Adventures in Girl Scouting

Bribery and Troop Management

Wow that title sounds boring.

But really, bribery; what parent or teacher has not used bribery to motivate their kids? I know substitute teachers who show up in a new classroom with bags of candy to bribe the kids into decent behavior with, and I’m not even mad about it.

Generally I’m not a briber of my girls; I want the troop to be fun enough that the girls are motivated to be there and do things with me. But anytime I have to do a “sit and listen” type of thing, I ply them with food.

I have one girl who has a tendency to get hangry. She is LEGEND in my troop for her meltdowns when she gets the tiniest bit hungry. So I have started bringing some Hershey kisses or similar whenever there is an event I suspect she may start on that downward spiral of angry. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes, a Hershey kiss at just the right moment can turn it all around for her.

Of course that means I have to bring kisses for ALL the girls; you did not think I’d leave my other girls out, did you????

Kisses for everyone!

So on our last camping trip, which was a trip for our entire service unit, I happened to notice six zillion of those tiny plastic straw wrappers from juice boxes, on the floor and in the grass all around where we were all eating. Don’t be tempted to assume it’s because any of our girls are bad, or littering; those little tiny straw wrappers blow away at the slightest puff of air and can be hard to see. They drive me crazy. I wanted my girls to help pick them up, so I said… “OK, girls… every girl who brings me ten juice box straw wrappers earns a Hershey kiss.”

The Hershey kiss turned the whole thing into a game, and it evolved on its own. First girls were bringing me piles of straw wrappers, then they started getting other pieces of trash and counting them out for me. Before I knew it, the place was spotless.

I’d say that’s worth the price of the Hershey kisses! And yes, should my girls clean up trash just because it is the right thing to do? Definitely. But f’goodness sakes, they are kids, and they want to have fun, and picking up trash doesn’t feel fun. Adding a chocolatey incentive changed that for them. So why not?

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