Since I'm a new leader for 02/03, I wanted to get some feedback from other leaders about what they do at the end of the year. My daughter's brownie leader had cookout-type parties for the girls and their families and I figured that is what is expected of me. But I talked to another leader and she said she doesn't involve the parents in the end of the year party/activity. She says it's too much stress and the parents don't really want to go anyway. She asks the girls what they'd like to do as a final fun outing and they do it. That sounds good to me since I didn't really want to plan a big cookout. May is a very busy month for me. But I'd like to know what other leaders do.
My other question is: do you give gifts to parents who were a big help during the year--like a great cookie mom, troop treasurer, etc.? Again, my daughter's brownie leader did, but the other leader I talked to said once you start, you have to continue. Plus, one of my moms did a really BAD job as product's sale chair. The leader pointed out that I couldn't just overlook her, but she really doesn't deserve a gift. So it's best not to give gifts to anyone. What do you guys do? Thanks for your comments.
We usually use the girls' money and go on a big outing; they spend some time brainstorming and planning what they want to do.
Last year I was on the ball and kept all pics and negatives together then made copies of all for each girl. They made picture albums and put them in as sm. memory books. This year not so lucky as we have 2 meetings left. Maybe we will just do the cool field trip thing.
I agree that a cookout is way too much. Speaking from experience, unless all the girls ( and parents) get along really well outside of school/scouts it can be a disaster. We have a couple "trouble" kids who really let loose when they were at my house. We try to control her in Scouts...This one broke my dd's swing, ran around wild, threw food and to top things off we had a box of foam packing peanuts stored in the basement. The girls thought it would be fun to dump them out on their heads. Trouble girl decided it would be even more fun to put a hammer in the box!!! Noone got hurt, but trouble mom just sat and laughed :mad:
Guess who's not allowed at my house anymore! Got her kicked out of the troop too, which was NOT and easy thing to do. The other wild ones are still around, we do the best we can. The parents just want a babysitter, they don't care about what Scouts is supposed to mean/do for the girls....
Back to the orig. question. Maybe a goody bag of sorts, our hub has neat things that are moderately priced, so its not too bad if you have a lot of kids.
Hi, First of all congratulations in getting involved in Girl Scouting! It's a wonderful way to spend time with your dd and also help to shape the lives of other young girls. I've been involved in scouting for a total of 16 years. I'm a Brownie leader here on Cape Cod and my co-leaders and I have, at the end of the year, planned a pool party at the local YMCA. No parents or siblings are invited...just drop the girls off. We have the pool with lifeguard (just our girls) for an hour - then we'll use their function room for the party for an hour.
We've always recognized the helper-Moms at the end of the year. We usually do that at our final meeting (it's not the bridging ceremony because that is done with all of the troops in our Service Unit). Our Council has some really nice Certificates of Appreciation and Girl Scout keychains that are not too expensive but show we appreciate their help. Maybe if the unhelpful Mom receives one, she'll perform better next year I'd just feel really bad to omit one Mom. Whatever you do, I hope you have a great time doing it. Remember, it's for the Girls!
I've been a leader or cookie mom for the last five years. Our service unit is having a community wide bridging ceremony for the first time. So we're attending, then we're having a cookout at the SAME LOCATION right afterwards. Then we'll do our awards.
We're giving a "thanks for helping us grow" gift to all parents who attend. I'm getting a gift for my coleader, but haven't decided what yet. We have a monthly newsletter and I thank moms for their contributions each month, so I'm not giving them special thank you gifts at the end of the year.
Maybe the girls could make a little thank you gift and give it at your awards ceremony!
Thanks so much for all your replies. I appreciate getting feedback from other leaders. Dawny75, thanks for the idea of the girls making something. I can't think of anything they could make off the top of my head, but I think I will have them make thank-you notes to all the parents who helped the troop this year. I never would have thought of that w/out your suggestion.
It reminds me of the time I went on a field trip w/ my dd's class one year and the teacher had the students in my group write me a nice thank you note. It meant so much. Kids tend to say things right from their hearts and their notes really touched me.
I can't do a pool party since I'm not a swim watcher yet, but it's a great idea. I'll definitely get certified by next year. But maybe we could go bowling or to the movies. They'd probably love to go to the new Lizzy Maguire movie and then go out for pizza. Thanks for getting my creative juices flowing. ;-)
Hi. I am from Cub Scouts not Girl Scouts but I have been a leader and a helper. We always had an end of the year picnick where the pack provided the meat (hamburgers and hotdogs) and the parents all filled in with paper products (plates, napkins, plastic forks, knifes), chips, drinks, salads, cakes etc. we held this at one of the state parks nearby and it always turned out great. We usually had activities for the kids. Hikes, kick ball, and other games.
For gifts we always did sorta like gag gifts which everyone seemed to love. Like one parent that helped with all the camp-outs might get a Giant bottle of Tylenol for saving the leader from all major headachs. Someone else might get a roll of lifesavers for being a life saver at getting craft supplies or something, another one a compass for not ever getting us lost on our hikes. someone else a little keyring saw or hammer for helping out with the wood crafts all year. So for Girl Scouts you could do a giant cookie cutter for being the best cookie mom, maybe monopoly money for the treasurer and so on. These don't cost much at all.
In Cub Scouts we usually had these sorts of gifts mounted on a piece of round wood cut from the bottom of a tree that had fallen. Some of them just wrote what the award was on the wood and the date. Others that were more creative and talented used a wood burner to burn into the wood what the award was for. I still have several of mine hanging in my office and just love them.
Being a former leader for both organizations we always had a last weekend of camping ending with a bbq for family. We always have awards for the kids with everyone receiving a badge. We would have a simple certificate for all who helped out. Some of the games for family at the bbq would be: 1/ water balloon fight(big success nobody wins or loses. Kids like this if it is kids against adults) 2/ Have 2-6 (or more) lines of people where they would have to fill up a bucket from a bigger supply of water (wash basin or lake) with a big can with holes drilled in the bottom by the first person in line passing it over their heads to the last person in line. The last person in line would have to fill the object with what little water left in the can. Everyone gets wet and laughs. 3/ Sports game (soccer, Baseball etc.) 4/ a final family campfire. That is all that I can think of for now. I'm sure I can think of more for you later.