Recently our Cadette and Senior troop did the Girl Scout Higher Awards Private Investigator patch of the month from Girl Scouts of Central Texas.Even though this was a monthly patch program that’s now “closed,” there are terrific activities to help introduce ideas to older Girl Scouts.
When Your Troop Hasn’t Done the Bronze Award
Not completing the Bronze Award doesn’t disqualify a girl from earning the Silver Award or the Gold Award from the Girl Scouts.
I have a mixed troop of legacy scouts who have been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten, completing both Bronze and Silver, and “acquired” scouts who have had an inconsistent Girl Scout experience, whether it was multiple troops over the years or gaps where they weren’t active as a Girl Scout. One girl had her first scouting experience in the 7th grade!
For these reasons I found it helpful to share information about these awards in a non-threatening way. Telling a girl to come up with a 50-hour service project feels very overwhelming, even if you’ve organized things in the past!
We had our Seniors lead the activities for the Cadettes and it led to great discussions and demystified the Silver Award process in an easy manner.
Identifying What You Are Good At
One of the most promising activities of this patch program was identifying strengths of the individual girls. My Seniors led a circle discussion where each girl shared a personal strength, and others chimed in with other strengths and traits they could bring to the table.
Investigating the World
Another activity was a group discussion on problems in the world and possible causes and solutions.
Requirements for Silver and Gold Awards
I loved the printable sheets where girls had to figure out what attributes/requirements were part of the Bronze, Silver and Gold Award process.
Did This Activity Grow Interest in the Silver Award?
Absolutely! Last year I was met with questioning looks or indifference when I asked the girls if they were interested in earning their Silver Awards.
The combination of seeing several peers complete the award and learning it’s not complicated (though it does require commitment) led more than 2/3 of our girls who hadn’t yet started the Silver Award process to say they wanted to dive in this school year.
Our next steps? Our Seniors, who completed a Senior journey recently, are taking the council’s Gold Award webinar this week.
Our Cadettes will start working through their journey and start Silver Award planning as well.