Scouts

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MauEvig
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Scouts

Post by MauEvig » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:13 pm

I remember in another thread we got to talking a bit about the scouts; both Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and maybe even to some extent other clubs like 4H.

However it was a bit off topic so I decided to make another thread about it. I hadn't really thought about it in a while but we went to tour one of the local Elementary Schools yesterday. I'm trying to get to know the school districts a little better. While visiting there was a representative of the Girl Scouts there. I told her I'd been thinking about signing up and she'd inform me that she thought it was sad that there wasn't a troop in that specific area. For the entire county there's only one troop and that's at the other elementary school. I gave her my contact information and she'd said she'd call me.

But I have to admit, I think our conversations here are what inspired me to sign up. It got me thinking about my own experiences with Girl Scouts. So I'm hoping as a troop leader I'll be able to make the scouting experience fun for these girls. I want to actually do stuff outside, I think that's what kids need these days anyway. To be honest, that's probably what I need as well. When I was in Scouts I didn't think it was all that great; but now that I'm older I can reflect on that and know what not to do. And like I said, I'll get more of a chance to work with kids that way.

So thanks Murf for the conversations about scouts, and if anyone else has any input and advice, feel free to share. :)
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Re: Scouts

Post by Boogeyman » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:34 pm

Trust me, you don't want me to tell you what i think of them. The organization is nothing like it used to be.
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.

Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Scouts

Post by MauEvig » Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:41 pm

It's fine if you don't like them. I have my own criticisms of scouts; but I'm sure there's still some good points about them.
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Re: Scouts

Post by Murfreesboro » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:56 am

Mau, my daughter has spent her entire summer working on a Gold Award project for Girl Scouts. She is writing up her final report this week, and will be moving into her college dorm on Saturday.

I am glad if our discussion here got you thinking about volunteering. I am sure you will be an excellent leader for the girls.

The two programs, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, are actually quite different, and I prefer the way the Boys Scouts are organized. My daughter never earned any badges at all during her high school career, because the focus at that age is altogether on "Journey Books." In the Boy Scouts, you have to earn certain badges in a certain sequence in order to advance, but in Girl Scouts, advancement is tied to your grade at school. However, I am grateful that the Girl Scouts allow girls to work on their Gold Award after high school graduation. My daughter has until Sept. 30 to turn in her paperwork (it will get in well ahead of that deadline). In Boy Scouts, a boy must make Eagle by his 18th birthday. My second son turned 18 the summer before his senior year of high school. He did make Eagle, but he certainly didn't have the grace period the Girl Scouts offer. My daughter was 18 back in April.

My boys got tons of outdoor experience and expertise from the Boy Scouts, but my daughter did not get much outdoor experience at all with Girl Scouts. I think if you can make it more of an outdoor thing, that will be great for the girls.

One tip from our Cub Scout experience--we used to meet once a month when my boys were in grade school, and each month, one family was responsible for coming up with a theme or activity. The activities were taken from the books the boys bought and would help them earn requisite badges. How often a troop meets is generally up to the leader, but if you can get the girls' families involved in the planning, that will give everyone a stake in the experience (and take some of the burden of planning off you). I recall times when we went on a hike at a state park; explored a corn maze; Christmas caroled at nursing homes; toured historic homes in town (part of learning about the community). The opportunities are endless.

As a leader, you should get lots of info about district events for the girls. Be sure to get them involved in as many of those as possible.

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Re: Scouts

Post by MauEvig » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:00 pm

Thanks Murf! I'll definitely try my best. Those are pretty good suggestions and I definitely see your point about the structure of Boy Scouts being better. To me having to earn the badges makes more sense; but I do like that the Girl Scouts at least gives you that grace period.

I agree. I'm wondering if your daughter liked how they did Girl Scouts or was she overall disappointed with the experience? Honestly I thought earning badges was part of what it meant to be a scout. I never realized just how different the two groups were. I loved the GS cookies though especially the Samoas (or the chocolate caramel coconut ones. But I admit I can find the exact same thing at the Dollar Store cheaper! Just different packaging :lol: )

I had to wonder what the intention behind the Girl Scouts Founder was, so I decided to google her Biography. I think it's interesting to note that she was inspired by the founder of the Boy Scouts! https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-gir ... n-low.html She certainly did have an interesting mission, and I like how she broke down cultural barriers and united these girls. It also gives me another reason to visit Georgia! :lol: (I have family who lives down there so I want to go to Georgia and Florida one day and visit them all.) It does mention that she has a love of Nature, which makes me wonder why there's such a lack of nature oriented activities. However upon reading your response Murf I had a strange epiphany while I was at work at my second job. I do maintenance for the College as part of their Work Study program. It's a temporary job that will unfortunately end next week, somewhat coinciding with the first day of Fall classes. Kids love doing crafts, at least I know I did when I was a kid. They love to be creative. They also love nature. So I thought, why not do a nature walk and during the nature walk gather things like acorns, and pine cones then bring them back to the Girl Scout meeting place and make crafts out of them! This not only would give the girls something to do relating to nature, but it would inspire them to be creative as well! I gathered some acorns at the college that I am planning on painting to make into "pumpkins". Then I have a cute idea for the acorn shells...which I'll reveal later on when I'm done with the project. I think this would be one way to get them acquainted with nature, gather some "souvenirs" and have some fun with it.

I also like the idea of involving the different girls in these activities. I'm sure they'd love the corn mazes and Christmas caroling. Getting them involved in these activities is a good idea. I know they have parks around here and maybe getting to know the nature trails or any local historical monuments. Maybe if we can find out when the parades are going we could decorate a float. I will not be requiring my girls to sing just to ride in it though! :lol: I still can remember that scenario. If we wanted to ride in the float instead of march outside, we had to sing. We were also asked to dress up as cowboys and indians. I was the only indian. :lol:

The important part for me though is that the girls walk out of this without being disappointed like I was. I want them to get something out of this besides cookie sales and lame activities. Sure we'll be doing the cookie selling thing, I've actually seen stands now where the girls actually have the boxes of cookies without having to wait for the orders to come in. In a way I like this better than having to contact everyone and go door to door.
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Re: Scouts

Post by Murfreesboro » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:38 pm

Girls are no longer allowed to go door-to-door (too dangerous). They can take orders from family and friends during a certain period of time, usually a few weeks in January. Then in February, they sell at the cookie booths.

There is certainly an opportunity for girls to camp and do outdoorsy things, but how much of that they do is up to the leaders. When my daughter was in grade school, her leader was not into camping. Also, she said the girls didn't seem enthusiastic about it the few times they went. Honestly, my daughter is a hot-house flower. She was probably one of the ones who was least enthused about living outside, but that doesn't mean she couldn't have benefited from doing more of it.

Your ideas about using nature for crafts are excellent, I think! Depending on the age group, you might also think about getting them interested in environmentalism.

There are plenty of badges to pursue at all levels of Girl Scouts, and the younger kids do lots of them. It's just that, as they get older and more involved in school activities, they aren't terribly motivated to pursue badges that don't lead to the major awards (Bronze, Silver, and Gold). The Boy Scouts never cease pursuing the badges, because the badges are part of earning their advancements that lead to Eagle.

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Re: Scouts

Post by Murfreesboro » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:35 am

Don't mean to hog the thread, but I mentioned your interest in volunteering with Scouts to my husband this morning. He reminded me to tell you about "Venturing" in Boy Scouts, a co-ed group that does high adventure, outdoor stuff with kids aged 14-20. Because the group is co-ed, they need to have at least one male and one female leader for each group. Just another avenue you might consider, if outdoor adventure appeals to you.

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Re: Scouts

Post by MauEvig » Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:24 pm

Sounds like an interesting venture. Outdoor trips like hiking trails definitely sound like something that would be fun.

I got a call from the Girl Scout troop organizer; and she sent me an e-mail. She said I'd likely have a troop made up of both Brownies and Daisies, probably the youngest of the members. She suggested looking at the website, I can do my Scout leader training online which is pretty cool. Now to just find the time to do it. I'm already exhausted from this first week back to classes. :lol:

As far as camping goes, she told me the younger ones don't do camping so much. They might do some little things outside, maybe going to the park and doing scavenger hunts and stuff. I suppose if I'm just starting out it might be better to go simple.

To be honest I'm a bit of a house plant myself. I know I should get outside more! :lol: I love the outdoors but the computer is so distracting and I feel like there isn't much to do out there other than occasionally tend to my garden; only to get chased by bees or become an all you can eat buffet for the bugs. :lol: I think camping would be fun though. I want to make myself to get out of the house sometimes because life is short. I think what we do will be up to both the leaders, the girls and the parents. Hopefully I'll have a co leader that can help me make decisions. I will definitely make sure it's A-OK with parents before I do anything. Maybe I can even encourage them to participate.

The faerie house is another idea I can do with gathering things from nature to do crafts. Getting them into environmentalism is a good idea...and maybe I can talk my Biology Professor into coming in as a guest speaker! He's very passionate about environmentalism. :lol:

Also sorry I haven't been on so much...I've been busy busy busy...all day yesterday was spent trying to get pumpkins painted...and the paint stuck on some of them and some of it got ruined...and I might have to touch up paint and re-spray some before they're ready. I'll post them when I can in the appropriate thread. ^^; (I also did a bit of homework, got to fit that in there somewhere. I'm taking 15 credit hours; :shock: I'm glad I don't work at the store anymore! My classes are mostly online though so that helps. I can go to "class" at my leisure and work at my own pace. I only have two classes on Tuesday and Thursday nights on campus...and even then the Thursday class is so small that it might turn into an independent study...so that means it'll be online as well. Yay for gas savings!)
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Re: Scouts

Post by Murfreesboro » Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:34 pm

Wow, you sound so ambitious, so many irons in the fire!

You will have a co-leader. Scouts require that for safety's sake. It's not just for the safety of the child, but also for the safety of the adult--two-deep leadership means that adults cannot be accused of things they didn't do! You will never be alone one-on-one with a child.

The Daisys & Brownies are the little ones, kindergarten and first or second grade. They have a "program" of sorts to get through, too. The Daisys will be earning "petals" and the Brownies, "Try-its." I think your idea of doing crafts with nature is a great one. The little girls will really get into that.

There will also be events that happen at the (Council? District?) level. I've forgotten the precise terminology, but your troop will have the opportunity to join together with other troops from time to time. As a leader, you should get notifications about things like that.

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Re: Scouts

Post by MauEvig » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:24 pm

Well to be honest Murf I think I got myself a little overwhelmed last week. I may have taken on more than I can chew. But I'll manage and adapt hopefully. I have to tell myself it's going to be worth it one way or another. I just hope I sell those paintings and pumpkins at the market. I'd like to do my jewlry and miniatures as well if I can find time to sculpt. I ended up post poning my time at the market until next Saturday because I just didn't feel ready. I did some of my homework yesterday instead. Trying to do a bunch of pumpkins in a hurry at the last minute is a bad idea...because that's what caused me to mess up. But then again I have that bad habit of rushing to do everything at the last minute.

I think it'll be fun. After going to the elementary school to sub last week for a Teacher's aide, I was treated to see how the kids learn in the classroom. My job was to help two special needs kids and go around the classroom and make sure the kids were doing their work. The Kindergarten class was the easiest. It was fun watching the little ones explore different shapes and get to know different blocks. So I think getting them involved in arts and crafts would be fun, and all of those grade levels still want to play and be creative. I think you're right, when they're young like that I think they're more willing to try stuff. Older girls start thinking about fashion and boys. :lol:

I think it would be great to see them interact with other troops. However with there only being one other troop for the entire county; I wonder if that will work. We could organize things like a lock in...but at least I know what *not* to do after my experiences with Scouts. No cold McDonalds for my girls! :) I'll get them some of the best Pizza in town instead. (Assuming we can afford it).

I heard in some cases troops can ask for donations until they can become more self sufficient. The Troop manager said I probably won't get a chance to do the cookie sales this late in the game. I guess we'll see how it works. (Maybe sell crafts? Since I'm already doing that anyway...) I'm sure there's plenty of options for fund raising...hopefully...I'd feel bad asking the parents to have their kids bring a dollar into meetings...
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Re: Scouts

Post by Murfreesboro » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:21 pm

In addition to the cookies that everyone knows about, the Girl Scouts also do a fall sale of magazines and certain types of merchandise--maybe candles or candy? I forget exactly what. If your rep thinks you are too late for cookies (which sell after New Year's), you are definitely too late for the fall sale! But there is always next year.

I'm trying to recall if we ever paid "dues" to either Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Maybe, but I just don't recall. I do know that you can rotate the snacks for each meeting among the families. Have each family sign up for snack at the first meeting. Usually people bring cookies and a drink, like soda or juice packets, enough for each girl. You shouldn't have to feed a group of little girls yourself every time you meet!

If you ever plan a special outing, say to a corn maze or an historic home, you can ask each family to pay the entrance fee for their child. Often you can negotiate a group rate ahead of time with the venue.

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Re: Scouts

Post by MauEvig » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:54 pm

Thanks for the tips Murf. I know that would really come in handy. We could either rotate or drop names in a hat, and pull out each name until all the names are drawn, then go back and put the names back in and start over. We'll figure this out. I just hope I'll know what I'm doing; I'm going to need all the help I can get!

From what I heard my group probably won't be very big at all. I think she said I'd probably have around 5 girls or so. I'd honestly rather do small groups anyway. :)

I hope there aren't any "dues" I have to pay. I don't have a whole lot of money and I'm volunteering.

I would think that doing cookies after the New Year's that I'd still have time to organize for that. Unless they do things different in this area. Virginia's branch of GS is called Virginia Skyline.

Group rates would be nice. Then I have to figure out how each girl is going to get there. I read there are people who volunteer as drivers; or maybe the parents can just transport their kids there?
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Re: Scouts

Post by Murfreesboro » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:12 am

Yes, you would definitely need parents to help drive, especially since children that age will still be in car seats. I believe the law, at least in TN, says they have to be in some type of protective seat until they are 8.

There will be a yearly fee to sign up with Girl Scouts. I believe it is $15 for adult volunteers. I have paid this fee myself for several years and will most likely do so at least one more time, since my daughter just wrapped up her Gold Award, and I want to get the magazine that will have her picture in it next summer. The Girl Scout year runs from Oct.1 -Sept. 30. You will probably also be encouraged to purchase some uniform stuff, but it doesn't have to be a full-on uniform, maybe just an official shirt you can wear at the meetings.

You can plan to have most of the activities at a regular meeting place, wherever that is. Some people do it at the school where the children are enrolled, others at their home or even a church. That way driving the children will not be an issue for you. If you have a special event, like a corn maze, just have people convene at the venue.

If you are trying to keep up with a group of children in a public place, it helps if they all have on the same colored t-shirts. You could have each family purchase an inexpensive bright shirt of the same color--say, red or yellow-- and then have each girl decorate the shirt as a project at a meeting. Of course, the little girls are supposed to get uniforms, too (which each family pays for, naturally), but you don't have to push that so much at first. But as they earn badges and accumulate activity patches, they will need something on which to sew those items--usually a vest or a sash. There are catalogs and on-line guides about uniforming. Probably the vest or sash is the most important item, because of the badges and patches.

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Re: Scouts

Post by MauEvig » Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:31 pm

Well...I have decided to post pone my involvement in the scouts. It's not that I don't want to do it, or that I don't ever plan to do it, but I've got too much on my plate already. 15 credit hours at school is just nerve wracking, plus we have had problems with our former neighbors/tenants that I won't get into too many details about but it has got me pretty worked up the past few weeks, and I'm trying to find another job. The reason is because I'm just not getting called enough at the school.

The scout leader manager understood, she said it's possible to get a troop started later in the year even, and at the age group she wanted to target (brownies/daisies) they're just getting settled into the school year anyway. So I have decided to try it again next year. Hopefully things will work out better then. I'll still have to worry about college, but things are just hectic around here. (I need to apply at some 4 year schools and find out more about them. Finding the time to do so however...has been a nightmare! And to make things worse, the internet has not been very cooperative with us lately!)

As far as jobs go...I applied with the Preschool program at the YMCA, and I got to sit in with the Toddlers today for about an hour and a half! It was great! I loved it. I never thought I'd enjoy working with little kids so much. If I get this job I'll know by Friday, but the ladies liked me there saying how they loved how I interacted with the kids. So I'm hoping for the best! Keeping my fingers crossed that I get it. I also loved the fall-themed stories we got to read to the kids. It was awesome! Even I got to read a picture book with them with little pop ups that have hidden images, like pumpkins in them. Working with these kids has got to be one of the most fun potential jobs ever. If I get it, sure I won't be in scouts right now, but I'll get to work with kids. How cool is that? So here's hoping. Though if I don't get it I'll try not to be too disappointed. I'll just have to keep looking, unless the school decides they're going to start calling me in more!
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Re: Scouts

Post by Murfreesboro » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:18 pm

Mau, that's totally understandable, that you don't have time right now for Scouts. I thought it was very ambitious of you to attempt it. There will always be a need for good leaders, whenever your own schedule opens up a little.

Best wishes about the prospective new job!

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