Archive for the ‘Troops’ Category

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My Return on Investment When It Comes to Girl Scouts

June 29, 2015

Girl Scout Troop

By Kenna C., Girl Scout Volunteer Troop Leader

When my friend, Rachel, wanted to start her own troop she asked me if I would be her co-leader. My split decision answer was, “Heck no!” I remembered when my mom lead our troop, how busy she was, how she always thought about the troop. I didn’t have time for that!

Then I thought about it, researched it, meditated on it, and said YES. I am a feminist, a mother of one son, a bringer of joy, and a human looking for a way to make a difference in the world. I was actually looking for volunteer opportunities at the time and Girl Scouts seemed like a great place to pour my energy. Rachel and I went through the calls, emails, and planning to get to that first parent meeting. We started our first meeting with seven girls and sat in a circle with our palms down. I introduced the game: say your name and age and turn one palm over, and then tell us something special about you and turn the other palm over. My name is Kenna and I’m 38 and I like to take care of my chickens. The first girl to my right said in the sweetest voice: My name is Juliana and I’m five-years-old and there isn’t anything special about me.

Be still, my little heart.

We found out that Juliana really enjoys sports. Around the table we went and met everyone and learned about them. Fast forward a few months and when we play this game, everyone knows that there is something special about them. Perhaps it’s that they are simply growing, developing, and becoming more aware of themselves as people, or that they feel safe and surrounded by their Girl Scout sisters and can share what is in them. Whatever the reason, I am a part of that growth and drink in every moment I have with them. The love I feel when parents tell me that their daughter had a choice between the first night of swim club and their Girl Scout meeting and they picked our meeting overwhelms me. It makes me feel like I am bringing joy to their lives, which is one of the most important and rewarding things any of us can ever do.

This year my Girl Scouts braved the rain to participate in part of the NC Science festival at Blue Jay Point Park on a bird hike and were able to see baby bluebirds in a nest. They bundled against the cold wind in front of Sam’s Club and sold cookies to people on Superbowl weekend. They won the council sponsored scavenger hunt at the Museum of Natural Science. They got to name a puppy at the SPCA and called her Scout; her forever family named her Daisy. I am so proud of these ladies. They bring me joy and make me want to be a better leader for them. They are sponges for learning and are just starting to tap into what makes them amazing. Their parents trust my co-leader and I to be part of that; to be an outside adult they trust to help their daughters find their place in the world is a great honor.

Volunteering as a Girl Scout leader has given me one of the largest Return On Investments of my life. There is no metric for the love I share with these girls – and it’s all because I get to listen to them, think with them, and cheer them on. My Girl Scout troop cheers me on too.  This year I raised funds for St. Baldricks, a group that raises money for childhood cancer research.  My troop families donated, my co-leader and her daughter, Olivia, who is in our troop, came out and cheered me on. My bald head was a great opener for a lot of their questions at the next meeting. We talked about cancer, how researchers and scientists help doctors and nurses help people, and ways we can help others.  I am always floored by their questions and responses and how they can share their own stories with ease. They love me completely and I am ready to keep that circle of friendship going as long as we all walk the planet.

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It’s Time to Celebrate: Bridging Basics

April 20, 2015

Bridging Girl Scouts

By Christin Murphy, Adult Learning Director Year 1 and 2

Spring is in the air – we can smell, see it, and feel it. It also means that the end of the Girl Scout year is near. As leaders and volunteers, you’ve watched your troop continue to transform into girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. They’ve earned badges and patches, visited places both near and far, and made friendships and memories that they’ll hold in their heart forever.

And now – it’s time to celebrate! Celebrate their accomplishments, their new-found confidence, and their ability to make a difference in the world. One of our most long-held Girl Scout traditions (and most popular celebrations) is the Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony.

Wait, what’s a Bridging Ceremony?

The Bridging Ceremony is a traditional Girl Scout ceremony symbolizing progression, new adventures, and the continuity of the Girl Scout program. As girls move to the next level in Girl Scouting – for example Daisies to Brownies or Juniors to Cadettes and everything in between! – this ceremony is a defining moment in the Girl Scout experience.

Which is why we are here to help you plan a fun, personalized, and memorable ceremony in a cinch! To get started, follow our three easy steps Bridging Ceremony Planning Steps.

Step 1 Earning the Awards:

Your girls can complete the Pass it On and Look Ahead bridging requirements in the back of the Girls’ Guide to Girl Scouting by partnering with younger and older Girl Scouts in their area. If you don’t already have a troop in mind, try posting a request on your local or Council Facebook page, talking with your Service Unit Manager or contacting your Membership Director for a list of troops in your area. Working together with older and younger girls allows girls to not only have a Girl Scout role model, but to be one!

Step 2 Finding a Bridge:

Here we take the bridging, literally! Don’t have a bridge? Get creative! Hold the ceremony at a local park that has a bridge. Create a bridge by stacking three wooden pallets, putting two on the ground a few feet apart and stacking the third on top to connect all three. Or create the illusion of a bridge with two rows of buckets filled with sand and stakes. Connect the stakes with ribbon and ta-da!, you have a bridge. You can find even more bridging ideas on our council’s Pinterest Board.

Step 3 Planning the Ceremony:

There are endless possibilities when it comes to planning the ceremony. From Girl Scout themed baked-goods and singing Girl Scout songs, to printing out certificates or troop photos that your girls can keep forever – there’s so many wonderful ways to celebrate! Use our Pinterest page to gather ideas (such as these awesome free printable bridging certificates), connect on the New Leaders Facebook group to swap stories, or contact your Service Unit for inspiration. You can also visit our Shop retail locations or go online and order bridging kits and supplies!

Regardless of the type of ceremony, it is important to make sure the girls are involved in the planning. It is important for girls to share their favorite Girl Scout moments and recognize the significance of this award by celebrating with their Girl Scout friends and family.

For more information and exciting bridging ceremony ideas, join us on our next New Leader Webinar on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at Noon and 7 p.m. Click on the links below to register!

Click here to register for the noon New Leader Webinar
Click here to register for the evening New Leader Webinar

 

 

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