Category Archives: Scouting

Girl Scout Inner Beauty Meeting

Last year I helped plan a Girl Scout Brownie meeting on Inner Beauty for my younger daughter’s troop.  This meeting was the service project that my older daughter and some members of her 6th grade Cadette troop performed to complete the requirements for their Media Journey.  I’m sharing our plans for the meeting in case another Girl Scout troop is looking for ideas for a meeting about media images, inner beauty, or healthy body image.

Inner Beauty Discussion

We started the meeting with one of the Cadettes presenting some thoughts on inner beauty while the Brownies had snack.

  • In the media, models can influence what you want to look like
  • Media includes TV, movies, magazines and other advertising
  • All kinds of media show unrealistic influences
  • The models in magazines don’t really look that way
  • Photos are “airbrushed “to make models look perfect
  • True beauty is inner beauty
  • Inner beauty is your personality, who you are
  • Ex. kind, friendly, funny, caring
  • Inner beauty is what really matters
  • Nobody’s perfect
  • Ex. Someone could be beautiful but really mean, or unattractive by the media’s standards but kind and caring

Next the Brownies brainstormed lists of characteristics of inner beauty.

After they cleaned up from snack, the Cadettes organized the Brownies in a flag ceremony to officially open the meeting.

Inner Beauty Flowers

Inner Beauty Paper FlowerBefore the meeting the Cadettes cut strips and circles from bright colored papers so that each of the Brownies would get a set with a circle for the flower center and strips for the flower petals.

One of the Cadettes explained the project, then each of the Brownies received a small baggie with enough petals (all of the same color) to make one for each of the other girls in her group. The girls wrote on the petals (labeled on the back with the recipient’s name) a short description or complement which referred to her friend’s inner beauty.

After they had written on each of the petals, the Cadettes distributed them to the Brownie whose name was on the back.  Each girl then decorated her flower center and assembled it with their petals into a flower with multi-color petals.

True Colors Song

For the last activity, the Cadettes taught the Brownies the song “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper (also recorded by the Cast of Glee), available with lyrics on YouTube.


We closed the meeting with a friendship circle, singing Make New Friends.

I believe that teaching about inner beauty helped reinforce its importance to the Cadettes and learning it from older girls made the message stronger to the Brownies than if it had been presented by an adult.  A great experience for all the girls!

Additional Resources

Dove’s The Real Me: Activities to celebrate your daughter’s inner beauty,  Role of Media,  Growing Up and Body Image and more related topics.

Real Girls Video – As their Media Journey Take Action project, a Cadette troop created a video about real girls.

Real Beauty: 101 Ways to Feel Great about You (American Girl Library)

Please feel free to share more ideas for teaching inner beauty in the comments!

Cub Scout TV Station Tour Video

My husband was trying to schedule a TV station or other media office tour to satisfy a requirement for the Cub Scout Tiger badge but he couldn’t find anywhere local that could accommodate us.  He found an online video of a TV station tour that the Den leader agreed would satisfy this requirement.  I am sharing the link here for others who may be trying to find a way to meet this requirement too.

TV Station Tour / Behind the Scenes” by wfmynews2 in North Carolina.

Following are my husband’s comments on the video:

“I just watched this 6 part series (about 3 minutes each, or 20 minutes
total).  I found it really interesting, and if the kids are getting
restless you can encourage them with the fact that there are a few
bloopers at the end of the reel.  They have a few sections where they explain some techno-babble, but other than that VERY appropriate for this age group [grade 1].”

Cooperative GS Troops

When I volunteered to lead my oldest daughter’s Junior Girl Scout troop I was not able to find an assistant or co-leader from among the parents in our troop.  The previous leader suggested that I consider running the troop as a cooperative troop.

Basically in a cooperative troop, there is one trained leader who oversees troop activities and meetings, and troop parents are asked to each take on a role in the troop, and plan and lead one or more meetings each year depending on the number of families in the troop.  Below is the email that I sent out to my troop the spring before I took over as leader and it describes how my cooperative troop was set-up in more detail.

While the other parents in the troop were not comfortable with being an assistant or co-leader, they all readily agreed to take on one of the volunteer responsibilities that are listed below, and helping plan and lead meetings.

The obvious benefit of a cooperative troop is that it spreads the responsibilities for coordinating troop meetings and activities among all the families in the troop.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that after a couple of meetings planned and led by scouts and their parents, the girls were all anxiously awaiting their turn to lead a meeting!  My own daughter was quite disappointed to learn that since I had led the first couple meetings to get things going, we weren’t scheduled to lead until later in the school year.  Since teaching the girls to lead is one of the important principles of Girl Scouting, their enthusiasm to take a turn leading was very exciting.

Google Docs For Troop Coordination

I have found that Google Docs ( is a great tool for coordinating troop sign-ups, activity RSVPs, etc.  I’d recommend creating one Google spreadsheet with a tab/page for each of the following – troop meeting volunteer sign-up, Troop volunteer positions (see list below), Field trip/activity RSVP with a column for each activity and girls’ names along the left column, meeting activity suggestions (badges, service projects, etc.), and other pages as needed.  I recommend making the doc share settings so that anyone with the link can edit it.  Then don’t put any last names or contact info in the doc.  This way troop members can access it from whichever email they prefer, and they won’t be required to have a Google account to view and edit the doc.

A cooperative troop is the way to go!

Message to Troop About Setting Up a Cooperative Troop

Feel free to use the message below and edit it for your own use as needed.

Dear Troop Members –

As you all know, we’ve been looking for a leader for the girls’ Junior troop next year.

Girl Scouting was a very special experience for me as a girl and is now very important to my daughter, so I have volunteered to lead our troop.  Since I was unable to find a co-leader to share the responsibility of leadership, I have offered to accept the position of leading the troop next year under the condition that it be a co-operative troop.  In addition to assisting me with the coordination and planning required for meetings and outings, a co-operative troop gives the girls greater opportunity to take on responsibility for planning and running their meetings, with adult supervision and assistance, of course.

In a co-operative troop each family would provide a volunteer at two meetings a year and bring snack.  In addition, that parent volunteer would assist their daughter in planning and running those two meetings.  The meetings might involve working on a patch in which the girl or troop had indicated interest, planning and teaching the troop a program for Thinking Day, or another project in which the girls had expressed interest.

As the leader, I would attend the two training sessions, complete paperwork, plan the meeting and activity schedule, attend monthly service unit meetings, and coordinate other needs of the troop.  In addition, we are required to have a trained leader at every meeting, so I will attend the meetings, even though the parent volunteer and one of the girls would run many of the meetings.

Please review the list of meeting dates for next year (on Google Docs) and sign up for 2 meetings to help your daughter plan and run the meetings, and bring snack.

I will also be looking for volunteers for the positions listed at the end of this message (Google Doc signup), so please review them and let me know with which you would be able to assist.  In particular, we need several First Aiders, and a cookie parent; and ideally we should have at least one trained Assistant Leader.   It is my hope that each family will volunteer for at least one of the troop positions below.

I am excited about the many opportunities that the girls have ahead of them this year!

Volunteers Needed

*** Assistant Leader(s) – Attend leadership training classes and attend a couple of meetings or events a year.  Ideally we should have at least one trained assistant leader in case I can’t attend a meeting or event, so we wouldn’t have to cancel; background check required

*** FIRST AIDERS – We need at least 2 or 3 people to be first aiders available to go on field trips.  Training is good for 2 years at which time training needs to be repeated for certification.   If you plan to attend several field trips throughout the year anyway, then the only additional time requirement would be to take the First Aid Training class.

***Cookie Parent – coordinates troop cookie orders, attends cookie sale training, coordinates troop cookie booth sales; background check required

***Treasurer – manages troop finances and prepares the year end report; background check required

*Thinking Day Coordinators – One or two parents to help the girls plan their activities for Thinking Day.  Would be running two meetings in January or February before Thinking Day.

*Purchasing Agent – Go to the Girl Scout Store at Camp Ilchester to buy patches, vests, and other GS materials. You will save receipts and then get reimbursed from our troop account.  Probably only 2-4 times a year, and even one trip would be helpful.

*E-mail Reminders/Volunteer Coordinator – Send the email reminder each month to the troop about items to bring and parent volunteer scheduled.  Make sure that each meeting has a volunteer scheduled to plan and run the meeting and bring snack.

*Roster Maintenance (maybe combine with above position) – Maintain troop roster as needed and send out to troop. (May be helpful to group girls by neighborhood for easier carpool planning.)

*Attend a Service Unit Meeting – I will need someone to attend a meeting for me on occasion. <meeting time and location>

*Field Trip/Outings Coordinator – Plan field trips — make phone calls, plan/coordinate field trip, coordinate RSVPs and carpools.

*Camp Certified Parents – One or more parents (ideally 2 or more) to become camp certified so that the troop can camp independently in the future.

* Historian(scrapbook)/Photographer – Collect and assemble troop photos in a scrapbook (traditional or digital), or help the girls create scrapbook pages at a meeting in the spring.  Photos are welcome from anyone from all troop activities.

Thank you!!

Girl Scout Brownie Household Elf Try-It

I volunteered to help my daughter’s Brownie troop by planning and leading a meeting in which we earned the Household Elf Try-It.  In addition to reading the badge requirement info for this Try-It, I searched online for meeting plans for this badge, but found very little.  Possibly this is because the badges have been revised very recently.  I am posting my meeting plan with the hope that it might help another Girl Scout leader or volunteer.

The Household Elf Try-It is about making your “home clean and green.”

Conservation Ideas

I created a Conservation Log and emailed it to the troop a week before the meeting, asking the girls to look around their home and school for ways that they can

1) save energy
2) save water
3) recycle and reduce trash
4) and clean the air.

The text from my log is below.  The girls were asked to bring the log to the meeting.

At the meeting, I divided the girls into three groups.  Each group was assigned one of the first three topics.  They discussed their answers to their assigned topic and planned which to present to the whole troop.  The girls were encouraged to present NEW ideas to the troop as opposed to the ideas they had heard before.  I had an older girl or adult in each group to assist them in coming up with additional ideas by asking questions such as

What do we throw away and what can we do with it instead?

How could we use less energy instead of driving to school or a friend’s house?

How could you save water when you shower?  How could you make your shower shorter? (sing or use a timer)

My older daughter and I modeled the presentations by presenting ways to clean the air since that seems like the most challenging topic to me.  The girls were also asked to choose several ideas from the presentations to use at home to help the environment more and note them on their conservation log.  Ideally we’ll discuss how that goes at a later meeting.

Reusable Gift Bag Project

Since our meeting was a month before Christmas, we decided that our project would be to make reusable gift bags that the girls could use for the holiday.  We collected small paper shopping bags (around 8×10″, such as Starbucks or Bath and Body Works) from the families.  We cut red and green card stock (from the craft store) for both sides of the bag to cover store logos.  Recycled holiday cards were used to decorate the bags, as well as holiday stickers.  A recycled holiday card also makes a great gift tag that you can tie onto the handle of the bag with ribbon.

It was difficult to get the paper to stick to some of the bags.  We used double sided tape, but it seemed to need at least 5 large pieces and a lot of pressing down to get it to stick.  (Some of the girls also seemed to get the tape stuck to the floor or their pants which made it much less sticky.)  I think the tape works better than glue sticks, but maybe there’s still another better adhesive.  Also, remind the girls to only write their name on the bottom of the bag, not the sides.

Ecology Song

While we made our gift bags, we sang an ecology song that I found in a campfire song book.  To keep with the green theme, I printed the song on half sheets of paper (2 to a page) and printed song sheets for every two girls to share.

River Valley Household Elf Try-It Plan
This was another meeting plan I found for this badge.

Conservation Log

Following is the text I used for the conservation log that was emailed to the girls before the meeting.

Think about how you can help save energy and water, recycle and reduce trash, and clean the air around your home and at school.  List your ideas below in this log.  Bring the log to the next Brownie meeting and we will use the ideas for an activity towards earning the Household Elf Try-It.

Save Energy
Save Water
Recycle and Reduce Trash
Clean the Air

[space left after each of the 4 topics for the girls to write ideas.]

Suggested Conservation Ideas

Here are the ideas I came up with before the meeting.

Save Energy
Turn off lights and electronics when not in use
Seal around doors and windows to prevent drafts
Walk, or ride a bike instead of driving
Ride the school bus instead of driving to school
Use energy saving light bulbs
Clean the clothes dryer lint filter after every load
Use cold water instead of hot when possible

Save Water
Turn off water when brushing teeth and soaping hands
Take shorter showers
Use less water in the bath tub
Use a rain barrel to water the garden
Use dish washer and clothes washer only when full

Recycle and Reduce Trash
Learn to compost food scraps
Learn what can be recycled in your area
Reuse clean containers for crafts
Recycle plastic and plastic bags at the grocery store
Reuse school papers (blank on back) as scrap paper
Donate items or have a yard sale

Clean the Air
Replace home air filters
Plant trees
Grow house plants
Drive less — use the bus, walk or ride a bike
Use natural cleaning products (see recipes in badge requirements)