August 26, 2013
Welcome to the 2013-2014 Scouting Program for Girl Scout Troop
45483. The Girl Scout program underwent a major shift in
its approach with the release of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) and
Journey Program in Fall 2008. The
approach for What girls do in Girl Scouting, How they do it, and How they
will benefit is called the GSLE. The
Journey Program was developed to promote the GSLE and is the foundation for
all other Girl Scout activities and programs.
Leadership Journeys consist of
three designated themes (advocacy, environment and creative expression) which
take girls through a series of Discover, Connect and Take Action experiences
with the emphasis on inviting girls to Take Action on issues they care
about. Discover, Connect and Take
Action are three leadership keys in the GSLE model, are directly tied to 15
national leadership outcomes, and replace Girl Scouting’s four fundamental
goals which were to: (1) develop to their full potential; (2) relate to
others with increasing understanding, skill and respect; (3) develop a
meaningful set of values to guide their actions and to provide for sound
decision-making; and (4) contribute to the improvement of society. The Girl Scout Program’s new approach is to
develop today’s new generation of leaders rather than to singly focus on
building skills on specific topics (through badge work).
Troop 45483 offers a multi-level program which is open to all
girls between the ages of 5-18 regardless of school or religious
affiliation. This multi-level program is NOT a service unit and
is NOT a set of individual troops.
Rather, it is one troop, managed under one troop leader, with section
leaders assigned to each of the six girl scout age levels. These age levels include Daisies
(Kindergarten-1st grade); Brownies (2nd-3rd
grade); Juniors (4th – 5th grades); Cadettes (6th
– 8th grades); Seniors (9th – 10th grades) and
Ambassadors (11th – 12th grades). The troop leader provides the singular
vision for troop direction, ensuring a consistent and standardized approach is
applied and maintained through all sections.
The troop’s mission is to create a supportive environment where girls
can realize their full potential, thereby building girls of courage,
confidence and character who make the world a better place. Together with the support and involvement
of committed helpful parents and adult mentors, Troop 45483 is devoted to
helping grow its scouts strong.
The Troop 45483 multi-level program runs concurrent with the
school year from August through May. Meetings are held the 2nd
and 4th Mondays of each month in the lower level classrooms of Thanksgiving Lutheran
Church located on the corner of 36th Street
and Highway 370 in Bellevue.
Meetings will last approximately two hours from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M.
In addition, there will be section-specific workshops,
Council-sponsored programs and community service activities scheduled
throughout the year. During the summer, Troop 45483 will offer summer
fun activities to keep scouts and families connected with the girl scout
experience. Troop 45483 may also use an
alternate facility when its primary meeting location is not available. This alternate facility is Lifespring
Church located at 13904 S. 36th Street in Bellevue.
serves families throughout the metro Omaha
area and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The diversity and number of girls presents unique challenges.
In order to successfully work and interact with each other, it is
essential that every scout, parent and leader understand the importance of
communication and coordination, backed up by cooperation. Life
has become busy and filled with competing priorities; many families
multi-task and juggle work, family commitments, and a bunch of different
extracurricular activities. The troop will produce a master calendar
preceding each school year to facilitate schedule planning. Families are asked to do their part by
staying informed about upcoming scouting activities and communicating their
scout’s intent to participate so that the troop and section leaders can plan
attendance for activities accordingly. Families are also asked to communicate any
schedule conflicts so that the troop and section leaders are aware of which
meetings and workshops a scout will miss or when a scout will be late.
Finally, families are asked for their cooperation with troop
leadership, its governing structure and policies so that the scout’s
experience will be a worthwhile and positive one.
key troop policies and guidelines:
National Dues: In order to participate in the girl
scout program, as well as the product programs, your daughter must be a
registered girl scout. This means that you must complete the Girl Form
Application and submit $15 registration fee in cash or check payable to Girl
Scouts or GSUSA. This is an annual fee and provides your daughter
coverage under Girl Scout liability insurance. Registration may also be
completed online through the Girl Scout Spirit of Nebraska website at www.girlscoutsnebraska.org Registration forms (or online registration)
may be completed starting 15 April through 30 Jun to qualify for Early Bird
Registration or when joining the troop for the first time in August. Registration covers the period from 1 Oct
through 30 Sep. Any parent who wishes
to help with transportation and/or assist with troop programs must also be registered. All registration forms, girl and adult,
along with payment, will be collected by the troop leader.
2) Troop Dues: The troop leader determines the amount
of troop dues required each year. Currently, troop dues are $50 for the
year payable at the first troop meeting in August. Families that join midway through the year
(January) will be required to pay a pro-rated fee of $25. Troop dues
provide the means to purchase awards, pins, badges, fun patches, supplies, and
journey books. They also pay for attendance at Council program activities,
area functions, and community collaborator workshops throughout the
State. Troop dues are payable in cash
or check to Troop 45483 and remitted to the troop leader. The troop leader ensures that each section
leader uses troop dues to pay for the specific items listed above and that
every section manages these funds consistently. Section leaders are strictly
prohibited from using funds for any other purpose or in a manner differently
from any other section. Parents have
the right to review a copy of the Section Treasury Report completed by the
section leaders in May each year as well as receipts for scout-related
purchases throughout the year.
3) Uniforms: Scouts are required to wear the girl scout sash or
vest at all meetings and Council-sponsored programs. They may wear any
appropriate pants, shirt or skirt with the vest or they may wear the full
scout uniform. One reminder will be given for the first meeting a scout
attends without wearing her vest or sash. The next time, the parent
will be called and requested to bring the vest or sash from home.
4) Fall Product and Cookie Sales:
GS Spirit of Nebraska
offers a Fall Product Program which includes the sale of cookies, nuts and
magazines and a cookie program in January.
The cookie program is now a direct-sales program. GS Spirit of Nebraska allows you the parent to accept
as payment checks from customers you know.
Parents may then pay the troop leader for their scout’s fall product
or cookie sales with their own personal check. However, if the check bounces because of
insufficient funds, the parent will be responsible for payment of the sale in
cash plus any insufficient fund fees assessed against the troop account. THE TROOP LEADER STRONGLY ENCOURAGES
PAYMENT BY CASH OR CASHIER’S CHECK ONLY.
All payment is due by the dates provided by the Council. If for
any reason you are unable to deliver products by the payment due date, it
will be your responsibility to use your own funds to cover these costs and
meet deadlines. You can then get reimbursed once you deliver your
products. Failure to make full payment for the products your
child has sold can result in legal action taken by GS Spirit of Nebraska
Council. The lesson learned here is to sell only to reputable
individuals – close neighbors, schoolmates, office workers, friends from
5) Dissemination of Troop Information: The majority of troop
information will be made available to all parents through e-mail. The
troop also maintains a website and publishes a yearly Master Troop Calendar.
You will be able to check the calendar of events through the troop website
The troop leader will review pertinent information at the beginning of each
troop meeting and during parent meetings which will be scheduled and held
several times throughout the year. In addition to troop
activities, the section leaders may schedule level-specific activities and workshops. All section leader communications will
include the troop leader and section parents and scouts so that information
is adequately and sufficiently disseminated throughout the troop.
6) Badge Work: With the exception of
Daisy Petals which are still referred to as Petals, awards are now called
badges for every level. When GSUSA surveyed girls, adults and parents, the general
consensus was that ten badges is a good number to earn in a year. Each
leadership Journey includes three new official awards. These awards are designed to be worn on the
Girl Scout uniform. Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes have the chance
to earn several badges along the journey. Seniors and Ambassadors can mark
their accomplishments at the culmination of a journey with a pin or iron-on. With the three Journey awards, the Financial
Literacy and Cookie Business Badges in the new Girl Guidebook and a set of
Legacy Badges that complements the specific Journey, you’re at ten. Troop
45483 philosophy regarding badge work is “educate, don’t decorate”.
7) Behavior: Scouts are expected
to show respect to adults and to treat each other with tolerance and
kindness. Rude and offensive behavior as well as disrespect to troop
leadership will not be tolerated. If a scout is disruptive during
meeting times, the scout’s parents will be called and asked to pick up the
child. If behavioral problems persist, a conference will be scheduled
with the parents and the troop leader.
The troop leader may recommend that the scout be placed in a different
troop should it be determined that Troop 45483 is not the appropriate fit for
the scout and family. Poor attitudes
and behavioral problems result in disruption to the good order and morale of
the troop and negatively impact others. Parents are asked to resolve problems
or remove their scout from troop activities until such time that the scout
can contribute in a positive manner.
8) Illness: Please monitor your child for illnesses throughout
the year. Parents are asked to keep scouts home if they have a fever or
contagious illness. This is for the protection of the other children
and adult leaders, and we ask for your full cooperation in this matter.
9) Lateness: Troop meetings will start promptly at 6:00
P.M. with a formal opening. Following the opening, general troop
announcements will be made and the troop leader will remain in the area to
answer any questions. Scouts will dismiss to their respective
classrooms to work on level-specific activities. If your scout arrives
after the troop meeting has started, please instruct her to proceed quietly
to the classroom and not disrupt activities already in progress. For Council
Programs and Community Collaborator Workshops, you will be required to have
your scout attend on time. Most community collaborators provide a 5-10
minute “grace period” for late arrivals. If circumstances arise
which prevent your child from getting to these workshops within the required
time frame, please ensure that your child’s section leader is made aware of
the problem. Depending upon the type of event, your child may not able
to complete the workshop. This decision will be made on a case-by-case
10)No Shows: The troop is
required to pay for scout attendance at all Council Programs and most Community
Collaborator Workshops in advance. If you decide that your scout will
attend a fee-required program and your scout is subsequently a no show for
that event, you will be required to reimburse the troop for your child’s program
fee. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY. This will be consistently applied in every
section by every section leader. If
there is a fee-required program at the beginning of the scout year and troop
dues have not been remitted, the parent will be required to pay for the fee-required
program in order for the scout to attend.
The cost will then be deducted from the troop dues amount to determine
the remaining balance owed. Section
leaders are strongly advised NOT to use their personal funds to cover the
cost of section activities; not every section leader has the ability to do
this and this potentially can create unfair expectations throughout the
troop. Parents that do not abide by
this policy will be required to pre-pay for their scout’s registration at
11) E-Mail Responses: E-mail is the main form of
communication for this troop. This will be supplemented by verbal
announcements made during troop meetings as well as information posted on the
troop website. E-mails may be sent out at various times
throughout the year requesting you to let us know about your child’s
participation in upcoming events. It is very difficult to register
for events when payment is required by a certain date and we don’t hear back
from you. The Council does not provide refunds for no shows; most
community collaborators do not provide refunds for no shows. The troop
ends up absorbing the cost and because we are so large we can no longer
afford to do so. Parents are asked to respond back promptly to
troop e-mails requiring a response. This will enable program registration
forms to be processed and payment remitted in a timely manner, ensuring the
troop and your scout doesn’t miss out on opportunities.
Level Awards: Troop 45483
encourages all scouts to earn higher level awards, including Bronze, Silver
and Gold Awards. The troop leader has
instituted a mandatory policy regarding completion of these awards. Juniors in the 4th grade,
Cadettes in the 6th grade and Seniors in the 9th grade
will work on their specific award prerequisites. Bronze Award Projects will be done as a
group and decided at the beginning of the 5th grade year; Silver
Award Projects will be done as a group and decided at the beginning of the 7th
grade year; Seniors are strongly encouraged to come up with a project that
meets the three criteria of sustainability, measurability, and global reach
and work with the troop leader on their proposals in the Spring of the 10th
grade year. Section leaders or a
designated helpful parent will work with the Bronze and Silver Groups during
the 5th and 7th grade years. All Bronze and Silver Award Projects will
be completed by February; a group report will be drafted during a troop
meeting and provided to the troop leader for review and comment. Once finalized, all BRONZE AND SILVER AWARD
FINAL REPORTS will be given to the troop leader NLT 15 Mar to remit to the
Council’s respective award coordinators.
The Gold Award Proposals will be worked on an individual basis with
the troop leader; any help requested of the troop for BRONZE, SILVER AND GOLD
PROJECTS will be presented to the troop leader, and the troop leader will
disseminate such requests as appropriate.
Thank you for your interest in the scouting
program offered by Troop 45483. The section leaders and I will do our
very best to ensure that the coming year is filled with many wonderful and
exciting scouting opportunities for your child and your entire family.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime at
cell (402) 871-7099.
Maria R. Reiter
Girl Scout Troop 45483 Leader
Coordinator & Trainer
Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska