Argggggggggggggh!!

You know that meeting?  The one that was all planned and was super easy, and all the girls had to do was DO IT.

Yeah that one.

The one they didn’t do.

No matter how many emails, how many texts, they didn’t do it.  And you can’t make them.    I mean, there are some days when you can barely get your own daughter to do her homework, right?  To get someone else’s daughter to do homework that doesn’t even count for a grade???  Impossible, if they don’t want to do it.

Argh.

Obviously, this happened at our meeting last night.  The girls said they wanted to finish the last two steps on the Cadette GS Way Badge.  We did not finish the last two steps of their Cadette GS Way Badge.  Nobody actually did the work.  And I told them that.  My co-leader pointed out that there would be an empty space on their vest, because of their lack of action.

Let them fail.

Your Older Girls need to realize that you are there cheerleader, their supporter, their friend, their Troop Leader.  But we’re not here to do it for them.  By the time they are in junior high/middle school, your girls are well aware of what responsibility means, and how they can take responsibility for what they say and do.  Now is the time that they learn how to take responsibility for what they DIDN’T do.

Shiver me timbers.

So what does a Troop Leader do in this circumstance?  Well, we could have canceled the meeting, which would have certainly put the message out there, and next time we might just do that.  But it seemed a little passive aggressive right now, and we did need to meet in order to:

  • pass out the bridging badges I forgot to pick up last week for our ceremony.
  • pass out Fall Product Sale materials and explain it to the girls who hadn’t been in Girl Scouts until last year.
  • remind the girls about the garage sale we are hosting this weekend.
  • have my daughter do a run through of her Destinations presentation she will be doing on Saturday.
  • finish constructing and decorating the bucket sit-upons from our first meeting this year.

It turned out to be a good meeting, if not what was on the schedule.

Also, Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day, mateys!! 😉

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Senior Bridging Meeting

You know how you can get the girls in your Troop to sign up to run meetings, you can get them to communicate with you, and get them to plan ceremonies and bring all the materials. You can get them to do all that, but you still sometimes can’t get them to TALK TO EACH OTHER! 

Le sigh. 

Opening

Pledge of Allegiance, Promise, and the Law

Senior Girl Scout Presentation

We had three lovely 10th graders who were able to join us to talk about the differences between being a Cadette and being a Senior. They spoke about their continued love of camping, the change to a once a month meeting schedule, the greater opportunities. But they focused on things that I really wanted my girls to hear:

  • Increased Leadership opportunities – they really emphasized that they loved working with younger girls at events and at camp. 
  • Increased responsibilities – to the Troop, taking ownership of the Troop’s activities; which leads to,
  • Increased planning – yep, I’m not a weirdo for making you plan your own meetings. That’s really a thing that you’re supposed to do. 

I really appreciated the way they talked to the girls about Girl Scouts fitting into their schedules easily, although the Gold Award will eat a lot of their time. 

Bridging Ceremony

We had two competing ceremonies planned for our bridging tonight, but thankfully there was enough time for the two girls who signed up to run the ceremony to step outside and work it out. 

While they did that, I wrangle the rest of the girls to make a symbolic bridge for them to cross over. We had intended on using the actual bridge that was outside, but the weather did not cooperate, with rain coming down for the whole meeting. So the girls simply made a “bridge” using two rows of chairs. Not fancy, not Pinterest worthy, but it worked. 

It was a nice ceremony, the girls did a good job. There was a nice poem read line by line by the girls, and finishing with the Girl Scout handshake and a certificate for each new Senior. (I made up a certificate for each girl, and that way I know how many bridging badges to get: total girls – certificates left over. Sometimes I don’t catch every girl who shows up because they will show up at all times throughout the meeting.)

Snacks and Chatting

My co-leader brought some s’mores snacks for the girls, so after the ceremony we just let them have a snack and sit and chat. Do some Troop bonding that the other Troop talked about. 

And I snuck in some Troop business. I used to do all Troop business while they were having snacks because that was when I knew they would be quiet. Just to let you Daisy Troop Leaders know – they learn how to talk with their mouths full as they get older. . . 

Closing

As always, our Troop meeting ended with a friendship circle, a couple of rounds of “Make New Friends”, and then a friendship squeeze. We used to have arguments and hurt feelings over who led the squeeze. This year, the girls who are running the meeting do it, one from each side of the circle. No arguing, and the squeeze gets done twice as fast. Which is a pretty big deal when you regularly have more than a dozen girls at a meeting. . .

Cadette Safety Award Meeting

Last night was my Cadette/Senior Troop’s first meeting of the year.  One of the awards that the Cadettes voted on earning this year was the Cadette Safety Award, and I thought that would be a great way to start the year.  We had a couple of girls sign up to run the meeting, and the emails were flying fast and furiously over the past two weeks as they prepped.  I made a point of thanking them for their wonderful communication with me, and how they used me as a resource, like Wikipedia, rather than as the person who tells them how to do it.

Opening

The girls were so excited to get started, they almost forgot to do the Pledge, Promise, and Law. 🙂 But one of the audience girls reminded us, and after the appropriate amount of facepalming, we did our normal opening.

img_7002Main Activity – Cadette Safety Award

  1. Babyproofing a room – the girls went around the table discussing ideas for making a room safe for younger children.  There was much groaning about the door handle locks their parents used to have.
  2. Water safety – they went around the table again, this time reading out safety guidelines from this handout and explaining why they thought that was an important guideline.  Then they talked about reaching assists and what could be used as an object to help with one.  No one opted to get on the floor to role-play. *grins*
  3. Teaching younger girls about being lost and stranger danger – since this troop is not as multi-level as the other troop, instead of actually teaching younger girls, they talked about how they would teach younger children, and specifically mentioned that this could be something they talk about with younger siblings, or with younger Troops they work with while earning their LiA’s and Service to Girl Scouting bars, or at camp, when we usually share a space with a younger troop.
  4. Emergency Prep – the girls talk about what a 72 hour kit is, why we need one, what kind of emergencies we should prepare for in our area, and why a deck of playing cards is important.  Many of the girls barely remember Hurricane Ike, which rocked our area 8 years ago and had our neighborhood without power for nearly a week. We talked about sheltering in place, and the girls then made deluxe sit-upons, what my Co-Leader and I are calling Version 3.0 (look for a tutorial later this week).  These can be used at camp, but can also be used as a shelter in place style 72 hour kit.  The girls were each given a card with items to be placed the kit listed on it, which was then laminated to the inside of the bucket lid with packing tape.
  5. Bullying – while the girls were crafting their buckets, they also talked about bullying, and created their anti-bullying pledge.

Troop Business

I kind of snuck in and spoke to the girls for 10 minutes while they were crafting to do Troop Business: updating them on our money earning efforts, discussing whether they would use a Google Hangout for outside of meeting discussion, voting on whether we should celebrate our Silver Award recipients on our own or with the whole Community, and reminding them that they will need to sign up to run 2 meetings, if they haven’t already.

Closing

After the duct tape free for all (OMG – have you seen the GALAXY DUCT TAPE?!?!  This is apparently the coolest duct tape to my girls at the moment.  And they did not like me bringing the s’mores duct tape because it made them hungry.*grins* Good thing I didn’t buy that mac and cheese duct tape.), we closed the way we always do: friendship circle, “Make New Friends”, and a friendship squeeze, started by the two girls who ran the meeting.

Trying to earn this award?  Here’s the 72-hour kit handout I created using ideas from the ready.gov website:

72hourkit

Planning Meeting

Well, that went well!

Yesterday was my new Troop’s first meeting of the new school year, the planning meeting I was telling you about.  I didn’t really have a plan, just a list of to-do’s in my head and a stack of printouts.  So here’s what we did:

Opening

We always open with the Promise and the Law, and this time I had newly printed copies of the Promise and the Law in each of the Level Binders I made, so even the new girls could read them.

Badge Voting

After welcoming back all of our returning girls as well as the new girls joining the Troop, we did a quick round of introductions. We ended up having 2 Daisies, 2 Brownies, 2 Juniors, 4 Cadettes, and 1 Senior attending the meeting – a good representation of our Troop.  I had the girls split by Level and asked my new Level Leaders to have the girls vote for their favorite 4 Badges out of the 8 I picked, while I spoke to our one Senior and told her about what I have planned for her this year.  I was so excited that this worked out!  It’s the first time I was able to hand off an important part of the program to other people with confidence.  And according to my Level Leaders, the girls were able to agree quite easily, or with just a bit of negotiations.  I’m really happy that the Brownies want to earn the Bugs Badge!

Service Voting

I also had a bunch of different service project ideas that I brought all the girls together for. A few ideas were really popular, a lot were not popular at all – which was expected.  They got really excited by the towel and blanket drive for the local animal shelter idea.  Because I have yet to meet a girl who didn’t want to help animals . . . and maybe have the opportunity to go to a shelter and play with the puppies/kittens. 😉

Information Dump

After all of the voting was done, I gave the girls (and moms) a quick data dump of upcoming events our Community is planning, so that they could get an idea of what the Troop will have the opportunity to do.  I specifically mentioned the upcoming Community Campout in the Spring, which I will not be able to attend – because my other troop will be at their Community Campout at another camp!

Bridging Activities

Then I gave the moms the forms that needed to be updated each year (Health Forms, etc.) and had them fill those out while the girls and I had a round table discussion about each of the different levels for bridging purposes – one of the benefits of a multi-level troop.  I was really glad to have some girls who had transferred in from another Troop (or Council), because otherwise, the girls in my Troop just don’t have a lot of experience in being a Girl Scout yet – just a year, and in some cases much much less because the girl joined toward the end of the year.

Closing

Our Troop always closes with a Friendship Circle, singing “Make New Friends”, and then a friendship squeeze.  The part I loved most this time was when my brand new Brownie Leader asked if adults were allowed to join in.

They’re going to make it.  They’re really going to make it.