Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Preparing for a New Year

Summer for me is all about my family and our little oasis on the lake.  As a result, I
take a break from Girl Scouts and blog writing to enjoy the lazy & HOT days of Summer with my girls.  August to me means gearing up to start yet another exciting year of Girl Scouts.  I will move my Daisies up to Brownies this year which is super exciting for me.  It means NO MORE BOOSTER SEATS, for the most part, which makes field trips far easier to arrange!  With 25 little daisies last year just getting them to the local fire station for a field trip required an act of congress!  However, it also means the initiation of Journeys.  While we completed the Journey "Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden" last year, my main goal was to obtain all our petals and teach the concepts behind the Girl Scout Law.  Plus, this year I have to prepare my Juniors to earn their Bronze Award and complete their 2nd Journey.  This awesome task takes my breath away so I must have a systematic approach.

August 1 I update my troop websites clearing out old newsletters, information and paving way for new photos.  Next, I will create a (tentative) calendar for both troops designating the days we will meet.  Tuesdays is all about Girl Scouts for me.  I meet every other week with each troop which means I am busy girl-scouting every Tuesday.  My troops have one meeting and one field trip most months.  Then I read through my Journeys and brainstorm on ideas to better reinforce concepts.  For example, last year my Jrs. completed the Amuse Journey and I decided it would be fun to work towards an Emmy Awards Celebration at the completion of our Journey.  So I tied acting and movies into the whole concept of role play which is the main theme of the Amuse Journey.  The girls created clapboards, saw a movie at the theater as a troop and we discussed the roles of the actors and the plot, visited the library where we had a book scavenger hunt that led them to a book on fashion and they designed a costume for a wooden doll, went to a thrift store to create our own fashion piece and finally invited parents to our Emmy Awards event as each girl earned their Journey patch.  We also created a golden star to add to our version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Each girl dressed up in a fancy dress and prepared a speech to talk about the roles they enjoyed trying and what roles they treasure most in their life.  We even had a real red carpet and our own paparazzi (parents)!

My Brownies will be completing the WOW Journey this year which is all about water.  I hope to visit a water treatment facility, visit a local aquarium and maybe even a wetland.  I think it would be fun to recycle water bottles into a craft, create our own underwater ships and have each girl study an underwater creature.  The ideas are truly endless.  Also I would like to earn the skill building badges associated with this Journey as well.  One Journey for the year is a worthy goal and although I was able to start a 2nd Journey last year with my Jrs, I found it was a bit much.  January and February are usually dedicated to preparing for Thinking Day and I like to celebrate the Holidays and make gifts for our parents in December.  As the year winds down in May it is hard to stay focused and the girls typically like to "party".  I like to celebrate good friends and a successful year in May.  Somewhere in the mix of things I like to plan a camp out and cookie reward.  Ahhhh the life of a leader, never a dull moment.  Part of my organization is planning snacks for my parents to provide and create a Volunteer Sign-Up Genius.  Finally, I need to prepare for my parent meeting before the year begins so I can eagerly share the activities I have planned and brief my parents on my expectations and goals. 

My Juniors will embark on the journey to obtain the Bronze Award.  Thankfully the "Agent of Change" Journey fits in nicely with accomplishing the Bronze Award as the 2 concepts are focused on creating change and impacting the community.  Hand in hand I am hoping to accomplish both.  My girls have elected to concentrate on recycling.  At first the girls were hesitant and thought this goal might be boring, but they were eager once my co-leader and I gave them some ideas and explained how beneficial their work could be to the community.  We hope to create a Recycle Rap, with the help of a scout's father we will develop a smart phone app for residents and adhesive stickers to place on the recycle bins to remind residents what the bins can contain.  I will make the girls responsible for investigating the proper way to dispose of a list of items that cannot go into the bin, i.e. hangers, smart phones, paint, medications etc.  We plan to visit a local landfill so the girls can recognize the impact of all our trash.  Finally we hope to hold recycle drives periodically and collect various recyclables.  A bold agenda.  Once I have an idea of field trips and meeting topics, I plug in the events to a tentative schedule.  I stress tentative because I always like to reiterate with my parents that nothing is set in stone.  Bad weather, school events, changes in the leaders schedule can all have an impact on the schedule set at the beginning of the year.  Nonetheless, my tentative schedule is a nice foundation for the entire year.  Planning the year typically takes me about 3 full days per a troop.  This is a lot of time to invest, but is vital for a successful year.  Most importantly once the work is completed, I can sit back and enjoy the year.  I always have filler activities and jam pack my schedule so in the event something changes or it takes less time for us to complete an activity my girls are never bored.  Having far too much to do is way better than not enough, especially with the size of my troops.  I love to fill time with games, songs and additional crafts or stories.  Girl Scouts is great about providing simple and quick activities for the girls.
Finally, I am hoping to post my schedule and crafting ideas for the year on Google Docs.  If something peeks yours interest you can print off the activity.  Most importantly hopefully sharing my schedule and ideas will fuel your creative side and give you ideas.  So if you are planning to complete the Brownie WOW Journey or the Jr, Agent of Change or hoping to work on your Bronze Award please check this blog periodically as I hope to post the Google Doc address soon.

Junior Year Calendar and Schedule: (Agent of Change & Bronze Award)

Brownie (1st year) WOW Journey:


Fashion Dolls

Thrift find Fashion Creation

Emmy Awards Event

More Fashion Dolls.... so cute!

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of the emmy awards event...very clever, just might borrow that idea ;-)

    So glad I found your blog. This is exactly the type of GS leader blog I have been looking for.