Monday, April 20, 2015

How to Earn Brownie Badges-Meeting Plans and Resources

As the end of the year draws to a close, some of you may be leading your troops as Daisy Scout for the last time since you are bridging to Brownies. Leading older girls is more fun, as they are more independent and can do much more on their own.

How the Brownie Program Differs from the Daisy Girl Scout Program

Daisy Scouts have a very simple program based on learning the Girl Scout Law. You can do activities based on each one, and if you choose, augment the program with the Journeys program.

How to Earn Brownie Badges Meeting Ideas

The Brownie Program is made up of badges, formally known as "Try Its". They are triangular in shape and have five required steps for completion. They are divided into the following categories:

Legacy Badges (these are updated versions of Try Its from the old program)

  • Painting
  • Snacks
  • Celebrating Community
  • Girl Scout Way
  • Fair Play
  • First Aid
  • Bugs
Financial Literacy
  • Money Manager
  • Philanthropist
Cookie Business
  • Meet My Customers
  • Give Back
Journeys badges-It's Your World-Change It!
  • Dancer
  • My Best Self
  • Computer Expert
  • My Family Story
  • Home Scientist
Journeys-It's Your Planet-Love It!
  • Hiker
  • My Great Day
  • Household Elf
  • Potter
  • Senses
Journeys-It's Your Story-Tell It!
  • Pets
  • Making Friends
  • Letterboxer
  • Making Games
  • Inventor
Can I Use the Old Program With The New One?

Old Brownie Try It

Photo by Hannah Gold. Old Brownie Try It Badge

When I was a Brownie leader, the old badges were being discontinued. I bought them in bulk so my girls exclusively did the old badges. One of the biggest complaints leaders like myself, who know the old program, have with the new one is that the amount of badges the girls can earn are limiting. The dozens of Try Its have been whittled down to what you see above. 

While there are some council stores that still have the old Brownie Try Its, the most popular ones are very hard to find. There are private Facebook groups for Selling retired Girl Scout badges. I suggest joining one, as the women there are selling their excess and not out to make a profit as sellers on eBay are.

The older Try Its are not the same size as the new ones, so they will not make the perfect hexagonal shape when sewing the two different ones together.

I have created a website for Brownie Leaders entitled How to Earn Brownie Badges. Each page on the site is a complete lesson plan for every single Brownie badge in the new program.

Many of the badges asks leaders to bring in experts. With my lesson plans, that is not necessary. Many badges ask the girls to do something at home. I avoid that with my meeting plans, as I know all too well what happens...girls forget or parents will not be bothered. If a step is missing, then the girl cannot earn the badge (and then you have to deal with that mess). I created meeting plans with all the steps to be completed during your time together. Only a few require the girls to bring in something, and there is the option for you to bring in extras to cover that step for the girl.

You can find the Brownie Badges site right here. It is my sincere hope that you find it useful as you take your troop to the next level of scouting.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Daisy Girl Scout Party Ideas for Those Who Are Not Bridging

*This post contains affiliate links.

Updated November 2019

Congratulations!  You are finally getting to the end of your first year of being a Daisy Girl Scout leader.  If you are not bridging from Daisy Girl Scouts to Brownie Girl Scouts because you are in your first year, there is no reason why you still cannot end your year on a high note with a celebration.

Daisy Girl Scout Party Ideas

Think of all that you have accomplished.  First of all, you made it!  Do you remember how nervous you were after you signed up to be a leader?  Do you remember feeling overwhelmed at how you were going to do all of this?  

Look at you now!  You are a woman who can confidently take her troop on field trips (you know how to fill out those forms!), plan meetings (you finally got it all organized) and maybe you even participated in the Girl Scout cookie sale this winter.  
And look at your girls!  Some may have been shy at the first few meetings, others may have even had tears as her mommy left.  Maybe you learned how to calm your rambunctious Daisy. After one year, their vests have petals, maybe Journeys badges, and a vest full of Girl Scout fun patches.  Your entire Daisy journey can be seen on the girls’ vests!

It’s time to celebrate your accomplishments with a Daisy Girl Scout party!

Get Organized for Your Daisy Girl Scout Party

Your co-leader and you should plan on your last meeting of the year to have the party, as the girls already have that time slot blocked on their schedules.  If you choose a different date and time, then you not only risk having some of the girls not being able to attend due to scheduling conflicts, but there are also field trip forms that you will have to fill out. Avoid that extra thing to do and just have the Daisy Girl Scout party during your regularly scheduled meeting time.

Let your girls help plan the party by making invitations.  You can get free printable Girl Scout coloring pages, print them out and have the girls color them in. On the back, you can print out the important information, like the date and time.

You will also have to decide what you want the girls to bring. As the leader, make it easy on yourself. Create an email sign up list for the parents to respond to, or have them sign up before or after pick up.  List easy finger foods, such as cookies, carrots and dip, and pretzels, as well juice boxes and paper goods. (Sign up for the paper goods-it’s easy and since you are the leader, you deserve a break!)

Then send a mass email to everyone so that the parents know who is responsible for bringing what items.  It keeps everyone accountable.

If you want a smaller, simpler celebration, then your co-leader and you can use the troop funds to buy some snacks, paper goods and the craft materials. 

Party Crafts and Activities for Daisy Girl Scouts

Besides eating, you will want to keep the girls engaged in an activity.  You might want to do the craft first, and parents can be there to assist their daughter.  This will help you out, as well as keep the parents off their cell phones! When the craft is cleaned up, then the food can come out for all to enjoy.

Here are some ideas for Daisy Girl Scout crafts that are fun to do, age appropriate, and easy to clean up! 

Daisy Girl Scout craft kit

This Daisy charm bracelet is from Amazon. It comes in packaged sets and even has extra pieces. There are 12 to a set. You can find it here.

Tea party charm bracelet set is perfect for your tea party craft. It comes with enough to make 12 bracelets.

If you prefer to stay with the tea party theme, you can have your girls make this bracelet, There are 12 per set, You can find them on Amazon.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Daisy to Brownie Bridging Ceremony

*This post contains affiliate links.

*Updated March 2019

Are you a second year Daisy leader who will soon be leading a group of Brownie Girl Scouts? Are you a multi-level Daisy troop with some of your girls getting their Brownie wings?

Then it is time to start planning your Daisy to Brownie bridging ceremony!

While bridging is a very important Girl Scout milestone, you do not have to make yourself crazy creating one that will be enjoyed by both the girls and their parents.

Daisy to Brownie Bridging Resources and Ideas

In  this blog post, I share what I did for my Daisy to Brownie bridging ceremony. It was simple to plan and the girls and parents enjoyed themselves.

On my main Girl Scout blog, I have resources for leaders to use when planning their ceremonies, including Daisy Scouts.  You can read it here.

It really does not have to be more than 10 to 15 minutes at the most. By the time you get parents settled and the girls ready, you will probably use a good 10 minutes there. Then have refreshments at the end and then you are done!

Here are some other resources I have found for Daisy to Brownie bridging ceremonies. You can take what you like from each one and create your own!

Girl Scouts of Nassau County

Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast

Scouting Web-How to Create a Meaningful Ceremony (has great checklists and ideas!)

Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta

Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey

Girl Scouts of Black Diamond (Daisy poem)

Bridging Ceremony (complete)

Once you have figured out the ceremony you wish to have, you will need to buy supplies. Personally, I believe that troop funds should not be used to purchase vests or sashes for the girls for the bridging ceremony. Schedules change as well as young minds, and your troop is out the money if you purchase a uniform for a girl who decides not to return to your troop. 

I did have a girl bridge with us to Brownies, and her parents bought the vest for the ceremony. She wound up not returning in the fall because she took up a sport.

My parents are also responsible for buying everything that is needed for the front of the vest-tab, troop numbers, Council ID, and the flag.

What my troop money does purchase for bridging is all membership badges and pins.

You will need to buy this for each girl.

Bridge from Daisy to Brownie Ceremony Ideas. Iron on bridging badge.

Bridge to Brownie Iron On Arc from Boscov's. This can be ordered online and save you a trip! 

There are many cute gift ideas that you can give to your girls, if you choose. I gave each girl a box of Brownie mix and they thought it was cute! 

As the leader, you should purchase the new Brownie binder and look it over during the summer. Then you should check out my How to Earn Brownie Badges website for all of your lesson plan needs!

Girl Scout Leader Brownie Binder

What are you doing for your Daisy to Brownie Bridging ceremony?