Leading & Teaching Girls New Skills

Archive for May, 2012

Staying Connected This Summer – Part I

As summer takes everyone into fifty directions at once, how will you keep your girls staying connected this summer?  It is important to keep the camaraderie that you spent all year to build going throughout the warm summer months.

The first way to make sure your Girl Scouts stay connected this summer is to ensure that everyone has a list of each girl’s phone number, address, and email.  You can type these up and hand out a hard copy to each girl as well as sending them by email as a back up.  It is frustrating not to be able to reach friends in the summer and equally frustrating for the troop leader to be barraged by phone calls of girls trying to touch base with one another.

One way to put those numbers and addresses to good use in helping the girls to stay connected this summer is to arrange for a summer pen pal exchange.  Have the girls pair up and commit to writing at least one letter a month to their “pal”.  If some girls want to form larger groups, let them do a “serial letter” — a letter that one girl begins, sends to the next for additional information, then she sends it on to the following girl and so on until the letter goes back to the original sender.

The great thing about staying connected this summer using these techniques is that the letters and postcards become a great icebreaker at the first troop meeting in the fall!

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Teaching Girl Scouts about Saving the Earth

In the current climate of environmental awareness, it is important to find interesting and engaging ways of teaching Girl Scouts about saving the earth.  You’ve heard all of the usual things: recycle, conserve water, don’t litter.  The list goes on.  But what would really catch and hold a young girl’s attention?  Young girls, particularly pre-teen and teenaged ones, are all about new fashion and buying the next greatest thing.  Focusing on this is a great way to teach your Girl Scouts about saving the earth (and their piggybanks) through reducing consumption.

Plan a Consumption Challenge
Before the challenge, have the girls journal how many trips they make to the mall or other stores each week and what they purchase. Add up the cost of the items plus the cost of gas for the vehicle.  Show them that not only is this bad  for finances, it pushes up carbon emissions, wastes resources and helps trash the environment. Most things we purchase at big box retailers are fabricated from petroleum products in another country, then shipped across the world, greatly increasing environmental impact.

Then, choose a day to begin your challenge.  After that day, ask the girls not to buy anything new for a specified period of time. Instead, they have to try to get it used, borrow it, use something they already have, or just go without. They should keep a journal showing how they accomplished this, and calculate how much they saved while doing so.  This way, they can share their tips and successes with the other girls.

Not only can this teach Girl Scouts about saving the earth, it can introduce them to worthy organizations such as Goodwill, and help them develop financial awareness that can serve them well into adulthood.

For more great ideas, please visit our other blog at http://girlscoutfunblog.therealhomeschoolmom.com/