Friday, January 26, 2018

Compassion for the unknown

I am working on a change in my life.. my perspective... my attitude. With all the technology in our daily lives and all the screen time we each have, it's easy to forget that a human being is on the other side. Whether you are reading this blog post, chatting with a company's customer service, or emailing about who knows what... at some point... another human is there on the other end. Maybe you got the automated service with the robot voice walking you through troubleshooting, but a human had to set up that system... design it, program it, and install it.

We each face struggles in our lives. I know this about myself... I don't allow too many people close enough to me to know all the struggles I have faced. I'm not the type of person that will sit down and pour out my heart and soul to another. You have to be very important for me to truly open up. Undiagnosed, but most likely I have trust issues... I don't have a huge "thing" that happened in my childhood to cause it. I like to tell people I see the world as a realist without the mirage of perfection. My husband says I'm a conspiracy theorist and on some days he is correct.

This bring us to... the change... my new outlook on life. Just as I don't open up to others and dump a sob story, I remind myself I'm not the only one like that.. and shame on anyone who thinks they have to know the story in order to show compassion. You don't know what the other person is facing. It's imperative to have compassion for the unknown. Maybe Customer Service at your favorite store is lacking today because the employee was just dumped by who they thought they were spending the rest of their life with... or maybe their dog died... or maybe their Dad was diagnosed with cancer. Maybe they just really hate their job, the coffee was cold, and someone cut them off on their commute.

Why is it that we can give more patience and tolerance to those that we know are struggling while those who don't want to air the dirty laundry with random strangers are given less consideration and compassion?

If you find yourself struggling to get through another conversation about the same issue, take a breath and tell yourself you may be working with someone on their worst day. Be polite. Be thoughtful. Make small talk. Try to inject a little humor. Show compassion for the unknown. It's none of your business, but that doesn't mean you can't be nice. Not only are you showing you have a good heart, you could turn their day around, too. Don't blame them for things they can't control.

Then, there are those people that are always hard to work with. No matter what you try, it seems you can't do right by them. I wish I had a plan for solving this issue. The only thing I can share is one of the sayings I remember from my Grandma "Kill them with kindness." "Being kind to your enemies is like reaping hot coals on their head." (Proverbs 21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; 22For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you

While I hope you and I don't have "enemies", sometimes we treat one another like we are. Keep this in mind as we travel through cookie season and beyond.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

BCG Patches Patch Club

I have a special opportunity going on right now at

Anyone placing an order for $10 or more by January 31, 2018 will automatically be included in our new Patch Club program.

The Patch Club entitles you to a 10% discount for ALL orders you place with BCGPatches in 2018!

Patch Club Members will also have various opportunities and access to special sales, products, and more throughout 2018. We have lots of fun ideas and we can't wait to share them with Patch Club Members.

All you need to do is place a $10 order for anything in the store by January 31, 2018. That simple.

Please spread the word to your friends who also love patches and sharing great programming with their groups.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Leader Binder

An installment for the Meetings: Be Prepared series. 

One of my "must have" items for every meeting and outing is my Leader Binder. I have kept one since the time I had a troop. It's a one-stop shop for everything I may need to know.

I have had several people ask me over the years how I have it set up, so I thought I would put together a post for everyone.


Your dividers may be different based on your needs. Think about what you are constantly searching for and go with it. Remember, you can ALWAYS change them. No one said this is set in stone. My tabs are as follows:

  1. Meeting Notes - The first page is the schedule of meetings for the year, after that comes the current Meeting Outline and any supporting documents, then previous meeting outlines. I clean this out once a semester or year, depending on how much gets in there. I will say I rely on technology more now, than 8 years ago. But, I typically still have a printed copy just in case technology is failing me or if you are in an area where you know it will be unavailable.
  2. Individual Files - This is where Health History and Parent/Girl information sheets go. Yes. All contact information is in my phone, but what if the phone is dropped and broken or I'm not able to use the phone (unconscious, injured, etc.). My phone has a screen lock on it and no one else would be able to get to the contacts.
  3. Troop Information - I have a sheet that lists the adults in my troop and their roles. It also states our level, number of registered girls in the troop, where we are from, our service unit number, our Council, Council office contact information, and the Volunteer Service Coordinator information. This is just in case something happens and someone else needs to use my binder OR if I'm not as calm and thinking as clearly as normal in an emergency. It happens. Be prepared.
  4. Financial - I do NOT keep bank records in my binder. They are in the filing cabinet. I try to keep a quarterly print out of the Troop Financial Worksheet in case the girls ask how much is in their account. It's very generic. Check with your council for what is on the financial worksheet for troops and build your reporting off that. It helps have it all together at the end of the year when you need to turn it in, too.
  5. Letters Home - I don't really use this anymore, as most everything I do is via email. I will put a copy of the Back To Troop letter to parents that I put together at the beginning of the year which goes over the goals and such for the year. But, other than that, this section is pretty empty.
  6. Blank Forms - These are really there for my reference in case someone asks me about this or that on a form and I don't want to have to guess. I keep a blank Parent/Girl Info Sheets, Health History, Internet Safety Pledge, Girl Scout Registration Form, Permission Slip, Troop Travel. (You should check with your Council for the unlinked forms, as they may vary)
  7. Permission Slips - This section ONLY has the current permission slips if we are at an event. I don't keep ALL Permission slips here. Permission Slips are moved from binder to filing cabinet folder after the event. I keep mine for a year and then archive into a manilla folder to the basement. There is a debate of how long to keep them. I feel a year is a good time length to keep at my fingertips in the filing cabinet.  
You are welcome to use any or all of my sheets to help set up your binder. All I ask is that you keep my URL information in the footer of the documents. If you share about them online, please give me credit. :)
  • Binder Cover Sheet: I have a cover sheet on my binder that has our troop number and my contact information. The graphics came from ABC Bakers. They are fine to use for personal use. They go over that in their terms of use. 
  • Meeting Schedule Planner: You can download through for free. There is an Excel file. I tried PDF, but it's so limiting that it isn't worthwhile. 
  • Troop Information Sheet: You can download through for free. There is an Word and fillable PDF version.