Last night marked the first meeting of the new Girl Scout year – and it was with Daisies! My younger daughter started kindergarten, so now I am the leader of two troops. This first meeting was informational for the parents, and crafty for girls (I’ll get to both momentarily).
The troop has 10 kindergarteners in it as of the very first meeting. My older daughter’s troop had 15 girls that first year, but it was a mix of K’ers and 1st graders. This new troop, however, will benefit from what I’ve learned with my older girls, including the lesson that a single-grade troop is a helluva less stressful than a multi-grade troop.
I think I might have lucked out a second time with a core group of high-participation parents. I know some troops boot the parents citing distraction, but I could not have done the last four years as a leader without the help of my parents. I make sure all of my parents know that if they stay at a meeting, they will be put to work.
Now this portion didn’t work out exactly the way I planned, but the girls still had fun. One of my seasoned moms (who now has girls in both of my troops) took charge, my older daughter helping her. The original plan was to have several girls from the Cadette/Senior/Ambassador troop work with the Daisies, but for whatever reason, none of them showed up.
Name Tags – To make life easier for me at future meetings until I know all the girls names’ I wanted name tags. I don’t know how well this will work out for me because each girl wrote her name very small on the name tag. As works of art, though, the name tags are awesome. They also came home with me so I know they’ll make it to the next meeting – as long as I don’t forget them.
Girl Scout Promise Craft – I found this floating around multiple places on the internet, so there really isn’t anyone to give credit to other than where I copied the trefoil from. Instead of using a hand template, the girls traced and cut out their right hand. Knowing the Promise is important before we have our Investiture Ceremony.
“Make New Friends”/Closing Circle – The first of two activities that did not happen, but it’s not a critical loss. It was more for the older girls to introduce the younger girls to closing circle.
Daisy Islands Game – A variation on musical chairs my older girls played when they were Daisies. It’s incredibly simple, and makes the girls work together. To start: lay out the same number of mats (they need to be different sizes; I use towels) as girls. Play the music. When it stops, the girls stand on a mat. Remove a mat each time. The girls are never “out”. As fewer mats are left, the girls have to start sharing mats. By the end of the game, they are all squeezed, squealing and holding to each other, on one mat.
This is the part of the meeting where I blather on about who I am, my GS history (as both a scout and leader), my GS philosophy, general troop information, and what to expect (how meetings are formatted, and my goals for this year). I am not going to really go further than this, but a good format to follow when doing the parent’s meeting is:
- Who are you?
- Were you in GS as a girl?
- Why did you want to be a GS leader?
- Goals and Expectations
- What do want your girls to experience/take way from GS?
- What Daisies do
- Petals and Leaves
- Journeys (if you want to try one)
- Other badges/awards
- Service projects (any parents want to be in charge of this)
- Registration and Dues
- Costs per girl/parent
- I request that at least one parent is registered per girl. A parent can’t stay at meetings or go on field trips or work cookie booths unless they’re registered.
- Financial aid available through Council
- Troop dues (why you want them and what you’ll use them for)
- Costs per girl/parent
- Where, when, how frequently
- If you live in a place that has actual winters, go over your policy for cancelling meetings because of the weather
- Your expectations of parent participation (utilize those parents if you can rope them into it)
- Drop-off/Pick-Up procedures (you really want to see who drops the girls off and who picks them up. It’s a safety thing.)
- Uniforms and Supplies
- Costs and where to buy them
- Your expectations of what constitutes a “uniform”
- Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting – do the girls need this?
- Journey books – do the girls need this?
- Why it’s important for the troop.
- What are your expectations for participation?
- Magazines and Munchies