Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy New Year! Let's Talk Activity Overload...

Recently I had a very embarrassing thing happen.  With all 8 of my Girl Scouts as well as two parents in tow, I arrived at a council activity an hour after it ended.  I had gotten the time wrong.  My phone and planner said 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. and the activity was actually from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.  I was mortified. I kicked myself, shed a tear or two and tried to turn it into a positive as an example to the girls.  I put on a brave exterior, bought them all "Girl Scouts Rock!" patches and let them browse the Girl Scout store.  They couldn't have been happier.

Although our troop was able to reschedule the event for a later date, I did NOT want that to happen again.

Then something else happened. At the beginning of the school year at our troop parent meeting, I had my parents sign a contract of sorts, stating that they would be responsible for any events that were paid for that their daughters ultimately did not attend for any reason except for illness.  All my parents signed willingly and were on-board.  Now please keep in mind, I'm a prolific communicator.  I keep my troop informed through emails, Shutterfly and paper calendars. Last month I paid for an expensive council overnighter in full with troop funds.  When I began collecting the money for the parent portion for the aforementioned activity, I had a mom email me that her daughter did not want to go.  Mind you, this mom hadn't RSVP'd yes or no.  She's busy, works hard and is a bit...well...flighty.  I assumed her daughter would go because she was my troop overnighter mom.  Did I mention she's also my co-leader?  I graciously sent her an email and reminded her that if her daughter didn't go, she would owe the troop a reimbursement. She flat out said she wasn't going to pay.  {What?} She said she hadn't RSVPd and therefore was not responsible for the money. {I grumbled and stomped my feet!} Then I had a lightbulb moment (think Gru).

I ran the idea by my troop treasurer and voila! a new policy was born.  From now on parents pay for all trips and activities in advance and are then reimbursed when their daughter attends the event.  I was advised to adopt this policy from several leaders I had met at a representative council meeting, but I thought my contract would suffice. After all, my parents had all signed and understood the policy, right?  In an effort to save my sanity and to avoid this happening, I created an activity log.  The creation of this log came right along with my decision to call each of my seven parents and get verbal confirmations on trips and activities.  Seven phone calls will save me lots of time and headaches.  So I designed this planner page to be used when I call the parents or get email notification of their RSVPs.

As soon as I made it, I was in love, so I knew I had to share it with you all!  I know it's not the cookie resources I've promised (or the Brownie Tracker--yikes! Did I mention I work full-time? No excuses!)

Here is how I put it to use while making phone calls:

It even has a spot for the date of the call/email and for notes.  Using this method, which goes directly into my Martha Stewart planner, I don't have post-its, emails and verbal RSVPs in my head (or an empty space where non-RSVPs lurk in the shadows of ambiguity).  I modified the Excel template and it's now ready for download on Teachers Pay Teachers!

Please email me if you have any needs or ideas for Cookie Sales!  I started researching to find out what leaders needed and didn't really find any holes in the resources out there.  Please add your suggestions to the comments below!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Snack Calendar ~ A must have!

Not ready to tackle a troop year-long calendar and just need a template to do a quick snack schedule for parents? Or are you looking for a way to keep track of snack that's not on your troop calendar? This snack calendar is just what you need! Reusable from year to year, this calendar can be personalized to your needs but please leave the copyright note intact and credit back to! This template requires the Girl Scout Omnes font, which is available in my shop at Teachers pay Teachers! Enjoy!

Coming soon, Brownie and Daisy Badge Trackers! Any requests? Send them on over and I'll be happy to consider them for future projects. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Junior Badge Tracker! Updated for Girl Guides to Girl Scouting

In an attempt to be more "girl led" with my new juniors, I wanted them to be involved in every possible decision that affected their Girl Scout experience.  As a crazy, happy pinner, I came across a wonderful badge tracker by Sylvia at

I decided to adapt and recreate it.  I added all the badges from Girl Guides to Girl Scouting including the financial literacy, cookie business and all the Journeys.  When it came to putting them all together, I initially mounted them on cute cardstock and butcher paper so that I could take it to Kinko's to be laminated.  The length ended up making this prohibitive for transporting and storing (since out meeting room is at the school and this year we don't have permanent storage).  So instead I printed the sheets double-sided, in color, on 32 lb. 98 brightness quality copier paper.  I laminated each double-sided sheet and used a binder clip to hold it all together.

At our meeting yesterday the girls had fun looking through the badge choices and deciding what to start on first!

The entire packet of 26 badges can be downloaded and personalized free from my Teachers Pay Teachers site.