Ah, the dog days of summer. Along with the heat comes that dreaded phrase “There’s nothing to do!” Keep your Girl Scouts out of the summer doldrums this year by developing a Summer Activities guide that can keep them busy and active all summer long. The best part is that the girls themselves get to create the guide, so it will be filled with things that they absolutely love to do!
On one of your last meetings before the summer, host a sleepover, barbecue, or day at the park or pool to gather the girls together in an informal, fun atmosphere. Break down your group in to teams of two or three girls and assign them each two to three summer activities to add to the list. Whenever a team comes up with an activity, they can write it on a piece of paper or a dry erase board so that it is “taken”. At the end of the party, copy down all of the ideas and make sure each girl gets a copy to take home with her over the summer.
Make sure that each girl has a list of everyone’s addresses and phone numbers and challenge the girls to “conquer” at least two activities on the list with at least one other girl in the troop. That way, not only do the girls have a great resource for summer activities, but they are prompted to keep in touch with one another during the break.
The end of the Wonders of Water journey is reached when the girls earn the WOW! Award that represents the lasting change they have brought to their community. They earn this award through discussion of their SHARE efforts — they can read some of the water promises guests made, show slides of the meeting, or create charts and other visual aids that describe how their outreach impacted the community. Encourage the girls to discuss individual participation and how each girl contributed to the overall project. It is important that the girls recognize the value of individual AND teamwork in the completion of their journey.
In this grand finale, the girls can take pride in the leadership they have shown throughout their journey and in how their work relates to Girl Scout Law.
One of the many benefits of taking a Brownie journey is the sense of accomplishment and confidence the girls feel after learning, growing and sharing their skills and education with others. A great lesson to take from this is that the journey never really ends — learning and growth can continue for a lifetime and so can leadership and advocacy for change!
Camps are a wonderful way for girls in your troop to stay connected this summer. You can check with the local libraries, parks and chamber of commerce to see what local summer fun programs are offered. Often, libraries and parks offer day programs that are either free or very inexpensive. Get flyers if possible, or make a list and discuss the details with the girls to determine interest. Make sure information goes home to parents so the girls can get signed up at the first opportunity — spaces in these programs are often limited.
Another way for girls to stay connected this summer is to participate in Girl Scout camp. Girl Scout camps are offered as day and resident camps, so there is an option for every child. The girls can learn to swim, canoe, sail, put on a show, learn quintessential summer crafts such as lanyard making — these are the activities that make memories! It would be nice if you can encourage several girls to sign up together to keep them connected during the summer.
Importantly, schedule an “almost fall” meeting to share summer memories among your girls. Have a sleepover or a scrapbooking party where they can create pages featuring their summer activities to give them something to look forward to and to encourage them to stay connected through the summer months.
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!
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/
Summer is relaxing, fun and filled with adventure…and sometimes it gets a little boring, too! Why not liven it up with a summer service project for your Girl Scouts? Getting out and about and helping others can give summer new meaning — one that combines fun with fulfillment.
A great summer service project for Girl Scouts is to place flags at local cemeteries or find other ways to do meaningful service to honor those who have served in the military. Placing flags to honor the fallen can be combined with packing boxes of supplies and treats for those currently on duty in foreign lands. There are also plenty of auxiliary groups serving families of current military members that can use assistance in manning events and providing aid to these families.
As summer wanes, children start thinking about the impending school year. A great end-of-summer service project for Girl Scouts would be to collect backpacks and other school supplies for needy children in your local community. The girls can pack back-to-school kits with a simple, one or two sentence personal note of encouragement to each child.
A summer filled with the joy of helping others will keep your Girl Scout troop in readiness for the the academic year to come. Summer service projects for Girl Scouts will help keep their hearts and minds open!
For more girl scout ideas, please visit http://girlscoutfunblog.therealhomeschoolmom.com/
What are some of your goals for the New Year? Making goals can provide you with a roadmap to success. This does not mean everything you do will be successful, but it will provide you with a vision in what you would like to accomplish.
- Do you need to become more organized as a leader?
- Do you need to enlist the help of others?
- Are you needing to recruit additional members?
- Are you in need of organizing your paperwork?
Volunteering as a leader can be very rewarding. It can also be time-consuming and being organized will help keep things running smoothly. Think about things which will help you to achieve as a leader and help your girls.
Each leader within our service unit uses a volunteer notebook to organize. Each leader will have a calendar of events and organize the remaining sections as it is best for their troop records.
Here are a few of the things in my volunteer notebook:
- Calendar of events
- Training List
- Troop information
- Monthly ideas
- Troop recordings of things done for the year
- Patch Programs
Thanks to our service unit manager for providing a lot of the materials each of us needs. You can add to your notebook to make it personally efficient for you and your troop.
Do you have some ideas you would like to share? Please leave a comment below.