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Character Building

 

The Frontier Girls promise, motto and creed are the basis of our program and as such need to be reinforced frequently. You have the opportunity to be a real influence on the girls in your troop, and help to build them into strong, moral women.

 

Think of everyone in your life whom you feel had something to do with making you the person you are today. Most people can't name more than 5-6 people, outside of their family, that had any influence on them. Why do you remember these people so clearly when others are difficult to remember at all? What made them special? Why did you accept their influence over someone else's? Usually it was because that person seemed to take a liking to you and you trusted them. They may have made you feel important, or more capable, then when you were on your own.

 

You need to be that person of influence to the girls in your troop. Before you can influence them however, they must like and trust you. Think about the way you respond to each of the girls in your troop. Do you really like the girl who brags a lot, wiggles constantly, or talks non-stop? Do you understand why they may have those traits, either through age, family situations or medical issues? Does the expression on your face and the tone of your voice show that you really like her? Do you believe in her ability to do the right thing? Can you share her interests and be a good listener? Are there interests of your own that you can share? If you answered yes to these questions, you are well on your way to building a trusting relationship with your girls.

 

There is an old saying, It's the little things that count. Character education focuses on the little things.  Be Joyful is too broad. What does it mean? How do you implement it in your life? Ask the girls to list ways they may bring joy into their lives. Examples may include being thankful for small blessings, doing things for others that make them smile, or even singing silly songs. While it may sound simple, how often do people really think about what joy means? Try this exercise with every piece of the Frontier Girls creed.

 

Every day is made up of small actions and we must teach what is right and appropriate in many different situations. Our goal is to make these actions a habit, thus affecting the girl's overall behavior and attitude. There is another saying, Thoughts become action, action becomes habit, habit becomes character, and character is everything. We must start with making the girls think on these things. Actions will follow.

 

Talking with the girls will get them thinking, but activities designed to teach specific principles will yield better results as they help the girls see just how these traits can be used in their lives. Character building activities can be worked into just about anything your troop does. For example, if you are working on the Genealogy badge you may want to talk about love at the same time. How is love shown throughout the generations. Can the girls name three things about each member of their family that they love? Have them do something for each member of their family that shows their love. If you take a field trip to a police station, you can discuss the importance of rules and how they affect a community. Then you can work together to create rules for your troop.

 

It is sometimes helpful to choose a character badge that works well with another badge you are working on so that you can apply one to the other. With the examples above you could work on the Love badge at the same time as the Genealogy badge or the Community Safety badge alongside the responsibility badge.

Patriotism

 

Flag Corps

Frontier Girls offers an optional program called the Frontier Girls Flag Corps. This program is for any girls in your troop who are interested in performing formal flag ceremonies for events in your community. To start a Flag Corps you must have a minimum of 3 girls interested. You will need a Caller, a Flag Bearer, and at least one Color Guard (more Color Guards may be used if you have more girls that wish to participate). Details on performing a formal flag ceremony can be found in the flag ceremony section of the members portion of the website.

The uniform when performing flag ceremonies is more formal than that required for meetings. Girls should wear a white polo shirt, their red uniform vest and either a pleated or A line navy blue uniform style skirt. Skirts should be no shorter than 2" above the knee and no longer than 1" below the knee. All shirts must be tucked in. White anklet socks (no lace) should be worn and clean white tennis shoes. The object is to look as clean and professional as possible.   Any time spent performing community flag ceremonies will count toward service hours for a Servant's Heart Award.

 

Support a Service Member Program??

Frontier Girls is a strong supporter of our soldiers overseas and wants to give every troop the opportunity to become actively involved. Frontier Girls highly encourages our members to support a soldier or soldiers overseas. You don't even need to send "stuff", letters of support are the number one item requested. If you would like to participate go to:

 

Any Soldier

www.anysoldier.com

Make sure to read their FAQs page before requesting a soldier contact. Any Soldier has a search engine to help you choose who you would like to ship to. You can search by military branch, location, items needed and more. Each recipient in the program has agreed to accept boxes from Any Soldier and distribute them to the men and women at their base who are in need of care and support.

 

Any time your girls spend making cards or writing letters to your soldiers may be counted toward Servant's Heart Awards. This program is highly recommended as it really gives the girls an appreciation of the sacrifice that these men and women make, as well as that of their families, so that we can retain the freedoms we so enjoy here in the United States.

 

You may also choose to sponsor a military family instead. Many military families struggle when one parent is out of the country for so long. They struggle financially as well as logistically. Things you may wish to do for a local military family include a fundraiser to help out with expenses, cooking meals, older girls can offer babysitting services, etc. Extra cards and gifts are always nice, making sure that the family knows that the sacrifice they make is appreciated.

 

Tall Flag Teams

Tall Flag teams are a great way to keep older girls involved in Frontier Girls while offering a valuable service to your community. Tall Flag teams twirl 5 ft flags to patriotic music and perform in parades, at community functions, for nursing homes, veterans organizations and others in your community. Due to the height of the flags, tall flag teams are usually reserved for Butterfly and Eagle level girls although younger ones are welcome to participate if they can complete the routines. Sample routines are included in the video section of the members portion of the website and there is also a tall flag training section on the website.

 

Community Service

 

Frontier Girls encourages every Frontier Girl to help better her community and the lives of the people around her. Each troop is required to do a minimum of three service projects each year; one for the community, one for whoever hosts your troop meetings, and one ongoing project of the girls' choice. For example, your troop may choose to sing Christmas carols to the elderly (local community), weed the parking lot of the church that hosts you, and participate in our Support a Soldier program supporting our soldiers overseas.

 

Girls who participate in community service, either with the troop or on their own, may be eligible

to earn the Servant's Heart Award. To earn this award, each girl must perform a set number of community service hours. See the Badges and Awards section for more details.

 

Make sure each girl receives a Service Hour Tally Sheet (located in the Forms section of the website). All service hours should be logged on that sheet. When a girl has enough hours for a Servant's Heart, she should fill out a Servant's Heart completion form and bring it to the next meeting.

 

There is a difference between community service and living our motto,  If you see a need, take the lead! Community service is any activity that a girl volunteers to do for the betterment of her community. Most people think of things like picking up trash, participating in a canned food drive, or singing Christmas Carols to the elderly. While these are worthwhile projects, don't forget to count things like helping to coach a soccer team, or volunteering to help at VBS, or Sunday School. These types of events could not happen without enough volunteers.

 

Certain volunteer activity should not count toward community service hours, as it is more of a favor to family or friends. Examples may include your neighbor asking you to watch their puppy, helping someone pack for a move, watching someone's children. These activities come under our motto, If you see a need, take the lead! Girls should help out when needed simply because it is the right thing to do, not because they are being rewarded for it.

 

The test to identify which activities should count for service hours is simple; if something in your community would not be able to get done without volunteers (streets staying clean, rescue missions stayed stocked, Sunday School classes or sports teams being taught, etc.) then it counts as community service. We believe in rewarding the girls for these efforts with service hours to encourage them to be active in their communities. If however the activity is simply a good deed for an individual (babysitting for your neighbor, mowing someone's lawn for free, helping to load groceries into a car, etc.) this is simply living our motto. We want to teach the girls that when they see someone in need, they need to take the lead and help them out without expecting anything in return.

 

Certain service projects may involve health and safety risks, so research each project well and make sure to can participate safely. Below is a list of possible service projects your troop may wish to choose from to participate in during a normal Frontier Girls Calendar (a few each year are fine) Please make sure that the projects you choose are appropriate to the age of your girls.

 

 

September:

Organize a coat drive in which old coats are donated for use by needy people.
Make I Care kits with combs, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc. for the homeless.

Paint a mural over graffiti.

Donate books to your local library.

Make cards for soldiers overseas or who are in hospitals

 

October

Conduct a community service project during the Big Help Day in October.

Offer safety tips for youngsters during Halloween.
Create a campaign to encourage biking and walking.

Conduct a clothing repair or sewing workshop for needy people.

Distribute leaf bags during the fall encouraging residents to clean leaves from their streets and yards.

November

Recognize veterans in your community.

This is military family month - support a military family with meals, yard work, babysitting, etc.

Adopt a grand friend and write them letters and visit them.

Donate toys or suitcases to foster children.

Adopt a pothole and raise funds to repair it.

 

December

Trim a mitten Christmas tree to donate mittens to local schools and homeless shelters.

Decorate a Christmas tree at a nursing home, hospital, school or homeless shelter.

Ring the bell for Salvation Army during the holidays.

Serve Christmas dinner at you local veteran's hall.

January

Help cook and/or serve a meal at a homeless shelter.

Clean up a vacant lot or park.

Start a recycling campaign.

Collect unused make-up, perfume and other cosmetics for a center for abused women.

 

February

Volunteer to return shopping carts during National Supermarkets Month in February.

Raise money for Braille books for visually impaired people.

Make quilts or baby clothes for low-income families.

Make a cancer or aids quilt or mural to remember people of who have died from these diseases and remind others of their life. Donate it to the community for display.

March

Conduct an Easter Egg Hunt for needy children.

On St. Patrick's Day, don't only wear something green, care for something green!
Plant flowers in public areas that could use some color.

Collect aluminum cans and donate the money to a favorite charity.

April

Participate in National Youth Service Day in April.

Make Spring baskets for seniors' residential facility, neighbors or homeless shelters.

Bring toys to children in the cancer ward of a hospital.

Rake leaves, shovel snow, clean gutter or wash windows for a senior citizen.

 

May

Plan a Memorial Day program

Deliver May Day baskets to women in your community or at nursing homes

Participate in a marathon or relay for your favorite charity.

Organize a campaign to paint storm drains to prevent dumping of hazardous materials.

Plan a special awareness event during Be Kind to Animals Week in May.

June

Visit senior citizens at a nursing home.

Organize a canned goods drive.

Volunteer to help at a Special Olympics event.

Bake cookies and bring them to your local fire or police station.

Volunteer to help with Vacation Bible School.

 

Making Service Projects Fun

 

Below are few ideas to show how you can make doing community service fun for your girls. Use your imagination to create a fun activity around the service project you have chosen.

 

Rake and Run

On a give day the girls should each bring a rake and gather to rake leaves. Make sure you have enough drivers for everyone. Drive up and down streets in your neighborhood looking for yards that need to be raked. When one is found, two girls go up to the door and ask if the people wish to have their leaves raked for free. If the answer is yes, all the girls rake the lawn.

Girls should be reminded that they are on other people's property and that they should be careful not to damage anything. When the job is finished the troop can leave a calling card that offers best wishes and lets the people know who you are. During the spring you could have a similar event called Splash and Split where you wash windows. The idea behind this project is simply to show an unexpected act of kindness to others.

 

Bigger or Better

This is a scavenger hunt. Divide your girls into teams, one team per car. Each team starts with a paperclip. They then drive to different areas of town and try to trade their paperclip for something bigger or better. Once they make a trade, they then try to trade the new item for something even bigger or better than that. Each team has one hour to trade up as well as they can. At the end of the game, all teams meet at a specified thrift shop to donate the items. (One group managed to trade all the way up to a working vacuum cleaner while another ended up with 5 gallons of ice cream that they donated to the local homeless shelter.)

 

Canned Food Scavenger Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt list of canned food and prepackaged items. Divide your girls into teams (one team per car) and have them go around town trying to collect everything on the list. Make sure you include harder to find items like mandarin oranges or artichoke hearts. At each house have the girls ask if the family would like to donate any extra canned food in addition to the scavenger hunt items. At the end of the event, donate all canned goods to your local food .

 

 

Valentines for Vets

At your meeting just before Valentine's Day, have a Valentine's Party. Have each of the girls bring enough Valentines for each member of your troop plus 3 extras. At the party have the girls make Valentine Cards to attach to one giant card. Then give the giant card and all of the extra Valentines to your local veterans group