Science of Happiness

Three of our Cadettes presented the Science of Happiness badge. This badge talks about how scientists measure happiness and how to achieve happiness in your life.

The first thing the girls did was sharing three journal entries. E worked on being happy for others, B worked on focusing on what is realistic, and C worked on using her strengths. E talked about how good she felt when she gave C a gift, B said that her speech wasn’t as frightening after she told herself it wasn’t scary and C used her strength of humor to cheer people up.

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After sharing their experiences they had the girls fill out worksheets. The first worksheet worked on being happy for others and it was called The Great Kindness Challenge. This gave some ideas on how to make yourself happier by pleasing others. The second helped you think of the best and worst outcomes and then planning what the most possible outcome was. The last worksheet was the Focus on Your Strengths worksheet that helped girls determine what their strengths were and how to use them. After the worksheets, they created a Happiness Survey. The Happiness Survey helped the girls think about how happy they are in life. 

Then there was a snack of Fennel Tea, sandwiches, and oranges. The fact that C shared with the girls is that oranges cause a rise in happiness in people.

After the snack, there were two activities. The first was to create a collage of all the things that make you happy.

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They also did an encouraging activity. The girls would write an encouraging word or phrase then they would have a picture taken. This made everyone feel very positive about themselves.

 

 

 

 

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We DO still exist…and we ARE active

You’d think since it has been FOREVER that we’ve fluttered apart as a troop but that is definitely not the case.  Life DOES get super busy for Middle School girls AND their parents so the blog has gone by the wayside even though our troop has not!  Due to their crazy schedules, we’ve only met about once (sometimes twice) a month this year but have managed to do quite a bit!

So, below is some RAPID FIRE to catch us up!  Our girl led badge work started a little while back, and each team of girl leaders is supposed to write a blog as one of their leadership steps, so the hope is we will have a post for EACH of those and our year will be sufficiently documented for all to enjoy!!  The couple of badges below were planned and led by adult leaders.

BADGES (so far) –
For our Finding Common Ground badge we had a local, female, counselor (who specializes in drug and alcohol addictions GROUP therapy) come and talk to the girls about how important it is to find common ground when working with groups.  We used this information, including how to be respectful when speaking AND listening to vote on our troop trip.  The girls almost unanimously voted on BELIZE!

 

One of the BEST ideas our leadership team has come up with in a LONG time was what to do for our Comparision Shopping Badge.  We wracked our brains on ways to make this fun without spending a ton of money.  So, during the holiday season, we had each girl meet us at the mall with $10 of her own money.  We didn’t tell them what the money was for just that they had to bring it and meet us.  When we got together, they were broken into 4 teams, each with the same amount of money to spend (since they all brought exact CASH that was then divided amongst the groups).  Each group was givin $40 total to spend.  Then, they were told to go over to the Giving Tree, where tags are hung with the names of children and adults who are less fortunate and their “wish list” for holiday gifts.  They had to decide, amongst their group, which ONE person from the tree they would pick and then use their pooled money to COMPARISON SHOP for the best way to get some of the stuff on the lists…having just the $40 to spend!  Then, as groups, they were sent off through the mall to SHOP!!!  We met back at a pre-determined location, at a pre-determined time and shared what they were able to get on their chosen wish list, by making sure they were getting the best deals to be had in the mall. The girls all had different reasons for picking who they picked.  Some picked little kids because they couldn’t imagine waking up Christmas morning without something from Santa and they wanted to make sure they could help make that happen for another child.  One group specifically picked a girl their own age because they could relate.  It was amazing, fun and inspiring to watch these girls want to make sure none of their recipients would miss out on a single WISH on their list AND the girls said they wanted to make that an activity every holiday season!!  We call that a WIN!

We do an annual troop sleepover where we earn the My Promise – My Faith Special Opportunity Award.  This year we chose the theme Responsible for What I Say and Do and tied this into the Financing My Dreams financial literacy badge.  We spent the evening talking about how being financially literate is being responsible for your own actions and a good way to do that is have plans for the things you want to do, buy and become!  They did budget plans based on the median income potential for the “dream job”, where they wanted to live, where they wanted to vacation, etc.  Then they created a Goal Setting Dream Book (guided journaling basically) so they can have a tool to help them plan out a year at a time their goals in a fun, creative way.

And sometimes they just had fun and were goofballs!!

COMMUNITY –
There are a few things we do each year to make sure we are staying involved within our communities, including a couple of parades, including Veteran’s Day and our city’s annual Parade of Lights in December.  We always build a float and bundle up for this super fun event.  This year we also took 2nd place, in our division, for our float!!

We also create an item to donate to our school’s silent auction that happens each year at a Gala.  This year we created a multi-media painting of angel wings, made with paint, bits of yarn, glitter, marker and pages from an old book of children’s poetry, that sold for over $100.  The proceeds go directly to our school.

This year, our troop was also asked to do the flag ceremony for the annual GSCO Women of Distinction event held in our town.  This event is held each year to honor 3 women of distinction who are making the world a better place by contributing in amazing ways to our community.

 

FUNDRAISING –
The troop is saving for a, international trip and every penny helps!   We’ve done a few different fundraising activities, INCLUDING COOKIES, this school year to help get us on our way.

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One of our troop leader’s family owns a winery and asked us to make some crafts to sell in their tasting room.  So we made a couple of different items from old corks.  We gave to them and they gave us the profit.  It’s a win-win!

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Our school holds an annual craft fair that is one of the most attended events in our area.  We decided to capitalize on this event by having a booth with product to sell.  We used this opportunity to make ecofriendly crafts to tie into the journey we’d done earlier in the year.  We made napkins with recycled button down shirts and napkin rings.  One style was made with hand-made paper beads (from old magazines) and another with pop can tabs and ribbon.  Amazingly, we SOLD OUT….earning more than $700 towards our trip!

 

 

 

We were also given a pretty fun opportunity to help our local WalMart celebrate their Grand re-Opening after a remodel.  They asked local troops if they would be interested in manning a concession stand outside the store during their celebratory weekend.  The store supplied everything, we got to keep the money made.  Another win-win!

 

The girls also did gift wrapping during their first week of Winter Break, leading up to Christmas.  This was great because we had all our wrapping paper donated.  Patrons dropped off their items, the girls packaged, wrapped, labeled and beribboned to their hearts’ content!  This is an event we WILL be holding again!  We even got on the local news!

In addition to ALL this and their crazy school, sports and music schedules…our 7th and 8th grade girls’ almost all participated on their school’s basketball teams which both made semi-finals and our 8th graders almost all participated on their school’s volleyball team which won district championships in addition to 90% of this troop having earned HONOR ROLL every quarter of this school year!  AMAZING young women!  Keep on the look out for more from them!!

Internet Safety

DSC_0003Remember the days when being sneaky was just passing a note between class, folded in just the right way?  Remember the days when talking behind someone’s back took GUTS because you had to say it out loud to someone else and hope you didn’t get caught/heard by the wrong person? Remember the days when a secret, took a really long time to spread to more than your immediate friends, if it spread at all?  Well….that is NOT the world in which our children are growing up. Today youth have the power, speed and full weight of the internet, literally, at their finger tips.  In seconds they can learn or have fun.  But, just as quickly they can cause harm to themselves, their friends, do something “innocent” that holds the weight of a felony or become victims of a predator!!  IN…AN…INSTANT!!!

Most of us spend quite a bit of time online, either for school, work or even to just be social.  You assume it’s all as it appears on the surface.  But, truly, honestly, it is not.  All of us know the person who “overshares”.  It’s easy to do, with posting pictures, videos and words.  Online actions have real-world consequences and once you post something, you can’t ever take it back!  But, the biggest pitfall is that real-world judgement and sense isn’t even being used by tons of adults, how are we expecting our kids to “get it” without having the hard discussions?

A few months ago a couple of leaders from our Cadette troop were on Facebook and came across the profile picture of a little girl (because we, as adults, still want to think our 12 year olds are little girls) whose profile photo scared the begeevus out of them.  Had her name not been with the picture, she was an unrecognizable, gorgeous, 19 year old!  The make up, the duck face, the fact that we could see the profile because no privacy settings had been applied…all of it….just didn’t sit well with any of us.  Add to that, THIS video about the dangers of Social Media, came out the same week.  Needless to say, SOMETHING, had to be done.

Thankfully, we CARE about about our girls and really wanted to do something to help them protect themselves in a way we never had to think about when we were their age.

We contacted the Public Information Coordinator at our local Police Department and asked if there was a way we could set up some time with someone, ANYONE, at the PD who specializes in internet crimes.  The thought was if we had someone whose job it is to work cases where being unsafe on the internet leads to trouble, it would “scare” the girls into LISTENING (and hopefully THINKING before acting) moreso than if it were just another topic they had to hear from their leaders/friends’ moms.  What we got in turn was ever so much better than expectations!!

Heidi, our contact, recruited three people at GJPD who spent quite a bit of time working on a presentation for our girls.  We were extremely fortunate to spend quality time with Mary, a PST (Police Service Technician) and technology expert in the Investigations division, Officer Bavor, a school resource officer, and Meghan, a PST in the Investigations division that focuses on missing people and runaways.

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We had discussion on passwords, screen names, device settings and online privacy.  The girls got some lessons on the dangers, and legal ramifications, of sexting, cyberbullying and even signs of stalking and domestic violence through electronics!

Statistics (how often something gets forwarded, the number of young people with devices with no privacy settings enabled, the number of crimes against children through use of social media, the long-term and LEGAL repercussions of doing something “funny” now, etc, etc, etc……) are more shocking than you can even imagine and there is NO way we can adequately express this.  There are more social media sites, gaming locations, chat rooms, etc than any one of us in the room could imagine.  There seems to be something new every day and half of the stuff they talked about most of us had never even heard of.  So, how do we protect our kids if we don’t even know where they are spending their time???  We are sooooo glad we encouraged parents to attend this meeting with their daughters, on the urging of our presenters.  So much information to absorb and no way to relay in any way as impactful as having the information come at you first hand….scenarios based on actual investigations, conversation with an officer who spends his time all day, every day with kids our own girls’ ages, public servants whose job it is to protect our kids telling us as parents how to do a better job at doing just that, too!

The easiest way to summarize what we learned is:STOP-THINK-CONNECT

Take security precautions, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors and enjoy the benefits of the Internet.

STOP: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.

THINK: Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety, or your family’s.

CONNECT: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.

Protect yourself and help keep the web a safer place for everyone.

DSC_0004The biggest message and take away is that being online, connected to devices, is an inevitability of our lives.  It is super easy to overshare, mess up, embarrass or get into serious trouble.  There are risks and this is a truth we can not deny.  The best tool we have for safety is COMMUNICATION and our BRAINS!!  Kids need to talk to their parents (a trusted adult) at every step of their learning and access.  Parents need to be comfortable having the hard conversations!

Of course our troop earns their Internet Safety badge, and touched on several of the topics for their Journey work, for sitting through this program but what they learned is ever so much more important than a piece of iron-on fabric and hopefully it sticks with them FOREVER!

It is our understanding that the presentation was not just an “off the shelf – this is what we do for EVERYONE” presentation and surprisingly we were one of the first (if not the first) youth organization, in our town, to ask for it.  There is absolutely NO WAY we could have done it nearly as informatively, succinctly and impressively.  We are extremely grateful to these members of the GJPD who took time out of their busy schedules to prepare the presentation for us and for taking more than 3 hours out of their personal time, on a weekend, to spend with us!

Even in an ever changing, technologically advancing world, kids are still kids…it is our job to protect this innocence!

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Parents were given a couple of handouts to help continue these discussions with their girls.  Resources can be found at OnGuardOnline.gov and stop.think.connect

Netiquette

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In a world where emails, texts and social media are abundant, our next badge, entitled Netiquette, provides appropriate and fun lessons for our Cadettes.  Their first meeting began their work on knowing how to make and keep our online world a positive place.  This was another one of our girl-led badges where AY, KM and ML took charge in teaching their fellow Cadettes how to make positive choices in the online world and the importance of strong online etiquette.

The meeting began with each girl taking a pre-quiz to determine their understanding of Netiquette before delving into the topic further.  )While they were taking the quiz Coach C came into the room and we quizzed him too…he passed with flying colors!  Way to go Coach!! )

To demonstrate common mistakes with texts and emails, the girl leaders read some funny texts that were accidental or misconstrued because of auto-correct or not paying attention to who the message was being sent to.  They realized how some of these communications can cause anger, hurt or embarrassment for themselves or to others.  The girls then had a chance to share some “oops” moments of their own.

The girls also explored how positive “wow” moments can be used in online communications.  In fact, for homework, each girl started an online kindness campaign by sending 14 nice emails, texts or posts (with the supervision of their parents) and complete a log with the date and to whom the message was sent.  They had a month to complete the assignment.

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The majority of the meeting was spent completing a pretend Facebook profile.  After each girl completed their profile the group shared them and discussed the good and not-so-good details that were “posted” in this online medium.  They were introduced to the fact that there are privacy filters that can be applied to such pages.  Some of the girls took the profile activity seriously and gave good examples of appropriate details to share.  A few of the girls were more “creative” in their answers and we were able to use their responses to discuss why things were not appropriate to share and the significant ramifications of sharing inappropriate information online.  This activity also tied into our ongoing self esteem discussions of the importance of our online profiles being an authentic representation of ourselves.

To conclude the meeting, the girls took a five finger email etiquette quiz as an informal survey of what habits bother them or don’t bother them when receiving emails.  They concluded that in most cases several habits are appropriate if sending messages among friends in a more casual setting, but some email habits should not be used in more formal messages.

Throughout the entire meeting the girls kept a list of Netiquette tips that would be finalized at their second meeting (one month later).

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To complete the badge work the girl leaders, K.M, M.lL and A.Y invited Mrs. A, a computer teacher at school, to attend the meeting as a guest speaker.  She guided the troop through a PowerPoint presentation covering digital citizenship.  She informed the girls that they are all digital citizens since citizens are members of a community who interact with others online.  In order to be good citizens she gave them the three rules to follow:
1. Be Safe
2. Be Responsible
3. Be Respectful

To be safe she explained the difference to the girls about private (information used to identify you, such as social security number, phone number, address, email) and personal (information that can’t be used to identify you such as age, gender, favorite foods) information.  She also recommended that the girls should not use their real names on media accounts and introduced them to a name generator program on the internet.  Each girl had the chance to enter things they liked without putting in their name and the program generated a list of creative screen names to choose from.

The second point was to be responsible.  She quoted Spiderman “With great power comes great responsibility.”  She enforced that the internet holds immense power and that we should use it in a positive way and not allow it to run you life.

Girls were encouraged to assess their internet and electronic usage to determine habits that may not be healthy and then to set boundaries or have someone set boundaries for them.  She explained that the boundaries could involve hours, places, or activities when electronic devices may or may not be utilized.

The final digital citizenship tip was to be respectful.  She explained to the group that words are eternal once the send or submit button is pushed.  She suggested that the girls write down on paper what they want to say, put it away, check it again the next day, and continue this process until they get over it because once it is written in cyberspace it cannot be taken back.  Additionally, she touched on posting comments or blogging and challenged the girls to comment on something positive.  To sum up this point she quoted Thumper from Bambi, “If you can’t say something nice then don’t say nothing at all.”

The presentation went on to define and give some examples of cyber bullying.  She explained that digital media provides just another medium for people who are going to be mean to do so.  She recommended that the girls be a good friend, be smart, help each other out and to tell an adult if they are a victim.

Lastly, she discussed the importance of parental involvement and how parents can stay connected with them online.  She enlightened the girls as to why their parents may have concerns or be confused since they did not grow up with the same opportunities and access that the girls have now.  She told the girls about phone contracts that they can search online to find samples or create their own.  She described different rules or techniques at home such as putting filters on the wireless router so one doesn’t have to be installed on each device, however she was quick to caution the group that this doesn’t help with 4G access so other limits from specific phone carries may be a better option and should be explored.

After the presentation, the girls worked together to establish their top 10 Netiquette tips which will be posted in the computer lab at school as a reminder to others about what they have learned.

Each girl was asked to completed the following sentence, “While working on our Netiquette badge, one thing I learned was…Cadettes, B.G and N.A both agreed: “The internet’s power, good and bad, is very powerful.”

After being told about the eternal nature of messaging and posting, Cadette B.B responded with “Be careful what you say.”

K.M and A.Y learned that “There is a difference between private and personal information.”

C.W, R.P and M.L all were excited about the fact that “I can use a name generator for social websites. Cadette R.P expanded on this saying:  “This is a program that finds good names for the internet.  Mine was sleepboxing37.”  M.L was also intrigued and added: “This program picks reasonable names for you so if you’re stuck the name generator can help you.”

In a world where technology and internet access is difficult to avoid and ever changing, everyone learned that lines in the Girl Scout law, like being considerate and caring, honest and helpful, and respecting myself and others also apply to the internet and we can use it to make the world a better place!

 

 

Animal Helpers

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Next in our series of Girl Led meetings was Animal Helpers.  Cadettes CW and RP lead this series of meetings.  They planned meetings that showed their troop mates how animals have always provided humans companionship, joy and transportation, but they’re also trained to help people with disabilities and find people who are lost.

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For their first meeting, they invited members from the Mesa County Search and Rescue Ground Team.    According to their website,  the Mesa County Search and Rescue Ground Team is a highly trained nonprofit professional rescue organization comprised of over 40 skilled VOLUNTEERS!  They are on call 24/7 to support the Sheriff’s Office with any and all search and rescue efforts free of charge.  Their goal is to help out those who are just having a bad day!

The ground team is also capable of deploying and supporting many other resources in the field. These Include, but are not limited to, Advanced Medical Training. Swift-Water Rescue Swimmers, K9 Search Dogs and their Handlers, Technical Rope Rescue Techs, ATV, Boat and Helicopter Specialists and Evidence Search Personnel.

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For this badge, you can guess which came to visit us.  Those AWESOME K9 Search Dogs (oh…and their Handlers, too)!!

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We learned some great information with regards to Search dogs.  Any dog can be trained to search but dogs with a longer snout (usually a larger dog) are better.  A longer snout has more scent receptors…duh!  Large dogs also have longer legs so can cover distance quicker.  These dogs are pets, members of the family like any other pet.  However, when they put on their uniform, they know they are on the job, their focus and demeanor completely changes.

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Hundreds of hours go into training these dogs and it was amazing to watch these dogs in action.  We were able to see two different German Shepherds doing what they do best.  We hid 2 people in different places on campus, and just observed the dogs in action.

One, was trained to catch scent on the air.  So, he would be off a leash when in the field.  He would catch scent and follow the trail ahead of his handler then “check back” with his owner to make sure she could keep up with him, before running back at the scent.  When he found the subject of his mission he would bark in a specific way to tell the handler he was where he was supposed to be.

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The other was trained to catch scent on the ground.  This was more what we all assumed a scent dog was trained to do (imagine a cartoon bloodhound on a leash behind a Sherlock Holmes-esque Detective).  His lead was very long, but the handler never let go.  The team was telling us crazy stories about how the dog literally dragged his handler UP hill, in the rain, while on a mission to find his subject!

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For the second meeting we took a trip to Harmony Acres Equestrian Center.  This is a local non-profit business that uses animals, mainly horses, in human therapies as well as riding lessons and lessons in vaulting.  They also have a competitive team.  Their mission  is to create a safe space where people and horses can thrive!

They have a great collection of horses, all extremely friendly and extremely different from each other.  The girls loved these animals!

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This is Christina.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of equine therapy for over ten years now and has witnessed firsthand the miracles that can occur when horses are part of the therapy process. She has focused much of her training and education in learning how to help individuals who have experienced severe trauma, sexual abuse, or are diagnosed with PTSD. In addition to her therapeutic background, she has an undergraduate degree in equestrian science and is skilled in horse training, riding and equestrian vaulting. In addition to therapy, Christina coaches a vaulting team.  Her unique background and experience give her the combination of skills needed to help make Harmony Acres a safe and joyful place for horses and horse-loving humans alike.

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Left is Morgan and right is Trish.

Morgan is a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor. Her horse background began at the racetrack and led her to find a career working with horses. She went to college in Arizona, and graduated with a BS in Biology. Morgan volunteered for many equine assisted therapy programs, and in March of 2013, was accepted into the PATH Approved Training Course at Equest in Wylie Texas, where she  received her certification.  Her goal as a therapeutic riding instructor for Harmony Acres is to enhance peoples lives through their connections with horses. Morgan works very hard to teach to each person’s skill level and to help each rider gain strength, achieve their goals, and of course, have fun!

Trish is an EAGALA (Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning) Certified Equine Specialist that has had a passion for horses since before elementary school. In her early years, she enjoyed trail riding and participating in play-days at the local rodeo arena near her home in Central Texas. She has worked on a ranch in Texas and has volunteered at a Horse Sanctuary that offered a variety of equine assisted therapy programs. Moving to Colorado in 2009, she brought her love of horses and her experience in the mental health field as a Mental Health Aide with her. Trish is dedicated to keeping the horses happy and healthy while assisting in the therapy programs offered at Harmony Acres Equestrian Center.

We took a tour of the stable, the arena and all the outdoor horse pens.

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Here Morgan is showing the girls how someone with limited ability to walk or stand, can still manage to mount a horse. They use ladders, ramps and volunteers to help every variety of rider up onto a horse.  We could tell how proud of their work these ladies are.  Morgan beamed when she explained to the girls how even a 6th grader with Cerebral Palsy can get onto a horse, feel the movement of the horse below them like “legs” and feel like a 6th grader no different than our very own Girl Scouts!

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In addition to the horses, Harmony Acres has some cats, a bunny and these really cute Alpacas (or maybe they were Llamas, can’t ever remember the difference…eeek!)  The small baby came right over to us to check us out.  Mama was quick on the uptake, coming right over to “protect” her baby!

Amazing and inspiring work, by both teams of people!  Thank you to the volunteers of Mesa County Search and Rescue and the ladies at Harmony Acres.  We are truly grateful for your commitment to helping people and to your highly trained animals.  We are also very thankful for their willingness to take time to educate our Girl Scouts!

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What did the girls learn?

Girl Leader CW says, “I liked working on this badge because we got to see how horses help people with disabilities.  I really liked the search and rescue dogs.  I learned that there are two different kids of tracking techniques with dogs (air and ground).  It was fun to see how animals help people.”

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Ba-bye, now!!  🙂

Entrepreneurs

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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 CHECK.
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One team’s product was called CHERRY.

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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!

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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,

Mrs. W