Hurry! Tons of Retired Brownie, Junior and Cadette Badges for Sale-50 Cents Each!

If you saw my last post, you know that I am a huge fan of Girl Scout Facebook groups.

Here is a big reason for you to join and stay in the loop.

On the GS Retired Badges Sell/Trade page, there is a several posts about a Council store relocating and needing to sell items asap. All Brownie Try Its, Junior Badges, and ISP’s are 50 cents each plus shipping! They are priced to sell and there are limited quantities of each (some have dozens while others are a handful). You can see the complete list if you join.

You can contact the store at the GSNIM Scoutfitters Shop at 1-574-273-3021 ext 304.

Happy shopping!

Let me know if you got what you wanted!

14 Great Girl Scout Facebook Groups Girl Scout Leaders Should Join

Girl Scout leader Facebook groups are a great source of knowledge and support for leaders of all levels.

If you have read any of my blogs over the past few years, you know that I am a huge fan of Babycenter’s Girl Scout Moms forum. Leaders helping leaders is what that group is all about, and I am constantly amazed at how helpful this group of women are.

Another resource that I have found to be invaluable are Girl Scout Facebook groups. There are groups that sell and swap badges, groups for each level, and groups that share how to do Journeys.

Here are some fantastic ones that you should join! Just search for the names list below when you log into Facebook and ask to become a member. Some admins will private message you to ask why you are joining a group just to make sure you are really a leader.

Also, if you are trying to sell your old Girl Scout materials, read each of the groups guidelines so you list your items properly. Each group has it’s own rules.

Here are the best Girl Scout Leader Facebook groups!

Girl Scout Badge Swap

Girl Scout Stuff for Sale/Trade

Fun Patches to Buy and Sell

GS Retired Badges Sell/Trade

Cadette-Senior-Ambassador Advisors

Brownie Leaders

GS Junior Leaders Think Tank

Cadette/Senior & Ambassador Leaders Idea Bazaar

Daisy Girl Scouts

Girl Scout Freebies, Deals and More

Girl Scout Sell/Swap

Girl Scout Journeys

Girl Scout Volunteer Community

Girl Scout Crafting Ideas

Are you a member of any of these groups or another one that I have not mentioned?

Our Final Cadette Girl Scout Meeting of the Year

Last night we had our final Girl Scout meeting of the year. In previous years, we never met in June because we held our meetings in the elementary school most of the girls in the troop attended. We lost that space at the end of May as the school did not schedule us during the busy closing of the school season.

Out of our 10 girls, six were present. This was a sign of things to come.

The focus of the meeting was to work on the Amaze Journey. The leader had contacted our middle school principal (who also happened earn the Girl Scout Gold Award in her youth) about her plans and she was on board. The girls were going to create anti-bullying posters with positive messages.

The girls discussed some things they could write and then went on to create the posters. Here are some of them:

Girl Scout Cadette Amaze Journey

Girl Scout Cadette Amaze Journey

Cadette Amaze Journey poster project

These posters will be hung up around the middle school before the school year begins.

After the posters were done, we broke for an ice cream treat. During this time, our Cookie Mom presented the awards the girls earned and they were very excited. They also received a fun patch for the cookies they donated to a local military organization.

At the end of the meeting, it was revealed that one of the missing girls, who missed last month’s meeting as well, had quit. As the buzz went among the girls, some told my daughter that they might not return in the fall. All of these girls have packed schedules, and the older they get, the more is expected from them with sports teams and dance teams. This does not even include the increase in homework that they have each year. For some children, even a once a month commitment may be too much for them.

We still have a core group of girls who will continue for certain. Girl Scouts is their primary activity (they do not do sports) and we will have a troop in the fall. We let the girls know that they are still members until September 30th, so they can try it out in the fall at our first meeting to see if they want to stay. There are some fun summer activities that the girls can participate in. And of course, if they change their minds, they are always welcome to return.

How many girls are continuing with your troop next year? Are you losing any due to other activities?

Should You Spend Girl Scout Cookie Money on a Big Trip if All of the Girls Cannot Participate?

How can you fairly spend your troop's Girl Scout cookie money?It’s that time of year again where the Girl Scout forums and Facebook groups are lighting up with questions about end of the year activities and what a leader should do if a girl cannot attend the big end of year trip.

This is a very delicate subject. After all, one of the topics I am going to assume you discussed with your troop when cookie sales were taking place is what to do with the cookie profits. If the girls voted on a trip to Build-A-Bear, a tween salon or a trip to the water park, then it is in your best interest to make sure that the girls can attend.

In fact, one of the first things your co-leader and you should do is pick a date as far in advance as possible (one that works for both of you) and let the parents know via email. Then you have in your possession a time stamped, dated email that you can refer to if a parent starts the “you did not tell me”  or “I didn’t know” nonsense. Just resend the email and remind them that you did, in fact, tell them.

As a back-up for the first email, I would send a “Save the Date” email about eight weeks before the planned event just to remind the parents who did not put it on their calendars the first time.

How should a Girl Scout leader handle the issue of girls being unable to attend the field trip they are going on that uses their cookie profits?

 

Some leaders send out a survey to the parents to help them select a date. Tread lightly with this idea and give out a choice of only two dates, with the majority winning.  Those who cannot go on the selected date that was voted on may counter with a third date, and that may not work for you or your co-leader. Be firm and consistent.

Of course, you do not always know four months out that there is a sports competition or an out of town relative visiting. That can cause a monkey wrench in your plans, as well as those of the girls who could originally attend.

In fact, this has happened to my daughter this year. The troop had big cookie profits, and they decided to spend their money on a theme park trip. It just so happened that a big Girl Scout event was planned by our Council at a theme park in June, so the planning was made easy for the leader.

However, the big event is on the day of my daughter’s dance recital. In fact, out of 10 girls, only 5 can go on the trip due to dance and sports commitments.

My daughter was disappointed, as was I, but there is nothing one can do. Life happens and there are times when you have four things to do in one day and then a month of nothingness. I consider it a life lesson, and since she is a 6th grader, she can handle it. She has worked all year for the recital and that cannot be missed-and of course, she does not want to miss it!

No one has given our leader a hard time…it is what it is. And that is how parents should handle this situation for their daughters.

Girl Scout field trips-how to plan them so they are fair

However, the question does arise to the “fairness” of the situation. If  “cookies=a special trip”, what happens to the children who cannot go on the trip?

I believe the younger the girls are, the more a leader needs to try to be fair without going crazy and becoming stressed over the situation. Even if parents insist, girls cannot be given money if they cannot make the event, as troop money belongs to the troop and not the individual girl.

What are some workable solutions?

Is there money in the budget for the trip and a special treat or guest during the regular meeting time? Can you plan two smaller trips so that each girl can go on at least one? Can one of your fall meetings be a trip like a hayride or corn maze to help launch the year on a positive note?

We are going on our first big camping trip in the fall, and the date is set in stone and has been given far in advance (six months). The cookie money will be used for that venture, so my daughters and the others who are not going to the theme park will have a chance to have a different great experience.

Another solution, one which worked for me, was to schedule field trips during our regular meeting time or during our half-days of school. Parents who worked needed child care anyway, so that was a win-win for them. No classes or lessons were scheduled for that time since on a regular day, the girls would have been in school. Is that possible for you plan this year or keep on the back burner for next year?

Have you found a workable solution to this Girl Scout leader dilemma?

Summer Sale-99 Cent Items for Your Troop

Summer Savings Event at Birthday Express

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Shop Birthday Express

Great news! Birthday Express just launched their Summer Savings Event and it features some great deals including hundreds of products $.99 and under! These deals sizzle so get them while they’re hot!

Shop Now >> Summer Savings Event – Up to 80% off at Birthday Express


What Can You Get for 99 Cents and Under?

When you click on the banner below, you will find 16 pages of deals!  There are items featuring the Minions, who have a new movie coming out this summer. There is candy, jewelry, Disney Frozen items…think ahead to community service projects or gifts for the holidays if you make them during troop meetings. Your daughter may even have her own birthday coming up and you can buy party favors for very little money!

Check out what you can get for less than a dollar a piece!

Shop Birthday Express

Are you planning on giving your girls a bridging gift?

10 Fun and Easy Girl Scout End of the Year Ideas

This post contains affiliate links.

For many leaders, the end of May and the beginning of June mark the end of the Girl Scout calendar for them. Cookie selling is finished, and with the bank account now full of the profits of their hard work, both the girls and the leaders are looking for a fun way to end the scouting year before their summer break.

If you are not busy working on a bridging ceremony, or even if you are, what kinds of activities can you do with your girls to end the year on a high note?

Here are 10 easy to use and implement ideas for your final meeting of the year.

Planning the Girl Scout End of Year Activities

Your co-leader and you will need to decide if the last activity is going to be during your regular meeting or at another time and place. What you plan to do, of course, will influence this decision.

The biggest pro to planning the end of year Girl Scout party during your regular meeting time is that the families have already committed to this time slot. Unless there is an illness or family emergency, all of your girls will more than likely show up. There should be no scheduling conflicts.

Another benefit to having your party during your regular meeting is that no additional field trip form will be needed for you to fill out if you plan on using troop dues to pay for things. Meeting off-site in an official manner requires you to meet all of the Safety Checkpoints.

Girl Scout paperwork

One option is that you can meet informally as a group and not call it a Girl Scout Event so you do not need to fill out all of the paperwork.

The other decision that has to be made is if you wish to include parents or not. Remember, if parents are included, they will have to find child care for other siblings, unless they are invited along as well.

If you are planning to meet at a different day, time and place, you will need to be prepared for the inevitable calls, emails and texts about some children not being able to attend due to a scheduling conflict. Expect some grief, but if the majority of girls can attend, then it is a life lesson to be learned.

You also need to bare in mind that not all parents are friends or get along with each other. Their daughters may be fine, but not their mothers. Just a thought to consider.

Another thing to factor in is the behavior of the girls outside of the usual Girl Scout meeting. It may change when the parameters and scenery are new and different and when their parents are present. Make sure to lay down some basic rules and guidelines for parents to read and sign before you venture outside of your meeting place.

Here are 10 ideas that are both fun and easy for your girls to do and for you to implement. Adapt them to meet the age requirements of your troop and whether or not this is an official trip of just an informal gathering of families.

1. Go on a Picnic

This is an easy thing to do. Each girl/family is responsible for bringing their own food and a dessert to share.

2. Have a Cookout

If you want to grill for the girls, you need to decide if each family will bring their own meat to grill or if the troop will be picking up the tab for everything or just a few things.

Girl Scout end of year activity-have a cookout!

3. Go on a Field Trip

Not all field trips can be taken during a meeting time. I used to take them on our scheduled half days off from school. Parents who worked outside the home did not mind as they would have to find childcare anyway. Parents who were home also did not mind that their daughters would be out for the day and they did not have to entertain them.

4. Have a Tea Party

Younger scouts will enjoy dressing up in fancy clothes and having tiny sandwiches and sweet desserts. Older girls will like to do the prep work of baking and organizing the tea. They might also like an opportunity to dress nicely as well.

medals

Medals from Amazon

5.Have a Mini Olympics

Your co-leader and you can organize a few volunteers to have a fun sporting event for your girls.  These can be simple games and at the end, give each girl a medal and some sweet treats.

6. Have a Backyard Water Park

Have families help set up water balloons, relay races with water and sprinklers in someone’s backyard. Buy some ice cream and toppings for sundaes and some ice pops. Plan a rain date just in case.

7. Have a Faux Slumber Party

If you want to meet in someone’s home, you can have a faux slumber party. It can be done in the day, evening or night. Set a predetermined time for pick up and have the girls come to your home in their pajamas. Play games and do crafts like you would at a real sleepover, but the best part is that the girls go home!

8. Go Fruit Picking

If you live near a “Pick Your Own” farm, the girls can go out together and pick fruit. They get to take home an equal portion and enjoy the fruits of their labor!

9. Go to a Park

This is a cheap and easy field trip to take. Pick a park that is not too far from home, pack snacks, beverages and wipes and you are set!

10. Craft Party

If you want to leave the confines of your meeting room, try doing a craft that is messier than usual. Tie dye, painting, or anything that can spill and wreck the inside can be brought outside, weather permitting. This can be done on site or at another person’s home.

Do you have any other ideas for a Girl Scout end of the year party?

Our May Cadette Girl Scout Meeting

Out May meeting was very successful as we covered a lot of ground in our 90 minutes together…and it certainly seems to fly by! Eight of our ten girls were present to discuss our fall camping trip and to prepare for it.

Before the meeting started, I waited outside for my girls to arrive with the bag of food they were asked to bring so I could load them into my car. I was so touched that several of our families brought multiple bags to contribute! Even the girls who did not attend brought food over and did the right thing for others in need.

All together, we have fifteen bags of food and seven boxes of Girl Scout cookies that I will be delivering this week.

Quick and Easy Girl Scout community service porject
Our donations…so proud of my girls! Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

Roundtable Discussion

After our opening, the leader discussed her camping training that she participated in last month. She also shared that another mom was also getting camping certified, so that we will be all covered for any camping trips!

As I have shared before, we did not go camping when I was the leader as that was not my assigned role. Even though the girls bugged and begged to go, we never did.

Now that we are really going, some of them are having second thoughts! The bugs, missing a sporting activity, sleeping in a tent, the type of food they were going to make and eat…now some of them were getting a bit wary of the whole camping idea. Others were very excited about going. The girls were told that since the campsite is only eight miles from our town, they could come and go to attend a sporting event or not sleep over and rejoin us in the morning.

Time will tell who will go on the trip!

She then discussed the Silver Award, which will be optional. I know that certain girls will not do it, but we have a core group that will.

Building a Campfire

Part of the meeting was having the girls learn how to create a campfire and basic campfire safety. The girls collected tinder, kindling and logs.

Building a Girl Scout camp fire
The fire pit where we built the fire. Fire starters made from lint were used. Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.
Teaching my Girl Scout troop how to properly build a campfire.
Kindling and tinder were added. Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.
Girl Scout campfire safety
With the log added, the fire started to get big. Notice the jugs of water nearby to ensure that it could be put out if it got out of control.
Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

If you are going to have a campfire, then you are going to have to make S’mores! The girls liked this part of the meeting best of all!

IMG_1731
Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

The leader had planned on the girls doing a part of the Amaze Journey, but the girls were having such a great time outdoors that this idea was put on hold.

How are you preparing your girls for your camping trip?


A Quick and Easy Community Service Project

The picture appeared in my Facebook newsfeed and I felt my heart break. A local food bank posted a picture of empty shelves.

Totally barren.

It is sad to think of families going to seek assistance, only to be told that there is no food to give.

This week, my girls are going to do their share to make the world a better place, to be friendly and helpful and to be considerate and caring.Here is a Girl Scout service project that is easy to do and will make an enormous difference in your community.After clearing it with the leader, I sent an email with the picture and asked the parents to show it to their daughters. I felt that the visual would make an big impact. I saw my own daughter’s reaction when I showed it to her. Her jaw dropped and her faced grew quite concerned.

I sent parents the link to the food bank’s website with their most wanted items list and asked them to bring a bag of food to our meeting this Thursday. If the girls could not attend, I would pick up the bag at their home. All of these food items are already on most (if not everyone’s) shelves. Pasta, tomato sauce, tuna fish, cereal, canned fruit and vegetables…no extra effort was needed on their part. I simply asked them to go to their pantry with their  daughter and fill the bag. I will deliver the bags.

Unlike our big canned food drive,  where we collected over 2,200 cans and boxes when my troop was in third grade, this is not a major undertaking. With busy spring schedules and the last minute urgency, this cannot be that kind of food drive.

But that does not mean that we cannot make a difference in the lives of others. It is the small things that add up to making a change.

There are 10 girls in our troop, and that means 10 bags of food will be brought to the food bank. It may not fill up the shelves, but we will be able to feed a few families.

Imagine if every troop leader did this in their own community…the shelves would be filled.

It is not too late for your girls to do a quick and easy service project to end the year on a positive scouting note!

Girl Scout Bridging Gift Ideas for Older Girls

This post contains affiliate links.

It’s that time of year when we look at our troop of girls and wonder where the time has gone. Recently, four of my girls attended an older girl led Rope Runner Derby, and watching the little Daisy Scouts running around with their toothless smiles and pigtails made the other leaders and I smile and remember when our girls were that young.

Now they are tall young women (some taller than us) who were the oldest girls to attend a Council event.

If you are a Junior troop bridging to Cadettes or a Cadette troop bridging to Seniors or a Senior troop bridging to Ambassadors, then you may be considering giving your girls a gift from your co-leader and you to commemorate this occasion.

Girl Scout Bridging Gift Ideas for Older Scouts. These are inexpensive items that you do not have to spend time creating.

Unlike Daisy or Brownie Scouts, who will be happy with a cute little something that you found on Pinterest, your older girls will probably prefer a little something more substantial.

But substantial does not mean expensive.

As your girls have gotten older, you have also gotten busier. While there are so many adorable things you can craft and create, be honest…do you have time to make them? Stop the guilt! You already have devoted hours and hours of your time and you continue to do so if you are moving up with your girls.

Here are some adorable gift ideas for only a few dollars each. Depending on how many girls are in your troop and how many leaders are splitting the cost, the out of pocket cost to you will be minimal. And as an added bonus, you are saving time-a most precious commodity!

Here are some adorable bridging gift ideas. You can tuck something meaningful inside like a personal note to each girl.

Girl Scout bridging gift for older girls-change purse comes in 11 different colors and patterns.

This adorable change purse comes in 11 different colors and patterns. Available on Amazon and the shipping is free!

Coin purses with sequins make a cute bridging gift for older girls. Available in all the colors shown here.

Here is another version of the coin purse, but it this on has sequins. This has free shipping and is available here.

Pencil or makeup case for older girls comes in four different patterns.

This is a pencil case that can also be used as a makeup bad for a purse as well. There are four different patterns that you can order. Available here on Amazon with free shipping.

Pretty makeup pouches/pencil cases are perfect bridging gifts for girls.Here is a similar kind of pouch that makes a great little gift for girls who are bridging. You can find them here.

Are you planning on giving your girls a bridging gift?

Activities for Daisy Girl Scouts, Brownie Girl Scouts, Juniors, Cadettes and More!