Date Earned: May 7, 2012
Step(s) Completed (click badge to view page):
- Captain, leader, facilitator
- Looking to the past
- Customizing your materials
- Online resources
- Other adult volunteer positions
- Training for adults
- Girl Scout adult insignia
- GSUSA recognitions
- Fun patches
- Girl Scout Alumnae
As a Girl Scout Alumna (9 years as a Girl member), and current Volunteer (5 years as a Volunteer), I am not ashamed to admit that I know quite a bit about the history and traditions of Girl Scouting. Add to that the fact that I have a small but growing collection of Girl Scout Handbooks & Badge Books, including a re-print of the original How Girls Can Help Their Country, and you have a semi-history buff. I’m also an unashamed traditionalist , with not nearly enough room to explain how GS would run if I were Queen of Girl Scouts™ I’m familiar and comfortable with the history of the Girl Scout Volunteer.
Personal geekiness aside, I earned this badge mostly through my activities as a Learning Facilitator (the fancy new-ish title for Trainers) over the last 3 years. When I started this role, GSUSA was releasing brand new program materials, and I needed to learn these new materials and train both new and experienced volunteers on how to implement them with their troops. The Journeys, which are very different from the badges that we are all familiar with, were (and remain) difficult for volunteers to wrap their heads around because they are a lot less cut-and-dry than badges, being much more experiential. Old volunteers had difficulty because it’s so different from the materials of the last 100 years; new volunteers had difficulty because they saw the books as a curriculum rather than a guide. Helping them understand that the themes and learning outcomes (I am such a Student Affairs person; I can’t for the life of me remember what they are called in the Journeys) are the “meat and potatoes” of each Journey, and that they should work with the girls to customize it was a challenge to both myself and them. Through being active (in a lurking kind of way), on several Girl Scout mailing lists and webgroups, as well as participating in any training within my Council that might be helpful, I have learned tips and tricks for implementing Journeys and the other new materials, especially how to involve the girls in choosing what (and how) to work on.
In addition to a programming workshop, called Essentials within my council, and broken up by age level, I deliver the Council Orientation, which is an overview of the Troop Volunteer position. This covers everything from the Promise & Law to opening a bank account & earning money to girl and adult safety. It’s an intense training because it’s on the dry side, and the volunteers taking it are completely new to the program, often having never been Girl Scouts themselves. I try to add in a brief overview of my Girl Scout knowledge, letting them know there is a lot out there for them to become involved with once they are comfortable with their troop and if they want to expand into other types of involvement. I stress Service Unit participation as a next step, but describe my positions as Facilitator, Regional Delegate & Gold Award Committee member to show the diversity of options based on various interests–I’m not good with small children, so working with adults and older girls are my preferred roles. Without volunteers, Girl Scouts doesn’t exist; I try to instill that in my trainings.
Honestly, until I began volunteering in 2008, I really wasn’t aware of the options I had; I thought Troop leadership was the only way to participate as an adult because I wasn’t as aware of Council workings or needs. If I hadn’t found out about other pathways, I would not be a volunteer now because I know I would not have had time for a troop during grad school and this first year as a new professional–it’s why I left the troop I was with when I started school. I found my fit and am looking forward to many more years of evolving involvement.