Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One More Summer Activity Idea for Troops

Girl Scout meeting ideas for summer

Summer is here, school is out, and if you are one of those adventurous leaders who is meeting over the summer, here is another awesome idea for you to utilize.

Go to your Council's website and find out what THEY are offering during July and August!

This idea came to me via an email from my daughter's Cadette troop leader. There are some wonderful trips and events for the girls to do, all planned for leaders. All they have to do is register and pay (if there is a cost). Unfortunately, my daughter cannot go on the first planned trip because she will be in camp, but that is how things sometimes work out.

Because of vacation schedules and camps, many girls are busy during a Council sponsored outing. But that does not mean you cannot go on one if all cannot attend, especially if you are doing it loosey-goosey like my daughter's leader. Since our troop is entering it's eighth year, we have our vibe established and our philosophy is known.

Since we are still grateful to be an active troop at this stage of the scouting game, we go by the mantra: If you can come, great! If not, hopefully you can go on the next outing (which my daughter can attend, since she will not be at camp that week).

Use your Council's website to help plan your summer gatherings.

What has your Council have planned for the summer?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Should Girl Scout Leaders Be Responsible for Early Bird Registration?

As the scouting year winds down for many of us, one question remains...should you register your girls for next year?

Many Councils give incentives for Early Bird registration, including a fun patch (girls just love those!). But are the incentives worth your time?

As the leader, you have a lot to deal with all year long, and registering girls for next year should not be one of them, in my opinion. 

First of all, you are now creating extra work and stress for yourself. Why would you do that? The only child you should be concerned with is your own. Let other parents worry about registering their own daughter.

When I was a Daisy leader, registration was still done the old fashioned way, with paper forms. Via email, I let the parents know that if they did not get the forms to me by a set date, they had to register their daughter on their own time. I had to make an appointment with the registrar to go over the paperwork at her home on my personal time. There was no way I was doing this twice if the deadline for handing me the papers was missed.

In fact, there was a parent who did miss my deadline and had to register her daughter on her time. Not on ounce of guilt did I feel...and it never happened again.

When online registration became the norm, it took one job away from more trips to the registrar's house on the other side of town!

However, you can only tell a parents so many times that it is time to register.

In my spring pre-meeting emails to parents, I would tell them to register now that it was opened. That was all.

In my late summer email to parents, I would remind them to register if they did not do so already. I would also send a BCC email to those who had not renewed, in case they thought they did register back in the spring, but in fact, had not.

In my first email of the new scouting year, I would tell parents that their daughter could not attend any meetings after September 30th because their registration had expired. 

All of this did not take a huge amount of time, not did it cause any stress for me.

Another important reason not to register your girls using troop money is that one or more may not come back to scouting. Schedules change, life happens, and you are out the money if a girl chooses not to return or she decides to join another troop. As Daisies, you funds are more limited. Why spend money when you do not have to? 

How are you handling registration this year?