Cadette Leaders-When Do You Meet and How Often?

During my first Girl Scout meeting last week, one of my girls told me that she is planning on being in my troop all the way through high school!  I was pleased that she wants to stay and continue her Girl Scout journey, but it raised questions for me that I have already addressed to the parents of the girls in my troop.

In an post from last springI wrote about the inevitable ending a leader’s career.  There are many reasons for it, among them being disinterest, burn out, a daughter no longer wanting to be a Girl Scout and life changes.  My life is drastically different than it was in October 2008 and I signed up to be a leader.  I work more hours, volunteer on other committees and have more family issues to deal with.  With a daughter in college, the hours I spend planning really should be spent working.  I told my parents that I would make my final decision in the spring as to whether I would continue or not.  I already know of a few girls who will not be scouting when middle school starts, as their mothers already told me this.

My daughter wants me to stay, so this puts me in a challenging position.

There is a former student of mine who told me that her Cadette troop does not have meetings, but they do activities together.  I wondered if this was really a “troop” and how the girls earned badges and did a Journey, as well as performed service projects.

Another woman whom I know is a Cadette co-leader told me her daughter’s troop meets once Sunday a month for 3-4 hours in her home.  I am not sure if that would work for me, as I have several families who are very involved with their church on the weekend.  Plus, I work on the weekend and am tired when I come home.

I know many troops disband after fifth grade.  For those of you who still meet, where and when do you get together for meetings? How often?  How have you overcome the challenges of overscheduled kids?

8 thoughts on “Cadette Leaders-When Do You Meet and How Often?”

  1. I have a troop of 7th grade Cadettes and we had to move to meetings to Saturdays this year to accommodate sports, clubs, and heavy homework nights during the week. We’re going to do a meeting once a month and plan a field trip, activity related to a badge, or a service project as a second meeting in the month.

    I wasn’t sure if we’d make a successful transition to Jr High, but all the girls signed up again. I told them I would stay in it as long as they want to stay a troop, but I can sympathize with wanting a break. I love that my girls are taking on more responsibility for planning and deciding what we do at meetings. If they don’t have a plan for the next meeting then we won’t meet. I work out the specific details for their plans, but they decide what badge we’re working on and what activities we do. That takes a lot of the planning time off of me.

    1. Andrea, I would love to know how you let the girls plan. Are they in charge of emailing and organizing the trips, or are you? My daughter told me that most of the girls still want to be a Girl Scout, and it would be a shame to break up the troop. I like the idea of a Saturday meeting, but my girls are into so many different sports and competitions, I do not know if that would work.

      Do you have an active and helpful co-leader?

      How do you communicate with the girls and know that they are not prepared?

  2. Hi Hannah! I’m at the same stage as you, with a 5th grade troop, and looking ahead to the middle school years. I’ve been collecting ideas and just attended a seminar at our annual council leader weekend (we call it AWESOME weekend). This is what we plan to do – meet once a month and stagger the meeting time/location. So one month, we’ll meet for 2 hours on a Friday night. The next month, we’ll meet for 2 hours on a Saturday morning. Then, we’ll try to have at least one activity every month, so the girls are meeting twice a month. The meeting will start with some social time and the girls will decide how much time they need – 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes? Then the business/activity portion of the meeting will start. Each meeting will have a fun theme – make your own tacos, bagel meeting at Starbucks, etc. We also plan to do some serious fundraising activities so that we can go on trips! Working with older girls is a little different, but no less fun. I encourage you to use other leaders in your area to give you more ideas for how they do it. I’ve found the leaders who have gone before to be an invaluable resource.

    No matter what you decide, best of luck to you!

    1. Amy, I appreciate your words of wisdom. I like how you are planning it, but I wonder how you write the time up for your Service Unit? For example, I have to give a form with the date and times I want to meet and they have it approved for me. It cannot waiver as far as I know.

      Will you be working on badges or the Silver Award?

      I plan on contacting the Service Unit person in my Council to ask for ideas. Thanks for the suggestions.

  3. Hello! I have a very small troop this year (3 girls) as a Cadette leader. I started as a leader last year for my daughter’s Junior troop because there was not a leader designated. I come from a very small town and all the grade levels used to meet every Tuesday (except holiday time) for an hour. The Cadette leader also helped run the Brownie troop last year and the Cadette girls were becoming discouraged with the lack of a solid leader. SO! I stepped up to the Cadette leader position and we changed the meeting day and time to accommodate after-school activities. We meet every other Saturday evening for 2 hours; which has inevitably run about 3 hours with extra talking and enjoying each other’s company. So far, the girls have earned one badge, we’re starting another next weekend, and we’ve narrowed down our silver award project plan to 2 different ideas to pursue. (In 2 meetings!)
    I’m glad to see these girls more excited about the year’s activities and doing their things. When the year ended last year they were on the brink of quitting. My goal was to try and inspire these girls to keep going and to realize how fun scouting can be- and I hope I can do that! 🙂

    1. Congratulations on becoming a leader! Thank you so much for sharing your experience as a Cadette leader. I need to hear more before I make the commitment!

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