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Drawing lessons from BSA program...

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A little background. I was a GS leader for 8 years and a SU Manager for 1 1/2 years when we lived in another state. With no acceptable troops here, my girls have been working at home. Next year we are planning on starting a Cad/Sr troop. I am now involved in Cub Scouts, this is my son's first year, he is a Wolf and made Rank 2/21/08.


We were really luckly in the other state. We had Service Unit Event every month and a ton of Council Events to choose from during the year. At the beginning of the year we would sit down with the council guide and choose events the girls wanted to attend and register (slots went fast). Usually the SU events were planned at the first SU meeting of the year. Then the girls would pick the Jr. Badges/Signs/other Awards they as a troop wanted to work on. Then the rest the girls, if they wanted, could start of work on others at home.


My Troop loved everything, we went canoeing (nothing like it, in the mountiains on a cool Spring day), Horseback Riding, Rock Climbing, Bows and Arrows, Hiking (they loved!), Spring Camping, Winter Camping (with snow up to our behinds!), Ice Skating, Sledding, we went to a Threatre day and a Dancing Studio for a day. And the whole Troop signed up for a Volleyball Team to earn Court sports. All kinds of stuff. They keep me hopping. We meet every week for an hour, and 2 hours every other week in the summer. The second year of Jr's they changed it to 1 1/2 every week. They were very busy. They made me and my Asst very busy.


The also did crafts and swaps. But mostely is it was for a Jr. Badge or an event. They did tons of Community Service about 10 a year and enjoyed it so much! But their favorite was the Outdoor stuff. I have a Age Appropiate Prgression Chart for Outdoor Skills. There are 10 Outdoor Skills they should learn. And every Year staring in Brownines it gets harder, it is a progession. Example is OutDoor Cooking - first is "nose"Bag meal, then Stick cooking and up.


The Troop bought each girl a 3 ring binder. I made a label for the front called it 'My Badge Binder" and added the Girls Name. Bought Dividers. When you open the Binder it has a list of the girls and their numbers, then behind the first tab is the Troop Rules. Second Tab was a list of Council Events and Dates. Third tab was Service Unit Events. The Fourth was a bunch of forms I printed for Badge Work. The Girl put the name of the badge working on and the page number. then six lines (cause you need 6 activities to complete badge). The line said ACTIVITY NUMBER ________ Date: _________________ then at the bottom, Scouts Signature, then Parents signiture (for badges worked on at home) and Leader signature. Fifth tab was for Badges completed. The girls and parents loved it. Each girl bought it to the meeting. they could see what they were working on and what was comming up. Cause some Badges took 2 years. And we had a record of when all the activities were done. The girls made a bag from GS material bought at the store to hold all their books and binder.


They earned their Broonze by putting on a Outdoor Skill Day for Brownies. (6 hours, it was more a Silver, but I let them go). They planned and ran the stations. That taught all 10 Outdoor Skills and give the girls beads on a leather string from each station. They could either put on their uniforms or on the hiking sticks they made. It was awesome.


So I guess my point is, you make what you want. And organization helps. We had 5 girls left when we got to Jrs. Have a sit down, go over the Badges and Signs book, ask them what they like to do and want to try. (Not all the girls liked dancing, my daughter did not want to go, she is a tom boy, so we did a kidnap, when we got to the event, she said she had the best time and was glad we made her go). Even the girls who didnt like dancing loved it. So have them try new things, just once. If they dont like the badge after doing a few activities, then go on to another, you can always come back later or never.


There are tons of things the girls can earn besides Badges and the Broonze at the Jr. Level. There is Jr. Leadership Pin, Jr. Aide (both every important), The signs, and things like Girls are Great, GS against Smoking, Lead On, Developing Health and Fitness (which are like the temporary items in CS), they are worn on the back except the Leadership ones, but the girls like earning them.


Yikes this is long, but I am finding the Cub SCout program SO different, my son is not learning any outdoor skills or hardly anything except the rank requirments they we were made by the Pack to do ALL at home. But I love the family aspect more than the GS where you drop your daughter off and that is it. And dont get to go to some events. We as a family have already earned and been awarded the BSA Family Award and the my girls are just as proud as my son for earning the award.


Hope this helps and if you need anything let me know!

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