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Flag Ceremony Guidelines

A flag ceremony honors the American flag as the symbol of our country and all the hopes, dreams, and people it consists of.

If your group includes girls from other countries, girls can honor their flags, too, and conduct an international flag ceremony.

Flag ceremonies may be used for:

·        Opening or closing meetings

·        Opening or closing special events

·        Beginning or closing a day

·        Honoring a special occasion or special person

·        Retiring a worn flag

Flag ceremonies may take place in meeting rooms, outdoor settings, large auditoriums, on stage, even on horseback.

All flag ceremonies share one thing—respect for the flag.


Flag Ceremony Guidelines

Keep it simple. Emphasis needs to be on respect for the flag rather than on the commands or techniques. Adults can ask girls these questions when planning:

1.     Who will carry the flag?

2.     Who will be the color guards?

3.     Who will give the directions for the ceremony?

4.     What song will be sung? Who will sound the pitch and start the song?

5.     Will a poem or quotation be included? Who will say or read it?

6.     After the Pledge of Allegiance, will the Girl Scout Promise and the Law be said?

7.     In what order will the parts of the ceremony take place?

8.     When will the group practice?

9.     Where will the flags be placed at the end of the ceremony?


Terms Used in a Flag Ceremony

The color bearer (or flag bearer) is the person who carries the flag. There is one color bearer for each flag used in the ceremony.

The color guard is a team that guards the flags. Any even number of guards may be used, but usually four or six girls are sufficient.

The Girl Scout in charge (or caller) is a designated Girl Scout who announces or calls each part of the ceremony.

Possible Commands for a Flag Ceremony

“Girl Scouts, attention.” Used to announce that the flag ceremony is to begin.

“Color guard, advance.” This signals the color guard to advance with the flags, or advance to pick up the flags.

“Color guard, post the colors.” This directs the color guard to place the flag in flag standards, or to attach the grommets to a flag pole rope.

“Color guard, honor your flag.” The color guard salutes the American flag.

“Please join us in saying the Pledge of Allegiance.” (Followed by an appropriate song, quotation or poem, if so desired.)


“Color guard, honor your flag.” The color guard salutes the American flag.

“Color guard, retire the colors.” This asks the color guard to remove the flag from standards, or to lower the flag, detach from the rope, and fold prior to being dismissed.

“Color guard, dismissed.” The color guard leaves in formation, with or without the flag.

“Girl Scouts, dismissed.” Girls may leave in formation or be at ease where they have been standing.


Handling the American Flag

Display of the American flag is governed by law to ensure that it will be treated with the respect due the flag of a great nation. This is known as the United States Flag Code. Some of the rules most useful for Girl Scouts are:

·        The American flag must be placed in the center, and higher, when displayed with a group of state, local, or organizational flags flown from staffs. It may also be positioned to the right of other flags. (If girls were to hold the flag while facing their audience, their right side would be the flag’s own right.)

·        When displayed from a staff in a house of worship or public auditorium, the flag of the United States must hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergy’s or speaker’s right as he or she faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergy or speaker or to the right of the audience.

·        The flag is to be hoisted briskly and lowered slowly with dignity.

·        The flag should never be allowed to touch anything beneath it, nor should it ever be carried flat or horizontally—always aloft and free.

·        Never use the flag as a cover or place anything on top of it.

·        No disrespect of any kind should be shown to the flag of the United States. It should be kept clean.

·        The flag, when carried in a procession with other flags, should be either on the marching right or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.

·        When you display the flag on a wall or in a window where people see it from the street, it should be displayed flat with the blue part at the top and on the flag’s own right (which is the observer’s left).

·        When displayed after dark, the flag should be illuminated.


Take Action in Glacier — For Older Girls

GSMW is once again offering Take Action in Glacier events this summer.  Four weeks are being offered for troops to visit Glacier and not only enjoy the beautiful park but also to help the park doing a Take Action project that the park plans for the girls.  All of the leaders that brought girls last year said it was an amazing experience for both the girls and adults and that the girls are still talking about it.  Please spread the word to our members about this fun travel opportunity for their troops and watch for more details.

Tizer Garden Girls – Jefferson City (Grades K-12)


Registration deadline: May 31

Saturday, Jun 15, 2013   2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Cost:   $6/Girl; $6/Adult

Location: Tizer Gardens, Jefferson City, MT

Individual girls or troops welcome.

You’re invited to one of the most beautiful gardens in the GSMW council!

Tizer Gardens, just 13 miles from Boulder and 19 miles from Helena, invites Girl Scouts to traipse through the flowers, quest for elusive gnomes and fairies, and do a little gardening while you’re at it.

At Tizer Gardens, you will see roses, butterflies, hummingbirds, and don’t forget the fairies, gnomes, and the ‘Secret Garden.’ Our garden hosts will give girls a tour of the rose garden, the fairy garden, the nursery, and then they’ll teach participants how to plant their own shoe box garden. Girls are also invited to bring their own contribution to the fairy garden. Get together with your troop or work on your own and build and/or paint a birdhouse to donate to the fairies of the gardens. You’ll get to come back to the gardens and see your birdhouse for years to come.

In addition, you’ll help do a little gardening. Play in the dirt and grasses, and help clean out the veggie patch and container gardens. You’ll enjoy the beauty you add to the gardens, and other visitors will appreciate your good work.

On top of it all, you will be interested to know that girls can take steps toward their Brownies ‘Bugs’ badge, Juniors ‘Locavore’ badge, and Daisies can move closer to their ‘Sunny’ and ‘Clover’ petals. This event ties nicely to all of the Daisy Journeys as well as to all of the ‘It’s Your Planet – Love It!’ Journeys for all other age groups. Girls will also have a great opportunity to talk to the gardeners about possible Take Action projects.

This event is open to girls in grades K-12 and supervising adults. K-3 girls should plan to attend with an adult, such as a parent, guardian or troop leader.


Program Aide & Outdoor Skills Training — Missoula (Grades 6-8)

 Registration deadline: May 3

Friday – Saturday, May 17 – 18, 2013 This is an overnighter.

6:00 pm  Fri – 5:00 pm  Sat

Cost:   $25/Girl; $5/Adult

This program is not posted on yet, but be watching for it!

Individual girls or troops welcome.

Calling all Cadettes!  Become a Program Aide and work with younger Girl Scouts. Learn to use your leadership skills to share your interests and experiences with younger girls in a troop, group or camp setting.

Program Aides are Girl Scouts Cadettes (6-8 grade) who want to share their skills with others, and help promote the Girl Scout program. Once Program Aides are trained, they will be able to work with other troops by sharing their special talents and help with any service unit event or council program, including day camp.

 What is the Program Aide (PA) Award?  The Program Aide (PA) award is for Cadette girls in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade. To earn the Cadette Program Aide award girls must follow these steps:

1.    Earn one LiA award. This is a prerequisite before a girl can register for a PA training.

2.    Complete a council sponsored Program Aide leadership training course.

3.    Work directly with younger girls over six activity sessions. This might be assisting girls on journey activities (in addition to what she did for her LiA), badge activities, or other sessions. She might work with a group at their meetings, day camp, council events or service unit events or activities. The council membership and program staff can assist Cadettes in finding a group of Brownies and an adult volunteer to partner with.

4.    Once girls have completed these requirements they must have the adult volunteer mentor sign their time log and turn this in when they purchase their PA pin from a GSMW council store. (Girls must complete the requirements in order to receive their pins.)


A Program Aide must be a registered Girl Scout.
A Program Aide must be a Cadette Girl Scout.
A Program Aide must complete a LiA before attending the council PA training.

Registration deadline: May 3

Friday – Saturday, May 17 – 18, 2013 – This is an overnighter.

6:00 pm  Fri – 5:00 pm  Sat


Cost:   $25/Girl; $5/Adult

Great American Can Roundup Scout Council Challenge Jan 15-April 30

cid:image001.jpg@01CDEA83.88F18F40Dear Girl Scouts,
Here is an extraordinary opportunity to show your recycling spirit, earn CASH and bring honor to your Council. Your Troop can win $500 plus the value of the cans. Scout leaders can take advantage of free patches, stuffed guys, t-shirts, baseball caps, aluminum bottles and more to stimulate greater aluminum can recycling. The Troop/Council Challenge is open to Boy and Girl Scout Troops and their Councils. Go to to register your unit and find everything you need to help you generate recycling enthusiasm and initiate a successful Roundup. Show your true green spirit and environmental leadership by rallying your troop and
Council to recycle aluminum cans between Jan. 15 and April 30. Cash prizes through 6th place will go to the top per capita aluminum can recycling troops. Troop verified poundage will be added together to recognize the National Recycling Champion and Reserve Champion Councils along with $800 for Scout activities.
Sincerely, Al the Can

It would be great to see Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming on the Great American Can Roundup Scout Council Challenge leader board.  This is your opportunity for your Council and troops to win cash awards, bring honor to your council and show your recycling spirit.  In addition to the value of the aluminum cans, the Can Manufacturers Institute will be giving $2,150 in cash to top recyclers.  Last year a total of 28 troops participated, so your chances of winning are excellent.  Don’t be left out.  Please help us let Girl Scout leaders learn about the Scout Council Challenge and encourage them to register at where they will find everything needed for a success roundup. Let’s rally your troops to recycle between January 15 and April 30, 2013 and make every can count.  Game-on at      Recycle to win.  Go Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming!     Sincerely,   Jenny Day

Can Manufacturers Institute   1730 Rhode Island Avenue, NW   Suite 1000   Washington, DC 20036   202/232-4677   Fax:  202/232-5756

Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye,

1:  Register at     2:  Recycle       3:  Win!

The Scout/Council Challenge is a nationwide environmental fundraiser with prize money and rewards/awards.  The contest starts on January 15 and runs through April 30th with receipts or Great American Can Roundup Log Sheet/Verification Forms due by May 15.  Register at where you will find virtually everything you need for a successful Roundup.  On the website, you can even scope out the level of recycling by the 28  units sending in receipts last year to calculate your goal.  It’s easy, fun and environmentally friendly.

Scout Units recycling the most beverage cans per capita from January 15 to April 30, 2013, earn top recycling honors and a total of $1,350 cash in addition to the value of the cans.

Champion — $500; Reserve – $300; 3rd Place – $200; 4th Place — $150; 5th Place – $100; 6th Place — $100

Individual Scout Awards/Rewards

35 Pound GACR Club Patch – 35 lbs.                         Al the Can stuffed guy – 125 lbs.

Al the Can t-shirt – 200 lbs.                                          Cans—Infinitely Recyclable Baseball cap – 300 lbs. aluminum “collector’s edition” bottle – 400 lbs.

Councils recycling the most aluminum beverage cans:  Champion –  $500; Reserve  – $300, bragging rights and distinctive plaques to celebrate.  For individual Scouts, there are free patches, stuffed guys, t-shirts, baseball caps, aluminum bottles and more to stimulate greater aluminum can recycling.



Next month, GSUSA launches an innovative bullying-prevention initiative for middle-school girls. BFF, which stands for Be a Friend First (a name that girls selected) is based on the popular aMAZE! Leadership Journey.

Working with volunteers, girls learn relational and leadership skills to short-circuit bullying behavior when it happens and prevent it from happening in the first place. BFF uses role playing, creative writing, and discussion exercises, through which girls explore thorny issues like peer pressure, stereotyping, gossip, and cliques.

As part of BFF, girls also create and lead projects in their schools and communities to tackle bullying issues.  BFF integrates easily into existing health or character education classes, can serve as an after-school program, and may even be offered during a holiday break. Councils will launch this important initiative in their communities this winter.

Call Dawn or check back at for more info.

2012 Fall Product Program Webinars

From Dawn McCloney, our Girl Scout Membership Manager:

Hello folks!  We have received the final schedule for the Fall Product Program Webinars, and some start ASAP!     The login will be and the passcode will be 954432752. For the audio, if your would like to phone in, 1-800-582-3014 with the same passcode.

The schedule is as follows and all webinars will begin at 6:30 pm:

Program Overview:  September 17th   and   October 10th

nut-E for Beginners:   October 2nd,  October 15th  and  October 22nd

nut-E Refresher Course:   October 4th,     October 17th    and    October 23rd

 Please let me know if you have difficulties.  Thanks!   Dawn

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