So i'm always coming up with these crazy ideas. Things that I think will make Brownies run smoother, better and more organized. It first started with our Brownie notebooks, then last year the Brownie Hiking backpacks. This year its binders.
A few years ago I took a look at how the girls earn interest badges. I was finding that the girls all wanted more badges but had a hard time understanding how to complete them on their own. We introduced the Brownie notebook and that helped a lot but I still found the girls didn't know which ones they've already completed and which ones they have left to do. Introducing the Brownie binder - used in conjunction with the girls notebook hopefully it will help the girls keep track of everything. And of course it will live in their Brownie backpack, coming back and forth to meetings with the girls.
The first page of the binder has the girls badge record. This is a list of all of the interest badges with a square beside it to add a date and sticker when it is completed. We used to just check off the badge in their notebook when it was completed but some girls found this confusing. Now they will be able to see at a glance which badges they have done and which they could still do.
You can download these pages Here!
I'm not going to lie, this next bit took a while. When I first started the notebooks I wrote up all of the interest badge requirements on these little slips. I find it works really well when the girls attach one of these slips to ther notebook page and then do the badge work below. We stress to the girls that badge work can be drawings, photographs, writing or making something to bring it. However, we do ask that any badge work that is in paper form get glued into the book. That way things dont get lost.
For the girls binders I printed out and cut up a set of interest badge slips for each girl. I only have 13 girls this year so it didn't take too long to print, cut and sort them all but I would definitly ask for more leader/parent help if i had a bigger group. All of these slips went into a bag and then got put into the zipper pouch at the back of the binder. This little zipper pouch will also be amazing to transport permission forms and cookie money back and forth between Brownies and home.
The last thing I did was find a way to attach the notebooks into the binders. Since we print pages that are then glued into their notebooks the holes usually used to clip the notebooks in are unusable. Armed with some shower rings I found that if you clip 2 rings along the top and bottom edge of the notebook it can easily be clipped into the binder. Perfect! Once the girls get their binders they will also clip in their program books.
EDIT* Some people were wondering what my Brownie Notebooks Looked Like. Please see the linked page Here to view them (you have to scroll down towards the bottom of the page)
So what do you think? Would you give Brownie Binders a Try?