Patrol Power!

One of my favorite things about leading Girl Scout Juniors instead of Brownies is the patrol system.  We used it in my Junior troop when I was a girl, but I didn’t realize just how effective and useful it is until I tried it as a leader.  Patrols are small groups within the troop.  The girls split into patrols when an activity works best with small groups, when we have a big task that can be broken into several parts, or when we need to make several decisions that require discussion and/or research.

Setting Up Patrols

I always have at least three patrols.  The reason I don’t do two is that I’ve noticed that when people are split into just two groups, they tend to assume they are rivals and get very competitive or even hostile.  Read more…

Outdoor Fun skit ideas

One of the requirements for the Outdoor Fun badge is to do skits demonstrating that you know the necessary skills for outdoor activities.  My experience in earning this particular badge as a Girl Scout, and in doing similar projects with my troop as a leader, indicated that girls tend to jump on the first ideas that come to mind, and this results in a bunch of repetitive, obvious, relatively dull skits…so I brainstormed in advance and had each patrol draw a few slips of paper that assigned them topics for their skits: Read more…

Excuse me, are you Jewish?

My neighborhood has a large Jewish population, and every so often a person will approach me in public and say, “Excuse me, are you Jewish?” I always say no. Sometimes this earns me a Good Card, the version for non-Jews. Most times it results in the person leaving me alone–he was looking for a Jewish girl to flirt with, a lapsed Jew to evangelize, or something that requires me to be Jewish.

But one time, the guy hollered after me as I continued briskly down the street, “Well, where’d ya get that nose, then?!” Read more…