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#1 of 32 Old 09-23-2013, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a leader for a 2nd-year troop of Brownies and a handful of Daisies in the Western Washington council.  We have 9 core girls drawn from a wide (rural) area.  I have 2 girls in this troop, both Brownies this year, and our troop has 4 leaders.

 

I visit a very busy Girl Scout mamas group on a mainstream parenting site (just for the GS group) and wondered if a smaller version could be started here on MDC, with our particular brand of viewpoints and skills and all that.  

 

Perhaps, though, just a chat thread would be a better fit?  

 

Either way, I'd love to know all of you who are active in Girl Scouts-- your experiences, all about your troop, and (for me, personally) how your (perhaps) less-than-mainstream lifestyle influences your GS experience.

 

Anything else?  Introduce yourself!

 

ETA: And could we include Girl Guides?  If we think there would be a need for a group, I think it could be more active if we including GGs as well as GSs.  Anyway, I would think Girl Guide leaders and parents would be welcome here.  Let's hear from you!     I might need to change the title of the thread, if so....


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#2 of 32 Old 09-24-2013, 07:42 AM
 
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I have about 20 girls (2nd year Daisys and 1st year Brownies) with one other troop leader. I have a couple of parents who are interested in helping, but haven't filled out all the paperwork yet. I also have several other girls who would like to join. I'm also looking at starting a new troop for my younger daughter when she starts kindergarten next year.

This is my second year as a troop leader, but I don't always know exactly what I'm doing...especially with so many kids! I'm always looking for good ideas for meetings, crafts, and events.


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#3 of 32 Old 09-25-2013, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What I like about this level is that you don't *have* to know exactly what you are doing!  I have screwed up so many times, and the girls don't seem to care.  I'm not sure a group of Cadettes would be quite so forgiving.  

 

Tonight, we did Brownie bridging and rededication.  The bridging Daisies wanted a play.  They explained the story, some of the girls helped with some flower friend props, we included every girl in the troop.  I didn't write a script because it wasn't really helpful at investiture.  I thought, "Well, they made the story up, they know it".  But they completely forgot everything.  Was it worse than the last play?  Jury's still out on that one.  However, they had a blast!!  They were all so excited.  And, I learned something else in the process-- it's spelled r.e.h.e.a.r.s.a.l.

 

And, our 01 went to plug in our fall sales because it turned out they were due yesterday and now the entire SU is waiting on our order.bag.gif

 

Oh, lordy, I can go on forever.  Trip forms.  Apparently they need them just to drop the girls off at meetings!  OK, didn't realize that last year.  

 

You can do no wrong, really.  Do your best, shrug your shoulders and call it good.  They will love it!

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#4 of 32 Old 10-05-2013, 01:54 PM
 
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How do you guys handle the discipline angle?  I want Girl Scouts to be fun but I admit, I think it's a learning activity.  They are supposed to be building skills and confidence, not practicing how to exclude each other and running wild.  That's...some other thing I didn't sign up for. 

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#5 of 32 Old 10-05-2013, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Someone else is going to have to answer to that.  We have had zero trouble with discipline.  So far, we have never had to deal with exclusion or other cliquish behavior. Some rowdiness that simply addressing the girl(s) in the moment fixes.  I've had other times when girls didn't know how to tell the rowdy girl that they weren't having fun, but simply addressing the girl with the words that should have been said ("I think Katie is feeling that she's not enjoying your rough play and she doesn't know how to tell you.")  That has been the extent of our discipline.  We have a very energetic group of girls and have learned that they need to let off steam at regular intervals.  Recognizing the need for play time really has made it easy on us.  I think also, we've just been lucky so far.  And our troop is still fairly new and young.

 

I do think it's a learning activity, but first and foremost, I think the connection between the girls is a priority for us over scouting things.  I'm thinking of the troop in the long term--perhaps that's a mistake, I don't know.   Focussing strongly on the Girl Scout Law has been a lot of fun with this video.  

 

ETA: This year we have scheduled in a bit more time to accommodate this energy.  Instead of starting at 6:00 and running to 7:00, we have a "soft start" at 5:50ish and aim to start our activities at 6:00, our closing circle at 7:00, finish at 7:05.  This gives us a full hour for activities, plus time to blow off some steam.  "Arrival activities" are always just run around time, though we do offer some things to do--it's just ignored!

 

Maybe someone who has experienced cliquish behavior and discipline issues catches this thread and gives some insight and advice.


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#6 of 32 Old 10-09-2013, 10:19 AM
 
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Haven't really had cliquishness, thank heaven. Did have an exhausting meeting yesterday w/ 7 wild girls. Didn't do several things I had hoped to because they were so energetic and demanded games/crafts, whatever wasn't on my agenda. Came home and had to play some massage music (I'm a massage therapist, usually don't play work music at home!) and drink a beer. Possibly it's mostly from one girl, or not, I don't know yet.

 

I agree on connecting with girls, and thinking long-term. My experience was that GS was fun as a kid, but really, really important when I was in my teens, when most of the other girls had quit. Safe space, where there was no competition for boys, no posturing. The Wider Opportunities I went on (wilderness backpacking) were experiences I couldn't have had from any other source, and have been important all my life. That's what I want for my girls, and I think their generation will need it much more than mine did. So one of my goals is to give the girls something they won't find anywhere else, that will make them want to stay in GS over the years. Not sure what that'll be . . . but it's probably not crafts and games. So I'm trying to balance that with the leadership program (Brownie Quest).

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#7 of 32 Old 10-09-2013, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like getting crafty, and the games are something the girls look forward to.  What *I* really look forward to is the backpacking and other outdoor experiences. Who knows how far that will go, how deep, how crazy.  I would love more than anything to learn tracking and making bivuoacs of leaves and sticks and starting a fire from scratch, but I have to be realistic and not expect that these girls will want to do more than camping close to cars or cabins. Who knows, though?  But I do think there will be a fair amount of fishing involved.  We've already done one "fishing" event I'm sure there will be more to come.

 

We are also doing Brownie Quest right now, but will leave the rest of the year as "Brownies' Choice".


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#8 of 32 Old 10-09-2013, 10:09 PM
 
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Oh, I would love to take girls backpacking. That's down the road a bit.
I don't mean to say that we won't do crafts and games, just that they can get those lots of other places, Sunday school, PE, day camp, summer recreation program, etc etc etc. But who else will be willing/able to address the specific needs that girls have, growing up in a world that is changing faster than anybody can keep up with, in which the messages bombarding girls about what is expected of girls/women, what it means to be feminine, etc . . . are deeply conflicting, at best. Girl Scouts at least makes an effort to address these issues. Crafts keep them busy and entertained, but GS is meant to give them tools and confidence to be proactive in building and changing their world.

 

So yesterday we made our Team Agreement, wrote it on a manila folder opened up (small group, so I didn't have to do it really big), then I handed them the box they'd been demanding, w/crayons, pencils, stickers, etc, and told them to decorate it however they wanted. So they went crazy, wrote all their names and things about themselves, as well as, "Everyone is a ding-dong." etc. and today I took it out of the box and looked at it and thought, this is like something a psychotic person would make. It was so chaotic. DD comes in and takes a look and says, "I LOVE IT!" hahaha

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#9 of 32 Old 10-10-2013, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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 Crafts keep them busy and entertained, but GS is meant to give them tools and confidence to be proactive in building and changing their world.

 

I like that point of view.

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 So they went crazy, wrote all their names and things about themselves, as well as, "Everyone is a ding-dong." etc. and today I took it out of the box and looked at it and thought, this is like something a psychotic person would make. It was so chaotic. DD comes in and takes a look and says, "I LOVE IT!" hahaha

Chaotic and *random*.  

 

Last spring we thought we'd give the girls (then mostly Daisies) a chance to plan their (very late) investiture.  Planning a p.a.r.t.y. We went around asking the girls what they wanted, and it was like they had no clue.  One girl piped up "I want to build a kayak".  Yes, me too, but this is a party *next week*.  (I think  she was daydreaming and thought we were talking about scouting stuff).  The adult guides make it sound so easy to direct the flow of the conversation and meetings, and it is really, really hard.  On the flip side, I think I'd be suspicious if I had a roomful of girls that age that were so calm and mature as to make everything flow just so.  Hoop game (frivolity! energy!).  Now, sit still and *reflect* (serenity! nobody is begging to pick the next game!  Reflection success!)  The more I think about it, the more I like to think in the long term (will they still be begging to play "run around my big fat pony" as Cadettes?)  And I also think of Daisy Low encouraging girls to run around in the fresh air.  I like channeling those thoughts when the energy is high. "What Would Daisy Do?"  I think she'd smile, personally.  

 

We will be working on the team agreement next Brownie meeting.  How'd that conversation go with all the silliness and energy?


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#10 of 32 Old 10-10-2013, 12:08 PM
 
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We will be working on the team agreement next Brownie meeting.  How'd that conversation go with all the silliness and energy?

 

We played the hoop game. It's a small group (7) and some had played it before, but they/I suggested variations, such as 2 hoops, or having to step through the hoop to pass it. We had a lot of fun and laughed a lot. Then I took out the folder I'd prepared. It was a manila folder, and on the inside I wrote in big letters, "our Brownie Team Agreement." They saw the box of crayons, etc, earlier, and had been asking to do a craft project, so I told them they had to do this one little thing before the craft. It barely got their attention. I said something like, "You may have noticed that Scouting is about leadership (one said yes! It was dd, who had read the leaders' guide), and part of leadership is working as a team. We had to work as a team to pass the hoop. What are some of the things we did that helped us work together?"

Then I wrote as fast as I could, what they said.

We will help each other

work together

laugh

try again when things don't work

be happy

have fun

be sisters

be kind

follow Girl Scout law

(leader 02 suggested listening to each other, dd insisted she would not under any circumstances commit to listening, a train went by and 3 girls or maybe more, not sure, plugged their ears and screamed as loud as they could, continuously, until the train had passed completely, so I wrote:)

listen to each other, except when we are screaming

 

Then I put the box of crayons and markers, stickers and (unfortunately I didn't notice) glitter glue on the table and didn't have to suggest that they decorate the folder. All their names got on it, which I thought was nice, and things about them (I think they were still on their special skills/qualities from last time), such as "A wants to be a teacher," and "M loves loudness," "R is a ding dong," "Everyone is a ding dong," "We are crazy," "R is a person!" "C loves Girl Scouts" (yay!) "heart GS" "Love laugh live." Oh, I just noticed, a name of a girl who isn't the troop this year, as well as dd2 who was dropped off by MIL while they were doing this, to dd1's chagrin. (dd1 thinks she should get to go to a Daisy meeting for every Brownie meeting dd2 comes to)

 

Then the wanted to play hide and seek, and I didn't fight it.

 

Didn't talk about FOS, or look at potential trips, or look at the healthy family activity as I had hoped. C'est la vie.

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#11 of 32 Old 10-17-2013, 08:55 AM
 
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I am feeling really hot right now.

We had agreed with other troops to maintain a local park, to my knowledge no one else had done anything yet, but we meet there so we do some most meetings. I told everybody we would decorate the park next meeting, 10/22. A former leader told me she had Halloween decorations, but thought we should decorate earlier. Both 02 and I thought it was a fine date, but maybe the other lady is the one who put a bunch of decorations in the park. Um, hello, kind of awkward, since I told the girls we would decorate next week???? So I'm thinking about alternatives and BAM!

 

We make ghosts out of white sheets, pillow stuffing, wire hangers.

I own/operate a motel. I have on my hands way more than I know what to do with ALL OF THOSE THINGS!

 

Simple design, some individual expression (ghosty face), a craft, they can take them home if they want after Halloween, community service, I get rid of some excess crap, minimal expense (maybe some permanent markers? string?).

 

I am hot. But you already know that. Cause I just told you.

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#12 of 32 Old 10-17-2013, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Those sound like fun.  I would do them anyway-- the girls might not feel as "hot" as you do about it.

 

But I just had a flash-- Zombie First Aid.  


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#13 of 32 Old 10-17-2013, 11:57 AM
 
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But I just had a flash-- Zombie First Aid.  

Tell me more!

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#14 of 32 Old 10-17-2013, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sometimes the idea is more brilliant than the activity!

 

Well, let's see.... Zombies don't bleed, but they need limbs for attacking, so, I'd say plenty of duct tape, as their skin would be, hmm, unreliable, I guess you would say.  What do they need?  Do they need internal organs?  Perhaps not all.... but brain? Do they need a brain?  What do they need besides legs and arms?  Do they need fingers and thumbs?  

 

I really have no idea!  I just liked the sound of it.  But I am seriously mulling it over because it would be fun and silly.  I think we'd need a zombie to practice on.....


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#15 of 32 Old 10-25-2013, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting topic.... Girl Guides and Disney:

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1391916/would-this-bug-you#post_17493457


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#16 of 32 Old 10-26-2013, 05:26 PM
 
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How do you guys handle the discipline angle?  I want Girl Scouts to be fun but I admit, I think it's a learning activity.  They are supposed to be building skills and confidence, not practicing how to exclude each other and running wild.  That's...some other thing I didn't sign up for. 

 

When I was a GS leader, I took everything back to the GS law and the GS promise. We recited them at the beginning of every meeting, and then I would use them when I needed to correct a scout.
"Be a sister to every girl scout" might be something you could do a project/craft on and talk about.

 

As far as running wild, I would work on Procedures for each part of the meeting, and then teaching the girls so not just through the procedure for that part of the meeting, but to take turns leading that part. Make it clear and specific. Procedures are your friend.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#17 of 32 Old 10-31-2013, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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But I just had a flash-- Zombie First Aid.  

Tell me more!

Here's how it played out last night.  We had an "off" meeting, lead by two of us whose girls want weekly meetings.  Those happen on the 3rd Wednesdays and (like last night) 5th Wednesdays of the month.  

 

All the girls wore their costumes.  We began with the Pledge, Promise, and Law (which we sing).  Then, since those 15 minutes after opening are *the* time for a quiet-ish circle I gave a presentation on "Monster Preparedness".  I started by teaching them the GS motto "Be Prepared" and going on to tell them that Monsters need to be prepared, too.  (I am so grateful that they were all old enough to see the absurdity and fun of this, and also to know a fair bit about monsters as well.)  

 

We covered checklists, first aid (needle and sutures, cotton wrappings, toilet paper for emergency wraps, extra bolts), Buddy! systems (especially for zombies who are not much of a threat by themselves).  Hygiene (toothbrush and toothpaste for vampires), navigation (maps to make it home by first light), field guides (a moon chart for were wolves, a "garlic-free restaurant guide" for vampires), a smart phone, extra clothes (especially for those embarrassing moments when you transform back into human and all your clothes have been ripped to shreds) and extra food (a bottle of "blood").  I am usually flying above kids' heads with my brand of humor, but they ate this up and offered a fair bit of their own advice.  And, yes, they even understood the need for a "garlic free" pocket guide!

 

Next came the "monster makeover", which some girls participated in while I began showing girls how to tie up a zombie with 8" of cord.  We learned to tie a slip knot on longer cord.  The old burglar instructions were to tie a slip knot at either end of an eight inch cord, place those over pinkies behind the burglar's back, and tuck feet under cord between hands and voila!  One captured and very cooperative burglar.  I thought zombies were a better replacement, since they move so slowly.  We practiced on me with a 16" cord, with posicle sticks for splints to protect delicate fingers and scissors handy to cut the cord if necessary.  But we never had to cut.  The sticks and the extra length made it such an easy experience, most girls wanted to get tied up.  (Insert necessary messages about "do not try this for fun--it can hurt and cause injury!!)

 

The girls played some monster games of their own invention, and we closed.

 

So, even with the silliness, we managed to get some great scouting done!  I am thinking about making certificates for knot tying, knife and fire skills levels.  I really just want some old, real badges for those because the girls like earning badges.  Ah well.  Next week we head back to our journeys.  The Brownies will be finished with Quest by Christmas, with a wrap-up and Welcome Back party in January before we head in to "Brownie's Choice" and cookie sales.

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#18 of 32 Old 10-31-2013, 09:57 AM
 
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Love this. We saw a big catalog of fun patches in the council office, which has lots indexed by category, and I know there was at least one for knot tying, probably one for fire building as well, and lots of stuff I wouldn't have expected.

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I broswe through the website to get ideas for fun patches. Right now, we're working on the 'Celebrating community' badge. I signed up my troop to march in a local Veteran's Day Parade this weekend. We'll probably make signs at this week's meeting. smile.gif


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#20 of 32 Old 11-11-2013, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Speaking of Veteran's Day....

 

What holidays and special GS events do you focus on as a troop?  World Thinking Day?  Leader's Day?  Parades?  GS week?  Anything that pulls you out of your "regular" routine?


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#21 of 32 Old 11-11-2013, 08:45 AM
 
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I'm not big on the regular holidays, just cause I feel they get so drawn out at school, church, and everywhere else, I get exhausted. So I'm not really interested in having holiday parties, etc. But I think we will do something for Thinking Day. Feb. is a bit slower time of year, and I hope we'll be done with Brownie Quest by then, so we might have a ceremony and present awards as well.

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#22 of 32 Old 12-12-2013, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night we had our 2nd meeting to decide on a TAP.  I think we could use about 5 more!  The girls just decided to help a local endangered animal.  That puts the responsibility on the leaders to research what animals and what kinds of projects are happening this time of year (all the parents of our Brownies are leaders).  I think it sounds like fun.  What I'm realizing, though, is how much time needs to be dedicated to this part of the journey, if the girls are to have any say in what they want to do.  We only have 4 Brownies, I can't even conceive of what this process looks like with 10 or--yikes--20 girls!

 

It was fun to hear some of the brainstorm ideas "help restaurants make more money", etc.  We did get suggestions to help a specific family, which I enjoyed hearing.  I'll be interested to see what we will be doing.  It's going to put us in touch with some interesting people and projects.

 

I'm dismayed to hear that one of the leaders and her daughter might be leaving the troop after our journey.  I love love love their energy.  I don't say it in front of anyone, but they are *my favorite* people in the troop.  But, they have activities every night, and something has to go.  We will still be friends with them, but even that might be difficult as we live 17mi away and homeschool.  Her dad is away during the week, and weekends are family time.  :(  I shouldn't grieve before the decision is made, but Girl Scouts is always the first thing to go, isn't it?

 

Our chosen schedule of meeting 1st, 2nd and 4th Wednesdays is working out well.  We have an "unmeeting" on the 3rd (and 5th) weeks.  The first 2 weeks we work separately, Daisy/ Brownie, and the 4th we share and play games.  When we had high absenteeism due to illness, it was easy just to shift the agenda off for a week.

 

The unmeetings have been fun and often silly.  Last month we learned about celebrating Hanukkah from one of our observant girls.  We just learned the candles and the prayers, and then the girls spent the rest of the time playing with the dreidels.  Our usual schedule has been jostled around because of the holidays, and that's another reason I like our plans.  It has made planning so much more spacious.


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#23 of 32 Old 12-13-2013, 09:45 AM
 
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Think mine have lost interest in the Quest. Nobody did Healthy Family. But they love snacks so I suggested we do the badge, and make a healthy snack for them to take home to their families. That could fulfill the step and we could go on with the Journey. I really want to finish the journey, was hoping to do it by Thinking Day and have a ceremony then, but that's not looking too likely at this point.

 

We did the chocolate-dipped apples for an earlier meeting, and they loved the activity. Also I was surprised that most of them didn't seem to have used a knife before. So maybe the Snacks badge would be a really good learning opportunity for them.

 

We only meet 1-2 x/mo. Was going to do 2 in Nov but I got sick. Only 1 in Dec. because everyone (maybe self most of all) is overscheduled and I don't want to compete with that. Already had to redo the meeting schedule because somebody scheduled after-school art (the only art they get in this school district!) on top of some of our meetings. So I'm kind of done for the year. But still thinking a lot and planning.

 

And yes, GS is always the first to go! I try to remember why I stuck with it as I got older, and mostly what I remember is that in high school we decided to have one meeting/mo, and it would be a camp-out. We stayed in an unheated cabin in the winter. Wouldn't trade those experiences for anything.

 

Do you find you spend a lot more time planning than you thought you would?

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#24 of 32 Old 12-14-2013, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by richella View Post

 

Do you find you spend a lot more time planning than you thought you would?

 

Not this year, not with the Quest.  Also, we have divided the Daisy and Brownie planning.  The Brownie group has all leaders as parents.  So, one way or another, there is always two leaders taking charge of something.  We did the Healthy Living, but our family and one other crapped out half way, but, hey, we tried and that counts (it would have helped if the girls hadn't chosen "less sugar" and "less TV"!)  I think meeting more often really helps keep the momentum going, even if journey/badge work is only 2 of those meetings.

 

We will be getting busier--well we are getting busier.  We are researching possible animal projects, and I wonder if the Daises, doing 3 cheers, couldn't join us for some of that.  Cookie training has arrived.  After this journey, we will be doing girls' choice for the Brownies, and planning on those badges.  DD1 wants to do another journey, but I am ready to do some shorter badge work.  That means, since she's a 2nd year Brownie, she and I will do the remaining journeys as a family so she can earn her Summit at the end of summer.  The girls bridge in the fall.  I'll let her work on both Brownie and Junior awards this summer.  

 

Last summer we did the last 2 Daisy journeys for my younger daughter and another girl.  I planned out a journey-in-a-day, and she planned out the other.  All in all, a lot of planning, but right now, a break.  It is a lot of work, but I have support, and I have a lot of time.  

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#25 of 32 Old 01-14-2014, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Still wrapping up Quest.  We chose our endangered species to help, and it seems every person I've contacted to help us with this is not getting back to me.  Grrrrr....... so they are getting their "Take Action" key for learning about our animal (Streaked Horned Lark) and creating a presentation for the Daisy half of our troop.  *sigh*  Meanwhile, I am still trying to salvage something by continuing to.... banghead.gif .... contact people who can get us something more hands in in the future.  I just didn't want to wait weeks to finish up this journey.

 

And then there are the cookies.  Selling cookies is fun.  Tiring, but fun.  The administrative part is no fun, though.

 

We have a new girl in our troop.  I like her.  I'm not so sure about her mom.  It seems like she keeps trying to get concessions from us.  I don't think she means to.  She's busy with a lot of kids and she homeschools, like us.  Maybe she's just settling in.  No, we are not going to have enough activities for her tagalongs necessarily, she needs to expect to keep them busy.  She wants her younger daughter in a troop next year, so she might have to start a Daisy troop.  Could she share our meeting space?  Um, no.....  I don't know if her daughter can stay in for long because here sister wants to be a GS, and we are not going to be doing any Daisy work next year, nor do we want to, and she will be so much younger than our girls.  In 5 years, that might not make a difference, but now?  Huge, huge difference.  We will see.  Her older girl is a 2nd year Brownie, which we need so desperately.


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#26 of 32 Old 01-14-2014, 09:02 AM
 
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Ah, the joys of volunteering, you get to work with every person, no matter what their expectations, talents, and needs are . . .

 

Starting the cookie thing. Excited but also concerned about the time commitment.

 

Started Snacks badge. Kids liking it so far. Going to try to dovetail that with health family activity for Brownie Quest. We have 7 meetings left! Hard to see how we can get this all done! As for thinking of a need in the community,  . . . hm . . . not getting much from the girls.

 

I'm a bit confused about the latter 2 keys. last step of 2nd key is to note a need and do something. then the 3rd key is all about that too. I don't see the difference here, except maybe that take action key is more in depth and oriented to the girls doing something, as opposed to writing a letter to the mayor or whoever. Definitely more things we can think of that would be projects we could work on, as opposed to things we could write a letter about. 02 suggested asking the swimming pool to offer healthier snacks, which I thought was a great idea. Not sure how to make the girls feel they own that, if we suggest it.

 

would welcome any insights.

 

(Also, what are the three steps of the 3rd key? I couldn't tell from the leaders' guide.)

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We also didn't like the letter part of the second key.  Instead, we tried to come up with other ways to connect with community.  Except for us, it happened right when everyone left for the holidays.  So, we talked abut ways we connected with community--volunteering, festivals, parades.  My girls and I went to a cider pressing with many friends, close and barely known.  It would have been nice if we could have done something as a troop, but....  Anyway, I got the watercolors back out and asked the girls to work on a picture of their community involvement while we played catch-up with another girl.  At first, I rolled my eyes at the memory book, but the girls really, really love working on them and we can pull them out for filler time if need be.

 

As for the 3 steps--

 

Explore--Talk about what the community might need the Brownie Elf Team to do.  Use the chart in the adult guide and brainstorm ideas.  This sounds easier than it is.  Our Brownies came up with things like "help restaurants make money", our tree farm guy sell more Christmas trees (he did say he was having a hard season) and those kinds of sweet things that are totally not what GS had in mind.  Another thing that came was helping a local family with some gardening.  They are not needy, and I do the gardening since they are my tenants, but they have 3 kids and she a broken foot, and it was sweet.   

 

Link Arms--Now it's time to vote (3 weeks later...*sigh*) and the girls do something like link arms together and find out how the girl next to her wants to vote and why, then switch.

 

Fly Into Action--Once a project is chosen, work with them to decide how they want to help.  Oh, man... if you want this to be girl led at all, this can take forever.  I am cutting this short, we meet every week (though only first 2 weeks are for journey work) and I am still a month behind!  Thankfully this journey is short.  My advice is to expand your ideas of what constitutes an "action project" so you don't talk the girls into something they might not have thought of that requires loads of work and time.  I'm finding at this age, their ideas are small, innocent, and close to home and helpful in ways adults don't put as much stock in.  Don't discourage that.  Conversely, they can have huge, expansive ideas like planting huge gardens and building kayaks which must be translated down to something realistic.

 

Good luck.  You'll need it!  I'm glad to be seeing the end of the tunnel.  

 

We will not be doing any journeys as a troop for the remainder of the year.  After this, we will choose badges, and I think we can have time for all 4 Brownies to get their first choice.


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#28 of 32 Old 01-14-2014, 09:33 AM
 
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Thanks, that's really helpful.

I like the journey in a day idea. I can see doing that in the summer. I think I might be happy to do some work with the girls in the summer, even though they bridge in the spring. Next year most of the girls will have moved up, but I hope to stay with this troop as dd2 will be in it then.

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Whew. Cookies have been taking it out of me. Almost done, almost done, almost done . . . and then we are taking an overnight to an event about Asian culture and history. Then planning with other leaders a 1-day camp/bridging. Geez, it's been so long since we thought of this, I don't even remember what we wanted to do.

One more snack for Snacks badge. This week we made no-bake energy bites, and everyone loved them. Took some home for their families. Easy, fun, tasty. That was a winner.

 Still haven't totally given up on Brownie Quest.

And next year I get to be Brownie leader again, with a cookie manager! Yay!

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I love the idea of a bridging/camping!  We've been doing bridging in the fall, since last year we started so late and it just made sense.  Maybe as the years go on we will combine camping and bridging together.

 

Cookies, cookies, I am dreaming of cookies, and I managed to pass off that duty to my coleader since it made no sense for me, 20 miles away, to be the TCM.  Thankfully for her, her and my daughters are the big sellers, the rest just a few.  Though we learned that (surprise!) initial orders cannot be transferred.  That makes sense, but we didn't realize it and now we are faced with selling some boxes for the other families.  Only a few, thankfully, but also I made a huge initial order and yesterday my oldest had a fever and I was thinking (oh hell and crap) we've got 3 booths this weekend, 350 boxes to sell and dh working all weekend and I can't transfer these (oh crap oh hell.)  That's when the nightmares started!  Glad to say she felt better, dd2 is not sick yet, and we sold nearly 100 boxes at our booth today.  The end is now in sight and I think I will dream better (cookie?) dreams.

 

We finished BQ (yay!) with somewhat of a fizzle.  We really couldn't find the kind of project we wanted to do this tim of year, so we made a presentation to our Daisies as our TAP.  Lame, I know, but I just wanted to be done and the girls seemed excited, so..... not arguing.  Done.  We are starting some badges the girls chose, plus this month we are doing 2 financial badges.  It's fun having daisies separate, because on the days we come together we can have things planned for them.  We are inching along with Making Games, having a new set of games ready for our monthly together meetings.  We finished Home Scientist, and next up is Dancer.  We'll see where we are after that.

 

Looking forward to dd's Junior year next year, and hoping we have some new Juniors on board for it.  I think we will do a journey workshop offered by the council or the nature center then start on her Bronze award.  DD2 comes into Juniors the following year, and I'd love for once to have them work separately.  But, that's next year.  Still planning for this month's badgework and selling cookies and working and cleaning out our basement and taxes and spring planting and 4-H presentations and baby chicks and.... whew!  I do love spring!


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