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Decisions, Decisions...

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I recently found out that my youngest sister's troop is disbanding (is that the right word to use?) this year. The girls will be in seventh grade in the fall, which is about the time when a) they start working on their silver award, and b) when I started getting bored with the program. Granted, I stuck with it until I earned my silver, and for another year after that, but once I joined Ventures I had no need for the GSA. It was too much fluff and not enough fun.


I was talking with my mom the other day, and from what I understand, the main reason is that the moms who were running the troop before don't want to be bothered, which is a shame. I've been toying with the idea of calling council to see if maybe I could take over as the troop's leader. I'm 19 now. By GSA policy, I'm pretty sure I am old enough to be a leader (is that right...?), though I couldn't drive the girls anywhere. And I'd need another adult at all the meetings, naturally, but I don't anticipate that'd be too much of a problem.


My only dilemma is this Studio2B nonsense. I like the concept of the girls choosing what they want to do, but at the same time there are a lot of things about it that I -don't- like, and even more things that I'm confused about.


This is what I do know:


1.) The girl scouting program, if offered in its entirety, can be a great experience for these girls.

2.) They'd probably have a lot more fun with a younger leader than a "boring old mom." Sorry, all you moms out there, but let's be honest... it's cool for 12 and 13 year olds to hang out with someone who's 19. Most 40-something moms aren't terribly "cool and exciting."

3.) It's a lot of training, but I've got the time.

4.) I'd even be willing to sit through the training necessary to be able to take the girls camping (I think the main reason so many girls drop out of girl scouts is because they don't do anything through the GSA that they can't do at home with a couple of friends).

5.) If this Studio2B thing is what I'm going to have to work with, I really need to know what the dealie is before I commit to anything.


Any suggestions, resources, opinions, or vaguely-related thoughts to share?

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Hello Campfire Fairy


I think it is wonderful that you would like to take over the leadership of your sister's troop. The most important resource for safety and other standards is the GS publication Safety Wise. According to Standard 13, the minimum age for an adult leader is 18. So, go for it!


My advice:


1. Get as much training as you possibly can in addition to the basic leader training that is required initially. Get yourself camp trained, and First Aid trained, in accordance with Safety-Wise requirements. Just as important is any training available on leading girls in your sister's age group. This kind of training involves learning about child (and teenage) development. Be sure you have a copy of Safety-Wise and study it carefully.


2. Let the girls make their own decisions consistent with their abilities and development.


3. Enlist the help of the moms (and dads). For my first year as a leader (third grade Brownies), I was the only registered leader. I had the moms be the second adult for each meeting on a rotating basis. It worked very well, and took a lot of the burden off me. You can enlist moms for transportation and other things you are not able to do on your own for which you need an adult. As a very "uncool" 50+ mom (according to my 18-year-old daughter), I know exactly where you are comimng from, and I agree that girls your sister's age will have more fun with a younger leader ;). HOWEVER ..... the "older" moms will often have some very good advice! Don't be afraid to pick their brains.


4. I'm not sure what to say about Studio 2B. I have heard conflicting reports as to whether it will replace the traditional program (I hope not). Your council should be able to tell you that. Assuming both programs are available, I would let your girls decide what parts of the GS program they would like to pursue.


Assuming a leadership role such as this will stand you in very good stead as a young woman. You will learn a lot (and it will look good on your resume!).


Let us know what you decide.



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Many, many of us would also like to hear the full scoop on the Studio 2B program. Unfortunately, the only place I have been able to find out ANY info is on GS forums. There are a couple at Yahoo that have a council person who posts info as soon as it becomes available to councils. Unfortunatly the info changes as National figures out what they are doing. The down side is that info comes out in dribs and drabs with every council implementing it in it's own way and time. The plus side is that it seems that National is actually listening (however slightly) to feedback from volunteers on this program.


The IP books are supposed to stay around. However they are also supposed to be undergoing a rewrite to make them more like the focus books with no set requirements. Of course this rewritten version is not due out any time real soon. The Silver & Gold have been rewritten also and include required focus book use.


Talk to your council and find out if your girls will be able to use the old Silver requirements or if they will have to use the new S2B "Go For It" binder inserts at approx $4.95 each which are due out in Aug - Oct. As I said the IP books are due to be changed, but currently they are the same as always so your girls can use the old versions.


If you are really serious about this, I say do it! It will be a great experience for both you and the girls. Let the program problems work themselves out. You just concentrate on keeping the girls (and yourself) enjoying Scouts!





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Scoutnut, glad I'm not the only one interpeeting ational as being at least somewhat responsive to the feedback they've been receiving!

I *think* I may have heard something different from you regarding the IPP book - as far as I know (which aint much and could change at any moment!) they are only changing the cover and title to reflect the "Girl Scouts, 11-17" new program age level designation. IPPs will continue to have specific requirements - I don't believe the "style" of the how IPPs are earned is going to be changing.

Campfire Fairy! How wonderful to have you come on board as a leader! You are right: we have a big emphasis right now on recruiting young adult leaders - you're gonna make someone smile reallllll big when you call the council office! Don't worry about S2B - you know what good program is - make sure you are letting the girls take the lead and develop those skills. Can't wait to hear what y'all are up to :)

Anne in Mpls

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