More than Summer Fun

Finally! Summer is here. You and the girls are looking forward to sandals, capri pants, lemonade, and most importantly, relaxation. But is this the time to "shut down" all activities? Or can you connect the girls in a fun, relaxed way during the summer months?

Here are five tips to keep girls connected through the summer and into the new troop year.

  1. Set the Dates. Before the girls grab their sunscreen and iPods and head off to the pool, create a calendar of summer activities. An e-newsletter that keeps everyone up-to-date on what's ahead is a great way to start. You can grow your troop for next year and have fun. With a little planning, you will have chaise lounge time for yourself as well!

  2. Fire Up the BBQ. Have an international or themed barbecue. Plan an activity from a Girl Scout resource book the girls will be using next year.

  3. Thank the Village. Choose a time and place for girls to thank their parents who helped make their activities possible this year. Block parties and picnics are great summer ideas. If you can't use your street, reserve space in a community park. Use streamers or balloons to reserve your spot; enlist adults to barbecue and play games. This is a great opportunity to talk about next year's activities a well as recruit volunteers.

  4. Make It "Fair." Almost every community has a fair or festival going on in the summer. Organize a trip to a summer-only event and plan activities that count towards earning awards. Why not contact your local science museum, university with an observatory, or astronomy club and arrange for star-gazing? All you need is a clear night. The girls can even make star-shaped cookies or moon pies to mark the occasion. You may even want to develop an ongoing relationship with your contact person for activities throughout the troop year.

  5. Go the Distance. Some girls may be in camp for a part of the summer. Others may be visiting parents or relatives who live far away. Consider sending small, inexpensive care packages, funny jokes, a treat or two, and ideas for Girl Scout activities to keep everyone connected until September.

Keeping girls connected throughout the summer and getting ideas for the new troop year can certainly make a big splash with the girls throughout the season.