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

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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!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

How to Earn Three Daisy Petals With One Two Liter Bottle

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As a Daisy Scout leader, you are responsible for planning activities to earn Daisy petals. Since a young troop is starting out, there is very little money in the troop bank account. Therefore, it is your responsibility to make good use of whatever dues you collect.
The following activity costs very little money. It is a great craft to do in the spring, especially around Earth Day on April 22nd. This craft is not only inexpensive, but your girls can also earn three Daisy petals:
How to Earn Three Daisy Petals With One Two Liter Bottle

Photo from Pixabay

Before the Meeting

About two weeks before your meeting, send an email to the parents to let them know that you will be needing a washed out two liter soda bottle that has already been cut in half. The bottom half will be used as a planter. As always, be sure to bring an extra one or two for those girls who forget to bring the needed materials.
You will also need to buy:

  • Potting soil (a five pound bag should be enough)
  • One package of daisy seeds
  • Small gardening shovel
  • Water
  • Pencils
  • Water can or cup for watering
  • Sharpie marker
  • Stickers to decorate

Each girl needs to bring an empty, washed out 2 liter soda bottle that has been cut in half. A clear one works best. The bottom half will be used as the planter. As always, be sure to bring an extra one or two for those girls who forget to bring the needed materials.
You will also have to get a copy of one of my favorite children's books, Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney.

How to Earn Three Daisy Petals With One Two Liter Bottle

At the Meeting
As always, at the start of the meeting, we talked about the petals we were going to earn and what they meant. Then I read Miss Rumphius. This story ties in directly with all three petals. Miss Rumphius promises her grandfather that she will make the world a better place. The book tells how she goes about doing this, despite physical obstacles of her own.
After you read and discuss the story, have each girl take out her two liter bottle. Before you begin, write the girls' names on the bottom and at the very top with the Sharpie marker. Help the girls fill them with soil and poke holes in it with the pencil. Drop in the seeds and cover them up with the dirt. Lightly water the soil so it is moist. The girls can decorate the bottle with the stickers that you have brought.
For early finishers, be sure to have some coloring pages or some puzzle pages handy. If you are doing a perpetual Girl Scout scrapbook, be sure to take a photo of the girl and her plant.

At the next few meetings, ask the girls about their plant's progress!
This simple activity is perfect for earning the green Daisy petal, yellow Daisy petal and the rose Daisy petal.

Monday, February 20, 2017

How to Earn the Violet Daisy Scout Petal Be A Sister to Every Girl Scout

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Leading a Daisy troop of kindergarten and first grade girls presents an opportunity for you as the leader, to create and environment of friendship and acceptance. The violet petal, "Be a Sister to Every Girl Scout", can be earned easily and with a lot of fun by being "secret sisters".

How to Earn the Violet Daisy Scout Petal Be A Sister to Every Girl Scout

Image courtesy of nenetus at 
For this activity, you will have to go to the post office and buy two postal cards for each girl in your troop. At home, put your address label on each card, so if for some reason it does not get delivered to the Daisy Scout it will be returned to you. You will also need to print a troop address list for each child.
Prior to your meeting, send out an email to the parents explaining that the child will be earning the violet petal. Explain to them that at the meeting, the girls will draw a name from a bag and that girl will be the "secret sister".

Everyone will go home with an address list and two postal cards. Once a week for two weeks, the girl will write a note on the postcard to her secret sister. The note should tell some positive attributes about the sister scout, and maybe give a clue about who her secret sister might be.

How to Earn the Violet Daisy Scout Petal Be A Sister to Every Girl Scout-Secret Sister Activity

Photo from Pixabay
For the meeting where the girls "reveal" themselves, each one is to bring a small wrapped gift for their secret sister. It is to cost no more than five dollars.
In your email, you will need to advise parents that the gift should be generic in nature, like a craft kit, stationery item, or small toy, jump rope or chalk. Character gifts are not a good idea, as some girls may not like what another girl does. 
At the meeting, remind the girls to be gracious when opening their gift, even if it may not be something they want. Good manners and being mindful of others' feelings is important! To start the meeting, you can read a book about friendship, like this George and Martha book, one of my favorites.

How to Earn the Violet Daisy Scout Petal Be A Sister to Every Girl Scout

You can then have the girls exchange gifts. Afterwards, they can make a craft like the one below.
This Magic Color Rainbow Scratch kit is perfect for ending the meeting. Each girl can get a heart to scratch off and then you can tie them together with the enclosed ties. Another idea is to have each girl draw another girl's name from a bag. She designs a heart for her and presents it to her person at the end of the meeting.

Another Fun Daisy Craft to End the Meeting 

Start with this Daisy foam shape. Have the girls pick a color from a bag so there is no arguing over who gets purple and who gets yellow. Write their name on the back in Sharpie. You may also want to write the words "Sisters in Scouting" on the front somewhere.

Step 2 Star Rhinestones

Have the girls peel and stick the jewels on the perimeter only. Collect them and after the photos have been printed, either you or the girls can cut them out and glue the picture to the center. When it is finished, you can hole punch the top and add a blue ribbon or add a magnet backing so it can be hung on the refrigerator.

Then have the girls reveal one by one who their secret sister is. Let them open their gifts and enjoy them!
Earning the violet petal, "Be a Sister to Every Girl Scout" is fun for scouts of all ages! You can then take a picture of the girls and their scout sister for them to put in their Girl Scout scrapbook.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

How to Earn the Red Daisy Girl Scout Petal Courageous and Strong

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Running a troop of young and eager kindergarten and first grade Daisy Girl Scouts is an enriching and rewarding experience. In fact, as the leader, you earn the red Daisy Girl Scout petal "Courageous and Strong" for each and every meeting you have.
Here is an activity to earn the red Daisy petal that is sure to leave the girls with a smile on their face.
How to Earn the Red Daisy Girl Scout Petal Courageous and Strong

Photo from Pixabay

To prepare for the meeting that will help your girls earn the Courageous and Strong petal, you will need a storage container (a margarine tub will do) for each girl and a brown lunch bag to put each one in.
Before the meeting, fill one storage container for each girl with the same food-wet spaghetti, jello, pudding, yogurt, whipped cream-anything you can think of. Place these containers in brown bags and do not let the girls see what is inside!

You can also do this activity by having different foods in each container and having the girls wipe their hands after each one. Have no more than five containers so that it goes more quickly, and make sure each has a different texture. One slimy, one wet, one hard, one soft, one bulky.
Make sure none of your girls have food allergies and bring plenty of wipes and paper towels if a sink is not available!

At the meeting, ask your girls what it means to be "courageous". Do they know what courage means? It means to try something to help you overcome your fear. Ask the girls about a time when they tried something new or that they were afraid of, like riding a two-wheeler, learning to swim, going to a new school or even trying brussel sprouts!
You may also want to read a book to earn the red Daisy petal, like this one from Jamie Lee Curtis.  It ties in beautifully with this topic.
In this story, Frankie is a little girl who is trying new things for the very first time.  The troop will be able to relate to this because they are at a stage in life where so many things, like learning to ride a two wheeler, are scary and brand new. Learning to overcome your fears is an important life skill that the girls need to master.

A great book to read to earn the Red Daisy Girl Scout Petal Courageous and Strong

Here is another book you can read to your girls entitled JoJo's Flying Side Kick

In this story, JoJo is ready to test for her Tae Kwon Do yellow belt, but she fears that she cannot do a perfect side kick to earn it. She is also afraid of a certain tree outside her window. Can she overcome her fears?
While you are doing the questioning, ask your co-leader or volunteer to carefully uncover the containers that are in each bag.
Divide the children into groups and have them put their hand in the container without looking in the bag-if they are courageous enough! Discuss how they felt before and after the activity, especially when they found out it was only cold spaghetti!
Once they have cleaned up, you can talk about the importance of eating right and exercising to stay strong. Talk about some healthy foods they could eat. Play some music and exercise or play freeze dance. If you are able, go outside and do this! Fresh air also makes you strong.
As always, be prepared with a coloring page for this petal in case you have some extra time.  With these activities, your Girl Scout troop will enjoy earning the red Daisy petal, "Courageous and Strong".

Thursday, February 2, 2017

How to Earn the Yellow Daisy Girl Scout Petal Friendly and Helpful WIth a Daisy Poem

Earning the yellow Daisy Girl Scout petal, "friendly and helpful" is easy to do with this inexpensive Daisy Girl Scout craft. In fact, you can create two different books and have a few weeks worth of activities for very little money.
These books should be done during the first month or two of your troop's year. The reason for this is the yellow Daisy Girl Scout petal is for being friendly and helpful, two things the girls need to be if you want your Girl Scout meetings to go smoothly and without incident.
The materials you need depend on how you wish to go about creating your book. If you want to create a "big book" use poster board for each line of the poem or couplet. If you want to make it smaller, buy 9 x 12 cardstock and have the girls use that to write and draw on.

How to Earn the Yellow Daisy Girl Scout Petal Friendly and Helpful WIth a Daisy Poem

Picture from Pixabay

In addition to the writing poster board, you will also need for the first idea:
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Stickers (optional)
  • Glue and glitter (optional, but use newspaper if you decide to add bling to the poster)
  • Hole puncher
  • Three binder rings
Since Daisy Girl Scouts are in kindergarten or first grade, and can range in age from five to seven, it is best that you or your co-leader write out the words to the poem so all your girls have to do are the illustrations. You may also want to have one or two parent volunteers to keep the girls on track and to give assistance.
Here is the poem. My friend sent it to me via email, and I do not know to whom I should give credit.
A Poem for Daisy Troops








With your troop, read the poem and discuss what it means. Depending on how many girls you have, you will break them up into groups to illustrate the line or lines they have been given. Monitor each group so they are illustrating to match the lines they are given.
Before binding, if you desire, you can have the book laminated. You can use your troop dues to pay for this.
An alternative to this poem to earn the yellow Daisy petal is to do the same thing, only use the Girl Scout Law:
I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and torespect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.
For this yellow Daisy petal project, you can have the girls create a page for each petal for themselves. You can do this throughout the year as a closing activity and at the year's end. You may want to cut petals out of felt for the girls to glue onto each page. The girls will have a beautiful book of their Daisy Scouting year!

Earning the yellow Daisy petal, Friendly and Helpful, can be a terrific learning experience for both you and your troop.