Wednesday, February 13, 2013

TIP of the YEAR!

I try and stay very current on every facet of computer technology, software and websites.  I have seen the Girl Scouts make big strides in the area of social media and communication.  However, my biggest complaint is the lack of consistency among the councils.  I think it would be far more beneficial, if GS would go to a basic website format that contains standard information with the exception of council related issues and events.  You can simply surf the the different council sites and quickly realize some council's web sites are true tools for the leaders, parents and girls and other council sites are well... pointless when it comes to providing any useful information what-so-ever.  Thankfully you do not have to be a part of a council to use the information!  So I encourage you to surf the web and look at other councils'  web sites.  You might find a resource that is invaluable to you as a leader.  This is what happened to me the other day.  I can't remember what I "googled" on a Girl Scout topic, but I stumbled across the most useful resource I could ever hope to find.  In fact so useful, you may never read my blog again :-(

So what is it????
Girl Scouts River Valley is the Minnesota & Wisconsin council web site.  This site is a little treasure chest for leaders.  On the site under the "Troop Leader" tab is a link called "Planning Guides".  Here is the direct link:
This tab is comprised of planning guides for every single Girl Scout level Daisy through Ambassador.  The "Planning Guide" tab has activities and lessons to earn each and every Journey and Badge for every single level.  

This site is almost too good to be true!  Until this point there has been no resource for leaders to guide their meetings unless you buy a Leader Guide or attend a Leader Journey course, both of which cost money.  I have put countless hours into designing creative Journey and Badge activities and sharing these ideas both on my blog and web site hoping to spare other leaders time and effort.  My goal has always been to give leaders a place to fuel ideas and even copy my activities if they lack time.  Why should everyone re-invent the wheel every meeting?

So, I expect you to run to this site and I hope you will send me a message telling me I have revealed the Holy Grail!  Well, maybe not quite, but I would like to hear that this tip has been helpful to you.

Also another suggestion I recently made at a New Leaders Coffee in our Service Unit that might be helpful to you:  Consider scouring e-bay, the web, Half Priced Books or ask other leaders for the old Badge Books, Leader Guides or Try-It manuals for ideas.  You can purchase these gems for pennies and the resources are filled with great crafts and activities for your girls.  Many of the activities can easily be used for current badges and incorporated into the Journeys.  My personal favorite is the old Brownie Try-It manual and I love the fact I can easily refer to the guide during my meetings.  This resource gives you step by step instructions for obtaining badges.  Several are listed on the Half Priced Book online web site for $0.99


  1. wow! this is AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing such a valuable resource!!!

  2. Oh emm gee! I have died and gone to Leader Heaven! Thank you so much!
    I'm not a big fan of the changes to the program, and I miss the selection of badges to earn. I LOVE this resource, I wish my council was so thoughtful!

  3. Thank you for your comment Carrie! I have heard many councils are going to follow suit with a similar resource. Kuddos to Girl Scouts River Valley for taking the time, effort and initiative!

  4. Thanks for all your hard work and sharing your information!! It really does help...

  5. Add my gratitude to all that expressed here. I don't often comment, but I read your blog & find it so amazingly helpful. My adventure in becoming a leader started just a year ago, when we transferred to a new state & I realized my daughter wouldn't be able to continue in Girl Scouting unless I stepped up to lead. Fish Out Of Water should read the headline. But we are progressing nicely, and I have extremely supportive parents & eager girls, so no complaints. Thanks again for your insight & help! One question: Do any other leaders experience weird behavior in their own child? My daughter always wants to get to do special things, and while I encourage, even am proud, of her initiative, but it's hard to corral that within a troop activity.