Sunday, November 3, 2013

Brownie Family of God Award Retreat (work plan for leaders)

Family of God Catholic religious award for Brownie Girl Scouts - activity plan for troop leadersOur Brownie troop is working on our Family of God Award this year as part of a tradition for third-graders at our parish. I mentioned some time ago on my blog we were working on the award - and learned since that there are so few resources to help leaders plan how these girls can fulfill their Family of God requirements.

So, for all of you stumped leaders out there: Consider planning a morning retreat with your girls.

I am so glad my co-leader suggested this idea. We were able to allow the girls to meet most of their award requirements, give them some one-on-one time with their parents, and keep them from being annoyed that they were "still" working on this. (We had burnout with a journey experience, and I have heard other leaders say they nearly lost girls from their troop from dragging the award out too long.)

Here's what we did for our retreat:

  • We blocked out a three-hour morning session and announced it early in the year. Girls were to attend with a parent.
  • We jumped around the requirements, switching quiet activities with interactive ones (table or troop discussion,  parent interviews etc.)
  • Our goal for the retreat was to meet several award requirements, plan a community service project and culminate in a girl-led prayer service.


Activities we completed (listed in chapter order, not in order of the day):

  • Chapter 1 (I am special to my family): Make a list of four activities you can do well.
  • Chapter 2 (I am special to God's family): Write your own prayer thanking God for someone special. (These were shared at the prayer service at the end of the retreat.)
  • Chapter 3 (I belong to my family): List the members of your family and list two or three jobs they do in your family. (It is a wonderful eye-opener: even siblings make a difference!).
    Plan a prayer service with family members.
  • Chapter 4 (I belong to God's family): Learn the names of parish staff and others who work in the parish. Why is the priest called father? What do they do to serve the parish?
    Talk to your parent about your baptism and your name. Why was that name chosen or who is your patron saint?
    Write or draw how your parish family of God does things together. What activities are there especially for youth?
  • Chapter 5 (I can help my family): Make a prayer bag with names of each member of your family. Pick a name each day to pray for them or send a special thinking of you note to them.
  • Chapter 6 (I can help God's family): Read John 6:1-15 (loaves and fishes). List ways you can share or draw a picture of what you can do for people to show how you love them.
    What does the word Christian mean? Talk about the special things that make us Christians. Plan a service for your parish. (Our girls voted to earn money for an Angel Tree gift at our church.)
I should add also, that much of this was self-paced. If the girl wrapped up a requirement early, we guided her toward another requirement that could be quietly taken care of. (This is important to consider; we quickly had two girls break out a pack of cards for go fish while they were waiting and had to put a stop to it!)

The prayer service was simple but an awesome experience. One table chose a reading; the other picked a song the girls all knew from church and school. The girls shared their prayers they had written that morning, and my co-leader shared some personal things their family used in their prayer life, including crosses that had been handed down for generations. The best part was that the girls came up and added impromptu prayers at the end, and they were so beautiful!

If you have other ideas for Family of God Award, or have questions, please post! I am happy to share from our experiences!

Please note: You can order the award books online here: http://store.nfcym.org/shop/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=24

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