The other thing about the whole "oh just give journeys a chance" mantra is the cost. I've got ~25 girls. The journeys books for all the girls would come up to $200. We could go camping and buy all of the food for a whole weekend for that. That's our troop profit for selling 445 boxes of cookies -- and we all know that is a LOT of cookies!
So it's not just the time aspect of what are we not doing because we are doing journeys instead, it's the question of what it is that we can't afford to do because we spent our money on buying journey books.
My girls don't like the whole journey's thing either, I have 7th grade cadettes who meet right after school. The last thing they want to do is more reading and school like book work. We get
in plenty of service projects and they enjoy doing this and working with younger girls. These journeys are too much time spent on one topic that is not completly age appropriate for every girl of this level. I wrote to GSUSA about my disappointment in these being made the new requirments for the older girl awards and how these Journeys do not in any way compare to what my son has to complete to make his eagle award. I basically got a pat on the head from GSUSA thanking me for writing and that they were getting both positive and negative feedback on the program. Who likes this program? It certainly isn't any leader or girl I'm talking to!
I am new here, but not to Girl Scouting. I have a Junior troop and a Cadette troop with a total of 25 girls. I've been involved as a leader for 5 years, and I have been having similar issues with this whole Journey Book thing. My girls do not want to use them. So many of you have already said it.... It's too much like school work. I FINALLY sent an email to my field director to find out if we have to use them. Anyone know? I have not seen anything definite that was from a reliable source. I once heard they were going to do away with the badges and go strictly to this journey program. I hope not. Again, it was not from a reliable source. If we do have to do them, does anyone have any advice on how best to make them appealing to the girls, or perhaps found a way to get the lesson out to the girls without making them use the workbooks?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
No you don't have to use them... YET.... don't be quiet about your girls' feelings, and be sure to return the books if you aren't going to use them. Write to your council and national. The more we speak up, the better chance we have to save the program.
Girl Scouts has just announced that these new hot-off-the-press Journey books that we are all complaining about will now be the new AND ONLY prerequisites for the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards. Yes, just one Journey book and a project will be enough to earn "the highest awards that Girl Scouts can earn"! Check out the topic "New Award Requirements" that I started and express your opinion about THAT! No badges, no leadership hours, no career exploration. Apparently GSUSA thinks a leadership development program for girls should consist of hours sitting around discussing and writing about the same topic for months, and then get off the couch at the end to do a couple of projects. And that is supposed to excite girls to stay in Girl Scouts? If you think this is crazy, then PLEASE voice your opinions to your local council. Councils are forming their opinions now in response to this decision by GSUSA.
Unfortunatly my council thinks that the Journey's are great. Besides the fact that at this point in time my council is completly disfunctional. They just disbanded all their service areas for larger regional areas. Lots of very unhappy leaders here that they are not listening too. And I know in my city we have lost a lot of great leaders due to the lack of concearn about the volunteers opionions already this year. And it doesn't seem like national really cares either. I feel really bad for all the girls that are getting short changed, not only by the bad
leadership at my council level, but by the decision making at a national level that is alienating the base group of girls that wanted the traditional program which they just keep moving further away from at a time they should be embracing it more.
I've already made up my mind I'm not using the Journey's materials this year. It's our last year as a Junior troop. We've already planned so many things to DO, and sitting around gazing at this book isn't one of them. I've got two girls in my troop who have ADD; I can barely get them to sit still for a few minutes at a time as it is. When I ask my girls each year what they want to get out of scouting--they always mention trips; learning a new skill/craft, etc.; having overnights, etc. Girl Scouts shouldn't be a repeat of school. It should be their chance to learn and do things that are NEW.
Thankfully, my girls will be able to earn their Bronze awards under the old guidelines this year. I'm not certain what I'll do once they get to the Cadette level. But I WILL make my displeasure with these materials known to our newly-formed HUGE council, as well as to Girl Scouts USA.
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