Homeschool: Girl Scouts


4/12/2011

My daughter is now a Girl Scout.

I learned of a local homeschooling Girl Scout troop a few weeks ago. Knowing nothing about Girl Scouts (besides the fact that they sell delicious cookies), I began asking questions to learn more about what Girl Scouts do and
believe and who can join. We attended the next meeting of this local troop to see what that was like and meet some of the girls (and moms). It didn't take long for both my daughter and I to reach the same conclusion: this is something that she would enjoy and from which she would benefit.

To join now meant paying a pro-rated membership fee, as the usual membership covers September through May. It also meant that we just missed the selling of Girl Scout cookies, but we did join just in time for the girls' party to celebrate their cookie sales! This hardly seemed right, that my daughte
r's first Girl Scout event was a party to celebrate all of the hard work that the girls had put forth... when my daughter had done exactly NOTHING. But they insisted that we were welcome since we had now joined.

The party was last Friday and was a lot of fun. The troop leader put in hours and hours of time preparing and it showed. The kids really enjoyed themselves, as you can see from these pictures.

All the girls were dressed as fairies or princesses. Beautiful, just beautiful. And all of this delicious food too! The party was held inside a greenhouse, so it was 70 degrees with lush vegetation (making all of us forget the 40 degrees and drizzle that waited for us outside).

Here the girls are eating. My daughter is on the right side, looking at the camera.

For a craft, the girls had these huge teacup pots they used as planters for some small houseplants and lots of other "decorations" like acorns, feathers, mirrors, mushrooms (we'd made these the week before out of clay and then baked them to harden), silk butterflies, etc. This was a very neat idea that all of the kids enjoyed.

Enough about the party, though. Here's what I see as the benefits of my daughter joining Girl Scouts:
1) Many Girl Scout projects can be considered Art and/or Science, as it relates to homeschooling. Projects might involve studying the parts of a plant or studying constellations... and are laid out in a handbook that the girls work through in order to earn their "badge" of completion for that project. Since Art and Science are more difficult subjects for me to tackle, I like the idea of using the Girl Scout projects as part of our homeschooling curriculum in those areas.
2) The ideals of the Girl Scouts coincide with our family's ideals (you can read the Girl Scout promise and law here). These are the same values we're trying to instill in my daughter at home - integrity, friendship, courage, compassion, responsibility - so I see Girl Scouts as another way for her to hear that message.
3) My daughter is naturally shy and Girl Scouts will provide another way for her to enjoy friendships with other young ladies close to her age, in a supervised setting. I like the fact that the group is not only supervised but also is working together to accomplish something. This to me is very important - it's not just hanging out to have fun, but it's being together to do something together (learning together, serving the community together, etc).
4) Since this is a homeschooling troop, the meetings can take place during the day and that is a benefit for our family. Time in the evenings when my husband is home from work is valuable family time together. To be able to take part in Girl Scouts without cutting into that time together as a family is important to me. Daytime meetings also mean that siblings will be there, so my son is welcome to attend with us and play with the other young siblings (he'll be embarrassed by this later, but he will probably be considered an honorary Girl Scout :-))

So we are looking forward to what Girl Scouts has to offer and I'm sure I'll be posting more about it in the future.

2 comments:

Drew said...

My sister has been a girlscout leader for years, there are good troops and bad troops. Watch very closely the material that comes home and keep in touch with the leader. Girl Scouts of America (the organziation) has ties with planned parenthood. have been known to have parties to make the scouts sexier and distribute sexually related materials. I think you have some time before you have to worry about this but wanted to give you a heads up. The GSA organization even says that God is optional in the oath. http://www.opposingviews.com/i/relationship-between-girl-scouts-planned-parenthood Drew

SAHMonomics said...

Your son is called a Tagalong, and that is for whom the cookie is named. The younger siblings who tag along to Girl Scout meetings! :-)

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