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Making sense of the program

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  • #16
    Basement,

    You must live in one of the worst overlapping BSA districts and GS service areas the country. What I wrote is what I have encountered.

    While it is up to each council to lay down their males at camp policy, most councils are considerably more enlightened than yours.

    Comment


    • #17
      IM Kathy,

      Don't know if my daughter's very large GS troop is using the new badges the right way, but here is how they are handling the 3 different programs.

      All girls in the Cadette/Senior/Ambassador troop we have (about 35 girls) can work on any badge from any of the 3 levels. They work on their age appropriate journey and Silver/Gold awards. If they are going to a campout and doing badge work they will vote on what level and which badges they want to focus on as a group. Then everyone partakes and receives the badge completed. Daughter is a Cadette and has 1 new badge at each level right now, cooking I think.

      It is working well for us. Might not be right, but it works.

      Comment


      • #18
        this year they were allowed to work on the old badges - can until they are sold out. They aren't making any more so have to track down the badges ahead of time and sometimes you have to go online to other councils to get them.

        with our unit we have 1 troop for girls above cadette level... I have 2 cadettes, 1 senior, and 2 ambassadors. If it were larger and therefore had more adults I would run it more like BSA merit badges, but I don't so that's not an option. But like I said this is my last year so I didn't go into the new stuff.

        as to events for families. Yes, we have them. Any unit event family is welcome to stay - we always pick up extra insurance for events. Then 1 event each year is for the women to attend with daughter and another is for the men. We also have a family potluck and stage show and the family is invited to the year end bridging. We also have a family campout where each family stays in own tent.

        yes there are many more rules to deal with in girl scouts than in cubs/boys. BSA it will state trained in... GSUSA it will state certified in. So I can take my boy scouts fishing, swimming, canoeing... but I can't take my girl scouts because I'm trained, but I didn't pay $ to take the certified class.

        Comment


        • #19
          These pages from the GSUSA National site might help also -

          http://www.girlscouts.org/program/basics/for_volunteers/insignia/list/brownie.asp

          http://www.girlscouts.org/program/national_program_portfolio/pdf/what_brownies_do.pdf

          http://www.girlscouts.org/program/girlsguide/pdf/gggs_tip_sheet_d_b_j.pdf

          I suggest purchasing a Brownie Handbook or as it is now called A Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting for Brownies.

          I suggest putting together your own spreadsheet showing what the girls in your Troop are working on and have completed.

          Comment


          • #20
            Trainer lady,

            With the exception of girls being awarded badges for which they are not eligible due to program level, your troop is doing it right. With a combined age level troop of 35 there is no reasonable excuse for this other than a lack of training. Would you put up with a pack of 35 all earning Tiger even though they all weren't in 1st grade or six? I hope not.

            Comment


            • #21
              Okay all, links are terrific.

              What is the recommended size for a girl scout troop? (I know b.s.a. den is 6-8. And there have been lots of discussions on these forums on how to make other sizes work.)

              --AK

              Comment


              • #22
                A Girl Scout Troop is not a Cub Scout den.

                The size of your Troop depends on how many girls that want to join, and how many adults you have to help.

                Single grade Troops tend to be smaller, while multiple grades, and multiple levels, tend to be larger. Also younger levels like Brownie tend to be larger. Like BSA, by the time the girls are in high school there are lots of things competing for their attention and the numbers get smaller.

                Some Troops have a self-imposed cut off number. Others do not.

                Comment


                • #23
                  From own experience, I like 12-14 girls with two leaders and one other parent on hand in the younger levels. You get a pretty reliable ten count at every meeting and event.

                  Also, due to the transience of military posts, we try to grade balance troops so that a troop doesn't die every two years as well as avoiding multi age troops if possible.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Thanks Nut and Nike,

                    I was asking because size becuase we sense that it is also part of the issue. Size wise it is 2-3 cub scout dens with one leader, no assistant or co-leader, and one rotating parent volunteer who may or may not remember to come.

                    The space they meet in is not conductive to active games with that many children.

                    I'm amazed how well the girls behave, my cubs could have never done that well. At that age we always had 3 adults (for 8) and we needed them.

                    -- AK

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I am constantly amazed at the differrence between the two programs. Some of the GSUSA program does makes sense, but then, some of BSA promotes head scratching too.
                      Compare: In BSA, the units are self perpetuating, we actively recruit and seek more Scouts. My home Troop is approaching it's 65th year.
                      GS units, on the other hand, are USUALLY limited to the girls that originally join. They therefor self destruct when the girls age out. Yeah, I know, some "enlightened" GS leaders organize multi age Troops, and even encourage Daisies and Brownies to fraternize (sororitize?) with Seniors and Ambassadors, but that is not the design...
                      My favorite story: Back when I was a CM, we scheduled a "Join Scouting Night" by renting the school gym. We were going to run a PWD, and do other Cubby things. Hey! Let's invite the GSs! Bet they'd like the chance to use a corner of the gym for recruiting! Contacted the local GS leaders, and they responded (no kidding) "oh no, we don't want any more GSs, We have enough". (!!!???) That's what they said. That was my introduction to the difference in philosophy of the two orgs.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Thanks SSS--

                        That does bring up another question, how does the whole bridging thing work with multi age troops? Are the bridging girls forming a new troop if one does not exist that they can join? Can the remaining girls and leaders establish if they will accept new girls from the lower grade in their troop?

                        Bridging season (is it usually end of the school year?) might be a good time to correct any size issues.

                        -- AK

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Bridging in our multilevel troop is very similar to crossing over to the next level in CS. Since we have over 30 girls in the troop we have some girls bridge levels every year. Sometimes its only 1-2 from each level sometimes its 8-10.

                          We do our bridge ceremony at a park with a bridge, very pretty site. We send the Ambassadors to the far side of the bridge they receive the Seniors crossing to Ambassadors and they pin on their bridging pin/patch. Then the Seniors go over and receive the Cadettes that are crossing over, repeat the pinning portion. Then the Cadettes go over, now the whole troop is across the bridge. The whole troop receives the bridging Juniors and pins on their patches. All girls return to the middle of the bridge and its photo-op time.

                          If scheduling permits, all the troops in the cluster (think BS district)come to the same park on the same night and do bridging the same way. Sometimes there are over a 100 girls and families there, sometimes just 20-30 girls and families. All the troops participating chip in on cake and ice cream and punch. A very nice late spring evening.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            SSS - As I posted "Some Troops have a self-imposed cut off number. Others do not."

                            AKdenldr - Are you saying that your Brownie Troop has 12-20+ girls with one registered leader, and one non-registered parent who often does not show up?

                            It sounds to me like the leaders of your Brownies were either not trained, or simply do not care about following the GSUSA rules for adult/girl ratios.

                            GSUSA requires at least 2 unrelated, adult volunteers, at least 18 years old, approved and screened by the local council, one of whom must be female. The number of additional required adult volunteers is based on the size, and age of the group, and the activity involved.

                            Per GSUSA Volunteer Essentials, for a Brownie group meeting with up to 20 girls, 2 leaders are required. For a regular meeting with 21-28 Brownies, 3 leaders are required. For Brownie events/travel/camping the number of adult volunteers required goes up (1-12girls/2adults, 13-18girls/3adults, 19-24girls/4 adults).

                            As to how bridging works in a multi-level Troop, it would be similar to how Cubs graduate from one level to another but stay in the same Pack.

                            If you have all Brownies, but 2 grades, it might get trickier. Third grade Brownies bridging to Juniors might have to form a new Troop (with a new Troop number). Or, if you keep them with the Brownie Troop you might have to form a new, multilevel, Troop (with possibly a new Troop number). It depends on how your local Council does things.

                            The best way to get accurate answers is to take your Council's training, and purchase/read the appropriate literature. You should also look thru the GSUSA National, and your local Council, websites.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              OMG!!!!!!

                              If the situation is one adult and any number of girls, you have yourselves a significant mess/legal disaster in the making.

                              Your friend needs help, of all sorts, now. Or, she needs to put her for down and stop meeting until she can get her required number of registered adults at every meeting on a reliable basis.

                              If she were meeting in my area under those circumstances, we'd be having a serious discussion.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Thanks Nike for letting us know the rules. And all the resources are terrific.

                                I have no influence with current G.S. leader. She seems stressed and overwhelmed. She takes any parent questions as criticisms. My former cub scout moms are gathering information and waiting until she departs.

                                I'll put some bugs in some ears about adult coverage so girls are safe.

                                On the positive side, I've run into several of the girls this last week and they all are looking into summer camp with great excitement!

                                -- AK

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