Over the years, I have seen many different awards ceremonies. Even within Girl Scouts itself, there are many ways to recognize the girls. My troop meets with several other troops in what used to be called a cluster (troops of several age levels that are associated with one meeting place) We have almost always done our awards together along with a bridging ceremony. This is good because it gives the girls and parents a chance to see what the other troops have done throughout the year. In the past troop leaders have called each girl up individually and listed each award the girls have earned. Since many of these awards were earned with the group you can imagine there were lots of "repeats" and the ceremony seemed to drag on. However simply saying what your troop did doesn't seem to give the girls enough of their well earned recognition. So this year I sat down to come up with a new plan.
Daisies rarely earn badges on their own because they earn Petals for their daisy and they represent the parts of the GS Law. They can also earn a set of patches for completing a journey book(again, we did this as a group) and Fun patches for any trips or activities they participated in. Unfortunately when you call each girl up individually and list each award they earned it's not only very repetitive, it also highlights which girls earned more than others. At this age the only way they don't earn the badges is by not coming and unfortunately this isn't always the girls fault. The last thing I wanted was for them to feel like they weren't good enough.
I finally decided to call the troop up, tell the parents everything we have done this year, and then give each girl an individual award for one of their strengths. The awards were:
Helping Hand Award
Big Heart Award
Bright Idea Award
Stick With it Award
Best Foot Forward Award
Shining Example Award
Good Sport Award
They were a REALLY big hit. Some of the parents actually teared up at their child's award and I feel like the truly appreciated the fact that I got to know their girls over the year and showcased their individual abilities.
Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention that my Daisies, the youngest group, totally rocked the socks off the other groups as far as how much we did this year! I totally had a GREAT group of girls and parents and have only great feelings about how the next year is going to be.
See Y'all tomorrow!