Photo from pixabay.com

Photo from pixabay.com

I am sitting in a different position this year than I have been for the past six years.  Last May, I stepped down as my daughter’s Girl Scout leader and stepped into the position of active co-leader. The troop’s new leader can ask me anything and ask for help and it will be given.  I am more than a warm body but I am no longer responsible for the core planning of our troop’s activities.

But I am still highly interested in the Girl Scouting experience that my daughter will be having, and I intend to make it as memorable as I can. So I still read Girl Scout forums to stay current and see if there is any new information I can share with you.

One theme that runs through so many of the forum threads reminds me of the biggest mistake Girl Scout leaders make.

The mistake is forgetting that we are VOLUNTEERS!

Now some of you reading this post are at a different stage of life than I am. I have already been around the mommy block before, as I have a daughter who is nineteen and a college sophomore.  I have also recently had a milestone birthday-the big 5-0.  With age and experience comes wisdom, and I can see things much more clearly than I could a decade or more ago.  If you are younger and this is your oldest child, I can see where you want to be nice and not make waves.

In the forums that I frequent, there are complaints about Service Units and what they demand from the leaders who are in their Council. (DEMAND? Are they forgetting that everyone who attends a meeting is a volunteer?) While there is a five girl minimum to be considered a troop, some Councils are demanding that minimum sizes be twelve or more to that troops be multi-level or that leaders have to abandon their troops and not move up with them, but take on an entirely new set of girls.

Photo from pixabay.com

Photo from pixabay.com

Leaders, I understand that you want to make it work because you stepped up and you want to do this for your daughter.  However, the more you permit the powers that be to tell you what you have to do, the more ownership of your troop you lose.  I once refused to take on new girls when I first started out. My troop was all of six girls, and when the Service Unit Treasurer asked me if I would accept more girls, I told her no.

She said “What if two girls don’t show up and you only have four at the meeting?”

I replied, “Then I guess I will hold a very small meeting.”

Leaders, you are forgetting that YOU are in charge. Yes, there are rules from the GSA that we must follow, but that is not what I am talking about.

You do not have to do anything you do not want to do.  As a volunteer you can walk away.  

That’s right…tell them if they do not stop with the demands, then you will walk away from being a leader.  You should never forget that they need YOU more than you need them. Without you, how many girls would now be without a leader?

I honestly do not mean to sound harsh.  If I did not believe in the benefits of being a Girl Scout, I would have left long ago.  I have been encouraging my daughter to stay active in scouting.

What I am trying to do is empower you. The stress I read in the Girl Scout forums from leaders under duress is unnecessary.  Issues with parents and girls need to be worked out and are inevitable, whether the issues are big or small.  But the people who run the ship should not be creating more waves for you.  When leaders stand up for themselves, then you will be heard.  You cannot feel guilty about the choices you make. Remember, you picked up the ball.  You signed up to be the leader.  Councils and Service Units should be helping and encouraging you, not creating unnecessary stress.

What do you think?  Have you ever been tempted to just stop and walk away?  Why didn’t you?

 

{ 2 comments }

Books to Help Your Troop Earn Daisy Petals

by Hannah on September 11, 2014

Photo from pixabay.com

Photo from pixabay.com

 

If you are a brand new Daisy troop leader, you are probably wondering how you are going to earn all of those petals. Even if you are a leader entering her second year with her girls, you probably still have some petals to finish or maybe have one or two that you want to revisit.

Earning Daisy petals with your troop is easy to do if you follow a lesson plan. As a teacher for the past 27 years, I know that one way to get a concept across to children is through literature. Gathering the children on the carpet and using your best voices to read a captivating picture book gets them on same page (pun intended) and has everyone starting from the same experience.

While I would not use them at every meeting, I did use several different books with my troop to teach concepts when they were Daisy Scouts.

If you are looking for some wonderful children’s literature to use at your meetings, here is a list of books and the Daisy petals they correspond to.

If you have any books that you used that do not appear on the list, please let me know!

{ 0 comments }

Do You Wear a Girl Scout Leader Uniform?

September 4, 2014

When my older daughter was a Girl Scout, her leader was very gung ho the first few years she was in charge.  She always wore her yellow Girl Scout leader sweater set to each and every meeting, as well as on field trips. While I used to wear a uniform of sorts during my five […]

Read the full article →

Silver Award from Troop 3763-A Special Guest Post

August 21, 2014

Nothing makes me smile more than seeing a troop stay together through the years.  In January 2012, I had my first guest post from Girl Scout troop 3763.  In two different parts, they shared how they earned the Bronze Award. Imagine my surprise when early this summer, their troop leader contacted me again to ask […]

Read the full article →

Journey Resources and Ideas for Cadette Leaders

August 14, 2014

As I peruse my blog and update and edit posts, I am drawn to the ones where I share my organizational tips. I am a firm believer that we cause much of our own stress because we are unprepared.  Because I juggle four part-time jobs and a family, being prepared is key to my success […]

Read the full article →

How to Earn the Blue Daisy Promise Center

August 13, 2014

New Daisy leaders have their hands full with trying to figure out how to do it all.  After meeting with her co-leader and planning out the year (or at least the first few meetings),  activities need to be planned.  Here are some ready made resources for those who are starting with the Daisy petals and […]

Read the full article →

Daisy Girl Scout Leader Resources

August 7, 2014

Are you a brand new Daisy Girl Scout leader? Are you trying to figure our how to start your troop? I have some online resources for you! First, there is this blog!  I began writing it to help other leaders and I have hundreds of posts with resources for you.  Just go to the “Search” […]

Read the full article →

What Have You Been Up to This Summer?

July 14, 2014

Hello fellow leaders! I hope that you are enjoying your summer. I am curious what you and your troop have been up to if you have been meeting with each other. If you have not been meeting, have you been planning for the new year or just relaxing? Please share what has been working for […]

Read the full article →

Craft Supply Sale at Michael’s!

June 18, 2014

  My two artistic daughters needed to go to Michael’s Craft Store to get supplies for the gifts they were making friends for their birthdays or high school graduation. When we arrived at the store, I was amazed at the incredible selection of sale and clearance merchandise available!  I started to miss the days when […]

Read the full article →

Father’s Day Crafts That Are Easy for Younger Scouts

June 6, 2014

Do you need a quick and easy Father’s Day craft for your Daisy or Brownie troop? On my Daisy blog, I posted several links to websites that have inexpensive craft ideas for those of you who are short on time and/or money. Look here for some cool ideas!

Read the full article →