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Re: New Webelos requirement....
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #935624 by MamaShark
Sep 30, 2016 10:18am
Thread
I've often thought about trying to get them to add a letterboxing merit badge. I agree with prior post - would have been nice if the badge had encompassed all geolocation forms! There can certainly be a tie in with map and compass for letterboxing - as well as hiking.
Re: New Webelos requirement....
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #935639 by TJ_Mich
Oct 1, 2016 5:59am
Thread
Your den won't have to create/hide a geocache for the Webelos Camper requirement. Just go and find one. But the Boy Scout merit badge for geocaching requires the scout to "plan a geohunt for a youth group" and "set up a course with at least four waypoints".

I understand this. In my area, Geocachers have a bad reputation of messing with letterboxes and playing pranks on letterboxers as well. I would prefer to plant a hybrid as a way to get as little into geocaching as humanly possible when it comes time to tackle this requirement with my den.
Re: New Webelos requirement....
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #935624 by MamaShark
Oct 3, 2016 9:33am
Thread
Is it required to exclusively use the geocaching.com website or can any geocaching listing service be used? There are (non-commercial) alternatives! OpenCaching North America (www.opencaching.us; "OCNA") is one such alternative. It's a completely free service with no restrictions on access. The service is run by a small group of volunteers and they are considerably flexible in what is allowed when compared to geocaching.com. I'm pretty certain they will allow an all-clue-based Letterboxing Hybrid cache as long as there are coordinates for a starting location.
Anyone can view the site and listings and can download the caches without creating an account. That may be good if you want to make the information available to others who otherwise won't bother using the website.
The flip side is that most geocachers can't be bothered using more that the one site, so there are far fewer users on the alternative sites. In a couple years, my 65+ OCNA hides have netted less than 10 finds in total.
FWIW, OCNA is part of the larger "OpenCaching" network of sites; there are similar sites for Australia, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands.... OCNA allows cache types that are "grandfathered" on geocaching.com - Virtual, Webcam, and Moving caches. they also have unique cache types such as Guestbook caches, MP3 caches, BIT caches and (coming soon) Benchmarks
Wreaths Across America
Board: Scouts Honor
Oct 27, 2016 12:20pm
Thread
Hi Friends!
My Cub Scout is collecting donations for Wreaths to placed on soldiers graves for the Christmas season. Last year we went to place the wreaths on the graves, but noticed there were too many graves without. People did not sponsor enough to place one on every grave. We are hoping to change that!

Wreaths are $15 each to sponsor and a portion will go back to the pack and will be used for camp outs, activities, and community service projects. We are hoping to teach our boys the value of service through this simple act of honor.

Together we can honor more American Heroes. Donations are being collected until November 14.

If you would like to sponsor on-line, please go here: https://wreaths.fastport.com/donateLocation.html?page=23385&relate=17167
You may also donate in honor of someone.

*Please let me know when you donated so I can turn in the correct amount to our Cub Master.
Checks can also be mailed in. PM me for info on that.

Thank you so much for partnering with us!
Pam
Re: Wreaths Across America
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #937074 by photopam
Oct 28, 2016 9:43am
Thread
We (my grandchildren, husband and myself) have participated in this wonderfully inspiring program for the past eight years at Arlington National Cemetery and last year we were told that donations had gone down so much, they weren't sure how long the program could continue. We have donated money via other organizations and, of course, our time to go place the wreaths and absolutely feel that we have benefited tremendously from the whole experience.

I encourage everyone to contribute in some way and Photopam's request provides twice the benefits.
Re: Wreaths Across America
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #937074 by photopam
Oct 29, 2016 6:43pm
Thread
My family also participates in this organizations wonderful way of honoring those who have protected us.

Our local National Cemetery placed 14,000 wreaths last year. It is an amazing sight to see. However with 14 burials a day that is 5100 more wreaths needed this year. This is just in one cemetery, now times that by the 135 National Cemeteries that exist, and you get thousands of needed wreaths. The cool thing is that when you purchase a wreath you get to choose the National Cemetery that you want to have that wreath delivered to. All wreaths come from Bangor Maine. Wreaths

December 17th Is the day wreaths will be laid and it is open to the public. Anyone who would like to lay a wreath can. Just be at the National Cemetery nearest you by 9:30 am. Wreath laying commences at 10am and a worldwide ceremony at Noon.

It is a wonderful way to teach the next generation about those that protect us.

~Aurora
Re: Wreaths Across America
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #937205 by The hicks from the sticks
Oct 30, 2016 6:42am
Thread
It was a really neat ceremony last year. They have someone from every branch of the military there to represent all those who have died and place a wreath on the memorial.

My grandfather fought in WWII, so it was special for me to see.

The scouts are all in uniforms and get to line up with the cadettes along the row where the military personnel walk down with the wreaths.

Highly recommended!
Re: Wreaths Across America
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #937135 by Janila
Oct 30, 2016 6:45am
Thread
Thank you Janila! :).

All: please pm me when you do donate online. (I need to turn in numbers)
Thank you! :)
Feeling dicouraged
Board: Scouts Honor
Feb 14, 2017 10:53pm
Thread
We have a great group of girls who are getting older and suddenly the parents seem to be checking out.
At their request, each takes a month to plan a meeting and outing. We've had 2 outings this year plus a service project which 2 girls showed up for. :-(
The parents in charge of our camping trip have made themselves less available and suggested that the girls will find a way if they really want to go, and another had no idea it was in the works even though she was part of the planning. (!)
Add in cookie participation changing after orders were placed and plans made and I'm really discouraged.
I get that they're getting older and less motivated, but really, I'm feeling like the parents are at the heart of things falling apart. We have regular parent meetings that go great, but then the follow through doesn't happen. Not all the parents, just a few, but it only takes a few to change the dynamics.

Does anyone have thoughts or experience to share? My dd wants to keep going, but I'm at a loss.
Re: Feeling dicouraged
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #941898 by Uncorny Acorns
Feb 15, 2017 12:12am
Thread
Sorry this reply is so long. (I started with brownies with lots of parents) When they moved to a junior girl scout troop, the girls started to slowly become the leaders and as they grew older, my co leaders and I became advisers. We got to this stage by showing them in brownies how to make decisions with only 1-2 choices. On all issues. Each year (even with new girls adding in) we increased their decision making and responsibility. We never had a lot of parent participation except for drivers and extra chaperons.

We started off each year (from brownies up) with large sheets of poster paper taped up around the room and spent the first meeting getting to know each other and then the girls would wander around the room and put up their wishes on the poster boards. We had one for field trips, one for badges, one for service unit activities (Juliette Low event, thinking day, bridging), one for service projects, one for council events. They could ask questions, and put whatever they wanted to see happen in their troop that year. Dream Big!

The next meeting we took two pages and they decided who would find out the cost per person of each activity they had listed. (Brownies had moms and dads to help them).They also looked up which badges listed and what was required to earn it, how many meetings or meeting time trips it would take to earn. The next meeting we would elect troop officers and then each girl would report what she learned. The troop scribe would note all the info down. Then we talked about how many cookies had to be sold to make the trips happen. We didn't focus on what each girl earned, but what the troop earned. Then the third meeting we tackled the others.

Disneyland always fell first as we were 8 hours away, then some of the bigger wilder things. For those, we had them look it up in safety wise to see if it was an allowable girl scout activity.But they would narrow this down to two or three. Camping was always one of them. The first year of juniors the leaders planned a mystery trip. It was such a hit, that they wanted this each year. (Each car had clues and a red herring trying to guess where we were going as we drove) The parents all knew where and not one ever let the girls know.

Then we brought out calendars and placed when these activities would happen. We tied as many badge activities as we could into each outing.We made calendar copies for the girls for their binders (they also kept records of badges, troop phone numbers, etc in this) The girls were responsible as Cadettes and Seniors in making all of the decisions and arrangements. Calling parents to drive, making sure they had insurance, mapping out the route, calling for reservations, etc. They made lists of what to bring, eat, etc. and who was in charge of doing this. they shopped(with a leader) and then pre-prepped the food, cooked, etc. I had different co leaders through out this time, but the main focus was on the girls doing this.

Sometimes things failed and we would discuss it and write down what they should have done and then they would make sure it didn't happen the next time. One year my senior/cadette troop decided they didn't want to work on any interest projects. By January they revised that. That same year they didn't like the way Thinking Day was presented. At the evaluation at the end, they got the paper and I had them go outside with us to fill it out. My co's and I told them we understood what they were saying, but the mom's that put on the event were mostly Brownie leaders and they had no idea the older girls would like to participate and not run all of the activities. So they could say this on the evaluation, but it had to be worded nicely and they had to keep in mind how much work the mom's put into the event. Then we walked away and let them hash out the wording. They did good. On the way home one of them suggested that they could put this event on themselves. So the next meeting they voted on it, elected an event director, an asst., a program manager, a promotion person and a registrar. The next leaders meeting, the event director went to the meeting with me and asked the service unit if they could put on the next year event and they were told yes. They all showed up the next year to do this. They learned a lot. And didn't volunteer for an event after that.

Most of the time my Cadette/Senior troop had 25 girls in it. Three were my daughters, They came from 3 high schools and 3 junior highs. They voted in a time at the end of the meeting to just visit. These girls played sports, were in student government, cheer leaders and band members. Some of the girls that joined the troop were new to girl scouts as teens. I also had two hearing impaired girls ( I am hearing impaired myself) and when one of the girls had to use the relayed call to fulfill her duties to her troop, she was elated. Luckily for us she read lips or one of the girls would write down what was said. She could speak well and that help her confidence a lot. One of them went on a wider op to England for a national jamboree. Several of those girls are leaders now with their own daughters, a service unit manager, a national delegate,some earned silver, some gold, some became council trainers. They are smarter than you think, if you just give them the opportunity and a guiding hand. And as they get older, they really don't want mom and dad there all the time. My girls didn't even call me mom, they called me by my name. it is hard being a leaders daughter...But it is awesome being a leader and watching what you and the girls do to grow! Good luck!
Re: Feeling dicouraged
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #941898 by Uncorny Acorns
Feb 15, 2017 3:00pm
Thread
How old are the girls? I ask because my personal experience (Brownie through Senior, Ambassadors were not yet established) was that parents were very involved at the Brownie and Junior levels but started to thin out at the Cadette level as a lot of girls were no longer interested in scouts. By the time the troop made it to the Senior level, there was only four or five of us left, and really only two of us were active participants. At that point, the only mom who was involved was the troop leader who became less involved unless she wanted to participate in a specific event or activity as we had become nearly self-sufficient in our scouting activities.

Scouting is hard to carry on, especially as the girls and parents lose interest but I was always grateful for the mom who stuck it out with us few who still wanted to be a part of scouts. If I lived near you, I would totally take up a volunteer role for the troop....maybe you can recruit some reliable friends who want to be volunteers with the troop?
Re: Feeling dicouraged
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #941927 by Johnsosaurus
Feb 15, 2017 6:09pm
Thread
They are Cadettes and Seniors, mostly 8th graders about to graduate. I fully expected the kids to start losing interest, what I wasn't expecting was to feel like the parents were sabotaging their interest. They show excitement at meetings and plan things, and then the parents email out cancellations. I've suggested NOT taking it on themselves to cancel an event that they can't attend, but it doesn't seem to get through.

I'm trying to figure out how to make next year better, if we have enough girls who want to continue. We still need active parents, but we need them to read their emails and be aware of what's coming up so they aren't changing the plans at the last minute or taking up half our planning time arguing about whether something is feasible after it's mostly been planned. I wonder if a larger group would help disperse the pressure by having more parents rotate driving and chaperoning and supporting the planning portions or if it would just be more headache?
Re: Feeling dicouraged
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #941933 by Uncorny Acorns
Feb 17, 2017 8:20am
Thread
Hmm. Is it the majority of the parents that are causing issues or just a few? If it's just a few, maybe assign them smaller things within an event and leave the bigger event/activities to parents who are a bit more reliable. Also, maybe they don't check their email often and you should try phone calls or texts. This sounds like quite the frustrating situation :(
Re: Feeling dicouraged
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #941898 by Uncorny Acorns
Feb 17, 2017 5:28pm
Thread
This started happening with my troop when we were senior scouts (late 90's, my mom was our leader). Parents were less and less able to even help carpool, although some would still drop the girls off. For us, my junior/cadette troop ended up split between 3 schools as we got older (some still in middle school, and the rest of us split into 2 high schools depending on our neighborhood)....all of us also had band, student council, 4H, orchestra, cheer leading, sports, etc etc so for us that had a lot to do with availability as well. In the end, my mom would seek opportunities for us and put them on a calendar to share- and whoever could come would come and earn whatever was there to be earned. Luckily my council was providing classes and opportunities for older girls to sign up for. Our camping trip was planned mostly by us during our meeting (although my parents did all the shopping) and the last camping trip we did as a troop we actually met with a sister troop our age- we all planned the same location and agreed to meet but essentially made our own food plans (more or less) each troop leader planned a few activities but both troops participated- so some of the duties were split in that way.

In the end, my senior year of high school it was mostly me doing stuff on my own with maybe one or two others and I found myself volunteering my time with younger troops rather than my troop doing something all together.

I don't think that was any advice, but did want to respond to say, you're not alone. :)
Girl Scout Cookies
Board: Scouts Honor
Feb 20, 2017 9:46am
Thread
Hi friends!
The Girl Scout cookie season is almost over and Cutie Cat is almost to her goal of 1000 boxes.
She was wondering if any of our Letterboxing friends might want some cookies, or to donate a box (or more) of cookies for our active military personnel. Boxes are $4 each to donate, and you can do as many or as little as you like and it's 100% tax deductible!

This year our council is paying half the shipping fees for anyone who wants to purchase cookies. They come in orders of 6 or 12.

Thank you so much for helping her reach her goal!

Sale is over, she made her goal!

:)
Re: Girl Scout Cookies
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #942067 by photopam
Feb 21, 2017 8:09am
Thread
Thank you so much for posting this!!! on a selfish note: my usual cookie person did not contact me this year...so I got my annual cookie "fix" ;) from you :)

Best of everything!!!
(BTW: thank you to the council for helping with the shipping! That was very nice of them!!!)

-Flo/PLP
Re: Girl Scout Cookies
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #942092 by PeaceLovePiano and Mom
Feb 21, 2017 10:45am
Thread
Awesome!
Thank you so much. Cutie cat thanks you too!
Enjoy your cookies!
Re: Girl Scout Cookies
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #942067 by photopam
Feb 21, 2017 4:38pm
Thread
That's not fair... Here in Oregon, it's $5 a box this year. I was not happy to pay $5 a box for a small amount of cookies. Why the difference in states?
Re: Girl Scout Cookies
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #942108 by BrockBrood
Feb 21, 2017 5:26pm
Thread
It's $5 in my area too. We paid that last year also.
Re: Girl Scout Cookies
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #942108 by BrockBrood
Feb 22, 2017 4:10am
Thread
Here in NH the gluten-free and the S'More cookies are $5.00 each and the other flavors are $4.00 each. We have Little Brownie Bakers. Maine has another baker. My troop thinks the Maine gluten-free cookies taste a lot better than our gluten-free cookies and I agree with them.

Our S'More cookies are 2 short breads with the 2 fillings. The Maine ones are different shaped, chocolate covered. and marshmallow (we could debate that) inside. I understand the Maine ones need more filling to make them taste better.

Ambassador Girl Scouts - in our council it appears/appeared to be top secret (so is a lot of other stuff) and we found out about it, if you wrote a letter to the CEO of the council and asked if you could save your cookie dough for the 2 years and use it towards your 'paid-up-for-life' membership, you could. The CEO then sent our girls a letter stating they could do that. It was the scouts responsibility to keep their own records for the cookie sales. The lifetime membership for graduating seniors and being 18 years old, the price is $195.00. The regular price is $375.00..............big difference.
Re: Girl Scout Cookies
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #942119 by NatureMamaB6
Feb 22, 2017 4:18am
Thread
I'm in Eastern MA. We have the other bakery, ABC, & our cookies are $5. Both NH and Western MA have $4 cookies, so it's tough selling. (And I thought OUR gluten-free cookies were the terrible ones!)

One explanation I've heard as to why the cookies are different prices is that the bulk of the proceeds goes to council to help with camps & other programming. Real estate is definitely more expensive here, as are salaries - so it makes sense.
Re: Girl Scout Cookies
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #942120 by heartsquare
Feb 22, 2017 4:47am
Thread
We use ABC baker.

I am wondering if the price difference has to do with incentives? We need to sell a lot to get them, but we noticed in NY there was a council that used little brownie baker and if cutie cat sold as many as she did there, she'd have all kids of prizes. And she liked the owls better than the llamas we have. I'll be so thankful next year when they can opt out of the junk. ;)

The camp costs makes since too. Our council has closed a fe of our camps, and not all of them are doing resident camp over summer anymore. :(
Re: Girl Scout Cookies
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #942121 by photopam
Feb 22, 2017 11:05am
Thread
I thought it was due to cost of living/rent etc differences.
Ours are $5 for most, $6 for S'mores and gf. Little Brownie Bakers. Incentives seem ridiculously high. (24 for a patch, 50 for a bandanna) We live in a very HCOL area, though.
It is sometimes hard because people living in other areas will bring their kids' lower priced cookies to work, and we get customers who want the lower priced cookies. We've had camp closures, too.
Re: Girl Scout Cookies
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #942119 by NatureMamaB6
Feb 22, 2017 11:08am
Thread
My daughter has been wanting to age out specifically so she can be a lifetime member at half price. Not sure what else she wants out of the program, but she says she wants to keep going and use her money for a lifetime membership. It's a goal, right? :-) She's 14, almost 15 and we're struggling to keep the troop together at this point. Wishing that Juliettes can sell cookies so we didn't have to worry about keeping 5 girls active!
Re: Girl Scout Cookies
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #942129 by Uncorny Acorns
Feb 22, 2017 12:25pm
Thread
Our girls have to sell 65 boxes for a patch, 100 for the 100 year of cookies patch, 350 boxes for a tee shirt... It's a lot of cookies. It's also 125 boxes/day of resident camp they want to go which is what she works for. Incentives aren't that special to them.

That's not right about the lower price cookies at work. :(
Have the girls talk to the council about it. Make their voices heard, it's their sale after all.
Re: Girl Scout Cookies
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #942067 by photopam
Feb 27, 2017 12:41pm
Thread
The Cookie sale is now over.
Thank you everyone who purchased! She made her goal! :)
Girl Scout Convention
Board: Scouts Honor
Sep 29, 2017 12:22pm
Thread
Hello fellow Girl Scouts! Any letterboxing girl scouts going to Columbus Ohio next week for convention? Thanks!
Re: Girl Scout Convention
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #951921 by Violet B
Sep 29, 2017 2:28pm
Thread
I am not but printrswife is from SW Indiana. You may want to contact her. Have fun :)
Looking for GS Letterboxing Info
Board: Scouts Honor
Mar 23, 2018 6:46am
Thread
Good Morning!

I am visiting my granddaughters, ages 9 & 7, next week (spring break) in Oregon. Their school is just starting Girl Scouts, so I am taking my old badge sash and pins to show them, hoping to get them to join. I was a Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior, and Leader, so I have a bunch of bling.

Questions: I'd like to see what badges and badge requirements look like (partly because I have some badges I can't name). Are they available to the general public online? I am just curious. I also wonder whether, like in the old days, a girl can work on a badge on her own, or whether troops work on them together only. I realize a new program will have new leaders, so things may be slower at first, and adult-led. I live too far away to help with a troop, but my daughter might consider it.

Thanks,
Maude
Re: Looking for GS Letterboxing Info
Board: Scouts Honor
Reply to: #958279 by Maude
Mar 23, 2018 9:25am
Thread
Girls work on badges together or individually.

Requirements are only available for purchase at gs stores or online as far as I know. Http://www.girlscoutshop.com

The letterboxing badge is what got us into the hobby. I know finding and planting a box are two options.

I am camp mom for our troop, we have a great group of girls and moms. It's the leader and the other adults who willingly help that help make the troop for the girls. When they are excited it helps inspire the girls. :)