Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Agent of Change: Session 7

WE DID IT!!!! 

We finished Agent of Change and the girls have been able to see beyond themselves, beyond our troop, and reach out to the community in which we live. We also had a girl experience a harsh reality when her Grandma took a stray cat to the Humane Society... they tested the cat and found he had a disease and had to put him to sleep. She was very sad, yet understood the importance of not spreading this disease to other cats in the shelter. 

For our "wrap up" session, we were planning our Court of Awards Ceremony AND doing a recap of what we had done. I printed out 26 photos and got each of the girls a photo album to put the photos into, along with some blank white sheets to decorate and tell about what they did. 

They were to put the photos in the album and think about how each picture represented one of the powers... power of one, power of team, power of community. Of course, some photos overlapped the powers and that was fine, too. The girls worked on their albums for most of the meeting. 

They also planned their ceremony layout and decided how to be introduced, etc. Introduction of each girl is something we have done from the beginning.. they love hearing their name announced to come running and waving into the room. I really need to remember to get streamers or something for the end of the year and make is SUPER special. 

The girls LOVED the Journey. In fact, I was surprised by one decision last night. The girls created Power Logs way back in Session 1 or 2. I asked them if they wanted to continue to use the Power Logs or if they wanted to take them home with them. I explained the Power Logs were part of our Journey and that the Journey was over, but it was up to them whether or not they wanted to use them... It was a unanimous decision to continue the Power Logs. I was SHOCKED... but I love that they want to continue writing about what they have done and their thoughts and accomplishments at each meeting. These girls are amazing and they will change the world. 

After all, my agents of change... it's your world - change it!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Agent of Change: Session 6 (&7)

The Leader's Guide for the Journey combined Session 6 & 7. That's because you really are doing your Take Action Project and then reflecting on what you have done.

In order to keep my mind straight, I decided Session 6 was the Take Action and 7 will be our reflection.

For our Take Action project, we made the no-sew fleece blankets for the Humane Society. The girls also went home and asked parents to donate supplies the shelter could use. I was very impressed that 80% of the girls remembered and brought their items. I encouraged those that didn't to drop the items off at the shelter with their parents.

We took our blankets and supplies with us for the tour of the shelter. The lady that showed us around talked to the girls about what type of pets they accept, what they have there right now, why animals come to the shelter, and the ways they place animals. The girls were very interested in the opportunity to volunteer with socializing the animals (fancy name for playing with the animals).

The girls all pledged to speak with their parents about volunteering to help the shelter. They are going to spread the word to classmates about being a responsible pet owner and understanding the commitment that is involved in owning a pet. They also want to make more blankets.

At our last meeting dedicated to the Agent of Change, we will be putting together some quick photo books of things we have done and writing captions about our Journey as a memento of the activity. We'll also have an Awards Ceremony.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Brownie Badge: Give Back

It's almost that time of year again in Central Missouri... the time when girls gain skills such as goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. It's important that young girls understand that this isn't just about cookies. The Cookie Program isn't the only time they will need the skills they may not even know they are learning.

Our troop, before selling one box of cookies, sat down to talk about what we were going to do with the money. How were we going to help the community with the money we earned? We talked about the Cookie Share program. Cookie Share is a way for people to purchase a box of cookies and then it goes to a charity. We could either go with the group Girl Scouts selected or we could choose our own local group to help. 

This badge was a lot of talking and planning, rather than some others where you are crafting, hiking, and playing team building games. We broke it down like this:

1. Businesses that give back 
As a group, the girls (and a parent) went online and found a company that gives back. The girls then brought information about the company to share at the meeting. 

2. Set a giving goal
We talked about what was fair to take from our cookie money to give back to a charity. We "ran the numbers" and broke it down. The girl remembered from the previous year that we normally do 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 for Spend, Save, Give. They felt that was a good way to divide it up and wanted to stick with that. 

3. Talk about involving customers
As a group we designed a Cookie Share flyer. I then made copies and each girl took one with her cookie packet to spread the word. We also used these at our booth sale.

4. Practice giving back
This really wasn't completed until the cookies arrived. The girls selected the local Ronald McDonald House to receive our Cookie Share cookies. But, they did plan on how to present the cookies. They wanted to include a card and they even said we needed to check and make sure what kind of cookies they would accept. Several of the girls are in "no peanut" classrooms, so they are aware of food allergies.

5. Tell customers
Each year our troop comes up with a thank you postcard they all sign to put with each order of cookies. In order to meet this goal, the girls decided to add a short note on the thank you that said how many boxes of cookies we donated to the Ronald McDonald House through the Cookie Share Program. This was a little tricky, as the initial order period was over but direct sales were still going strong. So, we formatted the note to say the number of boxes from the initial sale.