What No One Tells You About Being a Girl Scout Leader
Being a Girl Scout Leader is STRESSFUL!!!!
But does it have to be?!?
We have all been there ... the initial fright of jumping into the deep end and taking on the role of troop leader. There is a brief moment of excitement about the novel new title and all possibilities it brings. However brief, this is quickly followed by the sheer bewilderedness from lack of support, frustration for the never-ending circle of steps to accomplish anything, and the overwhelming sense of not being qualified for the position. Yeah, it is stressful! But ... there are ways to make your role easier -- if only I realized this a few gray hairs ago!!
Reinventing the Wheel
Save your sanity ... and avoid the gray hairs!
You can spend hard earned troop funds purchasing badge pamphlets, only to realize they are utterly worthless ... containing a few sentences about the vague notion behind the badge ideals. Out the funds, you are left at the starting line feeling like you missed the whistle. Where do you go from here?
You can spend many long, stressful evenings trying to figure out what their vague notions really mean. Or, you can embrace the wonderfully crafted wheel -- already invented, tested, and proven to work! Gather the plans created by the already gray-haired leaders and spend your evenings enjoying something far more fun than figuring out what a functional suncatcher is.
But, you may be left wondering ... how do I know these plans cover everything I need?
Embrace the Vagueness
Walking the line between following the letter of and the spirit of the badge
That vague notion behind the badge ideals is often called the "spirit" of the badge. There are more than one way to accomplish the steps of the badge. Some leaders strictly follow the technical terms of the badge requirements. While other leaders interweave requirements together. The debate over which method is better or "more Girl Scout-like" is one I typically avoid like a public water fountain.
Girl Scouts is about the girls. Doing what they are interested in, and having fun while becoming our future leaders. If they don't have fun, they will not stay engaged. If they can't stay engaged, they don't stay active. What good can we do as a Girl Scout leader with no girls participating in our troop?
But ... are we helping them to become our future leaders if we teach them they don't have to follow the technical terms of the badge requirements?
See the circular argument forming here?
One Size Doesn't Fit All
But removing the padding can help it fit more comfortably
It is with this in mind that we have designed our badge activity plans. We provide the technical requirements in the most engaging and fun way possible for those who fall on one side of the argument. This doesn't mean you have to follow each activity line-by-line. If it doesn't work for you - skip it! There are no badge police. We interweave the badge requirements such that a simple discussion can catch a missing technical piece.
Sound too good to be true?
How Did I End Up Here?
2020 served us with a whole new world
After suffering job losses and an uncertain future for our family through 2020, we decided 2021 was the time for us to explore new opportunities. Like many of you, I was balancing on-and-off virtual schooling, my new role as a "teacher" to my children (as if I didn't already have enough hats to wear), a changing face of Girl Scouts and the struggle to keep my scouts engaged in a social distanced (and many times virtual) setting.
Realizing many others were also balancing far more than ever before, I formed On My Honor Downloads in an effort to ease the growing need of this balancing act ... to create grab and go resources for Girl Scout leaders. Our "job" as a Girl Scout leader has become harder than ever in the past 2 years. It was my hope that our resources could ease some of this burden.
Being a Girl Scout leader is stressful, but it has brought me more joy than I could ever express. I wish each of you luck in your journey! Remember, being a Girl Scout leader can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be.
Stay tuned for more ways to take the stress out of being a Girl Scout leader!