Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Our First Meeting!

Despite all my best-laid plans to have the first meeting go smoothly, it was a bit of a disaster! I forgot something at home and thought I could swing by, pick it up, and still get to the meeting on time. Instead, I ended up being 15 minutes late (Sorry parents!). Because of that, we had to skip some of our planned activities. I'll post what we had planned, then what we did. Hopefully your first meeting goes better than mine!

pre-meeting: nametags/decorate journals
    Nametags: Paper Daisy cards: http://pinterest.com/pin/72057662758108532/ 
We had to skip this entirely!
opening: pass out bookmarks. teach promise, law, pledge
We taught the Girl Scout Promise, and skipped the others till next time!

We sang both of these songs while I looked for the mailbox ...

circle: introduce mailbox. name game (activity + name 3x). what does it mean to make a promise? go over rules (http://www.swtblessings.com/2011/07/school-printables.html )
We have a troop mailbox -- each girl has a folder, where they will keep their journals and can give us any paperwork we need. The name game we played was fairly simple -- each girl says her name and something she likes to do, along with an action for the activity. Then, everyone else repeats her name three times while doing the action. We skipped over the rest!


Instead of making our kaper chart, we decorated journals. I brought out all our leftover craft supplies -- foam hearts, construction paper, magazines, puzzle pieces. The girls had a great time!
game: Daisy to Daisy and/or The Wind Blows
We played The Wind Blows. All our girls were great about jumping right in with ideas. My favorite was "The wind blows for everyone with parents"!

closing: Introduce friendship squeeze; give out info cards needed for Safety Award; fave thing about meeting
We introduced the friendship squeeze and gave out index cards with blank spaces for address, home phone number, and parent's cell phone. The parents will fill out the cards for the next meeting, where the girls will copy it down and put it in their notebooks.

How did your first meeting go? 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Do's and Don'ts for New Daisy Scout Leaders

Hello, fellow leaders!

Fall is here, which means our troop is starting up again! I and my co-leader will be once again posting our troop's journey over the year, and we'll hopefully be able to offer some advice on how to manage your troop. This is our third year, so we've learned a thing or two. Every Daisy troop is different, but here are a few things to keep in mind as you're planning your year:

DO plan multiple meetings in advance. For the beginning of the year, we've planned the first three meetings. Once the girls choose which Daisy Scout Journey they want to earn, we'll probably plan the next five to six meetings all at once. This way, we're not scrambling every week to come up with activities -- plus, we can drink a glass of wine and eat dinner while we're doing it!

DON'T forget to make your meetings Girl-Led. Sure, this looks different for Daisys than it will for Seniors, but by asking the girls what they'd like to do, having them vote on field trips or which petal to earn next meeting, or even doing Fists of Five at the end of every meeting to see how much they're enjoying it, you're ensuring that their voices are heard, which is a great first step to creating a leader.

DO establish a routine. Our meetings always follow the same agenda: A pre-meeting activity, saying our promise, law and pledge, a song, circle time, a snack, an activity, a game, and our closing. Especially at this young age, girls need structure, and it has helped immensely with behavior management for our troop!

DON'T feel like you have to give 100% all of the time. This is a dirty little secret, but there's no way you can commit to doing everything for a troop unless it's your full-time job! If one meeting all you had time to plan was a fun song and 10 games, don't sweat it! As long as the girls are having fun in a safe, friendly environment, one meeting that's not perfect is not going to affect their leadership skills for life.

DO enlist as many parents as possible to help out with as much as possible! Field trips coordination, supply runs, money manager, cookie manager -- all of these things and more can safely be handed off to parents. Be available to help out and answer questions, but by dividing up the responsibilities, you'll be more able to have a successful year!

DON'T get so focused on earning badges that you forget to have fun! If the girls are really into earning petals and Journey awards, then sure, go nuts -- but there's much more out there for Daisy Scouts to experience, so remember that the Girl Scout Leadership Experience is much more about the journey than the destination.

What advice would you give to a new leader? What has helped you with your troop? Leave us a message below!