Friday, September 4, 2020

Girl Scout Daisy Meetings from September to December

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Daisy Girl Scout leaders certainly have their hands full if they are starting a new troop.  Here is a meeting outline for the first half of the year. Remember to be flexible and have fun!

Congratulations on becoming a Girl Scout Daisy leader! You have done what many are unwilling to do...step up to the plate and give a group of young girls an opportunity to be a Girl Scout. Even if you were a Girl Scout as a child, being a leader is a totally different experience, as well as a big responsibility. Besides being concerned with the pre-troop meeting paperwork, you have to plan what the girls are going to do each and every time you get together.
Girl Scout Daisy Meetings from September to December

The following is a guideline for creating your Girl Scout Daisy meetings, based on meeting twice a week from September to December. Feel free to adapt it to your schedule, as you may find some activities are better suited for your troop to do later in the year.
*Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, you will have to made adaptions in order to make it work.

First Meeting Prep Work and Supplies

For your craft, you will need to run off this Daisy petal worksheet on cardstock. Have blue tissue paper cut into squares for the promise center and bowls to place them in.  The girls will use crayons to color the petals and crumple and glue the tissue paper to the center.

Your First Girl Scout Daisy Meeting-September

Your first meeting with your Daisy Scouts should involve a "getting to know you" or "ice breaker" activity.
Here are some resources to find one that you would like to do (these also make a fun activity if you find yourself with a few extra minutes at the end of a meeting.
It is a good idea to have the parents stay and see how their girls are doing and how a meeting is run. You can also have a short parent meeting while the girls are crafting to discuss the year and to answer any questions. After saying the Pledge of Alligence, the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout law (which the girls will repeat after you), have the girls sit in a circle and introduce yourself and your co-leader.
Pass around an object (a silk flower daisy from the Dollar Store would be a fun idea) and have the girls tell their names, their school, and one special thing about them. Girls at this age will want to tell stories...gently remind them to keep it to one thing and then pass the daisy to the next girl.

Next, it is time for the craft. 

First Meeting Prep Work and Supplies

For your craft, you will need to run off this Daisy petal worksheet on cardstock. Have blue tissue paper cut into squares for the promise center and bowls to place them in. The girls will use crayons to color the petals and crumple and glue the tissue paper to the center.
Pandemic Update:
You will want each girl to have her own set of markers, crayons and tissue paper. No sharing supplies. Each child must bring in her own pencil pouch or pencil case of supplies for safety reasons.
Make sure you only have crayons that represent the Daisy petals for the girls to use so no mistakes are made. The order they color them in does not matter. Have the girls color first, then glue the blue center so you avoid gluey arms. Take a picture of each girl with her Daisy as a keepsake of her first Daisy meeting. Close with the Girl Scout friendship squeeze and song and take a deep breath! You did it!

The Girl Scout Friendship Song

This is how you end your meetings. The girls stand together in a circle with hands crossed. The leader gives the girl on her right a gentle squeeze. It is passed around the circle and when it comes back to her, you sing this song.These girls sing it beautifully, and even add the final two lines.

Your Second Girl Scout Daisy Meeting-Earn the Blue Promise Center

Before you can earn any of the Daisy Girl Scout petals,
you will need to earn the blue promise center first . After all, the petals are centered on the Girl Scout Promise, and they need to be ironed around something.

How to Earn the Daisy Blue Promise Center

There are many children's bookslike Robert Munsch's pictured here, that can help you teach this concept.After reading the story, you can make promise chart. At DKTK's website, you can make a customized chore chart for your meeting. Ask the girls what they can promise to do at home to help out. Tell them that they have to return the chart to the next meeting and see if they kept their promises.

The Daisy Girl Scout Song

At each meeting, make a song part of your agenda. Here is an adorable song sung to the tune "I'm a Little Teapot".

Start Your Scrapbook!

When my troop were Daisies, my co-leader started taking pictures at each meeting. This morphed into our perpetual Girl Scout scrapbook. Now we are Juniors, and the girls love to look back at their Daisy and Brownie years!

Make a scrapbook to save the memories of your troop's scouting years.

Image by Hannah Gold. This is my daughter's scrapbook, and even as a 12th grade Ambassador, she loves to look through it on occasion.

Pandemic Update

Be sure to take some pictures with the girls socially distanced and masked. This is history in the making.

Your Third Daisy Girl Scout Meeting-Earn the Violet Daisy Petal

Fostering friendship among your girls is essential to having a successful troop. As the leader, you are volunteering a lot of personal time, and you want the meetings to be something that both the girls and you look forward to attending. Nipping girl drama and cliques from the beginning and being firm about how the girls treat each other will lead to less drama and more harmonious meetings.Earning the violet daisy petal, be a sister to every Girl Scout, fosters this concept. An activity I created and did with my Daisy Girl Scout troop was to make a Daisy chain of friendship.
The only materials you need are markers (remember, each girl brings her own), strips of copy paper, and one stapler per volunteer. It is a very easy and budget friendly petal for your troop to earn.

Handy Links for Leaders

Add a Girl Scout SWAP to Your Meeting!

Girl Scout Swaps are tiny crafts that Girl Scouts exchange with one another. For Daisies, they should be simple and easy to assemble. There are many Girl Scout SWAP kits that you can buy for very little money.
Daisy Scouts cannot have a very complicated craft. If the degree of difficulty is too great, it will frustrate the girls as they try to make it. No need for tears while you are doing a fun Girl Scout tradition!

Your Fourth Daisy Girl Scout Meeting

Celebrate Girl Scout Founder's Day!

Edward Hughes (1832-1908), painter. / Public domain

On October 31, 1860, Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA, was born. Scouts of all levels celebrate her birthday at a meeting during the month of October. "Daisy", her nickname, came from a world of wealth, so she could do anything she wanted. When she began the Girl Scouts, she included everyone, no matter their financial status, color, or religion. In fact, three of the original Girl Scout leaders were Jewish, and this was in the South in 1912.

On my main Girl Scout blog, Girl Sout Leader, I have dozens of ideas for you to choose from to celebrate Girl Scout Founder's day. I wrote detailed plans on how Daisy Girl Scouts can celebrate.You can also double up and earn the orange Daisy petal and celebrate Girl Scout Founder's Day. You can accomplish two things in one meeting!
Plant Daisy seed and paint pots for Girl Scout Founder's Day

This is a simple craft. Buy blue and white paint and a few black Sharpie pens. Girls can write their name in Sharpie on the rim and then paint a picture. While waiting their turn, girls can work on a coloring sheet or another small birthday project you have planned for them, like decorating cupcakes you made for this occasion.

Pandemic Update

Leaders should write the name in Sharpie so the girls are not touching the same pen. Paint can be squited onto individual paper plates. Brushes can be labeled for each girl or it must be disinfected with a wipe after they have been used.

Your Fifth and Sixth Daisy Meetings

Go on a Field Trip and Earn the Magenta Daisy Petal

Going on a field trip is fun. To earn the magenta Daisy petal, Respect Authority, visit a firehouse or a police station. These trips are free and a great way for these community helpers to interact with your girls.
Contact your Service Unit to learn how to fill out the forms and get the needed permission to take a trip. You need to give a minimum of two weeks notice, more is even better. For your sixth meeting, the girls can write thank you cards. This can be tied into "giving thanks" and the Thanksgiving holiday which is right around the corner. Read a book about The holiday and do a fun Thanksgiving craft to finish up the meeting.

Field Trip Tips

Plan your field trip at least four weeks in advance. Get your trip approval number and the required number of volunteers to accompany your troop. All paperwork should be handed in to you one week prior to the trip. As I tell my girls, "No slip, no trip!"
Pandemic Update
More than likely, there will be no field trip. If you can have a police officer, firefighter, or some other authority figure come and speak to the girls, that will help them earn this petal.

Thanksgiving Crafts

Once November comes around, the holiday season is in full swing. Along with your usual festivities, you have added planning Daisy meetings to your personal agenda. You can make meeting planning easier by doing a craft with a ready made craft kit. These can then be donated to a senior center when they are completed.
This is an easy service project and is just one to incorporate any of the Daisy petals that inspire kindness and making the world better. These easy to make Thanksgiving crafts are perfect for Girl Scout Daisies and easy for you, their leader.

Your Seventh Daisy Girl Scout Meeting-Do a Community Service Project and Earn the Rose Daisy Petal

As you enter the month of December, people tend to be in a jollier mood, as the winter holidays are arriving. Chanukah and Christmas are a time for celebrating, but not everyone is able to due to difficult financial circumstances.
Girl Scout Community Service Project for December

Image by Hannah Gold
These are the items the each of my girls placed in a decorated gift bag
along with a card they made.  A washcloth, socks, soap, 
and candy were also included. 

Girl Scout Law Song

Children can remember a lot from a song. Many adults can sing the Preamble to the Constitution because of School House Rock!

Your Eighth Daisy Girl Scout Meeting

Make Gifts and Have a Party

For your final Daisy meeting before the winter break, the girls will be super excited. To keep with the holiday theme, have them make gifts for someone in their family. Be sensitive to what holidays the girls in your troop celebrate. Making ornaments is not appropriate for those who do not celebrate Christmas. You can read more about this and how to be sensitive during the holiday season here.
What can you make?
Any kind of kid friendly craft will work. Some ideas are:

These eight ideas for Daisy Girl Scout meetings should get your first few months off to a great start.
Girl Scout Daisy Meetings from September to December

One Final Tip-Shop the Sales
The week after Christmas is one of the best times to shop for craft materials for your Girl Scout troop. Holiday items are normally 50% off for a few days after Christmas, then right before New year's they go way down to 75%.  Red items can be for Valentine's Day, green for spring projects.  Snowmen and snowflakes can be used for winter crafts.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Starting the New Scouting Year in a Pandemic

Hi fellow leaders! It has been an insanely long time since I have written a post on this blog. Between running my school virtually and a personal health crisis in my family, updating this blog went to the backburner. In fact, on my main Girl Scout blog, I wrote one post in May and did not write another until mid-August.

Starting the New Scouting Year in a Pandemic

Photo created by the author on Canva

Leaders of all levels are facing something that none of us has ever dealt with before...starting the new scouting year during a pandemic. For established leaders, it was difficult enough hanging on to the girls that they had. Many tried, and there was uneven success. Distance scouting is not for everyone, and with parents worried about working from home and deaing with their children's school work, adding anything else to the pile was too much. As the principal of a supplementary Hebrew School, we had students disappear. Even with my close relationships with the families, they told me that they were on overload with the sudden closing of school. No coercing on my part could get them to change their minds.

So here we are...some of you are back to school and some of you have another week to go. A few of you are brand new leaders and some of you have a year under your belt.

For those of you who are new, here is my advice to you:

Take it Easy on Yourself

Recruit your girls, see how you can meet (in person or virtually), and then start your meetings. Do not worry about having a large number of girls; having enough to establish a troop is all that you need.

Work Only on the Petals

The focus of the first Girl Scout Daisy year should be learning the Girl Scout Law and what each petal represents. In the past, Daisies were only one year-kindergarten-and that was all they did. It was a gentle way to introduce youngsters to Girl Scouting. Yes, there are many badges available that the girls can earn, but the point of Daisies is to establish the scouting foundation. You can do a badge, of course, it should not be the primary focus.

I created this calendar of meetings from September to December for you to follow so that your troop can easily earn some badges to start the year. This blog post is for Daisy Meetings January to May. I will be updating them in the future.

No Fundraising

In the past, Daisies were not allowed to fundraise. It personally drives me insane to see ne leaders worrying about the nut and magaizne sale when they only met with their troop once! Cookies are a whole different matter, and I feel that first year leaders should just back off and do it their second year. Dues and creativity can go a long way. 

For those leaders who are starting their second year, here is my advice for you.

Starting the New Scouting Year in a Pandemic

Be Grateful

Did you lose some girls due to the pandemic? Most troops did. It can be very disheartening to lose a girl, and you need to remember not to take it personally. Even with no pandemic, you are going to lose girls for a variety of reasons. enjoy those who reregistered and move on.

I wrote this blog post about leaders losing their mojo and how to get it back. It has some advice on how to launch the year with your best foot forward.

Do you have any tips to share as you being the new scouting year?