Friday, May 23, 2014

Should You Give Your Troop an End of the Year Gift?

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For many of you, the end of the school year also marks the end of the scouting year. For some leaders, it brings up the question as to whether or not to give their girls an end of the year gift.

While there is no right or wrong answer to this question, I will give you my opinion.

It is unnecessary for you to give your girls any kind of gift.  I believe this way because I volunteer my TIME, which is priceless and a gift I have given to my troop over the past six years.  No, I am not being snarky or full of myself. I spent HOURS planning each and every one else did this.  I drove to the Girl Scout store, the craft store, the grocery store, to Walmart, to Target or to the Dollar Store if we needed supplies for an activity.

I made the phone calls for field trips, sent out the emails twice a week to parents on meeting week, filled out permission slips, collected the slips and any money we needed for them, went to the bank to deposit the money.  It was I who attended the leader meetings and went to classes to get the necessary training.

You get my drift.

I did this because I wanted to, and other parts of my life had to be set aside so I could accomplish what was needed. I also spent money out of pocket when necessary, and purchasing gifts for eleven girls would be more money of mine to spend.

If I did not do these things, then there would have been no Girl Scout troop.

That is why the gift of my time has been my gift to my girls over the years. When they were bridging, I gave them a small token item (a box of Brownie mix when they bridged to Brownies, a decorative piece my co-leader and I made for the bridge).

And to be honest, with my group, the girls really do not need anything. Their parents can afford to buy them pretty much anything they want (and some do), so my small token gift really is an extra and unnecessary expense for me.

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If you do wish to give a gift, something to consider is if the money should come out of your own pocket and that of your co-leader or from the troop account.

In my opinion, I believe gift money should come out of your pocket because if you have done any kind of fundraising, then the girls are technically buying their own gifts with the money they earned. Is this how you want troop funds spent?  Will you be needing this money in the fall for patches and supplies? 

Then you need to decide if the gift should be scout related or not. Is there something you can give them that they can use at next year's meetings or field trips?

As the leader, you have given the girls in your troop the gift of having the opportunity to be a Girl Scout, and that is a gift that money cannot buy.

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