Senior Girl Scout Mission Sisterhood Journey in a Day Plans

“This was so much fun!”-My troop

In my previous blog post, I shared with you the specific Senior Girl Scout Mission Sisterhood resources I used to plan my troop’s Journey in a Day. While it is taking us two days, it really could have been done in one.

Here is a little background on the girls so you can understand why I am so pleased with how it all turned out.

My daughter and one of the girls have been the best of friends since kindergarten. They are very tight, and this young woman is one of the few remaining real friends my child has. Her mother, the troop’s head leader, is one of my dearest friends. These two are original members of the troop.

The other girl joined my troop in fifth grade and attended a different elementary and middle school. I have always liked her since she has such a genuine soul and says how exactly how she feels. No drama or pettiness from her at all-quite the opposite. My daughter and her friend have always gotten along with her, but unless it was Girl Scouts, they did not hang out.

While normally three girls makes drama, with this group, I knew it would not be the case. For example, my daughter told me that she had thought about a particular friendship object that close friend in the troop gave her years ago, but she did not want to make the third girl uncomfortable. That is not only being a sister to every Girl Scout, it was a parent win in my book.

Here is what we did.

Mission: Sisterhood Part One

Mission Sisterhood Senior Journey Meeting Plans-What worked for usPhoto from Pixabay

I picked up both of the girls, who live nearby, since both of their parents were working. We sat in my family room and I talked about the purpose of the Journey. I then asked them what they thought “Sisterhood” meant .

There were different crafts in the leader guide and to be honest, I did not care for some of them and others I tweaked. I decided to have the girls paint river rocks and have them write positive messages on them. These were not going to be left in random places, but to be given to a friend in need when this person needs someone to tell her she cares.

For the Senior Girl Scout Journey Mission:Sisterhood, my troop painted river rocks and wrote messages on them to hand to friends when they needed to know that someone cared.

Photo by Hannah Gold

Before the girls arrived I set out the paint and plates with rocks on them so they could get started.

These river rocks are what my troop painted for the Mission:Sisterhood Senior Girl Scout Journey.

Photo by Hannah Gold

I bought all of my craft supplies at Michael’s. These are the rocks I purchased.

Because the rocks would need more than one coat of paint, I had them start painting them as we chatted. We then talked about the different sisterhoods they each belonged to.

And then, something magical happened.

Much like car conversations when your teenager and you are looking forward, we had a great sideways conversation that covered so many of the talking points in the Journey. With heads bowed down while painting, the three girls really opened up. I interjected as needed to guide the conversation, but letting them talk about the issues they had faced with friends and how it made them feel was natural. No silly cheers or games were needed. I was able to skip some of the other planned discussions because they were covered during this time.

I am not sure if this would happen in a large group setting, but knowing that our troop has slimmed down to four, and only three were vested in the Journey, created a bond that took root at my kitchen table.

When they were done with painting, they took out their friendship objects and talked about them.

Mission: Sisterhood Part 2

Our Sisterhood Poster

I purchased a piece of posterboard and had a pile of magazines that I had not gotten to read. Now they were going to be put to good use!

Materials

  • Posterboard
  • Magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue Sticks

So we transitioned from individual projects to a group project.

Pink oaktag was usd to make our sisterhood board for the Senior Girl Scout Mission Sisterhood Journey.

Photos by Hannah Gold

Senior Girl Scout Mission Sisterhood group project defining sisterhood

Here is the finished project. It took about 20 minutes to complete.

Since we started at 10:00, we did not have a snack break because the girls got up later and had just eaten. I wanted to plow through as much as we could before lunch time.

Mission: Sisterhood Part Three

Know Thyself

Now it was time to use the leader’s guide in the Know Thyself section. We did the Social Situations game on page 37 and talked a bit more about what girls valued in a friendship (page 38). The girls discussed their style of interacting and why they felt the way they did.

Mission: Sisterhood Part Four

Lunch and a Show

It was time to get ready for lunch. The guide book talks about making tacos.

My daughter does not like tacos.

Instead, we made homemade pizza. I bought ready-made dough, sauce and cheese. You can provide other toppings if you wish. It is the same concept as the tacos-put in what you want and how much. It is all different, but together, it is something fantastic!

While the pizza was cooking in the oven, it was time for the girls to watch a show about friendship. I was really stuck on this, as so many of today’s programs that are aimed at teens are way too mature, in my opinion. Others are just plain silly (think Disney Channel). While searching online, I discovered a lost gem…The Facts of Life! Over the years, the four main characters developed a special sisterhood bond with each other, as well as with the adults who were charged with their care.

I decided that during cooking and eating time, the girls would watch a two part episode from Season 2, when the character Jo is introduced. Jo is an outsider-a scholarship student from the city who has not had the advantages the other girls at Eastland have had. This two parter shows how the girls friendship, particularly the one between Blair and Jo, developed.

I did do a disclaimer with the girls about it being a show from my and their mothers’ time. No technology was available to get them out of trouble (or into it), and the clothing was dated. Otherwise, this show has stood the test of time.

I have Chromecast, so I was able to cast it on my television.

Here is Part 2.

After the show was over, we talked about it. Interestingly, the first few minutes talk about Mrs. Garrett’s weight loss and how that is the first thing the girls noticed and commented on. I shared how the four lead characters were called “The Fats of Life” while the show was on the air due to their weight gain and going through puberty while the show filming. These two things led to discussions about appearance and inner beauty versus outer beauty, two parts of the Journey.

Mission: Sisterhood Part Five

Sisterhood Cookies

Here is another place that I diverted from the guide. The book calls for making different “Sisterhood Snacks”. I decided that since my child did not like any of the options, we would do a cookies in a jar snack.

Materials

Wash and dry the jar before using. Be sure to buy a large enough jar…I learned this the hard way. Ours was a bit too small, so I had to put the chocolate chips in a baggie, not in the jar.

Girl Scout Senior MIssion:Sisterhood Journey Activity-Cowboy Cookie Mix in a Jar

Photo by Hannah Gold

Yes, I know the ribbon is not Pinterest pretty and the recipe tag is too large. Being an older, seasoned leader, I did not care. I did not have to “Wow” the other two moms, who are my friends. My energy is needed elsewhere.

Mission Sisterhood: Part Six

Friends and Our Health

The leader’s guide calls for the girls to do a healthy activity together. One of them is swimming, and since I have a pool, that was what they did. (Yes, I am a Certified First Aider). The girls were together for almost an hour-I could not get them out of the pool! After the first time I tried to get them out and failed, I gave them a task. They needed to come up with a sisterhood issue for the video they were creating. We talked about what they did and did not like from the ones they have viewed on YouTube and they worked together from there.

While I watched from the window, they were bonding and creating their new sisterhood!

After I dragged them out of the pool, I served them snacks as they dried off on the lounge chairs and started creating their project. They actually got some of it done, and if I had planned on this being a few hours longer, it could have been finished in a day. But I had a meeting to go to that night so extending it was not an option. I had planned for additional time the next day for it to be completed.

When it was time to bring the girls home, they all said, “This was so much fun! Who thought a Journey would be fun?”

Certainly, not me.

But keep in mind all the planning I had to do, all the shopping and preparation that was required to get this done. I can tell you that during my busy school year, this would not have happened. It is only thanks to the many other leaders who published their lessons online that I was able to put less time than I would have otherwise needed to accomplish a Girl Scout Journey in a day.

So I am sharing with all of you what we did and hope that it is helpful to you.

My next post will be about how the second and final meeting went.

 

Mission Sisterhood Senior Girl Scout Journey in a Day Resources for Leaders

*This post contains affiliate links.

Although it has been a while since my last blog post, it is not that Girl Scouts have been far from my mind. On the contrary…I have been busy planning the Mission: Sisterhood Senior Girl Scout Journey in a day.

What? You are doing a Journey even though you do not like them?

Senior Girl Scout Mission Sisterhood Journey in a Day resources for leaders

Yes, I am. Here is why.

The other leader and I have been talking about whether or not the girls want to earn the Gold Award.  While it does not matter one way or the other to either of us, it is a choice the girls have to make on their own. Even if my daughter does not want to go for the Gold, she does want to stay in Girl Scouts. After much discussion with her, we came to the conclusion that sticking with scouts all the way until she graduates high school-thirteen years in total-is going to look great on her college applications.

Besides doing fun things together and learning new skills, my troop has always been service oriented. I am passing the reigns to them to see what kinds of service they want to do. Continuing to do this because they want to do this makes the experience more meaningful to them.

Another reason she wants to stay in Girl Scouts is because it has become a very safe place for her. It is a “no judgement” zone for each girl. Middle school was rough for my daughter, and Girl Scouts was a place where she could just sit back and be herself with a group of girls, most of whom she has known since kindergarten.

Since the other leader works full-time and I am off for the summer, I decided to take the lead and do a Senior Journey with the troop. They did not earn the Silver Award, which means they have to do two Journeys in order to earn the Gold. When I spoke to a Council rep, she recommended doing one this year and one next year. That leaves two years to work on the Gold, if the girls want to.

I sent an email to the four mothers and gave the girls the three choices for the Senior Girl Scout Journey for their daughters to read over and choose. I emphasized that this was a choice and no girl was obligated to do it, but I wanted them to have the opportunity if she even had the smallest desire to earn her Gold Award. Plus, I had the time to do it and to be honest, I love lesson planning!

MIssion SIsterhood Senior Journey in a day promotes friendship among the girls in your troop

Photo from Pixabay

The first response I received told me something I already knew from my daughter and her friend…one girl was not returning. I spoke with her mom and she said they just expected her to quit when high school started…like it was a given. I told her she could always return.

This girl told my daughter that she did not want to do a Journey or badge work, she only wanted to do outings. That is her choice.

One other girl did not want to do the Journey, either. So I only had to plan for three who chose Mission:Sisterhood.

To prepare, I sent a link to all the YouTube videos that were the Take Action Projects for this Journey. This is the easiest and most sustainable TAP to do.  The girls took notes about what they did and did not care for in the other videos so they could formulate what they wanted to achieve, and they would share those notes at our meeting.

They also had to bring an object that represented what friendship meant to them and their video release forms. Bathing suits and towels were also on the list since I have a pool and that was once of the activities from the guide.

On my end, I found a ton of online resources for this Journey. I figured it would take two days-one to do all the activities and one for the TAP.

Mission Sisterhood Resources for Leaders

What I Used to Plan Our Journey

Senior Girl Scout Mission Sisterhood Online Resource List

Photo from Pixabay

First, I did purchase the Leader and Girl Book for Mission:Sisterhood. It helped me to better understand the other online resources, as they referred to page numbers in the outlines.

While there are many more than what I have listed below, here are the online resources I used.

Mission Sisterhood Weekend Event

Mission: Sisterhood Senior Journey

Senior Journey-Mission Sisterhood Journey in a Day (my favorite resource with two PDF’s of information in the blog post)

Leadership Weekend Workshop for Mission Sisterhood

Combined with the book, I was able to put together a two day Journey workshop for my girls. I will share what we accomplished in future blog posts.

Are you doing a Journey over the summer? If so, which one?

 

Easy Ideas for Girl Scout Journeys Take Action Projects

So you decided to do a Journey and the final component is the Take Action Project. The girls have to find a community need and create a way to solve the need on a consistent basis.  For example, a food drive is great, but it is a one time thing…unless the girls find a way to make some part of it sustainable. It needs to have a long lasting impact.

Ideas for Girl Scout Take Action Projects that girls can do.

Photo from Pixabay

I read online about a troop who had a peanut butter and jelly food drive. The girls made the project sustainable by creating a pamphlet of peanut butter recipes that the food bank could be place in each bag of food. This could be copied over and over, making it sustainable.

A poster or a piece of artwork can also be a Take Action Project. For their Silver Award, these two Cadettes created a mural out of bottle caps and made a presentation to younger children about recycling. This piece of art is now a permanent fixture in the library.

A third kind of Take Action Project is to make a short video. YouTube is full of them, and they are there to be used by other leaders, as well as those who are looking for ideas on what to do for their TAP.

Creating a YouTube video will take time and of course, permission. You can make the video so that it will not be shared by others if that is a concern. Girls will have to write a script, get props, and rehearse before official filming begins.

The point of a TAP is to have the girls brainstorm ideas, put them into action, and in the process develop leadership and organization skills. As the leader, you want them to do something that is not only effective and has a positive impact in your community, but is also something they will actually complete. There are many incredible TAPs out there…in reality, these are completed by extremely dedicated groups and individuals. You know your troop best and what other activities you are competing against. Having your girls do a TAP that is doable for them is also part of the planning process.

Have you done a TAP?  What was it and how did it work out?

Journey in a Day Resources for Leaders

*This post contains affiliate links.

If you have read this blog for any length of time, then you know that I have never been a fan of the Girl Scout Journeys program. From the time I first looked at the Daisy Journey book when my troop started in kindergarten, my experienced teacher self thought, “This is age inappropriate!”.

My most commented on blog post in the past 6.5 years has been about the Journeys program (you can read it here). I followed it up last year with a post about Councils and leaders having a Journey in a Day program . The bottom line for me is if it this program is so important, why can it be done in a day? What have you learned in a day that was absorbed completely?

Leaders who need to do a Journey but dislike the program have flocked to this concept. Since it is so popular, I have decided to place all of the Girl Scout Journey in a Day resources for you in one place. Then you can pick and choose what you want to do!

Of course, before you make any plans on your own, check your Council’s website to see what they are offering for a Journey in a Day. When searching for resources for you, the events often came up at the top of the list.

Want to get your Girl Scout Journey requirement over and done? Here is a list of resources for leaders to use from Daisy Scouts to Juniors.

Photo from Haute Chocolate #hcstyledstock

Daisy Girl Scout Journey in a Day

One Year of Daisy Scouts (two documents with HOW to do a Journey in a day or sleepover event)

Welcome to the Girl Scout Flower Garden (from Making Friends)

Between Earth and Sky (from Making Friends)

3 Cheers for Animals (from Making Friends)

3 Cheers for Animals (from Plant, Plant, Electro…What?)

3 Cheers for Animals (from Girl Scout Troop 2214)


Brownie Girl Scout Journey in a Day

Wonders of Water (from Girl Scout Troop 2214)

Brownie Quest Sleepover (from A year in the Life of a Girl Scout)

A World of Girls (from Girl Scouts of Nation’s Capital)


Junior Girl Scout Journey in a Day

aMuse (from I am Girl Scouts)

aMuse (from Girl Scouts of Nation’s Capital)

aMuse (from Girl Scout Leader 101)

Get Moving (from I am Girl Scouts)

Get Moving (from Girl Scout Leader 101)

Agent of Change (from Girl Scouts of Central Texas)


Have you done a Journey in a day? Did you plan it or attend a Council event?

Is There a Point to the Girl Scout Journeys Program?

My blog is over five years old, and to date, the post that has received the most comments, is the one about Girl Scout Journeys (You can read about it here).

In the four years since that post came out, the opinion of the Journeys program still has not changed among leaders. When you think about it, many of the leaders who first complained about the program are, more than likely, not leading anymore. As the collective memory of what the old Girl Scout program used to be like starts to fade as new leaders join, it is interesting to note that the sentiment over the Journeys program still consistent.

Both leaders and the girls are not huge fans.

Is there a point to doing a Girl Scout Journey in a day?

What continues to be my issue with the Girl Scout Journeys program all these years?

It stems from my days as an elementary school teacher. Back in 1994, my school district piloted a new math program. Over the summer, my colleagues and I met to discuss it and make plans, and even with decades of collective teaching experience, we could not make sense of what we had to do.

When the school year started. others felt the same way, both in our school and across the district. My school was most vocal about the quality of the program and we were made the bad guys by doing so.

After the first year, test scores for math plummeted. We were told to “make the program work” and had to secretly weave the old program with the new, but not let anyone else in the district know. My colleagues and I spent hours and hours trying to fix something we knew was not right for our students.

Five years later, the district hired a consultant at a very significant cost, and the bottom line was that he determined that the program did not work (something we teachers had been saying from the beginning).

That is how I have felt with the Journeys program all these years.

When I first encountered it, I could not believe that this was for five and six year olds. It was so developmentally inappropriate!

Over the years, leaders have had to “fix” the program and reinvent each Journey to make it work for their troops (much like I had to do with my math program two decades ago). Bless the leaders in Girl Scout Facebook groups and in forums who have shared what they have done to help others. But why should unpaid volunteers need to fix a program?

I was, at least, a salaried employee who spent time making a program work, not an unpaid volunteer. If this program is so wonderful, why has it not been embraced enthusiastically since it was introduced in 2008? Why doesn’t Girl Scout leadership hear us?

Which leads me to my next point. 

The Journeys program is touted as one that builds leadership skills. It is supposed to be in depth so the girls can get something out of it. However, there are many  Councils that offer “Journey in a Day” programs.

If you can do a Journey in a day, why would you need to buy the books and spend months of meeting time doing one? 

After all these years, no matter what forum I read or Facebook group I venture into, no one has ever said, “Boy, I love the Journeys program!” Yes, there are some who feel it is not too bad if you tweak it a bit and there are some leaders who have done a phenomenal job making it work so their girls could love it.

But shouldn’t that have been the job of the Girl Scout organization that created the program?

How is it that a program that girls must done in order to achieve the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards be done in a single day? The old badge program was shoved aside in order for this one to take it’s place. If it is so significant, how is it that all you need is one day and you are good to go?

I am curious if any of you have done a Journey in a Day and if what you did “stuck” to your girls.