Category Archives: Daisies

Red Petal – Courageous & Strong

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I am in the process of doing this Petal with my Daisies right now. I introduced the Petal with a discussion about what courageous and strong mean, then we read The Terrible Plop and talked what the various characters did and how they behaved (I try to always start a Petal off with a picture book as I do not like the stories in the Girl’s Guide).

The next step in earning the Petal was teaching the girls how to schoolyard jump rope. I did this with my older daughter’s troop and was surprised that none of them had ever done it before. Jump rope, yes…but not the schoolyard style where two people turn the rope while a third person jumps. Running and jumping into a spinning rope is kind of scary if you’ve never done it before.

However, that is not how I started the girls. I demonstrated how to do it, but for round one, the girls just jumped while the rope was slowly swung back and forth. Most of them were not able to get the rhythm down to jump over the rope, even with guidance – make sure to stay on the X on the floor, face one of the moms turning the rope, watch the rope so you know when to jump. Round two was optional. This time the rope was swung in a full circle and the girls had to run and jump into it. (Note: we did this at a second meeting, and more girls were successful in getting a jumping rhythm.)

The rest of this Petal will be earned by playing with slime (equal parts Elmer’s school glue to liquid starch –  white vinegar will get the slime out of everything from hair to clothes to carpet), and a visit from a K-9 Officer who will give a demonstration and talk to the girls about being courageous and strong (the same officer did this with my older daughter’s troop as well).

**I tied this Petal in with the 3 Cheers for Animals Journey when I did it with my older daughter’s troop several years ago.**

Books
The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubosarsky
Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger
Sheila Rae the Brave by Kevin Henkes
Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen
Peep: A Little Book About Taking a Leap by Maria van Lieshout

There are many other books out there that would work for C&S. If you want to focus on strong women, take a look at the book selection on A Mighty Girl (here is a link to their top 100 picture books).

Activities
*Learn to jump rope (schoolyard style)
*Relay races
*Superheroes (look at the activity plan from GS River Valleys)
*Do a show-and-tell focused on courageous and strong women
*Create a skit and perform it for their families
*Play with slime (or maybe do a variation on the Halloween touch boxes with peeled grapes and cold spaghetti noodles)

Field Trips/Meeting Visitors
Dance studio
Martial arts studio
Indoor rock climbing
Gymnastics
K-9 Officer demonstration
Police / Firefighters / EMT / Military

Yellow Petal – Friendly & Helpful

yellow petal

I’ve found the Yellow Petal an easy Petal for the girls to earn, and a way to incorporate the GS “do a good turn” into this level given there is no right side up for the Daisy Pin.

As with pretty much every other Petal, I do not use the flower story included in the Girl Guide. I generally find those stories stilted and ham-fisted. Instead, I read a picture book. A quick internet search will pull up many more books than the ones I’ve listed below, but these are ones I’ve read and enjoyed.

After reading a picture book, the girls make their “friendly & helpful daisies” to take home and give away to the person they did “a good turn” for. At the following one or two meetings, the girls share what they did to help another.

With both troops, the girls earned their Yellow Petal before we did our Investiture Ceremony.

Books
Princess Hyacinth by Florence Parry Heide
The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers
Help!: A Story of Friendship by Holly Keller
Otis and the Tornado by Loren LongThe Mouse and the Lion (I like this version)

Crafts
Both crafts are different versions of the same thing. Each girl gets three “friendly & helpful daisies” to give to someone after the girl has helped them.  The yellow centers are printed on card stock and punched with a 2″ circle punch.

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Daisies 11/2/15 – Light Blue Petal

Last week we finished up the Friendly & Helpful Petal, and started the Honest & Fair Petal. I would like the girls to have earned both of them before we do our Investiture Ceremony (probably on 11/30).

During our Opening Circle, I explained what helper sticks are. In lieu of making a kaper chart, each girl has a craft stick with her name on it. I’ve never had much luck with formalized kaper charts. When I need help, I’ll pull a stick from the jar. When the jar is empty (after all the girls have helped, which will probably be over several meetings), everyone’s name stick goes back in and we start over.

yellow petalFriendly & Helpful Petal
At our last meeting, the girls made helper daisies to take home and give to people they’ve helped. At this meeting, we went around and each girl shared one or two things she did to “earn” the helper daisies. Most girls helped around the house, but some helped friends or teachers. We also played Daisy Islands to reinforce the Petal – the girls had to help each other squeeze onto the mats.

blue petalHonest & Fair Petal
The rest of our meeting was dedicated to starting the Honest & Fair Petal. I gave the girls two picture books to vote on, Being Frank and The Little Red Hen. They chose Being Frank, which is about honesty, but from the angle that honesty is good, but that doesn’t mean you should be hurtful. After we finished the book, I divided the girls up into two groups to rotate through two activities. I have 16 girls in the troop, and it is much easier to divide them up.

being frank

Being Frank by Donna W. Earnhardt

Activity #1: The Versus Game (original idea from GSRV’s yellow petal guide) – I put a piece of masking tape across the floor in our meeting room and had the girls stand on it. I gave them different scenarios, and depending on what they thought the right answer was, they either jumped to the left (truth/fair) or the right (lie/unfair). Once I gave them several prompts, each girl had the opportunity to share a prompt as well.

Activity #2: Remember the Lie (from Tracie Bruno/HubPages) – two of my parent volunteers were in charge of this. They took the girls to our craft room and sat them around a table. One parent then held up a pink rose and made up a lie about it. The girls had to repeat her lie and add their own. The second parent kept track of what everyone said in case anyone needed help. The purpose of this game was to show how hard it is to keep lies straight.

Daisies 10/19/15 – Yellow Petal

Last night the girls started earning their first Petal – Friendly and Helpful! The meeting was a mix of high energy and quiet(ish) listening. Because the girls are still new to each other, we played a name game (from GSRV – the Promise Center guide) after we did the GS Promise. They absolutely loved it! The rules: say your name and do an action of an activity you like. Everyone copies you. Each girl does this, and each time you say everyone’s name and do their actions. By the time we went around the circle (11 girls), they were giggling non-stop. For some reason, a lot of them liked jumping and swimming. This was a great way to get their wiggles out, which made it a lot easier to talk about the Petal and read a picture book.

yellow petal

I brought out my Petal Board and read the GS Law to the girls. I pulled off the Yellow Petal and asked the girls how they are friendly and helpful. They gave some good examples of both – sharing toys, being nice (friendly) and helping with chores (helpful). I added that sometimes we’re not always friendly and helpful because no one is perfect, but we need to try to do our best.

I do not like the stories included in the Girl Guide. I avoided most of them with Bean’s troop, and plan on avoiding all of them with Bug’s troop. I much prefer picture books. They are more engaging and, if you choose the right one, not so heavy-handed. I brought two books, and the girls voted on which one I would read. They were evenly split between both books, so a little sister who was tagging along broke the tie (she chose the mouse book). I told the girls that we could read the second book at the end of the meeting if we had time.

help kellerHelp!: A Story of Friendship by Holly Keller

After we finished the book, it was time for our craft activity – making “A Friendly & Helpful Daisy Was Here” daisies. Each girl made three daisies. The idea is that they will be friendly or helpful to someone, and leave behind one of these daisies. I asked parents to try to keep track of what the girls do so they can share at our next meeting.

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2″ circle of yellow construction paper glued inside a white cupcake wrapper glued to green construction paper.

Our final activity of the evening was a game called “Friendly/Not Friendly” (from GSRV). I put a strip of masking tape down the middle of the room and had the girls stand on it. I read out a short scenario, and they had to jump to one side of the tape if it was “friendly” or the other side of the tape if it was “not friendly”.

Because we had a little bit of time left over, I read the second book, Princess Hyacinth. Doing it over, I would have skipped it because it was long enough that after a meeting chock full of fun, the girls were ready to be done.

We ended with our Closing Circle, singing “Make New Friends”, doing the friendship squeeze, and turning out.

Daisies 10/5/15 – Promise Center

Last night was our first *actual* Daisy meeting. My troop is now at capacity (12 girls), though only 11 girls were present. It was also an incredibly stress-free meeting, which I’m chalking up to a combo of 1.) being a new situation for the girls, so their behavior was better, 2.) my experience as a children’s librarian, and 3.) I was a Daisy leader for my older daughter as well. These girls will benefit from the mistakes I made with Bean’s troop.

promise centerOpening Circle
I am not going to do a flag ceremony with my Daisies, but will instead do a simple opening circle, saying the GS Promise. I showed the girls how to hold their hands (easy for some, hard for others, they’ll all get it eventually), then I said the Promise. One or two of the girls said it with me, but the rest did not, which isn’t surprising. I was more surprised that there were girls who said it with me. I went through the Promise again, line by line, having them repeat it after me. We also talked about what promises mean and why they’re important.

When we were done, I pulled out my trusty Daisy Petal board and went over the GS Law with them, explaining how we’ll earn Petals and how they already live by the GS Law (are you friendly? are you strong?).

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Name Balloon Ice Breaker
I don’t want to keep the girls sitting for too long. They’re too wiggly at this age, and I want GS to be about having fun (while slipping the learning in on the sly). My AL for my other troop gave me the suggestion for this idea, and she did it with my Juniors at our last meeting.

I wrote each girl’s name on a balloon, threw them into the center of the room and had them find the balloon with their name on it. When they found it, they stood against the designated wall. We played two more variations, first with the girls finding a balloon that didn’t have their name on it, and then finding that girl (I read the names to them as needed). For the second variation, I put half of the balloons away (the girls whose names were on those were the “finders”). The rest of the girls stood against the wall with their balloons. The finders went to the other side of the room. I took the girls’ balloons and threw them into the middle of the room. The finders had to get a balloon, find the girl it belonged to, and ask their favorite color – pink and purple were the favorites, followed by blue. One girl’s favorite color was yellow. The girls loved the game, and most took their balloons home at the end of the meeting.

Rules
Without knowing the girls’ dynamic, I can’t come up with official troop rules yet, but we sat back in our circle and talked about rules and why they are important. I tied needing and following rules into the balloon games we had just played. The girls came up with good basic rules (be nice, be kinds, only take out one toy at a time), and we talked about consequences (a warning, 5 minute sit-out, calling your parents to take you home).

Craft
The original idea comes from Blue School House, but whereas hers tied into the My Promise, My Faith Award, I changed the the animal from a whale to a bug – a GS Promise bug.

I kept it simple by spray painting the egg carton beforehand (Krylon ocean blue). While painting is fun, it can be messy and time-consuming if there are any perfectionists in the bunch. The girls added antennae (adults poked holes using small nails) and googly eyes. We also tied on a copy of the GS Promise. The idea is that the bug will serve as a reminder to live the GS Promise.

promise bug

Daisy Islands Game
When the girls finished their bugs (left safely in the craft room), we played one of my favorite games – Daisy Islands (a variation of musical chairs). I don’t remember where I first learned of it, but my older daughter’s troop loved it. My new Daisies loved it as well. 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.

Closing Circle
I’ve always done a friendship circle, singing “Make New Friends”.  There are variations of the song, in lyrics and tune, but I do it the way I remember from when I was a GS. I sing:

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver, the other is gold.

A circle is round, it has no end.
That’s how long, I will be your friend.

For the friendship circle, the girls crossed their arms right over left, and held hands. I sang the song through once, then sang it again line by line with the girls repeating after me. When we were done, I explained the friendship squeeze (this looks like it will take some time for them to figure out the “passing on” part instead of all of them squeezing at the same time), and we spun out.

Daisies – Round 2!

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).

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My sweet little Daisy-do.

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.

The Daisies
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.

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“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.

The Parents
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:

  1. Introduction
    1. Who are you?
    2. Were you in GS as a girl?
    3. Why did you want to be a GS leader?
  2. Goals and Expectations
    1. What do want your girls to experience/take way from GS?
    2. What Daisies do
      1. Petals and Leaves
      2. Journeys (if you want to try one)
    3. Other badges/awards
    4. Service projects (any parents want to be in charge of this)
  3. Registration and Dues
    1. Costs per girl/parent
      1. 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.
    2. Financial aid available through Council
    3. Troop dues (why you want them and what you’ll use them for)
  4. Meetings
    1. Where, when, how frequently
    2. If you live in a place that has actual winters, go over your policy for cancelling meetings because of the weather
    3. Your expectations of parent participation (utilize those parents if you can rope them into it)
    4. 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.)
  5. Uniforms and Supplies
    1. Costs and where to buy them
    2. Your expectations of what constitutes a “uniform”
    3. Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting – do the girls need this?
    4. Journey books – do the girls need this?
  6. Fundraising
    1. Why it’s important for the troop.
    2. What are your expectations for participation?
    3. Magazines and Munchies
    4. Cookies
  7. Questions?

Journey In A Day – 3 Cheers!

On January 20th, I ran a Journey in a day workshop for the Daisy Journey, 3 Cheers for Animals!. I had previously tried to plan something through Council, which turned out to be a complete bust, so my Membership Manager did all of the major legwork for me while I hashed out the details. For the most part, I copied what I did with my girls last year in terms of format and activities.

We set the event to go from 10am-3pm. We ended up not starting until 10:30 because of snow, and because we only had 15 girls (a nice number for a trial run of this), the event ended around 1:30. If I had been able to get a service animal, or K9 officer or SPCA rep it would have gone on a little longer. I think when we do this again, we’ll cap the event at around 25 girls. Any more than that and trying to keep order while rotating through baking biscuits would be tough. I also hope that any leaders and parents who come in the future will be as willing and gracious about helping as the ones this time around were

Everything I did with the girls are suggestions and ideas. I’ll probably modify some of the things we did for the next time. Honestly, the main point of this Journey is for girls to learn how to care for animals and keep them safe,  to share what they learned with others, and complete a service project to help the animals. And it can be any kind of animals. I chose pets since the girls can relate to them easily. It could be animals in a zoo or aquarium. It could be local wild animals (this would be fun especially if there is a wild animal rescue group in your area). It could centered around your girls’ favorite animals. How you teach the intent of the Journey is limited only by your imagination and the resources available to you.

**I am tentatively doing a Journey in a day for Earth & Sky once Spring is up and blooming.**

What we did:
This is going to be abbreviated because of all of the photos. If you have questions about specifics, please ask.

*Opening Circle / Intro to the Journey
*Read Children Make Terrible Pets
*Talk About Pet Care/Safety – brainstormed ways we care for our pets and keep them safe.
*Made Pet Puppets
(split the girls into two groups)
*Bake Dog Biscuits
*Make Pet Masks – I had intended for the girls to dance with their masks on, but it didn’t work out that way.
(switch groups)
*Eat Lunch
*Go For a Walk
*Play Pet Bingo
*Draw Pages For the Pet Care/Safety Book – I took the pages the girls colored to a printer to have a copy made for each participating troop. My MM will mail the copies out for the troops to give to a local veterinarian or rescue/humane society group.
*Make S’mores
*Closing Circle

Pet Masks

Pet Masks

Pet Puppets

Pet Puppets

Bingo Card Sample

Bingo Card Sample

Cover Page for Book

Cover Page for Book

Back Cover for Book

Back Cover for Book

Sample Page (my favorite, actually)

Sample Page (my favorite, actually)