Category Archives: Girl Scouts

If I was Queen of Girl Scouts Part IV: Cookies

Nope, still not done with redesigning Girl Scouts to my liking. For those of you that are new to this series, I have already addressed Levels, Programming and the Highest Awards. But most people, when they hear the words “Girl Scouts,” think “cookies.” Now, I don’t agree with that image, and would love for it to be a secondary thought when people think about the organization, but cookies are still the major money-maker for troops and Councils, so I can’t ignore them.

The first thing I would do is get rid of the excessive number of “incentives” that are offered. Currently, girls get a ton of crap including multiple patches and a bunch of junk like jewelry and t-shirts that fir the theme; high sellers even earn PSP’s and MP3players. All of that is gone, and girls get one participation patch with a numerical rocker and “Cookie Credits” which are funds that can be applied towards things like camp, council events, the council store; this is something that many councils already offer, so it’s nothing new to implement. The girls deserve the money to use for girl scout-related things, not a bunch of crap.

I would require the cookies to be made the same and have the same names. People just get too confused and upset when they want to buy the cookies they had as a kid or in their last community–let’s keep the customers happy people!

As far as earned awards go, I’m not sure if I would keep the single Badge per level, the yearly GS Cookie Activity pins or both (you can see the current badge on the right sidebar of that page.. I think it’s a nice idea for girls to be able to learn/hone skills in relation to the sale, but am not sure if we need that many earned awards for the sale.

Girl Scouts don’t just sell cookies, they sell Nuts/Candy/Magazines/Calendars in the Fall. Since I’m talking about money earning, I might as well address this sale as well. What I’d love to do is actually research how well this sale goes and if it’s even worth it. The idea behind it–to provide troops with a quick and easy start-up fund–is great. But so many troops aren’t even formed until the sale is over that it kind of defeats the purpose since existing troops will likely already have funds from the previous year. So we’ll see.

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If I was Queen of Girl Scouts Part III: Highest Awards

So, I am frustrated at my Council, which has raised my anxiety, which has in turn raised my OCD. In order to appease the OCD monster (and not re-arrange the entire house), I’m going to continue my series on how Girl Scouts would look if I was in charge and had free-range. This is a continuation of my posts on Program Levels and Programming. Please note that how to earn the various pre-requisites have not been totally thought out, but seeing as the likelihood of this ever happening is basically none, and I will have my Girl Scout Commission™ and other experts to help with the re-vamp if it ever DID happen, I figured I don’t actually need to worry about those now. (last edited: 11/15/10)

Girl Scout Bronze Award: Earned by Junior Girl Scouts.

Pre-requisites:

  • First Aid badge
  • Girl Scout Traditions badge OR have earned the “Bridge to Juniors” Award
  • One other Badge of your choice
  • Junior Aide -OR- Bronze Leadership Torch (both include 10 hours of leadership experience)
  • One Junior Girl Scout Sign

Bronze Award Project: Same (or similar) guidelines as are currently in place. A minimum of 20 hours of work (including planning) is required. This project may benefit Girl Scouting or the girls’ community. Project is approved by the Service Unit.

Girl Scout Silver Award: Earned by Cadette Girl Scouts.

Pre-requisites:

  • Girl Scout Bronze Award plus 2 Cadette badges relavant to the project -OR- 5 Cadette badges, 3 of which must directly relate to Girl Scouts/Guides, Citizenship, Health/Well-Being
  • Program Aide -OR- Silver Leadership Torch (both include 15 hours of leadership experience)
  • From Dreams to Reality Award
  • Cadette Challenge

Silver Award Project: Same (or similar) guidelines as are currently in place. A minimum of 50 hours of work (including planning) is required. This project may benefit Girl Scouting or the girls’ community. Project is approved by Council.

Girl Scout Gold Award: Earned by Senior Girl Scouts.

Pre-requisites:

  • Girl Scout Silver Award plus 2 Senior badges relavent to the project  -OR- 5 Senior badges, 3 of which must directly relate to Girl Scouts/Guides, Citizenship, Health/Well-Being
  • Leader in Training -OR- Counselor in Training -OR- Gold Leadership Torch (all include a minimum 20 hours of leadership experience)
  • Career Exploration Award (includes 40 hours of work/internship)
  • Senior Challenge

Gold Award Project: Same (or similar) guidelines as are currently in place. A minimum of 80 hours of work (including planning) is required. The project should benefit Girl Scouting in some way, but does not have to. Project is approved by Council.

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Just Another Manic Wednesday

Here’s the break-down of what’s left:

  • 2 classes
  • 2 presentations
  • 3 papers
  • 1 ginormous program book

Technically, I’m not done until next Thursday when I have to email the evaluation of the learning outcomes I created for Assessment. But, I’d really like to have that turned in earlier because I have a Girl Scouts training observation Wednesday, and have signed up for another training on Thursday. I’ve thought about making a trip up to SSC to wander around campus and hopefully check in on my old job, but it’s probably just a better idea to wait until everything is turned in before I start really slacking off.

Plus, Ellie and I have a date to see Alice in Wonderland on Saturday before going to visit my folks–mom is having knee surgery tomorrow, and I really should go see her sooner rather than later. And Dad’s computer got a shit-ton of viruses, and he hasn’t been able to get it to go online since he had it cleaned up. I keep telling him to dump Verizon and go with cable since the phone lines in the house are all crap. But why on earth would he listen to me, right?

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If I was Queen of Girl Scouts Part II: Programming

Part I was establishing program levels for girls and adults and creating a uniform that is functional and can be reasonably priced. It needs work, but I’m not trained in any of this kind of stuff, so I’ll obviously appoint people to my Girl Scout Commission™ that know things about program implementation, marketing, clothing design, etc. These will be people that have been involved with Scouting in all forms. Luckily, I’m Queen of the World™, so any disagreements will be nipped in the bud pretty quickly.

Programming (last edited: 11/15/10; originally created: 1/13/10)

Daisy GS: Program focus is Girl Scout basics–Girl Scout Promise, Law, sign, Motto, and knowing who Juliette Low is. Petals remain as earned Awards, with leaves available for other skills (to be determined). Girl-lead includes choosing where to go on field trips, choosing what to have for snack each meeting, following a kaper chart. Independent work on Awards is not suggested unless the girl missed a meeting.

Bridging: Meet with a Brownie troop to learn the Brownie story and earn one Brownie Badge.

Brownie GS: Program focus is living the Promise and Law, basic fire safety and cooking (hair tied, fire circles, s’mores), basic first aid (clean and cover), basic trip planning (where are we going to go? how will we get there?), basic outdoor skills, more kaper responsibilities. Brownie badges are triangle with a brown border–about 20 will exist on a National level, with Council’s Own available to fill in location-specific needs. Requirements are to learn about the topic, then use hands-on activities to learn the skill. Most badges should be earned with the troop unless another activity (sport team, music lesson) or school project meets the requirements. Because Brownies are considered full Girl Scouts, and have been for years, “flying up” no longer occurs–no more Brownie Wings.

Bridging: Meet with a Brownie troop to learn about Juniors and earn one Junior Badge.

Junior GS: Program focus is advancing skills learned previously and becoming more girl-driven; girls should have more advanced role in trip planning, outdoor skills, first aid, and able to create & follow own kaper chart. Able to explain and teach the Promise and Law to Daisies and Brownies, begin learning more in-depth history of Girl Scouts and Guides. Junior badges are round with a green border–about 20 will exist on a National level, with Council’s Own available to fill in location-specific needs. Requirements are to learn about the topic, then use hands-on activities to become proficient in the skill (able to demonstrate to the leader or group). Eligible for 4 Signs, Junior Aide (becomes a position pin instead of patch) Bronze Leadership Torch, Bronze Award. Awards can be earned as a group or individually except Bronze Award which will be earned as a troop/ Council-sponsored group.

Bridging: Meet with a Cadette troop to learn about Cadettes and earn one Cadette Badge.

Cadette GS: Program focus is advancing skills learned previously and becoming even more girl-driven; girls should be able to do almost all trip planning/camping/etc on their own. Patrols are utilized to teach & promote leadership. Can assist with Daisy & Brownie troops, create and run Council-sponsored programs. Cadette badges are rectangle with a blue border–about 20 will exist on a National level, with Council’s Own available to fill in location-specific needs. Requirements are to learn about the topic, use hands-on activities to become proficient in the skill, then teaching the skill to others. Eligible for Program Aid, Silver Leadership Torch, Cadette Challenge, Dreams to Reality Award (will become a pin instead of patch) and Silver Award. All awards can be earned as a group or individually.

Bridging: Meet with a Senior troop to learn about Seniors and finish a Senior Journey based off a badge already earned.

Senior GS: Program focus is putting skills learned previously into practice and essentially running their own troop; almost everything is done by the girls. Patrols are utilized to provide leadership opportunities and to aid progression over the course of 4 years. Should assist with Daisy, Brownie & Junior troops, create and run Council-sponsored programs. Senior badges are diamond with a gold border, with a smaller selection of topics (10-15) that allow for creating an experience rather than achieving proficiency–Council’s Own is not available due to the experiential nature of the awards; there shouldn’t be a need for them. Requirements will include providing service of some sort. Eligible for Leader in Training, Counselor in Training, Gold Leadership Torch, Senior Challenge, Career Exploration Pin and Gold Award. Awards should be earned individually.

Bridging: Attend at least one Service Unit meeting and help at one Council-wide event to interact with and learn from Adult Girl Scouts.

Ambassadors and Adults: No longer eligible to earn girl awards. Adults that are new to Girl Scouting, or do not have a lot of experience (under 5 years) will have to earn the Brown Owl–a comprehensive program that teaches Traditions, History and skills to be an effective volunteer; until this is earned, or proficiency is shown, one cannot sit as a Service Unit officer or act as a troop/group leader without an experienced leader. Training counts towards the Leadership Development Pin. Service to the SU or Council count towards Volunteer Service Award (currently the Volunteer Development Award). Training will be developed at a National level, with supplemental trainings developed on the Council level for topics that are desired by volunteers and not covered by National Trainings. Other recognitions remain the same except Thanks Badge II will be renamed to sound more distinguished.

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If I was Queen of Girl Scouts Part I: Program Levels

The other day on one of my Girl Scout e-lists, someone asked, “If you were one of the Powers that Be, how would you design the Girl Scout Program?” (most people that have been involved with Girl Scouts for more than just the last 10-ish years HATE the new programming). So, I’ve added Girl Scouts Programing to my plans of becoming Queen of the World™. Unfortunately, this is going to take more than one post.

If I was given a clean slate and complete freedom, this is what Girl Scouts would look like:

Program Levels (last edited: 11/15/10; originally created: 1/13/10)

GS Daisy: Kindergarten. Allowed to sell cookies to family and friends, no booth sales, no other money-earning activities. No overnights. Uniform consists of a white polo with navy pants/shorts/skirt with a royal blue smock (Daisy & WAGGGS badges are now embroidered directly onto the smock).

GS Brownie: Grades 1-2. No restrictions on cookie sales, but no other money-earning. Overnights are done inside of buildings–cabins, lodges or Girl Scout overnights at museums or activity centers; cannot leave the Council jurisdiction. Uniform consists of a white polo shirt, navy pants/shorts/skirt, with a brown vest (Brownie & WAGGGS badges are now embroidered directly onto the vest)

GS Junior: Grades 3-5. No restrictions on cookie sales or money-earning. No overnight restrictions, but must remain within the state, and camping activities must be done on GS properties. Uniform consists of white polo shirt with a GS green scarf, navy pants/shorts/skirt, with a green vest (contemporary GS & WAGGGS badges are now embroidered directly onto the vest)

GS Cadette: Grades 6-8. No restrictions on cookie sales or money-earning. No overnight restrictions, but must remain within the U.S. Uniform consists of white polo shirt with a white & GS green scarf, navy pants/shorts/skirt, with a khaki vest (contemporary GS & WAGGGS badges are now embroidered directly onto the vest).

GS Senior: Grades 9-12. No restrictions on cookie sales or money-earning. No overnight restrictions, including international travel. Uniform consists of white polo shirt with a white & navy blue scarf, navy pants/shorts/skirt, continuing to use the khaki vest (contemporary GS & WAGGGS badges are now embroidered directly onto the vest). The USA flag patch is required for international travel only.

GS Ambassador: 18 (high school graduation)-21 (or college graduation). Males are welcome. Can independently lead Daisy or Brownie troops, assist with Junior and Cadette troops, or other Council programs. Cannot become a Trainer. Does not need to have been a girl member to join as an Ambassador, but new Ambassadors must take an in-depth training. Uniform consists of green polo or oxford shirt with GS green & navy scarf, navy pants/shorts/skirt and GS green insignia tab with Traditional Girl Scout, WAGGGS and position pins.

GS Adult: 21+ (or college graduation). Males are welcome. Can independently lead any age level and become a Trainer. Does not need to have been a girl member or Ambassador, but new Adults must take an in-depth training and must have an experienced Adult (2 years) or experienced Ambassador assistant (former Girl member that has been in at least 5 years). Uniform consists green polo or oxford shirt with GS green & navy scarf, navy pants/shorts/skirt and GS green insignia tab with Traditional Girl Scout (or Lifetime Member), WAGGGS and position pins. Have the option to wear a Friendship Knot lanyard to display earned awards (GS Bronze/Silver/Gold; Bridge to Adult GS; Leadership Development; etc).

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