Program Age Levels
We name our program levels after animals to show the girls that there is something to be learned from all of God's creation if only we are willing to look. Working with different ages effectively begins with an understanding of the developmental aspects of each age group.
Preschool, ages 3-5: Penguin
Penguins are among the most social of all birds, but are naturally clumsy on land, much like our littlest members. Penguins work together, sharing food and breeding sites. Alone in the wild, they wouldn't survive long, but working together they can protect themselves and their young. We hope that our youngest members learn to be part of a team, to share, and to rely on each other.
Frontier Girl Penguins are just starting out on their journey. Everything is new and will take extra time to learn and master. Penguins have very short attention spans and will need to change activities frequently. Keep in mind that girls at this age cannot read, have limited motor skills, and may not even be potty trained. They will need assistance with the simplest tasks. While Penguins are welcome in a multi-age troop, make sure you do not turn the older girls into babysitters, but provide enough challenging projects for each age level.
Grades K-2, ages 5-8: Otter
Otters are known for their playful behavior. They are smart, creative, and curious. Their play helps them gain knowledge, speed, and dexterity that helps them survive. We hope that our members will never lose the ability to play and look at the lighter side of life.
Frontier Girl Otters, as their name suggests, are fun and playful with lots of energy. They frequently have a hard time sitting still and have fairly short attention spans. As young as they are, they are still intelligent human beings, capable of much more than many adults give them credit for. They are not babies who need to be cared for, but have ideas and opinions of their own. Otters are still young enough to be outspoken about what they like and dislike, so it is easy to see where you stand with them. This is also the perfect age to begin to teach the concepts of tactfulness and politeness.
Your youngest Otters will just be starting Kindergarten and may not be able to read quite yet. Their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills are still developing as well, meaning they will need help with many of the projects if you wish to include them with the older girls. Fortunately, most girls in this age range are eager to learn and ready to try just about anything if everyone else is doing it too.
Grades 3-5, 8-11 years: Dolphin
Social behavior comprises a major portion of a high energy dolphins' daily activities, but it doesn't stop with teamwork and play. When a pod member is sick or injured, other dolphins will come to its rescue and help it to the surface to breathe until it is well. As the girls get older it is important that they learn compassion for those around them.
Frontier Girl Dolphins are growing rapidly, causing them to alternate between seemingly endless energy and extreme tiredness. Like the Otters, this age group frequently feels the need to move and will often fidget when seated for too long a period. They are beginning to develop independence and may become extremely excited about a project only to lose interest soon after they start.
Dolphins will begin to test and question you, wanting more control over the decisions made in the troop. This level is the first level where girls can actually hold a leadership position within the troop. By giving them an opportunity to serve the troop, you allow them some of the independence they are looking for while still controlling the meeting itself.
Grades 6-8, 11-14 years: Butterfly
Every year, Monarch butterflies make an incredible 2500 mile journey from the eastern United States all the way to Mexico. They persevere through all obstacles, whether wind or rain, and keep their eye on their goal, not the difficulty of getting there. As girls begin the journey toward womanhood, this can be the most difficult age. We hope that like the Monarch, they will persevere through any difficulties.
The Butterfly age group is, in many ways, the most difficult you will encounter. Girls in this age range are in the beginning stages of puberty which can cause emotional extremes and overly dramatic behavior. Rapid growth spurts can make them clumsy, as arms and legs seem to grow overnight. At this stage, girls are very susceptible to peer pressure and will frequently look to others in her group or in the Eagle level to gauge everything from their looks to their behavior.
Grades 9-12, 14-18 years: Eagle
Bald eagles are a symbol of majestic beauty and great strength. They soar though the sky, high above the earth, taking in all the details below them. Keen vision gives the eagles the ability to see far off challenges, soaring through each pursuit with great success. As the girls prepare themselves for life on their own, it is important to keep an eye on the future and be ready to meet every challenge.
Eagles can be one of the most exciting age groups to work with as you help guide them into adulthood. Eagles are in the process of developing their own identity and are striving for independence. As they watch you, they will be quick to point out any differences between your words and your actions so it is more important than ever to stress our promise, creed and motto. Like the Butterflies, Eagles, especially in the early years, are still growing and changing at a rapid pace. Be patient with them as they come to terms with themselves.
It is especially important with this age group to allow them to make as many decisions themselves as is practical. Always be available when they need guidance, but remember that these are the years that you want to stress competence and responsibility. The more faith you show in the girls' abilities, the more faith they will have in themselves.
Adult Participant: Owl
With unblinking focus, the owl constantly looks toward the future, searching out the next piece of wisdom that might make a difference to its world. Observing everything around them with calm patience they soak up knowledge and glide confidently through the darkness knowing that soon it will be light again. Like the owl, we hope that the adults who participate in our program continue to focus on the future, learning new skills, gaining new knowledge, and remembering that each morning is a brand new day.
The Owl level was created for women 18 and older who wish to earn badges and not just teach them. Some Owls are young ladies who have recently graduated high school who wish to continue on with the program, while others are older women looking to recapture the scouting of their youth. Whatever the reason, earning badges as an adult can be just as fun as rewarding as it is for the girls.
Adult Leader: Goose
With every flap of its wings, the lead bird in a flight of Canada geese is breaking through a wall of air, creating a swirling vortex that provides a push for each follower. Some estimates show that geese in a V-formation can fly as much as 70 percent farther than they could fly alone. It's exhausting work for the lead bird, but Canada geese have an answer to that, too: they take turns. When the leader drops back, another takes its place. Like the goose, we hope our troop leaders remember that they are not alone and that by working together they can achieve wonders.
Adult Volunteer: Starfish
A young woman was walking along a beach upon which hundreds of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, Why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can't save all these starfish. You can't begin to make a difference!
The woman seemed crushed, but after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, Well, I made a difference to that one!
As Frontier Girls volunteers, we may not be able to make a difference to the whole world at once, but don't ever forget that we make a big difference to each and every individual girl that we serve. We will change the world one girl at a time.
All girls should learn and recite the Frontier Girl Promise prior to being invested in the troop.