Multi-Level Troop Leader Resources
Multi-Level Leaders

Please review the GSSJC expectations when offering a Journey in a Day event. The guidance below comes from Girl Experience. Be aware that Journey in a Day events are not appropriate events if the Take Action Project is part of the event. Keep in mind, if a Take Action project is not completed, the Journey is not complete. The council, Region and other volunteer groups offer many opportunities for girls to complete most or all of the steps of a Journey. However, it is an expectation of GSSJC that no offering should include the completion of a take action project. This is enforced through all Council and Region offerings and should be the case in any Journey event offered by a community or troop for money earning activities. A take action project (TAP) should be initiated by a girl based on an issue she wishes to address. Per GSUSA, girls should be involved in every step of their TAP. This means that the event chair and/or GPB cannot pick a few TAP options ahead of time for other girls to pick from to complete, because the participants are not getting the chance to drive the direction of their Journey’s TAP in a direction of their interests. The complete leadership experience of a TAP involves a girl taking the path of learning about a topic, choosing what root cause she is addressing and where to address it, and then completing the work. When the direction of the TAP is chosen for her and the root cause is predetermined, the girls are being left out of a true TAP process.



Safety Activity Checkpoints has been updated for 2019. The new version is online and can be found under forms, in VTK, and by searching on www.gssjc.org or by following this link: Safety Activity Checkpoints What's new in this latest update? New additions include: • Specific sections on pocket knives, slingshots, hand and power tools, and log rolling. • Ridesharing is now allowed for transportation by following safety instructions. • Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway are also permitted but, require additional information for approval. • A Proficient Swimmer Test is introduced and can be certified by a lifeguard or swim instructor as equivalent to a Swim Level 3 card combined with the safe boating test. • In the introduction, new sections on First Aid, Transporting Girls, and What to Do if there is an Accident have been summarized from Volunteer Essentials into the Safety Activity Checkpoints. Duck boats, snowmobiling, and electric scooters are not permitted under the new SAC. Revisions or clarifications include: • Updated adult to girl ratios for troop meetings • Advanced first-aider is needed for events greater than 200 people • Accident insurance is applicable to registered members only • Clarification that swim cards and safe boating cards are not needed for canoeing, corcl boats, or kayaking on council lakes. (Safe boating test and swim cards are required for all small craft boating when it is not on council property.) • Parades has been pulled out as a separate section. Previously it was under Miscellaneous. • Clarification on sleeping accommodations for men on overnight trips • Safe boating card is needed for specific types of scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, and waterskiing in addition to the Swim Level certification. Several activities have been updated to require Council approval including recreational tree climbing, zip lining, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding, go-karts, and corcl boats.




Girl Scout Traditions, Celebrations, and Ceremonies

Throughout the long history of Girl Scouts, certain traditions remain meaningful and important and are still practiced today. This section gives you an overview of annual celebrations in the Girl Scout year, as well as other revered Girl Scout traditions. Be sure to look in The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting and Leadership Journeys for more information on songs, outdoor activities, historical anecdotes, traditions, and ceremonies.

 Girl Scout Calendar

Girl Scouts celebrate several special days each year, which you’re encouraged to include in your group planning.

  • February 22: World Thinking Day (the birthday of both Lord Baden-Powell and Lady Olave Baden-Powell, the originators of Boy Scouts and the Scouting Movement worldwide).
  • March 12: The birthday of Girl Scouting in the USA. The first troop meeting was held in Savannah, Georgia, on this date in 1912. Note that Girl Scout Week begins the Sunday before March 12 (a day known as “Girl Scout Sunday”) and extends through the Saturday following March 12 (a day known as “Girl Scout Sabbath”).
  • April: Volunteer Appreciation Week centers on the long-standing National Girl Scout Leaders’ Day (April 22), but expands the definition of volunteers beyond troop leaders to include all the volunteers who work in so many ways on behalf of girls in Girl Scouting.
  • October 31: Founder’s Day (Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday). Often celebrated by troops and Communities with a birthday party with gifts of troop supplies or gifts to benefit a cause the girls have agreed upon in advance. 

Time-Honored Ceremonies

Ceremonies play an important part in Girl Scouts and are used not only to celebrate accomplishments, experience time-honored traditions, and reinforce the values of the Girl Scout Promise and Law, but also to encourage girls to take a short pause in their busy lives and connect with their fellow Girl Scouts in fun and meaningful ways. Many examples of ceremonies—for awards, meeting openings and closings, and so on—are woven right into the Journeys, including ideas for new ceremonies girls can create.

Girls use ceremonies for all sorts of reasons. Here’s a brief list, in alphabetical order, so that you can become familiar with the most common Girl Scout ceremonies:

  • Bridging ceremonies mark a girl’s move from one grade level of Girl Scouting to another, such as from Junior to Cadette. (Note that Fly-Up is a special bridging ceremony for Girl Scout Brownies who are bridging to Juniors.)
  • Closing ceremonies finalize the meeting, with expectations for the next. A closing ceremony may be as simple as a hand squeeze while standing in a circle.
  • Court of Awards is a time to recognize girls who have accomplished something spectacular during the Girl Scout year.
  • Flag ceremonies can be part of any activity that honors the American flag.
  • Highest Award ceremonies honor Girl Scout Juniors who have earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award, Cadettes who have earned the Silver Award or Seniors or Ambassadors who have earned the Gold Award. They are usually held for a group and combined with council recognition.
  • Girl Scouts’ Own is a girl-led program that allows girls to explore their feelings and beliefs around a topic such as the importance of friendship or the personal meaning they get from the Girl Scout Promise and Law, using spoken word, favorite songs, poetry, or other methods of expression. It is never a religious ceremony.
  • Investiture welcomes new members, girls or volunteers, into the Girl Scout family for the first time. Girls receive their Girl Scout, Brownie Girl Scout, or Daisy Girl Scout pin at this time.
  • Opening ceremonies start troop meetings and can also begin other group meetings.
  • Pinning ceremonies help celebrate when girls receive grade-level Girl Scout pins.
  • Rededication ceremonies are opportunities for girls and volunteers to renew their commitment to the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

 Signs, Songs, Handshake, and More!

Over time, any organization is going to develop a few common signals that everyone understands. Such is the case with Girl Scouts, which has developed a few unique ways to greet, acknowledge, and communicate, some of which are listed here.

 

Girl Scout Sign

The idea of the sign came from the days of chivalry, when armed knights greeted friendly knights by raising the right hand, palm open, as a sign of friendship. To give the sign, raise the three middle fingers of the right-hand palm forward and shoulder high (the three extended fingers represent the three parts of the Girl Scout Promise). Girls give the sign when they:

  • Say the Promise or Law.
  • Are welcomed into Girl Scouts at an investiture ceremony that welcomes new members.
  • Receive an award, patch, pin, or other recognition.
  • Greet other Girl Scouts and Girl Guides.

 

Girl Scout Handshake

The handshake is a more formal way of greeting other Girl Scouts, and is also an appropriate way to receive an award. Shake left hands and give the Girl Scout Sign with your right hand.

 

Quiet Sign

The quiet sign can be extremely useful to you as a volunteer, so teach it to girls during your first meeting. Raise your right hand high with an open palm. As girls in the group see the sign, they stop talking and also raise their hands. Once everyone is silent, the meeting can begin.

 

Girl Scout Slogan and Motto

The Girl Scout slogan is, “Do a good turn daily.” The Girl Scout motto is, “Be prepared.”

 

Songs

Whether singing around a campfire or joining a chorus of voices on the Mall in Washington, D.C., Girl Scouts have always enjoyed the fun and fellowship of music. In fact, the first Girl Scout Song Book, a collection of songs put together by girl members, was published in 1925.

Songs can be used to open or close meetings, enhance ceremonies, lighten a load while hiking, or share a special moment with other Girl Scouts. For tips on choosing and leading songs, go to http://gsuniversity.girlscouts.org/resource/song-leading-workshops/. A variety of songbooks are also available for purchase. Check out your council shop.