Community Service

I contacted a local nursing home. (The one I gave up on because of their lack of returning phone calls – to learn that there’d been a break in between having a head of recreation. The one I was used to working with had left, which I’d known, but she hadn’t been replaced until this year.)

So… now, not only are we going to sing winter songs, but they invited us to their winter show, and asked if we’d be interested in visiting for valentine’s day and easter. I said absolutely. (We already plan to return to our visits at Halloween and December again.) And I discussed some new programs they will be offering their residents and we might find a way to work on our silver award 🙂

I can’t wait to tell the girls at our meeting.

Sometimes all it takes is one phone call, and suddenly you have a LOT of community service and projects to work on to help others in your community.

Make those phone calls 😉

Kell

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Golden Link Ceremony

The Golden Link Investiture is a really fun ceremony our troop has done a few times over the years.

I didn’t get it from this site, but it’s the first one that popped up when I googled. (I keep hard copies of my ceremonies for easy reference, but that doesn’t help me when I want to show you it 😉 )

http://www.epilogsys.com/ScoutingWeb/SubPages/GoldLinkCere.htm

Supplies:

11 “links” cut out of gold paper – (print out the below 11 reading parts and glue them onto the back of the strips. These will serve as scripts as well as links) Stapler The words of the GS Promise for new girls to read from (cut section off new GS registration form) Optional ending – replace one of the gold links with a candle and matches

What we do is have the color guard bring in the flags, we do the Pledge, the promise and the Law. My Co-leader and I take turns reading the narrator part.

At the end my co-leader and I say a little something fancier, and we light our candle as we make our pledge.

I’d actually never seen the investiture part with the crown, so I’m glad I discussed this today and looked for the link! This is a fun, simple ceremony that the girls love.

Kell

Caroling

Usually I take my Scouts caroling. In the past we visited the same nursing home, (we even paraded in our halloween costumes in October) but the woman who use to set up things with me left, and the new person in charged ignored my phone calls last year. And they weren’t voice mail, I left messages with the main desk. So I am now on the lookout for a new nursing home to visit.

You must pick carefully. One year we went to one that had people that tried to eat the decorative ornaments we gave them. It disturbed the kids a lot. So we try to make sure to explain ahead of time that not always will they see a friendly face. Some people might not even know we are there. And we ask ahead of time who we may share our gifts with. One year we handed out bookmarks. Another year we’d made decorated snowflakes, another year we’d handed out candy, and there was decorative scented disaster year 🙂

The trick is to find a nursing home or rehabilitaion center in the area that would welcome Girl Scouts and will work with you.

We have a list of songs that we were allowed to sing, and then for a select group, they let us sing Christmas songs. This year not all my girls celebrate Christmas, so it will be interested to see what crafts I can cook up. I can’t wait, I love when the girls learn about things that are not the norm for them but are for others 🙂

Kell

Investiture and Rededication Ceremonies

I took the following section from Girl Scouts.

Ceremonies mark special Girl Scout events throughout the year. They can celebrate major transitions, such as bridging to another level or getting your Girl Scout pin, commemorate your accomplishment when you earn awards, or simply make the beginning or end of your group’s meeting special. You can also plan a ceremony around a theme, such as friendship or nature, that you wish to explore in thought, words, or song. Whatever its purpose, every Girl Scout ceremony enables girls to share in a special part of Girl Scout history and create their own special memories.

Investiture welcomes new members, girls or adults, into the Girl Scout family for the first time. Girls receive their Girl Scout, Brownie Girl Scout, or Daisy Girl Scout pin at this time.

Rededication Ceremonies are an opportunity for girls and adults to renew their commitment to the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

So last night my Brownie Troop began planning their investiture and rededication. We actually have a few girls new to my troop and a few new to Scouting period. It was a fun informative time.

While waiting for the troop to arrive the girls made decorative snowflakes to send overseas to the soldiers we are supporting. Then we listened to the Brownie Story from the handbook. Even though we read it every year, the girls all enjoyed the story and my co-leader brought them into it by having them recite the verse along with the story. “Twist me and turn me and show me the elf. I looked in the water and saw ___.” MYSELF they scream (the ones who already know the answer, that is 😉

And then we discussed color guard, the Pledge of Allegiance, Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law. At the mention of color guard several hands went up requesting to do the colorguard, but I think this year  I’d like to have my Junior troop do the colorguard for the ceremony. They need some interaction with the younger group since some of the girls will be flying up to Juniors. 🙂

The girls voted and will all bring food to the ceremony. So we did up a food list which I will hand out at the next meeting so parents can see what they were volunteered for and change it if they want. Then we discussed songs. They weren’t pleased to hear they will be singing When e’er you Make A  Promise as they have a hard time remembering those words, but were happy enough with the Brownie Smile Song and Make New Friends. They will also perform Bazooka Bubblegum – which beat out Pink Pajamas, Yogi Bear, and Pizza Hut.

We will conclude with a friendship circle and Taps, and do the spin and step out.

During the ceremony we will pull out our ‘pond’ a decorative mirror donated to our troop from another and we’ve passed it down everytime our girls went to another level. The new Brownies leave the room while we explain that in order for them to become a Brownie they must Twist and Turn and look in the pond to find the elf. They will all knock on the door.

The Rededicating Brownies will say “Who is it?”

Investing Brownies “We’re girls who wish to become Girl Scouts.”

Rededicating Brownies “Come on in.”

The Investing Brownies stay in a line. One at a time, the Rededicating Brownies spin the Investing Brownie, then face her toward the pond while the Investing Brownie says “Twist me and turn me and show me the elf. I look in the water and see MYSELF.”

Once the new girls have finished Investing, the Rededicating Brownies will each recite a portion of the Girl Scout Law. We’ll intersperse the songs in and also have a short welcoming speech at the beginning.

Now to work on Investing my Daisies and Investing and Rededicating my Juniors. (and bridging them to Cadets.)

Happy Scouting!

Kell

Girl Scout Promise and Law

Taken from http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_central/promise_law/

 

Girl Scout Promise and Law

   

The Girl Scout Promise and Law are shared by every member of Girl Scouting. The Girl Scout Promise is the way Girl Scouts agree to act every day toward one another and other people, and the Law outlines a way to act towards one another and the world.

The Girl Scout Promise

On my honor, I will try:
     To serve God* and my country,
     To help people at all times,
     And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be
     honest and fair,
     friendly and helpful,
     considerate and caring,
     courageous and strong, and
     responsible for what I say and do,
and to
     respect myself and others,
     respect authority,
     use resources wisely,
     make the world a better place, and
     be a sister to every Girl Scout.

* The word “God” can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on one’s spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, it is okay to replace the word “God” with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate.

 

These are an important part of our Girl Scouts. I used to start meeting where we just said the Girl Scout Promise. Then as my girls bridged to new age levels I realized they needed to have it memorized, so even my Daisies now recite the Promise and Law, even if they read it from a piece of paper.

Kell

Easy SWAPS

I thought that since we’re making SWAPS now I would share some easy ideas to get you jumpstarted into figuring out what your girls would like to make.

 I”m one of those leaders that likes to let the girls pick their SWAPS but others pick them for them. Which ever floats your boat is fine. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

Bear Pins and the bear could be subsituted with anything you can think of. A special pin, or something made of  that crayola clay stuff 🙂 Pins and beads can be found at any supply store, or purchased in kits for those who need one stop shopping.

Friendship circle SWAPS with pictures and step by step instructions. Looks like something my Daisies could do. They would learn how to spell Friendship by the time we’re done. (I can hope.)

Here are a few that are recommended for the Brownie age level.

Maybe instead of the Friendship circle I should let my Daisies do this. Or the Brownies 🙂 Tribead hearts.

And another Daisy one just because I love the simple crafts.

Hopefully these have given you some ideas you can roll with. Beading, pipecleaners, foam pieces, and clay all make easy to create SWAPS.

Some SWAPS we’ve received in the past: Marshmallows, Drums, Flowers, Straw hat with silk flowers, Smores, sleeping bags, Toothbrushes, Toilet Brushes (I’m still wondering over that one, but it was CUTE!), Samoas, Thin Mints, etc. I think you get the idea. Your imagination is the limit 🙂

To see my previous post on SWAPS and what they stand for click here!

Happy SWAPping 🙂

Kell

Phone chain

We’re busy enough as leaders, add in all those phone calls and forget, we have no time. I get at least two calls prior to a meeting, and I mean when I am eating. “Do we have Scouts tonight?” “Did I miss anything last week?” “Am I supposed to bring something tonight?” Hellooooo I’m eating!! Do I say that? Nope, not me. Why? Because these are my girls, and there is a reason they are calling and not their parents 😉 I can’t be mean to a kid. I just don’t have it in me. Unless they are my own child, but that’s another story ;).

I know it’s part of our job description , but these parents know that I have four kids to feed and get to the scout meetings by myself. So for me it IS frustrating when they call and ask if we have a meeting. That is why I hand out a monthly newsletter. That is why they all have a schedule. It’s WHY I started a website for my troops. I most definitely do not mind if it’s someone who never calls, but last year I had one girl call me every monday night. This isn’t meant to be a rant, but to show you how things can get out of control if you don’t have a plan set up in advance.

Do give out a flyer with dates. If you are up to it, set up a website. (To date I know of only one Scout who even looks at the website. It might have been a waste of my time. See if it’s worthwhile for you to invest the time and energy in the site first. It can become quite time consuming.)

Get a phone list and put someone you can trust in charge of the calls. If you do snack, put one parent in charge of snacks. So they can make the phone call reminder that it’s so and so’s turn to bring in snack, and make sure that snack is brought for each meeting. Now we don’t bring snack. Sometimes I will offer up a snack and sometimes for Birthdays girls will bring in a snack item, but with time so short as it is for a meeting, even the parents agreed it was a waste of time for the trip to wash hands, the eating, the clean up, then back to task.

Have a volunteer to make phone calls to cancel a meeting if you need one. Or if there is a reminder for the girls to bring something specific to the meeting. We dont’ have enough time to make all those calls and prepare for the meeting. Many leaders hold full time jobs in addition to being a Girl Scout Leader.

Delegate, delegate, delegate.

Happy Scouting!

Kell

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