Posts Tagged ‘Troop Leaders’

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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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Make the Ask! (Troop Leader Tips Series)

March 4, 2015

Girl Scouts NC Coastal Pines Family

By Christin Murphy, Troop Support Year 1 and 2

As a new Troop Co-leader, I know you have great ideas of how to teach the girls the basics of the Girl Scout program, all while making it fun and exciting! But, do you find yourself getting bogged down with the basics of troop management, leaving little time for planning those awesome activities, events, and trips? Below you’ll find out just how managing a troop does not have to be a one-man show, but instead, a family affair!

You may be like me – the type that finds it easier to do it all yourself rather than trying to find someone to help or even take over the responsibility altogether. But, trust me, delegating tasks will make your experience as a Girl Scout volunteer more enjoyable and rewarding.

Do you know the number one reason why people don’t volunteer or offer their help? They were never asked! Just imagine that, a whole world of amazing helpers ready to pitch it! So, I encourage you to “make the ask”. When you ask, be specific. Tell them exactly what you need, like I need help making decorations for our cookie booth. Break large tasks down into smaller portions and ask each parent directly to take a piece of the bigger project.

Many troops only hold one parent meeting at the beginning of the year, however, holding several parent meetings throughout the year not only keeps parents informed, but allows you the opportunity to let them know what type of help you need. Have them fill out the Parent Volunteer Interest Survey where they can share their passions and expertise. You never know, you may have a parent that is involved in a local non-profit who could take the lead on a community service project or you might find that an extended family member is a chef and could whip up an activity for the legacy cooking badge. You could be sitting on a goldmine of talent and not even know it!

Do you ever think that since you are the leader, you need to lead every meeting? Not true! Feel free to share your Girls’ Guide to Girl Scouting or print out a meeting plan from the Volunteer Toolkit and ask one of your parents to lead a meeting. Not only does this provide you assistance, but allows the parent to feel more involved and see first-hand how Girl Scouts can help mold their daughter into a leader.

Have you thought of “making the ask” to the girls? After all, Girl Scouting is supposed to be girl led, so don’t miss the opportunity to give your girls a little bit of responsibility. Depending on the age of the girls, you could have them collect dues, help in planning an event or even take the lead on earning a badge. If your girls are still Daisies and Brownies, consider “making the ask” to an older girl troop in your area. I bet they would love to come teach your girls some camp songs!

So, what are you waiting for?! Make a list of what you need and then “make the ask”!

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