Growing through Girl Scouts

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As girls grow through Girl Scouts, their activities are becoming more and more girl-led; giving the leaders a chance to step back and the girls a chance to step up. This is especially true for Girl Scouts in service unit 631.

After the new year, Girl Scout Cadettes through Ambassadors gather with adult volunteers for a weekend retreat to plan the service unit event of the year, Day Camp! This is a highly anticipated weekend, especially for those girls in 6th grade. It’s their first opportunity to be a Day Camp Aide and to be involved in the planning and implementation of their favorite event of the year!

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“We put so much emphasis on the teens being leaders at camp that the younger girls aspire to do that one day. They get to see the teens as leaders and see how much fun they’re having and they want to be ‘that girl.’” Day Camp Director Tamara Cody said!

There are 24 Day Camp Aides for service unit 631 this year representing six different troops as well as a few girls who are independently registered members. As you might imagine, there is a wide range of ages, experiences and personalities. Everything you might encounter when working as a team.

This weekend is designed to give girls not only the opportunity to plan, but bond as a leadership team. It’s not all work, you know! The teens got to try some unconventional cookie techniques such as cooking eclairs over an open fire and singing silly Girl Scout songs!

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The Day Camp Aides have been working together since September to craft a plan for the Day Camp so when they come together for the weekend, they are past the brainstorming stage and into the planning and implementing steps. These girls aren’t just putting on a fun event, they’re learning about budgets and how to plan age appropriate activities. They are learning to work as a team.

“We work really hard to make sure that they know everything that goes into planning an activity. Everything from who the activity is for, how much it’ll cost, what are the steps that it takes to accomplish it and so on,” Tamara said.

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What’s unique about 631’s aide training is that all first year aides are assigned to an Ambassador as a mentor and coach.  That way the Ambassadors have more responsibility to look forward to as they get older and the younger girls have someone to learn from and confide in during the planning process!

At the conclusion of their weekend, girls will have earned the Program Aide Badge and the Girl Scout Ambassadors earn the Coaching Badge!

“Leading at day camp keeps you engaged in Girl Scouts and shows you more about who you can be helping,” Girl Scout Senior Roxanne Cody said.

The theme for their day camp this year is Once Upon a Girl Scout. Think a mix of medieval and storybook. When you have a girl-led activity, you naturally have a girl-led t-shirt design competition! However, instead of having just one winning t-shirt design this year, the planning committee chose an element from each of the four submissions to create their official 2016 day camp t-shirt!

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We just love how the adult volunteers in service unit 631 are building girls of courage, confidence and character with their awesome day camp planning process! We can’t wait to see your day camp in action this summer!

Tell us the fun and unique ways you empower your girls to be girl-led in the comments below!

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