Many of you that know me, are aware of my struggles with Girl Scouts over the years. I don't care for the curriculum or for putting so much emphasis on cookie sales. I am also not a fan of how much money the girls actually get from peddling said cookies. My daughter wanted to keep trying troops as we had one failure after another. A troop leader that took the money from the three girls in her troop, another troop that expected me, as co-leader, to do everything. I don't have that kind of time to run a troop. I tried for the last six months to find her an established troop through the local GS office, with a lot of bouncing emails from one place to another. They told me there were no established troops with any room left for new members, but if I wanted to start my own troop...so, I have given up completely on GS in the form of troops. I may send her to one of the summer camps sometime in the future, but we won't be pursuing a troop anymore. So, what do I do to fill that scouting experience for a daughter that wants one?
DIY.org to the rescue!
DIY is for kids to explore new skills and then make them happen. The kids take pictures or videos of their projects and post them to the site. Someone will review them and approve the skill that was learned. When the kids have been approved for three skills in one catagory, they have then earned a patch. The patch will then be sent to the child automatically (if you have the $10 a month "More Awesome" membership) or you can buy the patch for them for $4 (if you have the free membership).
So far my daughter has really loved working on the skills. She is excited that she has "followers" and the others comment (very positively) on her posted work. She just earned the Illustrator badge and it has shipped. She came running up to me when she checked her page and found this out, she was so excited! We have discussed making a felt vest to sew her patches on.
There are skills for everyone. Just a few are Minecraft, Actor, Baker, Detective, Game Designer, and Mechanical Engineer.
The only thing missing from our DIY experience is the physical community. DIY suggests getting together with a group of kids to tackle the skills. Sidney and I discussed this and we are going to start our own DIY Club. We are planning to have meetings once a month and then long meetings or campouts when my son is away at Boy Scouts. She is always sad when he goes and this will give her something of her own to do during those days he is away.
I encourage you to try out DIY for your own kids. It has been a very positive experience for my little girl.