New to Girl Scouts

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  • I was in Camp Fire with my daughter for 10 yrs, then into Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts for 13 yrs
    tonight I took my gd to her first G Scout meetng since she been with me. Looks as if we are going to be joining up.. she enjoyed it and they want me to help out when needed which means I'll need to sign up too.

    so I guess I will start my time again with scouts but with GS this time around.

    She is in First grade, anyone have a daughter in the GS at this level? if so what should I expect?
  • Barbar - I know she will enjoy it. First thing you have to do is throw out all the Boy Scout ideas as GS is run entirely different, it does not have the same structure.

    The leaders of your Troop, right now Brownie will decide how each meeting is run and how many Try-Its they will earn. If the leader is very energetic you may do a lot of activities. The first graders usually do a lot of crafts. She should also have an investiture ceremony.

    I don't know if they wear the vest or the sash there. If it is the vest be sure to buy it big so it will last thru the Third Grade. Also the bigger ones have more room for the patches. The patches will be earned at the Activities the Troop or Individual girl attends.

    I am a co-leader of our troop so feel free to ask any specific questions. Your dgd can also email and ask my dd any questions she wants to.
  • Brownie tips
    As a former Brownie leader, I can tell you that you are already getting it right- involvement and interest on the parts of parents and guardians is key to your Brownie's good experience.
    My expectation of the troop leaders is
    that they maintain a positive, upbeat, active and energetic atmosphere at each and every meeting. It is very possible to have high energy and enthusiasm without chaos and noisy, wild behavior. Make sure your troop leaders communicate and incorporate rules of conduct for kids and parents. Support from parents, grandparents, teachers and others was essential to our successful troop of 25 girls.
    My two co-leaders and I found that having a busy and focused agenda for each meeting and activity virtually guaranteed a good experience for the girls. Accomplishing Try-Its and other individual and troop goals was incredibly rewarding to our 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders, so as leaders we made sure to provide the means and support for them to do so.

    A sense of troop pride and identity is valuable in maintaining behavior and productivity. We also found it very effective to have a set order to our meetings: beginning circle w/promise and troop business or agenda, activity or craft (crafts were huge, and a good tie-in to programs), snack (always), singing time (great for this age group-my troop knew tons of great scout songs before they went to camp even- other leaders were amazed), main activity or event (there should be one), closing friendship circle. I cannot stress how sticking to a set meeting plan enabled us to to have fun and productive meetings for our large group- children need structure and direction.
    You and your little one will love Brownies- you are wonderful for getting so involved. You will touch many lives.
  • Hi Barbar

    I was a GS leader for ten years, then worked for our GS council for five more, and I was a scout myself for ten years as a girl.

    It's great that you are getting involved in your gd's brownie troop.. My advice is just be helpful in whatever ways interest you, and don't feel pressured to take on any more than you are happy with. Be sure you feel comfortable saying "No, sorry I can't help with that" ..

    You know any volunteer organization needs new blood, they really do.. but up here in my council, they can smell new blood coming like sharks in a feeding frenzy! lolol So you have to set limits or you'll end up resentful, and your gd will have no fun.

    So... Go to meetings, learn all the songs and the GS ways. Share whatever talents you might have.. (the hand book has a lot of badges the girls can do, and maybe you'd like to help with one of those where your strengths are) .. but never feel guilty if you need to set limits or say no to something. I know how full a plate you have.. I hope you and your girl have a lot of fun~
  • susanna
    a new face, great.... nice to met you... and thanks to you and Robin, and Val for your input..
    all they did last week was Val. craft, they made 2 one was a butterful out of hearts, to bad I didn't see that before the PC Val Swap. LOL
    and the other one was a puppy face out of a heart shapes..
    I was a little surprizse with no opening or closing, yet I knew to throw out the what I had learned as being a leader for the other organization as they would be a different program and would run different.
    ran different.
    Of course I sort of had a feeling I would end up helping out in some way and that's ok for I've have missed it.
    So First graders does work and earn something, this I didn't know about, so thanks for giving me that information
    I also notice the girls didn't have no uniform which will be helpful.. didn't see no sashes or vest but the lady told me that it didn't matter which one..
    I'm supose to get a application this comng up one.
    Was told they are meeting every other Tue.. Is that the way it suppose to be?
    Again thanks for sharing
  • Hi Barb

    Well it sounds like you had fun at your first meeting!

    There is a Brownie Handbook that you can buy. Whereever you'd get the uniform and badges, you can get the book. ( there is also a leader's manual). I don't think it's too expensive.. and it will give you all the background information you could want.

    As far as meeting schedules.. troops meet whenever and how often the troop leaders choose. They;re volunteering, so whatever their schedules allow is what;s happening.

    I also know that some troops don't do much real Girl Scout stuff. They treat the troop meetings as a social thing only. I think teaching them GS values is a great thing, and it ensures that every girl is treated the same .

    As far as opening and closing ceremonies, that's up to the leaders too.. like I said, some GS troops are not about GS at all.. It's just a social thing for the girls .. BUt I personally loved doing at least the GS pledge, and the pledge of allegience at the beginning of each meeting. Then we'd sing the "Make New Friends" song at the end.

    We worked on a badges at the meetings, or did a service project, like food drives, valentines for vetrens, coats for kids, etc. Some of those service projects were part of earning a badge, some were seperate.

    There was membership dues collected at every meeting, and a "kaper chart" that rotated what each kid was responsible for at the end of the meeting ( like, putting the crafts away, erasing the blackboard, sweeping, turinig out the lights.. little chores we did)

    Our membership dues were two dollars per meeting. But we also asked parents to donate extra $$$. It realy helped. The money went for craft supplies, and purchacing badges and pins. Each child took turns bringing a snack or drinks for the troop to share each week. That way we kept the dues low. is the on-line page for buying everything if you want to take a look..

    I'm glad to see your girl happy!

    "On my honor, I will try, to serve G-d and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout laws"
  • Barb,

    Each troop runs their meetings a little different. The one I have my dd in does not routinely do an opening/closing. This has highly upset me over the years. Dd is in 3rd grade and has been a scout in this same troop all 3 years. I do this for the girls. I remind myself of that at each meeting.

    They do so many try-its, service projects, and fun things each year. Our leader loves crafts, very little to no songs, and likes parties with a theme. The parents are to pay for the dues at the beginning of the year, if able or make payments throughout the year. She lists the kaper chart and stuff, but doesn't really do them. We are asked to donate items for the troop and give other donations as needed throughout the year(money). I have been an assistant leader with her and she runs everything. I just do what she says or not participate. I have tried to give input with very little success. It sort of kills the enthusiasm to help. The troop has had about 20 girls each year. We have another assistant leader that helps, too. We have several parents that help out with the meetings. The girls have either a vest or sash (vest holds more patches). A book is not needed unless you want one. Some troops have full uniforms. Most of ours have a vest/sash and a t-shirt troop designed with painting by the girls of handprints or something like that.

    I was a girl scout for 12 years, leader of some sort for another 8 years now. I would not do it, if it were not a good experience for the girls.

    I will be having the troop of Juniors next year as a new one with 1 or 2 other parents helping with the planning and carrying out of meetings. I am talking with another junior leader to get ideas and get it set up so it runs smoothly. I am planning a meeting with the parents who want to help to get things set up for next year.

    Enjoy your experiences! Only do what you are comfortable doing. And, yes, forget everything from the other organizations. Girls Scouts is another ball of wax from the others.
  • I'm going to echo what everyone's said so far, but going to add in this point: I did 14 years in Girl Scouting before my son became a Tiger Cub and then on through Cub Scouting. And on the flipside, I had a girl whose parents had gone all the way up through Cubbies with her brother and they were totally befuddled by the GS. It is a HUGE difference. In GSing, what we, as leaders, were working towards was the girls learning new things and learning to do more and taking more responsibility for things as they grew. As an example, my co-leader and I didn't decide what Try-its we wanted to do and then organized it and did it. We broke the girls into small groups, called Patrols, and helped them look through their Handbooks at the different Try-its, and voted on what they'd like to do. When we went camping, Lisa and I would show them some campfire recipes and the girls would decide what they wanted to make. As they got older and into Juniors, they became more and more self-governed. For example, Brownies make money from every calendar and box of cookies they sell. They earned it, and we guided them towards deciding what they would spend it on. GS should be fairly self-sustaining!

    Compared to Cubbies, where the leaders make most of the choices and the idea behind food at a camp-o-ree is to get everyone fed! In GSing, the process is part of the program.

    I don't think the Cubbies way is bad or wrong, it's just a very different program. I don't ever recall our Boys being taught how to plan a field trip or send a TY note to someone who came to speak or teach them something, or meeting with the leader at the supermarket to buy the food for a camp-out. That IS the GS way. On the flipside, a GS camp-out is a GS activity, not a family activity like the Boy Scouts are, where the entire family is invited. Is one better than the other? ... it's different!

  • In my group when I was the cub scout leader, the boys in that group we did do the "thank you- notes, we did make decisions on our own involving the boys, and then even into the Boy Scouts it was totally the boy program with the adults just watching over and making sure it was safe for them to do.

    I'm thankful I've been out of the Cscout program for a spell this will help.

    thanks again for all tips...
  • Barbar - we always do an opening and closing. Now that the girls are Third years we have also broken into "patrols". Each week they have a caper or plan the meetings and parties.

    One lady in the council told us when we started the troop to "have fun". She said the goal was not to earn every single try-it as this tended to push a troop and they didn't enjoy it. If you can register as an adult. This will let you get the newsletter and you will see all the activities they have outside of your meetings. You can then say that one of those might be fun for the girls. We just attended one put on by JA (Junior Achievement). It earned the girls a try-it but they were not as bored as someone else did it. One local troop did not do anything as they didn't know about all the extras only what their leader told them. Apparently she did not want to do very much. Again, no fun for the girls.

    Our service unit had Thinking Day today. We went and represented the country of United States as we did the postcard exchange this year. We made and sold smores, gorp and nerds. Also let the girls buy and make postcards. The money was they donated for the Juliette fund. The other countries included China, Cuba, Ireland, Phillipines, Canada and a couple I don't remember.