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. . .

Sit-Upons, Version 3.0

situpons

You might think that Sit-Upons are so ho-hum.  I mean, it’s a great way to teach a Daisy how to “sew” by lacing through pre-punched holes, but really?  Does anyone use them? I don’t know about using them, but I know that the girls love making them.  And as they get Older, they like making cooler versions.

Here’s a link to a well done tutorial on your basic Sit-Upon.  Version 1.0, if you will.  Make New Friends has a tutorial for what I like to think of as Version 1.1: a faster, easier version that can actually be completed during a meeting, without taking the WHOLE MEETING.  I like the Version 1.1 using reusable grocery bags and duct tape.  The best part of Version 1.1? They’re much easier to carry, because the bag has a handle already integrated in it.

IMG_7022When my daughter’s Troop were Cadettes, my Co-Leader and I came up with what we liked to call Version 2.0 Sit-Upons.  You take you basic Sit-Upon: a piece of vinyl tablecloth, wrapped around a piece of 1″ foam, secured with duct tape.  But, you clip one corner of the foam, and then cut an “X” into that corner of the tablecloth wrapper; so that you have a flat corner to your Sit-Upon.  Then you get our your hammer and grommeting tool!  Pop a big old grommet in that corner, and you have an easy way to attach your Sit-Upon to your belt, your trail bag, your backpack, whatever.

IMG_7023Now that they are Seniors/Cadettes.  We are going with Version 3.0.  The bucket version.  A friend of ours has a lot of cats.  A LOT.  And therefore goes through a LOT of cat litter.  Enough that we were able to acquire 20 buckets from her at no cost. Not only are these way cheaper than buying paint buckets at the local home improvement store, but we also liked the fact that they are square, rather than round: easier to cut the supplies to fit.  Vinyl tablecloths should be purchased seasonally, as in right after a particular holiday season so that they are 60-90% off.  I picked up these nice pastel plaid ones at Joann’s after Easter.  And if you are a Troop Leader without a good stock of duct tape, then your craft box is low on supplies! 😉

Sit-Upons, Ver. 3.0

Supplies per sit-upon:

img_7004

  •  1 bucket, kitty litter or paint
  • cardboard, cookie boxes work great
  • 2″ foam, or thicker or thinner depending on your budget
  • vinyl, flannel backed table cloth
  • clear packing tape
  • duct tape
  • construction adhesive
  • paper towels
  • cleaner

The first thing you are going to want to do is cut your foam, cardboard, and tablecloth to size.  Your cardboard should exactly fit the top of the lid, making sure to leave room around the edge for opening and sealing the bucket.  Your foam can either be the same size as the cardboard, or even a little bigger.  The tablecloth should be the size of your cardboard, plus 2x the thickness of your foam, plus 3-4″ to pull around to the bottom.  Our cardboard was 8″ square, with the corners trimmed to fit the box.  The foam was also 8″ square, no trimming necessary.  Our pieces of tablecloth were 15″ square (8″ + 2×2″ + 3″). You can pre-cut all of this stuff as we did, or not.  If you are going to be doing a lot of stuff at the meeting, definitely pre-cut.  If you are going to be doing this with Daisies or Brownies, definitely pre-cut.

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Assembly

Step 1: You are going to place the tablecloth with the vinyl (pretty) side face down.  Then center the foam on the tablecloth, and place the cardboard on top.

Step 2: Using packing tape, tape down the four edges of the tablecloth to the cardboard, making sure to keep it taut.  Then pull the excess fabric in the corners down, and tape to the cardboard (see the picture).  Your cushion is complete!

Step 3: Run a line of construction adhesive along the edge of the lid and in the center.  This part should be done by and adult, or a careful Older Girl.  Please be careful with construction adhesive, it is seriously goopy, and hard to get off of things.  Notice the flattened cardboard box we are using as a work surface so that none of it got on anything important?

Step 4: Center the cushion on the bucket lid, vinyl (pretty) side up, and set down carefully onto the construction adhesive.  Once it is placed correctly, squish it down to get maximum coverage.

IMG_7024At this point, caution the girls against slamming their elbow into the cushion, or stomping it with their foot, because they will then get a big hole in the tablecloth which they will then have to patch up.  Yes.  Even your high school girls.