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Posts Tagged ‘Character’

 

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I frequently get asked, “What is Frontier Girls?”  We may be small, but word of our program is growing quickly and many families are anxious to find out more.

Frontier Girls was founded on January 19, 2007 as an alternative to Girl Scouts to provide a scout like program for girls that goes back to the values and goals of the original Girl Scouts. Our mission is to raise women of honor to be the mothers and leaders of the future through life skills, leadership, character building, teamwork and service to others.  We seek to instill a love of learning in the girls and allow them to explore the world around them, learning about anything that sparks their curiosity.  In the process we show them the importance of caring for those less fortunate then themselves and how to become a strong leader and stand up for what they believe in.

Frontier Girls celebrates the American spirit that makes us exceptional. Our country was built upon a strong faith in God, strong family values, and the acceptance of those who are different than ourselves. We are a people of loyalty, of faith, of innovation. We pride ourselves on our resourcefulness and our freedoms. These are the traits our country was built on, but they are slowly being eroded away in a culture of instant gratification and irresponsibility. The Frontier Girl program seeks to restore a focus on good moral character, patriotism, community service, and a love of learning that is being lost.

The name Frontier Girls was chosen because one of the definitions of the word “frontier” is “an undeveloped area or field for discovery or research.” The American spirit thrives upon the constant desire to discover new things, to ask more questions, and find more answers. Our badges are divided into Areas of Discovery because we want girls to find something new in everything they study and to never want to stop learning.  We even have an entire Area of Discovery dedicated to Character with badges such as honor, diligence, responsibility and modesty.  These badges encourage girls to put these traits to use in their own lives, helping them to be good, well-mannered, self directed, respectful, disciplined, and honorable citizens.

Our scout like youth program for girls uses badges for its foundation with a variety of higher awards available as well. We believe that girls can do anything they set their minds to and should have the opportunity to explore any subject that interests them. For this reason we have made a commitment to writing a badge on virtually any subject a girl wishes to learn about with the exception of controversial topics we feel are better addressed by parents or religious leaders. We currently offer more than 1200 individual badges and are adding more every day.

Frontier Girls believes that scouting should be a family affair when possible.  For this reason we honor the badge requirements of other scouting organizations such as the Boy Scouts and Royal Rangers.  This allows families to all work on badges together without having to juggle two sets of programming.  We also offer a sister program, Quest Clubs (www.questclubs.net), that uses the same badges and awards, but is open on a co-ed basis if brothers wish to earn Frontier Girl badges.

If you would like to learn more about Frontier Girls, visit our website at http://www.frontiergirlsclubs.com or email me at Kerry@frontiergirls.com

 

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It never ceases to amaze me how unprepared some kids are for real life.  A friend of mine’s daughter recently started college and her roommate did not know how to do her own laundry, cook a meal, or even pay her own bills.  I was shocked.  In today’s busy society, many parents find it simpler and faster to do household chores themselves rather than require help from their children.  Unfortunately, they are doing both themselves and their children a disservice.

While it may take a few tries to get it right, and their idea of “done” may not be  the same as yours, learning to do chores around the house is a necessary part of childhood education.  Not only does it prepare your child for tasks they will have to perform as an adult, but it teaches them to be a part of a team and pitch in to help the family.  Mom should not have to do it all.    Even the smallest children can help out by picking up toys or wiping up spills.  By age 10, most kids can do just about any chore around the house from doing dishes and making beds, to dusting and laundry.

If you have not already looked at the requirements for the Life Skills Achievement Award, now is the time.  This award is a series of 30 requirements at each level that teach kids life skills in a variety of areas from household chores and good hygiene, to navigational and financial skills.  While 30 requirements may seem daunting, many are simply common sense tasks that your child has probably already learned.  Even if you are starting from scratch, if you teach your child one skill each month, by the time they advance to the next level of Frontier Girls they should have earned the award and amassed several skills that they will use throughout their life.

While taking the time to teach your children to be self-sufficient may require a bit of work in the beginning, in the long run it will save you a lot of time and headaches.  My own girls are now 10 and 12, and they clean their own bathroom and bedrooms, vacuum, dust, do dishes, yard work, etc.  They take pride in being able to do these things, and since they are part of their routine, we rarely have complaints.  It is simply part of their day, and it allows me the time to do other things (like blog!) that I would never have time for if I tried to do it all myself.

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The first decade of 2010 is past.  As we embark on yet another new year, and new decade, I challenge all Frontier Girls to make a difference in your community this year.  If you have not yet earned a Make  a Difference award, this is the year to do it.  Regardless of your age, there is always something you can do to make your community a better place to live.  Make a commitment to uncovering a solution to a problem in your area.

With the current economic situation, there are more and more animals being turned loose to become strays.  You could start an information campaign addressing the problem and distribute fliers to schools and storefronts.  Work with your local humane society to find out what else you can do such as organizing a pet food drive.

Many educational and fun places to visit in your community, such as zoos and museums, are non-profit organizations.  They are very expensive to run, and their costs are not covered by admission fees.  Without donations and volunteers, they would be unable to survive.  Even if you are not old enough to volunteer at the location itself, you can always help hand out fliers,  further a public relation campaign, or hold a fundraiser.

If there is a dangerous intersection in your community that needs a street light, stop sign, or cross walk, start a petition to obtain one.  When you have collected enough signatures, present your petition to your city officials.  Maybe there are bushes or trees that make it difficult to see oncoming traffic.  If they are on private property, offer to help trim them.  If they are on public land, contact your city officials with a request that they be trimmed.

Maybe you live in an area that could use some beautification.  You could write a proposal for a Neighborhood Beautification Week and get your mayor to sign it.  Then make fliers to post around town and organize volunteers to help out neighbors who may not be able to clean up their own yards.  Hold a fundraiser to purchase paint and supplies, or have them donated, and coordinate volunteers to help senior citizens, low-income residents, or people with special needs clean up their homes.

Many stores keep unhealthy snacks, such as candy bars, up by the front counter, contributing to our society’s poor nutritional habits and obesity problem.  Work with store owners to find tasty, more nutritional items, that can be offered in place of, or at least next to, the unhealthy options.  Make fliers for your community promoting healthier eating habits.

There are thousands of things you can do for your community.  Find something you love, and then look through your community to find a way you can use your passion to help others.  If you love animals, check with the local animal shelters or pet stores to see how you and your friends can help.  If you love history, talk to local museums.  Maybe gardening is your thing.  If so, check with local parks, schools and churches to see who needs help with planting or weeding.  If you love painting, maybe you can organize a community mural.  Use your imagination to rise to the challenge and make your community a better place to live.

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Every year my Frontier Girls troop rings bells for Salvation Army.  It is probably one of the easiest and most fun community service projects we perform.  The Salvation Army is one of the most well known and active charities in the U.S., as well as  around the world.  Just a few of the services they perform are missing persons, disaster relief, drug and alchohol rehabilitation, fighting human trafficking, youth camps, Christmas charities, and elderly services. 

This year I had so many girls wish to participate that we had to split into two groups.  The Otters and Dolphins (k-5 grades) rang bells last week in freezing cold temperatures while singing Christmas carols and handing out candy canes.  For us out here in the California Valley, being out in the low 30’s was quite a shock, but the girls were troopers and didn’t complain.  This week the Butterflies and Eagles (6-12 grades) came out in the rain for their turn.  With hot chocolate to finish off the evenings, everyone went home feeling warm in both body and spirit.

If you are looking for an easy way to help others this holiday season, consider spending a little of your time ringing bells for this worthy charity.  This year they have made it easier then ever.  Not only can you ring bells in the traditional way, like we did, but they have added programs to ring bells via the internet as well.  If you visit www.salvationarmy.org, you can set up your own virtual red bucket to email to family and friends.  To make it even more fun, if you have an iphone, you can download a bell ringing app and ring bells via your phone as well. 

Salvation Army

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In today’s society of instant gratification, it is more important than ever to teach your kids patience.  Children today are bombarded with sight, sound, color and a constant stream of input.  Video games, cell phones, computers and TVs fill their day with instantly accessible entertainment, communication, and information.  As their brains continue to process this information at faster and faster rates, they soon come to expect everything in life to come to them as quickly as a simple push of a button.

Unfortunately, as we all know, life does not exactly work that way.  For this reason we recently finished the Patience Badge.  I highly encourage you all to work on this badge with your own daughter, if not with your entire troop.  It is not a difficult badge to earn, but by making children focus on what it means to be patient, hopefully they will practice it more in their own lives.  Help them to realize that patience is something that can not only make their own lives more enjoyable, but also the lives of those around them.

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Two weeks ago, Haley Memeo, the leader of Redding, CA Frontier Girls troop #118 decided we should have a float in the annual Christmas Lighted parade.  While troop #101 has marched in the parade before, we have never had access to a truck and trailer to create a float.  This did not daunt Haley however, who simply called every trucking company in town until she got a 40′ flatbed trailer and semi truck donated for the occassion.    With only a week until the parade and an empty trailer before us, we called in the local girls and moms from both troops, and set to work.

Since everything we do has a patriotic flair to it, it was only natural to focus on the American Flag.  Lisa Peasha donated her 17′ x 12′ American flag, and we rigged a stand for it so that it would fly down the center of our float.  We surrounded it with haybales for the kids to sit on, and built railings around the edges of the trailer.  Since the theme was “Candy Canes and Christmas Carols”, we made a dozen 5′ tall candy canes using pipe insulation, wire, and red & white duct tape and put them all over the float.  With a donated Christmas tree and mechanical deer on the upper platform, the only thing left was to string it with lights.  Over a thousand feet of lights were strung around everything and over 20 light up candy canes were placed among the haybales.  We were ready for the parade.

Saturday dawned clear, but windy and freezing cold (at least for us here in California).  By the time we had to get ready for the nighttime parade, we were forced to admit that it was too windy to put up the flag.  In spite of losing our “Wow” factor, we piled on 20 girls dressed in red sweatshirts and white Christmas lights.  Our tall flag team lined up on either side of the trailer with lights down their legs and their red, white, and blue parade flags at the ready.  With “God Bless the USA” and “The Great Defenders” playing and flags twirling,  we entered the parade.  The girls did great despite the 37 degree weather.

The following morning, we were all shocked to discover that we had won 1st place in the Floats/Youth division.  Way to go girls of troops #118 and #101!!  Your hard work really paid off.  Only a year to go until we do it again!

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Last night, while checking my email, I discovered one from my 9 year old daughter.  This immediately raised my curiousity, as my kids don’t spend much time sending emails and such.  Turns out it was an idea for a new badge for Frontier Girls, the Cartoon Badge.  I groaned, as my first thought was that she must want to spend hours watching cartoons, but as I continued to read, I began to puff up with pride.  Even at  just 9 years old, my daughter has figured out the mechanics of basic badge writing.

As any girl in my troop will tell you, they can earn badges on any subject that interests them, but they do have to actually work at it.  My daughter’s Cartoon Badge suggestion came with requirements such as find out what the first cartoon was and who drew it;  name 5 people who do voices for cartoons;  draw your own cartoon;  and learn how cartoons are made.  The longer the girls are in the Frontier Girls program, the more they begin to discover the world around them.  Everything they see and do takes on a new dimension when they put it in the framework of a badge.  It makes them ask questions they may never have thought of otherwise.

I encourage you to talk with your own girls about writing badges on topics they are interested in.  They will get as much from writing the badge as they will from actually earning it.  Writing a badge makes you ask questions,  questions lead to new discoveries, and new discoveries lead to new interests.  There is as much value in the process, as there is in what they actually learn.

Happy badge writing!mightymouse

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