VTK and You: The Saga Begins (A Video Series)

I knew that at some point I wanted to do a series about Volunteer Toolkit (aka VTK) when our council finally got it.  I realize it’s been three years since it launched so I’m way behind the curve, but I couldn’t do anything about it since our council was one of the last ones to come onboard.  Originally I was going to put together a list of what doesn’t work and how it could be improved.  But after thinking through this approach, I realized it would be more effective if I just recorded me attempting to use VTK than to try to document every little quirk and bug. 

I actually do not use VTK to plan my meetings.  These videos may be very tedious to some of you who really don’t care a thing about VTK, much less watching someone fumble their way through it.  But maybe – just maybe – someone will watch it and a light bulb will go off.  Or maybe not.  To dream… the impossible dream!

I go through this in the video but just to make sure everybody knows, I do NOT represent my council in these videos.  I have to start at my council’s home page to log into VTK obviously, but please do not take that to mean anything or read into it.  This is my personal VTK account.  And like I stated earlier, I’m not creating these videos to bash VTK or to make fun of it.  I’m sincerely trying to help (yeah, yeah… I know) and show what it looks like when a volunteer is trying to use it in the real world.  Also, these videos are saved on YouTube, but I’ve set them as Unlisted so that someone doing a search for VTK on YouTube will not come across them.

Also, I apologize for the sound quality.  This was actually my second take because the microphone screwed up a lot, and it still does in some places.  I think it’s due to it rubbing against my shirt when I move around.  There’s some feedback as well and it’s kinda muffled.  Hopefully I’ll figure out what the issue is for future videos.

If you watching this on the blog website, the video might be too small to view, so here’s a link to watch it directly on YouTube that should have a larger display.

FYI, I realized my mistake with the meeting date scheduling after the fact, so I’ll cover that in the next video.  Thanks for watching!

VTK and You Video List:


  • Like it or not, this is the future. My Council told us that this is how all new badge material would be passed out (no digital downloads, or in the phamplet format, which I was very sorry to hear). I have Seniors (9th grade) girls and very little is available for them on the VTK, so we don’t use it.

    • What is their response when it’s pointed out that some people don’t have access to the internet, or if they do, it’s only via their phone? VTK doesn’t work well with phones with what testing I’ve done with it. Also, printing out the VTK scripts eat up a big portion of an ink cartridge. I’m an IT nerd but I still like to hold a piece of paper at meetings.

      • They are aware not everyone has a pc/phone, but I haven’t heard what their answer is. It sounds like everything is available in print right now, but the new stuff will only be available thru the VTK.

        Also, at the very beginning, we were told that when the plans were available thru this VTK, if a girl missed a meeting, you could send her the plans so she could do some of the badge at home, or at least know what the troop did that day. Which could have been great for older girls who often have to choose btwn extra activities, but they seem to focus on the younger girls. So for instance, with the Brownie badge, you could email your troop, and ask Mom A to do part 1 and Mom B to do Part 2, and if a girl missed, she could see what you all worked on, and maybe make up some of that work…

  • Thanks, Amy, for taking the trouble to do this. I’ll watch the video with interest.

  • Why isn’t this a GIRL toolkit?!?!? I have three 8th-grade cadettes, and I’m embarrassed by this stuff. Sure with daisy/brownie and even junior stuff “girl-led” means that the adults come up with program and then the girls choose what of the program to do. But the VTK authors clearly see even the older girls as puppets of the adult volunteers.

    I want an older-girl program that speaks directly to the girls, and we adults will follow along. If you want girls to do something in some way, make your pitch to THEM, not to ME!

  • The CORPORATION, Girls Scouts of the United States of America, Incorporated has lost both the original VISION and the original purpose of the MOVEMENT.

    This is just ONE example of the great divorce and the “recreation” of the Girl Scouts into something they never were, and never meant to become.

    This is total garbage (contemptibly worthless, inferior), both from the pedagogical and the andragogical viewpoint. The course designers have no concept of the differences between the two! All adult education is andragogical, and this stuff in VTK is not.

    This is also an example of propitiatory control of information and “locking up” this information and preventing modifications for local conditions or local experiences. Or from a wider dissemination to other than a narrow focused and targeted audience. It is too much “lock-step,” not engaging and very boring regimentation. No wonder so few that it is “meant for” bother with it after the first couple times.

    I really do believe that there are people in the employment of the corporation that do not believe that the average adult has the wherewithal to lead a troop without a “professional” giving them the verbatim script to use.

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