Three Tips for Helping Girls Earn Badges

Rebecca Scott, Co-Troop Leader for Medford Troop 68137, was a guest writer for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts blog. Her post shares tips for helping girls earn badges as a troop or on their own.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts | Blog

troop68137atpondshelterspring2016 Rebecca Scott (top right) with her co-troop leaders and Junior troop 68137

Volunteers are at the heart of our organization. They carry their responsibilities with so much care, and we value all of the hard work they do to help girls try new things and find their spark.

Rebecca Scott, a co-troop leader for Junior troop 68137 in Medford, shares three tips for helping girls earn badges:

troop68137cookiebooth troop 68137 selling cookies

1. Start with a vote

At the beginning of the troop year, all troop members and their caregiver(s) are asked to review possible badges. The Badge Explorer page on the Girl Scouts website is a useful tool for giving girls an overview of the steps required to earn each badge. At the next meeting, we post all the different badges on the wall and give each troop member three stickers, each representing one vote. Each girl places her stickers…

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Girl Scout Membership Has Its Privileges

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts offers Girl Scouts and their families discounts to arts, cultural, and sports events in the area.  Girls and their friends and families can attend any event on their own, or troops can arrange to go as a group.

Here are some of the upcoming member benefits:

  • Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions 2016 – Sunday, Nov. 13 at 7pm at the Boston Garden.  Tickets for Girl Scouts and their family and friends are $25 and must be ordered by Oct. 30.  The Scout tickets include a 2016 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions patch and Scouts can test their balance, flexibility, and strength at the Kellogg’s Fitness Zone on the concourse.  Click here for the form to order tickets.
  • Boston Holiday Pops – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 11 am and Sunday, December 4 at 11 am.  Join conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops in a performance filled with holiday music favorites, the traditional Pops sing-a-long, and even a visit from jolly old Santa Claus! You can  purchase a Boston Pops Girl Scout patch when you order your tickets. To purchase your tickets visit bostonpops.org/girlscouts
  • Wachusett Mountain – Nov. 15, 2016 – April 15, 2017.  Girl Scout discount for skiing and snowboarding tickets.  Click here for the flyer
  • Pats Peak  – Girl Scouts get special discounts on tickets if purchased online in advance at employeeactivities.com/patspeak. Enter code: GSEM under Company/Program name. Also, Girl Scouts get 1 free ticket for every 15 purchased as a group (1 for every 10 on Scout Weekend March 4 & 5, 2017).  Click here for the flyer

For a complete list of member benefits,  click here to see the list on the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts website.

Daisy Troop 72096 Makes a Difference in Medford

Medford Girl Scouts Complete “Take Action” Project by Releasing Ladybugs to Support Food Pantry Garden

GirlsWithGardenersThe girls from Troop 72096, who just completed first grade, gathered together on Saturday, July 16, with several master gardeners at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford to conclude their Daisy year with a Take Action project: the release of almost 20 ladybugs. These small insects are formidable fighters and eat aphids, tiny bugs that afflict vegetable gardens. Controlling aphids is especially important because the food grown at the church is donated directly to the Community Cupboard food pantry. Fewer aphids will equal healthier plants, which will mean more food for the 7090 families that rely on the pantry each week.

Sydney and JoanThe Daisy Girl Scouts spent the past few months learning about gardens. They planted and tended snow peas and beets at Grace Episcopal Church in Medford, which were all donated to the food pantry. Through this work, the girls learned about what gardens need to stay healthy.

They became interested in raising ladybugs and built small habitats to allow each girl to raise a few insects. Having tended them carefully through their larva and pupa stages, the girls were thrilled to watch numerous Spotted Pink Ladybugs emerge from their cocoons. On July 16 at dusk, after carefully watering the plants and inspecting for evidence of aphids, the girls released the ladybugs into their new home. The ladybugs now inhabit the Medford Community Cupboard Food Pantry Vegetable Garden, which is a new program started this year by the food pantry with support from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford and the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association. A team of Master Gardeners “champions” the program and are on site every Thursday from 1PM to 4PM, providing education, working with volunteers, and harvesting vegetables that are distributed at the food pantry on Thursday evenings.

Hannah and JoanThe girls very much enjoyed working with the Master Gardeners to contribute to this local food pantry and they eagerly look forward to the projects they may take on as Brownies this coming school year!

Have a Girl Scout Staycation in Eastern Massachusetts

Warm weather has finally arrived, and school is basically over for the year, so what’s a Girl Scout to do with all her free time? Earn our local council’s patches, that’s what. Each Girl Scout council in the United States has its own patches and Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts is no exception. You don’t need to be visiting from away to explore some of our local historic sites and attractions, and earn a special patch while you are at it.

Below are some of patches unique to Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. Each patch has its own requirements and, once you have completed them, you can buy (or order) the patch from one of Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’s stores.  Click here for store locations and hours.

freedomtrail

 

Freedom Trail Patch:  Starting in the Boston Common, follow the red line on the sidewalk to trace a path through history.  All levels of Girl Scouts are invited to answer one of two quizzes about the historic sites along the Freedom Trail to earn this patch.  Click here to download the requirements.

 


marathon

Marathon: Go the Distance! Patch:  Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors can earn this patch learning about the Boston Marathon, how to train for a marathon, and the history of marathons.  Girls must also help out,  or run in, a road race of any distance (or set up their own fitness routine.) Click here to download the requirements.

 


jfkJourney with JFK – the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Patch:  This patch is open to all levels and it offers girls a variety of different activities, puzzles, worksheets, and games, some of which they can do at home and some which require them to go to the JFK Museum in Boston. Click here to download the requirements.

 

fetchFetch! Patch:  PBS’s TV show “Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman” teaches kids to explore the world and try new things.  Brownies and Juniors can earn this patch by completing science and engineering activities, and then demonstrating what they have learned to younger kids (like Girl Scout Daisies, for example.)  Click here to download the requirements.

plimothPlimoth Plantation Patch:  Brownies and Juniors can earn this patch by visiting the Plimoth Plantation and learning about the history of the relationship between the Native Wampanoag people and the 17th-century colonists. Click here to download the requirements.
Plimoth Plantation also runs different programs for Girl Scouts throughout the year, including sleepovers.  Click here for details about their special programs just for Scouts.

The Friends of the Fells are also friends of Girl Scouts

Bordering Medford to the north, the Middlesex Fells is a network of over 100 miles of forest trails, and Friends of the Fells is the non-profit organization dedicated  to protecting and supporting the harmonious use of the Fells.  A fantastic resource for Medford Girl Scouts, the Fells is the perfect destination for outdoor programing and the Friends of the Fells are happy to be a resource for Girl Scouts who want to explore the natural world at their doorstep.

Medford Girl Scout leader, Ann Frenning Kossuth (Troop 65264 Co-Leader), recently started working for the Friends of the Fells as their Youth Programs Coordinator and Lindsay Beal, their Volunteer Coordinator, is also happy help.  Troops or individual Girl Scouts can participate in regularly scheduled programs or they can reach out to the Friends of the Fells for suggestions, insight, and help setting up troop-specific programs. The best way to reach them is to send an email to friends@fells.org.

Lindsay has the following suggestions for different ways individual Girls Scouts and Girl Scout troops can connect with the Friends of the Fells.  She says that:

  • We frequently lead educational and trail service field trips for Girls Scouts.  These can be by appointment, and most of the hike leaders listed on the calendar below are happy to accommodate them as well, if something looks intriguing.
  • For older Girl Scouts, there are ways to get extra service hours.  They can fill out our volunteer form: www.friendsofthefells.org/volunteer
  • Older Girl Scouts can also check out our event calendar–any one of the hike leaders would be happy for an assistant: www.friendsofthefells.org/events-calendar
  •  If they have something more major in mind (like for a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award), we can also mentor match, and assist with community connections, and help brainstorm project ideas.

Troops can also head to the Fells to earn badges at every level.  Here are some suggestions for badges which work well in the woods:

  • Daisies:”Use Resources Wisely” petal and “Make the World a Better Place” petal
  • Brownies:  Hiker, Outdoor Adventurer, Bugs, Senses, and Making Games
  • Juniors: Animal Habitats, Staying Fit, Geocaching, and Flowers
  • Cadettes: Trailblazing and Trees
  • Seniors: Adventurer, Voice for Animals, and Sky
  • Ambassador: Water and Photographer

In addition, Troops can look to the Fells as a place where they can work on their “Take Action” projects for the Journeys, or their Bronze, Silver or Gold Award projects.

felsmap.gif

 

 

Medford Girl Scouts Wins 2016 President’s Award

Medford Girl Scouts is thrilled to announce that our city-wide Service Unit will be awarded a 2016 President’s Award from Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.  The President’s Award is for a team who “whose exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience surpassed team goals and resulted in significant, measurable impact toward reaching the council’s overall goals.”

volunteer2In the nomination, Rebecca Scott (Medford Girl Scout Organizer and Brownie Troop 68137 Co-Leader) was proud to report that “the Medford Service Unit had blown our 2015/16 recruitment goals out of the water by December 2015. We started out in August with about 210 girl and adult members in total and our goal was to welcome at a total of 342 girl and adult members for the 2015/16 year. As of February 4, 2016, we had started eight new Daisy and Brownie troops and enrolled 274 girls and 125 adults, for a total of 399 members. That is a 90% increase in members from August to December!”  But the numbers don’t tell the whole story.  Evalyn O’Rourke is the Coordinator for Medford Girl Scouts (as well as being one of the leaders of Troop 65226) and she highlights the reason more members is important when she explains that, “Medford Girl Scouts has become a vibrant, thriving organization where girls and adults alike can feel safe to share ideas and participate. We have created an environment where girls can build courage, confidence, character, and learn to make the world a better place.”  Heather Gaspar, the staff liaison for Medford from Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, sums it up by when she says, “I am excited for the future of Girl Scouting in Medford!”

apprecation pinIn addition to the President’s Award, six of Medford Girl Scout’s adult volunteers have been selected to receive Appreciation Pins from Girl Scouts USA.  These volunteers are being recognized for “actively giving exemplary service in support of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.”  Medford’s 2016 Appreciation Pin award winners are:

  • Nancy Carbone, Past-Registrar,  Junior Troop 65456
  • Gretchen Gingo, Brownie Troop 68137 and Cadette Troop 75198
  • Jenna Labissoniere, Troop Pathway Orientation Trainer, Daisy/Brownie Troop 69039
  • Lindsay Nordstrom, Troop Pathway Orientation Trainer, Cadette Troop 75198
  • Sammy Parris, Cookie Booth Coordinator, Junior Troop 65226
  • Caren Sarno, Daisy Troop 72093 and Cadette Troop 71205
  • Rebecca Scott, Volunteer and New Member Organizer, Brownie Troop 68137

All Medford Adult Volunteers are invited to come to the award ceremony and Volunteer Recognition Luncheon on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center.  The cost is $25 per person.  Spaces are limited.  Click here to register and join us for the celebration on the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts website.

 

Medford Cookie Sale Roundup 2016

Troop65226Cookie season has come to an end and, once again, Medford Girl Scouts did a stellar job.  The funds raised will pay for troop activities and the girls may also decide to make the world a better place by supporting other charities with a portion of the money they have earned.

Medford sold a grand total of 26,515 packages!

The Top 5 Selling Medford Troops

  1. Cadette Troop 65007 – 3,709 packages
  2. Junior Troop 65456 – 2,701 packages
  3. Daisy/Brownie Troop 69039 – 2,495 packages
  4. Brownie Troop 68137 – 2,290 packages
  5. Daisy Troop 79021 – 2,064 packages

This year, Medford has 7 girls in the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts 500 Club for selling over 500 packages, they are:

  • Marianne – 2,023
  • Ellie – 1,115
  • Jennifer – 694
  • Bridget – 537
  • Lorelai – 609
  • Gabriella – 500
  • Kara – 500

Brownies68137Congratulations to the girls and troops mentioned above, and to all Medford Girl Scouts, for a successful cookie season.  Special thanks to Monique O’Connell for being our Medford Service Unit Cookie Manager and to Sammy Parris for being our Medford Cookie Booth Sale Coordinator.  We couldn’t have done it without you!

World Thinking Day 2016: Connect!

February 22 is World Thinking Day, a day to celebrate61014p the world-wide sisterhood of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides.  Girl Scouts of all ages and levels have the opportunity to earn a special World Thinking Day badge by participating in World Thinking Day activities on their own, or as a troop.

Each year, there is a different theme and this year’s theme is Connect.

Suggested activities related to this theme for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors include:

  1. Keep a “happiness diary” for a week. Before you go to bed each night, write down three things that made you happy during your day—or draw pictures of them! At the end of the week, look back at what you’ve written. What kinds of things did you write down? Did any of them surprise you? Did it make you feel happier to think about the good things at the end of each day? (Connect with me)
  2. Draw a picture of a place that feels safe and calm to you. It might be a real place, like a room in your home, or it could be a place from your imagination. Include lots of details that you can see, and imagine the ones you can’t—like how the place smells or what kinds of things you might hear. The next time you feel nervous or upset, think of your safe place and imagine being there. Does it help you feel calmer? (Connect with me)
  3. There’s always room for new friends! Hold a “Bring a Friend” event with the girls in your troop or group. Plan an outing—like a trip to the park—and have each girl bring someone new to join in the fun. What kinds of games could you play to help everyone get to know each other? (Connect with friends)
  4. Girl Scouts of the USA is part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS for short), which includes 10 million girls in 146 countries. Celebrate World Thinking Day by learning about another country that is home to Girl Guides. Then, with your troop or group, celebrate its culture. You might dress up in costumes, sing songs, or make traditional foods from the country. (Connect with friends)
  5. Buddy up and take a walk around your community. (Your community might be your neighborhood, your school, or your town.) What are your favorite parts of your community? How could it be improved? Write down your thoughts and ideas—or draw a map that shows them. Girl Scout Juniors: You can learn more about community mapping in the Agent of Change Leadership Journey. (Connect with the world)
  6. Make the world a better place by taking a Girl Scout Leadership Journey. With the girls in your troop or group, put together a Take Action project that helps a place in your community. (Connect with the world)

Suggested activities for Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors, as well as more info about World Thinking Day in general, are on this site:

www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/global/world-thinking-day.html

Other World Thinking Day ideas including partnering with a Girl Scout or Girl Guide troop in another country to trade crafts, SWAPS, letters, or collaborate on an activity.

Let us know how your troop is celebrating World Thinking Day.  You can comment below or or post on our Facebook page at:  www.facebook.com/MedfordGirlScouts

Get Ready for Cookie Season by Earning Leaves and Badges

Daisy LeavesTo prepare for cookie season, Girl Scouts has specific badges for all ages that lead the girls through age-appropriate activities to help them prepare to sell cookies.  Daisies can earn leaves, older girls earn badges, and all of these activities help the girls learn how to interact with customers, set goals, learn about money, as well as to think about how they want to use the money they earn to pay for troop activities and to support charities that make the world a better place.

Here’s more information about the badges and leaves related to the cookie sale for each level.  Complete requirements can be found in each level’s Girl Scout Handbook.  Click here for an overview of the cookie badges from Daisies to Ambassadors.

In addition to these badges, the cookie sale is an ideal opportunity for Juniors to earn their Junior Aide Award.  This award is for Girl Scout Juniors who help lead activities for younger Girl Scouts.  By the time they are in 4th and 5th grade, Girl Scouts are cookie sale masters and they would be experts in helping younger girls learn about the different types of cookies, how to ask people if they want to buy cookies, and how to make change, for example.  To earn the Junior Aide Award, Juniors must help lead activities at three different meetings.  Click here for the complete requirements.

junior-aide

If you know of a Junior who would like to earn this award, or if you are a leader of a Daisy or Brownie Troop and you would like to invite Juniors to come and help your girls learn about the cookie sale, contact Medford Girl Scouts through this page and we will try to help you make the connection.  https://medfordgirlscouts.org/contact-us/

Bring on the New Troops

Medford Troop Leaders
A whole bunch of Medford Girl Scout Troop Leaders and Volunteers getting trained for the 2015/16 cookie sale.

Medford Girl Scouts is pleased to welcome 8 new troops to town this year!  A special welcome and thanks to all the adults who have volunteered as troop leaders and troop volunteers.  We couldn’t imagine better people to help build girls of courage, confidence, and character who will make the world a better place.

Daisy Troop 72091 – Grade:  K

  • Leaders: Sharon McCarthy and Melissa Deignan
  • Meets: Twice a month on Saturdays from 10:45 am – 12:00 pm

Daisy Troop 72095 – Grade:  K

  • Leaders: Keely Benson McAlack and Kathy Mumma
  • Meets: Twice a month on Saturdays from 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Daisy Troop 72103 – Grade:  K

  • Leaders: Debbie Hayes and Tracy Keene
  • Meets: Twice a month on Tuesdays from 6 – 7 pm

Daisy Troop 79027 – Grade:  K/1

  • Leaders: Jenn Iacopucci and Julie Bankovich
  • Meets: Twice a month on Fridays from 2:15-3:30 pm

Daisy Troop 72093 – Grade:  1

  • Leaders: Caren Sarno, Janine Bono, and Seana Smith
  • Meets: First Friday of each month from 2:15 – 3:45 pm

Daisy Troop 72096 – Grade:  1

  • Leaders: Carina Myteveli and Lisa Bouley
  • Meets: Twice a month on Sundays from 1:30 – 2:30 pm

Brownie Troop 72094 – Grade:  2

  • Leaders: Andrea Taddeo, Florence Hamilton, John Pappas
  • Meets: Twice a month on Tuesdays from 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Brownie Troop 72102 – Grade:  2

  • Leaders: Paul Ruseau and Kathryn Giles
  • Meets: Twice a month on Wednesdays from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

be a girl scoutIf you know anyone who is interested in joining a troop, please ask them to fill out the form on this page: medfordgirlscouts.org/contact-us