Thursday, September 7, 2017

Girl Scout Meetings Four Easy Steps for Success for New Leaders

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Girl Scout meetings are simple to run if you follow these four easy steps to success. You've gone through the training, your paperwork is completed, now it is time to actually meet with your girls! Before a sense of panic sets in and you begin to wonder why you did this to yourself, take a deep breath. The key to a successful and smooth running troop meeting is all about preparation. 
Here are guideline for running your meetings.  

Step One Be Prepared

The first easy step for a successful Girl Scout meeting is to be prepared. Any good teacher knows that when you work with children, especially young children, it is best to establish a routine. All scouts, especially the youngest kindergarten and first grade Daisies, thrive when they know what to expect. Your meeting routine should look something like this:
  • Have the girls put their coats and bags in the same place every time you meet
  • Say the Pledge of Allegiance, the Girl Scout Promise, and the Girl Scout Law
  • Do a short circle time (group discussion) to discuss the badge or petal you will be earning
  • Craft time
  • Friendship circle and closing song



Second Step to a Successful Girl Scout Meeting- Earning Badges and Petals

The second step to a successful troop meeting is to figure out what you want to do for the year. 
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There is no special order for earning petals and badges. With your co-leader, you can create an outline for what you would like to do for the next few meetings or for the entire year.
For the new leader, select an easy craft and do all of the prep work at home. This step is essential, because you need to know if it is going to work. For example, I had a great Valentine's Day craft planned. As I glued the hearts together with wet glue, the paper kept slipping and I could not finish the craft as I had planned. I took out my hot glue gun, and voila! It worked! Imagine trying to do this with twelve first grade girls who were making Valentine's for their parents and THEN realizing it didn't work.
I was able to recruit additional volunteers to use the hot glue guns so we could finish all the girls projects during the meeting.

Step Three-Purchasing Your Materials for Daisy Girl Scout Activities and Crafts

Next on the Girl Scout meeting success list is to buy everything you need in advance.  I know this is common sense, but for many people, disorganization leads to stress, which makes meetings less enjoyable.
Whenever possible, use your troop checkbook for all purchases, along with your troop's Tax ID number, you will save on sales tax. If you do not have the checkbook, save your receipts so your troop treasurer can reimburse you.
In a space in your house, assign a tote or craft organizer (I own two of the one pictured below) to store the materials you purchased. The extras will be used for future crafts.
Craft cart to store Girl Scout craft materials


Step Four Ask for Help

The larger your troop, the more hands you need

Younger troops will most definitely need more help than two leaders can provide. The fourth and final step for running successful Girl Scout meetings is to send out an email to your parents and ask if anyone is willing to come and assist. Of course, they will need to be registered with your Council and background checked.

Parents always need advance notice. Those who work full-time can clear their calendars, while those with younger children need to have arrangements made for their care, unless you want them at your meeting, too. Just know that once you permit younger children to attend, it will be very difficult to uninvite them late. You can read about tagalongs in this blog post.


One more item...a Girl Scout leader tote! Keep all of the things you need for every meeting in one bag. Put whatever else you need for the next meeting in a bag next to it.





If you take these four steps for successful Girl Scout meetings, not only will your time together run smoothly, you'll be looking forward to the next time you meet!

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