Learning to Lead

courage, confidence, and character

It’s been less than a year since Anna joined Girl Scouts, and yet she is the most experienced Brownie in our troop. This wasn’t the plan. When she joined last April we hoped to find an active Brownie troop with at least some girls who had started as daisies. We figured that their experience would help guide Anna, since she (and we too) were new to Girl Scouts.

For many reasons that I won’t go into, it did not work out that way. Instead, Anna is by far the most experienced Brownie in her troop, and that’s okay.

She has stepped up to the challenge.

It took three tries to find the right troop. But when we joined in October there was one small problem. Anna was the only Brownie. So in November, she help us lead a Brownie information night where she showed off her badges and patches, and taught everyone to make jewelry with multicolored rubber bands and a plastic fork. Four brownie joined after the info night and we now have a good Brownie group.

Girl Scout Law

Since everyone but Anna was new to Brownies, we started the Brownie Quest journey in December. Anna has been a great girl leader through the whole process, helping the other girls learn the Girl Scout Law (above), participating in all the activities, and finishing all her “homework” on time.

In January, we took a field trip to an orthodontists office. Anna was able to overcome her own shyness about her braces and share her own experience with the other girls in the troop (Cadettes, Juniors, and Brownies). She even showed off her “mouth jewelry” to everyone.

Flag of Brazil

And in February, Anna learned the samba as part of our World Thinking Day activity, and made both a Brazilian flag and a poster of Brazil facts for our booth at our service unit’s World Thinking Day event. Anna shared her knowledge of Brazil, danced some, and took a turn playing the maracas.

As I watch her engaged in all these activities, her vest covered in badges and patches, it’s easy to forget that she’s been a Girl Scout for only ten months. She’s taken to it, and she’s already learning to lead.

And that reminds me how quickly we all can go from student to teacher, and from learner to leader. It also reminds me that we are always doing a bit of each in life—leading and following, teaching and learning—and we’ll continue to do so as long as we want to keep growing.

Cheerleaders of Faith

Another Badge Update

Brownies can do anything

Anna’s Brownie badge progress has slowed up a bit since the start of school. We had to switch troops once again in October, but now we’re settled into an excellent troop with a great leader who also happens to be a very good friend. So it’s time to start ironing and sewing again …

Making Games (January 22).

Making Games (1/21/15).

Anna began this badge at a Girl Scout Halloween/Juliette Low Birthday Party last October. She created a party game called Pin the Hat on the Brownie Elf, a mystery touch-box game, and a find-the-differences picture game.

Then at our troop party in December, she taught everyone a variation of Four Corners called “Trefoil.” Instead of separating into four groups, the girls split into three. And instead of the number called being “out,” the other two are. The goal of the girl who’s it (Anna) is to eliminate everyone. The goal of the other girls is to be the last one left.

Finally, at our meeting last night, Anna introduced a brand-new sport she invented called “Cookie Relay.” The nine girls split into three teams and ran a relay. The first girl in each team had to pick out a cookie based on a description, the second girl had to make correct change from a collection of play money, and the third girl had to find an appropriate hello, thank you, or cookie description. The first team to finish (without making a mistake) wins. Everyone enjoyed the game and learned important cookie-selling skills too.

Computer Expert (1/22/15)

Computer Expert (1/22/15)

Anna started this one at the beginning of January and is all set to finish it tonight. The first step in this badge is by far the most important—reading and signing an Internet Safety Pledge. After that, she created a picture in a paint app on her iPad, looked up a bird she saw in our backyard and correctly identified it, and researched Brazil to prepare for World Thinking Day next month.

This evening, she’ll write  “thank you” emails for her birthday presents and assemble a five-song playlist to share at her next Brownie meeting. And that will complete her Computer Expert badge.


Brownie Quest badges

Brownie Quest (in progress).

Finally, there’s our current journey, Brownie Quest. The Brownies in Anna’s troop are working on this set of badges together. Last month, we completed the requirements for the first two keys—Discover and Connect—and last night we brainstormed ideas for a community service project to complete the third key. The plan is to pick a project next week and try to complete it before booth sales start.

Brownie Cookie Badges

Wait! I almost forgot about Cookie Badges!