Being a Girl Scout is something you DO, and it is an EXPERIENCE that no girl should miss!
As we begin to enter a new school year, we begin to prepare for the next troop year. You may have already checked out our Sample Parent Letter for use at your first meeting, and this post is another little bit of house cleaning to get out of the way.
Whether you are a bright, doe eyed first time troop leader, skipping in your field of daisies, thinking, "Code of conduct? My girls would never need something like that!?!", or a leader who has been in the trenches and is looking for something to use to lay down the law from the start, this post is for you!
|Find your copy HERE|
Why should you utilize a code of conduct?
Girl scouts is fun. So much fun. And so very worth every step of planning, organization and frustration you might encounter. Planning is important, though. Which is why I LOVE this code of conduct. Laying out a code of conduct at the beginning of the year gives everyone a firm set of expectations. Girls are more aware of what is expected, and parents are as well. It also gives you something to fall back on and point towards if someone is not upholding their end of the agreement.
I like to hand this out with a copy of the promise and the law so parents, and girls, alike, can see how they track together. I refuse to believe that *ANY* parent, guardian, or girl, enters into a membership with the GSUSA, with the expectation of causing trouble, or having un-Girl Scout like behavior. But sometimes, poor choices happen.
We are guiding girls through life's journey, and they are still small. And still learning. Sometimes they won't make good choices. Sometimes they won't be good friends. Sometimes they wont be respectful. Sometimes they make mistakes. This is something we, as leaders, should expect. It doesn't make her bad. Or naughty. Or any other negative connotation that *may* pop through someone's head when witnessing kids and teens make mistakes. This agreement will give you something to gently point towards when reinforcing good choices and behavior and correcting poor choices and behavior.
Parent's are ALSO guiding girls through life's journey, and they are not perfect. Some parents just aren't interested in facilitating a good relationship between their girl and her girl scout troop. This is *very* rare in my experience, and your council and service unit are great resources to help with that situation. Some parents just don't know what is expected or needed from them. And some parents just get a little over zealous, or emotional with things or situations that involve their girl scout. After all - she is their daughter, and the apple of their eye. :D All of these different situations will make use of the parent aspect of this agreement. If you find yourself in a position to ask a parent to correct some type of behavior, it will strengthen your request, and give you a concrete point to fall back on.
Lastly, leaders devote ungodly amounts of time towards their troops. They work endlessly, through a labor of love. They spend their own money. They invest their time and hearts. We may be unpaid, voluntary leaders, but girl scouts is undeniably and inextricably entwined in our lives. Periodically, or as needed, reading through the commitment you make to your girls can renew your energy, embolden you as a leader, and offer a pick me up when you are in down in the trenches.
I LOVE this code of conduct, and I use it as is - however, you may find yourself wanting to tweak it, or modify it a bit to perfect it for your troop. As I often say - my form is your form - grab a copy of this form HERE or email me at Danielle.Poenisch@Hotmail.com, (Or just use the contact me form in the right hand column of this blog) and I can shoot you the original, editable doc so you can make it work perfectly for your troop too!
Let me know and leave a comment if you like this idea, or if you have an argument against this idea - I love to learn more about other opinions, and hear more suggestions!