of an ice cream shop, planting flowers... and I am totally blanking on what else we did. We did take both years to work on petals and didn't do any journeys until they were Brownies. It's been fun to see their interests change through the years. They're always interested in anything having to do with animals, but only this year were they ready and excited to attempt camping, for example. Other than taking their interests into consideration, we weren't very girl-led until they were Brownies. Now they're off and running!
    S 6/06
    E 4/09
    M 5/12

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Littlemia, thanks. Yes, between the internet existing and councils and service units merging, things are so different now in that way. Thankfully, I've stayed involved through the years (my high school troop still exists - the leader/adviser has been running it for decades - and we have an active alumnae Facebook group, etc.) so I've never really left Girl Scouts behind and have heard of many of the changes along the way. So far I'm not terribly impressed with my service unit, but I'm comparing it to an amazing service unit that I was in 20+ years ago. Eta: The organization and volunteers are there, but my first meeting wasn't so welcoming.

    As for your water example, focus on the word "might!" You don't have to do that! Do what your girls love! Maybe instead you write each letter on a piece of cardstock and see how quickly they can try to put themselves in order and how close they get to the right spelling. Or while the water boils, see if they can make their hands sound like another firm of water (a rainstorm) by clapping, tapping their thighs, and rubbing their hands together. I used to love "making rain" when I was a young GS.
    Last edited by Taurus; 10-16-2015 at 01:30 PM.

  4. #14
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    Jun 2005
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    Southern California
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    You all sound like amazing troop leaders to me!!! I am sure the parents in your troop appreciate you more than you know!!

    My DD's troop leader is amazing. Like you Taurus, she was/is a lifelong GS. My DD just had her first campout 2 weeks ago at a local park. It was so fun seeing all of the pictures posted- I loved it! And what was really cool, was, the troop leader included the pictures from her first campout as a GS- it was super cool!!
    S+B Est. 11.09.02
    DS1 06.28.06, DD 07.23.08
    DS2 03.07.12

  5. #15
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    Jun 2005
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    Florida
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    Oh, I don't follow the curriculum as written at all. Just doesn't work for me on a personal level and I haven't found the girls to be interested in it. It's not much of an exaggeration to say that if we tried to follow the journey as written, they'd probably be well into Cadettes before we finished. DD's troop leader for kindergarten Daisies had them earn the petals by reading the stories (they did a few other activities that are suggested on GS materials, too) and the girls were BORED. And that troop had quite a few quiet, mild mannered girls. I definitely adhere to the spirit of the badge philosophy.

    Glad you have kept up some and know what you're doing because I've found the poor communication at all levels to be really hard to deal with. That, and the inconsistencies and instability. Seriously, it's like they try to reinvent the wheel every other year. It becomes a bit of a bitch-fest, but Girl Scouts Gab on Facebook gives you an idea of what is going on with troops and councils across the country. The organization has so much potential, though, which is why I stick with it.

    One more takeaway: Leading Daisies (and Brownies) is often like herding cats
    C 3/21/07
    It's a girl! D 8/3/11

  6. #16
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    I took my Girl Guides to a sleepover at the Calgary Zoo more than a decade ago, but it was AMAZING! If any of your troop leaders get the chance to do this at a zoo, jump on it!
    Married 7.3.04 Henry 10.29.08 Charlie 11.19.11

  7. #17
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    Jun 2005
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    I want to join Taurus' troop!

    I am nooooooot a camper, but I keep telling myself that's at least a few years off. Also I learned at the service unit meeting that the sites they use all have cabins. Thank goodness.

    We are definitely interested in "doing stuff" rather than just reading stories or whatever. Fall is so busy for both me and my coleader that we are kind of just trying to get it going and get through it for now, but after the holidays I think it will get more fun for everyone.

    We were passing out uniform materials after school (long story as to why) and another mom saw us and wants to join our troop. So we are up to 11, and I expect that to happen at least a few more times. The good news is parents have signed up to lead the petal activity at all of our scheduled meetings - hooray - and on Monday for our first meeting I think we are going to be kind of day overrun with parent volunteers. We will see if that keeps up!
    isabella noelle :: 12.7.09

  8. #18
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    Mar 2006
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    Littlemia, yeah that is probably a FB group I should avoid!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Upstate, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twylla View Post
    I took my Girl Guides to a sleepover at the Calgary Zoo more than a decade ago, but it was AMAZING! If any of your troop leaders get the chance to do this at a zoo, jump on it!
    We do a big trip each year and a zoo Campout was on our list of ideas. Other things are a sleepover at the airport, there's a localish Diamond Mine that was suggested, Hershey Park, Splash LagthemselvesCaverns Campout and a bunch of others. I think we're trying to decide this weekend so we can start the planning process.

    The trip we did last year was an encampment aboard a Navy ship at a naval museum in Buffalo. I was not sure about going, but we did it and it was really cool!

    For those that aren't sure about the camping part, you could probably do a camp at a lodge. I remember doing these when I was in girl scouts. We would go to one of the Boy Scout camps in the off season and sleep in one of the lodges so it was camping, just not with tents! (Just now rereead Laura's post that the sites have cabins)

    One question I have about girlscouts is don't they have uniforms? The girl scouts here in town might wear a vest, but they don't seem to have anything else? I thought they had uniforms? White shirts with skirts or something? The girls hear wear a white T-shirt, or a T-shirt they've designed themselves. Our cubscouts just look so much more pulled together with their uniforms or if we aren't wearing those everyone has matching t-shirts.

    Eta:I will say that being a Cub Scout leader is very rewarding. I pretty much have celebrity status with all these boys in our pack, regardless of if they are in my den or not.

  10. #20
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    Jun 2005
    Location
    Ohio
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    You only need the pin to be in official uniform. Brownies has a sash or a vest. You can wear whatever else you want. You can wear a white shirt and kahki pants/skirt to be in more "official" uniform. My DH is the assistant cub master for my DS's pack. Cub Scouts is more family to me, like families can go camping or to the activities. For GS they want only registered adults at the meetings and activities.

    We will only be camping in a lodge at first. The council offers an overnight where one of the leaders goes off and gets lodge training and they other stays with the girls for activities the council has planned. I think we will try that for our first overnight. The closer zoo by us is kind of picky with the age for the overnights. My DS did one last year with Cub Scouts and had fun. There are a lot of neat overnights for the girls that aren't camping around here.

    Taurus - I'm sure you can work all the petals into whatever you do. You don't need to do them all formally if you meet the requirements. IF that makes sense.

    For Daisies we did a tour of the police station (Respect Authority), tour of a bank (one of the financial petals), hiking (Between the Earth and Sky), a mini-camp out (Held in my backyard. We had a fire, sang songs, games, collect fireflies, and smores), movie, Build a Bear (twice - each girl got the Girl Scout bear. They chose this for cookie money), animal shelter (3-cheer for animals), painting pottery place, zoo, and roller skating. A lot of places like the roller skating rink had specials for Girl Scouts.

    We attended World Thinking day last year. The girls really enjoyed that. This year we will have a booth.

    mcgwigan - My DH did a version of World Thinking day for one of the pack meetings (he stole the idea from GS). Each den chose a country and had a display with food and a games or activity for the country. The boys traveled around and got stamps in their passport. The boys loved it and they will be doing it each year.

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