You did it! You helped girls work on their badges and Journeys, sell cookies, flex their leadership muscles, and plan a weekend camping getaway. It’s time to wrap up another Girl Scout year, kick back, and relax until the fall.
While you might be ready for a (Well-deserved!) break, for some girls the transition from seeing fellow troop members on a daily basis to little or no contact once school ends can be jarring. Just because your troop isn’t meeting regularly during the next few months doesn’t mean that girls can’t keep in touch. Read on for a few low-key ways you and your girls can stay connected during the dog days of summer.
Be a (Pen) Pal
Exchanging letters is an easy way to maintain and build strong bonds if face-to-face contact isn’t always an option. Plus, who doesn’t like getting mail? Ask families for contact info, pair girls off and exchange info, then have each pen pal pair set up a writing schedule that works for them. Will they send a note every other week, once a month, or as often as they can? Encourage them to get creative with their letter-writing—jazz it up with cute stationery, kooky quizzes, or personalized postcards.
Blog About It
If letters aren’t your girls’ cup of tea, they might be more keen to start a group blog instead. As the name implies, a group blog is a blog with multiple writers and contributors. You can use a free publishing site like WordPress to set it up, then girls can take turns writing about their summer adventures and even post pictures if they’d like. This is a fun and simple way for everyone (including families) to stay in the loop about what the rest of the troop has been up to. Plus, if you continue the blogging traditions for years to come, it’ll be a sweet digital chronicle of your summer escapades. Remember to follow Safety Activity Checkpoints (PDF) whenever girls are online and make sure everyone signs the Internet Safety Pledge before posting.
Go to Camp
When you say “Summer,” we say “Camp!” Even if the stars didn’t align for your whole troop to attend this year, families can still head up to explore camp together as pairs or a smaller group. They can register for a session like She + Me individually and submit a buddy request to be housed in the same facilities. An overnight not an option? There’s also day camp! (Psst—if you realize that your girls’ calendars do sync up for an outdoor expedition, we still have some open troop camp sessions.)
Attend an Event
Troop might be out for the summer, but Girl Scouts River Valleys events are held year-round. Maybe there was a badge or two that girls really wanted to earn this year but didn’t have time for. Summer is the perfect opportunity to continue working on their skills, and what better way than through a council event! Be a citizen scientist, create a digital movie, or learn how to perform taiko. If your calendar is packed, put out feelers to families by asking if anyone would be interested in organizing or chaperoning an outing. Of course, any chaperone should be an adult with a current membership and background check.
Whatever your plans are, we hope you have lots of chances to soak up the sun, play outside, and enjoy a s’more or two. Because it’s summertime and the livin’ is easy—and with these tips, staying in touch with your troop can be just as effortless!
Lily Yu –Lily is a Program Resource Specialist at River Valleys. She earned her BA in comparative literature and Japanese from Hamilton College and has a background in publishing and advertising. Though she wasn’t a Girl Scout growing up, Lily is making up for lost time as a volunteer and troop cookie manager for her daughter’s Daisy troop. In her free time, she enjoys going for long walks, reading, and spending time with her family (and rescue dog, Neil!).