Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Give every girl a ROLE in the Troop, and a VOICE IN THE CHOICE. Let GIRLS LEAD!

Girl Scouts encourage girls to take on new roles, make choices, set goals and make decisions. We do that by giving every girl opportunities to make decisions in the group, to make choices as an individual and to explore various roles in the Troop.

Daisies and Brownies may need more assistance than girls who are in middle school and high school.  But even the youngest of girls can make choices between two or three options that you offer.  We can help girls expand their leadership skills by focusing on GOAL SETTING and teaching them various ways to make DECISIONS.

Here are some examples of roles for girls at each level…
  • Daisies can help hand out supplies or help with clean-up
  • Brownies can lead the Girl Scout Promise or the walk around the block
  • Juniors can work on writing out the caper chart or send out the emails for Troop meetings
  • Cadettes can lead a Journey activity
  • Seniors and Ambassadors can lead a meeting with an elected official in pursuit of a Take Action project

Special thanks to Joyce Wagner, Girl Scouts of Nassau County's Chief Mission Delivery Officer, for her input on this edition.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The power of WORDS can move mountains!

Remember those days when your mother would tell you that “please” and “thank you” were the magic words. Well that still holds true today, especially when asking for help from girls or parents or thanking girls or parents for their time and effort. It is important to always be gracious and generous.

When there are parents that are not able to share or be as supportive as other parents, be as gracious as you are to the parents who go the extra miles. Be patient and non-judgmental. (You really don't know everything that they may have on their plates at work and at home.) Be kind. And, be extra sensitive to treat every child as kindly as you treat the others.

A simple “thank you” for a smaller task completed will make someone feel needed and appreciated and may compel them to go a step further the next time.

Special thanks to Joyce Wagner, Girl Scouts of Nassau County's Chief Mission Delivery Officer, for her input on this edition.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Building a Support Team for Your Troop

Build a team of support for the girls and the Troop Leaders.  Most people will help if you ask, and more people will help if you give them a specific task. So, don’t be afraid to ask!

Most parents want to support their daughters and the Troop, but many just don't know where to start.  So, Troop Leaders, be specific in your requests for help.  Start by posting a chart or sending an email asking for what you need and when you need it. Whether it is snacks, a craft helper (no experience required), a Troop Cookie Manager, a chaperone for a trip, a Troop Treasurer…  be specific and simple, and give an estimate of how much time it will take for the person to do the activity or tasks. If you have parents with special talents that would benefit the Troop, ask the parent if they can do a demonstration for the girls or talk about their skill or job. 

Beyond the parents, partner with older Troops or individual girls to serve as helpers or to lead some activities that they already know.  Remember, even Brownies are older than Daisies and have already learned the Girl Scout Promise and Law, or can share a song or a game they’ve learned...  Juniors and Cadettes often look up to high school girls and are eager to learn from them.

Out in the community, there will be others willing to help. For trips, knowledge and other support, community businesses and organizations are often willing to share their knowledge and love for what they do… some places to start may include the local firehouse, animal shelter, bakery, or Veteran’s Organization.

Remember, don't be afraid to ask! 

Special thanks to Joyce Wagner, Girl Scouts of Nassau County's Chief Mission Delivery Officer, for her input on this edition.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mags&Munchies… and Memories Program Tips for Girl Scouts!

Are you prepared for the 2014 Mags&Munchies… and Memories program? The 2014 Online program is in full swing, but the in-person program begins next week (September 29). Here are some helpful tips to help you “dive in” and reach for your goals! 

  • Set up the Online program first.  That way, your customers will have time to review the products and make their purchases before the October 29 order deadline.
  • Target your message. Take the time to personalize your Web Store with a photo and video, along with information about why you’re participating in this program and what your Troop is planning to do with the funds earned.  Also personalize your in-person “pitch.”  If you know someone likes making photo books, or has to give lots of holiday gifts, or enjoys reading – tell them about the products you’re offering that match their interests.
  • Remember donation programs Operation Stop Hunger and Project Thank You. If someone isn’t interested in Magazines, Nut/Snacks  or Photo keepsakes for themselves or gifts, suggest making a $5 donation to help Girl Scouts make a food donation to Operation Stop Hunger or a magazine subscription to Project Thank you.
  • When selling in person, wear something that identifies you as a Girl Scout. Most people are friendly and supportive when they see a girl in her vest or sash.
  • And remember, if you are going to walk around your neighborhood, always have an adult with you!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Keeping Girl Scout Troop Meetings FUN for the girls and for YOU!

Keep Girl Scout Troop Meetings FUN for the girls and for YOU.  If it isn't fun for you, it won't be fun for them! 


Girls of all ages like to have fun.  If they are learning something at the same time, that is even better.  Plan activities that you will enjoy doing and learning along with the girls... For young girls, try to remember the things that made your heart sing at their age.


Don't be afraid to get messy, dirty or loud (while being mindful of the proper preparations for messy… since as Girl Scouts, we like to leave things cleaner then we found it and any restraints on being loud… we do need to be courteous to others).  Silly hats, rhymes and goofy prizes make everyone laugh.  From arts and crafts, to games and songs, to neighborhood trips, to having a Cookie Booth Sale, to going camping, or planning for that BIG trip to Europe, focus on the fun and then weave in the Journeys, Badges and lessons of a lifetime!


Adventures come in all shapes, sizes and distances ... a mystery trip around the school yard can offer proportionate rewards to a safari, if the girls are having fun.  When the bus break downs or the rains pour, rely on stories and songs and laughter to get you through the rough spots and all of you will come out with memories that will last forever.


Special thanks to Joyce Wagner, Girl Scouts of Nassau County's Chief Mission Delivery Officer, for her input on this edition.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How to Create a Troop Environment that will Foster Friendships

Thankfully, most of us manage to find our own route to making friends. We strike up conversations, we join groups where we expect we will meet people and we inherit siblings and cousins who become our "starter" friends. For adults there are lots of articles and blogs on how to make friends.  But for kids, it can sometimes be a minefield.

I have met thousands of girls and adults who credit Girl Scouting for the friends that they have now, for the friends that came into their lives through Girl Scouts, and in many cases, for friendships that have lasted a lifetime*. 

The Girl Scout Promise and Law entreat us to "be a sister to every Girl Scout."  We often speak of the FUN and FRIENDSHIP of Girl Scouting, but what do we need to do to help foster a friendly environment for our girls?

In many instances girls will come into a Troop knowing at least one girl from their class, and sometimes Troops are formed with a number of girls who are already friends.  What about the girls who join a Troop -- or a short-term Scoutreach program -- and don't know anyone?  What about the girls who join a Troop where there may be pre-conceived ideas about  a girl (it could be any girl) who is different because she is "new," doesn't live in the neighborhood, doesn't attend the same school, looks different, speaks a different language,  has a disability, or whose behavior stands out from the others?  How do we make everyone welcome, accepted and part of a healthy group?  How do we help all the girls to make friends?

Until we get a Girl Scout magic wand, here are some practical tips to get started:

  • Vary your seating arrangements so that girls sit with different girls at each meeting.
  • Build in activities that allow each girl to share something about herself, and then find people who have similar traits or interests... Try to focus on shared likes and interests, rather than on body images.
  • Everybody Dance! And when the music stops, dance with someone new for the next round.
  • Play games, like "Compliment Beanbags" and "Cooperation Musical Chairs."
  • Do exercises that teach girls how to listen and remember that listening is not the same as waiting for your turn to talk!  Simon Says and Red Light/Green Light are good starters.    games.
  • Don't be afraid to talk about differences and what makes each child and each person beautiful and unique. 

Keep our Girl Scout traditions going:  Make new friends, and keep the old!

*My friend Sandy C. and I met in Brownies when she was in the second grade and I was in the first.  Our two Troops shared a school cafeteria. She was one of the big girls we Brownies admired.  I was delighted when a few months later I changed churches, and there she was!  Sandy was a built in friend and in my own Sunday School Class.  We have been friends ever since and have made the efforts to stay connected despite years and miles.