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Keep in mind that there ARE some that do like the S2B approach.


Keep in mind that on this subject National would rather hear from the girls than from the adults. This program was put into place because their research said that this is what GIRLS wanted. Have as many Girl Scouts ages 11-17/18 email National on their thoughts about S2B as possible. They should be clear and concise and offer examples. If they have alternate programing suggestions they should present them also.


I don't know if in the end it will do any good, but if the girls don't at least try, then they have no reason to complain.


My girls were not interested in S2B at all and they let National know why. They were so insulted by the idea of National endorsing girls "pretending" they were not Girl Scouts that they decided to get out as soon as they finished up their Gold Awards. This month, as the girls were deciding what to do with the last of their Troop money, they talked about the GS program and S2B. They were unsure where the program whould be down the road, and if they would ever want to work with it, but they agreed that they were, and always would be Girl Scouts in their hearts. They then decided how to spend the last of their money. All 4 girls filled out adult registration forms for lifetime memberships!


I may not agree with S2B and I may not know where Girl Scouting will be in the coming years, but I do know that it has produced some GREAT girls!! Keep that in mind and look at (& listen to) your girls the next time you feel frustrated with the GS program. Trust me, it will give you the boost you need to keep on going!



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Gardyloo, the site for the blog with the S2B thread is http://www.worldmagblog.com/archives/006295.html


Have any of you GS folks here tried the Yahoo groups site for Cadette/Senior leaders (or whatever we are now -- advisors of girls 11-17...). You'll see a lot of discussion on S2B, pro and con (a lot of what I said here I said there too) -- it's a good group for ideas of all kinds. There's a lot of speculation as to whether the research national keeps referring to was even a valid sample because of the way they administered it.




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  • 3 weeks later...

I am a leader orf a Cadette/Senior troop with approximately 15 girls (ages 12 to 16). I have watched the progression of the Studio 2B program and I am becoming more and more concerned that GSUSA is phasing out all the "old" rewards (pins, etc) for achieving the steps to earning the Girl Scout Silver and Gold Awards. While I am open to the idea of change I am concerned that only offering charms to the girls as a reward for all the hard work they must put into earning these awards doesn't give them much to show for their efforts. Why can't we change the program for the older girls but still retain some of the traditional features? When they brought out the "contemporary "G.S. pin they still kept the "traditional" G.S. pin. One of my co-leaders discovered on the GSUSA website that they are definitely phasing out the old awards in favor of the charms. The girls in my troop are not interested in collecting charms for a charm bracelet (or to hang off their vest). They are not opposed to changing the program but do not want to abandon all the estabished ways of earning awards and recognitions that go with them. As a leader I see that the Studio 2B program is attractive to the 11 to 13 year old group but beyond that our council is not offering anything that would attract the older girls. At the Studion 2B socials they offer my daughter and a friend have been the only older girls to go (age 15 & above). I'm becoming concerned at the direction in which the older girl program is heading. How can we let those at GSUSA who are promoting this program so heavily know how we feel about this? Any ideas?

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Hi! About half of our Junior troop is ready to "move up," so my co-leaders and I attended both traditional Cadette leader and Studio2B advisor trainings this summer, to get an idea of what is offered for older girls. Our council doesn't have any active S2B groups yet... our training group was the first.


This is what we were told IN BOTH TRAININGS:

1) National and our council BOTH botched the initial rollout of the S2B program; there are many misconceptions out there.

2) The S2B program is experimental until October 2005.

3) S2B will keep changing up to and after that time, based on feedback from GIRLS.

4) The program just restates and repackages the traditional 4 program goals in trendier language: become, belong, believe, build. Nothing has been lost.

5) GIRL PLANNING AND RESPONSIBILITY is taking center stage again; this is a part of the traditional progam for older girls that was missing snce the program revamp in the 60s.

6) National will NOT be supporting two programs in the long run, so what we have in the future will be whatever S2B evolves into...


The GS volunteers being trained brought up the following issues:

1) Where is the SKILLED TO SERVE concept in S2B?

2) Where are the objective standards for mastery/performance? How can girls gain self-esteem without being able to measure their success?

3) When did the focus shift from "I serve" to "me me me"?

4) What will Silver & Gold mean when there are no standards for earning IP or Focus-book charms -- they are decorations/jewelry and girl may buy whenever?


The trainers emphasized to us that the advisor role was FUNDAMENTAL to making the S2B concept work, and that:

1) Without skillful advisors, S2B IS just a social club.

2) Advisors must educate and guide girls to understand the need for setting high personal standards and goals, and to honestly reflect on what they've done to "earn" an IP or Focus charm before they purchase it. We are to help them realize that the reward is their own effort/what they've learned/the confidence they've ganed, not the $5 junk jewelry.

3) Advisors must educate and guide girls into volunteering/serving in their communities by suggesting things that they care about, and spinning their interests. They will be MORE enthusiastic if it is their idea; they won't just socialize.

4) No girl must be pressured into committing more of her time or self than she wants; she may be encouraged, but advisors must remember that ALL ACTIVITIES ARE OPTIONAL.


Okay, here's my problem:


The training left me feeling better and worse that I did originally, after reading the S2B materials with no "intro" from council: it is a non-program program in many ways, but it does place a great deal of planning and growing responsibility on girls (which is where is should be at this age); the only way it will all work is if the advisors are "just right" and have all the skills necessary to befriend and motivate girls, help them be excited about SOMETHING, and then guide them to assume responsibility realted to SOMETHING that is probably not on their "me" agenda. Oy!


I, too, heard the "you're probably doing S2B already" remarks from the trainers, when I stated at the beginning of training that I was there to learn WHAT to tell our girls about traditional Cadettes & new S2b so they could make a choice. Giving them the choice, I was told, is absolutely S2B?


Our Junior troop has been together since Brownies/1st grade, with four newcomers (including my daughter, who joined in 3rd when we moved), for a consistent group of 12 girls; they have enjoyed earning try-its, badges, and participation patches for social activities -- they look forward to fire-side awards ceremonies and wearing their awards on parade (just about the only time full uniforms are worn). Every kick-off meeting includes a girls' brainstorming of what THEY want to explore & do in the upcoming year -- two years ago it was science and puzzles, last year was horses and adventure sports -- and HOW they want to serve each season (it is assumed BY ALL OF US that we do one service project per season). Four girls earned their Junior Aid patches and Leadership pins last year. Five girls pursued Junior badges on their own; only one earned her Religious Award and has started on her Bronze. (The others aren't interested in RA or Bronze, so we "leaders" don't push, but the girls ALL encouraged the one who did, and showed up at her church in uniform to see the bishop present her RA.) The "leaders" have managed to help the troop in common pursuits and facilitate/encourage for individual pursuits. I was told this IS Studio2B... but I don't buy it: I think it's just a good traditional troop.


Our current Junior girls DO have a lot of planning and implementationm responsibility now that they're older... they grew into it (progression, I know). But we have structure and standards, and expectations that the girls are aware of and seem to agree with... They are now 11-12. Statistics say that 75% of them should be leaving this year. They all said they'd be there for our kick off meeting next week. Hmmmmm!


So, what do you think?


I'm looking for all the feedback I can get, from both sides. :) What suggestions do YOU have for presenting the options to our troop, and then implementing?


Thanks, all!

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Unfortunatly, regardless of the National hype about "not less more", there are really no program "options". There is only S2B. I have said all along that "By Girls-For Girls" is the way we have been supposed to have been running the older girl program all along and S2B will not force a controlling leader to suddenly get the picture.


About the only option the girls have now is to get a copy of the current Cadette/Senior materials now, before they change them to do away with any structure, and use those. Of course, you have no way of knowing how long the IP patches will be available.


Other than that, I would say just run your program the way you have been running it. Go with progression and let the girls have more and more to do with running their troop. Introduce the focus book to them and see what their reaction is. My appoligies to GSUSA and copywrite law, but I would only buy 1 book and copy it. There is only so much troop $ to go around and the cost of this program is outragous. The same goes for the Silver & Gold inserts. Buy 1 and copy for any girl interested.


Let them know about the leadership training available to them. PA, LIT, CIT, etc. Tell them about the Destinations (formerly Wider OP) website.


Have fun, make sure the girls have fun, and you will be fine.


BTW - When the girls have had the oportunity to look at the S2B materials, please encourage them to write or e-mail National with their thoughts!



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I'd be afraid what my kids would say about Studio 2B if they were asked to assess it. For that matter, I'd be afraid what they would say about Cadettes. We tried to start them on the Leadership Award last year, and got some pretty cynical replies on the worksheet about leadership qualities. Suffice to say they didn't feel they had learned anything new.

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But it DOES look like National is listening to the girls. At least a little. They have made at least some changes to the program based on feedback they have gotten.


If volunteers and girls don't give Nat'l their opinions then they have no complaints. If Nat'l has no input to go by then they will simply look at their bottom line (Just look at all of the books we sold the first year - folks must love this program - who cares if the books were 95% leader books purchased by leaders who were trying to find out what the heck was going on!).


Have your girls e-mail National with their feelings. Remember - "By Girls For Girls"!!



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^You're right, ScoutNut! They told us in council-level S2B training that they would be listening carefully to feedback from GIRLS, and much less so from older adult volunteers.


They are really pushing the use of specialist volunteers, especially college students and professional women in the 18-29 category (see the issue of Leader that came out this week). "Girls aspire up" and want to associate with those closer to their own age, they say -- but there are two problems with using that age group exclusively: lack of wisdom, experience, and practicality/common sense; and lack of willingness to make a long-term committment to a troop/group. They may love girls,a nd have skills to offer -- but they have no personal vested interest in the girls and their futures!


Current volunteers (mostly moms with minivans, true, but who also have college degrees and careers) will end up becoming personnel/HR managers in addition to motivators, busdrivers, and cookie commandos!





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I agree with nikitee's HR reference yet another hat for us to wear.


A leader I work with was upset by council staff members (two people devoted exclusively to S2B!) who are planning events for the older girls which their advisors are not welcome to attend (well, they told us we could drive the girls to the event location and hang around in other parts of the building until the girls were ready to go home...so add "chaffeur" to our job description as well I don't know how they plan to get around the girl/adult ratio it seems our council staff conveniently forget some of the rules they force us to obey).


This leader feels as though they just want us to be around for the tedious part of being an advisor the paperwork, etc., and then turn the girls over to staff members and "outside experts" for the fun stuff.


Don't they realize that "the fun stuff" is one of the reasons we're involved in the program? I'm a volunteer, but I'm no martyr I enjoy the things we plan and watching the girls enjoy the trips and events (and their growth during these events) is my payoff. Granted, these types of events can be mixed in with our regular girl-planned troop events (intended for the whole troop, including the aged, decrepit, so-out-of-it-we-might-be-back-in advisors), but they are pushing it way too hard in our area.


Wishboat(This message has been edited by Wishboat)

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When my daughter first heard about the 18+ advisors she was very upset. Her thought was that she wanted someone as her leader who had experience with the world, not someone 2 years older than she was!


Now that she is in college, although she has registered as a lifetime member, she has no interest in being an advisor to Girl Scouts at this time.



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My co-leader & I volunteered as summer day camp unit leaders this year, for the first time. We met a lot of FANTASTIC adults outside our service unit & the council staff.


One adult ("Spud") was the very definition of an ideal Studio2B 18-29 volunteer, according to their definition -- age 22, on summer break before starting her Master's in biology. She'd been a GS since K/age 5, and knew every song, game, story, and outdoor skill there was. She was professional, enthusiastic, motivating, competent, responsible, loved girls, had great expertise, etc. She was PERFECT!


But she herself discovered she had one problem: NONE OF THE PARENTS OR OLDER GIRLS TRUSTED OR RESPECTED HER, because she looked (appearance-wise) younger than some of the Juniors -- she is both petite and "fresh faced"... The parents dropping off or picking up saw her with a group of "cadettes" and went straight to the camp director, who had to explain her qualifications -- she WAS a real leader, really! The girls even gave her a hard time for the first half a day, until they realized she was FANTASTIC and really knew her stuff -- and that she was worthy of their respect!


Spud made a tag to wear under her staff badge: "YES, I AM AN ADULT. AGE 22" If she wouldn't have had a good sense of humor, and been qualified to the n-th degree, and been backed by the camp director and her staff, Spud would have had a VERY hard time...


How many S2B episodic volunteers won't survive their first encounter with older girls (near their own age) or their parents because of something like this? I'm betting quite a few. :(


Re, "WAIT OVER THERE": I'm really SHOCKED that "mom age" advisors were asked to hang around elsewhere... if GS national & councils want people to "buy" the S2B program, they have to let it be seen WORKING WELL... and the people who most need to SEE IT can't SEE through a closed door. :( Plus, I don't want to be a chauffer... I do that enough as it is.(This message has been edited by nikitee)

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I too am having trouble with the emphasis from our council on getting college age girls to help. I have been a boy scout leader and girl scout leader for many years and while it is nice in theory, it just hasn't worked well for me for the following reasons:


1. The college age kids are too unreliable. They forget to show up or can't make many meetings because of a wide variety of reasons. Last week at our monthly leader meeting a college girl showed up looking for a troop to help with. When a leader who meets on Friday evenings asked her to help, she said she couldn't because she might not be able to find a parking space on campus after the meeting was over. She also said she would not drive any girls anywhere because she didn't want to take the risk. So you are back to Mom's organizing the program and providing transportation to field trips, camping, etc.


2. Many do not have skills to work with kids since they have little to no experience working with children. Not all - a few are good but the majority I have worked with don't have any idea what kids can do or how to keep order.


3. The turnover is high. Young women move and change jobs often. Then you are back to square one looking for someone to help. I think most girls leave the program because of lack of consistent leadership in the troop - either the leader leaves or quits or is terribly disorganized and the girls lose interest. In our council, the most successful troops have had the same leader or leaders for a long time. These leaders offer a consistent and well organized program and they communicate what is going on with the girls and the parents on a regular basis. They meet regularly and often.


Sometimes I think the paid staff of the girl scout organization don't live in the real world and forget to use common sense or allow us to use common sense. They micromange everything.




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What's wrong with having the college girls be campus girl scouts and organize programs for younger girls on schedules they can work with. The campus girl scouts at a college near us organize a badge workshop about once a year, host the thinking day celebration, and also host a seminar on some topic of interest to women followed by a formal tea (sounds goofy, but it's very popular with the girls the way they do it). Their programs are great, and probably a more valuable contribution than trying to fill the troop leader role when they don't have that kind of schedule flexibility.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've read all the posts - I must say I am disappointed that GS is going away from the Cadette / Senior status. I wanted my daughter to join so that she can earn the patches, not get little charms that will eventually turn green. I didn't think the GS was so "girly". I may rethink her membership.

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I also think the girlie-girl part of S2B is a mistake -- the girls get way too much of that kind of pressure; GS should be an alternative.


But I think that the kind of women who become scout leaders aren't in to that either. National can't force everyone into one mold, certainly not women. Women aren't in it for the recognition or to advance to higher ranks in the organization; we are in it because we find it personally fulfilling. And we are independent-minded enough to do things our own way when we have different ideas.


I think you will see troops following national just enough to get covered by the liability insurance, and then proceeding to do their own thing. And it may be the best thing that could happen. After all, Boy Scouts' Explorer program always had each Explorer Post following its own members' interest -- some into outdoors, some into vocational pursuits, some into sailing, etc.


GSA should look into the advantages of encouraging each troop to have its own theme so girls could choose one that interests them. When I was a teen, there were more girls in the Boy Scouts (as Explorers) than the Girl Scouts. But my friends and I were in different posts -- mine did lots of backpacking and canoeing, another couple friends were in a post sponsored by a firehouse that basically trained the scouts as paramedics. Others were more into foreign travel (eg. climbing Kilomonjaro).


If I Were In Charge, I would develop potential themes for individual troops and provide support materials for volunteers to take on that kind of a program. It's not a coincidence that a lot of teens are in programs like Trek and Outward Bound that are more structured and more like booking with a group excursion, since it takes some experience to plan the type of complex experiences that go beyond what a girl can get with her own family. If a scout leader can choose a theme and then get materials to suggest trips and programs, tell her and the girls step by step what needs to be done for each, gives information on what has worked and not worked for other troops, etc., they could recruit more girls and leaders, I think.


Nothing improves recruiting like hearing that girls a couple years older than you are doing something that makes you incredibly envious.

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