Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Second Meeting

Our second meeting went swimmingly! We had a couple more girls join -- woohoo! Here's what we did:

Pre-Meeting: As the girls came in, new girls made their foam flowerpot nametags, and everyone made heart maps.

Opening: The girls learned the Girl Scout Promise and Law, and we also said the pledge.

Song: This week's choices were "Pink Pajamas" or "G for Generosity". The girls chose "Pink Pajamas"!
Circle: In our circle, we reviewed some of the basic rules of Girl Scout meetings -- the quiet sign, bathroom buddies, and so on. We also introduced our kaper chart and talked about what all the jobs were. The girls shared their heart maps -- although one girl didn't want to share hers, and I'm not sure why. We encouraged her to share, but didn't force it. Any ideas on how to deal with this?

We also brainstormed ideas for our bucket list. This is a really great way to make Girl Scouting Girl Led, especially for this age group. The girls came up with some great ideas, like ice-skating, baking, selling cookies, and more! We're really looking forward to crossing items off this list.

Snack: Snickerdoodles and veggies and dip. Yum!

Activity: For our activity, we made I Spy bottles. We split the girls up into two groups, and we used colored fish gravel for the filler to hide the trinkets inside. After we made the bottles, we switched with someone in the other group. The girls LOVED this activity -- making the bottles, thinking of things to put in for their partner in the other group, giving each other the bottles and getting a bottle in exchange. This is definitely one to remember for next year!

Game: By popular demand, we played "Tiger, Cowgirl, Princess" again. We also played "Daisy to Daisy." Lots of giggles!

Closing: The girls received their Daisy Center. Woohoo! The new girls also got their Daisy pins and a welcome certificate. Can I just say, putting duct tape on ziplock bags so I could put them in my binder, with one for each girl, was the best idea ever? Now I'll never forget which girl got which patch!

Sorry there are no pictures again this week ... I'll try to have some next time! Check out pictures of this meeting and the nametags from our first meeting. Aren't they adorable? Please leave me a message below -- I am happy to answer any questions and I'd love to see what others are doing with their troops.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Getting Organized, Parent Helpers, and Our First Meeting

Welcome back, fellow troop leaders! I hope you all have had a fun and productive summer! I'm excited to be back and to share our troop's activities with you to hopefully make planning your year of Daisy Girl Scouts a little bit easier. This year, my coleader and I decided not to do a Girl Scout Journey and to instead focus on earning all of our Daisy petals. Be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you're doing with your troop!

For some background, our troop meets every other week for an hour and a half. Every meeting follows the same basic schedule: a Pre-Meeting Activity, Opening Ceremony, Song, Friendship Circle, Snack, Activity, Game, and Closing Ceremony. I have found that having following the same schedule every meeting is helpful for two reasons: The girls are much more manageable when they know what will happen next, and it's a lot easier to plan meetings because you know about how long each thing will take and can just find the activities you want to do to fill in the open spots.

This year, we're asking our parents up front to be very involved. Last year, our parents were fantastic and were super helpful, but we want to be a little more organized about it this year. To that end, we are creating committees that need parent participation. Remember, troop leaders: You don't have to do it all yourself! You can have a much more fun and active year if you get parents on your side to take over some of the tasks that need to be done.

This year, our committees include field trip planners, who will help us make calls to the places we want to go, take care of notifying the council, organize permission slips, and get chaperones. The printing & supplies committee will help us pick up last-minute items for the meetings and print out worksheets we need before the next meeting. Meeting helpers are super important! If you can't find an extra parent who can be at every meeting to fulfill the adult-to-girl ratio, see if a few parents are willing to rotate. It's a lot less investment on their part, so it's easier for them to commit. Most importantly for us, we want a committee to help with Fall Sale and Cookies Sale. Those volunteers will help us pick up order forms, take money from parents, put in the orders, and pick up the product. Super important!

Finally, here's what we did for our first meeting. Hope this helps!

Pre-Meeting: As the girls came in, they made nametags with foam flowers, pipe cleaners, and mini flower pots, based on the Daisy flower garden here. I'll try to take pictures next week so you can see how cute they turned out! Check out how adorable they look!

Opening: We said our Promise and Law.
Song: I like to give two choices for song to encourage girl leadership. This week, our options were Swimming, Swimming and Make New Friends. They chose Swimming, Swimming song.
Circle: To earn our Daisy Center patch, we talked about what it means to make a promise, and what that means when we say our Girl Scout Promise. I also introduced the Daisy Mailbox we'll be using this year. Such a great idea for all the papers that fly back and forth!
Snack: For snack we had cheese and crackers and grapes. Yum yum!
Activity: We decorated our Time Capsule with pictures from magazines. Next week, we'll add things about ourselves!
Game: We played The Wind Blows, always a favorite, as well as Tiger Cowgirl Princess.
Closing: We did fists of five, a really great way to get quick feedback from your girls about what they did at the meeting. Ask your girls questions about the meeting, having them respond with a vote from zero to five fingers. We also did the friendship squeeze.

What did you do during your first meeting? Leave a message below!