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Soror
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In the past, our group has done nearly all family outings but we are trying to transition to doing events specific to the big girls. 

 

It is going a little bit rocky. 

 

How many activities do you do for bigger girls? How many do you do as a Troop as a whole? How do you separate them out? 

 

My expectation is for the big girl's events would be run as they are for Boy Scouts, big girls and leaders only, no family and siblings. It is also my expectation that the big girls are going to be taking on more of a leadership role.

 

Is there some kind of training that is run somewhere for info specific to how to run the program for the older ones? I know Boy Scouts has Boy Scout Leader training because a Pack and Troop are not run the same but I've not seen it for AHG- maybe they have it in areas more populated with AHG? We are the only Troop for 2 hrs any direction and have been since our inception.

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I do not have a older girl in AHG (my daughter is 1st grade) But I know our girl troop starts all together, then separates out into different ages in different rooms, then comes back together for the end -- these meetings are first and third Mondays of the month.  The older girls (Pioneers and Patriots) meet almost every week (I don't think anyone meets the 5th Monday on months that have them)  One of the oldest girls runs most of the introduction and end of meeting portions, with adults stepping in when there are questions she does not know the answers to.  The different levels takes turns doing the flag part.

 

So far, every activity (skating, Family camp coming up) they have done has been Family-welcome.

Edited by vonfirmath
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Yes, our PiPas do stuff only for them. Leaders and girls only.

 

They meet one extra week a month (The whole troop usually meets on the 2nd and 4th weeks of a month.)

 

We have typically had 2-4 extra events for PiPas per year, about half being high adventure or outdoors things. Honestly, AHG provides little to no training for this, that I am aware of. We have leaned heavily on leaders and dads with BSA experience. We do not currently have enough PiPas to need patrols. Girl leadership, definitely. They plan their events. They do everything we can possibly let them do. Our PiPa main leader is great at leading by asking questions rather than directing or telling. Very Socratic. Crazy sometimes, but more fun and profitable for the girls.

 

Our troop is weak in outdoor/HA now and it is frustrating me and dd. Some of our older girls have bailed on AHG for Venture Crew and some do both. Dd is only 12, so we have been joining in with another nearby troop for some extra outdoor activities. (The TC there is a friend and our girls are friends.)

 

I have observed a nearby troop whose PiPas accomplish way more than ours do, but they don't do nearly as much of it themselves. Too much leader control defeats the purpose! Sometimes we have to teach leaders or parents who want to swoop in and fix everything or do it better than the girls do!

 

Our troop does one family campout

and a Camporee for the region (not family camping, girls and leaders or registered parents only) each year. If there are other outdoor things depends on what badge work the Ex and TH's are doing.

 

Our PiPa's lead various events as they work towards their level awards and also do some extras. I would say our PiPa's individually plan and lead an event per year and help lead at least three others. We developed some additional paperwork to scaffold the process of leading an event, to walk the girls through it step by step. Happy to send it to you, just pm me.

 

Sorry to be rambly!

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Our AHG troop pretty much only does big girl events.  We have our meetings but the Tenderhearts rarely do anything outside of those meetings.  Special events like caroling or food drive, yes.  But they never camp (we don't family camp in our troop) and other than the troop hike they don't get outdoors.  

When we started my dd was in Explorers and we camped with the few PiPa girls.  The group grew and we had 11 last year and we did lots of trips.  4-5 a year, some were big events.  (tubing/ice climbing, horse camp, whitewater rafting, high adventure camp, multiple day hiking)  If you have the adult support the sky's the limit for PiPa units.  

 

We are folding in Explorers more this year.  As the girls move up they need to be comfortable outdoors or our PiPa plans won't work out.  I'm still short adults wanting and willing to try new things and go on these trips.  I just canceled an overnight b/c of costs, but we are still going out all day to work on the outdoor skills.  I have a mom interested in this for her new Explorer, so I see her being the future of these girls.  We always invite moving up Explorers to our spring/summer events.  

 

This year is more low key.  I became TC and I still lead PiPa's.  Plus I'm leading Explorers for a badge and some outdoor things.  I'm swamped and do not have another set adult for outings.  If I did, I'd be planning more trips.  We will camp in the spring at a state park for hiking.  We will do a high adventure summer outing.  Some will go to horse camp.  And some of us will travel to a large NP as well for hiking.  Explorers moving up will be asked to join if I had the adults to go.  

 

 

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Yes, our PiPas do stuff only for them. Leaders and girls only.

 

They meet one extra week a month (The whole troop usually meets on the 2nd and 4th weeks of a month.)

 

We have typically had 2-4 extra events for PiPas per year, about half being high adventure or outdoors things. Honestly, AHG provides little to no training for this, that I am aware of. We have leaned heavily on leaders and dads with BSA experience. We do not currently have enough PiPas to need patrols. Girl leadership, definitely. They plan their events. They do everything we can possibly let them do. Our PiPa main leader is great at leading by asking questions rather than directing or telling. Very Socratic. Crazy sometimes, but more fun and profitable for the girls.

 

Our troop is weak in outdoor/HA now and it is frustrating me and dd. Some of our older girls have bailed on AHG for Venture Crew and some do both. Dd is only 12, so we have been joining in with another nearby troop for some extra outdoor activities. (The TC there is a friend and our girls are friends.)

 

I have observed a nearby troop whose PiPas accomplish way more than ours do, but they don't do nearly as much of it themselves. Too much leader control defeats the purpose! Sometimes we have to teach leaders or parents who want to swoop in and fix everything or do it better than the girls do!

 

Our troop does one family campout

and a Camporee for the region (not family camping, girls and leaders or registered parents only) each year. If there are other outdoor things depends on what badge work the Ex and TH's are doing.

 

Our PiPa's lead various events as they work towards their level awards and also do some extras. I would say our PiPa's individually plan and lead an event per year and help lead at least three others. We developed some additional paperwork to scaffold the process of leading an event, to walk the girls through it step by step. Happy to send it to you, just pm me.

 

Sorry to be rambly!

 

Our AHG troop pretty much only does big girl events.  We have our meetings but the Tenderhearts rarely do anything outside of those meetings.  Special events like caroling or food drive, yes.  But they never camp (we don't family camp in our troop) and other than the troop hike they don't get outdoors.  

 

When we started my dd was in Explorers and we camped with the few PiPa girls.  The group grew and we had 11 last year and we did lots of trips.  4-5 a year, some were big events.  (tubing/ice climbing, horse camp, whitewater rafting, high adventure camp, multiple day hiking)  If you have the adult support the sky's the limit for PiPa units.  

 

We are folding in Explorers more this year.  As the girls move up they need to be comfortable outdoors or our PiPa plans won't work out.  I'm still short adults wanting and willing to try new things and go on these trips.  I just canceled an overnight b/c of costs, but we are still going out all day to work on the outdoor skills.  I have a mom interested in this for her new Explorer, so I see her being the future of these girls.  We always invite moving up Explorers to our spring/summer events.  

 

This year is more low key.  I became TC and I still lead PiPa's.  Plus I'm leading Explorers for a badge and some outdoor things.  I'm swamped and do not have another set adult for outings.  If I did, I'd be planning more trips.  We will camp in the spring at a state park for hiking.  We will do a high adventure summer outing.  Some will go to horse camp.  And some of us will travel to a large NP as well for hiking.  Explorers moving up will be asked to join if I had the adults to go.  

I'm replying to both together.

 

I know I'm eyeing Venturing for when my girls old enough, without the support and training it is harder to run for the older girls and not as many opportunities. We're trying to do more girl-led but that is a process too and you do have to let everyone know that is how it is supposed to be done, we're inexperienced as are the girls, so it isn't quite what it should be but we're working on it, I had a parent trying to take over the other day, sigh. I was talking to dh today about patrols, we've got 6 girls going to our upcoming camp-out so really only enough for 1 big patrol or 2 small ones. Dh thinks we should just do 1.

 

We've got around 10 Explorers (my group & am also vice- Coordinator) and 3 or so Pioneers, they Pioneers have been joining in with me b/c 2 have been out for other commitments. Thankfully, we have leadership to help, that isn't the problem for us. I'm more worried about money for events and working out transportation, we do have access to the church van but I'd rather not have to drive it.

 
I'd love some ideas from you ladies for trips to do, PM or posted. I'm trying to figure out some options but I just don't know. We don't have BSA properties to fall back on. We did hear about a summer camp a couple hrs away last year, we didn't have enough warning then but we are hoping to send some of the girls next year.

 

I do not have a older girl in AHG (my daughter is 1st grade) But I know our girl troop starts all together, then separates out into different ages in different rooms, then comes back together for the end -- these meetings are first and third Mondays of the month.  The older girls (Pioneers and Patriots) meet almost every week (I don't think anyone meets the 5th Monday on months that have them)  One of the oldest girls runs most of the introduction and end of meeting portions, with adults stepping in when there are questions she does not know the answers to.  The different levels takes turns doing the flag part.

 

So far, every activity (skating, Family camp coming up) they have done has been Family-welcome.

That is how we do meetings too and we have some family activities but the little ones are not allowed to do all the things that the big girls.

Edited by soror
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Our PiPa's lead various events as they work towards their level awards and also do some extras. I would say our PiPa's individually plan and lead an event per year and help lead at least three others. We developed some additional paperwork to scaffold the process of leading an event, to walk the girls through it step by step. Happy to send it to you, just pm me.

 

Sorry to be rambly!

 

Ah. Our Pi/PAs also run events.

 

One is running a Joining Badge thing on October 14 -- our troop has a lot of new girls (including my daughter) and it is to help them get their Joining Badge (Forget the formal name) before the ceremony on November 13 so they can earn other badges.

 

Another (maybe an explorer? Not sure of the differences. But she looks younger) is running an Operation Christmas Child packing event on November 6 for the whole combined troop.

 

And another is running a trunk or treat on October 21 for the community.

Edited by vonfirmath
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Yes, AHG has some leadership positions, but in our troop, those have been only within the PiPa unit, because the younger girls have adult leaders 

(like Cub Scouts). When the whole PiPa unit is 5 girls, the effect is different than it would be if leading 15 or more. Our PiPa's and Explorers do lead the troop meetings, calling the flag ceremony, making some announcements etc. Since our PiPa group is largely 7th graders, they perhaps do less than a group which had more high schoolers in it.

 

Margaret, I think I will get some of the scout leadership info. Thanks for the tip! I think I may do the BSA training so I can know more. Ds' pack doesn't need any help (all dad led), but  I will better equipped to help both my kids in scouting if I have more knowledege.

 

It is frustrating to us as parents that dd's troop doesn't do more outdoor and HA things. That is part of why our kids are in scouting.

Dh is not an outdoorsy kind of guy. He grew up playing golf and Little league. No camp, no scouts. We are both 50 yo with significant health issues. Dh has a neuro/vascular condition - seizures, brain surgery etc. I just have degenerative disc issues. Even moderate physical activity of any kind (including yoga, gentle swimming, walking) gives me sciatica. Neither of us can lead outdoor stuff. 

 

I do think dd is getting excellent leadership experience in AHG, it just isn't related to outdoor activities. 

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Margaret, thanks so much for you info, not just for me but to pass along to dh for Boy Scouts. We don't have enough to really do older girls only activites with only 3, at most, age 13+ it just doesn't work but maybe with all the Explorers I have now we can grow that some in the next few years.

 

I've thought about getting some BS training, I'm trying to figure out what would be the most beneficial, from what I've seen from dh it would be LoE or IoLS, I've got no desire to do Wood Badge, that took so much time. Dh is also doing Okpik soon and I think that would be great for all weather camping but I don't know that our girls are there yet. I'd like more specific training for outdoor activities, dh and I have some experience with things but I'd like more knowledge before I'd feel comfortable leading some things (and I'm the most experienced in such things in our Troop, of our current leaders anyway).

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I'm not an AHG leader, but I'm sure they have trainings - not sure if you would have to travel though.  Have you asked the parent organization about this?  I wonder if they could assign you a mentor with more experience in your state / region?

 

I do think there is a lot of flexibility, as they expect the PiPas to make a lot of the decisions themselves.

 

Our troop does a mix of family activities and level-specific activities.  I don't think there is any restriction on having level-only activities.  But there are some requirements that the girls getting ready to cross over have to do some things with the higher level.

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AHG does have some videos with training for each level of girl activity but, beyond that, it really depends on the troop, troop size and who they have that's willing to facilitate outdoor stuff...the girls can't go w/o leaders along! Many of our moms are not outdoorsy, so it's a challenge for us. Our Explorer leader had her first overnight camping experience this summer and she was so worried about it!!

 

We've called on a "visiting expert" whose daughter was in AHG and who is now leading Venture crew in town. He does a badge or two every year for us w/various units. We've also had outdoor ed. people come in and lead a hike or participated in community sponsored hikes as a group. Our PiPa unit was one girl last year (my dd) and she helped with a younger unit and did her badges @ home. This year we have 7, but 6 of them are 7th graders, so we'll be building up to more girl leadership...and probably more weekend activities like unit campouts.

 

Our troop does 2 badge meetings/month and 1 all-troop meeting, the latter giving the older girls a chance to lead things that go with their badges. Our big event is the regional Camporee, which was the only place my girl got to meet w/girls her own age last year.

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AHG and outdoor activities are going to be based on the adults involved and their skill levels and willingness to learn more skills.  Our AHG group did more when there were more outdoorsy moms.  We did more when we had more girls b/c the group wanted it.  I'm now with only 5 girls and when I mention outdoor stuff the girls are less enthusiastic and no other mom has committed to being my 2nd adult.  The girls did horses a few years ago and I just sat around the camp and let the horse camp people lead it.  I was an adult on the trip, but on the long horse rides I didn't have to go b/c we had enough adults.  So it's not about being skilled, it's about willingness.  Heck, our St Helens trip was rough on me(record heat that weekend) but I did it!

 

if I had another mom who would commit to doing more we would do more.  I'm sad this year is less.  

 

If you want to grow the outdoor activity part of AHG you have to get willing parents.  Girls will usually try something at least once.  

I'm doing a skills day in a week for Explorers and PiPa girls.  Only a few moms are staying.  I'm hoping that starting all these badges they will be interested in doing more.  Ultimately for the Explorers it's going to take another mom to pull that off, but I'm trying to get them started.  My own DD has everything outdoorsy except the hiking badge.  With the 3 day backback trip requirement I'm not sure she will get that badge ever.  I can't get enough help for a night/weekend much less backpacking 3 days.    I don't know everything. I learn online, practice if I can, and learn with the girls if need be.  That is how you grow the outdoors...you get people comfortable with it.  If you have REI in your area there are tons of free classes and many are women only classes.  Highly recommend to get started and feel more comfortable getting outdoors. 

 

 

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Perhaps not entirely related, but one factor that plays into a troop not offering HA/outdoor activities is the strict health and safety requirements. At least with our troop, we have lots of interest and enough parental support, but it seems that's where it stops because of AHG's approach to those kinds of activities in light of insurance. I do think you might see more HA/outdoor type of activities if it was more like BSA where parents sign a waver before participating.

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Perhaps not entirely related, but one factor that plays into a troop not offering HA/outdoor activities is the strict health and safety requirements. At least with our troop, we have lots of interest and enough parental support, but it seems that's where it stops because of AHG's approach to those kinds of activities in light of insurance. I do think you might see more HA/outdoor type of activities if it was more like BSA where parents sign a waver before participating.

 

 

Yes, we need a general health form and a HA form, but both are good for a year and I think these are standard stuff for many kids' activities. We keep a binder with all of them that we take anywhere we go on a troop event. We sign waviers with the outfitters when they are involved, but they are standard too. In 4 years, we have been canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, climbing (indoors), swimming (outdoors),  done archery and BB guns, fishing, and of course, camping. Have you had AHG refuse permission for an outdoor or HA activity? At the convention a couple years ago, I heard all that the Alaska troop does and it sounds like Margaret's list! 

 

I do think the permission slips for everything are ridiculous. The approval from an AHG higher-up for any HA activity or trip 30 days out is irritating, but only a problem if that staff person is slow. I don't know if BSA troops have this much paperwork for HA activities? 

 

AHG has way too many policies and rules about small things, imo. I think AHG national is run by many women who have never even been unit leaders, never mind a TC or on the board, plus lawyers, lots of lawyers. Ugh! The paperwork takes so much energy and time that could be spent on the girls. 

 

Our issue with HA is lack of leadership, experience and initiative within our own troop. And budget to some degree. 

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You know, that's interesting. I'm wondering if something else is going on at our troop level because whenever a desire is brought forth for anything outdoor related, the default answer is "no" and the reason is always tied into health and safety standards.

My apologies for inadvertently hijacking the thread! 😊

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Soror,

We don't have access to all the cool places and adventures Margaret does, but I have been researching outdoor/HA for our girls.

 

Best resources here:

BSA/VC leaders

 

State and local parks, even in nearby states (We have huge city parks with 1000s of acres right in the city. Great Nature centers too.)

 

Youth group leaders - they often know good camps with facilities like high ropes courses.

 

REI or other outdoor store. Ours often advertises hikes, has training and teaching meetings and has a knowledgable, helpful staff.

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I agree with PP's the paperwork AHG requires is ridiculous, I could be wrong but I don't think BSA requires a permission slip for every outing or medical forms to be carried with you or filled out for day trips either.  

 

The training they have compared to BSA is paltry at best. When you go on the site to search out training you get a bunch of links to online stuff, you go to BSA and there are multiple things a month, and well established programs. Some of our leaders went to a live training a few states away and learned about paperwork but the outdoor training was a joke from what I heard. It looks like the next thing coming up that I can see anywhere close to me is National Convention. I was just looking at it, to see what help they might have, so far it sounds like a praise and worship concert with purity thrown in. Hopefully they have some good training sessions in there but what they have so far doesn't look like it is going to be much help to me running a troop, just evangelization. There is all these rules but little guidance on how to pull stuff off. That is frustrating that I'm looking to BSA for training for things to do with AHG.

 

Thankfully I have enough people and we live rurally so a lot of people are used to being outdoors. I have a ton of experience hiking, a fair amount camping (and have done group camping with Scouts since ds joined Cub Scouts 7 yrs ago)- not to mention family camping, I've done a pinch of backpacking and we kayak and canoe some. I'm up for doing about anything and I have other adults too, so that at least is not an issue. I just think when you are taking girls out, that aren't your own, the more training the better and it is frustrating that it is not easily found.

 

Last night dh had a Boy Scout meeting and some guy was there talking about a BSA program he is doing with girls 11yo-14yo and he is doing all high adventure stuff with them. Dh contacted him for me to find out more info, I think he was based out of a location 45 min of where I'm from. The girls even did summer camp last year. My daughter turns 11 in April!

Edited by soror
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I don't think that's a hijack at all. We've heard this from BSA troops too. Um, we follow the rules but do a lot of stuff!. We're blessed with our valley. 85% of it is public lands.: national forests, natural recreation areas, national parks, BLM, wilderness areas. We just had our committee meeting and the boys firmed up plans for sand dunes, ice climbing and the hot springs in Ouray, ice fishing, Nordic skiing, downhill race, and backpacking in a national monument. 

 

YOu guys are blessed to have so many awesome things to you, that is wonderful!

Soror,

We don't have access to all the cool places and adventures Margaret does, but I have been researching outdoor/HA for our girls.

 

Best resources here:

BSA/VC leaders

 

State and local parks, even in nearby states (We have huge city parks with 1000s of acres right in the city. Great Nature centers too.)

 

Youth group leaders - they often know good camps with facilities like high ropes courses.

 

REI or other outdoor store. Ours often advertises hikes, has training and teaching meetings and has a knowledgable, helpful staff.

Those are great tips, I have an REI a couple hrs away. I am registered through BSA too, I am a Merit Badge counselor so I can take BSA live training too, although dh says if I become an adult leader in their Troop I have to do IoLS because they are going for a certain award or something and all their leaders have to be "trained."

 

You guys' post yesterday reminded me to think about state parks and thinking what do we have in driving distance, I've been brainstorming for the Spring, I'd like to do something cool over spring break. I need to chat with the girls while we're camping this weekend and see what ideas they'd like and what sounds fun to them. I had already called a ropes course a couple hours away to check on group rates, it's not bad price, the gas price kills us driving church vans though!

 

I am 

Edited by soror
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Soror, 

This summer's AHG conference is not the same thing as the National Convention, which is only every 5 years and is huge. Next one is 2020. I cannot speak to the smaller ones b/c I haven't been, but the NC did have some good outdoor stuff, but it was more ideas and how to plan things, not actual outdoor skills/safety training. The troops from Alaska, Colorado, and other places with mountains, big rivers etc. were the most help. I learned lots in just casual conversations or meeting with someone individually over coffee. 

 

The Stars and Stripes breakout sessions were excellent. So were the ones on girl leadership, color guard, service and troop shepherd. The best workshops were usually the ones led by really good TCs or with panel discussions. The plenary speakers were a mix. Some were very devotional and too much of a certain flavor of Christianity for me. The music was meh and too loud. Dd and I played Uno in the lobby with a bunch of the Stars and Stripes recipients and Patriots during the main concert. Way more fun. Dd was 10 at the time and had a blast meeting the big girls. We will go in 2020, when she is 15. 

 

Since AHG severed their relationship with BSA, they don't have access to that support now. Trail Life can't provide it on a national scale, though they have well-trained local people (whose training and experience is is largely through BSA!).

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You might check with your local BSA camp. Ours rents the facilities out for other groups in the off season. Does AHG have a relationship with TL?

 

I don't know if they formally do or not. But our troop meets in the same building, same night as a Trail Life group and we are doing a joint camping trip at the end of October.  A lot of family have brothers in Trail Life. My son is not this year because it is his last year of Webelos and I decided to keep him in his group of friends. But he'll be moving over to Trail Life next year, when the troop has to split ways anyway.  We already know some boys there and it will make Monday nights much less hectic.

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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You might check with your local BSA camp. Ours rents the facilities out for other groups in the off season. Does AHG have a relationship with TL?

Yes.

 

We do rent from BSA sometimes, but it is $$$ compared to a state park. But maybe that is just our council.

Edited by ScoutTN
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I'm finishing up plan for our first camp-out of the year (we did a hiking trip last week-end). I think between myself and the coordinator we've got everything. I've got our service project. I talked to the girls last week about the schedule and activities, we are going fishing and biking, my Explorers will get to do the better part of both those badges. My new girls will be working on outdoor cooking and skills.

Soror, 

This summer's AHG conference is not the same thing as the National Convention, which is only every 5 years and is huge. Next one is 2020. I cannot speak to the smaller ones b/c I haven't been, but the NC did have some good outdoor stuff, but it was more ideas and how to plan things, not actual outdoor skills/safety training. The troops from Alaska, Colorado, and other places with mountains, big rivers etc. were the most help. I learned lots in just casual conversations or meeting with someone individually over coffee. 

 

The Stars and Stripes breakout sessions were excellent. So were the ones on girl leadership, color guard, service and troop shepherd. The best workshops were usually the ones led by really good TCs or with panel discussions. The plenary speakers were a mix. Some were very devotional and too much of a certain flavor of Christianity for me. The music was meh and too loud. Dd and I played Uno in the lobby with a bunch of the Stars and Stripes recipients and Patriots during the main concert. Way more fun. Dd was 10 at the time and had a blast meeting the big girls. We will go in 2020, when she is 15. 

 

Since AHG severed their relationship with BSA, they don't have access to that support now. Trail Life can't provide it on a national scale, though they have well-trained local people (whose training and experience is is largely through BSA!).

Thanks for the info and the correction. We'll see what sessions they are going to offer, on the other hand, I think my time would likely be better spent doing a weekend of BSA training, I probably need to do both. We don't have Trail Life around here but I know tons of BSA, dh has a Troop and we have a BSA Troop (and Pack) at our Charter as well and contact with other Troops that have been very helpful to us (lol of course dh is helpful :) ). 

Yes.

We do rent from BSA sometimes, but it is $$$ compared to a state park. But maybe that is just our council.

Same here, although we've not done it b/c we don't have the money. I know there are other camps we could use but our Troop is low on cash and our parents don't have a lot either. We usually do camp-outs for free, locally we have Corps property and they don't charge us (well we do a service project at one location but that is a good thing IMO). The closest state park is $2 a person, so that isn't bad either. 

 

Another place to think about is old forts. Our boys have spent the night at Bent's Old Fort on the Santa Fe Trail. It's not HA outside but don't forget that Scout groups can spend the night on various museum ships such as the Lexington and the New Jersey. And Scout groups can camp at West Point and the AFA. Some counties have campgrounds. We've spent the night at Jefferson County fairgrounds in order to go the train show the next day in Denver. If anyone is near Denver, the Rocky Mountain Toy Train people have a wonderful train exhibit in November and March. Any Scout, including leaders, in uniform is free! BSA can earn an entire mb in one day. 

Thank you so much for your great ideas, truly! 

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Our campout went well, we worked on having the older girls take on more of the leadership. We still have a long way to go but we're getting there. We talked to the girls more about what they wanted to work on and they listed kayaking/canoeing, ziplining, and working with horses. I'm working on lining up trips now.

 

We are talking about doing a trip for Spring Break- right now we are leaning towards the Smoky Mountains in TN, I think we have a leader with a timeshare condo there we can use but she is checking dates for us. We talked to the local BSA troop about maybe partnering with them for some things, especially in the case when it is something requiring a certain number. 

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Sorror- glad to hear your trip went well!

Question about those future trips you are planning, especially the canoeing and kayaking. It's my understanding that the girls and all participating adults need a swim test- how did your troop go about doing that? Did you hire a life guard, go to a public pool, etc? I'm really wanting to schedule some trips for our girls but am having difficulty figuring out just how to go about it all. 😄

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Our boy scout troop does swim tests at the local YMCA on a regular meeting night (all boys attending summer camp etc every year require a swim test plus there are swim requirements for some ranks so we do 2 swim nights each year plus make up test dates)

 

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Sorror- glad to hear your trip went well!

Question about those future trips you are planning, especially the canoeing and kayaking. It's my understanding that the girls and all participating adults need a swim test- how did your troop go about doing that? Did you hire a life guard, go to a public pool, etc? I'm really wanting to schedule some trips for our girls but am having difficulty figuring out just how to go about it all. 😄

That is one of the things on my to-do list, we actually already had a date at the pool scheduled that we can hopefully get them through the swim test, if not we'll have to have some extra days to work on swimming.

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Sorror- glad to hear your trip went well!

Question about those future trips you are planning, especially the canoeing and kayaking. It's my understanding that the girls and all participating adults need a swim test- how did your troop go about doing that? Did you hire a life guard, go to a public pool, etc? I'm really wanting to schedule some trips for our girls but am having difficulty figuring out just how to go about it all. 😄

 

 

Our troop reminds members to get the swim test done in the summer when everyone is swimming anyway. It is good for a year, like the HA form.  

 

If we have girls or leaders who need to be tested out of season, we arrange it at a local public pool with very inexpensive admission fee. Can't do the Y here because not everyone is a member. 

 

The BSA swim test is harder than AHG's. 

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Our troop reminds members to get the swim test done in the summer when everyone is swimming anyway. It is good for a year, like the HA form.  

 

If we have girls or leaders who need to be tested out of season, we arrange it at a local public pool with very inexpensive admission fee. Can't do the Y here because not everyone is a member. 

 

The BSA swim test is harder than AHG's. 

We should have done it in the summer but this is the first time we've done anything like this. We've been considering the BSA test because it is harder and we're not certain the AHG test is sufficient, then again we're not planning anything crazy and life jackets will be a must with boating.

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So who performs the actual test at the community/YMCA pool? Is it one of their lifeguards? Do they typically charge a fee on top of the admission fee? Do you make an appt. with them or just show up and say "test us!"? 😄

Yes, I will definitely call and gather the official info, but it helps to have a heads up first from those who have gone before me. 😎

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So who performs the actual test at the community/YMCA pool? Is it one of their lifeguards? Do they typically charge a fee on top of the admission fee? Do you make an appt. with them or just show up and say "test us!"? 😄

Yes, I will definitely call and gather the official info, but it helps to have a heads up first from those who have gone before me. 😎

 

 

I have called ahead to speak with a pool manager because the guards watching the pool are not free to do the test.  They have never asked us for a fee. Sometimes I have arranged this with a student I know who is a lifeguard, but who does not work at the pool. In that case, I paid them with a Starbucks or Chik-Fil-A giftcard.

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So who performs the actual test at the community/YMCA pool? Is it one of their lifeguards? Do they typically charge a fee on top of the admission fee? Do you make an appt. with them or just show up and say "test us!"? 😄

Yes, I will definitely call and gather the official info, but it helps to have a heads up first from those who have gone before me. 😎

 

 

It would be good to set the BSA test as a challenge option! 

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I know some lifeguards and the head of the local swim team and one of our Mom's is supposed to do lifeguard training, I'm not sure who I'll have test yet but I'll be calling on one of them.

 

BTW I just booked a cabin for Jan. for a wintertime get-away and fundraising reward, BSA property sleeps 30(heated, electricity, full kitchen), $125 a night, not bad at all.

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When we go as a group to the YMCA -- we do our own testing. When someone does makeup testing one of the lifeguards will do it.

At our Y you don't have to be a member -- you can pay to get in if you're not. They offer us a less expensive rate for the non-member guests for Scout events (I think it's $3 vs. normall $5).

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Lord Baden-Powell quotes: 

 

“When you want a thing done, ‘Don’t do it yourself’ is a good motto for Scoutmasters

 

 â€œScouting is a game for boys under the leadership of boys under the direction of a man.â€

 

"An adult should never do anything the boys can do and the boys can do everything."

 

 My FIL was a bigtime boy scout leader.   He had a rule that the kids had to cook for the parents.  When the parents complained that they wouldn't want to eat anything that their kids made, he said 'Then you should teach them to make what you are willing to eat."    I thought that was brilliant.   DH said that they had some excellent food on campouts.  As a teenager he would go on non-scouting hunting trips for free because he would be the cook.   

 

We have a second-grade Tenderheart, so I have no personal  advice.   

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