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View Full Version : Girl Scout silver and gold ideas


MichelleB
01-23-2012, 09:12 PM
Someone started a bronze award idea thread. Any suggestions for silver and gold awards?????

Shanna-like-Banana
01-23-2012, 09:17 PM
I wanna know too, who has done it under the new requirements. I have 1st year Cadettes, who earned their bronze last year, and want to start their silver next year.

The new requirements looks like there is a lot more prep work, versus work in the actual project.

I know for the silver one of the new pre-requisits is to earn 2 Journeys before you even start.

descovy
01-23-2012, 09:34 PM
No but as a "new" Cadette leader, the Silver award is a little intimidating.

My co-leader and I attended a training about it this summer. Unfortunately the "trainers" were woefully unorganized. You'd ask a question and they would answer it as if you asked a different question.

Right now (6th grade) we are just working on the Journey as the Pre-req.

I am concerned because it seems that the Silver award is a very individual project. How will I convey the info to the parents? The girls have to have their Silver Award approved by council before they start. My council is always "behind" in returning calls, managing paperwork, and so distant and cold to us leaders, I can't imagine how the girls/busy parents will deal. And heaven help if they need to apply to fundraise.

The other issue I worry about is that the girls need to work with a "professional" mentor. Lets remember, these girls are 12-13 years old... 14 tops. Does the director of the food bank/shelter/library/non-profit really have the time and patience required to lead/mentor a 13 year old?

I guess I worry because while we've been successful keeping girl scouting "Girl-led" in Brownies, and especially in Juniors, we are reverting back to an adult-led role in Cadettes. The girls will need parental help navigating council, parental help securing a mentor, parental help scheduling/transporting to meet with a mentor who is likely overworked and over-extended. All this while creating a "take action" project that makes a difference indefinately, and not just a "service project."

I don't see you average go-getter 13 year old doing this on her own, without lots of adult help.

I've got a great group of girls who are motivated, confident, big ideas. But many of them have parents who cant/wont put in the time to navigate through all this.

Anyways, this is my inexperienced view. Hopefully an experienced leader/mom can enlighten me. Because right now, I'm just not "feeling" the silver award. It seems that it aims to be more than what a bright energetic 13 year old can handle on her own.

zoemurr
01-24-2012, 06:59 AM
No but as a "new" Cadette leader, the Silver award is a little intimidating.

My co-leader and I attended a training about it this summer. Unfortunately the "trainers" were woefully unorganized. You'd ask a question and they would answer it as if you asked a different question.

Right now (6th grade) we are just working on the Journey as the Pre-req.

I am concerned because it seems that the Silver award is a very individual project. How will I convey the info to the parents? The girls have to have their Silver Award approved by council before they start. My council is always "behind" in returning calls, managing paperwork, and so distant and cold to us leaders, I can't imagine how the girls/busy parents will deal. And heaven help if they need to apply to fundraise.

The other issue I worry about is that the girls need to work with a "professional" mentor. Lets remember, these girls are 12-13 years old... 14 tops. Does the director of the food bank/shelter/library/non-profit really have the time and patience required to lead/mentor a 13 year old?

I guess I worry because while we've been successful keeping girl scouting "Girl-led" in Brownies, and especially in Juniors, we are reverting back to an adult-led role in Cadettes. The girls will need parental help navigating council, parental help securing a mentor, parental help scheduling/transporting to meet with a mentor who is likely overworked and over-extended. All this while creating a "take action" project that makes a difference indefinately, and not just a "service project."

I don't see you average go-getter 13 year old doing this on her own, without lots of adult help.

I've got a great group of girls who are motivated, confident, big ideas. But many of them have parents who cant/wont put in the time to navigate through all this.

Anyways, this is my inexperienced view. Hopefully an experienced leader/mom can enlighten me. Because right now, I'm just not "feeling" the silver award. It seems that it aims to be more than what a bright energetic 13 year old can handle on her own.

This is different than what we're doing.. I wonder why.
Our girls are almost done under the new requirements. The old way made a lot more sense.. but they have to put out new books every few years to make more $. :(

The "Journey" in my opinion is pretty awful. We did "Media" which was tolerable.. "Breathe" was really bad.

Our girls don't have to have their silver approved by council, only by their leader. (Gold award they do.) They can also use a leader as a mentor, although they would like to also see a community leader as a reference. (As long as the leader is not their parent.)

Some girls require more adult input then others.. depends on their project.

My DD is collecting books for a family homeless shelter. She is putting them in order by age w/lables and sorting the books they already had. She is making activities to go w/some of them and she will conduct some story hours and leave the materials/instructions there for others to use. At this point I think she is going to try to extend this to her gold by making packets for kids to take home when they leave the center and putting some of the stories on CD for younger children. I am giving her more guidance than I would like about what to do when and how to word e-mails and such, but it's getting done. We learned pretty quickly that the woman who runs the center has very little time for her.

Two girls are working together setting up a craft/game club at a local elderly home. They collected games and shop for materials. They go a few nights a month and lead an activity. They'll have a big photo album w/pictures and directions when they are done. They have been very independent.

One other attended some type of NASA program for kids and is going to make a slide show/info packet about it and present it around town. She's not very far along so I'm not sure of the details.

We found that the "sustainable" part of the project seems to be the most challenging. So we figured if they leave a binder of info about what they did that should be sufficient for someone else to pick up where they left off if necessary.

Good luck.. they sure don't make it easy.

MichelleinMaine
01-24-2012, 10:23 AM
No but as a "new" Cadette leader, the Silver award is a little intimidating.

My co-leader and I attended a training about it this summer. Unfortunately the "trainers" were woefully unorganized. You'd ask a question and they would answer it as if you asked a different question.

I've got a great group of girls who are motivated, confident, big ideas. But many of them have parents who cant/wont put in the time to navigate through all this.

Anyways, this is my inexperienced view. Hopefully an experienced leader/mom can enlighten me. Because right now, I'm just not "feeling" the silver award. It seems that it aims to be more than what a bright energetic 13 year old can handle on her own.

YES- to all this. I am so glad I opted to grandfather my girls into the old program. (They decided upon, and I prebought, all their badges last year.) This whole transition has been ill-managed in my mind. No one knows what is going on. First were told no badges, only Journeys (GAG!). Then yes there are badges but they won't come out for 6 more months (hello, I'm leading a troop NOW.) But then the books aren't available for 4 months. Oh and the new badges are only tied into the Journeys (? I will confess I gave up trying to figure it out. I've been a GS leader 6 years, a boy scout leader for 10 and was a GS myself. This should NOT be this complicated!)

New programming aside, a fundemental structure problem in my mind is that each GS troop is "independantly owned and operated". Each one reinvents the wheel (or in this case the Bronze/Silver/Gold process) each year. Boy scouts you have 5th-12th graders together. Admittedly that has some of its own issues, but you have continuity. The fifth graders start in and can right away help the older guys on their Eagle projects. They go to their Eagle courts of honor. They've camped, volunteered, played with the big guys- they know them. The older guys teach the younger ones. The parents can see the process. Yes, there is a learning curve for the teens when they start their own Eagle project, but they have a frame work and people to ask for help!

And I'll throw in when the boys hit their 100th, they brought BACK some old merit badges for fun and to celebrate how traditional skills are still important.
Girl scouts had some badges that were the same for 100 years (civics/citizenship had been the same- different colors as the badges evolved, but same design- since the very start. Similar story with some others. How to celebrate 100 years of tradition- make a new one. Why?!?!)

zoemurr
01-24-2012, 11:21 AM
why is everyone saying there are different requirements? Is this not a national thing?

Here is a link to ours: http://www.gswny.org/pages/SilverAward.aspx It has a training video (It's pretty good.. I recommend you take a look) and the packet girls have to turn in when they are done. We were told to have them turn it in a few months before their deadline (Sept 30 of their 9th grade year) so they have time to fix anything.

We needed to do one "Journey" (another thing you have to buy). It is "open to interpretation" as to how much/little you want to do in it. We did most of it but didn't stress about it. Their are badges you earn for this.

Then each girl does a 50hr project by themselves or in a small group. Only needs to be pre-approved by a leader and a leader can be the advisor. (Although they are recommended to use someone else if possible. There is no place on the forms to record who your advisor was anyway.) Project must be sustainable and benefit someone other than other scouts.

We could have grandfathered them in and probably should have, but weeding through new/old info was a pain and we knew getting the badges wouldn't be easy so we jumped in. It really isn't that complicated (although it is harder/longer than the old way). I agree they made it as confusing as possible. We put it off for a long time 'cause we just couldn't figure it out. :confused:

MichelleinMaine
01-24-2012, 02:30 PM
My beef isn't so much with the Bronze/Silver/Gold program as spelled out in the link. (I"ll admit I've not even looked to see if our council has something similar out yet.) It's with the entire new program. Our council (or is it National?) has done a lousy job getting materials out to even try to figure it out. I was in the shop just before Christmas to buy my niece the new binder- they were still on backorder! (I've since gotten it, but if I know the backup was worse in the fall. If they are rolling out a new program, materials need to be available, for heavens' sake!) Like wise, the Journeys dribble out, what one every 6 months or something?

And what was wrong with the old program? We've gone from pick what you'd like to try from what, 100ish badges?, down to two or three journeys. When I was in scouts, the badges were called Dabblers. What an appropriate name- it encouraged new things to try just a little of, maybe it would spark a new talent or interest. Now they have to commit themselves for 2 or 3 months to one of just a couple options. (Yes I realize there are options within the Journey, but it's still a commitment and not as easy as saying "I would like to spend a couple afternoons learning for my horse lover badge".)

The old Bronze Award way, they could pick any combo of those 100 or so badges to fit a project that really interested them. Now, did I mention, it's option A or option B? Really, what was so horrible with the old system that it only lasted, oh, 100 years?

zoemurr
01-24-2012, 03:17 PM
the "Journey" system is terrible and confusing. Unfortunately I see it only as a way to generate $. It's one more book everyone now has to buy. That's my guess why they changed all the handbooks as well. (I know there are badges connected to the journey.. are there no more "single interest" type badges anymore? I looked online and saw some badges but couldn't find a badge book.) They even changed the shape of the badges, so a girl who transitioned in the middle would have a pretty crazy looking vest/sash.

Our girls are moving up this spring so I guess we'll try out Seniors under the new system.

I hated how disjointed the silver was. Our whole troop did the media journey together and it didn't really relate to anyone's project. Not entirely a waste of time, but not an appropriate "prerequisite". They definitely should have had at least 6 journeys out to choose from when they started this. When we began there was only one and it was awful. Glad we waited.

The only thing we have purchased so far was the Media books and we didn't have any trouble getting those, but it pained us to spend the $. In this day and age if it wasn't $ all of that info could have been found online.

KnearSeattle
01-24-2012, 03:23 PM
My DD did her Silver this past fall. She made lasting improvements to a cross-country trail behind her school: painting and installing rocks to mark the course, clearing brush to widen the trail, and building and installing four benches for the course monitors to use during races.

Her advisor was the cross-country coach (also her math teacher).

My objection to the GS awards is that a girl must put in the hours herself, and other people's contributions are discouraged or irrelevant. In Boy Scouts, the Eagle project is about leadership, so a Scout directing the work of others (being a leader) is expected to tally up the hours put in by everyone on the project.

How does a project that a girl does all by herself truly demonstrate "leadership"?

MichelleinMaine
01-24-2012, 03:37 PM
My objection to the GS awards is that a girl must put in the hours herself, and other people's contributions are discouraged or irrelevant. In Boy Scouts, the Eagle project is about leadership, so a Scout directing the work of others (being a leader) is expected to tally up the hours put in by everyone on the project.

How does a project that a girl does all by herself truly demonstrate "leadership"?

:thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

kaywoody
01-24-2012, 09:16 PM
I don't know anyone who is happy with the new materials including the Journeys. The timeline for the new book was terrible. We bridged in May, so I wanted to start off the new year with the new books- only to find we had to wait until September. Then in September you could order one but it wouldn't be in until January... What? I finally got my hands on one in early January, just in time to do the new cookie badges with my Juniors. Uggggh! If my daughter didn't enjoy it so much, I'd tell Girl Scouts to jump off a bridge!