The Girl Scout Year in Review
The new Girl Scout year is just around the corner, are you ready to get back to troop and make it the best year yet? From large council-wide events to camping with your troop, Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida has you covered. Whether you are a new troop leader or a returning veteran, the opportunities for your girls are endless. No matter how you plan out your year, here are some suggestions that we encourage for every troop:
- Meet at least once per month in order to build bonds and learn about what interests your girls have.
- Choose badges and activities that cover a wide variety of interests and skills.
- Keep your decisions up to the girls in your troop – Girl Scouts is first and foremost a girl-lead program.
- Explore the outdoors by visiting our camp properties.
- Attend or hold an end-of-year event to celebrate everything your troop has accomplished.
- Participate in Girl Scout traditions, like saying the Promise & Law and singing Girl Scout songs.
We know that embarking on a new year, potentially with new girls, can be a daunting task. That is why we have laid out a month by month guide to give you just a taste of what is possible this year!
The information below is just a sample of the available opportunities for your girls and we are constantly adding new and exciting programs every day. Check our event calendar frequently and read our monthly Trefoil Talk e-newsletter to stay up to date. Want to sign up for the newsletter? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall into Girl Scouting – Get Girl Scout ready at this open-house public event for the whole family on September 21 at the South Florida Fairgrounds! GSSEF is bringing a year of Girl Scouting to your fingertips as you explore our council’s department showcase, speak with program providers and learn all about the amazing opportunities awaiting you and your girls this year. Girl Scouts will be completing our passport challenge to earn chance drawing tickets for some exclusive prizes and adults will get the chance to learn more about our wonderful organization! Read More >
Beginning of a New Girl Scout Year – That’s right, the official Girl Scout year starts on October 1st and it’s cause for celebration! Girl Scouts across our five counties will be getting back to troop or starting their Girl Scout journey with us. New friends, experiences, and adventures are awaiting your girls this year, so be sure to use some icebreakers to start off on the right foot! Ask your girls to share stories about their summer, what they want from this coming year, and play some games to get them warmed up at your first troop meeting.
Fall Product Sale Program – Chocolate, candies, magazines and more – get ready for a FAWN-tastic way to start your Girl Scout year! The Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida 2019 Fall Product Sale Program runs from October 1 through November 15, 2019. Not only is the product sale a great way for girls to learn entrepreneurial and leadership skills, it can also help fund your troop’s Girl Scout year. Speak with your girls early on about goal setting and what they want to spend their earnings on. Having tangible goals will inspire your girls and help you have the best Fall Product Sale yet! Read More >
Fall Council-wide Community Service Project – Earth Defenders is back for its second year and we are looking forward to finding out how you and your troop are planning to save our planet. For this council-wide community service project we are leaving the decision making up to the girls and encourage creativity when it comes to picking out a project. Whether your troop wants to focus on conservation, air pollution, recycling or clean-ups, the possibilities are endless! We just ask that you complete your project within the month of October and submit a completed Earth Defenders 2019 form to earn an awesome patch and year rocker.
#BeMindful– All grade-levels are invited to take a step back and learn how to be mindful during this day of badge workshops and exclusive health fair on November 9! As girls get older, they will need to navigate social situations, stress, and how to balance their busy lives. With all the pressures of modern technology and the workload of today’s students, it is important to help our girls arm themselves with the right tools to build healthy minds and bodies. Join Baptist Health South Florida and GSSEF as we deep dive into the inner workings of the human brain and how we cope with emotions, stress and self-esteem!
Movie Mania and Toy Drive– Ready to relax before a busy holiday season? Girl Scouts are invited to start their Thanksgiving break with an exclusive overnight lock-in at Cinepolis in Deerfield Beach. That’s right! All grade-levels will be able to kick back with their troop for an evening of newly released and classic movies all night long! Don’t forget to spread the magic by gathering toys and other supplies for the Voices for Children of Broward County toy drive – another awesome way your troop can give back while having a great time. Read More >
Volunteer and give back with your troop– December is all about reflecting on the year and giving back to the communities and people that need it most. Speak with your troop about how they can make a difference in someone’s life. Whether they choose to volunteer in a nursing home, make supply kits for the homeless, or clean up a local park, your troops efforts will be appreciated. This is a great time to teach your Girl Scouts about the significance of community service and how they can change the world.
Represent Girl Scouts in Holiday Parades and local events– Check with your local City Council or other community organizers to see if your girls can march in a holiday parade. Spend a troop meeting making matching t-shirts and accessories and use this time to talk with your girls about confidence as they wear their Girl Scout gear with pride!
Get Outside – December in Florida is a perfect time to get outside and enjoy the cooler months with your troop! Organize a troop camping event or come out to Camp Welaka on December 7 for We Heart Welaka and enjoy a fun-filled day exploring what makes this property special. Girl Scouts and volunteers will get a taste of all the adventures waiting for you at camp including archery, hiking, outdoor cooking, canoeing and more.
S.M.A.R.T. Cookie – The Girl Scout Cookie Sale is one of the pillars of our organization, to the general public Girl Scouts and cookies go hand in hand. But if you have been through a cookie season before, you know that this program is no joke! Join GSSEF at the Palm Beach Convention center on January 11 for an afternoon all about cookies. Girl Scouts, parents and volunteers will learn vital skills for a successful cookie sale during this interactive program that includes cookie panels led by Top Cookie Sellers and volunteers. Whether this is your first cookie season or your last, there are always ways to learn, grown and improve.
Cookie Sale Program – From January 23 to February 16 Girl Scouts across Southeast Florida will only have one thing on their minds, COOKIES! Not only is Girl Scout cookie season an American tradition, it is also a vital part of a Girl Scout’s experience. The Cookie Sale Program teaches girls entrepreneurship, marketing, people skills, and business ethics, setting them up for a lifetime of leadership. Through completion of a full cookie sale Girl Scouts will learn priceless skills that will help them tremendously throughout school, work and beyond. We recommend that troops start planning for the Cookie Sale Program in December (your service unit might even have a Cookie Rally planned), this way, girls and troops have clear goals when selling cookies during January and February.
World Thinking Day– February 22 is World Thinking Day, a holiday of international friendship and solidarity between Girl Scouts and Girl Guides throughout the world. Girl Scouts is a member of WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts), which organizes World Thinking Day.
Girl Scouts can celebrate World Thinking Day by participating in age-appropriate activities to earn an award. The theme and activities vary by year, and are dependent on the theme chosen by WAGGGS. The theme for 2020 is “Living Threads” a celebration of diversity, equity and inclusion. Checkout the 2020 activity pack to start planning!
Mall Madness– The holidays are over and thousands of Girl Scouts are invited to Cruise the Mall during an overnight, lock-in adventure. Girl Scouts will get to spend their holiday gift cards at stores opened after hours just for our girls! Take part in fun games and activities, and don’t forget to bring SWAPS to trade when you meet Girl Scouts from across Southeast Florida. Registration for this event will open at 10 a.m. on December 3 so mark your calendars! Be the first to embark on your cruise adventure with a VIP priority boarding pass, but be quick! VIP sells out within minutes of registration opening.
Thin Mint Sprint– Grab your troop and start training for this year’s Thin Mint Sprint. Participants can help raise funds and spread the word to support GSSEF during this super FUNdraiser. Runners who complete the race will even receive a box of Thin Mints! Read more >
Womens ‘Her’story Month– March is Women’s History Month, so encourage your troop to learn more about some of Girl Scouts’ famous alums. If you didn’t already know, Girl Scouts have been making a difference since 1912 and this is a great opportunity to inspire your troop to reach for the stars!
Girl Scouts Birthday Week– Girl Scout Week is celebrated each March, starting on a Sunday, and it always includes the Girl Scout Birthday on March 12. This is the perfect time to reflect on what it means to be a Girl Scout and take a deep dive into Girl Scout traditions and history.
Rock the Noc- March welcomes spring weather and what better way to enjoy the outdoors than heading to Camp Nocatee on March 14 for our newest council-wide program, Rock the Noc! You will get a chance to familiarize yourself with our camp property in Clewiston, Florida and explore it’s old Florida charm. Girl Scouts and volunteers will get a taste of all the adventures waiting for you at camp including hiking, outdoor cooking, canoeing and more.
National Volunteer Month- During the month of April we celebrate all of the amazing volunteers that make up the backbone of our organization. And on April 22, we celebrate Girl Scout Leader’s Day, a special day that honors our hardworking troop leaders who embody our mission every day. Without volunteers like you, our Girl Scouts would not be able to grow and flourish into girls of courage, confidence, and character, and for that we are forever grateful!
Set aside some time during this month to have your girls create thank-you notes for all of the troop helpers, parent volunteers, and community partners that have helped your troop throughout the year.
Spring Council-wide Community Service Project – Every year we host a council-wide food drive that encourages troops to research the topic on their own and come up with a plan to gather and distribute food to an organization in their community. Feeding Florida Together is a great chance for your girls to learn about working together to form a plan, setting their own goals and then coming together to deliver the food. Read More >
Journey in a Day – Every year GSSEF hosts an event at Camp Nocatee where Girl Scouts can earn a full journey in one day, a task that usually takes months of planning to earn as a troop. This year we are mixing things up by exploring the newest Outdoor STEM Journey introduced by GSUSA this past summer, Think Like a Citizen Scientist!
Host a Flag Ceremony – Summer holidays like Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day and Flag Day give Girl Scouts a great excuse to learn about and host a Flag Ceremony. You can adapt your ceremony to best suit your troop, and watch videos of other troops for inspiration. There’s even a fun patch that your girls can earn!
Prepare for Bridging Ceremonies and End of Year Celebrations – The year will pass by quickly and soon enough it will be time for your Girl Scouts to move up to the next grade-level! Hosting a bridging ceremony is a great way to close up your Girl Scout year and get your girls ready for their next big adventure. Many service units in our area will host large end-of-year celebrations or you could plan a more intimate celebration with just your troop. Some Girl Scouts even save up their cookie money and take a trip to complete their bridging, like the troop below who flew out to Savannah, Georgia to bridge at Juliette Gordon Lowe’s birthplace!
GSSEF Summer Activities – Troop activity usually slows down during the summer months but there are still plenty of activities girls can take part in on their own or with their troop, including spending time at our camp properties this summer! More information will be available for exciting summer opportunities as the year progresses, so keep your eyes peeled and mark your calendars because this will be a summer you won’t want to miss.
Centennial of Women’s Right to vote – You read that right, June 4, 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the United States Senate approving the 19th Amendment! This is a momentous occasion for women everywhere and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to teach your girls about the women’s sufferage movement and how they can continue to make the world a better place for women. The League of Women Voters is a great resource to start your journey.
Friendship Week– During the third week of August every year we are encouraged to celebrate our friendships with National Friendship Week! As summer comes to an end you can gather your troop back together to celebrate the friendships they have formed over the year. Your girls can make cards for each other and you could even encourage them to bring other friends to the Girl Scout meeting for one giant celebration!
This post adapted information from The Trailhead of GSNorCal.