Many people are familiar with the Girl Scout motto "Be Prepared". But are you familiar with the Girl Scout slogan?
"Do a good turn daily" is the slogan that girls are taught when they are just beginning their scouting adventure. It has been a part of the organization since its inception in 1912, when Juliette Gordon Low founded it in Savannah, Georgia.
What it means is that girls should do something good for someone else each and every day. When they are younger, it can be as simple as helping a parent without having been asked or sharing a box of crayons with a friend who forgot hers. As they get older, the things they can do to "do a good turn" can be simple or far more complex, like starting their own community service project or volunteering their time at an animal shelter.
The Girl Scout slogan is really something every person, regardless of whether they are a scout or not, should do every day.
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For younger Girl Scouts, one way to start a meeting while you are waiting for everyone to arrive is to ask the girls what they did to "do a good turn". The girls can sit in a circle while you or or co-leader leads the discussion. In fact, this is a good job to switch off at meetings as you get to know your girls a little bit better by getting a glimpse into their lives.
The key to not having this turn into a gab fest is to set limits. You may want to pass along a special stuffed toy that is your troop mascot, and whomever is holding the toy "has the floor" (a great term to teach younger girls!). This child can tell ONE THING that she did since you last met that was a good deed.
Do not feel badly if a child goes on and on and needs to be cut off. As a teacher, I always have at least one child every year who can tell quite a long story. It is important to emphasize keeping it short and sweet and letting the talkative child know that it is time for the next girl to share. She can tell you more later in the meeting one on one during the activity time.
Then she passes the stuffed toy to the next child. A girl does not have to share, she can pass.
What have you done to "do a good turn" today?