|Brownie Troop #85054 Saves The Weymouth Girl Scout House|
Our troop is fairly new, made on the last minuet of 2 leaders and a volunteering Mom. We made a decision to form our own new troop (Now 3 leaders), and stick to some real Girl Scout Values, reform ourselves to do the most with/for our Scouts, and our community, as actual Girl Scouts, by actually following The Girl Scout Law, and The Girl Scout Promise.
So, we took our girls, whom had been Scouting for a few years, as well as took brand new scouts to our troop that no one else wanted (and will still accept others) and we proudly put our heads together democratically and came up with several ideas to improve the Scouting experiences for our girls.
We have added more time, for girls to have more hands experience for learning, to not only do their activities, and projects, but to actually complete them. We are teaching & training them to be benevolent leaders, to be sisterly to their fellow scouts, to be problem solvers, team players, to be handy, and we are also learning to actually follow directions such as lining up in squads, and circles without any problems. (In such a short time, it's already working above expectations.)
We decided to really be a good example to our girls, so we've been regularly having our meetings weekly to reinforce the values we teach our scouts about being a Girl Scout. This actually worked so well, plus the added longer time to meet & work together reinforces the bonding of the troop. In just 2 meetings, Our Troops could already sing 4 Brownie songs, and also some patriotic songs. We didn't expect them to learn it so quickly, but we were so surprised. Not only that, but we marched in the Veteran's Day Parade singing our Brownie songs, and not only made our own Banner, but the Banner for another Troop which also marched in the parade. We hope to go camping this year, and have a whole list of campfire songs.
We are so proud of our girls whom told us many times over they wanted challenges, including science, community, problem solving, and being as they put it " be real Girl Scouts". Our concern for them was their age, as we are always trying to figure out what their limits are. We've taken on basic sowing which was their most difficult challenge, book making, and basic leadership among their peers.
Believe me, our Girls have so much fun, and we've already had an ice cream social, but what surprised us the most was their work on the evening of November 19th.
Earning Brownie Badges:
We wanted the girls to earn a badge called "Earth Is Our Home" in which the 1st assignment is to create our own cleaning supplies which are safe and Eco friendly, made from common house hold ingredients.
We used basically, things like:
Since we're Girl Scouts, that means we take that oath we call "The Girl Scout Promise" and recite & follow "The Girl Scout Law" we know what these words mean. It's not some meaningless stuff we just have to put up with. No, words have meaning.
If you have ever used The Girl Scout House, which many troops do in our town, then you will know just how neglected and abused the place has been. Having used the place since last year in another troop, I'd seen the utter neglect and dishonorable, un-scoutly things people left behind for our old troop to clean up. Yet, we stayed true, and cleaned anyway, and as responsible scouts, we spoke up and said something. But, this year, our new Troop actually did something... and not just complaining... No! We took action!
The Bottom level of the Girl Scout house was so old & neglected that it was covered with thick layers of dust, grit, and was infested with all types of bugs.
There was a large, venomous, dangerous, spider (either a nurse spider or wolf spider):
There were actually a large number of large spiders there, and also large silverfish bugs.
There were cobwebs everywhere!
Then, there was an old unplugged freezer, with 2 large gallon tubs of ice cream which had been there for who knows how many years, since I'd seen it in there since last year, and with all the chemicals they put in that stuff, who knows how long it was there!
The girls were very squeamish, and nervous about this task, but we all decided to clean this bottom level. I was mostly expecting them to get the bare minimum done, and be done with the project, after all there was big bad scary spiders, and large creepy crawly things everywhere. So I set off with a broom to make the place less scary and creepy, meanwhile my other 2 wonderful leaders did their helpful motherly tasks as well praising their efforts, and cleaning. (And, a helpful mother also volunteered!)
As it turns out, the bottom floor of the Girl Scout House, hadn't been refurbished by a Troop since April of the year 2000, which actually turned out to be 2 Troops, which are written on a mural on the wall still. That's over 10 years!
But, the project took on a life of it's own! Next thing I knew, I had Girls asking me to clean the tables again but better, then to have something else to clean! Talk about team work! We had several teams of girls working on multiple cleaning jobs! Then, they all began begging me to sweep, and then to mop. I think I got the most begging to mop! I had to actually forbid people from mopping because we ran out of paper towels, and didn't want people slipping on the steps.
Not only did we get the stove cleaned, the counters, the tables, the windows, bathrooms, and floors, But, we cleaned out that disgusting old freezer! YES! Including those putrid, reeking tubs of what was formerly ice cream!
The entire meeting exceeded all of our expectations for our Girls! They worked so hard, and so well! For some girls, it was their first time actually cleaning. Not only that, but now, not only can we use the bottom floor for our own Troop assignments & projects, but so can the other troops. We just hope they will show the same respect to the Girl Scout House, as we do, as well as to the other troops that use it; and as well as to us for having taken on this task.
The Over-all Lesson:
Taking on challenges doesn't mean the work can't be fun, because this task we took on actually turned out to be so fun, that girls made jokes about their work the whole evening, and there was laughter ringing out all night! It's also what you take out of the experience of taking on a task, giving it your best shot, and what you take with you from building those memories & bonding in the end. The accomplishment of a good deed is its self its own reward!
The meeting wasn't all work, we also had cookies & juice, which were brought in by our assigned snack girl for that meeting, and 2 other girls donated to us some Hershey's Kisses which we passed out in the closing ceremony.
Altho' we are not wealthy, coming together and pooling our resources, time, and effort truly pays off! Believe us, we have very little, but we are very grateful to have what little we have, and as a team, like a Troop ought to be, we took what small meager things we had, and did something good, and made something great for the greater good of everyone. Now, we are becoming like a family, and truly becoming "sister(s) to every Girl Scout".
Serendipity has a way of making your work into a pleasant side effect, and we are so proud of our Brownies!
To View All of The Photos of our work, and our results See the Photo Album!