Monday, November 18, 2019

5 Easy and Fun Ideas for A December Daisy Troop Party

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It's that time of year where the Girl Scout forums and Facebook pages are getting a little heated about the upcoming holiday season. There are three viewpoints on this matter:

1. We are going to celebrate Christmas and do Christmas activities even though everyone in our troop does not celebrate the holiday.

2. We do not celebrate any December holiday because that is not inclusive to those who do not celebrate any holiday this month.

3. Everyone in our troop celebrates Christmas so we do it as a troop...what is the big deal?

I covered this topic in depth in this blog post. Bottom line for me...there should be no specific holiday celebration of any kind if it means that a single girl in your troop will be left out. Girls Scouts is inclusive...that was the intent of the founder, Juliette Gordon Low.

5 Easy and Fun Ideas for A December Daisy Troop Party

Image created by the author on Canva

So what can a Daisy Girl Scout leader do with her troop that will make a December meeting fun and meaningful? Of course, you can do many different service projects with your troop, so your girls learn that there are others in this world who need a helping hand. Young children are compassionate, and this is one way to plug into this.

Here are some fun ideas for you to have an inclusive December meeting.

Make a Sock Snowman

Everyone has extra socks lying around with no mate. Use these for a fun winter decoration that does not have to go back in the box once the December holidays are over. 

Here are the directions, which includes a video, on how to make a tube sock snowman.

Easy and Fun Ideas for A December Daisy Troop Party-Make a Sock Snowman

Photo from Pixabay

There are other versions of this craft and you can find the directions and videos here.

Make a Styrofoam Snowman

You can also make a snowman out of styrofoam balls. Directions for this craft can be found here.

There are plenty of snowman craft kits available if you are too busy to go out and buy all of the components for these snowman crafts.

Edible Snowman Crafts

Don't the cookies in the photo look delicious? You can make your own edible snowman for the girls to eat at the party and also to give as gifts.

Make edible snowman crafts for your Girl Scout Winter Party

Photo from Pixabay

If you do not have access to an oven, then you can bake snowman shaped cookies at home and decorate them at your meeting.

There are all kinds of cookie decorations-sprinkles, sugars, and more-that you can use to make these cookies shine!

Gift Exchanges

I am not a fan of gift exchanges, as I explained in this blog post from a few years ago. However, one thing I have read about on the Girl Scouts Gab Facebook page was a Sock Exchange. Each girl brings in a cute, inexpensive pair of non-holiday socks and they can pull it from a grab bag. The girls can also bring in an extra pair of socks to be donated to a nursing home or homeless shelter.

One troop leader mentioned that the girls filled the sock with small items like candy. I would only be concerned with food allergies is you decide to do this.

The same ideas can be done for books-make sure they are not holiday themed or based on a particular movie or television character. An extra book can be donated to a children's hospital or local preschool.

Marshmallow Games to Play

Marshmallows are a sweet and inexpensive treat to use for games. They do not leave a big mess and the girls are sure to want to eat them when the games are over.

One game to play is to see how many marshmallows the girls can stack in a set amount of time. Start with a longer time like 60 seconds and then shorten them as the next round progresses.

There are lots of fun games your Girl Scout troop can play with marshmallows.

Photo from Pixabay

Another game to play that I used to do with my children's class parties is to tie a piece of yarn around a marshmallow. Divide the girls into teams of two each. One girl swings the marshmallow towards the other girl and she tries to catch it in her mouth. After she does, then the girls switch and the other girl gets to try to eat it.

Using mini marshmallows and chopsticks, you can have the girls play this Minute to Win It game

Here is another game that uses mini marshmallows, straws and paper cups. 

Host a New Year's Eve Party 

For younger children, New Year's Eve is a time that many grown ups get dressed and leave the house for a fancy party. I remember being left with a babysitter on this special night when I was a child.

Have a New Year's Eve party with your Girl Scout troop during your meeting

You can host a child-centric New Year's Eve party for your troop. This article has lots of ideas that you can use to get the party started.

December is a wonderful time to host a party for a meeting...just make sure you are being considerate and caring and inclusive with all the girls in your troop.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Winter Craft Kits for Girl Scout Daisies

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One way your troop and just celebrate the season. You do not want the girls in your troop who do not celebrate Christmas to feel left out or uncomfortable if you make everything about Christmas.

Easy Winter Crafts for your Girl Scout meetings

If you have a mixed religious group of girls, then making ornaments is out. However, making crafts with snowmen and snowflakes that celebrate newly arrived winter season, which starts December 21st, is perfect for everyone. These items can be used as gifts for family members-you can add an additional craft of decorating white tissue paper and having the girls wrap it up for the gift recipient. Or the girls can keep them for themselves.  Put on the Frozen soundtrack, give the girls a treat of snowflake shaped cookies, have some coloring pages or easy games ready, and have an easy and relaxed meeting because you deserve it!

Here are some ready made craft kits for you to use with your troop. All of these kits are from Amazon and come 12 to a set.  If you are using one that requires a photo, then either take one of the girls to have cut an ready for your meeting or you can ask the parents for one two meetings in advance.  That way, you give yourself the cushion of time and can also take a picture to print out in case the child does not come in with one to use. 

Magic Scratch Snowman Kit

Magic Scratch Snowman Kit is perfect for your Girl Scout meeting

This comes with 24 ready to use snowmen. While they are advertised as ornaments, these snowmen can be hung anywhere.

Smile Face Snowman Picture Frame
Smile Face Snowman Picture Frame

For this craft, you need to have a picture taken beforehand for the frame. 
This craft kit makes 12 frames.

Winter Owl Magnet Kit

Fun Girl Scout Winter Craft-Owl Magnets

These adorable winter owls are magnets. It comes in a set of 12.

Snowman Glitter Mosaic Craft Kit

Glitter Snowman Craft Kit for your winter Girl Scout meeting

This sparkling mosaic craft kit is a wonderful activity for those snowy, cold winter days! Easy for little fingers to construct, these signs are a cute way to decorate for Christmas and make a fantastic classroom project. Deck the walls - and the door - in glittering snowmen! Includes self-adhesive foam pieces and satin cord. Makes 12. 

Winter Wishes Craft Box

Winter Wishes craft box for your Girl Scout meeting

Decorate your own holiday box this Christmas with this festive Winter Wishes Boxes Craft Kit. The perfect addition to your craft supplies, each craft kit includes self-adhesive foam pieces. Papier-mâché. 3 1/2" x 1 1/2" Use wrapped candy only. All craft kit pieces are pre-packaged for individual use. Kits include instructions. Makes 12.

Beaded Snowflake Charm Bracelet

Beaded snowflake charm bracelet for your Girl Scout winter meeting

This beaded snowman charm bracelet craft kit makes a fun project for frosty winter days. Includes plastic beads and enamel charms on a 12" stretchy cord. All craft kit pieces are pre-packaged for individual use. Kits include instructions and extra pieces.

Winter Snow Globe Necklace Kit

Winter Snowglobe Necklace craft kit

A wonderfully wintery addition to holiday crafts for kids, these necklaces come with a charm that looks like a mini snow globe with a smiling snowman inside. Includes 2" plastic globe, foam pieces and a nylon breakaway cord. 30" Makes 12. All craft kit pieces are pre-packaged for individual use. Kits include instructions.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Thanksgiving Craft Kits for Daisy Girl Scouts

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As you wrap up your Girl Scout Founder's Day celebrations and head into the busy holiday season, we enter a time where we focus on what we are thankful for. As the leader, you will want to be focusing on both the fun part of the season, as well as helping others who may not be as fortunate.

Easy Thanksgiving crafts for busy Girl Scout leaders

Photo from Pixabay

Of course, you are also more than likely very busy with your own celebrations and preparations. One way to make your Thanksgiving meeting plans go more smoothly is with ready made Thanksgiving craft kits. Most of these are individually packaged and ready to use. Combine these with making cards for the holiday and reading a Thanksgiving story, you have an easy meeting with very little prep work necessary.

Here are some fun Thanksgiving craft kits for you to do with your troop.

Thanksgiving craft kits for Girl Scouts

Fun fall craft kit for Daisy Scouts

Monday, October 21, 2019

More Pretty Girl Scout Leader Planners

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As the troop year begins, getting organized is paramount in order to not feel overwhelmed. One of the things that can help you get organized and stay on track is a planner.

This summer, one company debuted a troop planner and it sold out immediately. A few more companies created their own, and now leaders have choices.

Girl Scout Daisy Troop Leader Planner dated

This planner is dated for this year.

Girl Scout Daisy Troop Leader Planner undated

This is the undated version.

Here are some more designs.

Friday, October 18, 2019

When Should Girl Scout Daisy Leaders Hand Out Petals?

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Being a Daisy is a unique experience from being an older scout because instead of earning badges, you earn Daisy petals. An age old question is when to hand out the petals to the girls and how do you do this?

When my girls were Daisy Scouts, I went to the Girl Scout store and bought everyone their own petal pack and sent it home.  As we earned each petal, I emailed the moms to iron them on.  That worked for me because I did not want to be responsible for anyone's petals but my daughter's. 

When Should Girl Scout Daisy Leaders Hand Out  Petals?

Image created on Canva.
Daisy petal artwork can be placed on stickers, hoodies, cards and more.

As the girls earned badges, I sent them home in an envelope at school since all but one of my girls attended it. Each one of my twins was responsible for handing it out to the girls.  It was never a problem and for six years, it was done this way.

Leaders also get hung up on having a Court of Awards. They spend time and money on fancy presentations, only to have them taken apart once the girls get home. If you do that once, you have to that time and time again. Is that something you want to do? I am very practical when it comes to my personal time. I would rather plan an outing than spend time making a cute presentation that may or may not be appreciated.

Plus, I have never seen the point of handing out badges three months. Young children need to have instant gratification when it comes to earning badges and petals. Will they remember what they did three months from now?

I have read that some leaders iron on badges and petals at the meeting while another safety pinned it onto each girl at the meeting. While both are very workable solutions, it gives the leader one more thing to do, and personally, I have enough on my plate.  It also takes the responsibility off of the shoulders of the parents, and honestly, that is where it belongs. If a child is missing it you can feel badly, but it is not YOUR responsibility to make sure it is ironed on.

Image from Pixabay

Other leaders sew on the badges during the meeting or take them home and sew them on their own time. Again, you are taking on a responsibility that is not yours to own. Is this something you want to do for the next dozen years?

While you cannot predict the future, if you are a Daisy leader now, you may be in this for many years. How you run things now will determine how they are run in the future. If things are "always done this way" the parents know your expectations from the start.  If you do everything for them now, what makes you think that as the girls get older and lives get busier that they will not give you a hard time for changing the rules on them?

Of course, you are allowed to do what you need to do as you are the leader, but having dealt with parents in my professional life since 1987, you want to be a preemptive as possible. Change throws people, even small changes.

Another issue that leaders face is parents losing petals. Who is responsible for replacing them?

The parents are.

Parents can buy lost petals on eBay for a dollar plus shipping.  You did your bought them. They have to pony up the dough if they lose them.

While there is no wrong way to hand out Daisy petals, you should always do what is easiest for you.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

10 Quick and Easy Girl Scout Founder's Day Meeting Ideas

Girl Scout Founder's Day is October 31st. It is the birthday of Juliette Gordon Low, the woman who founded the Girl Scouts of the USA. Girls at every level of scouts, even the youngest Daisy, can learn about Juliette and do something in her honor.

10 Quick and Easy Girl Scout Founder's Day Meeting Ideas

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Daisy Girl Scout Investiture Resources

Girl Scouts has many long time standing traditions. As a new leader, I know that you are just trying to keep it together from one meeting to the next. 

Take a breath.

One of the things that will help you plan out the year is to incorporate Girl Scout traditions and holidays throughout the scouting year. One of the ceremonies that you can have after you are a few weeks in is an Investiture Ceremony.

Daisy Girl Scout Investiture Resources for Leaders Easy Planning

Image created on Canva by the author

An investiture is the welcoming of new members, both girls and adults, into the Girl Scout family for the first time. Girls receive their Girl Scout, Girl Scout Brownie, or Girl Scout Daisy pin at this time.

This is a simple not get yourself into a Pinterest zone of ideas! Keep it simple-your audience is kindergarten or first grade girls. 

In this updated blog post, I have online resources for you to use for your Girl Scout Investiture ceremony.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Getting Along With Your Girl Scout Co-leader and Avoiding the Drama

One of the most important relationships that you will have as a Girl Scout leader is the one you will have with your co-leader. If things go well, your troop will thrive and your relationship will blossom. If things go badly, then it can have an impact on your personal health and the well-being of your troop.

Getting Along With Your Girl Scout Co-leader and Avoiding the Drama

Photo from Pixabay and altered by the author in Canva

Almost five years ago, I wrote this blog post about getting along with your co-leader. It stems from my own issues with the woman who signed up to be a leader with me. While it started out well, by the end of the sixth year, I was over it. There were things I had wished I had done differently, and that is how that blog post was born. 

You can read about how to get along with your co-leader here.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Fun Daisy Shapes for Girl Scout Crafts

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One thing that I loved about being a Daisy leader was doing crafts. While have done the occasional craft while doing a Girl Scout Journey, nowadays my troop of 11th grade Ambassadors like to go camping and go on outings. 

Fun Daisy Shapes for Girl Scout Crafts

Image created by the author in Canva

Since you are a leader of Daisies for two years, investing in Daisy shaped items for crafts is a fun idea. Flowers can decorate cards for holidays, Birthday in a Bag projects, scrapbooking, and community service project collection boxes.

Crafting is perfect for those long indoor months when it is a challenge to go outside and earn a badge or go on a field trip. Most little girls like to create things, and using the shape that represents their level of scouting is one way to have them represent!

Available on Amazon

This item contains 120 felt flowers in a variety of colors. They can be glued to many different surfaces for your crafting needs.

Peel and stick foam flower stickers for Daisy Girl Scout crafts

This package of 196 Peel and stick foam flower stickers for Daisy Girl Scout crafts. It has a lot of variety so no two crafts will look the same.

This is a set of 350 stickers for various crafting needs. They have cute smiling faces!

Stickers for Girl Scout Daisy Crafts

This set come with three rolls of stickers-300 in total. They are about 1.5 inches in diameter and are bright and colorful.
Large Daisy foam shape for Kaper charts and other Girl Scout Daisy crafts

This large Daisy foam shape can be used for Kaper charts and other Girl Scout Daisy crafts. It comes in a package of 36 in three different colors. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Girl Scout Daisy Uniform Options...Yes, There Are Alternatives!

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As a new leader, you may be a bit surprised at the start up cost of your daughter's Daisy uniform. The tunic or vest, the Council ID, the flag and the numerals all add up. In some cases, there may be girls in your troop whose families cannot afford the cost of a new uniform. To be clear, a girl does not need a uniform for meetings. The Girls Scouts of the USA online shop website says this about uniforms:

Girl Scouts at each level have one required element (Tunic, Sash or Vest) for the display of official pins and awards which will be required when girls participate in ceremonies or officially represent the Girl Scout Movement.

For meetings, it is certainly fine for your girls to not have a uniform if they do not get financial aid for one. And some parents are too proud to ask, and may make excuses for their daughter not having one.

Girl Scout Daisy Uniform Alternatives

Image created on Canva

But what if I told you there is a middle ground that can make having a uniform for the girls in your troop more affordable?

Daisy Inspired Tunic

Blue children's cobbler apron is an inexpensive alternative to a Daisy tunic.

This apron is designed for younger children, and is the perfect shade of blue.While this is not the official Daisy tunic, is it a very close replica. 

White Tee Shirts

At craft stores like Michaels, you can buy plain white tee shirts for $3.00. With a coupon off your entire purchase or when there is a sale where you can buy with a coupon, you can pay even less. Decorate them with your troop number with fabric paint. You can also use a foam brush and paint each girls hand with a different color acrylic paint and have them put a handprint on each shirt. Make sure to put a piece of cardboard inside each shrit so it does not stick to the other side as it dries.

What are you doing for your troop's uniform?

Saturday, July 27, 2019

A Must Have Girl Scout Yearly Planner for the Organized Leader

It's Back to Troop time! Here is a planner that was made just for Girl Scout leaders.

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As a teacher, I used my summer break to refresh and renew myself for the upcoming school least during the month of July. Then August showed up and the new school year was nearing in the horizon. Not only did I need to prepare for my new students, I also used that time to prepare for the upcoming scouting year.

With time on my hands, I would grab the Badge Book (we only did retired Try-Its and Junior Badges) and see what the girls had voted on to do (girl led) and what I needed to purchase so I would not be running around last minute to get things. I had a spiral notebook just for this purpose.

Now there is a brand new Girl Scout Planner just for leaders!

There are two slightly different versions of the planner.

A Must Have Girl Scout Yearly Planner for the Organized Leader

This planner does not have the date on the cover.

Available on Amazon

This planner is for the upcoming scout year

These planners are not level specific, so any troop leader from Daisy to Ambasador can use this. Each is 152 pages long and has nineteen different sections. From Dues to Snacks to Attendance to Cookie Season Tracking, this planner has you covered. There are also blank pages for note taking.

I have seen the book and it is FABULOUS! It has large squares on each month for writing notes, much like my personal calendar. It is also like an old fashioned address book, where you write down names, addresses and phone numbers of the girls and the volunteers.

This is a must have book for the leader who likes to stay on top of things. And unlike other kinds of yearly planners, this is made especially for Girl Scout leaders.

You can find yours here and get organized!