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  • What do Girl Scouts do?

    I actually had a girl ask me this today. What do Girl Scouts do? I was able to tell her that my daughter is currently working on an energy conversation project, a geocaching badge, and a jewelry badge.

  • #2

    I can only speak to the GSA in my area, but many of them enjoy doing outdoor treks, in fact our crew has two groups of senior girl scouts who regularly join us on some of our trips. Also in our area they do a lot of community service events and projects. In addition the adult leaders and their young ladies love to do joint activities with our district crews. The only restriction is that the outdoor activities are limited to the older girls. It was nice to see BSA and GSUSA youth participating jointly and putting on a program in a Memorial Day Celebration this past May. The mayor came over to us after the event and told the teens what a great job they did and what an asset they were to the city. The teens really appreciated the fact that their hard efforts were so positively received.


    • #3
      What don't they do? is a better question. Last year I know our troops went camping, ropes courses, geocaching, museums, the zoo, several different countries, a working farm, the local pools, hiked, cooked out, Potato car derby, scavenger hunt downtown, movie day, volksmarch, volunteered all over post, did four or five Silver Award projects, three or four Bronze projects, and one girl completed her Gold Award of the three in progress.

      At our day camp the stations were: Games (Noodle Ball!), Geocaching, Girl Scout Grab Bag, Naturalist, Drama, Creator--recycling theme, canoeing, rock wall climbing, and outdoor cooking where they cooked their lunch one day during the week.

      Every troop is going to be different, and every leader team is going to have their own comfort zone. Helpful, knowledgable parents who volunteer to lead well planned activities the girls are interested in trying and that fall within the new safety guidelines (available on line at your local council) will have an enourmously positive impact on their daughters' Girl Scout experience.


      • #4
        What don't they do?

        Winter camping.


        • #5

          In 2004, the Girl Scouts of the USA hired Professor Willie Pietersen, an instructor at Columbia Business School, to use his expertise in business metrics "to help Girl Scouts develop a strategy to ensure our future success and growth." They used his help in setting targets and implementing ways to change the organization for the better. In addition, six "Gap Teams" looked at ways for Girl Scouting to improve their structure to prepare for future growth and success for the organization.[28] This was following declines in membership and in revenue, as well as challenges in cross-subsidizing programs for inner city girls. The governance Gap Team found that consolidation decreased confusion and provided economies of scale, and recommended an optimal council size of approximately 10,000 girls.[29] As of 2006, there were 312 regional Girl Scout councils, which own the 236,000 local troops and other groups.

          As part of the August 26, 2006 reorganization, the National Board of Directors decided to restructure the 312 councils into 109 councils.[30]

          This was not without resistance, as the Girl Scout council in Manitou, Wisconsin sued the national GSUSA in Federal District Court alleging breach of the Girl Scout charter, which was summarily dismissed with prejudice by the court.[31] However the Seventh U.S. Circuit of Appeals overturned that decision stating that a Girl Scout council agreement "was no different than a Dunkin Donuts franchise" and maintained the status of the Manitou council. Thus, there are 112 Girl Scout councils in the United States.[32]


          • #6
            Well, my daughter and I didn't get involved in Girl Scouting until 2008, so all that drama over council reorganization simply isn't a part of our Girl Scouting experience. The new curriculum; however, was a big deal. Last year (2011-2012) was a transition year, and I was rather resistant myself, but now that we have finished brownies and we are starting juniors, I don't have any further attachment to the old curriculum, and I'm all jumped in with both feet.


            • #7
              Aside from being really old news, what exactly does GSUSA's realignment have to do with the topic?

              Girls Scouts can do pretty much what ever they, and their leaders, want to do.

              How old/what level they are also has an impact on what they can do.

              Some Troops are very outdoors oriented, others not so much.

              I know of one Troop of older girls that held a progressive dinner. They planned out a dinner where each course was at a different members house. Each member was in charge of their part of the dinner.

              Just about every GS Troop does service of some kind throughout the year.

              Throughout their 12 years as youth in the GSUSA program, our girls camped in lodges, tents, and even a railroad car, swam, hiked, canoed, rode horses, went bowling, flew kites, learned about zoo management, went cross country skiing, learned manners, cooked over fires, played games, went sledding, sang songs, did science experiments, planted gardens, learned about trees, ran programs at the library, had sleepovers, visited museums, played dress up, learned first aid, worked with younger Scouts (girls and boys), helped with the food pantry Christmas baskets, did skits, shot arrows, danced, made holiday cards/placemats for Meals On Wheels, visited an animal shelter, went to plays, had picnics, made lots of "stuff", earned all of their religious emblems, snowshoeing, made candy, wall climbing, and much, much, more.

              They all also earned the Girl Scout Silver, and Gold Awards (Bronze cam out when they were working on their Silver so they missed that), and are now Lifetime Girl Scouts.


              • #8
                let's see in my daughter's 13 years (she crossed to adult this spring) she's done...

                summer camp (too many times to count)
                troop camped (too many times to count)
                horse riding
                gone to zoo, science museum, art museum, botanical gardens
                troop trips to Kansas City, South Dakota, and San Antonio
                cooked both camping and kitchen
                too many service projects to count

                while she opted to not complete any of the higher awards she spent a year as a LIT (Leader In Training) helping the brand new daisy troop and enjoyed that so much she stayed with the troop for 2 more years as a SGSAL (Senior Girl Scout Assistant Leader)

                yes she did a lot of crafts especially in early years, but also learned to design a webpage, learned first aid and cpr, built emergency shelters, can do basic household repairs, can do basic car maintence, can use a compass and a gps, can build fire with flint, and tons of other things.......

                basically if you put my life scout son and my daughter together - they can survive just about anything we could throw at them. they both know the same stuff - just wore different style of uniforms.


                • #9
                  I have a friend working on her Gold Award project who has never slept in a tent on a GS camping trip. Her troop stick to arts and crafts and service projects.(This message has been edited by whitepine)


                  • #10
                    So, no winter camping, anyone?

                    I'm asking because that seem's to be my crew girls' Achilles heel. Whereas the boys have already spent a couple of cold seasons overnight, the concept is foreign to most of the ladies.

                    One of my youth also has a circulation problem, so I haven't pressed the issue. But a girl shouldn't have to wait until she's a venturer to gear up for sleeping out in the snow!


                    • #11

                      Your not from our neighborhood, from the wrong class, too old, too young, wrong school, too tall you cannot join our troop.

                      BTW your dad cannot start a troop because, well, he is a man.

                      Best soup nazi voice, NO GIRLSCOUTS FOR YOU


                      • #12
                        some troops do winter camp - just a bit harder to find.

                        around here BSA troops camp once a month - with GS troops they will camp 4-5 times a year is most I've seen.

                        sadly I could not get my GS troop to winter tent - but I did at least get them to cabin sleep but spend day out in winter.

                        part of it is also gear - BSA it's expected that camping year round get the gear to winter tent, but with GS it isn't expected and so many don't have that gear. Heck I remember having to show girls/parents what a mess-kit was so all girls would have one for camping.


                        • #13
                          Our Troop always camped in winter.

                          Best time to do snowshoeing. skiing, sledding, snowball fights, etc!

                          However, tenting was for warmer weather. Our girls would rather pick June bugs out of their stew than sleep outside in sub-zero weather!

                          In winter we camped in cabins with a fireplace, and indoor plumbing. It's nice to be able to unload all your wet, snowy, outdoor gear, standing up!


                          • #14
                            I asked my daughter about winders camping. She thinks it sounds like fun. I doubt we will convince the rest of her troop, and we will have to drive up into the mountains if we want snow, but maybe I will try to make that happen for her somehow. Where we live, winter camping would just be a lot of rain. I tried camping in the rain just once. It was miserable, but I imagine that with experience, I could get good at it.


                            • #15
                              I would suppose that many Scouters leading Klondike Derbies and Camporees would be glad to have Girl Scout and American Heritage Girl units participate in their activities.

                              Shop around for districts in your area having programs like that and contact the leader of the activity.