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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. 10 minutes ago, AltadenaCraig said:

    Nevertheless, back in the day, before the GSUSA allowed their program to ignore the outdoor component, somehow their structural model DID work.  I'd be curious to your thoughts about what might have made up for the lack of institutional knowledge among successful GSUSA troops in the past?

    A long generation back, troops (at least the ones I saw) did have institutional knowledge.  While Brownie troops were only two grades (2nd-3rd), the older troops were three grades (Juniors 4th-6th,  Cadettes 7th-9th, Seniors 10th-12th).  When the daughter of a troop leader-mom moved up a level, her mom moved up a level also, typically becoming an assistant troop leader at the next level for a couple of years, before moving into the troop leader role her daughter's third year in the troop.   

    This meant that troops were large,  maybe 30+ girls,  even at the Brownie stage.

    And there was not a troop committee supporting the troop, so the troop leaders had a lot of work divided between a few women doing the work.

    What has done in the model?  Two things:

    1) Women entered payed employment, and did not have the time for a very time-consuming volunteer job.  Hence the tiny single-grade troops meeting infrequents, which we have now.

    2) Kids are no longer expected to learn how to behave well in large groups.  (The public schools no longer train them to do so.) So having 30 second, third, or fourth graders in a group, supervising by two or three moms, no longer works very well.


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  2. 45 minutes ago, AltadenaCraig said:

    Tonight my small linked-troop of five registered scouts will be visited-upon by a GSUSA troop of TEN junior girl-scouts.


    46 minutes ago, AltadenaCraig said:

    As 5th-grade Juniors, these girls will be moving on to middle-school soon, so its a natural time for their leadership to begin evaluating the next step in their program.  Unfortunately for the GSUSA but fortunately for my BSA linked-troop, these leaders are highly supportive of their girls' ambitions but have no appetite for the investment in time and treasure that it will take to fulfill them. My female ASM heard about the murmurs and approached the leaders about our program:  "THAT sounds like the answer!" was the reply and tonight we'll gauge how ambitious their girls are for a meaningful outdoor experience.  Opportunity knocks.

    I also have thought that the Junior-Girl-Scout to Scouts-BSA is a great logical procession.

    GSUSA's Brownie and Junior program,  at least if run in a traditionalist sort of way,  has one very appealing advantage over cub scouts:  the emphasis on "girl led" in an elementary-school sort of way, where the girls are encouraged to begin making decisions and carrying them out.

    I could certainly see families wanting to do Brownies and Juniors, and then planning to cross over into Scouts BSA at the end of 5th grade.

    (It's almost what my daughter did, but she had to wait a little for Scouts BSA for girls to launch.)

    P.S. Last weekend, while out camping with a Scouts BSA girls troop,  we had opportunity to watch cub scout pack camping in action.  (The main path at the camp went right by their site).   It was eye opening.  The boys were all playing in the woods while the dads were breaking camp.   Quite a contrast to what Brownie/Junior camping used to be -- a GS trainer explained it this way "I'm going to teach you how to camp with 20 little girls and have them do all the work."

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  3. This is no longer recognizably the girl scout program in which I grew up.

    Scouts BSA is a great program,  but there are things I will miss.

    The trefoil with the eagle,  the scout handshake, Thinking Day,  the Brownie Story, "twist me and turn me and show me the elf",  flying-up, "three good turns", "a sister to every girl scout", and the songs, . . . .

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  4. I don't see it on page 26 of Volunteer Essentials.  And this "Volunteer Action Guide" seems to be a new thing,  separate from the Volunteer Essentials.

    Besides, that seems to be the Volunteer Essentials guide for Girl Scouts of West Central Florida.   (Different councils have different versions of the Volunteer Essentials, and it is updated every year.)

  5. 2 hours ago, MattR said:

    This was not a GSUSA decision. Just that of some local council (or whatever the equivalent is).


    2 hours ago, cocomax said:

    Yes, it is a GSUSA policy to have nothing to do with BSA.

    These orders from GSUSA 

     . . . .

    Source:  http://www.gssne.org/content/dam/girlscouts-gssne/documents/GSSNE volunteer-action-guide-v1.pdf

    Actually @cocomax quotes from a council document,  not a GSUSA document.  

    I have seen very similar put out by other GS councils.   But I have not located it on either the GSUSA web site, or on my local GS council's web site.

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  6. I think that tent arrangments are an area where the differences between what girls collectively tend to like and what boys tend to like may show up.   What I have seen (both when I was a kid, and also when I was a girl scout leader) is that girls would like their whole friend-group to be in one big tent.  So, yes,  pack six or seven girls into one of those big platform tents that the girl scout camps have -- and everyone is happy.   Need to split a group of elementary-aged girls between two separate tents -- and all kinds of drama might break out.   Fortunately, the Scouts BSA girls are a little more mature in their reactions than the younger ones.

  7. I find it inconsistent that there is no two-year-apart-max for cabins while there is for tents . . . no matter how small the cabin and no matter how large the tent.   A cabin that sleeps 4 does not seem all that much different from 4 in a large tent.    It would be nice if the acceptible age range were a little larger if there were multiple girls in the tent.


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  8. 7 hours ago, fred8033 said:

    ever use a one person tent?

    I was thinking of the odd-man-out (odd-girl-out?) being in a tent by herself -- not necessarily a one-person-tent.   Since the tents that available for us to borrow seem to be 2-person, 3-person, and 4+-person tents.

  9. The scouts can do the math, and figure out how far apart they are in age, and who they can tent with.  It's not rocket science.

    3 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

    Another method is that everyone brings a single person tent.

    An old non-boy-scout rule for girls is "safety-in-numbers".   I'd much rather not have girls tenting by themselves.


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  10. 2 hours ago, Scoutero0 said:

    Participate in the fall and spring sales is required for earning the award. Something has to be sold to get the participation award. However, It is not required to sell hundreds of boxes.

    https://www.girlscoutsla.org/content/dam/girlscouts-girlscoutsla/documents/product-sales/cookies/Cookie Program 2018/FAQs Participation Definition FINAL 2.pdf

    That document does not say that a girl must participate in the cookie sale to earn gold award.   The requirment is that participation in both the cookie sale and the fall product sale is required in order to do any other money earning acitivities:


    Q: I have two Ambassadors remaining in my troop. Both girls are working on their Gold
    Award Project. They do not think that they will need to raise additional funds to
    complete their projects. What should they do?
    A: The Girl Scout Motto is “Be Prepared,” With that said, the girls should participate in
    both the Fall Product and Cookie Programs and earn the participation patches. It would
    be advantageous for the girls to have met the requirement, in the event that they need
    raise additional funds towards their Gold Award Project, than to be in a position where
    they need to raise additional funds and not have met the requirement.

    This is encouraging the scouts to do the sales to "be prepared" "in the event that they need
    raise additional funds towards their Gold Award Project".   It is not requiring them to do so.

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    14 hours ago, Scoutero0 said:

    Girl Scouts- Gold Award requirements (according to Girl Scouts.org)

    - have been a cadette 
    - Have earned the Girl Scout Silver Award
    - must participate in the Fall Product and Cookie Programs, and earn the participation patches for both programs.

    I've never heard that having been a Cadette was prereq for Gold.

    There is an alternative to have earned Silver -- doing an extra Journey instead.

    I've never heard that participation in Fall Product Sale and Cookie sale is a requirement.

    Where are you getting these from?  Are they specific to your council?

  12. 1 hour ago, DuctTape said:

    keep it simple, imo.

    No fractional ages.


    7 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

    Just to be on the safe side, I ran it by my DE & the folks at council, who agreed.  Just look at the age in years, don't worry about fractions thereof.

    This does *not* keep it simple.  Try explaining to Suzy and Sally why they are allowed to share a tent for half a year, and not allowed to share a tent for the other half of the year.


  13. 2 hours ago, PinkPajamas said:

    Edited to add that you don't "earn" advancement in Girl Scouts, you age into it, so if you sign an 11th grader up for girl scouts they're at the highest level.

    To further clarify what PinkPajamas said:

    Girl Scouts does not (well, has not for a very very very long time) had ranks in the same sense that Boy Scouts does.   Girl Scouts have "age levels"   Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior, Ambassador.  What age level a girl is in depends only on her age/grade.  They should not be thought of as "ranks".  Moving from one to another is based solely on age/grade.

    2 hours ago, PinkPajamas said:

    You have to meet the requirements for every level before applying to be an Eagle Scout not just sign your kid up at Life Scout.

    So, for a fair comparison,  you should compare the sum of Scout+Tenderfoot+ . . . +Life+Eagle requirments with the Gold Award Requirements.      

    In my ignorance (am still learning about the path to Eagle,  and have not looked in detail at Gold Award requirements for decades)  it seems that for Gold Award,  the project is the main thing, with a little warm-up in the way of two Journeys with their smaller projects.   But for Eagle, the project is the finishing touch on a long path of skill building and service.

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  14. 1. The Scout Learns

    2. The Scout is Tested

    For all of you out there,  how do you clearly make a distinction between those two steps?   How do you set scout (and adult) expections that the scout will not be signed off on a skill the first time he does it?  

  15. 4 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

    Is is true that truthful isn’t listed since Scouts were used as spies during the African campaign and good spies aren’t truthful? 

    Well, the first of Baden -Powell's scout laws is "A SCOUT'S HONOUR IS TO BE TRUSTED" and part of the explanation for that was "If a scout were to break his honour by telling a lie, or by not carrying out an order exactly when trusted on his honour to do so, he would cease to be a scout, and must hand over his scout badge and never be allowed to wear it again."    See the wikipedia article cited about for the full 1908 scout law.

  16. 7 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    "who is responsible for the sexualitzation  . . . .?"  Is it the girls who wear revealing clothes,

    I would argue that the younger teen and pre-teen girls don't really understand how people react to what they are wearing -- they are just wanting to look "in", and probably care a lot more about what their female friends think that about what boys think.    What I don't understand is the parents who don't advise/enforce appropriate clothing for their girls.   These kids are not driving themselves to the store to buy their clothing with money they earned themselves.


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  17. 6 hours ago, PinkPajamas said:

    and instead of modernizing, GSUSA got rid of uniforms.

    Actually, they had tried modernizing, repeatedly, especially starting in the early 1970's and continuing into the 1980's.   Those uniforms were terrible.

    I really did not appreciate being mistaken for a flight attendant when in uniform. 

  18. 6 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    Isn't civic action just actions at a larger scale?

    But what scale is appropriate at what age?   I still like the old version of the Brownie Promise "I promise to do my best to love God and my country, to help other people every day, especialy those at home."   This was for up to age 9, and helping at home was something that girls could really do.

    In the newer program, the Junior Journey "Agent of Change" (for girls starting at age 9)  is encouraging civic action.   An example that is held up as a model is persuading other people to volunteer at an animal shelter.  

    I'd rather the younger scouts get in the habit of actualy helping people, not just badgering other people to help.

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  19. 1 hour ago, qwazse said:

    Appealing school restrictions on students is deemed a "civic action"

    Another questions is do we in scouting (whichever branch) want to promote "civic action"  or "servant leadership"?  Which focus do we think is more appropriate for training middle school kids?


  20. This piece of Girl Scout advice has been around for a while, and it lowered my opinion of GSUSA.


    Stories about middle- and high-school girls being pulled out of class for wearing shorts that are deemed too short or shirt straps that are seen as too thin are making headlines, going viral, and prompting many girls and adults to question whether or not these wardrobe rules are fair.  

    I feel that it is very important for kids to realize that even well-meaning adults are occasionally mistaken, and a kid needs to be able to (hopefully politely) correct a teacher in certain circumstances.   (One circumstance that comes to mind is the kid with food allergies -- he knows what he can safely eat much better that the teacher does. )

    But school dress codes are a terrible example.   I am happy that our local high-school has at least a few rules (no spaghetti straps) that discourage the over-sexualizing of teenage girls.  GSUSA suggesting that girls should lobby for the right to dress inappropriately seems really wrong-headed to me. 


  21. 3 hours ago, Ranman328 said:

    Not to be a downer here but one thing I don't hear anyone saying is that not everyone earns the Eagle Rank.

    As I am familiarizing myself with the rank advancment materials, one thing that has impressed me is that every rank along the way to Eagle is worthwhile for its own sake.   So if an idealistic new scout says "I want to earn eagle" but ends up not doing so,  then she still benefitted from as much of the journey as she did.   Work on improving your physical fitness? Great.  Learn to swim? Super.  Try taking on a leadership role in the troop?  Valuable experience.    It seems to me that we should help each scout grow starting from where they are at -- but certainly not expect that all will have the desire, or the ability, to reach Eagle.

    Big difference from GSUSA where the "Journeys" are a prerequisite to working on the Bronze/Silver/Gold Award, and where the attitude towards the "Journeys" is sometimes hold-your-nose-and-get-it-over-with-it -- i.e. some do not see much value in those Journeys for their own sakes.

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  22. As a new scouter, I found the Aims and Methods helpful as a summary of the current focus of BSA.   Yes @qwazse the 3 aims are mostly a restatment of what is in the oath.  But (as an outsider) I wanted to know whether the oath was regarded as just a historical relic or whether it was really still emphasized.

    And really, the aims of citizenship and character development (and even fitness) go back to the beginning, to Baden-Powell.

    Scouting for Boys, p 337 "Peace Scouting is suggested as an attractive means towards developing character and good citizenship"

    Aids to Scoutmastership, p21 "The Aim of Scout training is to improve the standard of our future citizenhood, expecially in Character and Health; to replace Self with Service, to make the lads individually efficient, orally and physically, with the object of using that efficiency for service for their fellow-men"

    And as far as enumerating the methods, it can be a helpful reminder that, for example,  the Outdoors is a method not an aim.   We are not primarily motivated by producing excellent outdoorsmen, but rather using the outdoors to produce excellent citizens.

    I did find it a bit jarring when I learned that "Leadership" had also been promoted to an aim.

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