How to Earn the Junior Girl Scout Practice With Purpose Badge

How many times have we heard the expression “Practice makes perfect”?  From the time we are children practicing our multiplication tables, an instrument or a sport, this is a mantra that we have all heard.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a great athlete.
As younger Girl Scouts, children are exposed to many different ideas and activities. In fact, for the two years that girls are Brownie Scouts, they earn badges called Try Its. As leaders, we want them to try and experience new things, the way the founder Juliette Gordon Low intended.
Here is a meeting plan for leaders to use to help their troop earn the Girl Scout Junior Practice With Purpose badge.

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The Practice With Purpose badge is unique because girls can really do this on their own.  In fact, it really is better for the girls to do it alone or with a small group of girls in the troop who share the same interests.
As the leader, you will give the girls guidelines and deadlines to earn the Practice With Purpose badge.  In order for them to prove that they have completed the five steps, parents will have to be on board and sign each activity as it is completed. You may want to create a Word document to send to parents as each part of the requirements is accomplished and checked off the list.
Step 1 Decide on Your Goal 
At your meeting, the girls are going to be exposed to the ideas behind this badge. They are to think of a goal in a sport that they love. Included in this list is not just the typical sports of soccer, field hockey or lacrosse; dance and cheerleading, two activities that girls this age do actively participate. If you want the girls to complete the badge requirements on their own time, it has to fit into their already busy life. 
Have the girls write down their goal and then talk about it with their coach or teacher. Then have the parents hand in to you the paper that was signed by the adult in charge.
Step 2 Increase Your Endurance 

No one runs a marathon as soon as they put on their running shoes and no one ever does an cartwheel on the balance beam the first time they try.
For this part of the badge, girls must pick one activity within their sport to focus on and increase their endurance.  Maybe they can only run for one minute and must walk the rest. Or perhaps she can only do ten jumping jacks without having to stop and take a rest.  Is a complete split the intended goal? Whatever it is, figuring out how to get there and practicing is the main objective of step 2.  Girls should chart their progress with parental help or from assistance from a coach or specialty instructor.
Under the watchful eyes of a parent or coach, the girls will increase their ability to incorporate strength into their initial goal.  Strength does not necessarily mean lifting weights, but whatever she needs to build her muscles for this particular step.
Step 3 Build Up Your Strength 
Under the watchful eyes of a parent or coach, the girls will increase their ability to incorporate strength into their initial goal.  Strength does not necessarily mean lifting weights, but whatever she needs to build her muscles for this particular step.

Step 4 Drill for Skill

Again, the adult who is helping the girl needs to help her pick a particular skill she needs to improve on and have her practice it. If a girl in the troop is on the same team, they can work on a skill together. It doesn’t matter if she needs to stick a vault landing, stand on the top of the cheer pyramid, or learn how to field a fly ball, it is the practice that will help her achieve her skill level.
Step 5 Practice, Practice, Practice! 
When the other four steps have been completed, then it is time to put it all together and practice. Girls should develop a schedule that works for them and stick to it.  Parents can be supportive by making sure that these practice sessions do not run too long and that they actually take place.
Once they have completed the five steps, parents should make sure that all five forms the leaders have had them sign have been handed in. It is their responsibility to hand these to you, because as Juniors things need to be more girl-led.
Your troop will enjoy earning the Junior Practice With Purpose badge on their own or with a friend.

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