Monday, September 18, 2017

The Perpetual Girl Scout Scrapbook

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Create a Girl Scout Scrapbook That Will Be a Memory for Years to Come

To preserve your troop's memories of their years in scouting together, you can have them create a perpetual Girl Scout scrapbook.

Photo by Hannah Gold

If you are going to do this activity, your co-leader and you need to decide early in the school year so you can take pictures at every meeting (or else you will have nothing to put in the scrapbook!) These are the pictures we took at each meeting:

-The girls working at the tables as a group
-One group shot at the end with all of the girls holding the craft
-Individual shots of each girl 

By doing this, you can take advantage of photo printing sales online or in camera stores.

By deciding early in the year that you will be making a scrapbook, you can get the stickers you need while they are in season.
Buying the Materials Cheaply
The cost of doing a scrapbook is prohibitive if you use what is sold in craft stores. For our scrapbooks, we used Avery Clear View binders.
For this activity, you will also need scissors, glue sticks, and markers. Fancy edging scissors are not necessary for the scrapbook, but if your Girl Scouts want to use them, ask parents if they have any you can borrow.

We also asked for donations of stickers and invested in some themed ones, like Daisies and holidays. The holiday stickers are always on sale right before and right after the holiday is over. Stock up when you see them!

Stickers for Girl Scout scrpabooking

Prep Work Before the Meeting
Using the Cheri Liney font, a cover was made for our Girl Scout scrapbook. The girls colored them in any way they wanted. Leaving a space at the bottom permits the girls to glue an individual photo or a troop photo. Always run off a few extra, in case one of the girls makes a mistake.
The troop photographer needs to be in charge of organizing the photos. This task is made simple if she does it on an ongoing basis and not all at one time, when it can become an overwhelming job. Each girls' photos need to be put into a plastic bag with her name on it for distribution at the troop meeting.
The stickers need to be cut and clipped together for each girl so everyone gets the same amount. I put them into a plastic bag with for each girl.
If you are doing this craft with Daisies or first year Brownies, I strongly suggest you have a few volunteers to help out. Young girls are apt to cut too much from the photos or put way too many stickers on one page, leaving very few for the other pages.
At the Meeting
Have the girls create their own cover and slide it into the front of their scrapbook.
The next steps depend on the age of your troop. While older girls can be given all of the materials at once and left to their own devices, Daisies and Brownies need to do this one step at a time. That way they are glued and inserted into the binder/scrapbook.

How to Start a Girl Scout Scrapbook
Photo from Pixabay

For example, we had the girls take out the field trip pictures and put them on the autumn themed paper we purchased. We did the same thing for the Halloween dance pictures. Since we are Daisies, we did one page at a time. For meetings that had no paper theme, we had the girls use white copy paper and draw the motif. For our Saint Patrick's Day craft, the girls drew clovers, rainbows and leprechauns and glued their pictures around them.
If you are saving all of the photos for the end of the year, it will take at least two meetings to finish your Girl Scout scrapbook. An easier way to do it is every two to three months, make the meeting a scrapbook meeting.
Once the perpetual scrapbooks are completed for the year, have the girls put them away until fall. Purchase new plastic inserts for the papers and at a late fall meeting, have a scrapbook craft time. Over the course of a few years, the girls will have a keepsake of their time as a Girl Scout.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Free Girl Scout Rewards Program Now at JoAnn Fabrics

Joann Fabric now has a Girl Scout Reward Program! 

JOANN is partnering with Girl Scouts to help inspire and unleash the power of G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ in every girl. In addition to offering a space for Girl Scouts in their stores, the company is going to donate to the Girl Scouts of the USA 2.5% of the purchase price on  all eligible 

Free Girl Scout Rewards Program at Joann Fabrics. Leaders get 15% off all eligible purchases.

Photo from Pixabay

But wait, there's more! 

Once you get your card via email, you can print it out and save 15% on your total eligible purchases, whether you are shopping online at Joann's  or going to the store to buy your troop supplies (and you can shop online and pick your purchase up at the store as well! How great is that?) 

Hold on, JOANN's is not done yet! 

You can still use a coupon on your single item purchase with the 15%! (total purchase coupons cannot be combined with the 15% discount). This program will be in effect until August 31, 2020! Once you are registered, download the JOANN app with the same email you use to apply for the Girl Scout Rewards card. If you already have the app, sign out and then log back in. Your rewards card should be under the "My Coupons" tab. Leaders of all levels should sign up for this card, as there is nothing to lose and everything to gain! I've already signed up for mine! 

To find out more about the Girl Scout Rewards Program at JOANN's, go to this page on their website to find out more.    

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Girl Scout Meetings Four Easy Steps for Success for New Leaders

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Girl Scout meetings are simple to run if you follow these four easy steps to success. You've gone through the training, your paperwork is completed, now it is time to actually meet with your girls! Before a sense of panic sets in and you begin to wonder why you did this to yourself, take a deep breath. The key to a successful and smooth running troop meeting is all about preparation. 
Here are guideline for running your meetings.  

Step One Be Prepared

The first easy step for a successful Girl Scout meeting is to be prepared. Any good teacher knows that when you work with children, especially young children, it is best to establish a routine. All scouts, especially the youngest kindergarten and first grade Daisies, thrive when they know what to expect. Your meeting routine should look something like this:
  • Have the girls put their coats and bags in the same place every time you meet
  • Say the Pledge of Allegiance, the Girl Scout Promise, and the Girl Scout Law
  • Do a short circle time (group discussion) to discuss the badge or petal you will be earning
  • Craft time
  • Friendship circle and closing song

Second Step to a Successful Girl Scout Meeting- Earning Badges and Petals

The second step to a successful troop meeting is to figure out what you want to do for the year. 
There is no special order for earning petals and badges. With your co-leader, you can create an outline for what you would like to do for the next few meetings or for the entire year.
For the new leader, select an easy craft and do all of the prep work at home. This step is essential, because you need to know if it is going to work. For example, I had a great Valentine's Day craft planned. As I glued the hearts together with wet glue, the paper kept slipping and I could not finish the craft as I had planned. I took out my hot glue gun, and voila! It worked! Imagine trying to do this with twelve first grade girls who were making Valentine's for their parents and THEN realizing it didn't work.
I was able to recruit additional volunteers to use the hot glue guns so we could finish all the girls projects during the meeting.

Step Three-Purchasing Your Materials for Daisy Girl Scout Activities and Crafts

Next on the Girl Scout meeting success list is to buy everything you need in advance.  I know this is common sense, but for many people, disorganization leads to stress, which makes meetings less enjoyable.
Whenever possible, use your troop checkbook for all purchases, along with your troop's Tax ID number, you will save on sales tax. If you do not have the checkbook, save your receipts so your troop treasurer can reimburse you.
In a space in your house, assign a tote or craft organizer (I own two of the one pictured below) to store the materials you purchased. The extras will be used for future crafts.
Craft cart to store Girl Scout craft materials

Step Four Ask for Help

The larger your troop, the more hands you need

Younger troops will most definitely need more help than two leaders can provide. The fourth and final step for running successful Girl Scout meetings is to send out an email to your parents and ask if anyone is willing to come and assist. Of course, they will need to be registered with your Council and background checked.

Parents always need advance notice. Those who work full-time can clear their calendars, while those with younger children need to have arrangements made for their care, unless you want them at your meeting, too. Just know that once you permit younger children to attend, it will be very difficult to uninvite them late. You can read about tagalongs in this blog post.

One more item...a Girl Scout leader tote! Keep all of the things you need for every meeting in one bag. Put whatever else you need for the next meeting in a bag next to it.

If you take these four steps for successful Girl Scout meetings, not only will your time together run smoothly, you'll be looking forward to the next time you meet!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Make A Kaper Chart for Back to Troop

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Having a Kaper Chart is one thing that leaders use to assign jobs to girls and begin their journey to owning their meetings. By the time girls are Cadettes, they should not just be selecting which badges they wish to earn, but also leading their troopmates at the meeting in which they are earning it.

But don't worry...your little Daisy Scouts are not there yet!

Easy Kaper Chart Ideas for Girl Scout Daisies

Photo from Pixabay

Young children love to help and take turns doing different jobs. In this blog post, I discussed the benefits of having a Kaper Chart and what kinds of jobs you can assign each girl.

Last year, I shared with leaders a list of resources that can be used for Kaper Charts.  You can read it here.

Your co-leader and you will have to decide how often to rotate jobs. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

Materials to Make a Kaper Chart

You do not have to get all Pinteresty with this. A few simple flourishes on white posterboard or on a trifold is a good base to get started.

One of the easiest and versatile things to use are library pockets. These are a staple item for teachers since they are so functional. All you need is for each girl to decorate an index card that has her name on it and that is her name card for the kaper chart for the year.

Another fun accent that is inexpensive and will save you time are another teacher staple, bulletin board letters.

Girl Scout Kaper Chart materials-colorful bulletin board letters that are inexpensive and easy to use

You have your letters and troop numbers, you might want to add a few personal accents.

First, there are flower cut outs. The girls can write their name on these and you can place them around the border of the chart.

Daisy Girl Scout Kaper Chart decorations

These retro looking cutouts can also be laid out around the border to make it more colorful. You can write each girls name on it as well.

These blank daisy shaped cut outs can be used for many things, including your troop Kaper Chart.

Paper cut out Daisy shapes are perfect for Kaper Charts and other Daisy crafts

These are just a few things you can use for your Girl Scout Daisy Kaper Chart.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Your Very First Daisy Girl Scout Meeting

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The time is fast approaching for your very first Daisy Girl Scout Meeting. Before you let the feeling of panic set in, take a deep breath and get yourself prepared.

Do Your Paperwork and Get the Training

Before you schedule your very first Girl Scout Daisy meeting, you need to have all of your paperwork completed and handed in. Many Councils now offer online training that you can do at your convenience. 

Check that you have all of the girls' forms and that you have been scheduled for a specific meeting place and time. If you have not been assigned a meeting place, you may not get together with your girls. Contact the Service Unit team member in charge of this task and get a printout of your meeting schedule. My troop always met in the art room of the elementary school where most of the girls went, so the school secretary and custodians also had the schedule as well. Everyone needs to be on the same page so your space is not given to someone else at the time you will be meeting.

An easy plan for your very first Daisy Girl Scout meeting

Photo from Pixabay

All of the required new Leader Training workshops need to be taken before you have your first Daisy meeting. Keep any paperwork proving you have completed your training in your leader binder so you always know where it is. Failure to do these two things will lead to problems if, heaven forbid, a girl becomes injured while under your care. The Girl Scouts of the USA does have insurance, but only covers incidents if everything is done properly.

Meet the Parents

You will want to have parents attending the first troop meeting. This way your co-leader and you can share your goals and expectations with girls and their parents. You can also ask for volunteers, as they will be needed for busy crafts, as well as asking a parent to be the troop treasurer. Any volunteer at a meeting must be registered and background checked! Have any necessary paperwork and information ready to be handed out to parents who want to assist. No paperwork=no helping at meetings. It is that simple. 

Since many parents work or have other children who need to be watched, emailing the parents a few weeks in advance of your first Daisy meeting will help them clear their calendars. Advance notice is always very much appreciated and puts you in their good graces.

First Daisy Meeting 

You need to prepare a craft that the girls can do on their own during your very first Daisy meeting. This way you can speak to the parents without too many interruptions.

This article will give you a list of leader essentials that you will need for every meeting.

Here is what I did at my first troop meeting:

I bought a large piece of white poster board. In my favorite Cherry Liney font I typed up "Daisy Troop _____" (our troop number). I glued it in an arc and then glued a large blue circle for the center of the petal.
I cut and pasted a petal shape and printed it onto card stock (you can also do this free hand). I cut out enough for each girl and a few extra (always do that-young girls will make mistakes!).
While the parents and I spoke, each girl used magic markers to write her name and decorate the petal. It was easy to check on the girls, as they were at the next table.
When all of the girls were done, each glued her petal around the center. I brought this poster to each of our meetings throughout our first year. It can be converted to a Kaper Chart if you want and you can also add Daisy stickers.

Rolls of Daisy stickers for Girl Scout Daisy crafts

At the end of our very first Daisy Girl Scout meeting, we sang "Make New Friends", did the "Friendship Squeeze" and went home.  I wish I had brought my camera so we had a keepsake for our Girl Scout scrapbook.  Don't forget to bring yours and start documenting your troop's journey!