NEW - Welcome Letter 2012– 2013
Welcome to the 2012 – 2013Scouting Program for Girl Scout Troop 5148. Troop 5148 offers a multi-level program which is open to all girls between the ages of 11-18 regardless of school or religious affiliation. This multi-levelprogram is NOT a service unit and is NOT a set of individual troops. Rather, it is one troop, managed under one troop leader, with section leaders assigned to each of the girl scout age levels. These age levels include Cadettes (6-8th grades), Seniors (9-10th grades, Ambassadors (11-12th grades) The troop leader provides the singularvision for troop direction, ensuring a consistent and standardized approach is applied and maintained through all sections. The troop’s mission is to create asupportive environment where girls can realize their full potential, therebybuilding girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a betterplace. Together with thesupport and involvement of committed helpful parents and adult mentors, Troop 5148 is devoted to helping grow its scouts strong.
Troop 5148 multi-level program runs concurrent with the school year from August through May. Meetings are held Weekly on Fridays from 7pm – 8pm. In addition, there will be section-specific workshops, Council-sponsored programs and community service activities scheduled throughout the year. Thediversity and number of girls presents unique challenges. In order to successfully work and interact with each other, it is essential thatevery scout, parent and leader understand the importance of communication andcoordination, backed up by cooperation. Life has become busy and filled with competing priorities; many families multi-task and juggle work, family commitments, and a bunch of different extracurricular activities.The troop will produce a master calendar preceding each school year to facilitate schedule planning. Families are asked to do their part by staying informed about upcoming scouting activities and communicating their scout’s intent to participate so that the troop and section leaders can plan attendance for activities accordingly. Families are also asked to communicate any schedule conflicts so that the troop and section leaders are aware of which meetings and workshops a scout will miss or when a scout will be late. Finally, families are asked for their cooperation with troop leadership, its governing structure and policies so that the scout’s experiencewill be a worthwhile and positive one.
Following are key troop policies and guidelines:
Council Dues: In order to participate in the girl scout program, as well as the product programs, your daughter must be a registered girl scout. This means that you must complete the Girl Form Application and submit $12 registration fee in cash or check payable to Troop 5148. This is an annual fee and provides your daughter coverage under Girl Scout liability insurance. Registration forms (or online registration) may be completed starting 15 April through 30 Jun to qualify for Early Bird Registration or when joining the troop for the first time in August. Registration covers the period from 1 Oct through 30 Sep. Any parent who wishes to help with transportation and/or assist with troop programs must also be registered (feeis $12 for parents as well). All registration forms, girl and adult, along with payment, will be collected by the troop leader.
Service Unit dues: Girls must pay service unit dues each year and this is $3 per girl.
Troop Dues:The troop leader determines the amount of troop dues required each year. Currently, troop dues are $70 for the year + $3 in service unit dues =$73. We prefer for it to be paid by September 7th 2012. Or the second option is twice a year. The first 36.50 is due by September 7th,2012, with the remainder due at the first meeting in January 2013 after winter break. We have found that having the girls bring in dues on a weekly basis is not working and can be chaotic at times. Families that join midway through the year (January) will be required to pay a pro-rated fee. Troop dues provide the means to purchase awards, pins, badges, funpatches, supplies. They also pay for attendance at Council program activities, area functions, and community collaborator workshops throughout theState. Troop dues are payable in cash or by check to Troop 5148 and remitted to the troop leader. The troop leader ensures that each section leader uses troop dues to pay for the specific items listed above and that every section manages these funds consistently. Section leaders are strictly prohibited from using funds for any other purposeor in a manner differently from any other section. The troop dues are paid whether you show or not.
Chocolate and Magazines Product Sales and Cookie Sales: GSGATL offers a Fall Product Program which includes the sale of nuts, candies, and magazines and a cookie program in January. The cookie program has changed this year to direct sales. More information will be provided bythe Troop Cookie Manager during required parent meetings in December. Our troop will not accept checks for the sales product programs. THE TROOP LEADER STRONGLY ENCOURAGES PAYMENT BY CASH ONLY. All payment is due by the dates provided by the Council. If for any reason you are unable to deliver products by the payment due date, It will be your responsibility to use your own funds to cover these costs and meet deadlines. NO EXCEPTIONS. If you are unable to pay by the due dates you will not be able to participatein product sales for the following year. Failure to make full payment for the products your child has sold can result in legal action taken by Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Council. The lesson learned here is to sell only to reputable individuals – close neighbors, schoolmates, co-workers, friends and family
Meetings& Activities - There are so many things Scouts can do! It’s important to remember, however, that it’s the GIRLS who lead the way in deciding what the troop will be doing. We have lots of fun things planned for the year. Here are just some of the possibilities:
Singing, Games and Crafts
Field Trips – Field trips and troop outings will require 3 additionalvolunteers. Otherwise the troop will beunable to go.
Camping trips (the fee for these trips will vary depending on how manydays we are camping, and the cost of the facility, and the activities that wedo.)
Nature Hikes and other Outdoor Events-We will try to schedule these often, to put the “OUTING” into SCOUTING!
Leadership - Girls earning hours toward awards.
Folders -We will use the folder to facilitate the transfer of various important papers consisting of notes, Try-it and Journey activities, and permission slips for events. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU CHECK THE FOLDER FOR PERMISSION SLIPS AND OTHER PAPERWORK AFTER EACH MEETING. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE PERMISSION SLIPS AND EVENT REGISTRATIONS ARE TURNED IN ON TIME.
BadgeWork: With the exception of Daisy Petals which arestill referred to as Petals, awards are now called badges for every level. When GSUSA surveyed girls, adults and parents,the general consensus was that 10 badges is a good number to earn in a year. Each leadership Journey includes three new official awards. These awards are designed to be worn on the Girl Scout uniform. Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors have the chance to earn several badges along the journey. With the three Journey awards,the Financial Literacy and Cookie Business Badges in the new Girl Guidebook and a set of Legacy Badges that complements the specific Journey, you’re at 10.
The girls are encouraged to work on badges independently if they so choose. However, we are asking that once we decide on which patches we will be working on as a troop that your daughter not work on those as an individual.
Behavior: Scouts are expected to show respect to adults and to treat each other with tolerance and kindness. Rude and offensive behavior as well as disrespect to troop leadership will not be tolerated. If a scout is disruptive during meeting times, the scout’s parents will be called and asked to pick up the child. If behavioral problems persist, a conference will be scheduled with the parents and the troop leader. The troop leader may recommend that the scout be placed in a different troop should it be determined that Troop 5148 is not the appropriate fit for the scout and family. Poor attitudes and behavioral problems from both parents and/or scouts result in disruption to the good order and morale of the troop and negatively impact others. To keep a healthy positive environment for our girls negativity will also not be tolerated. Parents are asked to resolve problems or remove their scout from troop activities until such time that the scout can contribute in a positive manner.
Illness: Please monitor your child for illnesses throughout the year. Parents are asked to keep scouts home if they have a fever or contagious illness. This is for the protection of the other children and adult leaders, and we ask for your full cooperation in this matter.
Lateness: Troop meetings will start promptly at 7:00 P.M.with a formal opening. Following the opening, general troop announcements will be made and the troop leader will remain in the area to answer any questions. Scouts will dismiss to their respective classrooms to work on level-specific activities. If your scout arrives after the troop meeting has started, please instruct her to proceed quietly to the classroom and not disrupt activities already be in progress. For Council Programs andCommunity Collaborator Workshops, you will be required to have your scout attend on time. Most community collaborators provide a 5-10 minute “grace period” for late arrivals. If circumstances arise which prevent your child from getting to these workshops within the required time frame,please ensure that your child’s section leader is made aware of the problem. Depending upon the type of event, your child may not able to complete the workshop. This decision will be made on a case-by-case basis
No Shows:The troop is required to pay for scout attendance at all Council Programs and most Community Collaborator Workshops in advance. If you decide that your scout will attend a fee-required program and your scout is subsequently a no show for that event, you will be required to reimburse the troop for your child’s program fee. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY. This will be consistently applied in every section by every section leader. If there is a fee-required program at the beginning of the scout year and troop dues have not been remitted, theparent will be required to pay for the fee-required program in order for the scout to attend. The cost will then be deducted from the troop dues amount to determine the remaining balance owed. Section leaders are strongly advised NOT to use their personal funds to cover the cost of section activities; not every section leader has the ability to do this and this potentially can create unfair expectations throughout the troop.
E-Mail Responses: E-mail is the main form of communication for this troop. This will be supplemented by verbal announcements made during troop meetings as well as information posted on the troop website. E-mails may be sent out at various times throughout the year requesting you to let us know about your child’s participationin upcoming events. It is very difficult to register for events when payment is required by a certain date and we don’t hear back from you. The Council does not providere funds for no shows; most community collaborators do not provide refunds for no shows. The troop ends up absorbing the cost and because we are solarge we can no longer afford to do so. Parents are asked to respond back promptly to troop e-mails requiring a response. This will enable program registration forms to be processed and payment remitted in a timely manner, ensuring the troop and your scout doesn’t miss out on opportunities.
Annual Fund: Your gift to the Annual Fund can make a profound difference in the lives of girls in our community. With your support, we provide more opportunities for leadership development, career exploration, camping and other activities. You will also help us provide financial assistance for girls, training for our volunteers, and support other costs of providing excellent programs and great experiences for all girls. Your support helps us reach our goal to make Girl Scouting possible for every girl and to help them become the leaders of tomorrow. Council is asking for Donations of $50 per family but would appreciate anything. This can be done at any time during the year. The best thing so far that I have seen is on a monthly basis.
Siblings and guests- We understand the need to sometimes have brothers and sisters at the meetings. We will have coloring books and crayons available to help entertain them. They will need to be separate from the group to minimize distraction to girls. Snack is being provided to the Girl Scouts only. You are welcome to bring a snack for your other children. All snacks and group activities are being provided for the girls. Also if your girl will be bringing a friend to a meeting who is interested in joining girl scouts we need to know in advance so that we well have enough supplies on hand for her to partake in the activities for the evening.
Thank you for your interest in the scouting program offered by Troop 5148. The section leaders and I will do our very best to ensure that the coming year is filled with many wonderful and exciting scouting opportunities for your child and your entire family.
Girl Scout Troop 5148 Leader