A Note From the Founder – Membership Changes
by Kerry Cordy
Changes are coming to Quest Clubs. If you are not familiar with the history of Quest Clubs, it began as a spin-off program from Frontier Girls, our main scouting style program for girls. We had so many boys who wanted to earn our badges as well as groups desiring a co-ed option that we created Quest Clubs as a way for groups to create a scouting style program specific to their needs and beliefs. What we did not anticipate at the time was the myriad of other ways people would find to use our program.
Over the last 10 years what started out as a scouting style program is now used as homeschool curriculum, after school programs, in-class incentives, Sunday School programs, and even activities for senior citizen centers and care facilities. Quest Clubs and its memberships have now become quite muddled and confusing as we try to keep track of the various ways groups are using the program and pigeon hole them into a membership that was not designed for them.
As a result we have finally launched out new website, Curiosity Untamed. Curiosity Untamed is now the parent company for both Frontier Girls and Quest Clubs. Through its blog, we are adding a variety of resources that can be used by all members regardless of which of our programs you are using so that everything will be in one place. We will also be slowly shifting all Quest Club members who do not use our badges for an organized, scouting style club over to the Curiosity Untamed website. The memberships available on Curiosity Untamed are designed for our customers who use our badges for schooling or group enrichment classes only. Quest Clubs will go back to what it originally was, a website for scouting style clubs.
The reason for this switch is that we spend a lot more time servicing scouting style clubs than we do those who just use the program for their school or classes. When a group organizes a scouting style club there is fundraising involved, insurance concerns, more complex leadership, trips and outings, camping and more. We end up fielding a lot of questions from parents and leaders, doing a lot of conflict management, advising on everything from fundraising to meeting plans and more. As with other scouting style programs such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Trail Life and Frontier Girls, each Quest Club participant will need their own personal individual or family membership to participate in a Quest Club. If you are just using the program for a co-op class or after school style program where the kids do not need their own membership, and you are not doing fundraising and outdoor adventures and such, we will switch you to our new Group/Class membership on Curiosity Untamed. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are not sure which membership you fall under. I will make sure that you don’t pay more than you are currently and will find the most cost effective memberships for your group.
Over the next 6 months or so we will be contacting each club to see which membership and website suits you best. Please be patient with us as we make this move. All badges and awards are still the same on both sites. You can visit our new Curiosity Untamed website at curiosityuntamed.net. If you have any questions as we move forward, please email me at email@example.com
Free Memberships Through Charter Schools
If you are using Quest Clubs as supplemental curriculum for your homeschooling and go through a charter school, check with them to see if they will accept Curiosity Untamed as a vendor. Many charter schools have a budget for enrichment classes and supplies and will frequently pay for a membership to Curiosity Untamed as part of your curriculum budget. Since our badges can be used as everything from supplemental unit studies to elective classes like fine arts our program fits well with just about any charter school. Requests for information can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your charter plans to purchase bulk memberships for all their students they can call for a discounted quote.
10 Ways to Make Homeschooling Fun During COVID
by Kerry Cordy
As “two weeks to flatten the curve” has become long term rotating lockdowns and stay at home orders, many schools across the nation have gone to online distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Zoom has become the new classroom. The teacher teaches, the students listen and attempt to absorb, but in distance learning there is little room for creativity and fun. The teachers do their best, but it is difficult to get kids to participate and engage through a computer screen. Whether your child is participating in remote distance learning or you are a homeschool family operating independent of any school at at all, these ideas should help you find joy in the learning process.
All-in-One Troop Websites and Badge Tracking
Quest Clubs has partnered with TroopTrack, an all-in-one space to track all your club functions from badge earning, to fundraising, to calendars and communication. You get your own club website with both public and private pages.
TroopTrack is a software that takes the hassle out of managing your club. One tool does it all. Whether you are a leader, parent, webmaster, treasurer, advancement chair, or any other member. TroopTrack saves money, headache, and most importantly time.
With the official companion app for TroopTrack, now you can take TroopTrack everywhere your adventures take you! The TroopTrack Mobile App has full TroopTrack functionality. You can use TroopTrack Mobile Apps together with your TroopTrack account to record attendance, update awards, manage members, send emails, upload pictures and more.
Troop Track is not affiliated with Quest Clubs, but is a wonderful supplemental product that works great for our program. They offer a free 30 day trial if you want to test them out! Be one of our beta testers and have your voice heard on how to improve TroopTrack specifically for our program.
New Badges Posted
Troop 122 Finishes 10th Year
by Elizabeth Simmons, Leader Troop #122
It was NOT what I planned. Our 10th year as a troop was supposed to finish with scrapbooks, slideshows, and celebration of 10 years as Frontier Girls and 7 with our Quest Boys. COVID changed that.
But because it is 2020, we still managed to meet via Zoom from April through August. We completed the Paper Crafting and Costume Design badges as a troop.
I managed to drive by everyone’s home to pick up paperwork for badges completed at home. (I highly recommend the MapQuest route planner https://www.mapquest.com/routeplanner to make order of multiple stops.) I ordered the badges and we planned for celebration. For families that could gather, we had a court of awards with plenty of social distance. We served individually packaged ice cream and drinks. For families that could not, I delivered awards and badges.
Through it all, our families were also working at home on badges and awards.
- Sydney L earned her Dolphin Life Skills
- Emma P earned her Penguin Outdoors, S.T.E.A.M., Life Skills, Fruit of the Spirit, Liberty, Pink Garnet and WOW!
- Avery P earned her Otter Leadership, Outdoors, S.T.E.A.M., Life Skills, Fruit of the Spirit, Liberty, Topaz and WOW! She also got started on her Dolphin work over the summer and earned her Make a Difference
- Robyn V earned her Otter Discovery
- Austin V earned his Dolphin Discovery in Quest
- Kayleigh L earned her Otter Leadership, Liberty, Life Skills, Outdoors, S.T.E.A.M., Fruit of the Spirit, Topaz and WOW!
- Lauren L earned her Penguin Life Skills
- Additionally, Troop 122 earned 97 badges on their own over the summer!
We still have 3 of the original girls and 2 of the original boys.
As a new year gets started, it is time to assign leadership positions to your members. Quest provides a great opportunity for kids to work together as a team as well as to learn to take on leadership responsibilities. In addition to badges and awards involving teamwork and leadership skills, all kids in grades 3 and up have the opportunity to serve in leadership positions within the club. These members are essential pieces of the club and are represented by a puzzle piece pin. Positions are held for anywhere from 6 months to 1 year, giving each person enough time to learn and become proficient at the job, but switching often enough that all kids should get a chance to serve within 2-3 years. Those kids who need to hold a leadership position in order to complete a gem award should be given priority.
Leader in Training
The Leader in Training is responsible for making sure meetings start on time. They should have a watch at every meeting and give quiet reminders to the Leader when it is time to start, have snack, etc. They are also responsible for keeping the kids occupied with songs or games if there is a lull in the meeting and the Leader is busy. Your leader in training should be trained in both the scribe and treasurer positions so that she can fill in if necessary. Finally, the Leader in Training is responsible for calling all patrol leaders with any important updates or information between meetings.
The Scribe is responsible for taking notes at all meetings when business is discussed. They are also responsible for logging in all badges and service stars earned. An adult should always oversee this position to make sure it is done correctly.
The Snack Coordinator is responsible for creating a snack rotation list and calling to remind kids when it is their turn to bring snack. If for some reason someone cannot bring snack, it is the snack coordinator’s job to find a substitute.
The Treasure is responsible for reporting the current finances of the club at each Leadership meeting. They should help prepare budgets for all events and activities. The Treasurer is also responsible for logging in all payments to the club, these may include dues, club registration, uniform fees, or payments for badges and awards. An adult should always oversee this position to make sure it is done correctly.
The Care Coordinator is responsible for praying for the troop at least once a week if your club is religious. They should have cards ready to sign for all special needs (illness, birthday, thanks, etc.) and make sure they reach the intended recipient. Finally, if your club is participating in our Support A Service Member program, the Care Coordinator is responsible for packing and shipping all care packages. (The club is still responsible for paying all shipping charges.)
The Photographer takes pictures at all club meetings and events. You may wish to have more than one person serve in this position if you have a large group. This ensures that there are pictures of every person. Photographers may also be in charge of the club scrapbook.
The reporter is responsible for writing a club newsletter as well as sending photos and write ups to the local media. Reporters are also frequently in charge of the club scrapbook or website.
The Patrol Leaders lead a patrol of between 4 to 8 members and are in charge of making sure their patrol is ready for the meeting, completes their chores in a timely manner and that any younger kids in the group have a buddy to help them if necessary during crafts or games. Patrol leaders are also responsible for calling the kids in their patrol to pass on important updates or information.