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Brownie Troop 58 and Junior Troop 502
Welcome Letter

Welcome Back To Girl Scouts!

Please save this newsletter for future reference! It covers most of our troop's policies.

Calendars

We will send home calendars from time to time. They will list meetings and special events. Please post them in a highly visible location. The girls will also have their own personal calendars that they need to bring with them everyday. This is so they can learn to be organized and independent. They will be required to write any information about upcoming events and meetings. Also a web page has been started that will have a calendar for parents to access.

Dues

All troop members pay troop dues in addition to the yearly registration fee. This year we are basing the dues on an estimate of badges that we hope to accomplish. Our dues figure out to $5 a month due on every first Thursday of each month. Or you can pay $40 now for the whole year. That is a $10 discount. Dues cover supplies, crafts and badges earned together as a troop. Confidential financial assistance is available, if needed. If you ever wish to see the troop financial records just let us know, we will be happy to share. Dues are to be given to Keri when you drop your daughter off.

Troop Roster

A troop roster will be made available to all parents in October. Please use it to get to know other parents, pass along information and coordinate carpooling.

Uniforms and Handbooks

Uniforms and handbooks may be purchased at the Girl Scout Council shop located at 912 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, Va 23322. You can also purchase these items at T.A.P.S. The uniform can be purchased from Girl Scouts or they can wear khaki (for the Juniors) Brown (for the Brownies) pants, a white polo shirt and sash/vest. Also Scouting-themed T-shirts are an acceptable substitute for a uniform at scout meetings. The sash/vest must be worn to be considered in uniform. Your Girl Scout is not required to have a uniform but she is required to have a vest or sash with the troop numbers, American flag, World Trefoil pin, and the Girl Scout and Colonial Coast Council identification patches on it. Placement for these item is found at HTTP://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_central/insignia/where_to_place/ The Junior scouts will choose their troop crest and the troop will be purchasing this. Do not purchase any patches, these need to be earned.

Every Junior is required to own the Junior Badge book. She needs to bring it to every meeting. The Brownies can get the Brownie Try-it book but is not required although it is a good tool for working on Try-its at home. And every Scout needs to wear their vest or sash to every meeting

Meetings

On meeting days, we will start at 3:30pm. If your daughter is late, she may miss some important information or even some badge work. So please try to have her arrive on time. There will be a sign in/out notebook. You are required to sign your scout in and to leave a phone number where you can be reached during the meeting. Parents that stay in the cafeteria are required to help.

Please help your daughter remember meetings by having her wear her vest, uniform, or Scout T-shirt to school on meeting days. Also placing her Scout Bag in her backpack so she will have her required items with her. This is mainly for the girls that are going straight from school to meetings. The Scout Bag will hold the scout's notebook and pencil, Junior Handbook, a Calendar and any homework that is to be done at home and brought in at a later date.

Our meeting is scheduled to be over at 5pm. Parents are responsible for making sure that their daughters are picked up on time. We will release your daughter only to adults listed on her pick-up authorization form. Parents will need to come inside the building to sign out their scout. Please be sure to get a leader's attention before you leave.

Rule of thumb: If there is no school, there is no meeting.

Recap, items required for meetings. Scout vest or sash, scout bag with notebook and calendar and for Juniors the Junior Handbook.

Snacks

Snack is a part of every meeting. The girls are hungry and thirsty after a long day at school. Every family is expected to bring a snack. There will be a snack schedule sent out shortly after the first meeting. We will not be calling to remind you about snack. If snack is not sent in, we will purchase items from Food Lion or use the Cookies the troop still has from cookie sales and you will be expected to reimburse the troop. Our snack time will be at the beginning of meetings this year due to our earlier scheduled time.

Communications

Most Communications will be through the troop website, emails and newsletters. If you don't have an email, please let us know so we can make other arrangements. The girls will be responsible for making sure you get all paperwork. Nichole will available to parents to answer any questions at the beginning of our meetings. Please try to keep your questions to Nichole, so that Teri and I can keep our attention with the girls.

Trips

When the troop goes on a trip, three things are needed for the leader to allow your daughter to come along: permission slip, health history forms and any fees. These need to be turned in on time so that reservations can be made, late forms will not be accepted. Pick up and drop off times will be listed on permission slips, please don't be late. Please call a leader if you are going to be late. If you don't call we will wait 10 minutes, then the group will leave on the trip. For pickup, please be on time. If you are more than 10 minutes late for your daughter she will not be allowed to come on our next trip. Sorry for this harsh rule but we all want to get home after a long camping trip or even just a day trip.

Permission Slips

If the troop plans to meet outside of the scheduled time or place, permission slips will be placed at the sign in/out notebook table for parents to fill out and bring back when they pick up their child. Permission slips list all information pertaining to the event and must be returned, along with any program fees, by the date listed on the form. If you do not return the slip, your Girl Scout will not be allowed to attend. If you lose your permission slip go to HTTP://www.gsccc.org/Forms_Troop.asp and print out "Parent Permission (yellow)", fill in the form and return.

It is GSUSA policy that we are allowed to act only on information provided to us on the permission slip. If any information you have provided changes (i.e., emergency contacts, or adults assigned to pick up your child), you must inform us in person or in writing. This is for your child's safety. Please inform leaders-in-charge of events (check top portion of permission slip) if your daughter will not be able to attend an event for which she has been registered. Doing so allows us to provide accurate rosters to the emergency contacts and to leave for events on time. If your Girl Scout is a "no show" for an event paid for by the troop, you will be asked to reimburse the troop. It is just not fair to waste the girls money.

Chaperones

We have 2 leaders for each troop and in most cases that is all that is allowed to go to certain events. But in the event that an adult is needed as a back up, chaperones are accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Adults accompanying the troop must be registered to Girl Scouts and in some cases need to have the Health History forms completed. Driver forms are also required for drivers. Dads are welcome to join us, we will just have to make arrangements if we are staying overnight.

Health Matters

If your daughter misses school due to illness, she should not be at meetings or events scheduled for the same day. Program fees for most events can be credited if you call us.

Fund-raising

Brownie Girl Scout Troops are allowed to participate in a maximum of two fund-raisers per year, one of which must be the annual Cookie Sale. Participation on the part of troop members is voluntary. However, those members not participating in fund-raising must pay program fees in order to attend events paid for by fund-raisers.

Try-Its/Badges and Other Awards

Try-Its/Badges encourage girls to try new things and learn about the world around them. Brownies complete four out of six activities and Juniors complete six out of ten activities in order to earn their try-its/badges. Although most Try-Its/Badges are earned as a troop, your daughter is welcome to work on them independently. Requirements for each Try-It/Badge are listed in the their Handbooks, the Brownie Try-Its and the Junior Handbook.

Third year Brownies may earn the Bridge to Junior Girl Scouts patch to be worn on the Junior Girl Scout uniform. We will work on the requirements for this patch during the second half of the year.

Unlike Brownies, some parts of the Junior badges need to be worked on at home. Please help your girls complete any work needed for their badges. Also if your daughter would like to complete a badge on their own I have forms for them to fill out and you will need to sign off on. They will have to tell the troop about what they learned and show them what was made. Any badges earned outside of the troop meetings will need to be paid for by the parents and picked up by the leader. This is due to the fact that our troop dues have been set to cover the cost of badges we have chosen to do as a troop. Badges are awarded at Courts of Awards, held at least twice a year.

Internet News

For those families with Internet access, Our Troop web page is located at: HTTP://mmalotte.tripod.com/ Here, you will find a troop calendar, newsletter, general troop information, and links other Scouting sites. More features may be added later by the girls. Every effort has been made to conform to the Internet safety standards advocated by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts'. Girl and adult members' last names, addresses and phone numbers will not be published on the Internet, nor will they be provided to anyone other than troop parents or Girl Scout staff.

Wish List

If you would lilke to help out we could use the following: Scissors, Paint, Sharpies