Saturday, September 15, 2012

Yes, We're Mean, Mean Leaders ...

When Girl Scouts introduced their new badges, I admit that I was a bit of a skeptic. Change is never easy, and I had prepared myself for the worst. Would there still be enough options for our girls? Were the requirements still doable and appealing?

But I have to give Girl Scouts some credit -- I can't speak for every badge, but they definitely hit a home run with the Junior Independence badge. In fact, I really wish they had a different version of this for every level. Teaching basic living skills that they can use in their everyday lives? Yes please!

But for our troop, it's more than a badge. One of our goals this year is reinforce the important of personal responsibility, and ultimately, to teach all of them to be more independent. So we decided to address that right off the bat.

Our normal M.O. would be to take orders for their vests/sashes/insignia and then send it home with their parents. Which typically meant there was a last-minute scramble before any ceremony - "where does this go?" or "I can't find this" or "my mom didn't sew this on." Now that our girls are in 5th/6th grade, we really feel they should take some responsibility for their own uniforms.

So for one of our first meetings, we brought in ironing boards and irons and taught each girl how to iron on her basic insignia. While it may not seem like the most thrilling activity, it was still a valuable one. For many of the girls, it was the first time they'd used an iron. Time and again, I've found that the girls are craving the opportunity to expand their skills and stretch their wings. It's our opportunity as leaders to help them do so. We're also planning on teaching them to sew on their badges later in the year.

Maybe I can also convince them to my laundry. :)

6 comments:

  1. I've got brownies and a daisy or two. For our next meeting I'm going to teach them how to cut up vegetables with REAL KNIVES. You'd think I had told them I was going to let them juggle fire! They're excited, parents may be nervous:P

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    1. Yeah, I remember the first time we did a cooking badge with our Brownies. One of the girls said, "I'm not allowed to use a can opener." We had to reassure her that it would be ok since we were supervising. :)

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  2. So smart! I'm working on this badge this year and I'm teaching the girls to make a bed, fold sheets, sort and fold laundry and scramble an egg. They need to be empowered and this badge really helps them!

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    1. Great skills to have - and the cool thing is, most girls are eager to learn because they're not necessarily doing these things at home.

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    2. Oh they'll need to be responsible for these things at home in order to truly earn the badge - at least for 3 months!

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  3. I love this idea! I plan on using it with my own troop...

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