One question I have been asked time and again is how I manage my troop if I do not sell Girl Scout Cookies or participate in QSP.
Photo from Pixabay
Here is how I do it:
First of all, I ask for dues each September. The amount has changed over the past three years, and it is a reasonable amount. We have had money left over each year, so this is the base for the next year.
This year, our first as Brownies, I asked for thirty-five dollars, mostly for the cost of the patches. With ten girls, that gives me $350 for the year.
I am a teacher for over twenty-three years, so I have a lot of experience using recycled materials and doing more with less. I have found many online websites that have crafts using common items around the house. It’s amazing what you can do with brown bags, paper tubes, and empty cartons!
We use guest speakers and free field trips for other meetings. I find out about these trips from going to my Leader meetings and by speaking to my friends who have children in activities. Some places will take your girls for free as a means of advertising their business.
I shop at craft stores for clearance items and also shop with coupons, and I find craft items at yard sales. While I will not get reimbursed for yard sale finds, I do not mind this small expense. As a teacher, I am used to spending my own money for my class.
Many Brownie Try-Its do not require money to do. Those that do, I shop carefully.
I really have to share with you my favorite website for Girl Scouts. It is Making Friends. . Not only is this a great resource for Girl Scout Leaders, but for preschool and elementary school teachers as well.
There is a special section just for Scouts, both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Then Girl Scouts is broken into levels for your convenience. There are puzzles, mazes, crafts, coloring pages, and premade packages of things you can buy. While I have never bought anything from them, I have used those ideas to spin them my own way.
Sign up for the emails to get special offers and website updates. That’s how I found the Brownie Try it maze pages!
There are many ways to earn the Brownie Girl Scout Penny Power Try It. In fact, given the state of our economy, I believe that it is one of the first ones you should do with your troop. I can guarantee that most, if not all, of the girls in your troop have been affected by the economics of today’s world.
Here is an article I wrote for Info Barrel on how to earn the Penny Power Try It. It has several activities that go beyond the Brownie Girl Scout Try It Handbook. Let me know how you have earned this patch!
Community service projects for Girl Scouts are not just for December. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and Chanukah comes the pleas for gifts, food and other kinds of donations to help families in need during this festive time of year.
Of course, we all want to help out. It is the compassionate thing to do. We want to teach our girls to “make the world a better place”, one of the Girl Scout Laws.
I just think that these kinds of community service projects should be thought about during the other seasons we are leading our girls.
For the fall, have your troop fill backpacks of school supplies for needy schools. Or make gift baskets of supplies for schools in need of them.
Hold a book drive to donate to needy preschools and elementary schools in low income areas where children may not have books at home to read.
Have a food drive in the spring, when most food pantries will be more bare than during the winter food drive season.
In the winter, collect new hats, gloves and scarves to donate to a local shelter.
Older girls can learn how to knit simple hats to donate to Neonatology Intensive Care Units for premature babies.
While my girls will do a community service project to help the homeless this December, we will be doing a different kind of project in the spring.
Girl Scout Leaders need to delegate their tasks. There is a reason why there needs to be at least two adults to work with the girls! Yes, they need to be supervised, but you need to remember that this is a volunteer position. Delegating tasks is necessary to run the troop and prevent burn-out.
Photo from Pixabay
When my oldest daughter was a Girl Scout, there were four Leaders. There was always plenty of coverage for the twelve girls who were part of the troop.
I am fortunate to have a great co-leader and a few moms who volunteer whenever I ask. When I know a few months out that I need help, I send out an email to all of the parents so that those moms who work full-time or part-time can clear their calendars and help out, too.
Don’t try to do everything yourself. Have your co-leader in charge of some of the meetings. Ask a parent to collect field trip forms and money. Ask another parent to get a guest speaker for you. Have a parent be the Cookie mom, another the QSP mom. Ask a mom or dad to collect items for your next recycling project.
If you delegate your tasks, leading your Girl Scout troop is a lot more manageable. Remember, if you do not ask, no one may step up on their own to volunteer.