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When you’re working with Girl Scout Brownies, there are some areas you might like help with. I’m here to offer my knowledge and experience to make it an easy, enjoyable experience for you! Today we’re going to talk about how to help your girls earn the Brownie My Family Story Badge.
Girl Scouts of the USA promotes family values. Part of your troop’s Girl Scout journey will be to learn new things about the family members they know and love.
The purpose of the badge is for the girls to know how to tell their family story. The badge description says, “Every family has stories. It’s good to share them so you know who helped make you who you are. Do this badge to find out more about the people you love and who love you. That’s your family.” As you and your girls work on this project together, the best way to remember all the details and help other family members hear the stories is to record them on audio or video.
With that said, I will share some ideas to help you achieve every step of this badge. Let’s get started.
First, your scouts have the task of discovering stories that have been passed down through the family. They can ask about family members they haven’t spent much time with, like a great aunt or an estranged parent.
One way to make this step more comfortable is to host a troop meeting where your girls get to bring their family members and ask them to share family stories with your scouts. This might involve retelling stories the family already treasures or disclosing new information. This miniature “family party” can make it feel less high-stakes or stressful for your girls, because they get to experience it together!
This step is more factual. Your girls are going to use whatever method they prefer to learn about the history of their family. This includes the location of where different branches of their family came from, what types of occupations or religions their ancestors had, and even where their grandparents lived before your scouts were born.
If your scouts or your troop have the funds to do so, a fun activity is to join an ancestry website and learn the factual history of their family. Some of your scouts’ families might already have their own version of this, whether it’s an ancestry website, a family Facebook group where they share family history findings, or historic family heirlooms like journals and scrapbooks.
No matter what type your scouts choose to use, you can gather as a troop with your computers, family heirlooms, or other sources of information and start compiling data together about where their families are from. One way to show the fruits of their labor is to make a world map where girls put pins in areas their family are from. You can notice similarities and differences between their ancestry and maybe even find that your scouts are from all over the world!
Making a family tree can be so much fun! Encourage your scouts to get creative with the presentation of theirs. One way to make this activity fun and easy is to find a website that allows students to create concept maps. If you don’t have access to one of those, you can also make concept maps or charts with ease in Microsoft Word. If your girls want to bring in family photos or draw a tree with colored pencils or create it with string art, those methods work great as well. The more innovative, the better!
If you are looking for something already ready to go and just need to add names and color, I found these posters on Amazon that would work great for such a project. You could also add pictures to this if they wanted.
When we treasure and pass down family heirlooms, we make a better world together. The standard way of completing this step is for your scouts to ask their parents or grandparents about any special family items they might own or plan to pass down.
Another way to go about this in a creative way could be to follow up your scouts’ ancestry study by finding an item that represents their culture to them, like maybe a special type of food or clothing that is unique to their ethnic background. This can be a great solution if your scouts’ families don’t tend to pass things down.
Now it’s time to show off their findings! Of course, the standard ways of explaining their family history involve standard presentation methods like speeches or power points.
A unique way to make your troop’s family story badge experience memorable is to host a family history party. This is a special, planned event where each girl gets their own table or area in the room to display pictures of their family members, treasured family items, favorite family foods, and anything else that represents their families. Your girls can take turns between walking around the room looking at each “exhibit” in your collective family history museum and showing off their own family history.
This can be as elaborate or as simple as it makes sense for your girls, and it makes the idea of family history feel more real as it’s brought to life in front of everybody!
Another resource that has always helped me in planning is Pinterest – I found some great ideas and added to a Brownie My Family Story Pinterest boards that are specifically targeted toward learning more about family stories.
Additionally If you are like many leaders we want to award our girls when they complete something even beyond just the patch. One great way to show achievement is with a certificate. Don’t worry you don’t have to make them, I found a resource that has done all the work for you and all you have to do is print them and customize the certificates with each girl’s name, badge or award earned, date, and troop leader. Editable certificates perfect for awarding girls after earning a badge.
Hopefully with the collection of these ideas, you’ll be able to earn the Brownie My Family Story badge easier and make it more engaging for your girls.
Enjoy every minute being a leader and continue to inspire your girls!
Purchase this wonderful illustrated book from Amazon.