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 iamgirlscouts.blogspot.com! This template requires the Girl Scout Omnes font, which is available online for free at various font websites. Enjoy!

{ Troop snack calendar [doc] type-in or [pdf] write-in }

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


Junior Badge Tracker! Updated for Girl Guides to Girl Scouting





Updated for 2014-2015!  The all new Junior Tracker can be found here.


The old badge tracker post:  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 http://www.gouldspace.com

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 free here [pdf] or [Word].  The Word doc can be personalized and the pdf cannot.  Happy Trooping!






Let's Talk Fonts!

Since I love making graphics, it's only natural that I love fonts too.  If I see a graphic I love, it's fun to identify the font that's used.  There are a couple of really good font identification sites on the web.  I use myfont.com/whatthefont mostly but for easy idents (simple fonts that are not fancy) I use identifont.com.  What does this have to do with Girl Scouts you ask?  Wellll...the new Girl Guides to Girl Scouting use different fonts for each age group.  Having headings to use for a number of projects is so helpful, especially if you make a lot of your own resources as I do.  I went through and identified each of the fonts Girl Scouts used on the books.  Fun, right?  Surely I'm not the only one that noticed that all the spines together make a tree and a line of girls at each age level together?  Great detail Girl Scouts!



The Daisy font is called Zalderdash.  I love it's playfulness and simplicity!




The Brownie font is called Kari.  It's pretty, partial print, partial handwriting style is great for 1st and 2nd graders.


The Junior font is a bit more tricky.  I had to pull out the stops to identify this one, meaning I had to post a sample on a board.  The result was a font called Éclat, but the problem:  it wasn't exactly the same font with the spacing and alignment of the lettering. So I combed the web and came across a font called Creampuff.  Creampuff was easier to find free, which makes it good to use in a pinch.  The main standout is that the lowercase "r" is a bit different.





The Cadette, Senior and Ambassador fonts were more common fonts so easier to identify.  Cadette is Rockwell, Seniors is Bodoni Poster ssi and Ambassadors is Helvetica. November 14, 2013: In my zeal at getting these fonts identified and up, I misidentified the Senior font.  It is indeed Bodoni Poster, but it is Bodoni Poster Italic.








 Stay tuned for what this all means for iamgirlscouts...







Off and Running!

Update:  As of 11/11/15 my resources are available on Etsy or by direct download.  Freebies are now a direct download and for sale resources are up on Etsy in my store here.  For a complete list of resources, please click here.

Between working at an agricultural education center, running my own troop and family of five, I've finally managed to get a few resources up on Teachers Pay Teachers.  If you haven't stumbled upon this wonderful site yet, get over there now!  Teachers Pay Teachers is like the Etsy of the education world.  In addition to lots of freebies (fonts, lesson plans, etc.) there are also resources that will work for Girl Scouts.

My troop calendar has been floating around on Pinterest for the last year, but it was my troops and it was in PDF form.  Now I've converted the template to an easy to use Word file, customizable for your troop and level.  Download here. Did I mention it's a free download?  I also have the calendar available in Excel if you prefer the predictability of spreadsheets to Word tables.

Find them in my Etsy store here. If you prefer your troop number and year to be personalized, it's available for a small personalization fee {please note: the fee is for personalization not the graphic}. 

I have lots of other resources up my sleeve for the future, but if you have a resource that you'd like to see, drop me a comment!





Download your free age level graphic {click on graphic below to download} or get one personalized from my Etsy store.















Did You Notice?


I did! Looky these new bridging arcs!  The arcs replace the old stylized bridging rainbows that have been a staple on the Girl Scout uniform for years.  Out with the old and in with the new!  My troop recently bridged from Brownies to Juniors and after I saw these, boy did I want to run out and buy them.  But for now, we are going to stay Old School.  Once the girls bridge to Cadettes, we'll have the lovely arcs.  Something to look forward to. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the newborn arcs!  I think they are simply adorable.  Will you use them for your troop this year or at the next bridging?

Announcement!  I've opened a store on teacherspayteachers.com.  More info to come!




A Troop Thank You!

My Brownie Troop was very ambitious with cookie sales this year.  So ambitious that halfway through the sales period we {me} began to panic that we'd bitten off more than we could chew (which we did--but that's another post completely!) I reached out to folks in the community that I had relationships with and my former employer, a flower shop, agreed to do a permanent "booth" sale for us.  This took the form of shelf space displaying boxes of cookies.  As customers came in to buy flowers, they were asked if they were interested in buying Girl Scout cookies.  Many customers added them to their flower deliveries as an extra gift, as a get well item or bought them for themselves.  It was a win win.  The community was able to buy cookies in a consistent location and the flower shop had a special, seasonal treat to offer their flower customers.  It helps that the owner is a Rotarian and his wife is a Soroptimist.  They understand and believe in organizations like Girl Scouts!


The display stayed up until the end of site sales.  I'm happy to report the flower shop sold over 100 boxes of cookies!  Next came time to say THANK YOU in a big way.  So I arranged to have a troop mom act as photographer and do a photo shoot with the girls (we also took individual portraits of the girls for my Bridging Scrapbook gifts--yet another post!).  We cut the letters T-H-A-N-K  Y-O-U-! out of 12X12 glitter scrapbook paper.  Then each girl held a letter (and one girl held a silk Strelitzia aka Bird of Paradise) and wammo a photo thank you card.  I purchased a mat and had the girls sign it and add cookie stickers.  Add a quick frame and voila! A Thank You card is born!  I wrapped it in kraft paper, added ribbon and the Strelitzia.

For the privacy of the girls, kitty faces were added to mask their identities =^.^=




Such a simple way to give a personal troop thank you that can be hung on the business' wall, put up at the cash register or on the owner/manager's desk.  They've already asked us to come back next year and do a cookie rally outside the store--which just happens to be across the street from a Target and TJMaxx. Can't wait!




My First Freebie!

It's taken more time than I ever imagined getting this blog launched!  But here we are with my first freebie for troop leaders.  A milestone!  Recently I began planning for my Brownies to bridge to Juniors.  While doing this I realized that after four years of being a leader, my parent participation was waning and yet my troop had grown bigger.  And by waning I mean that even though I had parents who were active in PTA, school functions, & the community, I was finding it difficult to even get drivers for field trips.  I couldn't fill chair/management positions within the troop and I was doing too much--co-leader, treasurer, recordkeeper, etc. I didn't mind, however I realized the more I did the less I did well.

At the same time I was aware that many of my girls were getting older, becoming active in sports and extra-curricular activities and developing interests like dance and gymnastics.  Those girls were beginning to "age out"...literally too busy or not interested in being a Girl Scout. I used to be sad when a girl would quit or lose interest, then I realized atrophy is a part of the natural ebb and flow of a troop. I always get new girls who truly enhance the troop as a whole.  So when spring registration started a month or so ago, I sent out an email indicating it was "that time again" and that parents should have a conversation with their daughter about continuing as Juniors.  While I would always take a girl back who gave notice, I needed to prepare for the future as best as I could.

So I came up with the idea of a Girl Scout handbook for parents that would outline the dynamics of troop functions.  I began searching the web for a handbook of sorts that would essentially "reinvest" parents in Girl Scouts.  Most notably that Girl Scouts is more than an extra-curricular activity.  I emphasized that the time commitment for Juniors should be taken into consideration when making the decision to move on.  I also instituted a mandatory number of volunteer hours per family.  I found such a handbook on the Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council website in Charlotte, NC.  I adapted it slightly, prettied it up with fonts and graphics and sent it out in the registration email.

The results?  The exact five girls I knew were undecided, made the decision to pursue other interests.  I didn't have to talk to the parents about the lack of volunteerism or to the girls about what it means to be a Girl Scout.  Instead, provided with the information, the families made the decision that they couldn't commit to the next level of Girl Scouts. And that's okay! While I had hoped to keep the majority of my girls for as long as possible, as the troop grew, the dynamic became more difficult.  In three years we went from 6 to 8 to 10 to 13 girls.  I stressed about having enough drivers to volunteer.  I handled email communication, curriculum, crafts and planned trips.  I gathered permission slips, downloaded forms and attended leader meetings.  The same parents who never volunteered were also the most likely to RSVP for an event and then cancel at the last minute because something came up.  It got so bad I had to ask for reimbursements for council activities because I was required to pay ahead. 

So I adapted and added to the original parent handbook from GSHNC so that it spans all ages and levels.  Feel free to personalize it for your troop, especially areas marked by [brackets].  I used the Girl Scout Omnes font, which can be found on the web.  The graphics for uniforms and programs at each level are in the back of the manual.  You can delete all the ages that don't apply to you.  If  you would rather have a pdf copy, I can remove all personalization and provide a pdf copy if I get enough requests.




 {Click here to download the [pdf] Troop Parent Handbook}
 {Click here to download the [Word] Troop Parent Handbook}

Enjoy!

 
 
Today is Girl Scout Leader Day and Earth Day! Two days in one.  What's not to love?  The very fact that this day exists, makes me feel appreciated and honored.   I wish that for all leaders.  How do you feel today? My service unit honored us at the last Leader's Meeting with cards and pens!  Any little token means so much.  So, from me to you, Happy Leader Day!  You are appreciated <3


Welcome!

Hi, I'm so happy you stopped by!  I'm {flattered} and {humbled} at the same time.  My name is Jen aka Strawberry Jen (straw/Jen/berry) and I am a mom and Girl Scout Leader in California.  I was inspired, no compelled, to write this blog. Why?  Because I was contacted by dozens of leaders, asking for resources on blogging, organizing and creating troop documents. They had stumbled upon my troop calendar on Scribd, or my troop blog (gstroop1949.blogspot.com), or wondered about graphics and fonts I used.  I was happy to help and flattered (there's that word again) to be asked to share. Then, I began seeing my stuff pinned on Pinterest! {honored!} I love, love creating graphics, logos, spreadsheets, templates, etc. for every facet of my life, but most of all for Girl Scouts. 

In my four-going-on-five years being a leader, I scoured the web for ideas...ideas to make badge earning streamlined and time-efficient. Ideas for how to choose activities that fit into the scope of time, budget and effectiveness of my troop.  Most of us are mothers, have jobs and other interests with Girl Scouts being just one part of the whole pie. From the beginning I felt bogged down in detail.  There is a wealth of information and resources available from council trainings, the web, other leaders, etc. but what was the best way to gather and weed through it all?  As leaders, we all have different strengths and weaknesses.  Some of us are good at camping, some at sewing, some at community service and others at mentoring.  I asked myself, "where is the nitty gritty?"  What is the best way to manage troop time between outings earning participation patches and meetings earning badges?  How many council activities should we participate in? How do you engage parents to participate?  How do you deal with behavior issues that resurface?  At times I felt like I was flailing in the dark, finding out things randomly through word-of mouth or stumbling upon something at the last minute.

I don't claim to be an expert at anything other than doing my best.  I was a Girl Scout Junior for three years and I can't count the multitude of ways it enriched my life.  I came from a household full of dysfunction, my parents had issues with alcohol abuse. Girl Scouts (along with church and loving grandparents) filled the gaps that were missing.  Girl Scouts made me believe in myself and in turn believe in Girl Scouts!  That's what this blog is all about, a way for me to give back.  A way for me to help leaders, in any small way I can.  I hope that visitors will find something helpful to take away from "I am Girl Scouts."  Or, even better, if you have something to contribute, I welcome guest bloggers. 

As a mother of a 9-year-old daughter and two older sons, I'm honored to carry on the tradition of leadership.  I love Girl Scouts! I live Girl Scouts!  I am Girl Scouts...and so are you.  So are the many women, girls and families that are a part of such a great institution.


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