Amazon Prime Day for Back to School and Girl Scout Supplies Today Only!

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Back to School and Back to Scouts is still a long time away for those who live on the East Coast, but for my friends and family who live in other places, summer break will soon be drawing to a close. Stores everywhere have replaced grills and swim gear with notebooks and highlighters.

As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm…and the deals! Today is the day to go to Amazon and try Prime for free for 30 days so you can get the deals and the free shipping that comes along with being a Prime Member.

Think of all the items you want to get for your troop and your own children (and hey, maybe even yourself!)in the upcoming months and get them all today.

Click on the banner and enjoy your shopping experience!

 

4 Things Girl Scout Leaders Needs to Do Over the Summer

Don’t be alarmed by the post title! This is all about YOU and finding ways to make next year’s troop meetings go even more smoothly. Whether you are a troop that has summer meetings or one that will get together again in September, here are some things to get yourself ready for your best and most productive year ever.

Before you end your troop year, you may want to survey your girls and ask them what they want to do. This will assist in your planning and give them a vested interest in next year’s activities. Also, they should not complain since you made the plans based on their suggestions!

Doing these 4 things over the summer should help Girl Scout leaders start the new scouting year on the right foot. Even if you do only one or two, you will be ahead of the game when your troop begins meeting again.

Photo from Pixabay

  1. Take a few weeks off and do not think about Girl Scouts!  As a teacher, I know firsthand the magic of summer break. Even though in my younger years I worked in the summer, it was a different job and it used my brain in a different way. Once mid-August came around, I was recharged and excited for a new school year to begin. I still feel this way and look forward to the start of September refreshed, relaxed and renewed.

Girl Scout leaders need to take time over the summer to relax. You deserve it!

Photo from Pixabay

You need time to not think about a meeting, planning an event, or pinning that perfect craft project. You deserve it!

2. When you are ready, start planning!  Maybe inspiration strikes you during the post July 4th sales that you see in craft stores. Perhaps there is a pin on Pinterest that you save to one of your boards. You will know when you are ready to think about your girls again.

Planning is essential to having a successful scouting year. Having a month to month outline and meeting plan will not leave you frazzled with last minute shopping and running around. You have a life outside of Girl Scouts, and if you are not stressing about how to combine the two, you will enjoy your meetings more.

PLanning your Girl Scout year will make everything easier for you. Pencil in dates, plan activities and trips and then fill it in with more details. No last minute running around is necessary!

Photo from Pixabay

Begin by looking at next year’s calendar and penciling in all of your meeting dates. You can plan badges, service projects and trips based on the season. For example, we already have our camping weekend planned for October and the girls are excited! That means our September meeting will be devoted to planning and preparing for our first two night trip. In December we do a service project, typically for the same organization.  January’s meeting centers around cookies. Four months done already!

Your first meeting should be devoted to troop building skills and “getting to know you” activities if you have new girls joining the other girls. Making them comfortable is key.

Then you need to see what direction you are heading. Are you planning the Bronze Award? Do you need to complete a Journey? (remember, they are not required until the girls are Juniors and IF they want to earn the Bronze).

What badges would work for your girls? Do you want to do one from the old program? Now would be the time to search for the badges on private Facebook groups. You know the interests of your girls, so plan your meetings around them.

3. Talk to your co-leader. Having a positive relationship with your co-leader is another essential element to having a great leader experience. Schedule a meeting with her to have her help you plan the year’s activities. Be sure to delegate tasks so that you are not responsible for doing everything. After your meeting, send an email to her reviewing what you both agreed to do.

4. Do Not Stress Over Registration  I am a firm believer that parents need to be the ones who register their daughters for Girl Scouts and pay for it. They pay for other things like dance costumes, cheer uniforms and cleats for sports, as well as the registration fees for these activities. Why do we enable them with Girl Scouts? While I realize that you want to know how many girls are returning, it really does not matter except for the first meeting or two whether you are planning for 10 girls or 12. The activities will be the same. Girls are still considered Scouts until September 30th.

Do not stress over whether girls register or not. It is their parents job to do that. If they want to return, they will.

Photo from Pixabay

In the past, I would send a reminder email at the end of summer along with our first meeting date. I also told parents the girls would not be able to join us after September 30th unless they were registered.

They all managed to register before the deadline.

These four key things that Girl Scout leaders should do over the summer will have you starting the new troop year on the right foot.

Friday Freebie-Craft Classes at Lakeshore Learning

Teachers everywhere understand the allure of a Lakeshore Learning catalog. You can keep your fancy clothes or home magazines, give an educator pictures of colorful organizers, math manipulatives and alphabet games that are ready to go and we are in heaven!

Girl Scout Meeting Idea-Free Craft Classes at Lakeshore Learning

Photo from Pixabay

Lakeshore Learning also has many craft items and they love to share them via their free Saturday morning craft classes. This is a fun way to get your young troop together without having to plan anything. Just send an email to the parents and share when you will be there with your daughter and make it known that this is not a drop off event, but an informal gathering. It is perfect for summer meetings!

Here is the most recent schedule of free craft classes from Lakeshore Learning. Keep it bookmarked so you can stay informed as it is updated over the summer!

Last Girl Scout Meeting of the Year Ideas

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For many Girl Scout leaders, the end of the school year also means the end of the scouting year as well. Summer is a time for family and recharging your leadership batteries so you can begin the new school year refreshed, renewed and ready to dive back into troop activities.

The last meeting of the scouting year should be one that is memorable and something different from your typical badge work or community service meeting. If you are not bridging, then your last meeting can have a fun theme. Use some of your cookie money to make the meeting planning easier on you.

Need some ideas for your final Girl Scout meeting of the year? Here are some for you to try.

Photo from Pixabay

One idea for a meeting is to have outdoor games based on the Olympics. I wrote a blog post with games to play and ideas to use on my Daisy Girl Scout blog. You can read how to have a Girl Scout Olympics meeting here. If your girls are older, you can make the games a bit more complex as their skill set is greater than a Daisy Scout.

Another fun idea for an end of year meeting is to host a tea party. Invite moms, grandmas or other women who are important to your girls to join you if you wish. Have the girls dress up extra fancy and provide each girl with her own feather boa and hat.

Host a Girl Scout tea party as one of your end of year activities,

Set of 6 Tea Party Hats and Matching Purses Available on Amazon

Serve little tea sandwiches and other fun finger foods. For craft ideas, you can read this blog post and view some activities for your girls to do.

One thing that I used to do for our final meeting was work on our Girl Scout scrapbooks. It was a no-brainer kind of meeting to plan and the girls enjoyed chatting with each other while putting their pages together and looking back at their older pages. Before we sat down to work I always brought in a special snack and we talked about the pictures that my co-leader handed out to each girl. It was like the half-year in review, since we always had a winter meeting that included scrapbooking. Special Girl Scout scrapbooking supplies are still available on Amazon.

Have you considered taking a field trip for your final gathering of the school year? It is a wonderful way to end the year and leave theme excited and wanting more in the fall.

Need more ideas for a final meeting? I wrote this blog post last year that had my top 10 last Girl Scout meeting ideas.

How We Are Spending Our Cookie Money

Our troop has not had a formal meeting since January due to a variety of factors, and last night we all finally got together. The girls did keep in touch over the winter months via our weekend cookie booths, so it did not feel like we haven’t seen each other!

Our Cookie Mom went over our profits from the sale, and that amount added to our present bank account balance means that the girls’ hard work is going to be rewarded with many fun activities. The focus of this meeting was to brainstorm ideas on how to spend the money-things we can do in the upcoming weeks and some for early fall to get the year off and running.

How does your troop decide how to spend their Girl Scout cookie profits? What do you do if all girls cannot attend?

Photo from Pixabay

One rule that was established from the start of the brainstorming session was that since we are a small troop of five, all girls had to be able to attend the event for it to take place. That decision came about because our Cookie Mom had brought a Council flyer about a day trip to the beach, and like last year, it was the weekend of my daughter’s dance recital. While she just sucked it up and did not go (as I wrote about in this blog post about spending cookie profits if all girls cannot attend), the other girls said that they want everyone to be able to attend (girl led and proof that there are benefits to having a small troop-my daughter has a tight group of scouting friends).

The list was a good one-we are fortunate to have many local attractions as well as many others less than an hour away. Some of the things they wanted were:

  • A day at the beach
  • Horseback riding
  • Ice skating
  • Ziplining
  • Camping
  • Day at the amusement park
  • Dessert at a fancy restaurant

We also discussed the summer and doing something we have never done before-have meetings. For the first time since she was a preschooler, I am not sending my daughter to day camp. One girl is going to sleepaway camp for three weeks, and her mom and she gave her blessing to do whatever we wanted while she was away. While we will not do a trip without her, I volunteered to host meetings during the day and earn some Cadette badges. The girls liked that idea and so did I. It is fun to plan something once in a while without the responsibility of having to do everything for the troop. That is what being a co-leader means in the truest sense-sharing the workload of running a Girl Scout troop so that the leader does not reach the burn out stage.

What is your troop doing with the cookie profits?