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Ideas For Troops & Leaders

  • AVCC Discounts for Girl Scouts! (thanks for sharing, Katie): The City of Apple Valley is happy to provide a "non-profit service unit discount" to all Girl Scout (or Boy Scout) troops reserving a meeting room or gym at Apple Valley Community Center/Hayes:
    - More than 50% of participants must be scouts and must live in the 55124 zip code.
    - To receive the discount, a list of participants, plus troop # and zip code of each participant must be provided to the reservationist by the troop leader or person reserving the space.
    - Savings for scouts vary on specific rooms: for example, a large meeting room normally $25/hour would be $17/hour for GS. A Volleyball court (normally $30/hour) would be $20; and a basketball court (normally $50) would be just $25/hour.
  • YMCA - Brownie First Aid Badge: For a great badge-earning opportunity for your troop, contact Lori Hokenson to schedule a class with a member of the aquatic staff at the Burnsville YMCA. The cost is just $20 for the whole group (one hour). Susan of Troop 54084 strongly recommends this. (The instructor for Susan's troop was named Barbara).

  • 'Not Your Mother's Tie Dye' Try this fun new tie dye kit with your troop! (Recommended Juniors & older). Colors are much more vibrant & the dye is high quality. (Shop on-line & find it for about $12 or use a coupon at JoAnn’s/Michaels & pay even less). Kit comes with 5 colors & is enough to very nicely tie-dye 9 shirts. Troop 52597 had a very successful t-shirt experience! Hint: use a large tarp in the area in which you'll be tie-dying.
  • MN Historical Society: Junior Troop 53582 recommends checking out scouting field trips through the Minnesota Historical Society (reasonably-priced/great value, well-organized, high quality, entertaining). The troop recently attended a Nancy Drew Mystery Night (held every October) & they loved it! Many other options are available - check out this website re: upcoming event at the Elk River Oliver H. Kelly Farm.
  • Private Facebook Group: Troop 55502 recommends getting Troop parents more involved & enhancing troop communications by creating a private (Closed) FB group for the troop. Photos, files, and more can be uploaded & shared.
  • On-Line Troop Calendar: Mikki of Troop 53581 recommends using the Calendar system on Scoutlander.com. (Also see the Links page of this website).
  • Photo-Sharing: www.Shutterfly.com is another great ~free~ site where troops can post & share photos, create a troop calendar & more...
  • Skateville 2013

  • Magical Mystery Tour (and overnight)! Cadette Troop 51472 would like to share a great idea for an amazing troop overnight: are you ready for the twist? Girls pack their bags but the location is kept secret! (The troop also played a Mystery Game at their event and made a whole theme out of it). Get creative - help your older troops cook up a Mystery Dinner, or even try a "Mystery Clues Car Rally" Click on this link for other great older-girl ideas!
  • Photo Kaper & Troop Scrapbook: Troop 55096 includes a "photo kaper" along with other girl responsibilities at each troop meeting/field trip throughout the year. Girls take turns capturing candids (with a little help from leaders), then at the end of the year, the troop can make prints and assemble a Troop Scrapbook. What a great way for girls to learn a new skill, as well as remember a special year! Save those stickers and other troop memorabilia. Scrapbooking enthusiasts may even decide to take a tour or class at Archiver's.

  • 'Permanent' Nametags for Field Trips: Ideal for Daisy or Brownie Troops - Before you head out on a field trip, pick up some clear-plastic, clipped name-badge holders. Just print each girls' FIRST (only) name on the front of the name placard w/Troop #, then on the back side include the leader's name, cell number and/or other pertinent contact info. If any girl gets separated from the group, this method is a godsend. Girls can do this for a fall troop activity - get creative & make it fun! Include a sticker or seasonal icon. (Thanks, Melissa! Idea submitted by Troop 54092).
  • Council 'Stuff to Do' Link: Troop 54092 also suggests taking a closer look at www.girlscoutsrv.org's link for current happenings/badge-activities offered at the Council-level.
  • Reusable Snack Kit: if a snack is served at each troop meeting, put together a resusable snack bag, basket or kit. Include reusable cups, plates, utensils, cloth napkins, and/or containers for serving the snack(s). Each troop member takes turns taking it home after troop meetings and having it washed and ready for the next meeting's snacktime. Not only is this a great way to help the environment by avoiding use of disposable cups/utensils or paper plates, but the troop could even decorate the kit, include a theme, or dress it up with a colorful ribbon, etc. They could also calculate what they save in troop funds by not purchasing paper plates or disposable items, and it also provides an automatic reminder whose turn it is for snack kaper at the next meeting!
  • Troop 52967  

  • Flag Ceremonies: go to this link to find out more about how your troop can learn to perform a flag ceremony. Troops who would like to do a flag ceremony at the monthly leader meetings are very welcome--just contact our Service Unit Manager (SUM). Additionally, many community events or even city council meetings welcome Girl Scouts who'd like to begin the meeting with a flag ceremony.
  • All About SWAPS!

    Inquiring Minds Want to Know - Just what are SWAPS? You may have heard the term before. Click here for detailed
    info sheet: All About SWAPS

  • SWAPS stands for "Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned somewhere" OR "Shared With A Pal."
  • Try these links for a few new SWAPs: www.gsswaps.net   www.scoutswaps.com
  • Click here or here to view just a few SWAPS created by troops in our Valley Lake Service Unit. Get creative and have a Troop Swap-o-Rama to make your own! SWAPS are always a big hit at campouts, World Thinking Day celebrations, and other Girl Scout holidays & special occasions. Start your collection today!

  • If you would like instructions on how to make any of these featured SWAPS, just contact Arlys Thompson, she'd love to help you out!