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Discussion Starter #1
I'm really wondering about all the ages: from the youngest to the oldest (which is why I didn't put this in a particular age/stage forum).<br><br>
What sorts of activities do your girls do in their troops? Dd's troop is through school and they just seem to not do much or at least not much of worth. Well, let me put it this way... it's a lot different than it was back in the 60's and 70's when my sisters and I were in the scouts.<br><br>
I'm curious if it's just the "times" or if it's the troop itself that seems to have very... um, "lame" activities.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>velochic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15373740"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm really wondering about all the ages: from the youngest to the oldest (which is why I didn't put this in a particular age/stage forum).<br><br>
What sorts of activities do your girls do in their troops? Dd's troop is through school and they just seem to not do much or at least not much of worth. Well, let me put it this way... it's a lot different than it was back in the 60's and 70's when my sisters and I were in the scouts.<br><br>
I'm curious if it's just the "times" or if it's the troop itself that seems to have very... um, "lame" activities.</div>
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I know that back when I was in scouts in the 1980s/1990s there were lame and not-lame troops. The parents who wanted their girls to go camping and such gravitated toward the not-lame troops, and the girls whose parents panicked at the thought of them going anywhere without one-on-one adult supervision toward the lame troops.<br><br>
You might want to look around and see if there's a troop that still does the activities you want your kids to be doing.
 

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I agree -- it's all about the leader. My troop in the early 80s was SO lame. But I know of a troop at DS's school that's really cool. You have to ask around.<br>
-e
 

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Ooh, I will be following this thread. I am going to be leading dd's Brownie troop next fall, and I do NOT want to be a lame leader!!
 

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We are in the UK so a different branch of the Guiding movement, but I suspect it will give you a good idea (DD's pack is fab!) Brownies, DD is 8yo.<br><br>
Over Easter break they had a trip to a big zoo (60 miles away).<br><br>
This week they have a Jumble sale on Saturday, they are baking cupcakes for it tonite.<br><br>
She is doing a Gardening badge -- 10 sessions over 20 weeks, every 2 weeks for an hour, with an exam at the end.<br><br>
Most nights she comes out of activities with some kind of craft creation.<br><br>
5 day Pack holiday planned for August.<br><br>
We just got a big sheet listing activities each night until they finish (end July), plus extra events like the pack holiday, fund raisers, special badge events locally and within an hour's drive. Big day planned out at FunFair beach resort in September.<br><br>
That's all off the top of my head. Gotta run pick her up now!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow Cavy! That's AMAZING! Our troop has had 3 "events" this year.<br><br>
I guess what I'm wondering is if it's normal to still be teaching them about outdoor skills, water skills, cooking, astronomy, learning about the disabled, how to be a community helper, cultural lessons/diversity, global responsibility, emergency response, etc.?
 

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I am planning on forming a Daisy troop for my DD and her friends this fall and in looking around the web saw some message boards for troop leaders and let me tell you, there are some <b>very</b> active troops out there (going camping, doing community service projects, having speakers on different subjects, doing arts and crafts).<br><br>
Perhaps you could offer to co-lead next year and plan some more interesting activities?<br><br>
One year my son's scout troop had each family sign up to be in charge of two meetings. That worked pretty well since everyone had the time and energy to plan two good programs without any one parent getting burned out. Just another idea.
 

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Here's a link to a discussion about activities troop did in April:<br><br><a href="http://forums.delphiforums.com/GSLeaders/messages/?msg=12868" target="_blank">http://forums.delphiforums.com/GSLea...ges/?msg=12868</a><br><br>
Survival hikes (I have no idea what this means!), sleepover at the zoo, delivering 256 bags of collected personal items to those in need, putting together "birthday-in-a-box" party items for hospitalized children, listening to senior citizens tell about what their lives were like as little girls, etc.<br><br>
Lots of busy troops!<br><br>
I hope we can have a great troop, so if anyone has ideas or suggestions for Daisies, let me know!
 

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The program is absolutely the vision of the leader(s), and they have a lot of freedom to decide what the troop will do. I started being a co-leader this year in a very active troop. Some things from this year were:<br><br>
*bi-monthly meeting (2 hours each) focused on various patch and try-it activities = there is a try-it book with tons of possibilities<br><br>
*outdoor skills including 1 indoor sleepover and 3 campouts<br><br>
*occasional weekend/non-school day events = roller skating, World Thinking Day, local town parade, attending a ballet performance, zoo program, hiking, market field trip, collecting food and making baskets over the holidays, father/daughter dance<br><br>
* We just started embarking on the "Journeys" program. There is a different book and theme for each level of scouting, and we are very impressed with it. As Brownies we are doing the "Quest" (focuses on discovering themselves, their community, and how to make an impact) and next year we will use the science program "Wow" which is all about water.
 

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My 11 year old has been in scouts since she was a daisy and has done far more stuff than I could list. Last weekend, her troop camped out at a girl scout camp and ran a one day acitivity for K-1st grade GSs. It was like a build-a-bear thing, and older girls had made a play ground for the bears, led the little scouts on hikes with their bears, etc. It was VERY cute. The big GS did the set up and stuff, and they slept over. The little GSs just showed up for one day. There were about 30 older scouts and over 300 little scouts. It was the first camp experience for the little scouts.<br><br>
Her troop leader is VERY big on developing leadership skills.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>monkeybars</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15374992"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The program is absolutely the vision of the leader(s), and they have a lot of freedom to decide what the troop will do. I started being a co-leader this year in a very active troop. Some things from this year were:...<br><br>
* We just started embarking on the "Journeys" program. There is a different book and theme for each level of scouting, and we are very impressed with it. As Brownies we are doing the "Quest" (focuses on discovering themselves, their community, and how to make an impact) and next year we will use the science program "Wow" which is all about water.</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Linda on the move</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15375403"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Her troop leader is VERY big on developing leadership skills.</div>
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Let me begin by saying that I work for our local GS council. These two comments really jumped out at me. What Girl Scouting is or isn't has not really changed over the years - what Juliette Low envisioned is still the goal - help girls develop into people that take action and make a difference in their world.<br><br>
Right now, GSUSA is really striving to make GS relevant and accessible to as many girls as possible. The Journeys series is an effort to provide nationally consistent programming while providing topics/materials that a troop can use to either set up their year around (so as a skeleton, adding additional activities and opportunities as they're available) or the Journey can be used as a piece of your year to encourage the girls to really examine the topic at hand in a multi-disciplinary manner.<br><br>
Badges, camping, crafts, all of that "stuff" has not gone away but I like to look at the idea of "discover, connect, and take action" as a way for girls to explore a lot of different skills and activities as they work to discover a passion; take it one step further and girls take that passion(s) and connect with other people and opportunities related to the subject; as those connections are made, girls develop the skills to take action to make their world a better place.<br><br>
I think the one thing that, to me, is the hallmark of a truly great troop or other Girl Scout program is that the girls are involved in the planning and execution of what happens, as appropriate for their age. It's unfortunate because we hear of a lot of troops that are doing cool stuff but it's been completely planned by the leader and the girls are just brought along for the ride.<br><br>
I'm glad to hear of so many positive GS experiences!
 

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I am a Girl Guide leader in Canada. I agree with pp that a huge part of the experience of a unit is the leaders. Some leaders are more involved, more innovative, more exciting, etc. than others. I think all leaders are fabulous in their own way but we all have our strengths.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>gmvh</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15376476"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think the one thing that, to me, is the hallmark of a truly great troop or other Girl Scout program is that the girls are involved in the planning and execution of what happens, as appropriate for their age. It's unfortunate because we hear of a lot of troops that are doing cool stuff but it's been completely planned by the leader and the girls are just brought along for the ride.</div>
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It's far easier for a leader to plan stuff and have the girls just do it than to lead the girls through how to plan. Honestly, my DD's leader has the patience of Job!
 

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This is something I too am struggling with as we decide whether to continue next year. Right now my daughter's group is, what I call, "Girl Scouts by <a href="http://www.orientaltrading.com/ui/browse/processRequest.do?requestURI=getHomePageCR&BP=8911&source=google&cm_mmc=google-_-OTC+Brand-_-Oriental+Trading+-+General+-+%28Adlucent%29-_-4abe38cc6a0447eab964819cd88f8d65&ms=brand&gclid=CKa169fVvaECFUtX2god7nRoAQ" target="_blank">Oriental Trading</a>"<br><br>
They meet once a month. At thanksgiving they did a "service" project. This was assembling pre-fab turkey hats that they were going to give to the senior center. (Hello?? No adult wants to wear a cheesy turkey hat!!) But, the kicker was, each girl took their hat home. So where exactly is the service we provided here? I was a sub-leader that week (called in last minute) and watched the girls interact. The leader present was pretty hands off unless it was talking about the latest teeny-bop music, etc. These girls are 6 and 7 years old! They don't need to be discussing which boys are cute.<br><br>
I realize that I can't complain unless I am going to step up and do something better. And honestly, I can't.<br><br>
I did GS as a child until about 5th grade and loved some of it- learning to sew, solar cooking, book reviews, etc.
 

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I was a co-leader of a Brownie troop until just this last month when I got tired of my co-leader and since I'm moving anyway, I quit. My co-leader feels the girls have to earn a badge every single meeting, she sends girls home if they don't have their vest, she puts the girls in time out, she brings a whistle and blows it if the girls are being too loud. . .it just got to be too much for me. In the beginning she was doing the WOW (wonders of water) curriculum with the girls and I was working on the try-its. We've made ecobags out of t-shirts, we made yogurt/granola parfaits, we did a presentation on Haiti for Thinking Day, we've had a large bonfire. . .we promised the girls we would go on three fieldtrips and because of my co-leader's schedule we haven't gone on any (although I have gone hiking with several of the girls just on our own time). I think they are going to go camping overnight next weekend. . .<br><br>
I think if I was the only leader my troop would be outside a lot of the time and not be super crafty. . .Oriental Trading Co type troop. I think it just all depends on the leader and what they think is the purpose of girl scouts. . .and what they focus on.
 

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It is all about the leaders! If you don't like this one try other leaders. Volunteer<br><br>
Also, remember statages and ages. Younger groups do a lot of projects and crafts. Then other they get the more responciblity. Get a badge book and reinforce ideas <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> EArn them on your own.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the replies. Yes, our troop would be what Mumm called an "Oriental Trading" troop.<br><br>
I am not involved in the troop. I work only 10 hrs. a week, but it turn out that my one afternoon/evening to work is on the day the troop meets. Otherwise, I would be more involved.<br><br>
The troop is through school, which is almost an hour away from home. Dd wants to stay in the troop because all of her friends are in the troop. She said that she doesn't want to start over in a local group because she wouldn't know anyone.<br><br>
I would volunteer to host some activities, but being so far from everyone, I don't think the parents would bring the girls all the way out here. It is difficult for me to volunteer for the few things they do, although I did help out with volunteer activity this year. The few activities they've had outside of monthly meetings have been right after school, which does not work for my schedule.<br><br>
I just remember doing things like learning simple stitches for sewing, candlemaking, simple first aid and later CPR, how to recognize trees by leaves and bark, recognizing some edible plants for foraging, ways to make a fire, proper ways to set a table, caring for animals. When we were older, I remember being taught things like how to make and serve coffee, bake various things, and many other "homemaking" activities... these are things I remember just off the top of my head.<br><br>
Dd's troop is always making "friendship bracelets" or some such activity, which I don't find to be very enriching. We pay $100/year in dues and the girls earned quite a bit from cookie sales, so it's not like the troop is hurting for money.<br><br>
I have to admit that "traditional homemaking" is something that I really enjoy and enjoy teaching dd about, we like to camp, we cook over open fire and when she gets older, I'll teach her how to bake over open fire using a dutch oven, we garden together, and tend to our herbs and flowers and such... more hands-on stuff. I thought she'd get more of that at Girl Scouts because I did 30 - 35 years ago.<br><br>
I see now that it's not necessarily the case. I think I'm going to take a look at 4-H. Seriously. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>velochic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15380972"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am not involved in the troop. I work only 10 hrs. a week, but it turn out that my one afternoon/evening to work is on the day the troop meets. Otherwise, I would be more involved. ...<br>
... Dd wants to stay in the troop because all of her friends are in the troop. ...<br>
I would volunteer to host some activities, but being so far from everyone, I don't think the parents would bring the girls all the way out here.</div>
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most girl scout councels have "counsel" activities and the places we've lived usually have pretty good ones. The teddy bear thing my DD recently did was a counsel activity. If you want to be involved, you could research those, pick a few good ones, and coordinate involvement for the troop. They often happen on weekends.<br><br>
Check out your counsel's web site or call the office, and then make the offer to the troop leaders. It could make the troop much more enriching for all the girls.<br><br>
It's possible that the reason your DDs troop isn't doing a lot is because the leader is overwhelmed. I used to be a leader and found it to be quite a lot of work.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>velochic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15380972"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks for the replies. Yes, our troop would be what Mumm called an "Oriental Trading" troop.<br><br>
I am not involved in the troop. I work only 10 hrs. a week, but it turn out that my one afternoon/evening to work is on the day the troop meets. Otherwise, I would be more involved.<br><br>
The troop is through school, which is almost an hour away from home. Dd wants to stay in the troop because all of her friends are in the troop. She said that she doesn't want to start over in a local group because she wouldn't know anyone.</div>
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Yes, it can be scary meeting new people but it isn't a bad thing. She will have new and more friends......Think Make new friends, but keep the old. Also I am going to guess there might be other girls she knows that are in different troops. Having to navigate and make new friends and acquaintance is a skill often lost in the homogenize groups cause by school districting lines.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>velochic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15380972"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would volunteer to host some activities, but being so far from everyone, I don't think the parents would bring the girls all the way out here. It is difficult for me to volunteer for the few things they do, although I did help out with volunteer activity this year. The few activities they've had outside of monthly meetings have been right after school, which does not work for my schedule.<br><br>
I just remember doing things like learning simple stitches for sewing, candlemaking, simple first aid and later CPR, how to recognize trees by leaves and bark, recognizing some edible plants for foraging, ways to make a fire, proper ways to set a table, caring for animals. When we were older, I remember being taught things like how to make and serve coffee, bake various things, and many other "homemaking" activities... these are things I remember just off the top of my head.</div>
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Is your child a Daisy or Brownie? If so you are not thinking age appropriate activities, for the most part. Some of those activities are more Jr and Cadettes. Some times you will have an basic activity at a lower level, like sewing. Then you build up to harder more detail at higher levels.<br><br>
Also, if they are only meeting once a month they are not really helping the girls. IMO, meetings need to be more often like every other week to be effective.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>velochic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15380972"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Dd's troop is always making "friendship bracelets" or some such activity, which I don't find to be very enriching. We pay $100/year in dues and the girls earned quite a bit from cookie sales, so it's not like the troop is hurting for money.</div>
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I don't have enough girl in me to enjoy this activity but my girls and their friends do! I thought it was stupid when I was a kid. Sometime you do things for the fun of it! Making bracelet and giving them to friends, selling them, et is important to them more so than you. Also, one thing it does teach is finishing a project, motor skills, pattern recognition, and for some girls experimenting with a base knowledge to create something new and special.<br><br>
I would ask about the money. That seems like a lot of money. Like more than I pay for my two girls. There are accounting procedures and record keeping that should be done. I know with our local council they have gotten rid of bad leaders because they were charging dues and more or less pocketing the other sales.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>velochic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15380972"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have to admit that "traditional homemaking" is something that I really enjoy and enjoy teaching dd about, we like to camp, we cook over open fire and when she gets older, I'll teach her how to bake over open fire using a dutch oven, we garden together, and tend to our herbs and flowers and such... more hands-on stuff. I thought she'd get more of that at Girl Scouts because I did 30 - 35 years ago.<br><br>
I see now that it's not necessarily the case. I think I'm going to take a look at 4-H. Seriously. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"></div>
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Again some of it might be age of your child. Some of these actives are for other children. BUT, I will agree to some extent the GS does lack and live in fear of law suits. GS makes it hard to camp and do anything not of GS grounds. These things do come but it is the leaders guidance that dictate how much. If they are meeting once a month it simply cannot be done.<br><br>
I would encourage you to find a new troop that you two can be involved in. Help her through the new friends transition. 4-H is a good option.<br><br>
Part of me, still thinks you remember older activities and your child is younger than that group.
 
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