150 Skills for Teen Advisors
At the end of this session adult participants will be able to:
Identify their feelings as they make the transition from Leader to Advisor.
Specify reasons why it is important to let girls manage the troop themselves.
Express the importance of creating a trusting climate in the troop.
For more Education & Support on Girl Scout Teens -
Go to www.gscnc.org and click on “Registration” and “Training Registration”
Under Steps 1 and 2 you will find:
Online tutorials covering the logistics for Cadettes, Senior and Ambassadors
Conference Call Q & A sessions regarding teen Girl Scouts
Conference Call Q & A sessions regarding teen finances
Online tutorial on Troop Money Management
Roundtable sessions on various Journeys and Earned awards for teen girls
Print Resources for Girl Scout Teens -
Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting*
Journey – It’s Your World: Change It!*
Journey – It’s Your Planet: Love It!*
Journey – It’s Your Story: Tell It! Ambassadors*
Volunteer Essentials (facts, policies and local guidelines)
*The Girl’s Guide and Journeys have one book for each program level – Cadette, Senior, Ambassador
1 Updated AVD - 11/4/2012
Sign-In/Early Bird Activity
Opening: Welcome, Trainer introduction, Logistics
Review Learning Objectives
Activity: Reflection on Girl Scouting
Introduction: Transition from Leader to Advisor
Activity: Teaching the Task
Handout Review: Advisor & Teen Responsibility
Introduction: Troop Management
Activity (Optional): Personal Reflection & Pair Share
Handout Review: Types of Troop Management
Introduction: Troop Finances
Activity: Brainstorming OR Lecturette (as appropriate)
Garage Sale Shuffle (Jr. & Teen, or just Teen)
Handout: Troop Finance Sample, for review on your own
----------------------- Stretch Break -----------------------
Introduction: Creating a Trusting Environment
Activity: Adolescent Minefield
Handout Review: Age Appropriate Behaviors
Introduction: Working with Troop Conflicts
Activity: Conflict Escalator Pair Share
Handout Review: Intervention Strategies
Closing Reflection: Complete the Sentence
2 Updated AVD - 11/4/2012
Afraid Ecstatic Jealous Sad
Affectionate Embarrassed Jolly Safe
Aggressive Empty Joyful Satisfied
Agonized Enraged Secure
Amazed Enthralled Kindly Sedated
Angry Enthusiastic Self-Conscious
Anxious Envious Left Out Self-Pitying
Apologetic Exasperated Lonely Sheepish
Argumentative Exhausted Loving Shocked
Arrogant Exuberant Shy
Ashamed Mad Silly
At peace Foolish Malicious Smart (cocky)
Friendly Mellow Sorrowful
Bashful Frightened Mischievous Sour
Belligerent Frustrated Miserable Spiteful Strange
Blissful Funny Mixed Up Superior
Bored Moved Surprised
Brave Grateful Suspicious
Greedy Negative Sympathetic
Cautious Grief-Stricken Nervous
Cheerful Guilty Nice Tenacious
Comfortable Happy Obstinate Terrific
Conceited Hateful Optimistic Thrilled
Contemptuous Heartbroken Timid
Crabby Helpless Pained
Creative Hopeful Paranoid Uneasy
Cruel Horrified Peeved Unworthy
Delighted Hysterical Persecuted Vengeful
Depressed Pleased Victimized
Determined Impatient Proud Victorious
Devilish Independent Puzzled Vindictive
Disapproving Inferior Regretful Wary
Disdained Insulted Relieved Wonderful
Distinguished Intimidated Remorseful Worried
Dumb Irritated Righteous
Miller-Lieber, Carol. (1998) Conflict Resolution in the High School: 36 Lessons. Cambridge, MA: Educators for
Social Responsibility, p66.
3 Updated AVD - 11/4/2012
Advisor & Teen Responsibilities
Your Responsibility to Your Teen Girls:
Serve as a sounding board for girls to bounce new ideas off of
Support your girls
Provide a trusting environment
Intervene in conflicts between group members
Be knowledgeable of policies that may impact your girl’s decisions, actions, programs, etc.
Run "interference" with the Service Unit, Association and Council.
Provide continuity and stability as girl leadership changes
Provide an "outside" point of view or perspective
Provide your girls with resources and connections
Give honest feedback to group members
Their Responsibility toYou:
Share their expectations with you right from the start – of what they expect from an advisor
Consult you before making any changes in the structure or policies of the organization or
committee, and before major projects are undertaken
Understand that although you have no vote, the advisor should have speaking privileges, and
in matters of safety, the ultimate position to say no
Remember that the responsibility for the success or failure of a group project rests ultimately
with themselves, not with you, the advisor
Evaluate you periodically and give appropriate feedback to help you improve as an advisor
4 Updated AVD - 11/4/2012
My Reflection on Girl Scouting
Your Aim Is Indirect Leadership. The girls decide on activities, plan and govern
themselves. Step back and listen to your girls, they are ready to make decisions;
so let them!
5 Updated AVD - 11/4/2012
Types of Troop Management
Patrol System – based on the task coming up, this method of leading by committee presents a
collaborative model with includes a lot of girls in the decision making process.
Elected Governing Body – with president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, etc., this more
hierarchical model of leadership allows for easy communication between the advisor and her
main point of contact. Decisions can be quickly made by allowing the greater group to vote on
Rotating Executive Board – with president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, etc., similar to
the governing body, but for a specified time period.
6 Updated AVD - 11/4/2012
Teen Troop Financial Records
Description Deposit Expenditure Total
Dues Sept. 1 $50 $50.00
Supplies for coloring pages service project $10.00 $40.00
Dues Oct. 1 $50 $90.00
Snacks for Neighborhood Meeting $15.00 $75.00
Cookie Profit $50.00 $50.00
Camping** $15.00 $35.00
Calendar Profit $10.00 $45.00
Maryland Legislative Day $15.00 $30.00
Car Wash*** $12.00 $42.00
Cookie Profit $15.00 $15.00
Camping** $15.00 $0
Calendar Profit $5.00 $5.00
Silver Trefoil Award $4.50 $0.50
Car Wash*** $18.00 $18.50
Cookie Profit $75.00 $75.00
Camping** $15.00 $60.00
Calendar Profit $20.00 $80.00
TTFN1-GSCNC Travel Group-Trip 2 $60.00 $20.00
Car Wash*** $6.00 $26.00
* These are not separate bank accounts, but separate records!
** The camping totals were figured out by adding all expenses and dividing by the # attending.
(i.e. Three girls went camping- total was $45 with each girl paying $15.)
***Total car wash profit was added up and divided by the number of girl hours put into the
carwash that day. (i.e. Each girl got $6/hr for being there. Lindsey – 2 hrs, Michelle – 3 hrs,
Tricia – 1 hr)
7 Updated AVD - 11/4/2012
One major finding of the New Directions research was the existence of significant differences
among age ranges of girls 11-17. They can be clustered within three age ranges: 11-13, 13-15
and 15-17. Below is a list of issues that face each age group and recommended actions for
dealing with those issues.
each other and you. Try activities that focus on
Girls 11-13 appearance and self-confidence such as the Girls
Are Great Issues for Girls.
Defining Moments – Transition to junior high/
middle school. Middle school is when bullying Pressures – To act certain ways for other girls,
peaks. Encourage girls to share the experiences they for boys, for parents. Give lots of possibilities for
may have had with bullying. Talk about how friends different things girls can do.
support each other.
Activity Interests – Personalizing my space,
Self-Image – Want to be like others and belong. taking trips, music, expressing myself. Spend time
Girls need to connect – with each other and with you. on activities where girls create something
They can plan activities that are more fun done as a personalized for their rooms and/ or listening to
group – day trips to sporting events or amusement music. Girls can plan trips that combine interest.
parks for example.
Worries – Worry about fitting in. Provide girls with Girls 15-17
a safe place to go. Encourage girls to expand their
worlds through clubs in and out of school. Investigate Defining Moments – New independence, girls can
new hobbies that girls can try for the first time drive. Girls can learn car maintenance from a local
together. mechanic and spend some time talking about the
pleasure and pressures of independence.
Pressures – New risk-taking behaviors (dating,
smoking, etc.) Girls who take healthy risks such as Self-Image – Pressure to achieve success. Ask
sports or travel are less likely to take unhealthy risks. girls how they would define success. Talking to some
Provide the girls with lots of opportunities to test women who have been there – in and out of college –
themselves. would provide perspective.
Activity Interests – Exploring the world around Worries – Stressed out; worried about becoming
me. Check out Safetywise for tips on planning trips. somebody. A day at a spa (commercial or one
Find out what activities the council offers girls 11-13 prepared by the girls) may be just what the girls need
through TTG, Mosaic, More and the program to kick back and relax.
Pressures – Getting into the right college.
Girls 13-15 Whether college, vocational school or work is in their
plans, encourage girls to talk about their dreams.
Defining Moments – Becoming a teenager. Talk to Girls may wish to find out more about the Girl Scout
the girls about what becoming a teenager means to Gold Award and scholarships offered by colleges to
them. What can they do together to express their girls who have earned one.
Activity Interests – Career opportunities, self-
Self-Image – “Me” focused. Help girls try to figure defense and managing time. Provide resources for
out who they are. They can do a bit of self-analyzing time management tips and self-defense classes.
about what makes then unique individuals. Discuss how taking these classes can be healthy and
Worries – If boys don’t like me, how I look, eating
disorders. Create a comfortable environment for
girls to share fears, get advice and reassurance from
8 Updated AVD - 11/4/2012
The Conflict Step #5
On a camping trip,
Joon finds that
chewing gum has
been stuck inside her
journal. She throws
the whole notebook in
Step #4 the trash and storms
Your co-leader talks out of the cabin
to the troop about crying.
the importance of
being a sister to J–
every girl. She takes
Step #3 a few of the lead-
girls aside to scold G–
Joon has begun to
make comments them about not
about how she including Joon.
thinks the other girls
are immature, and
Some of the girls roll
their eyes and
Step #2 snicker when Joon
The other girls speaks at meetings.
frequently talk about
boys and sports at
school, and Joon will
Step #1 wander away to
A troop of 8 girls have G–
engage the advisor in
bridged up from conversation or to
Juniors. write in her journal.
The oldest girl, in the A–
troop, Joon is J–
delayed and seems to
prefer hanging around G–
with adults rather than
What might they be feeling?
1. Work in pairs to guess what each person might be feeling at
Joon – each step of the conflict.
Girls – 2. Remember to think of Joon, the Girls, as well as the Advisor.
Advisor – 3. Write at least three feeling words under each step.
Adapted from materials by William Krielder, Educator’s for Social Responsibility 9
1. What do you think about this scenario? Was it realistic? Unrealistic?
2. What thoughts or feelings came up for you as you were reading this? Any memories from your own childhood, or the
experiences of your children?
3. Did you feel biased toward one side of the conflict or the other? If so, why?
4. How might your bias impact the way you, as an advisor, would respond? Why is this important?
------------------------------- Large Group Discussion --------------------------------
Points to Ponder:
Every behavior in a conflict is either a step up
or a step down the conflict escalator.
Behavior that makes a conflict worse will take it
another step up the escalator.
Every step up the conflict escalator has feelings that
go with it. As a conflict escalates, so do the feelings.
The higher you go on the escalator,
the harder it is to come down.
Conflict Intervention Strategies
1. Group Guidelines
2. Team Building Exercises/Kits
3. Peer Mediation
4. Group Problem-Solving Process
5. Additional Resources
Group guidelines allow for you to contract with your group for a code of behavior they would all like
to see. This is a time for you to mention some ideas you’d like to see respected, but primarily it is a
way for the girls to create their own group, so try to sit back and let them fill the page. Only add
something if it is glaringly missing.
Setting up Group Guidelines with your troop:
An early meeting is ideal, but it is never too late to set-up group guidelines.
Start by explaining that you will brainstorm ideas for how your troop will work together.
Invite them to call out any ideas that pop into their heads.
Write everything down as they say it. Try not to paraphrase or put your personal spin on
anything they say.
Discourage any discussion, or judgment of anything offered. Emphasize that you are gathering
all ideas at this point.
Ask - If everyone can agree to follow these guidelines.
Tape the Group Guidelines up somewhere in the room as a reminder.
Post them again in the future if you need to review them with the group.
Team Building Exercises/Kits
Program Kits are available from Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital:
For more information, or to reserve a kit go to: www.gscnc.org
The mediation process is characterized by a series of steps that enable girls to identify their own
needs and interests and to work cooperatively to find solutions to meet those needs and interests.
The process gives support and direction to the cooperative effort, assisting the girls in conflict to
stay focused on the problem rather than on each other and to find a mutually acceptable
resolution. It is best if a third; neutral peer can facilitate the process, but can also be effective
when a leader walks them through the steps.
The mediation process may include the following steps:
1. Set the stage
2. Gather perspectives
3. Identify interests
4. Create options
5. Generate agreement
1. Set the stage
Explain that your role as mediator is to help them solve their own problem
Ask them to agree to speak one at a time and to keep everything that is said confidential.
When they are in agreement about this you can ask who would like to begin sharing their side of
the story first.
2. Gather perspectives
Ask the first person “What happened?”
Re-frame what they say, editing out any blame and adding feeling words:
Joon: Every time I come to troop meetings, Grace and the other girls sit across
the room making comments about me and I am sick of it!
Mediator: So, you are feeling frustrated because you feel you are not being
respected here at the meetings and at times you are feeling left out.
Grace: Joon thinks she is too good for us and only wants to hang out with the
adults. We’re not talking about her. We can’t help it if she thinks
everything we want to talk about is too juvenile for her.”
Reframe: So, you feel upset because you feel you are being accused of
something you didn’t do. And you are upset because you feel that
your are being judged for your interests.
Continue doing this until all the issues are identified (lack of respect, accusations, etc.)
3. Identify interests
To identify the most important issues to tackle first in the mediation, ask both girls:
“What bothers you the most about your interactions?”
After both have answered, summarize for them by identifying what they value.
Girl #1 “What bothers me the most is that she excludes everyone except her
Girls #2 “What bothers me the most is that she expects us to beg her to hang out with
Mediator: So you both value everyone hanging out together. Joon, you wish to feel
more included, and Grace you wish Joon would include herself more
4. Create options
Ask each person what they would be willing to do to solve this particular portion of the problem.
Go back and forth writing down their ideas, or offering suggestions of your own, until you have a
good list of concrete actionable tasks:
I, Joon would be willing to sit closer to the girls when they are talking.
I, Grace would be willing to make sure that we open up the circle when
we are sitting and talking so that our backs are not blocking anyone out.
(When you make suggestions, offer them in question form: “Grace would you be willing to call Joon
over to join you one time during the next meeting?” But be willing to accept “No” as an answer,
because the solution has to fit for them.)
5. Generate agreement
Write down the options they wish to include on an agreement
Have both parties sign the agreement
Talk about what they will share or not share with others
Group Problem-Solving Process - Steps
STEP 1: Agree to Problem Solve
o Explain the purpose of the meeting/discussion
o Establish necessary guidelines (such as):
Everyone sits in a circle
Everything will remain private
Everyone will take turns talking and listening
Every time a person presents a point of view, someone from the group must
summarize that point of view before anyone else can present another point
STEP 2: Gather Points of View
o Encourage participants to share what they know and how you feel about the
problem. Allow participants to speak if their point of view hasn’t already been
o Help the group decide on a problem statement – what you are trying to solve in this
STEP 3: Focus on Interests
o Have participants discuss:
What they want (reveals the position)
Why that is important to them (reveals underlying interests)
o Try to find and emphasize any shared interests (staying together as a troop)
o If participants have trouble, you might have them:
Tell why they think the problem isn’t going away.
Tell what they think might happen if the group doesn’t solve the problem.
STEP 4: Create Win –Win Options
o Have the group brainstorm ideas that meet everyone’s interests using these
STEP 5: Evaluate Options
o Have the group determine the criteria by which options will be judged.
o Test each option by asking if it meets the criteria.
Eliminate options that don’t work and focus only on the most promising ones.
Try to combine all or parts of ideas until they work for everyone.
STEP 6: Follow-Up
o Meet with the group in the future to discuss:
Is the plan working?
Any changes in the plan necessary?
Is everyone getting his or her needs/interests met?
Dear Teen Advisor,
We are excited to launch the New Girl Scout Leadership
Experience with program level journeys! Amidst our excitement, it has
come to our attention that some people have expressed concerns about
the content of the Senior and Ambassador level journeys. As you read
these new books you will find references to global warming, diverse
religions, multi-cultural perspectives, and global women’s health.
You may wish to share this information with your girls’ parents or
guardians. Attached is a sample letter you may want to use. If you
have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact:
Brigid Howe Mary Warneka
Manager, Program Services Manager, Adult Volunteer Development
Girl Scout Senior & Girl
Sensitive Issues Parental Permission
Parents and/or Guardians,
please review and return this signed letter to the Troop
I, the parent/guardian of _________________________ give
permission for her to participate on this Journey. I understand
that my daughter will be exposed to diverse religions, multicultural
perspectives and statistics on world-wide girl health. The content
and discussions could be considered sensitive.
I have discussed the materials with my daughter and am confident
that she has the maturity and ability to participate in this activity.
I understand, and have shared with her, that her attendance is
optional for all or part of the activity. However, it is my or my
daughter’s responsibility to communicate to the leaders of this
activity any special concerns in advance of the date the activity is
to be conducted.
Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital
4301 Connecticut Avenue, M-2
Washington DC, 20008
Complete one of the sentences below:
As I began this class, I felt … At the end of this class I felt …
One thing that surprised me was …
As we worked together, I kept thinking about …
Now I’m more aware of how important it is to …
I liked this class because …
I would have changed this class by …
I want to remember this experience the next time I …
I can take what I learned from this and apply it too …
One thing that was fun, challenging or eye opening was …
After participating in this class, I realized it would be great if we could …
This helped me to learn more about …
I found it really difficult to …
I found it easy to …