About Me

I am in no way an "authority" or "expert" when it comes to Girl Scouts. But, I know how to Google and I'm pretty good at tweaking to fit the needs of my girls. It's girl-led after all and that means following the lead of the girl's interests... among other things.

I have been  a Troop Leader since 2009. I assumed the role, as many others have, because a group of girls needed a Leader. A little different, because I'm a step-mom. My step-daughter liked Girl Scouts and her Leader wasn't returning. So, after discussing with my husband, her Mom, and her... I agreed to be the Leader for a first year Brownie troop.. 2nd graders.

I was never in Girl Scouts as a child. I had a great friend who was, but I never joined. I didn't understand what it was all about or I think I would have jumped at the chance. So, even in the 80s there wasn't a real clear directive of what Girl Scouts was to a young girl in a rural town. I do remember the cookies, though.

I'm sure this is where the adventure will continue to grow and I welcome the challenges, collaboration, and experiences.

This blog is all about sharing what I've learned and hoping it helps others.

History (in reverse):

March 2016 I decided to start practicing what I preach to the girls and take a chance on me... I have launched BCGPatches.com. It's a small patch program business with custom programs and patches designed by me. This is exciting and scary at the same time. This is the first time I am truly putting myself "out there". This is all me... my idea, my creativity, my design, and my thoughts on what makes a good patch program. So far, so good.

January 2015. A new year, a new idea, a new adventure. My 6th grade Cadettes partnered with me to form a Daisy Program... we provided Daisy programming to Kindergarten and 1st grade girls, then parents will take over when they move to Brownies. It was exciting and scary at the same time. That started in April of 2015.

March 2014: Our Service Unit brought back the Girl Advisory Board, with my persuasion, and we have our first board of girls to plan events, give insights, and just try to help out. They are amazing young women and I look forward to the day when I can say "I knew her when".

2013/2014: I have been a Council Delegate for our Service Unit for 2013 and 2014. I was also elected to be a National Delegate to represent our Council in Salt Lake City in the fall of 2014.

June 2013, I became the Service Team Manager for the GSMH Service Unit 738 in Columbia, MO.

Spring of 2013. I had an amazing troop of girls that I love dearly. I saw my step-daughter become a wonderful young leader within our troop and for younger girls. We started thinking about a Europe trip in 2018 with Girl Scouts and her passion for Girl Scouts just grew.... as did mine.

In the Summer of 2012, the Service Team Manager asked if I would be interested in replacing her. I laughed and said "No." I really think that shocked her, as I rarely say no. Instead, I proposed we work together for a year and re-evaluate. So, that's what we did. It was a lovely partnership and I learned a lot. At the same time, I completed my first of Junior Girl Scouts as Troop Leader.

In the Fall of 2011 I was asked to join the Service Team for GSMH Service Unit 738. I was honored and blown away. The position I filled was not one that is "on the books". I was added as the Webmaster. Our Service Unit had a website and no one was really taking care of it, so since they knew that was "my thing"... yes, I was suckered into it. Ha! But, no regrets and the ladies are all phenomenal and have the interests of the girls ahead of all else. I feel fortunate to be part of this group of ladies.

In the Spring of 2011, a wonderful Council representative asked if I would like to be the School Troop Organizer. I had no idea what that was, but agreed. It really isn't that much work and I find it fun to set up a little table with photos and such to encourage girls to join a troop and parents to lead. The latter being much more difficult.

2009: This is where it began... step up and take on a troop... yep, I bet we share a similar story. I have had a fluctuating number of girls in the troop... from 10 to 5 to 7 to 9... You learn to roll with the numbers and just keep your focus on the girls that are there and value the time they decide to allow for Girl Scouts. I also try not to take it personally when they choose dance or running over Girl Scouts, though I try to explain they can do both. But, I also respect parents decisions that their child is only allowed one extracurricular activity.




15 comments :

  1. I'm so glad I found your blog! I am a first year leader for a multi-level GS troop in TX. Official GS training is great, but hearing from other leaders is the most helpful to me. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. thank you for posting the patches and journeys. - I am a long time girl scout leader and also a Service team manager. I have an idea for recruiting new daisy leaders. Its all so new - we took one of the daisy journies and broke it down into pieces. The flower one... We have an older girl troop run each of the meetings, while a recruiter talks to the parents and finds leaders for the girls that are meeting, by the end of 5 meetings you have some leaders, the girls get a year of girl scouting done, and the older ones gain leadership by running the meetings. Been doing it for 5 years... Have new daisy and daisy leaders every year.

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    1. That sounds like a great plan. It's important not to forget about needing Leaders for troops... you lose a girl, it's sad... you lose a Leader and you potentially lose several girls because of it.

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  3. Dear Lora,

    Thanks so much for putting your Get Moving Journey for an overnight online. I heard about it on the Outdoor Journey FB group.

    I have shared it with your contact info. on the Outdoor Journey Project site here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/outdoor.journey/.

    Of course, you are invited to join there if you like. (Or your readers). I tried to email you but it would not go over to you today. So I am writing here instead. I will be able to OK people probably tonight or tomorrow if you choose to join us.

    We are a group of Girl Scout Member-Volunteers who are working for more official Outdoor Program in Girl Scouting, plus more badges to go with that. (Preferably a new, Outdoor Journey.)

    We'd love to have you. And thanks for sharing your great Journey Example. :-)

    Later,

    Betsy

    Betsy Sheppard
    Girl Scout Volunteer and Trainer
    Kentuckiana Cluster 2

    Onward and Upward!

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  4. This is one of the best Leader blogs I've found yet! You share great info.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm glad it's helping you out. :)

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  5. Hello!

    Your blog is wonderful! I wanted to know if you would allow me to repost any portions of this on my service units website page? I run the site, and I have never asked anyone for this before, so I am not sure if it is even possible. If nothing else, I would love to post a link with some info about your site.

    Thanks so much,
    Carrie

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    1. A link to the blog would be great. I'd prefer you not copy and paste the text without a link to the main site.

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  6. I love your blog! And I love the binders you came up with for the Daisies. Did you do something similar for Brownies?

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    1. Thank you! I didn't do binders for my Brownies, but I was a brand new leader at the time. The Brownies had folders, but they never remembered to bring them to our after-school meetings. You could definitely adapt the idea for use with Brownies.

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  7. Hi Lora,

    I'm a Cadette leader in Sweet Springs (about an hour away from you). Would you mind if I were to come sit in on one of your meetings? I'm trying to get ideas for my meetings. This is my third year leading and I would like to see what other leaders do.

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  8. So glad to have found your blog. I have read through nearly the whole thing. I am a new troup leader of a Daisy troup and any information is helpful!

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  9. I am so glad to have stumbled across your site! I love being the leader of a group ranging from Daisy's to soon to be Cadettes. You inspire me and challenge me to think outside the box when working on some of these badges. Thank you for all you posts, ideas and experiences you share with us.

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Thanks!!