Saturday, May 27, 2017

Ideas for Summer Girl Scout Meetings

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With the school year over in some parts of the country and with the end fast approaching in others, Girl Scout leaders need to decide whether or not to meet over the summer. There are pros and cons to summer meetings.

The Pros

  • Keeping the scouting momentum up
  • Keeping the sisterhood of Girl Scout going during the summer months
  • More laid back feel to meetings
  • You can meet outdoors
  • Meeting times can be more flexible during the less hectic summer months
The Cons
  • No break for the leader-she still has to plan
  • Dealing with different schedules if a girl misses a meeting
  • Parents upset if a girl misses a fun meeting/outing due to vacation or other conflict

As a teacher, summer has always been my recovery time. Except for the first few years of my marriage when we were saving for a house and we had no children, I do not work for pay. The time off  I get between classes is a time for me to get refreshed, recharge my batteries, and renew my spirits. I carried this over into my Girl Scout leader years. After nine months of carrying the full load, I needed a break. Plus, my daughter went to day camp and would not be able to attend meetings I would be planning. Meetings always resumed at the end of September.

If you decide that you wish to meet, here are some ideas for you.

Easy summer meeting ideas for Daisy Girl Scout leaders

Photo from Pixabay

Girl Scout Summer Meetings With a Theme

In a blog post on my Girl Scout Leader site, I wrote about three fun meetings you could have with your girls-a beach theme meeting, an ice cream theme meeting and a no sleepover slumber party theme. You can find them here.

No Need to Plan Activities

If you want to meet informally with your girls, then here are two ideas for an easy Girl Scout summer meeting. Use events in your community as the base for your gathering. 

In this Daisy Activities blog post, I wrote about using the library calendar of events to be a meeting for your young troop. Parents are required to stay and because this is an unofficial event, no paperwork is needed to complete.

Michaels Craft Stores, as well as others, have crafting classes for children during the summer months. If you are going to pay with troop funds, then you will need to fill out the necessary paperwork. If you are just going to have the parents pay the small fee and do it informally, then that step is unnecessary.

Council Events are posted on your council's website. See what is available for Daisy Girl Scouts and sign up!

Are you planning to meet over the summer? What will you be doing with your girls?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Earn the Light Green Daisy Petal With Easy Mother's Day Craft Kits for Daisy Girl Scouts

*This post contains affiliate links.

Spring is in the air and after a very busy cookie season, you may be feeling just a bit of relief that there are only a handful of meetings left until summer break (unless of course, you meet over the summer). There is no need to feel guilty...I have always treasured my summer breaks from Girl Scout to recharge my batteries and maintain my enthusiasm for leadership.

In May it is Mother's Day, and this is a great opportunity to have an easy meeting and earn the light green Daisy petal, Considerate and Caring. This meeting is easy because you are going to use Mother's Day craft kits that are ready to use. This is a solid use of cookie money since you put so much time and effort into the sales.

*Special note-If you plan on doing any of the picture frame crafts, take a picture of each girl at the meeting before you do this so that you are ready to put it in the frame and it is good to go.

Starting the Meeting

After the Pledge, Promise and Law recitations, have the girls sit down in a circle and ask them. what their mothers do for them. Since Mother's Day is around the corner, they are going to make them a special gifts to show that they are being considerate and caring.

There are some wonderful Mother's Day books for you to read to launch the meeting. Here are just a few.

Earn the Light Green Daisy petal, Considerate and Caring, by reading this book and doing a Mother's Day craft.

This classic book can be read at meeting where you earn the light green Daisy petal and do an easy Mother's Day craft.

This is a humorous book to read to your girls to help them earn the light green Daisy petal and then make a Mother's Day craft.

Once the book is finished, you can have the girls sit at tables and make one of these Mother's Day crafts.

Mother's Day picture frame craft

This Flower and Butterfly Suncatcher Photo Frame craft kit comes with 12 frames, hangers, stain and brushes. The frame measures 5" x 6-3/4" frames and the photo opening is 2-3/4" " x 1-3/4".

Happiness Wood Trivet Craft Kit for Mother's Day craft

Happiness Wood Trivet Craft Kit for Mother's Day craft

This Happiness Wood Trivet Craft Kit comes with twelve ready to paint wooden trivets. The final product measures 4" x 4". Be sure to have the girls paint them on foam plates so they can be brought home without moving them.

Make your own mug Mother's Day craft

Design your own mug is a classic Mother's Day gift. This kit comes with strips of paper for the girls to decorate and then insert into the mug. You can use a pretty heart cellophane bag and fill it with some mints or chocolates to make it extra sweet.

Magic Color Scratch Photo Frame Magnets are an easy craft and can help your girls earn the light green Daisy petal for Mother's Day

This Magic Color Scratch Photo Frame Kit comes with twelve different designs and a magnetic strip to peel and stick on the back. There are even Magic Scratch bookmarks to make as well.

Melissa & Doug Scratch Art Key Chain Party Pack Activity Kit makes 6

This Melissa & Doug Scratch Art Key Chain Party Pack Activity Kit has six keychains for the girls to create.

What are you doing for Mother's Day with your Daisy troop?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Free Printable Daisy to Brownie Bridging Certificates

For those of you who are planning your Daisy to Brownie Girl Scout bridging ceremony, you may be considering giving the girls something as they cross over the "bridge". Many leaders like to give girls some kind of certificate, which makes the event look so much more grown up and official.

Free Printable Daisy to Brownie Bridging Certificates

Photo from Pixabay

There are several free online Daisy to Brownie Girl Scout bridging certificates that you can print. If you do not want to waste your own ink, print one original and then take it to your local Staples or other print shop to have them done on more sturdy paper. Save the receipt to get reimbursed for your expense.

You can find free printable Daisy to Brownie bridging certificates at these websites.

Free Printable Certificates

Service Unit 701 Files

Girl Scout Printables

Mighty Girls Rock (must join her Facebook group to print)

My Fashionable Designs

Rock United Girl Scouts

Monday, April 3, 2017

Fun Spring Girl Scout Leader Uniforms

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Happy Spring everyone! I am always so excited for this time of year, as I am sure many of you are like me and are sick and tired of cold and snow. I am a preschool teacher, and keeping the kids inside for a good part of the winter makes all of us a bit needy for sunshine. Even if the thermometer has not risen much above freezing, I know that in a a few short weeks that will change. I will be trading in my sweaters and long sleeve shirts for short sleeves!

Many leaders like to wear some kind of uniform to indicate that they are a leader. Here are some comfortable tee shirts that you can pair with jeans or khakis that lets the girls and anyone else who sees it that you are a Girl Scout leader. Easy dressing for meetings and outings!

Girl Scout leader tee shirt is perfect for meetings and outings.

This Girl Scout leader tee shirt comes in all sizes and is available in five colors.

Girl Scout leader tee shirt that tells the world exactly what you do.

Do you wear something special to your Girl Scout meetings and on your outings?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Ultimate Daisy to Brownie Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony Guide

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At the end of first grade, Daisy Girl Scouts who choose to continue their scouting experience will become Brownie Girl Scouts in second grade. A bridging ceremony to celebrate this Scouting milestone is typically held during the last meeting, although it can take place over the summer or even at your first meeting in the fall. While I highly recommend having the ceremony at the end of the year so it feels like an accomplishment after a year (or two) of earning petals and doing service, you, as the leader, need to figure out what is best for your troop. 

This is an important event in the life of a Girl Scout, parents are invited to witness their daughter's transition from Daisy to Brownie.

Here is my updated 2017 guide for planning your Daisy to Brownie bridging ceremony.

Complete Guide for planning your Daisy to Brownie Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony
Photo from Pixabay

Important Decisions to Make Before Your Daisy to Brownie Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony

Time and Date

There are several things your co-leader and you need to discuss and decide before your bridging ceremony. The first is the place and the time. Since meeting dates are known in advance, this would be the best time, in my opinion, to have your ceremony. After all, this time slot is already carved out in the child's weekly schedule. If your meeting time is after school, then parents should be notified of the bridging ceremony about two months beforehand. This is necessary because parents who work full-time will need to be able to arrange their work schedules to attend. It is also necessary to give ample notice so parents with other children can arrange for childcare for them if they are young and may disrupt the bridging ceremony.

New Uniforms

Once you have established the time and date of the bridging ceremony, then you need to decide who is going to buy the vest or sash, pins and patches...will it be the parents or the troop? I am firmly against troop funds being used to buy these items, as time and again, I have read in Girl Scout forums and Facebook groups how leaders buy them, as well as the tabs, pins, and patches, only to have a girl not return in the fall. Your troop has now lost this money, which could have been used for earning Brownie Badges or taking a field trip.

Parents need to have some skin in the game. It needs to cost them money, the same way a sport or dance class costs them money. Dance studios do not buy each child's costume for the year end recital, parents do. Teams do not buy cleats for the team, parents do. While I understand that some leaders want their girls to be self-sufficient and pay for all troop related costs, it is not wise to spend money on an unknown. I did have one girl bridge from Daisies to Brownies, only to have her not return in the fall. Her parents bought her vest for the bridging ceremony, so they were out the money, not my troop bank account.
Even if a girl loves your troop and being a Girl Scout, schedules change. What was a free time in first grade many not be free time in second grade, and therefore she will not be able to continue with your troop or with scouting at all.

If you want to give the girls something when they bridge that does not cost a fortune from your troop account, here is a site where you can download a free printable Daisy to Brownie Bridging certificate.

But if you feel strongly about buying the girls their new Brownie uniform, email the parents asking for the size their daughter needs (I suggest going up one size as girls will grow in two years). Then you can make your life easier and buy most of the uniform online. You can find all your Girl Scout supplies, except for your local Council ID badge sets, (they do have a few of those on the site), here at Boscovs.

Brownie Girl Scout vest for Daisy to Brownie Bridging Ceremony

Brownie Girl Scout tab for Daisy to Brownie Bridging Ceremony

Brownie Girl Scout Bridging Arc for Daisy to Brownie Bridging Ceremony

What to Serve

Since this is a celebration, of course you will be serving food! Create a Sign Up Genius event (my PTA and synagogue use this for organizing their events and it rocks!) and then put enough items on the list so that everyone is able to sign up to bring something. On your sign up list, make sure there is a place for parents to RSVP how many guests they will be bringing so people know how much to buy or make. Keep it simple; finger foods work best with younger children. Here are some ideas:

Plastic Table Covering
Juice Boxes
Pony sized water bottles
Donut holes
Hershey Kisses
Mini cupcakes
Veggies and dip
Fruit (grapes, strawberries, bags of pre-sliced apples)
Hummus and pita chips
Brownies (of course!)

Before you make your list public via a troop email, be sure that your co-leader and you sign up for what you want to bring. Make it easy on yourself! Personally, I always brought the paper plates. The theme for bridging is a rainbow. Here are some fun party goods for your celebration.

Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony paper goods for your celebration

Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony party supplies-napkins

Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony party supplies-rainbow tablecoth

The Daisy to Brownie Girl Scout Bridge

One of my mottos in life is to keep it simple. Complicated is too...complicated! When my troop bridged, I took two large pieces of oaktag, cut them in half, and taped them together to look like a bridge. Then I made "steps" on green construction paper and wrote one word on each...."Now I am a Brownie Girl Scout." The girls walked along it and crossed over to my co-leader, their parents, and myself. 

The Ceremony

Remember that your girls are only in first grade. Keep the ceremony short and simple! You will want to spend your meeting before the bridging ceremony practicing what will happen so girls will not be surprised. Young children like to know what to expect.

We had the girls do the Pledge of Allegiance, the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law. Then I said a few words about what we had done with the girls over the past two years. The girls sang "I've Got Something in My Pocket" and used the word "Daisy" for "Brownie". 
Then we called each girl one at a time. Her parent helped her put on the Brownie vest, and I pinned on her pins while my co-leader took a picture. We handed each girl a bridging certificate and a baggie with her bridging patch in it.
After each girl crossed the bridge, we sang "I've Got Something in My Pocket" and said "Brownie smile" extra loud. Then we took hands with the parents, did our friendship squeeze, and sang "Make New Friends". 
Then we had our refreshments. 

Here are some other Daisy to Brownie bridging ceremonies to inspire your own.

This easy Daisy to Brownie bridging ceremony is one your co-leader and you can easily put together.  It is a great way to end this chapter of your Girl Scout leadership!