Part of being a Girl Scout is that work, to the best of ability, be GIRL LED. As a troop, we ensure this by breaking the group into teams and each team being assigned a badge. They work together to plan, get supplies and lead the meetings at which their badge will be presented.
We spent the entire first half of the year working on some all-troop activities and the MEdia Journey so, we finally got around to doing our Girl Led “series” at a recent meeting. The first in our series of Girl Led badge-work for this troop year was the ENTREPRENEUR badge. They got basic insight into what it takes to start a business when we took our recent field trip to the Business Incubator so the plan for this team was to realize that when it comes to innovation, fantastic ideas and creative inventions are only half the game. The other half involves figuring out if people will buy your invention or use your idea. In this badge, the girls found out what it takes to turn a great idea into a business.
The team of girls for this badge consisted of 3 girls; Cadettes N.A, B.B and B.G. They had a challenge, per N.A., “When we got together to plan the badge, we didn’t realize that it was as business-like and boring as it was. We were worried about the other girls being bored from the business badge.” Through a team brainstorming session one afternoon, they decided it would be fun to make it a competition.
This team, like the others later in the year, were given 2 troop meeting days to work on their badge work with the troop.
Day 1 consisted of figuring out who the client would be and brainstorming products and services that would assist this client. To be fair, they picked the client at random from three “hats”; PERSON, ACTIVITY, LOCATION and the client they would focus on ended up being a SENIOR CITIZEN/RETIRED PERSON who WORKS in a SCHOOL.
The each girl in the troop came up with one product or service they thought could assist their client. They wrote their idea on the top of a sheet of paper then handed their paper to the person on their left. That person wrote a clarifying idea, thought or concept to try to define and perfect the original idea. Then they handed the sheet to the left. This type of brainstorming session was chosen because it allowed every girl to have a say in every product/service without judgment. When each sheet had made its way around the entire group we read the ideas off to everyone to take a vote on which product/service was going to be “designed” and pitched to our client.
Once the “winner” (a paper grading product) was chosen by vote, the troop was broken out into two teams since the girl-led team thought it would be fun to have the teams compete for a prize. Then, for the remainder of the meeting the teams started discussing how they wanted to define and present their product.
Day 2 consisted of the two teams continuing to work on their idea boards and product pitch. They had about 40 minutes to plan a paper-grading product (like A, B, C etc.) to help a senior citizen working at a school, write a PowerPoint about it, and make a board about it too. We had a retired teacher come in to judge the two products and their PowerPoint pitches.
The whole troop surprisingly ran with the idea boards and product pitch presentations. They took it more seriously than the leadership anticipated and the end results were really quite impressive. They managed to work together as cohesive teams, make neatly organized idea boards and amazingly professional PowerPoint presentations complete with graphics, animation and sound, in such a short amount of time! Our judge had a difficult time deciding and it ended up being a tie because both teams did a fantastic job!
One team’s product was called CHERRY.
What did they take away from leading this badge, you ask? In their own words…
N.A. – We successfully made a boring badge fun! YAY FOR US!
B.B – I liked making the PowerPoint presentation with my friends, being creative and coming up with fun ideas! And….Maybe solving some of the worlds’ problems by coming up with fun inventions!
B.G. – I learned its challenging to work with a team, but with lots of opinions sometimes you get something great. I like working with my friends. I loved that all of our ideas mixed together. The other team’s presentation was way different than ours and it was equally awesome!
The girls received a card from the “judge” after the meeting:
Dear Girl Scouts,
It was such fun seeing all of you & judging your new inventions.
I am really impressed with how well you thought through the whole process & presented your inventions & especially how you understand what a teacher needs!
I couldn’t choose a winner because you are ALL winners. SO smart & already successful
Love you all,