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Posts Tagged ‘girl scouts’

 

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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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grieveI was contacted today by yet another Girl Scout service unit manager looking to flip her troop over to Frontier Girls.  As a Gold Award recipient myself and an ex-Girl Scout leader who had a wonderful experience in scouting, it hurts my heart to see the program I loved so much quickly dying.  The Girl Scout leaders who are leaving Girl Scouts to come to Frontier Girls as an alternative are mostly leaders with 10, 15, or even 20 or more years as an experienced Girl Scout leader.  They are the service unit managers and leaders with large and active troops, the very base of the Girl Scout program.    For each of these committed leaders who contact me, I rejoice that they will be joining Frontier Girls, but I grieve that their flight from Girl Scouts means that the program I loved has changed beyond repair.

When I began Frontier Girls in 2007, after my own desertion of the Girl Scouts, it was to recreate a program that offered the girls everything I had in my own scouting experience; a chance to explore new skills, new ideas, and new places;  an opportunity to become a better citizen and kinder person;  and a chance to lead and be challenged.    As Frontier Girls  grows, and more and more experienced Girl Scout leaders join our ranks, it is my hope that the program we build together will continue to expand, offering girls more and more opportunities.  We are a grassroots group and we listen to each and every idea.   Frontier Girls is not my program, it is our program, and it will rise or fall based on how well we work together, listen to each other, and support one and other.

Frontier Girls troops and members may still be quite spread out, but I have never worked with a more committed group of women and girls.  Through our fgleaders Yahoogroup and our Facebook page I have watched friendships blossom and grow all across the country.  I have watched veteran leaders support and guide new leaders on all aspects of troop management.  I have watched girls show compassion and concern for fellow members even though they may be states away.  This is what it means to be a Frontier Girl.  It is being part of something bigger than yourself.  It is reaching out and living our motto, “If you see a need, take the lead!”

While I will always grieve for the Girls Scouts that use to be, I now rejoice in the Frontier Girls of the future.

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Certain badges are much more fun to do with friends, than by yourself at home.  The Vegetable Badge is just such a badge.  At our last meeting we learned about a variety of vegetables, what vitamins and minerals they contained, and why they were good for us. To do this, I printed out cards with pictures of vegetables in one pile, the names of the vitamins and minerals they were known for in another, and in the last pile I placed pictures of the body parts they helped.  After showing the girls how the cards matched up, we shuffeld the cards and handed them out.  On the word “Go”, they had to run around the room and find their partners.  For example, if you were holding the carrot card, you would have to find the girls holding the vitamin A card and the eye card.  We did this several times, reshuffling each time, and kept trying to improve our time.

For our craft, we decided to make potato people.  Each girl received a potato, a small cup of toothpicks,a small cup of straight pins, a plasitc knife and a pair of scissors.  A variety of vegetable were placed in the center of each table including items such as napa cabbage (which became angel wings and bride dresses), radishes (which became hats, eyes and noses), kale (for hair and eye lashes), red peppers (lips), carrot slices (eyes and arms), and much more. 

I was a little concerned about our little ones and all the sharp objects, but they did great and didn’t even need much help.  One pin prick the entire afternoon.  This was a great project for multiple age troops as the high schoolers had just as much fun as the 5 year olds.

Next meeting it is off to the nursery for a field trip and a chance to plant our own vegetables to take home.

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Because my troop only meets twice a month, we are usually working on several badges at a time.  This fall we chose Knots, Etiquette, and Hawaii.  So, how to you integrate what seems to be three entirely different subjects into the same meeting?  You throw a Luau! 

The girls learned a hula dance and a song in Hawaiian for the entertainment.  We used knots that we learned to make our own grass skirts and leis, and learned all about party etiquette and table manners before inviting all family members to our luau.  At the luau, we also educated parents and siblings on Hawaiin etiquette such as never taking off a lei in front of the person who gave it to you (it is rude.)

We used our potluck luau as the start to our Investiture/Rededication Ceremony last month and everyone had a marvelous time.  The girls loved getting up on stage in their grass skirts to hula for their parents.  (We kept the patriotic theme of Frontier Girls by having the girls wear the skirts over their uniform and used red, white, and blue flower leis.)

By working on three badges at one time, the girls are less likely to get bored with a single subject and you can use one project to fulfill a variety of badge requirements.

So what badges will you be earning this year?

Frontier Girls Luau

Frontier Girls luau

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Frontier Girls fantasy badge

Frontier Girls fantasy badge

 By Tabitha Simicsak (Butterfly) Troop #101

This spring I decided to write my first badge. Starting in my teen years I have begun to like fantasy. One day I had my best friend over and she said it would be cool if there was a fantasy badge. I thought no more about it, until one night a couple weeks later I was in bed trying to go to sleep. I started to think of requirements I could do, from there I just started writing. I think I should have researched it a little better, because I didn’t learn much. I just used what I know of fantasy. My family, my troop leader, Mrs. Cordy, my pastor’s wife and daughter were a big help. I sent a draft of the badge to Mrs. Cordy and she said that, “I love the idea but it needs some work”. Then she gave me some tips on writing badges. I worked on it some more and sent a second draft to Mrs. Cordy. In the end she still made a few adjustments. I don’t know if I will write any more badges, but if I do write more badges, I would like to write the Radio Theater Badge and the Podcast badge. I encourage girls of all ages to write badges. It is hard work and it can be fun. Just remember to research it thoroughly and keep in mind the basic areas that need to be covered.

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Troop #109 shared a fantastic website called, “American Flag Wall of Shame” that depicts a variety of ways in which the Federal Flag code is violated everyday.  In working on the Our Flag badge, I divided my girls into teams and gave each a set of pictures from the site.  We then held a contest to see which team could come up with the most flag code violations.  Wow, did they learn their lessons well!  Having pictures to explain things really helped. Everywhere we go now they point out code violations that they see.

Last week when we were setting up for the Christmas parade, we had to transport our giant 17′ flag wrapped around the stand and then tucked down between the haybales.  When we arrived and the girls saw what we had done, they were appalled.  Placing the flag on the dirty truckbed and then letting it get covered with hay was a definite no-no.  When we were unable to put it up due to the wind, one of the parents suggested cutting “wind holes” in it for next year.  Cutting holes in an American Flag on purpose?  Never!  The girls quickly put the parent to rights and explained the violations involved.

I highly recommend you visit this site and share the photos with your girls.  You will be surprised by how much they get out of it.  At the bottom of the page is a link to a photo esssay entitled, “Tattered” that offers even more photos.

American Flag Wall of Shame: www.ushistory.org/betsy/wallofshame.htm

Tatterd:  http://www.sethbutler.com/tattered/

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When Frontier Girls was first founded, we made a commitment to write a badge for anything a girl wanted to learn about, with the exception of controversial topics we thought were better addressed by parents and religious leaders.  Little did we know where that commitment would lead us.

Thanks to the involvement of girls and parents all around the country, we now have a badge list of over 1200 individual badges the girls can earn.  Of these, roughly 600 are already written and we are adding more daily.  Visit the website for the current list and if you wish to earn one that hasn’t been written yet, email us and we will push it to the top of the list.  We can usually get a badge ready for your within 2 weeks.

The best way to keep girls involved in Frontier Girls is to let them have a say in what they do and what they learn.  By writing a badge for virtually anything, we give the girls control of their program while still maintaining the structure and guidance they need.

If you have expertise in a certain area and would like to help with the badge writing process, we can always use extra volunteers.  Go to the Frontier Girls website at www.frontiergirls.com and click on “contact” to get involved.

badges 3

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