Friday Freebie Earn the Girl Scouts Radio Patch

It has been a while since I have posted a “Friday Freebie”, but that is because they are getting harder to find! I wanted to share with you a new one that is for older girls.

The Radio & Wireless Technology Patch Program was developed by American Radio Relay League, Inc., with the assistance of members of Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains and Girls Scouts of Greater Atlanta. If your girls are interested in ameteur radio, this program is perfect for them.

Girls Scouts Radio Patch for all troop levels

Photo from Pixabay

Everything you need from the curriculum is available at their website.

 

Top 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Sanity While Leading a Girl Scout Troop

Here are some ideas to successfully run your troop and still have a life!

Becoming a Girl Scout leader is a very important decision.  No matter what level of girl scouting you begin you position, there will be times when it can seem overwhelming.  Even if you have been a leader for many years, unexpected situations crop up that will test your patience.  There are also times when a persistent situation makes you want to hang up your vest because you just have had enough.

I can honestly say that I love my position as a Girl Scout leader.  Not that it has not had its moments…it has. Even so, here are some tips so you can enjoy your position as much as I do.

Here are my top 3 tips for maintaining your sanity while leading your Girl Scout troop.

Photo from Pixabay

Girl Scout Leader Tip #1

Remember That You Are a Volunteer

This should go without saying, but being a Girl Scout leader is an unpaid position.  You should be getting props from parents-not complaints. You decided to be in charge and give their daughters the Girl Scout experience, not them.

Organizing a meeting takes extra time from your personal life. The parents of your girls may not realize, or even care, that as a leader you must:

  • Create each meetings lesson plan
  • Buy the materials for each meeting
  • Stay in contact with the parents
  • Attend monthly leader meetings
  • Organize field trips
  • Keep track of paperwork
  • Spend dues wisely
  • Be in charge of QSP sales, cookie sales and other fundraisers
  • Buy patches and badges
  • Take necessary training for each level

There may be parents who will complain to you about meeting times, activities or how you run your troop.  If this should happen to you, here are some replies to keep in the back of your mind:

“Since you didn’t care for this activity, how about planning the next meeting?”

“If this meeting time does not work for you, why not start a new Girl Scout troop?  There are lots of girls waiting to be placed in one!”

“I see you have an opinion on how I do things.  How about becoming a co-leader and helping out each week?  Perhaps you’d like to be the Cookie Mom.”

Don’t be surprised if you do not hear another word from them again!

Leader Tip #2

Parents Have to Take Responsibility

Many girls are involved in a multitude of activities.  From competitive dance and cheer to travel sports, many children have much busier lives than we ever had.  One of the biggest frustrations for Girl Scout leaders is that scouting often falls to the bottom of the list.

How many of you have hounded parents in person or via email for forms and checks?  Do you think they would do that to the dance teacher who is in charge of the competition or the coach who makes the starting line up? But somehow, when it comes to Girl Scouts, this sense of urgency is lost on parents.

As the leader, you do not want any of your girls to miss the field trip, Girl Scout event or community service project that you spent hours planning.

In order to maintain your sanity, you have to let it go.

Girl Scout leaders have to let things go if they want to enjoy the leadership experience.

Photo from Pixabay

After your initial contact, send only one other one close to the due date and state that it is your final contact about the event.  If a girl misses it and is upset, it is not your fault, it is the fault of her parents. Of course, there can be extenuating circumstances, but more than likely you already know about them and can help the family out with an extra reminder.

Parents who use the “I am so busy” excuse cannot be mad or upset with you, as you completed your end of the bargain with a reminder email or note.  Let the forgetful parents deal with their daughter who did not get to on the hayride, visit Build-a-Bear, or play Bingo with the senior citizens at the assisted living facility.

Chances are, they will be the first to hand in their money for the next trip!

Leader Tip #3

Ask for Help When Needed

You need to ask for help, it is just good management.  If you try to do it all, you will get burnt out and lose the motivation you had when you first signed up to be a leader. Do you do it all while you are on the job? Of course not! You delegate tasks to accomplish your goal.

If you are doing a really difficult craft, recruit some extra moms or dads or even an older troop of Cadettes, Seniors or Ambassadors.  Parents need to volunteer to go on field trips (and their daughters love to have them there, too!) or perhaps coordinate one for you.  Your co-leader can take turns with you attending the monthly meetings.

I always asked for help, especially when my troop was younger. I also did not sell cookies or do QSP simply because I would have had to do it since no one else wanted to take on the job. When I asked for help and did not get it, then that activity did not take place. There was only so much I was willing and able to do (see tip #1).

If you want some more support on this topic, you can read my blog post on how Girl Scout leaders make their lives more difficult than they need to be.

Do you have any tips to offer other leaders?

 

Friday Freebie Girl Scout Rewards Program Now at JoAnn Fabrics

*This post contains affiliate links.

I went back to work this week and so this Friday Freebie is coming just a few hours late…but I do not think you will mind!

Leaders ave 15% on all eligible troop purchases with the new Girl Scout Reward Program at Joann Fabrics

Photo from Pixabay

Joann Fabric now has a Girl Scout Reward Program!

JOANN is partnering with Girl Scouts to help inspire and unleash the power of G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ in every girl. In addition to offering a space for Girl Scouts in their stores, the company is going to donate to the Girl Scouts of the USA 2.5% of the purchase price on  all eligible transactions.

But wait, there’s more!

Once you get your card via email, you can print it out and save 15% on your total eligible purchases, whether you are shopping online at Joann’s  or going to the store to buy your troop supplies (and you can shop online and pick your purchase up at the store as well! How great is that?)

Hold on, JOANN’s is not done yet!

You can still use a coupon on your single item purchase with the 15%! (total purchase coupons cannot be combined with the 15% discount).

This program will be in effect until August 31, 2020!

Once you are registered, download the JOANN app with the same email you use to apply for the Girl Scout Rewards card. If you already have the app, sign out and then log back in. Your rewards card should be under the “My Coupons” tab.

Leaders of all levels should sign up for this card, as there is nothing to lose and everything to gain! I’ve already signed up for mine!

To find out more about the Girl Scout Rewards Program at JOANN’s, go to this page on their website to find out more.

 

 

Planning & Running a Multi-Level Troop With Ease-a Guest Blog Post From Jodi Carlson form Leader Connecting Leaders

I would like to thank Jodi Carlson from Leader Connecting Leaders for her informational guest post about how to run a multi-level troop. With fewer parents stepping up to lead troops, this kind of scouting is becoming more prevalent as leaders accept girls who want to have the Girl Scout experience, but have nowhere to join. Here she shares her ideas on how you can run yours like she does.

*All images used with permission.

Planning & Running a Multi-Level Troop With Ease

If you have a multi-level Girl Scout troop or are thinking about running a troop with more than one level, this information is for you. I hear about the struggles of running a troop with multiple Scouting levels, and since I ran a multi-level troop with every level for over 15 years I thought it be great to share some tips.

The most important thing to remember is that you need to stay super organized and get a lot of help from your parents. Even if they don’t want to be leaders with the title, you will find many parents are already doing everything a leader would do.  Eventually, you can show them that getting their leader training will just make it official. By leading a multi-level troop, you are creating for yourself a troop community with endless opportunities for your girls to be leaders to other levels. Even your Daisies can teach and lead your older girls!

Today I want to share a game to play with all your girls in a multi level troop and introduce you to some badge activity booklets I have put together for each level as a resource to help leaders like you run your meetings with ease.

Four Corner Game

This is a game that is simple and can be adapted to any holiday, event, or activities you are doing at your meetings. It is a great opportunity for your girls to burn off some energy before jumping into badge work, or you can save it for the end of the meeting before sending them home with their parents.

What You Need

4 corners of the room

4 images (see below for ideas of themes for images) print each image 2 times

Something to draw from (box or bag)

How to Play

Put one image into each corner of the room, the second set of that same image fold up and put into a box or bag. Tell each girl they must choose a corner to stand in. Once everyone is standing in a corner, draw one of the images from the bag. Everyone standing in that corner is out. Put that image back in bag. Then tell girls move around to a new corner or they can choose to stay where they are. Again, draw an image. If they are standing in that corner they are out. Continue this until only one person is remaining.

Variations for Images

Girl Scout Laws: Be A Sister To Every Girl Scout, Honest and Fair, Respect Authority, Making the World a Better Place (These would just be words or put image with words)

Cookie Time: Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Tagalongs

Easter: Easter bunny, eggs, easter basket, little chick

Christmas: Christmas Tree, Santa Claus, Elves, Reindeer

Hanukkah-Chanukuah menorah, dreidel, candles, gelt

The options are endless

Daisy Girl Scouts

If you have a Daisy troop and are ready to earn your petals, check out the Petal Fairy Garden Adventure Activity Booklet. which has everything you need to earn the 10 petals and promise center. This activity booklet will take your girls on a garden adventure with their new petal fairy friends. The petal fairies will help your girls learn how to live by the 10 fairy laws one activity at a time by completing 4 different sections of activities for each flower petal: Practice and Learn, Be Creative, Get Moving, and Put What They Learn into Action. Each petal also includes an additional activity and/or song to add to your troop’s meeting. With many of the extra activities you can get your other levels involved by helping with service projects or singing the songs as a troop.

Leaders Connecting Leaders Flower Program Packet

Packets Available Here

Booklets are designed to fit into your troops budget and the leaders style of teaching.

• Three different ways to purchase the Petal Fairy Leader Booklet

◦ Activities for one Petal Law at a time

◦ Print Leader Booklet with all 10 laws and flower center at home

◦ Mail Leader Booklet with all 10 laws and flower center to your home

• Three different ways to purchase the girl activity booklet add on:

◦ Petal Fairy Sticker sheet with 95 stickers so girls can create their own garden scenes.

◦ Cut and paste activity booklet (purchase once and print as many as you need).

◦ Sticker activity booklet for each girl which comes with all templates for the program and 95 stickers.

Brownie Girl Scouts

Celebrating COmmunity Activity Booklet from Leader Connecting Leaders

Packet Available Here

The Celebrating Community Activity Booklet for Brownie Scouts has everything for your girls to learn more about symbols in their community, new songs, how to fold a flag, do a patriotic craft and a number of interactive worksheets and games to reinforce what they are learning. For the final step, the girls will learn how to do a flag ceremony. As a multi-level troop, you can use this as an opportunity to let the Brownies lead the rest of your troop and teach everyone how to do a proper flag ceremony.

Junior Girl Scouts

How to Earn the Playing the Past Badge

Packet Available Here

Junior troops who want to learn more about how frontier girls lived in the past can earn the Playing the Past badge. This activity booklet will take your girls on a journey to imagine what it was like to live in the past by walking in the shoes of a frontier girl through a fun relay matching game and a song from frontier times. The girls will play a frontier memory game, which is a great opportunity for your Juniors to share what they learned with your Brownie group.

Cadette Girl Scouts

Cadette Public Speaker badge activity packet

Packet Available Here

If you have a Cadette troop and you want them to be able to get in front of others and speak, the Public Speaking Activity Booklet will have your girls practicing performing solo and with a group. They will work together doing communication games to help them feel more comfortable talking in front of others. In addition, they will learn about how body language affects the way a person comes across while speaking, and create a speech of their own and perform a play together as a group. When it is time to perform the play bring your whole troop community together to watch the show.

Senior Girl Scouts

Girl Scout Senior Game Visionary badge activity booklet

Packet Available Here

Senior troop members can learn more about all kinds of different games while earning the Game Visionary badge. The activity booklet will have your girls playing a number of fun interactive games to get to know each other better, put together a real world bingo game, challenge each other to a puzzle showdown, create a physical obstacle course, and have fun on a scavenger hunt. After the girls create their obstacle course, you can include the rest of your multi-level troop in on the fun and have them all run the course.

Ambassador Girl Scouts

Girl Scout Ambassador On My Own badge activity packet

Packet Available Here

Ambassador troops can learn how to go out and live independently after graduation. The On My Own activity booklet  will have your girls thinking about life using worksheets for budgeting for life, gift giving, and financial emergencies. There is an activity to create a savings bottle for financial emergencies, a Price is Right game, and a role playing activity to learn more about finding a place to live. The whole booklet is broken down into 5 sections with 2 activities for each. One will be a fun game or activity the other is a real world experience activity. After the girls play the Price is Right game, they could become the host and play it with the rest of your troop, specifically your Cadettes and Seniors who will soon be thinking about the same thing your Ambassadors are doing now.

I hope these ideas help make running your multi level troop a little easier, and just remember have fun and build a community with your girls and parents that you can always depend on for help. Everyone is a leader in Girl Scouts!

About Author

My name is Jodi Carlson, I am a mom, wife, & web designer and come with 25 years of Girl Scout experience. I am now sharing my experiences and helping other Girl Scout leaders be great and successful and shape today’s girls to be the leaders of tomorrow. I was blessed with a Son in March of 2015 and stepped down as a full time girl leader, but missed planning and volunteering, so I decided after 25 years I have so many ideas to inspire girls and help leaders so I choose to build a blog that has turned more into a community of Leaders inspiring our girl leaders of tomorrow. My blog is Leader Connecting Leaders.

How Girl Scout Troops Can Help with Hurricane Harvey Relief

The devastation in Texas from Hurricane Harvey hit close to home for me. I have family who lives right outside the city, and fortunately for them, their homes were spared.

But for many, that was not the case.

One of my first thoughts after hearing about the disaster was, “How can I help?” I am sure that all of you thought the same thing.

Here are some ways that Girl Scout troops can help those affected by Hurricane Harvey

Photo from Pixabay

The Girl Scout of Northeast Texas has a way for leaders and troops to help. Girls can even earn a patch for this special service project.

You can read about how your troop can make the world a better place by going here.

The Girls Scouts of the USA also has ways for your troop to help and be prepared in times of disaster. Find out how here.

A poster on the Girl Scouts Gab Facebook page shared a link for a charity that helps low income students have clean, new underwear. It is called Undies for Everyone and you can read about what they do and how you can donate here.