7 Reason to Become a Girl Scout Volunteer

VolunterBy Tabitha Bone, Member Services Specialist

In today’s busy world it can be difficult to find time for yourself, let alone time to volunteer, yet it’s always something most people think they “should do.” Between work, family, errands, and all of the social activities that compete for your attention, being a Girl Scout volunteer may not be at the top of your priority list, however maybe it could be. We asked our volunteers for their favorite reasons for volunteering with the Badgerland Girl Scouts. Check out their top 7 reasons below and decide for yourself.

1. You can expand your own skills and talents by volunteering. Being a Girl Scout volunteer is a great way to explore your talents and build your resume. Maybe you want to become more organized and try some event planning, or maybe you’d like to try your hand at bookkeeping. Girl Scouts is the perfect place to spread your wings and try something new. And the best part is that with Girl Scouts, you can choose the role that best fits you and your available time. From Troop Leaders, to Cookie Coordinators, to Program Volunteers, there is an important job for everyone.

2. You’ll make new friends and build lasting relationships. Girl Scouts has always been the place to make lifelong friends. Volunteering with a Girl Scout troop will not only give you an opportunity to get to know the families of your troop, but also an opportunity to meet other like-minded volunteers throughout the council. These men and women will be there to support you, encourage you, and share in your accomplishments along the way.

3. You’ll make new friends and build lasting relationships. Girl Scouts has always been the place to make lifelong friends. Volunteering with a Girl Scout troop will not only give you an opportunity to get to know the families of your troop, but also an opportunity to meet other like-minded volunteers throughout the council. These men and women will be there to support you, encourage you, and share in your accomplishments along the way.3. You’ll have the opportunity to share fun times with your daughter and create lasting memories. Not only do you get to spend quality time with your daughter, but you’ll get a chance to meet her friends as well. You can help them to develop positive self-worth and become well-rounded individuals. The girls will always remember camping with their troop and standing in the cold to sell those cookies. By volunteering with the troop you’ll have an opportunity to share those memories with them.

4. You’ll get to offer the girls a haven away from the stress and demands of everyday life. As you may know, not all kids have the great life that we hope for them. Maybe they are being bullied, but are too afraid to say anything. Maybe they are struggling with their schoolwork. Maybe they don’t have a stable home life. For many, Girl Scouts is their safe place. Their Girl Scout troop is a place where they can meet with their friends and try new things without the fear of failure or rejection. As a volunteer, you can help guide the girls into adulthood in a positive manner, ensuring that they know that their sister scouts will always be there for them.

5. You’ll enjoy the adventure of seeing your girls try new things. Girl Scouts gives the girls the opportunity to practice healthy risk-taking in a safe environment. You’ll be there with her as she sets her cookie goal and then surpasses it, even though she was sure she wouldn’t make it. You’ll help her to navigate the world of STEM as she earns a badge coding her first app. You’ll cheer her on as she climbs to new heights and takes on a zip line. And you’ll be there to guide her as she plans her first camping trip, teaching her how to set up a tent again, and again until she gets it just right.

6. You’ll grow by trying new things. Maybe you don’t have time to be a Troop Co-Leader, but you still want to help. You can become a volunteer and chaperone your daughter’s troop trip to the horse ranch, or maybe you’d like to help out at CampHERO, where girls learn all about being a firefighter or EMT. Volunteering gives you an opportunity to experience these exciting adventures right alongside the girls.

7. You’ll inspire the girls to find their inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader). As a volunteer, you’ll introduce the girls to new experiences and show them that they are capable of anything. You’ll be having so much planning your Take Action projects, and working the cookie booths that you’ll forget who is really inspiring who. While you are busy empowering the girls to become the best version of themselves, they’ll be inspiring you with their courage, confidence and character.

Become A Volunteer Today!

What is the Let’s Go Expo?

Lets Go Expo

By Katie Ravich, Adult Learning Specialist

The Let’s Go Expo is an exciting day of training, enrichment and inspiration for Badgerland’s troop leaders, volunteers and Cadette through Ambassador Girl Scouts. The day will begin with an inspirational opening from a community leader who represents the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) values of Girl Scouting today. The rest of the morning is devoted to an array of interactive trainings requested by current Girl Scout leaders, like ways to use the Girl Scout curriculum, learning Girl Scout songs and games, and how to incorporate STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) into troop meetings.

After lunch, it is time for the Expo! Explore Girl Scout community organizations, which offer a wide array of exciting services to Girl Scouts. Find amazing idea for your troop and get ready for the fun goodies and giveaways these organizations will be offering. The Expo will also have “stages” to drop in on. Learn about Girl Scout history at the Girl Scout Traditions stage, or view demos, practice new skills, and test your knowledge at the Outdoor Skills stage.

Leaders can drop into the Leader Lounge to network, make new connections and share ideas with other leaders and Badgerland staff throughout the day.

Come to the Let’s Go Expo for an hour, a morning or a day. You choose. Session information, presenter bios and a list of community organizations will be added to the website. Registration is required and opens on August 1. Mark your calendars and we’ll see you there!

Madison Area
Saturday, October 14 | 9am-3:30pm
American Family Insurance Training Center

La Crosse Area
Saturday, October 21 | 9am-2:30pm
Onalaska High School

2017 Girls’ Choice Badges

Troop Camping Badges

By Cody Huston, Customer Service Associate

The girls have spoken and the winning Girls’ Choice badge topic for 2017 is Troop Camping!

The requirements for these badges are now available to download. What a great way to start the summer! Incorporate the badge into your summer outdoor adventures, and you will be ready when the badges arrive in the shops in August.

If that wasn’t enough excitement, Daisies can join the outdoor fun with their first Girls’ Choice badge.

Troop Camping badges offer a progression through camping and outdoor education:

  • Daisy – Buddy Camper
  • Brownie – Cabin Camper
  • Junior – Eco Camper
  • Cadette – Primitive Camper
  • Senior – Adventure Camper
  • Ambassador – Survival Camper

At each level, girls help plan a camping trip and explore new camp skills, while learning how to “Leave No Trace,” because a Girl Scout always leaves a place better than she found it.

Download the requirements and start planning your camping adventure today. Don’t forget, Badgerland has a variety of program kits and troop supplies you can borrow to help in your camping adventures, like marshmallow sticks, pudgie pie irons, compasses, binoculars, a geocaching kit and more. Contact your local Shop for more information.

Remember, camp life is the best life!

Tales of a 10-Year Summer Camper

By Colleen (Domino) McGuire, Ambassador Troop 2561
Youth Leadership Council member

As a graduating senior, when I look back there has been one constant in my life that I attribute to discovering Me: Camp.

I started attending Camp Black Hawk when I was eight years old and Camp Ehawee about five years ago. Now, 10 years later, I continue to go to both camps knowing exactly what I will find there: Home.

I have a loving family, but there is the undeniable pull of your camp family; the family that took you in and that you found. Camp is my happy place and my camp family is the group of people I can tell anything to. They are the people I think about when someone asks who I look up to…who I admire. It’s my camp family!

But I remember just how scary it was going the first time. I was so nervous. I didn’t think there was any part of me that was ready to go off to camp on my own. But the moment I got there, the staff made me feel safe and even happy to be there. Ever since that first year, my camp experiences have been ones of excitement, adventure and love.

Beyond the feeling of home, camp offers a plethora of amazing experiences and opportunities for girls. I grew at camp learning valuable skills like survival, making friends, leadership and courage, as well as a ton of other cool things. At camp you have amazing role models leading and interacting with the girls, and I know the support I got from the staff was priceless in helping me grow into a strong and confident leader.

One of the things I love is the variety of camps they have, and the themed weeks. There are camps focused on science, nature, art and even one or two geared towards pop culture! The themes have ranged from wizarding, to time travel, to Olympics, to color wars, and every week there are more fun games to play and more fun themed events. There’s never a dull moment at camp, and although you are having so much fun with all these great people, you’re still learning something new every step of the way!

As a camper I loved the horses and archery. As a leadership camper, I loved helping the other campers and learning how to take care of people.

This summer, will be very different for me as I take my place on staff.
And I can’t wait to make that first-year, nervous camper who is so scared feel as safe and happy as I did once I got to camp! And I can’t wait to learn what else I can love about these two places and the people who go there.

As a part of the Youth Leadership Council, I have the pleasure of knowing girls from across the council, and almost all of them place camp as one of the most important things that they have experienced through Girl Scouts.

Camp is home to me, and no part of the experience has been negative! Even if you just try it once, this is an experience you can’t pass up!

Register for summer camp.

End of the Year Wrap-Up

The school year is coming to an end and your Girl Scouts will be gearing up for summer. This transition involves troop and girl decisions, but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Here is a quick checklist to help you slide through the next few months.

  1. Pat yourself on the back – you accomplished a lot this year. Take a minute to appreciate what you and the girls have achieved. Way to go!
  2. 2018 Renewal – if your girls are going to continue next year, register them before May 24 to receive the fantastic membership incentives for your troop.
  3. TFAR – the Troop Finance and Activity Report should be sent in by June 30. This financial feedback reflects your troop’s ability to self-sustain.
  4. Summer activities – if your troop is interested in getting together this summer, check out the camp opportunities through Badgerland. Outdoor activities help girls grow.
  5. Bridging – If your troop is bridging, check out the requirements in the Girls Guide, rent a bridge and plan a simple ceremony or join others in a Membership Area Bridging event.
  6. Take time for you – Did you know adults can go to camp too? Without girls?! Women’s Week is a fun way to recharge and connect with other leaders in the Council.

Remember, you are a fantastic leader and your girls appreciate everything you have do. Keep it up and reach out if you have any support needs. We’re here for you!

11 Golden Girl Scouts Honored at Awards Ceremony

2017 Girl Scout Gold Awardees

Badgerland celebrated the amazing achievements of exceptional Girl Scouts in an inspiring and moving Awards Ceremony earlier this month. This year, there were 11 Badgerland Girl Scouts who earned the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest national award a Girl Scout can earn. The Gold Award recognizes girls demonstrating extraordinary leadership through take-action projects that have sustainable impact in their communities and, nationwide, less than five percent of Girl Scouts achieve this prestigious award.

Also honored and recognized during this special day were 43 Cadettes who earned their Silver Award and graduating seniors, who were presented their Girl Scout green graduate cords before they bridged to adult. Congratulations to all the deserving honorees!

>>Learn more about the Gold girls and their projects

Not Sure About this Whole Troop Camping Thing? We’ve got you covered!

Girls camping

By: Katie Ravich, Adult Learning Specialist

There’s nothing that bonds a group of Girls Scouts  more than a camping trip. These are the memories you and your girls will remember the most.

Not sure how to even get started with a troop overnighter? We can help.

Badgerland offers two outdoor training certifications.

Troop Overnight Certification 1 (TOC 1) is a home study course that’s completed online. This training is for adult volunteers who want to take their girls on an overnight to a place with full indoor facilities  – in other words to a destination where the cooking, sleeping and bathrooms are inside. A great starter place for troops with a TOC 1 certified adult is Hawk’s Nest at Camp Brandenburg. If you’re looking at other destination for Hawk’s Nest is booked up, here are some other ideas for a TOC 1 overnight experience:

  • Campgrounds with cabins. Many public and private campgrounds have cabins for rental.
  • Community Centers with an overnight space.
  • Nature Centers. Many nature centers offer an overnight space.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs.
  • YMCAs.
  • Churches. Tons of churches around Badgerland offer overnight space.
  • School Forests: Does your school district have a forest? Check to see if you can rent the site!

Troop Overnight Certification 2 (TOC 2) can be done as a home study course, but we also offer a fun one-day in-person training at a Badgerland property in spring and early summer. Adult volunteers who want to take their girls on an overnight to a place without full indoor facilities (cooking outside, sleeping in tents, bathrooms outside) needs to complete TOC 2.

Want to take TOC 2 in person? Badgerland has three TOC 2 in-person trainings lined up for the 2017 camping season. Space is limited, so get registered early.

Once you’ve completed TOC 2 you can take your troop on an outdoor camping adventure.  Badgerland properties are popular and fill up fast, so here are some other ideas for a TOC 2 overnight experience:

  • State Park CampgroundsFind a State Park your troop wants to visit and check for camping accommodations.
  • County Park Campgrounds. Many counties maintain campgrounds. For instance, Dane County has five Dane County Camp Grounds.
  • County Fair Grounds
  • City Park Campground
  • School Forests: Does your School District have a forest? Check to see if you can rent the site.
  • Private Campgrounds. If the state, county or city parks are full consider checking in with r private campgrounds in the area you want to camp.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure your Girl Scouts get outside this year and explore the great outdoors the Girl Scout way!