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  1. I am glad that the levels are (sort of) going back to the way they were...my girls (6th - 8th grade) never really embraced S2B and decided from day one to be 'Cadettes'. I just wonder how long it will take them to rewrite the IP books to make them more age appropriate. My girls are somewhat baffled by the layers of requirements for the Silver Award. My co-leader and I (I am 51 and she is a few years younger) were reminiscing last night about our days as Cadettes and we both miss the days when a GS had 1 handbook per level, with all the badges and awards in it that were signed off by a leader when completed. We didn't have countless numbers of booklets and guides to buy for everything, and we still learned and achieved plenty.
  2. Lots of things come to my mind as I read your post. I have been a leader for 7 years now, and a Service Unit manager for 3. First of all, is this a new troop with a new leader? Has she had any training yet? Sometimes leaders start out new and get training after starting out; she may not have any ideas on how to structure a meeting. Second, does she have anyone helping her? How many girls are there? My experience is that a group of Brownies can be very hard to control unless there is sufficient adult help who make it clear to the girls what behavior is expected of them. Third, is the meeting time at 6 because of the leaders work schedule? This may be the only time that works for her. My suggestion is to ask the leader how you can help. I bet she would jump at the offer. If you are good at paperwork, ask if you can help with things like permission slips, cookie sales, newsletters, girls records, etc. If you have outdoor skills, offer to provide them for a field trip or meeting. If you are crafty, offer to lead a craft from time to time. You could offer to organize a Try-It for the troop to do. If the leader is not open to your help and continues to run a disorganized troop, you can check into other troops in your area, or you can start up a troop yourself. It can be a lot of work to run a troop; most parents have no idea how much time we spend making phone calls, finding resources, etc. I have Cadettes and they run their own meeting, plan out their year, pick trips to take and service projects to do, etc, and I still have a lot of work to do! And I still have to remind them at times to stick to their agenda. As Brownies, we camped, did a number of service projects, went on lots of field trips (everything from horse backriding to nature hikes to roller skating to swimming...), did Try-Its as a troop as well as some of the Council patch programs, and made crafts. You could help with stuff like that. If the leader indicates that she does not want your help or does not appreciate your ideas,find a troop that does, or do like I did and start your own! There is training provided and should be support from your Service Unit. It really can be lots of fun!
  3. My troop has been camping at our Council camps since they were in first grade (now most are going into 6th). Some parents come, some don't, it's up to them to decide. We have stayed in 'platform tents' as well as 'cabin tents'. We usually do this at least twice a year. The girls have a great time, and our Council camps are great. Our council requires a certain degree of training for leaders before they can take the girls camping, and I made sure I got this all training my first year as a leader. Unfortunately, not all of the leaders in our Service Unit will take this training so their girls miss out. Then when they get to Juniors the girls loose interest and quit because they are tired of doing nothing but crafts! I am fortunate in that my co-leader and I are involved in BSA and have learned some outdoor skills beyond what GSUSA teaches. We are both talking about taking the 'Becoming an Outdoor Woman' course (not a GS training) to further develop our skills so that we can take the girls camping beyond the council camps. I wish that GSUSA would put as much money into developing their outdoor program as they did for S2B! Our council has the tent camping training but it ends there....I'd like to see some training on backpacking, or orienteering, or the like. I would suggest that your troop investigate camps outside of your Council, if your Council does not have the resources. What about summer camp? Does your daughter go to resident camp? At our Council this is in platform tents and they do cook some of their own meals over a fire, use dunk bags, etc. If the problem is that your leader does not want to camp or does not have the skills, why not get involved and take the lead on getting the required training and organizing a campout? It is a lot of work but it sure is fun! Make sure the girls create a Kaper chart so everyone has a chance at wood gathering, firebuilding, cooking, cleanup, etc.
  4. Please write to National and let them know of your concerns. Better yet, ahve all of your girls write to them. There is a 'contact us' at both the GSUSA website and the S2B website. I wrote to them and I did get a reply. Here is what they wrote: 'Thanks for taking the time to write in. I would like to respond to several of your points. Cost of materials. The cost of Girl Scout materials and resources has been raised over the years. This is the first time that girls were surveyed to establish what they spend on similar items. The pricing was set accordingly. You can get a copy of the New Directions Research conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute to see the full report. Supplemental, optional program. STUDIO 2B is not a program, although there are resources with the name and logo on them. It is the way we serve girls 11-17. There is only one Girl Scout program with age level appropriate activities. STUDIO 2B was announced at the 2002 National Council Session as a pilot with data gathering and a report to be made at the 2005 Session. Nothing is being replaced. The age-level designations of Cadette and Senior are phasing out. If age-level designations for girls 11-17 are to be kept as is or changed remains a question. However, girls can continue to call themselves by those designations if they choose. In fact you can look in the book Highlights of Girl Scouting 1912-2001 on page 53 and see all of the age-level changes that have taken place during our existence. IPs. The Interest Patchs are being kept. We heard you and many others very clearly. The book is being updated and will be out in summer of 2005. Volunteers 18-29. The girls, as reported in the New Directions Research, said they wanted to spend some time with adults a little older than themselves to learn what the next stage of life might be like. They clearly stated that they want to be around young adults in addition to spending the most time with their current leaders. So again, we hope to widen girls experiences in Girl Scouting not remove them. Putting resources on the Web site. More and more things will go up on www.studio2b.org just keep in mind that is a site for girls. There will be an informational section of the GSUSA site at www.girlscouts.org in late August called Girl Scout Central which should provide more resources for both adults and girls. Hope this helps clarify some of the issues youve raised. Enjoy your summer!' Personally, I think this program will flop.
  5. Whale rider is a great movie. Our troop had done new Zealand one year for our Tasting Tea event, so the movie was quite interesting in that it showed more about the Maori people. The girl who played the lead role was excellent.
  6. I just picked up some of the S2B stuff for my Service Unit. All I can say is...THIS is what is replacing the current Cadette/Senior program? What a load of fluff! The only book that had anything substantial was the Collections. The Focus Books are a bunch of questionairres intended to get the girl thinking introspectivley...Ok that's fine except: 1) not all girls/troops can afford to pay $4.95 for a flimsy little booklet that is intended to be written in and used by 1 girl only 2) the only one that seems to teach any kind of skills is the 'Got Money?" booklet, the rest are about 'how do you feel about this or that' type stuff 3) there is no clear set of rqmts; the girl 'sets a goal' and when she is satisfied that she has completed her goal, she gets the award 4) the awards are charms that cost $3.95 - $4.95 (are we supposed to use up all our troop money to buy Focus books and charms?) THe worst product I saw (and refused to buy) was the 'binder'. Each girl is supposed to have one of these, to which periodic 'inserts' will be sold (about $4.95 each) . The binders are flimsy little notebooks of cheap plastic, containing some cardboard separators....goes for $9.95!! I can get a better product at the Dollar Store. By contrast, the 'old' Cadette/Senior 'Interest Projects' contain rqmts for the following awards, to name a few: Car Sense, Home Improvement, Space Exploration, Desktop Publishing, Architecture and Environmental Design, Backpacking, Emergency Preparedness, High Adventure, Outdoor Survival. If S2B were intended as an optional, supplemental program, it would be fine. GS has always had supplemental booklets/programs for the girls to choose from. But to make it the primary program for girls 11-17? Phase out Interest Projects and the skills that are learned with them? If that does in fact happen (although I bet it doesn't once national starts getting some real feedback), my daughter and I are moving to Venturing as soon as she is 14!
  7. hi, I have been a leader for 5 years (started w/Brownies, went to Juniors and now have a Cadette). Was a GS as a kid for 7 years. I am also a Service Unit manager, but being a leader is what I really enjoy! I have been in BSA for 6 years as den leader and committee member. We are an active troop! The troop is girl run as much as possible...we have 3 patrols and hold monthly Courts of Honor to plan stuff. Last year we went downhill and cross country skiing, camped twice in addition to a winter weekend, tried to do some kind of trip plus a service project each month. We got an Honorable mention from Colgate on one of our service projects. We had our annual Service Unit Tasting tea which is always lots of fun. There were 17 girls in the troop last year, ages 9-12. One bridged to Cadettes (or should I say S2b?) I have lots of questions and concerns about Studio 2B! (see S2B thread) I have 2 great co-leaders. We have stopped having much of a summer program because whenever we planned stuff in the past there was a low turnout (family vacations, softball, 4H, etc going on). We are doing a fundraiser so we can go to a 'dude ranch' in the fall. This is the only place I have found to talk honestly about GS, and if anyone knows of any other forums for GS I would love to know about them!
  8. Does anyone know where I can get some HONEST feedback from those who have tried S2B? My Council is now telling me that it is here to stay and that they will not be using the terms Cadette and Senior anymore. Also that the Silver and Gold awards have changed to use S2B instead of IPP's! I thought this was a 'supplement' to the exisitng program? Wasn't the Cadette/Senior program already 'by girls, for girls'? This program is expensive...there are 'collections' for each age group, new ones come out every year...there are 'focus books' where they do activities to earn charms ($4.95 a pop!), and there is a 'Basics' book.
  9. MomScouter


    yep, that's another resource we have used...not ebay (yet!) but second hand and consignment shops. We find lots of good deals there.
  10. Daisy Scouter, Does your troop do anything to offset these costs? Last year we used troop funds to re-register the girls. We got a grant from a business to buy the girls the book sets (Juniors). Our council will cover the cost of registration for any girl who cannot afford it, and will offer additional funds for things like a sash or dues. Our Service Unit will provide funds to new troops. We do several fundraisers to cover the cost of field trips. Also, I know having uniforms is great, but I don't think a troop can require that all the girls wear them.
  11. Bravo Anne! As Service Unit mgr., I wish I could get more of my leaders to reach out to some of the girls who have financial problems. Our area is rural and we have a few financial problems, but some (not all) leaders do not want to embrace these families because the parents are 'not helpful'. I have a couple girls this year who cannot afford to pay for registration, field trips, etc. No way would I exclude them from anything. This is the message I hope to get across at our SU meeting tomorrow. Part of the problem is that some of the leaders here are already overwhelmed...it is often true that they do not get enough adult help, and they are expected to do quite a bit (training, meetings, etc) for a volunteer job. We get lots of girls who want to join but not too many adults who want to lead. I am working with someone from Council to bring all these girls (without leaders) together with their parents/guardians, and see what we can do. Some troops want to draw the line at a certain number, others want the girls who have the mothers who help a lot, others want only a certain age group. I'd love to know how to change this mindset while at the same time supporting the leaders with their problems. Any suggestions? How about a Service Unit wide 'pantry' with donated sleeping bags, uniforms, books, ponchos, etc, so that all girls can have the gear they need for campouts, and other outings? What do other Service Units (and Boy Scout Districts) handle this?
  12. MomScouter


    When my girls were Brownies, the ones that had uniforms thought they were cool and would wear them. Then as they got to the Jr. age, they became less important to them and in fact, some don't want to wear them. Our Council will provide $15 for a girl for financial aid, which will barely get a vest. Our troop has been buying the girls a handbook/badge set when they join, as well as paying for all awards. We try to attach importance to the badges/patches, but if the parent doesn't care about it enough to even try to get a vest (and they all know about the available finanacial aid but no one has ever approached me about it). If I could think of an incentive for them to wear them without hurting the ones who do not have one, I would do it, but too many of them do not have even a vest. When it comes down to it, I'd rather they have the handbook set and participate in the program than have the uniforms. I have a great group of girls and the troop keeps growing , we're very active and the girls are learning a lot of leadership skills.
  13. Alpha, As a parent of a Boy Scout, I mind very much when he wears his uniform to camp and gets it full of stains, etc! The shirts cost over $30. In fact, as a rule when they are at camp the only time they wear them are at dinner and during ceremonies. And my son has still managed to get stains on his shirt. Boys have sashes too, and wear them at the same kinds of places that girls wear theirs (and girls have the option of, in my opinion, the much more practical vest for insignia). As for my Junior, she wears her uniform only in parades, certain outings, and at meetings, not to campouts or outdoor stuff. I do wish more of the troop would get the vest or sash, but uniforms are really not an issue.
  14. MomScouter


    This was supposed to be a reply to the topic on uniforms not a new topic! sorry!
  15. MomScouter


    When my daughter was in Brownies there were patterns available to make the uniforms, and I was fortunate enough to have one gung-ho mom who made vests for all the girls at a fraction of the cost. Now my girls are Juniors and I cannot even get them to wear (or in some cases buy) the green vests to meetings or anywhere else, let alone the entire uniform. I do find that in GS the uniforms are not promoted as much as they are in BSA. I am curious about other GS troops...do the girls choose to wear the uniforms? How can I encourage my girls to wear at least a vest or sash? They always want to work on badges but I fear that when we have our Court of Awards, the badges that are passed out for a lot of them go into a black hole.
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