Skip to Content
Register · Login
About Theme

A Letterboxing Community

Search Edit Search

Read Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing

found two nice GS boxes in northern VT
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
May 26, 2015 6:41am
I hope we'll see more as the summer progresses.
copied comment from another board
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Jun 3, 2015 6:20am
Thread
This was copied from another board.
It gets me wondering if part of the badge should be box maintenance for six months.
Maybe a required Maintenance check should be required and recorded by the owner.
At that point, a decision can be made to keep it active or retire the box.

I wish that if a Girl Scout plants a box, and then abandons it rather than retiring it, they would take her badge away! I've had such bad luck with Girl Scout boxes, except in the first month or two, that I skip over them if I can find something else to hunt for.
Re: copied comment from another board
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #900516 by Grrly Girl
Jun 3, 2015 6:28am
Thread
Or it could be a recommendation to make the box a limited time box. Then, the box could get pulled when the girls are likely to have lost interest.

Honestly, girl scouts aren't the only ones not maintaining their boxes. Perhaps the finders who usually assist with box maintenance as part of letterboxing good karma are less likely to help with girl scout box maintenance.
Re: copied comment from another board
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #900516 by Grrly Girl
Jun 3, 2015 7:35am
Thread
I think a lot of the boxes end up being planted in the wrong spot or they didn't get permission to plant where they did most of the time. I also don't see a lot of leaders who would actually go out and do a mandatory six month maintenance check. There are a lot of crappy leaders in my are and after they do the bare minimum to earn a badge, they sew it on and forget about it. I'm moving the first week of July and I plan on asking somebody local to adopt my box for me because my co-leader (who is going to be leader next year) would not do maintenance checks on it. It's in a very accessible location so hopefully somebody would be willing to adopt it. :) I have to say, though, if it weren't for Girl Scouts, I never would have found out about letterboxing. lol
quick survey
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Jun 3, 2015 10:02am
Thread
for those who mentor the scouts while working on the badge
when preparing a box for planting, do you
A. let the scout(s) do it all, ie. carve, find the location, make the log book, prepare the container, write the clues
B. advise on some portion of the process
C. tell them what to do to make it better before planting
A. - Agree
B. - Disagree
C.- Hug

I ask because I find wonderful stamps, most likely carved by the scouts, but non-water tight containers or locations where stealth is difficult and I worry for the thrill of having many finders on a new boxer's gift to the boxing community.
Re: quick survey
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #900560 by Grrly Girl
Jun 3, 2015 11:44am
Thread
To save time and bickering, I had my girls vote on what the box's stamp should be and I carved that stamp while they carved their sig stamp. I gave them three options. Of course, two came out in a tie and then parents started bickering about the whole thing, so I decided that all three choices would be on the stamp. The logbook was easy. We wanted to use our resources wisely and decided to turn a cookie box into a logbook using something similar to a bind it all. After all of that was done, I helped them put it all together explaining why we have the pouch for the stamp and why it's important to always put the stamp back in the packaging that they found it and why it is important to put the logbook back in it's baggie. Also to save time, I had previously gotten permission to hide the box where we held our meetings. I wrote the clues as a puzzle that they had to solve to place the box. I know that there was a lot of work done by me, but towards the end of the scouting year, I had my co-leader (will be leader next year bc I am moving) and another mom (she will be co-leader next year) decide to cause drama which in turn caused a lot of indecisiveness within the troop. Why they felt that I all of a sudden started doing everything wrong the last two months (even though I hadn't changed ANYTHING) is beyond me...but it made it close to impossible to have the girls do all of it.

(I can hear it now..."Well, why are you letting HER carve the box stamp and not MY daughter?!?" Maybe because your daughter told me that she didn't WANT to carve it? "Well, that's not what she told ME!")

And I thought we were out of high school.....
Re: quick survey
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #900581 by LeeAnnMoz
Jun 3, 2015 12:19pm
Thread
High school?
I'm OLD and I still see/hear it.
Re: quick survey
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #900560 by Grrly Girl
Jun 4, 2015 1:34pm
Thread
Carving the stamp is not required by GSUSA (which is fine by me because injuries are very likely to ensue when you give 7 year olds sharp things), so I carved an image of the Brownie Elf pin the girls wore on their uniforms. We chose to plant near our town library since it's near where we meet.

After two years, our box went missing. The girls are very sad about it and are eager to replant. They decided they wanted the same image, so I've redone it using a laser engraver (so it's better!) and we'll be replanting it.

As my town's service unit manager, I advise our troops to plant somewhere that's easy for them to get to in order to maintain the box. We talk about leaving no trace, and that includes badly-assembled and hidden letterboxes. If I find that a troop has "abandoned" a box and it's in need of repair, I either pull it myself (if the troop is gone) or get them to fix it up.

One of the problems with the way Girl Scouting is structured is that a troop only exists as long as the leaders/girls are active. In Boy Scouting, a troop is tied to a charter organization in a town, and stays active a lot longer. For example, my husband is involved with Troop 107, which is 92 years old; my own troop of fifth grade girls is only 6 years old and will disband once our last girl graduates or leaves scouting. :(
Scout Letterboxing resource website?
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Aug 31, 2015 10:51am
Thread
The Girl Scouts are once again asking me to do a booth at their annual troop roundup. I have done this a number of times to help educate them on our hobby and as a GS Gold Award recipient, I am happy to give back to this wonderful organization. However, I can't reach them all, more and more troops and packs are trying it out without much information, and frankly I am getting tired (of boxes being mistreated and of spending hours at these events and having it not seem to amount to much). I would like to do more of a train-the-trainer approach, but even that will never be available to everyone.

I have materials for leaders that others have helped me to compile and that many have asked me for, but emailing it to leaders is not very efficient, either.

As a web designer myself, I am thinking of putting these materials on a dedicated website that is easily found that could house resources and also have links to this discussion board. I have already done www.gatewayletterboxers.org, but I would target this one specifically for the keywords "scouts" and "letterboxing". Since I can host it myself, I only need to register the domain.

My question is: Is there already any sort of centrally located resource already out there (besides AQ, which unfortunately many scout leaders are not discovering)? I don't want to reinvent the wheel, nor do I have any need to "own" the information, so if I do it, I will post the URL here for you all to check out before it goes live.

Thanks for your input!
Re: Scout Letterboxing resource website?
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #908589 by MO UR4Me
Aug 31, 2015 11:02am
Thread
A quick Google search showed that there is not currently a website in existence that hits the top of the list like I am thinking of. So I am revising my question to whether or not there is already a project like this in the works and whether you think it would be helpful. There are some neat pages about it already out there that I would like to at least link to and perhaps vice versa. But one that I found had a picture of a letterbox in a Gladware container... the typical scout box that doesn't survive through the winter. I just hate for all those kids to be disappointed when their box does not fare well.
Re: Scout Letterboxing resource website?
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #908590 by MO UR4Me
Aug 31, 2015 12:45pm
Thread
Maybe Choi would add pages to LbNA?
Re: Scout Letterboxing resource website?
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #908593 by MichKathy
Sep 1, 2015 11:45am
Thread
He might, I will get in touch with him. But I'm specifically thinking of a separate domain that is optimized for "scouts" and "letterboxing" so that it will come up at/near the top of search results. Then I'll link to whatever resources are on AQ and LBNA (like this board). I already secured the domain, letterboxingwithscouts.info, so I think I'll go ahead with it. I was just asked today to train GS leaders next March, but only some of them will be in my class, so this will be perfect to have information available for those who can't attend.
Letterboxing with scouts website resource
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Oct 1, 2015 6:50pm
Thread
OK, so I have done what I mentioned in a post a while ago. I have a made a website specifically targeting scout leaders who have heard about letterboxing but don't know much about it or how to take their group to do it. It is definitely not a replacement for AQ or LBNA, but rather a pointer to them, with the addition of tools for teaching it to a group. So if I have accidentally duplicated content or stepped on any toes, I will be happy to modify it so that it isn't so. In my area, few scout leaders really understand letterboxing and yet there are all these troops planning to "make one" so that they can earn a badge. So this is my stab at getting them on the right tracks.

Would you mind please checking out and letting me know if there is anything important that I have omitted, or things that I should just use a link to somewhere else (for instance, I'm not touching the subject of badges, that is already well covered), or things I should remove? I appreciate it. I will be passing out flyers with the URL at an event with 2000 Girl Scouts and leaders this weekend.

http://www.letterboxingwithscouts.info
Re: Letterboxing with scouts website resource
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #910752 by MO UR4Me
Oct 1, 2015 7:12pm
Thread
Seems like a great page; thanks!
My only small suggestion is to point to this board rather than a general "check out the boards on AQ." I think the boards can be overwhelming so knowing which board to start with might be helpful.
Re: Letterboxing with scouts website resource
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #910755 by MichKathy
Oct 2, 2015 3:46am
Thread
Good point, thank you. I had a link to this board on one of the subpages, but I've now added to it the home page.
Re: Letterboxing with scouts website resource
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #910752 by MO UR4Me
Oct 2, 2015 5:24pm
Thread
Nicely done! Very informative. Since I teach about LBing to Girl Scouts I checked out the site with a fine tooth comb and found a few edits are needed.

On the home page:
3) Leaders should find the chosen letterboxes ahead of time make sure...
should be
3) Leaders should find the chosen letterboxes ahead of time to make sure....


On the Make Letterboxing Fun page:
2) The View Finds button will let you see the details of who found/attempted the box and when.

The View Finds feature is only available for premium members. The F summary and date last found are their best source for information about previous finds.


Stamping is Fun
Don't underestimate the value of hand-carved stamp.
should be
Stamping is Fun
Don't underestimate the value of hand-carved stamps.


On the Planting page:
Don't use unprotected plastic if the box will be in the exposed to the sun.
should be
Don't use unprotected plastic if the box will be exposed to the sun.


However, if your stamp requires a special color for some reason, you may wish to provide an ink pad.
Maybe suggest stating the color requirement in the clue in case the pad they provide gets dried out or icky.


Thanks for all your hard work. We will all benefit from it.
Peace
CTEE
Re: Letterboxing with scouts website resource
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #910818 by CTEagleEye
Oct 2, 2015 6:41pm
Thread
Great proofreading, thanks!! I was in a hurry to get this finished before tomorrow, so I really appreciate it.
Re: Letterboxing with scouts website resource
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #910818 by CTEagleEye
Oct 2, 2015 7:30pm
Thread
Oops just noticed two more edits needed on the planting page

But here are few pointers escecially for scouting organizations.
Should be
But here are a few pointers especially for scouting organizations.

Good luck tomorrow!
CTEE
Amahami
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Apr 26, 2016 6:32am
Thread
I haven't dug too deep into searching yet, but I have heard rumors that there are boxes at camp Amahami in NY. My co-conspirator (co-leader) has looked and can't find any listings. Are these WOM boxes or can I find the listing somewhere?
Re: Amahami
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #925241 by LROSEM
Apr 26, 2016 6:56am
Thread
It's likely that the clues for boxes on GS property are not published online for security reasons. In our council the Camping department has the clues and can provide them to troop leaders on request.

Good luck
CTEE
Re: Amahami
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #925245 by CTEagleEye
Apr 26, 2016 7:02am
Thread
Gotcha. My co-leader found one on LBNA, but when she clicked it came up restricted. That's why I was wondering. I figured they were probably WOM, but I didn't want to get there and then not have the clues available while we are there.
Re: Amahami
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #925247 by LROSEM
Apr 26, 2016 9:09pm
Thread
Yeah, there are boxes at some of the GSCWM camps, and clues aren't always the easiest to come by. Ask for them in advance, in case it takes a bit to rustle them up.
Re: Amahami
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #925319 by ladybugz
Apr 27, 2016 4:00am
Thread
I just thought of another suggestion. There is probably at least one adult educator in your council who teaches a letterboxing enrichment class. Ask your training department about getting in touch with her/him. Very likely they have access to the clues for boxes on council campgrounds. Good luck.
Peace
CTEE
Re: Amahami
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #925319 by ladybugz
Apr 27, 2016 6:57am
Thread
I am going for the weekend to do some training for overnights, camping and CPR certification renewal. I messaged the lady that sent us our camping information checklist. She let me know where to find the clues. I hope I have enough time to get all the boxes! Yay!

Thanks for the help!
crazy girl scout mom
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Mar 24, 2017 5:12pm
Thread
I need advice.

I have a 3rd and 4th grade brownie troop. The same two grades have moved up together since daisies. This means that we alternate a single level troop and a mixed level troop every year. We have kept roughly the same girls since the beginning. This is because my best friend is my coleader and our girls are a year apart. We work really well together so we have kept our girls together.

Enter crazy girl scout mom. Her daughter is in second grade. Before we started for the year I told her that our troop doesn't include 2nd graders and we are WAY too full (our troop had 17 girls) to add more girls, let alone younger ones. Our troop was actually "closed".

This year's first meeting rolls around and she shows up with her daughter and her daughter's friend. I feel like I am unable to tell the girls that they aren't welcome and we end up allowing them in since they are brownie aged anyway. I tell the mom that this is for THIS year only. Next year, we will be Juniors and we can't have 2 girls that are still brownies. We will be working on our bronze award and I cannot accomodate 2 brownies. I have told her this REPEATEDLY.

Today, I suggested that my neighbor, a retired teacher, help her next year. She had mentioned starting another troop, but she needed a co-leader. She tells me, "We are just going to stay with you." I said, "you cannot stay with us. We will be bridging this year and we will all be juniors." No reply. This is what she has done every time I say something she doesn't like. She ignores me and pretends it didn't happen.

We have no SU coordinator. What do I do?
Re: crazy girl scout mom
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #943449 by LROSEM
Mar 25, 2017 2:08pm
Thread
Call your Experience manager at your Girl Scout Council. There should one for every county. Explain the situation that crazy gsm put you in and that you accommodated her child and friend for the year. Ask the GSCouncil to take your situation and to assist crazy gsm's daughter and friend into getting an age appropriate troop. You can request that the Expert mgr come to your meeting and talk to this Mom, perhaps even invite her to your Junior bridging too. Also invite the retired teacher too to meet crazy gsm. It can be difficult to plan a multi-level meeting with 17 girls.

OR ANOTHER OPTION is to go ahead and recruit the retired teacher before the end of the year to be the leader for the two girls and make the crazy gsMom a volunteer asst. Then they can meet at the same place as your troop but they have to go to "their room" to plan Brownie stuff while you're off planning Junior stuff in "your room". Then maybe they might want to branch off on their own after getting more girls and get their "very own troop number" by the end of next year.
Good luck hope this helps.
Re: crazy girl scout mom
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Reply to: #943467 by scouttrekkie
Mar 25, 2017 2:49pm
Thread
I have never heard of an Experience manager. I have mentioned my issue to several people in our local office. I left out how she wiggled them in this year, but I have mentioned that there is no leadership in our school for a brownie troop next year and that the girls plan to stay with us. I also said that we will not be able to run a brownie program while doing our juniors next year. I have made it clear that we can't keep them. This year with 19 girls and multilevel has been very challenging. Maybe they are working on it, but there hasn't been anything mentioned to me.

We used to have a woman that helped with all of our little issues like this. Since last year, she is still in the office, but has a new job and title. She doesn't work directly helping the troops. I don't believe her old position has been filled. They keep begging for applicants, but no one wants the job. If it stays open for a couple more years and my kids are in middle school, maybe I will apply. :D
vote for us please
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Mar 11, 2018 4:46am
http://ul.ink/BMA6-518640

Please vote for my troop!

Laura Hunsinger-Kelly
troop 30224
An-se-ox boxes
Board: GSA & BSA letterboxing
Apr 21, 2018 11:19am
I’m sure it’s waybtoo late to ask, but are there any clues available for the boxes at An-se-ox? My Girl Scouts may be there tomorrow for the open house...