Friday, March 27, 2015

President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA)

I was talking with a "new" friend this morning and realized I haven't done a post about the President's Volunteer Service Award. I've been tracking for 2 years, but haven't said anything about it here...!

Anyway, there is a program for people from the age of 5 on up to earn a President's Volunteer Service Award. You have to be volunteering or working with a Certifying Organization, but a lot of Girl Scout Councils are Certifying Organizations or can easily become one (encourage them politely). 

Basically, track the hours your girls are doing service projects, volunteering at events, and any service activity. Each age group has a different amount of hours they have to complete to earn the award, but for the little girls it isn't that much ( and they probably have earned it and didn't know.

Why would you want to do this? Well, they can earn a pin, certificate, and letter from the President thanking them for the volunteerism. That's pretty cool!

You can set up an account online and it's easy to enter your hours. Talk with your Certifying Organization and get their Record of Service Key. You'll enter that on your profile and your name with hours will show up in their account, so they can certify hours.

Our Service Unit does this for us (because I went through the training to become a Certifying Organization). We do ask troops to pay for the awards for their girls, because we have a lot of girls in our Service Unit and can't afford to purchase the awards for everyone.

Now, over time, your hours will all start to pile up if you do this for years. Once you hit 4,000 hours (It sounds like a lot, but it isn't), you earn the Lifetime Achievement Award. It's very pretty and very cool.

Anyway... check out the site and check with your Council to see if they are or would become a Certifying Organization. Also, don't forget to track YOUR hours... Leaders, Co-Leaders, helpful parents, anyone that volunteers can track their hours. Even if it isn't enough in one year to get ana award, those hours add up over time and you will be surprised. What I tell my new leaders is that "Track your hours, but don't let that convince you to quit!" HA! Seriously... it's a bit crazy when you see how many hours you put in. I had over 850 hours last year... in one year... but, I got a ton of warm fuzzies in return!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Brownie Quest Journey

An amazing blog reader shared her plan for the Brownie Quest Journey and I have gained permission from her to post it here for all to use and enjoy. 

Thank you, Sophie, for the time and effort you put in to make this possible. She included 4 documents, which I have uploaded and you can retrieve from the Google Docs folder. 

The Brownie Quest / LIA Award
Two Trails:
            -The trail of the Elf : the girls  enjoy on their own or with family.
            - The Trail of the Three Keys: the trail that the girls and the leader follow when they meet.

The Trail of the Three Keys
            - Present the quest and show the map.
            - Explain that we are going on a quest to find 3 keys. They are the 3 keys of leaderships.
            - Each key has 3 steps to be earned/ found.

1/ First Key : Discover - To earn this award, each Girl Scout Brownie will discover herself and her values—as a Girl Scout and a member of her family.   
            A/ First Step: Find the talents of the girls in the team: all seated and tell the group what talents they think they have. (One or 2 cadettes write down answers on a poster)
            B/ Read the first 3 pages of the journey to introduce the ELF concept. (A cadette per page)
            C/ Second step: Search for the values of the Girl Scout Law. Go ELF!
                        - Explore
                        - Link Arms
                        - Fly into Action
            Make teams. Girls in the same team link their arms and search for the clues while still linked. The clues are hidden around the room or outside weather permitting. (All girls search for the clues)
            Each clue has a line of the girl scout law. Put all the papers found and read the girl scout law. Put on a poster.
            C/Third step: The Special Qualities and values of their families. Share the stars activity the Brownies filled out at home. Tape stars on poster.        
We found the Discovery key by discovering our qualities, the values of the  Girl Scout law, and our families talents and values.
            Cadettes show their talents and teach the Brownies a craft: god eyes.

2/ Second Key: Connect To earn this award, each Girl Scout Brownie will connect as a member of a Brownie Team, with her family on a healthy-living activity, and, as a group with their community to increase healthy-living opportunities.
            Cadettes will help the Brownies to make a team agreement, prepare a healthy snack, and the learn simple exercises.
            - Brownies make a Team agreement.
            - Cadettes make a healthy snack with Brownies and explain why it is better than something else.
            - Cadettes play tag or show exercise to Brownies

3/ Third Key: Take Action - To earn this award, Girl Scout Brownies will team up to identify a community place where the team can Take Action. Then they join together to make a plan to Take Action and carry out their Take Action Project to improve their world.
            - Make bears and blankets for newborns in shelters
            All girls (Cadettes and Brownies) will make  Bears and/or  Blankets.

The Brownie Quest Award At the end of the Quest, the girls also earn the journey's culminating award, the master lock that needs all three of their keys in order to open. Through this award, the Brownies will see that, together, their three keys—Discover, Connect, and Take Action—unlock the meaning of leadership.

            Cadettes  give out the brownie journey awards (necklace with 3 keys -- patches set received later). (2-3 girls cadettes)

Documents for this journey:
Bear & Blanket Instructions (guest document, unable to find documentation)
LIA Award (for Cadettes helping)