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Girl Scouts-Browniespost #1 of 108/19/13 at 1:50pmThread Starterpost #2 of 108/19/13 at 7:45pm
It's impossible to answer your question without more information.
Every troop approaches them differently. So much depends on whether you have other levels in your troop, how often you meet, how long you meet for, whether you want to combine them with journeys, whether you want to specifically choose a badge to work on, or find out what the girls want to do and find a badge that fits. Some troops work quite deliberately on the badge steps, other troops get more creative with inventing their own version of requirements, others don't pay much attention to badges at all.
Next, what are the girls wanting to do? Our troop mostly wants to play, but if you ask them what they want to do in scouts, they say camping and fishing with some crafts sprinkled in. For some troops, if they have similar interests, that would mean camping at a girl scout camp, for others that would mean tent camping, still others as they get older will want to camp on backpacking trips or even learn wilderness survival.
All troops are going to be different, the leaders are going to be different, it all comes down to that particular combination of interests and how everyone prefers to work. You might be a Type A who likes to follow set lesson plans, your girls might want to earn every.single.award. Or, you might be more spontaneous, and your girls are just happy doing whatever.
I have a troop of mostly Brownies and a few Daisies. We've met weekly from March through June, then did one meeting and one outdoor skills event this summer. I'm not the 01, or even the 02, but those designations are pretty meaningless in our troop. I've been the one who has done the bulk of the planning. Next year, we are doing things a little differently, focussing a bit more on letting the girls lead, and trying to fit badges into that where we can.
The basic, generic advice I hear is to keep things as far from schoolish as possible. The new curriculum seems to lean a bit too far in that direction, focussing on lots and lots of Reflection and leading discussions, and I hear over and over Keep It Active, Keep It Fun. Besides, even at the Brownie level when you want to Reflect, you ask a question and the answer is "I rode a pony yesterday." ??? OK......post #3 of 108/20/13 at 7:09amThread StarterI'm looking for project ideas that relate to patches. I planned an outing to a dance studio for the dance patch, and I've got some ideas for art projects for the art patch. I was just wondering what other troops have done for some of the patches. I'm not sure what to do with some of them (i.e., the computer one). Maybe I'll let the kids do that one on their own. Our troop is made up of new Brownies and a few Daisys. I'd like to encourage them to take on more of the leadership and planning, but I'm not exactly sure how to go about that with 6 and 7 year-olds without it seeming very unfair to some. The girls are going to make up a new Kaper chart this week with things like line leader and snack helper. Any other suggestions for getting the girls involved and leading?post #4 of 108/20/13 at 8:57am
I don't have oodles of experience, but I'll still give it my best. Sorry for a random-ish post. (And how did it get this long???)
We have a dedicated core of 8 girls, most of whom will be Brownies this fall. At least half of those aren't interested in leading, they just go along and as long as they get a turn and everyone is playing fair, then they are happy. Frankly, only a handful are interested in getting tons of badges. Oh, they like them well enough, but some are pretty content to play red light green light for an hour.
What I've done for this year is to sift through the skillbuilders and sort out the ones that would be easy to do at home, and what we have left are a handful of more active ones--like Dancer you've mentioned, also Hiker and Letterboxer, Snacks, Bugs, First Aid, etc. We've also found badges to fit our needs--old Brownie Try-Its and Make-your-own badges. We just finished up a camping/fishing skills event with these badges. Home Computer is often done in classes offered by Microsoft or Apple specifically to earn this badge and others (mixed reviews, I think it's fairly new).
We are just getting started with a heavy focus on Brownies this year, though I've been doing Brownie badges individually with my daughter for a few months (she was the only regular Brownie last year).
Sorry I can't give you more specific advice on badge activities.
To involve the girls more this year we will be: letting girls volunteer to lead an arrival activity of their creation, giving them the chance to choose which badges to earn, or to do other activities, and letting go of the need to be working on badges all the time, if that's what they want, but still working with the girls who want to earn every thing. I'll check back with you later this year to see how it all goes!
Getting kids that age to lead can be a bit surreal. We were planning their investiture party, asking them what kinds of activities they wanted to celebrate, and one girl said she wanted to make a kayak. I really want to make a kayak, too, but investiture is one hour and it's next week besides, I think we can save that idea for the dream jar! It's a bit of a balance at that age. I think while they enjoyed the journeys, it was harder for them to have real input because they are so huge, and difficult even for leaders to coordinate. It really is a bit of a progression, though you can make the choice to let the the girls lead, even at the expense of getting X done. At our outdoor skills event, I started the circle by saying we had a whole heap of activities we could do if they wanted--any or all. We also could earn some badges, but since there are some specific requirements for those, we would have to satisfy those. We are pretty liberal with requirements for badges, but still. In the end, we had offered 3 badges and they walked off earning 6 (well, 4 petals and 2 Brownies badges-- Oceanography Try-It and a Fishing badge, either a try-it or make-your-own badge. Yes, I let the Daisies earn the Brownie badges. Most of the activities stayed in the trunk.)
I think you would really enjoy this resource: http://community.babycenter.com/groups/a3025/girl_scout_moms
I have an account there for the sole purpose of this one group. The flavor of the site itself is...mmmm..... different than what I need and value, but this group is invaluable. I am so glad to have found it. I'm MafaldaHopkirk there, but I don't post as often, but I visit several times every week. Not only is this resource a good one, but they are constantly posting links to other valuable resources.
I think it would be fun to have a girl scout group on MDC but I don't think it would ever match the numbers on that group--over 700!! Though how many are active, I don't know.post #5 of 108/27/13 at 6:25am
See what's available in your community and find out what skills your parents have to offer. We have a few parents who are programmers, we've found several places around town that do patch programs (state park, national park, nature center, kids' cooking school, place that does cupcakes and painting). Home science is a really fun one - Pinterest has a million ideas.post #6 of 109/23/13 at 10:50am
I'm a new Brownie leader this year and I'd love a group on mothering.com.
I let the girls decide what they want to do. At the first meeting, I had a copy of each journey book, and the guide. Maybe half of the girls will buy a book, we will share troop copies for the others. They had a strong consensus for Brownie Quest. Didn't see much interest in badges, though I think I'll look at the skill-building ones that go with Brownie Quest and see what we can work in.
Some badges, like Girls Scout Way, have requirements that we can easily work in, like singing a lot and learning 3 new songs. I can teach them songs while we're working on our community service project (maintaining a local park, which is also where we meet). I probably won't even tell the girls we're working on it, cause it seems like the requirements are a lot less interesting to read than to do. I'll just tell them to look at the requirements, after we've done them all, then say, hey look, we did all these things! You get a badge!
Our council has a book of events that has statewide activities, like an overnight in an art museum, and they can earn the entire painting badge just by participating in that. Kind of expensive, though.
Someone told me there's a council in Wisconsin or Minnesota that has tons of activities online, for every badge. But I haven't found it yet, so if anyone knows where that is, please post a link.post #7 of 109/23/13 at 12:06pm
This is the one folks refer to, especially for journeys in a day, etc.
I'm not sure we have enough mamas on MDC for an active group, but we can start with a thread. In fact, I'm taking this as a sign because I was going to start a basic GS thread just this morning, but decided not to.
Look for the new thread in the Parenting forum. I'll get it started, and post a bit more later when I have more time!post #8 of 109/23/13 at 12:18pm
Not intending to distract folks from responding to this thread, but if you are interested in chatting about GS in general, beyond the OP's issues, I've started a thread for us:post #9 of 109/24/13 at 7:34amThread StarterI had the girls vote on which patches/events they would be interested in, and then broke them down into groups and had each group 'plan' meetings that would be in line with the patch requirements. They really seemed to like this idea, and surprisingly, some kids who aren't normally interested in reading/writing, became very focused on writing detailed plans. I'm taking ideas from their plans and putting them on the calendar for meeting dates. So far, we've done the hiking and dance patches. The girls really seemed to enjoy those. If anyone has any great ideas for ways to fullfill patch requirements, I'd love to hear them!post #10 of 109/25/13 at 1:42pm
I am out of date on specific badges because I stopped being a leader in 2009 before the big overhaul of badges...but I think your approach so far sounds great. One thing to beware of is spending too much time encouraging the girls to plan, vs. actually doing stuff. Sometimes you will need to get a general idea of their interests and then plan the details of working toward the badge yourself.
The "earn a badge in a day" council workshops are great for giving you the feel of how the badge thing is done. Look at the badge requirements during/after the workshop to see how they put it together.
I posted a number of Girl Scout activities on my site that might qualify toward various badges.
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