Earning the Penny Power Try-It for Brownie Girl Scouts is very simple with little work on your part. This is easily achieved by having a troop field trip to a bank and letting the bank do all of the work. Girls can earn this Try-It individually but they might not get the attention a troop would if they were to visit a bank. Therefore, it is best to take one trip and have each girl participate to earn this Try-It together.
In order to earn the Penny Power Try-It, girls must complete four activities. The first activity is complete when you plan the trip to the bank. The other three activities can all be done while you are at the bank. The trick in achieving this is to make sure you find a good bank who has a manager who is willing to work on these things with your Brownie troop. The first place I went to was the bank in which we have our troop account. I called the bank manager and told her what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, and what all she needed to do. She agreed and had all of the activities set up in a nice conference room for us to all complete together. The girls really enjoyed themselves, learned a lot, and even got a nice goodie bag to take home.
Here are the activities that you will need to work on while at the bank:
1. Find out about savings accounts for kids.
2. Learn about counterfeit money and the “new” bills that help prevent people from using counterfeit money.
3. Practice making change.
4. Write up and balance a simple checking account.
Ask the branch manager if they can discuss the above activities. If they are not willing to do any of them, perhaps, it might be wise to find another bank. We were able to have real coins to practice counting change. At the bank we went to, they had a very simple worksheet on counting change and balancing a checkbook. Each pair of girls had to come up with different ways to equal $1.00 and other amounts. Our branch manager showed us some of the “new” bills and told us how they detect counterfeit bills. Unfortunately, we were unable to see any real counterfeit because they have to turn it in immediately.
The girls did all of these activities and also were able to see where the vault was in the bank and to learn about what different types of workers do at the bank. They asked a lot of good questions and it was a very good trip that cost nothing but time.
If you cannot find a bank that will do this for you, you may be able to take a tour and then have to work on some of the other activities at a later time. Some other things you can do as a troop to earn this Try-It can include making a plan for your cookie sale money and having a garage sale.
Whatever gets done to earn this Try-It, the girls will learn more about saving money and keeping track of how they spend the money. This is a good start to encourage them to save money in the future.