Service Unit Meetings – boring or good idea?

Time for another Service Unit Meeting? Didn’t we just have one? No one ever comes anyway. I never learn anything new. It’s a waste of my time and is boring.

Um, No! LOL

A Service Unit Meeting is a good thing! If you come a little early and help set up, you sometimes learn snippets of advice and hints of things to come. If you stay to clean up, you not only make a good impression, but you also get to make new friends. Got a question about which websites or Yahoo! groups tell you what a SWAP is and how to make it? Need to learn about the country your troop is studying for the Internation Fair? Where better to learn what others have found and offer your own suggestions than at a SUM. There are less and less Girl Scouts as the girls get older. Interested in finding leaders of other troops the same age as yours? You can find them at the SUM. Want to learn tips and tricks, find cheap trips, and freebies to keep the kids occupied and learning? You’d be surprised how many leaders are willing to share what they’ve learned.

Want to stay in touch with the people in the know in your area? It helps to meet the Cookie Manager and QSP sales manager before the sales start. Where better to get answers to your questions, taste test samples, and see the prizes than at a SUM meeting!

Learn what’s going on in the area and stay in the loop and up to date on events and Girl Scout activities in the area.

Working on a Bronze/Silver/Gold award and want advice and tips? Why not see who’s already earned it, or has started the process and see if they can give you handy info to help you.

For leaders with more years in Scouting this is your opportunity to shine and help others. For leaders new to Scouting here is where you can ask questions and always get an answer. No question is stupid, and if you didn’t learn it in training, why not ask someone at your SUM.

A SUM is also a good opportunity to meet other leaders willing to have your Scouts help their troops so your Scouts can work on leadership badges and to learn to “be a sister to every Girl Scout”.  It is especially beneficial in the upper age levels where there is less interest because sports and school activities become more interesting for girls.

I think Service Unit Meetings are great! I hope to see you at one soon 🙂

Kell

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Picking a Co-Leader that’s right for you

So you got talked into starting a Girl Scout troop for your daughter, or you want to be a leader because you had so much fun in scouts as a child. Now how do you go about finding a good co-leader? Do you pick a friend, a relative, a mom of another child in your new troop?

First remember to check Safetywise. For meetings, two adults for every:

10 Daisy Girl Scouts – 20 Brownie Girl Scouts – 25 Junior Girl Scouts

25 Cadette Girl Scouts – 30 Senior Girl Scouts.

Additional adults: 1 per 5 Daisies, 1 per 8 Brownies, 1 per 10 Juniors, 1 per 12 Cadettes, and 1 per 15 Seniors.

Now that you know how many co-leaders or assisant leaders you need, you will have to pick accordingly. Also decide if you want a co-leader to split duties with you, or an assistant leader to assist with whatever you might need.

I recommend you pick someone good with girls. Yes, that should be obvious, but sometimes it’s the obvious we miss. Someone might be good with their own children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, but have a booming voice or overwhelming personality. You definitely want someone you and the girls will both feel comfortable with. You also need someone who will pick up the slack and be eager and willing to assist you. The first volunteer might be tempting, but be cautious who you pick. The one offering to help and discussing how it used to be done when she was a scout, might not be the best choice. Times have changed, and if you aren’t willing to change to accomodate the girls’ interests then you will find yourself with a rapidly dwindling troop.

It’s also important to discuss goals with your potential assistant leader. If you want to focus more on badgework, and she wants to focus more on trips, then you will find yourself running into problems in the future, even potential arguments (Hopefully not infront of the girls). You need someone that you can work with and has similar ideas in mind. While two different outlooks seems like a good idea, what happens when one of you is unhappy with the others ideas, and vice versa?

Take your time finding the co-leader or assistant leader that is right for you AND your troop. There is no hurry, no rush on these matters. And if the idea of splitting responsibilities with another person is too much, ask for parental volunteers. Assign duties. One mom makes phone calls for reminders and what not, another to assign and make sure snack is brought (if you have enough meeting time for snack), another to be in charge of organizing the details for trips and getting parental signatures…you get the idea, I think 😉

So pick responsibly, pick wisely, and pick well!

Kell

Welcome to Kell’s Korner

Hello! This blog is dedicated to my ramblings as they include Girl Scouts and my troops, ideas, and everything under the sun. I hope that some might even find my posts useful. I’m preparing for my second parent’s meeting tonight. Second because I have three troops! Juniors, Brownies, and Daisies. My Juniors met last week and while the parents and I discussed new policies and registrations, the Bronze award, etc, the girls worked on completing their birdhouses to finally finish the Bronze Award. I am so proud of them!

So right now I need to finish printing my welcome letter, the list of meetings (special events and programming are added in monthly newsletters), the information for the nuts, candy and magazine sale. I also need to gather together registration forms, health forms, permission to sell nuts, candy and magazine forms, yada yada. So much fun. But since I also managed to get my son to story hour and play outside for two hours, I now need to get moving on preparing for this meeting.

Can you tell how excited I am?

Kell