Saturday, June 10, 2006
Probably not, but this is how teen girls melt their GORP together.
The biggest change between younger troops to older is the subject matter.
There's supposed to be a progression between age levels. In Daisy scouts, the leader is pretty much in charge of everything and the girls show up to meetings to have fun, singing songs & doing crafts.
At Brownie level, they earn "try-its" for experiencing new things. The service component comes in at this point, (doing something for people outside your troop) although it's kind of on the side. The leader is still doing most of the planning, but she's trying to incorporate the girls with decision making (maybe by offering 3 choices & letting the girls vote on which one is best).
Juniors are the scouts people remember seeing out & about in the community. In order to earn badges, they have more tasks and the service part is included a lot more. These are the girls you see picking up trash, helping to maintain a community garden, etc. They're in the green vests. At this level, the girls are supposed to get used to decision making and the leader is trying to back up a bit from planning things. The girls should have a big say in what's going on in their troop.
At teen level, things get a little harder. If you're following the progression, the leader is now supposed to act more as a guide. She lets the girls know what opportunities are available and the girls are supposed to do the majority of the planning. All the Interest Projects for teen girls have a career & service component.
Anyone with a teen (male or female) will figure out at this point, teens don't like to do much of anything in their free time other than "hang out." For the first 3 (of 6) years of teen level (used to be 3 years as Cadettes, 3 years as Seniors), my troop more or less attended GS events in the community. Although I guided them with separate Interest Projects they were supposed to lead for the troop, I think we only got 3 or 4 completed - In 3 years!!! That's because they were much more concerned with getting comfortable around each other, around me, and really cementing the friendship part of the troop. And we have some big ups & downs.
Now that my troop is in their last 3 years, they are anxious again to EARN their Interest Projects. All of them want to do a Gold Award project (like Boy Scouts Eagle Project). They really have to take the initiative on this, so we'll be working toward that this summer and the next couple of years. All of them have workable ideas, and they just need to get the planning done (with an advisor - me), and then they can move forward.
In the meantime, we are still attending GS events, like the past few blog entries I've had about them. The things we discuss at meetings & camps & in the car are often very personal - religion, family life, opinions on politics or sexual preference. Not anything you'd want your Junior scout involved in. However, for some of these girls, this is the only safe forum, where they know they won't be beaten down for expressing themselves, and why they feel that way.
We continue to laugh and have fun, even if we're looking pregnant while we're melting the chocolate chips into the cereal in our GORP bags.