It’s that time of year again. August. School is right around the corner, and that means a new year of Girl Scouts is, too. This year, I have two multi-level Troops to get ready for. Which is why I am starting so early. Getting my binders cleaned out and organized. Prepping forms to be signed. Planning calendars. And of course, the two Troops are very different, so they do things very differently from each other.
My older Troop, the one with my daughter in it, is all girls in grades 7-9 this year. They are all pretty tech savvy, with most of the girls having smart phones. One girl told me that she would be more responsive if I would text her instead of emailing. *eyeroll* Communication is a whole ‘nother post! For this Troop, getting ready for this year started with a survey I sent out using Survey Monkey where they would rate the Cadette and Senior Badges in order of preference and tell me which Journey the Seniors would like to do, and tell us how many badges they would like to earn this year. This allowed my assistant leader and I to go through the results, pick out the badges the girls were most interested in (instead of the ones that WE were most interested in, Textile Artist Badge I’m looking at you!) and sort them into our calendar. Then the calendar got placed into a SignUp for the parents and girls to look over. This allows them not only to put meetings and events on their calendar, but also for the girls to volunteer to run particular meetings. Then I sent out the information via email and What’sApp.
My new Troop just started last year. While I communicate extensively using email and texting, we still need to get together in person for planning purposes. My older Troop is going to be multi-level for the first time this school year, but this Troop has been a true multi-level from the beginning with girls in literally every grade from K-6. Which means I can’t have the girls vote online for what badges they want to earn – most of the girls aren’t old enough to legally be online without parent supervision, and for our youngest girls, it would be the parents voting for sure. So, our first meeting of the year will be a Planning meeting, where each level will vote on which badges they want to earn, which service projects we want to do, and how we will spend the money we earn. Then the new Level Leaders and I will get together before the next meeting to set the rest of the calendar. After we have the new calendar set up, I will make up our first newsletter of the year, and send it out with Troop dates for the first 3 months of the school year.
Need some help planning your year? Here’s a little worksheet I made to help my Troops plan. Just jot in the dates of your meetings and events to see how the flow of your year is going to be. For my new Troop, I’m going to print one for each level so they can plan their individual year. I got the idea from a post over at Keeping It Easy and Simple, but she just showed a picture of it in her binder, so I had to create one for myself.