Following A Volunteer For A Year – The First Field Trip

By: Kim Dunne, Media Manager

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What goes into being a Girl Scout volunteer? What are the hardest parts? What are the joys?

It can be an intimidating time – becoming a volunteer for any organization. Sometimes you’re not quite sure what you’re doing or what you’re getting yourself into. That’s why we put together this monthly blog series. We are going to follow a relatively new volunteer throughout her Girl Scout volunteer experience. That way you can see first hand what it is like to volunteer with the Girl Scouts. So grab your friends, sit back, and experience first hand the experience of a Girl Scout volunteer.

In October’s blog post, Andrea Decker from Endicott had held the first two troop meetings for the year. During these the girls were beginning to participate in the nut and candy sale as well as take part in activities and prepare for their first troop field trip.

The girls went to Stoughton Farm. There the girls spent the afternoon in the corn “maize” and enjoying a hay ride, cow train ride, and the exciting jumping pillow.

Andrea says the field trip was a great time. The meeting before they went, they discussed dressing for the weather so all of the girls would be dressed appropriately. The troop leaders decided to pay for the girls out of their troop funds. The girls decided to do the Girl Scout maize in which they test the girls Girl Scout knowledge. The girls had to work as a team. They took turns reading and answering the questions.

“What proved to be the most difficult part for them was to stay together and decide which way to take,” Andrea said. “We had to stop them frequently to remind them that they are a group and need to stick together.”

Andrea says it got hot in the maize with everyone in sweatshirts and the sun beating down on them. They also did not bring any snacks or water, which everyone agreed that next time a field trip is taken they will come prepared with a backpack full of supplies.

“Overall I would consider this first field trip a success and learning experience for sure. Once we found our way out the girls ran for their donuts and cider. It was nice fall weather for the field trip.”

In order to get approval for the field trip Andrea and her co-leader needed to submit the appropriate paperwork with ample notice to council staff. She says that process went smoothly and there were no problems getting it approved. They did forget to have the parents sign the permission slips ahead of time, but luckily all parents were going to the farm so they were completed there.

At the following troop meeting the girls worked on their snack badge, which tied nicely back to the field trip where a snack and water was not brought with them.

For the snack badge the girls learned how to make a complete healthy meal using index cards. The girls had a discussion on fast food and cooking methods to make those delicious chicken McNuggets. A pairing food game was played. Each girls had a food item taped on their back. The girls first needed to guess the item on their back by asking yes or no questions to each other and then had to find their food partner. After the game was over the girls created some healthy snacks. They made apple cookies and a variation of GORP.

At the meeting money and orders were also collected for the nut sale.

“This was our first time entering orders and trying to figure out how to do this online stuff,” Andrea said. “We had a problem registering and logging in. We are a new troop and we were given the password and it didn’t work, so Jen and I decided just to try to login using the existing troop method and it worked! Once we got going it was pretty easy and manageable. I had to make a call to our mentor, Sharon, for a little advice on the online portion. I just wanted to make sure I was filling in the information in the correct  fields. She is great and helps us with any questions we have. We are super grateful to have her as a resource!”

In the coming weeks the troop is planning on working on the fair play badge and make bell wands for the local holiday parade the girls are marching in. The girls decided to do a community service project based around the pet badge and the spring. With the holidays being a hectic time the troop will hold it’s last meeting of the year the first week of December and then will start up again at the end of January.

“It’s nice to take a break and start fresh in the new year.”

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