Welcome to the Borgbilly Scout Site!

Our collection of Scouting experiences. We've got tips and tricks, crafts, recipes, and all kinds of great ideas. We've also got links to other Scouting resources.

Girl Scouts

I first came into the world of Girl Scouting as a Brownie in the early 70's. I was only in for one year, but that year was filled with wonder and amazement. We did craft projects, explored the sciences, took field trips to bakeries, potato chip plants, and amusement parks. We played games, sold cookies, sang songs, and generally had a lot of fun. We moved to a new city the following summer, and I attended a school where there were no Girl Scout troops. I've often regretted the fact that I didn't continue with Girl Scouts. If just one year can leave such a strong impression, I can only wonder what a dozen would have done.

Years later, I had my own daughter, and when a Girl Scout troop formed at her school, we jumped right in with both feet, never looking back. I followed her progress all the way from Brownies through her Gold Award.

Of course, I was drawn back into Girl Scouting myself. I served as a Troop Committee Member and Troop Camp Trained Adult for several years before diving in as first an Assistant Leader, and then as a Leader. I've been an Association Delegate, a Service Unit Treasurer, a Troop/Group Organizer, an Troop Consultant for Older Girls, Webmaster for our Service Unit, and even a Council Trainer.

Boy Scouts

When our son was a baby, my husband and I made a deal: I would do Girl Scouts, he would do Boy Scouts. So when our son was old enough, we signed him up for Tiger Cubs, and Mark volunteered as an Assistant Den Leader. From there it was a small step to Den Leader and Assistant Cubmaster, and before long, he had me involved, too. Since then, our son has crossed over to a Boy Scout troop we love, where I serve as a Committee Member and Merit Badge Counselor, and Mark is the Scoutmaster. We love Boy Scouting just as much as we have always loved Girl Scouts, and we are thrilled to watch our son in his progress toward earning the rank of Eagle.

Two years ago, Mark had the opportunity to take a group of boys to Philmont Scout Ranch for the ultimate scouting opportunity.  If you are unfamiliar with Philmont, it's something of a Mecca for Boy Scouts.  Scouts are lucky to go once.  We've been twice blessed because Mark will be taking another crew in 2009.  Mark has set up a website for the crew and anyone interested.  You can access it here:

Philmont Adventure 2009

So this is our Scouting page, dedicated to all those wonderful Scouts and Scouters who've inspired and encouraged us, who've made us laugh and sing, and who never seem to get all the recognition we think they deserve!

On My Honor....

I don't love Scouting just for the trips and activities. I believe in it because of the values that are the foundation of Scouting. Sometimes I think one of the hardest messages to get across to Scouts (and sometimes the adults, too) is that being a Scout is sort of like a way of life. As our Cadette Girl Scout Leader was so fond of saying, "You're not just a Girl Scout part of the time, you're a Girl Scout all the time!" In taking the oath that we call the Girl Scout Promise or the Boy Scout Oath, we agree to live by the values laid out in that promise.

Girl Scout Promise
On my Honor, I will try:
to serve God and my country,
to help people at all times,
and to live by the Girl Scout Law.

Boy Scout Oath
On my honor,
I will do my best,
to do my duty
to God and my country,
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake,
and morally straight.

Girl Scout Law
I will do my best
to be honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong,
and responsible
for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place,
and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

Scout Motto
Be Prepared

Scout Slogan
Do a Good Turn Daily

Boy Scout Law
A Scout is ...
and reverent.

A few years ago, our young and energetic Girl Scout Leader came up with a brilliant way to get the girls to think about the Promise and Law in relation to our everyday lives. We were searching desperately for some way to open meetings that would get the girls "in gear" and thinking like Girl Scouts. So she separated the Promise and Law into sections, one line or concept for each meeting. She then charged the girls with finding some way each day to live out the concept for that week. At our meetings, we open with the Promise, a brief discussion about the concept for that week, and then each girl must share one way that she fulfilled that part of the Promise and Law.

I think every Girl Scout troop should use the Contemporary Issues packet,"Girls Are Great: Growing Up Female". It's a great way to help girls feel good about themselves and is useful at any age, any stage of development. My troop did this packet in our last year as Juniors. We held a Mother/Daughter weekend at camp and invited one of our mothers, who was a nurse, to present all the information on physical development and puberty. Parents are often uncomfortable discussing these issues with their children. Many of our mothers were relieved to be given the "right time and place" to share this with their daughters. They really liked having all the medical information presented by a nurse, and the moms were right there with their daughters for private discussions on their own values and ideas.

One of the best books about girls I have read in a long time is Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls , by Mary Pipher, M. D. It was recommended to me during a training session when my daughter first bridged to Cadettes. I wish I had read it many years before, because it really clued me in on what today's girls are facing compared to the world I grew up in. I recommend it to any woman, any girl, and anyone who works with girls.

For some reason, the girls in my troops always avoid the "World of People" activities and badges like the plague. Boy Scout troops may have similar disinterest in the "American Cultures" Merit Badge. It's not that they aren't interested in learning about other people and cultures. I think it's just that so many of the badges rely on READING and TALKING instead of DOING. So to keep them interested, we always tried to find ways to turn even the reading and talking activities into doing activities as well.

When they were younger, the girls always loved our Thinking Day parties. One year we had a Family Feast Day where each girl brought a dish from another country and we had games, activities, and decorations from other countries as well. We collected the recipes to make a book. Another year, each girl explored her own heritage and the dish she brought came from her ethnic origins.

In 1998, we helped our Cadettes earn the "Exploring the Net" interest project patch. We held a Lock-in during Thinking Day on the Internet (TDOTI). The girls learned how to query an internet search engine, and how to send emails and emails with attachments. We explored some really neat sites on the web, and chatted with other Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from around the world. The girls enjoyed it so much that they asked us to do it again. Thinking Day on the Internet (TDOTI) and Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) have become a yearly tradition for us. In previous years, we kept a map on which we marked all of the scouts and guides we spoke with around the world. The last few years, we decided to make the marks permanent and add to them every year, color coding the adhesive dots by year. The goal was to make contact with at least one scout from every country on the map.

People sometimes think I'm crazy when I tell them I save burnt out light bulbs, Pringles Potato Chip cans, coffee cans, and such, but any seasoned Scout Leader knows that there is always a use for such things. Pringles cans make EXCELLENT kaleidoscopes. Coffee cans can be used to make vagabond stoves and ice cream (look for the recipe below), and the light bulbs? They make a simple musical instrument that even a Daisy Girl Scout or Tiger Cub can create -- maracas. Simply cover a used light bulb with paper mache' until it forms a solid, unbreakable coating over the entire light bulb. The paper mache' should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. When it's dry, whack it against a hard surface to break the glass inside. Voila! Scouts can paint their maracas if desired, or used colored tissue paper.

Our Girl Scout Council hosts a Leader Appreciation Day every year, and one of the crafts we made were some really cute sachets made from paper doilies. The supplies you'll need are: paper doilies, satin ribbon, potpourri, a low-temp glue gun, and some trinkets (small silk flowers, bows, lace, etc.) for decorating. Lay one doily flat and place a small amount of ribbon at the top to form a loop. Glue the ribbon in place. Lay the other doily flat on top of the first and glue it down on three sides. Fill with a small amount of potpourri and glue the remaining side. Decorate.

One of our favorite games can be played indoors or out, but we usually play it while on camping trips. It probably had a real name at one time, but we can't ever remember it, so we call it all kinds of things like "Sheet Charades" or "Flashlight Charades". It's similar to regular charades in that you are trying to convey a word, phrase, or idea without speaking, but in this case, it's your shadow that does all the performing. Hang a big, white or light colored sheet between two trees, tents, or other objects to form a curtain. Position a lantern or bright light about ten feet away from the sheet on one side. The "audience" will sit on the opposite side of the sheet. Individuals, pairs or teams stand between the light and the sheet and use their shadows to act out their ideas. This is good for AT LEAST an hour or more of laughs.

Another great game Scouts of all ages love is called "Hide and Go Beep". Much like "Hide and Go Seek", this game is played outdoors and everyone hides while one person (IT) tries to find them. The difference is that this version is played in total darkness (no flashlights!). Hiding players must say "Beep" every 15 seconds or so. The person who is IT has to find them by sound! We always started out with an "adjustment period" to give our eyes time to dilate -- it takes very little time for human eyes to adjust to the dark. For a more challenging game, try extending the time to 30 or 60 seconds between beeps, but remember: No lights of any kind.

Finally, as promised, here's the recipe for making ice cream in a coffee can. This is one of those activities that works best on a hot day. You need two coffee cans (one regular sized 14 ounce and one large 34.5 ounce) for every two girls. In the small coffee can, mix one cup milk, one cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Put the lid on the can and tape it down with duct tape. Make sure it is taped well or it will leak. Set the small can into the larger can. Fill the remaining space in the large can with ice and 3/4 cup rock salt, alternating the ice and salt as you go. Close and seal the large can with tape. To freeze the ice cream, pairs of girls should sit across from each other on concrete or other flat surface. Roll the ice cream back and forth to each other for approximately 15 minutes, adding salt and ice as necessary. For an extra special treat, add chocolate syrup or your favorite toppings!

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