I'd like to thank BellaOnline's Girl Scout Editor for posting articles about Journeys, the upcoming curriculum from Girl Scouts. From my reading, it appears that for the next couple of years, Journeys will be used to supplement the current curriculum. Then, in 2010, Journeys will become the official (and only) curriculum for Girl Scouts.
I got an e-mail from the Girl Scout Store yesterday, playing up the new Journeys curriculum. At the online store, they now have the books listed, as well as a description for each level. I'll include those below. Since I haven't actually taken a look at the actual books yet, I really can't offer any commentary. I'll reserve judgment until I can actually take a look at them.
DAISY FLOWER GARDEN BOOK: Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden. In this journey for kindergarteners and first- graders, a favorite pastime-gardening-meets the Girl Scout Law. The result is a storybook world of flowers and little girls who, together, do great things. Girl Scout Daisies will especially enjoy meeting the colorful, global characters who teach them to live the Girl Scout Law. Journey Book has 88 pages.
BROWNIE QUEST JOURNEY BOOK: The Girl Scout Brownie Quest has second- and third- graders traveling along two colorful trails, one they can enjoy on their own and one they explore with their Girl Scout group. Along the Quest, Girl Scout Brownies will meet three new friends and a bright shining elf - in a brand new Brownie story meant to inspire their own Take Action projects. Journey Book has 80 pages.
JUNIOR AGENT OF CHANGE BOOK: Junior Agent of Change. Power! In this journey, for fourth-and fifth graders, there's a whole spiral of it waiting for Girl Scout Juniors. This powerful journey is filled with ceremonies and circles, real-life heroines, and special new characters, including the fashion-savvy spider named Dez. Along the way, girls learn how their own power combines into team power and then moves out to become community power. Journey Book has 96 pages.
CADETTE aMAZE! THE TWISTS AND TURNS OF GETTING ALONG JOURNEY BOOK: Life is a maze of relationships and this journey for sixth, seventh and eighth graders has Girl Scout Cadettes maneuvering through all its twists and turns to find true friendships, plenty of confidence, and maybe even peace. 144 pages.
SENIOR GIRLTOPIA JOURNEY BOOK: GIRLtopia. Girl Scout Seniors know the world is not ideal. This journey for ninth-and-tenth graders is their chance to imagine a perfect world-for girls. They're invited to create their vision as an art project-in any medium of their choice. Then they'll take action to make their vision a reality. Leaders, after all, are visionaries! 112 pages.
AMBASSADOR YOUR VOICE, YOUR WORLD: THE POWER OF ADVOCACY JOURNEY BOOK: Your Voice, Your World: The Power of Advocacy. How often have you seen something that really needed to be changed and wondered, "Why isn't someone doing something about that?" This journey, for eleventh-and twelfth graders gives Girl Scout Ambassadors a way to be that someone-an advocate with the power to start the first flutter of real and lasting change. While creating their own "butterfly effect", they'll learn skills-such as networking, planning, and speaking up for what they believe-that will prepare them for life beyond high school. 104 pages.
GSUSA does not intend to REPLACE the current program materials with the Journey materials, at least not at this time. The existing Try-Its, badges, IPs, etc. will continue to be available for use while the new Journey materials are being developed. It is my understanding that the existing badge materials may be revised in the future to better address the new leadership model developed by GSUSA, but that they will not be eliminated entirely.
VB, Welcome to the forum, hope you enjoy your stay!
I have a Brownie / Junior troop which has started working with the new journey's program. It feels to me like the program is much too much like "school work". Th girls like the few active parts of the program, but seem less than enthusiastic about the written portions.
Karen, welcome to the forum!
My Junior Troop seems to have the same response to it. So, I am trying to replace some of the written work with other stuff. Like we are acting out some of the hero's and we made posters for them too! My girls are into arts and crafts and acting. So, this way they get what they need to, but not so much like they are doing school work.
Susan,welcome to the forum
Hope you enjoy your stay!
Hi guys, I went to the convention last year, met a women who was working with the Journeys and told me if I just gave them a chance, it would give the girls a chance to reflect on what they were doing - I am working with 4/5th grade Juniors this year. I had read up on the Journeys before they came out - tried to be open. Went through the class twice- thought I was going to be doing age level training for Jrs the 2nd time. Still did not feel comfortable teaching - which is what it feels like- the new program. Tried to work with it with the girls - BORING!!!! They hated it. The good thing about a badge - 6 steps. You hate it then you stop. You can always do another step later and finish later. 8 weeks!!! too much time on one subject. These girls are smart and quick. And (this is just after camp) I have seen girls who don't grown up with mom sewing or cooking cakes or picking fruit, whos dad don't do wood working. And you know what - these girls enjoy that. They enjoy hiking and camping and doing. I myself dont want to sit and write a book or write down my thoughts on the environment. We need to get these girls up and doing more. Girl Scouts of America - ask us -we who work with the girls month after month, year after year - what do they want. You are asking girls who have no clue about some of the stuff that scouts can do.
Image- we need to add to our image. Shows girls climbing rocks, earning the Gold award - harder than an Eagle Scout Award. Show them, paddling down a river, making jewelry with rocks they polished - change our stoddy image with what the girls are doing! Positive change that we would embrace. Ask my girls - please - and listen they have many great suggestion.
Amen. If you aren't signed up for my newsletter here on Bella Online, I think you'll find what I say to be in concordance with what you are thinking.
Girl Scout Editor
I'm VERY leary about this new set of Journeys that are being released - not only are my girls tired of the environment topic and did NOT like the first Journey (too school-like!). I WILL give it a try (if they ever actually release the book - so much for being able to plan ahead!), at least offering it to my girls, but my first thought is to run & hide from them!
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!
Welcome, to all the newbies
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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.
I know that a Journey (or two) is now required for Silver and Gold awards. There is a grandfather clause in there if they started working on the award before a certain date.
I'm the parent of a prospective Daisy, and considering being a leader, and y'all are scaring me a little! I spent a wonderful 7 years in scouting myself, but I hope it won't be unrecognizable?
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.
I'm one of those leaders caught between a rock and a hard place because my troop is interested in the silver award, but it now requires you complete a Journey. I've stayed away from them since they came out, but may have no choice. The girls looked over the one copy I bought, and weren't thrilled.
But what I just got back from my Council when I raised issues was either get with the "program" or decide if it's not for you. I'm afraid I'm at my wits end with GSUSA and the Council, but after 8 years of leading and watching the girls grow and learn, I'm having a hard time walking away.
Since my first post, I have tried and tried to figure out someway to get past using these journey books. I have expressed to my field director the girls dislike for the books, and I got pretty much the same thing as some of you. She says to make copies rather than purchase books right now... (apparently there is a clause that states volunteers are allowed to copy)and to do some of the activities with the girls so they can see how fun they are....... "Are ya kidding me?" Take the workbook... and turn it into a freakin' worksheet.... well THAT MAKES IT ALL BETTER!!!
Are any of you from the newly formed NYPENN Pathways? Not only has our council merged with 4 others, but my service unit was disband and merged into a larger one. This is extremely hard on me. I've been with girl scouts for going on 5 years. My daughter is in 7th grade and wants to continue so she can get her Gold Award, but I am fed-up with the whole thing. What exactly does the Gold Award mean anymore? I imagine that Juliette Gordon Low is turning in her grave right now. I do not believe this is what she would have wanted.
I am so glad we am not alone! We are working on the Junior Agent of Change books and YUCK! The girls are basically insulted by the immaturity of "Dez" the spider among other things. I have had to just omit her from what we do. They feel a lot of it is below their level and like school work. I have been working SO hard to make it fun and get as creative as I can even tho it goes against what Council wants. They want it to all be decided by the girls. Well they would just sit and flame the book the whole time.
We are also stuck because they are using it to work on their Bronze Award. With this being the platform for Silver and Gold going forward, I don't see how they will want to do them and this is so disappointing.
I know GSUSA put a lot of money into this but it really is terrible program. One of the parents in my troop works in designing educational programs and had worked alongside the company that put the Journeys together. This parent was so disappointed that we are doing the Journeys because they did not like this company either. I don't know what we are going to do ext year. Any advise?
Well, it has been awhile since you posted, but I, too, am from the new NYPENN Pathways Council. My SU merged into 2 others as well. As of now, we have no regional office, since it is moving. I am in the Binghamton, NY area.
The problem we are having here is that we have no leaders willing to step up. I have 2 daughters, and I am the leader for the older one, going into 5th grade. My other daughter's leader had to step down and now she has no troop. She will not "fit" into my troop as she is 2 years younger.
I did the Agent of Change Journey last year and hated it. The best part was when I asked the girls, "How do you feel about your powers" --a question from the book. They all looked at me like I was insane and we quickly moved on.
We eventually "finished" the Journey, but not really, because the woman I had to deal with at the Ross Park Zoo was so unhelpful. We wanted to make nature signs for the zoo (her idea), but in the end I settled for doing some raking because I simply don't have confidence that this woman will be able to take the nature sign project to its completion. I realize this has really nothing to do with the Journey itself, but it was just the icing on the unappetizing "Journey Cake."
I am new to leading although I have been coleading my daugther's troop for about four years. We never had a set curriculum. The leader selected patches and we earned them. We gardened, crafted, sold cookies, donated to Zambia, sang to the ill, etc. We got our bronze award, and hope to get our silver this year.
So regarding the journeys, we are cadettes. I went on line as a new leader and found out about these books. I decided that our troop would go with the AMAZing Journey of Friendship. We are taking about cliques, bullies, rumors, and peer pressue. I know these are huge problems for our tween girls. I believe it will make a difference for them to be discussing it as they are living it.
I also saw on the GS 2B page the program you download called Sister-to-Sister. It is closely related to the Friendship Journey so I'm going to try to dovetail them together. I also added crafts, cooking, Thinking Day and cookies of course. The good news is we have wonderful parents who will support this program...AND take the girls camping.
The AMAZING journey is hard to grasp so far. I think I am beginning to understand the process, but I wonder how things link together in the girls book vs. the leader guide. How do the girls pages match up to the sample lessons? I didn't understand if there was a particular relationship between them so I could assign or lead reading sessions to follow the sample program in the leaders guide. (I sorry, that's hard to follow) They provided a "assets" list at the end of the Leaders Guide, but I don't understand why they are called assets, not topics. Are assets awards or patches? It is a somewhat handy pit of information, but the way it is categorized has nothing to do with the topic of the study. It is by "science" "craft" etc., and not "bullies" "peer-pressure" etc., so you can't tie them together. I'm confused. Any advice on this Journey? Anyone do it yet? These comments about the other journeys concern me.
The girls do earn patches in this journey, and can also have charms, which my 12-13 year olds love. It seems to me at the end of the journey if you follow the steps you are very close to silver. The girls who are interested form a sub-group that develop some of the journey ideas into community service.
The program Sister to Sister initially confused me. But I literally went through the whole program tonight. Made up an outline to compliment their leader's guide and handouts. Now I think I can lead the girls in a discussion and the program, but it was really not clearly presented in terms of the contents of each of the modules in this program. Thus the outline...
Hi EvysMomBarbara & welcome to the BellaOnline Forum. I am glad to see you have started to post.
I tried a couple of the Journey books with my troop of girls ranging from 15-18 yrs & they found the books boring. Too much touchy feely, too much chatting, too confusing to read, too much to read, lost their attention to the point that they stopped coming to mtg's so after trying 3 different Journey books we went back to the IP & they slowly started to come to mtg's again.
For my younger troop I did a Journey book because that's what they need to do before they can start their Silver Award project but they didn't like it either. A few were thinking of quitting because they said it was too much like schoolwork. It took the whole school yr to complete, meeting twice a month for 1.5 hrs, sometimes 3. We took a break to work on 2 IP's.
I'm not saying get rid of them. They have their purposes, but I feel the patch books need to stay & be a big part of what scouts do.
My advice to you is to just do a Journey book & do the best you can to make it fun & interesting. If that means having to change things slightly or not do every single thing in the book, then so be it. Be creative & think outside the box. Take a break here & there. Do an Interest Patch that's very hands on & have fun with it. There are IP's that might tie into the Journey book you choose to do. Don't forget those trips. As Girl Scout leaders we need to be flexible. It is not about keeping the girls in scouting & giving them all the great benifits Girl Scouting & you can offer them. After you've completed the Journey book, continue on with the Interest Patches.
When I first became a leader I was sucked into the "wonderful" journey. Here is a reflection after three journeys. The brownies really enjoy reading from their book. The story of the three girls and the elf was very cute and very close to the brownie tradition. I was also able to combine many of the activities with the try it requirements, and had them earning both at the same time and was able to have fun stuff to go with the book work. The water journey was less exciting. By the end my daughter was flooded with info. Maybe a bit to much in one category. I am more of a dabbler myself. We are now on out third journey. The junior Moving journey. And yes it is beginning to fell more like school. THE PRO OF THIS LEADER BOOK IS EVERY MOMENT IS PLANNED, THEY EVEN SUGGEST THE SNACK. I THINK THIS WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL FOR A NEWBIE LEADER WHO IS FEELING VERY OVERWHELMED. The con is the girls are not moving in the way you would imagine they are discussing things that relate to carbon credits with out exactly saying that. The eight week lessons teaches no more than changing lightbulbs and weather sealing a home, or saving energy. Which is a good thing but not for eight weeks. I think teaching the girls about moving with their bodies would have been a lot more fun. I doubt we will be doing a journey for our second year of scouts and will be saving the repetitive material for caddettes.
Are all the current programs (Petals, Try-ITs, Badges, IP) being replaced with the Journey program?
I am looking for ideas for the Girltopia Journey.
I have read thru the Leader Guide and I am still having trouble wrapping my brain around this one.
I got an e-mail from the Girl Scouts' online store the other day announcing the new Journey books. Here's what just came out, if anyone is interested:
Daisies: 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Animals!
Brownies: A World of Girls
Seniors: Mission: Sisterhood!
Ambassadors: Bliss Live It! Give It!
My daughter just came home from her Girl Scout meeting, and brought home with her the book for the Breathe Journey for Cadettes. I just skimmed the book, and I can tell by looking at it why the girls think it feels like school. My daughter says she'll "suffer through it" so she can earn her Silver Award.
My daughter's troop did the Amaze as Juniors and they absolutely hated and and we had 2 girls quit because if it. Too much like school work and the girls didn't want to talk about all the "touchy-feely" topics and the bullying/peer pressure-they get all that at school with teachers covering that in the classroom. They want to help others, make crafts, earn badges...let's get back to basics. They are working on finishing up their Silver Awards this year and they are doing the old version of the requirements. They are all cringing at the thought of the Gold Award and having to do another journey book. Also, as a sidebar..at the IP level some of the Activities are extremely difficult to do. For ecample-the car sense IP...we called around to see about the girls watchign a tire being changed and an oil change being done-in this day and age-it is a liability and safety issue to have minors in the service area where the cars are being repaired, I could not find anyone who would do this for us. We did manage to get the IP done, but with difficulty. I wish the Girl Scout would keep things like this in mind when designing badge and IP requirements. Also the community service requirements have posed problems as well. Not all girls can volunteer or get part-time jobs in some of the areas...they need to think things through...lets get back to basics!
i couldn't agree more, i think these journeys are supposed to make things easier to plan. however, national really hasn't thought this through very well. i have talked to leaders who are also teachers and they cannot understand how to teach the journeys. girl scouts needs to get back to the basics, being self-sufficient young women who can cook a meal over an open fire, ride a horse, sew on their own badges, try a little bit of science and do it yourself projects, then build from there what kind of woman they want to be. where's the camping and field trips? the only field trips my daughters will take if the journeys have anything to do with it will be their community service to fulfill the last requirement for a patch.
I was just told last week that my troop had to start doing the Journeys. Even though this is supposed to be a transitional year we are not to do any of the old program. This announcement comes now in October when the girls have already picked out what they want to do for most of the year and I've scurried around and found the badges they wanted to earn. My girls tried a Journey two years ago and hated it. I do not relish telling them they HAVE to do that and nothing else. I probably won't have a troop after that.
How will they "know" of you are not doing the Journeys program? Are you going to tell? And what can they do to you if they find out? Lose a troop of girls and a dedicated leader?
Keep it to yourself and order the Try Its while you still can.