Tips for the Daisy Girl Scout Meeting

In this busy world of ours, a Daisy Girl Scout meeting can be a happy time-out for girls and a special occasion for you as their first Girl Scout leader.  It is your opportunity to make a big difference in their lives and well worth your time in planning a successful experience.

Here are some suggestions to help you ensure a pleasant and meaningful troop meeting.

Be prepared
Setting up materials and reviewing the day’s plans are important preparation steps.  Having a brief meeting before the girls arrive, with the assistant leader and others providing support to the troop, helps to bring the leadership together as a team.  You can accomplish this in person or by telephone conference.

Plan a pre-meeting activity
Daisy Girl Scouts may be on various schedules and arrive at scattered times before the troop meeting.  It is very important to set up a pre-meeting activity with the help of an assistant or program aide.  This contributes to the girls’ ability to do things independently and gives you the opportunity to greet each girl and any family members who come to the meeting.  Some successful pre-meeting activities include homemade puzzles made from a magazine picture mounted on cardboard and then cut into big puzzle pieces, drawing, looking at and reading books, working on Daisy Girl Scout scrapbooks, or playing a game everyone knows and can join as they arrive.

Connect with each girl
As each girl arrives, take time to say hello and find out how she is feeling.  It means giving her a smile, a hug or a handshake and letting her know you are glad she came.  It will show her how much you care and give you clues about each girl’s state of mind before the meeting begins.

 

Use the five and one minute warnings  
Daisy Girl Scouts need to know ahead of time when one activity is about to end and another begin.  This helps them to find what they are doing and move smoothly into the next activity without feeling rushed or robbed of time.  Before a transition, let them know they have five minutes to finish.  Then remind them again one minute before the transition.

 

Establish routines
Involving Daisy Girl Scouts in the meeting routines is essential in ensuring their interest in the meeting.  It becomes their meeting when they know what the day’s plans are.  Post Kaper Charts that list the girls who are helping with particular meeting tasks.  This will help the troop become organized and responsible.

When you establish meeting routines, it is important to help the girls learn how to use the meeting space and materials properly.  Everyone should be familiar with the locations of materials, bathrooms, exit doors, fire drill procedures, and the like.

Plan Opening Ceremonies
Opening ceremonies are a very important part of the Daisy Girl Scout meeting; the signal that the meeting is really starting.  They are also your opportunity to begin the meeting in an enjoyable and meaningful way and to bring the girls together as a group.  Opening ceremonies can include simple flag ceremonies, group cheers and greetings, singing favorite songs, telling a short story, reading or reciting a poem, or sharing a thought for the day.  Reciting the Promise and saying the parts of the Law will help each girl understand her special place in Girl Scouting.

One of the kapers or jobs for the girls should be helping to plan the next opening ceremony.  Take five minutes at the end of a meeting for a planning session with those girls who have signed up for this kaper.

Enjoy a sharing time
Sharing time helps develop good relationships and communication.  The more the troop knows and cares about each of its members, the more responsive each member will be to the needs of the other members and the troop as a whole.

During the sharing time, encourage girls to talk about their interests, feeling, and daily experiences.  Set a good example for your Daisy Girl Scouts by truly listening to what girls say.  This will inspire girls to do the same for one another, especially if sharing times are brief to prevent the girls from becoming bored or restless.  If sharing time is a routine part of the meeting, they will be reassured that they will have their turn to share at the next meeting.

Involve Daisy Girl Scouts in planning activities
Daisy Girl Scouts have lots of ideas and if you involve them in planning what they do, they will become more interested in the troop.  They learn that the Girl Scout meeting is a place where there are people who regard what they think, who respect what they say, and who really care about them.  This is also an important first step in cultivating the girl/adult partnership that will foster leadership skills in the future.

Daisy Girl Scouts make their formal decisions about what they will do as a troop in the Daisy Girl Scout Circle.  This is their form of troop government.  Your girls can meet in the Daisy Girl Scout Circle once a month, twice a month, or whenever there is a need for the troop to get together to make formal decisions for planning troop activities.

You can help girls in the Daisy Girl Scout Circle to share their ideas, listen to one another, and make troop decisions.  Decisions can be made by consensus or voting.  You will then need to spend time and effort helping the girls follow up on the decisions they make.  Every effort should be made to incorporate their plans and ideas into the main activities of the troop meetings.

Snack time
Snack time tasks are also included on the kaper chart.  With adults helping to pour the beverages, Daisy Girl Scouts assigned to this kaper can serve the rest of the snack.  Whether snack time is before or after the main activity, it should be an enjoyable time when the girls can relax with one another and enjoy the treats.

Clean up
Clean up is another job on the kaper chart.  Clean up is really everyone’s responsibility, but one or two girls can be assigned as checkers to make sure the meeting place is left clean and in good order.  This responsibility can be rotated among the girls.

You may feel it is easier and faster to pick up after the girls yourself, but resist the temptation.  Clean up is a troop responsibility and another opportunity for girls to feel ownership in the meeting.  Adults should help clean up as members of the troop.

Finish with a closing ceremony
Closing ceremonies are very important for Daisy Girl Scouts.  They end the meeting in a meaningful way and bring everyone together before they have to leave.

A few girls may be assigned to plan the closing ceremony and can get together with you ahead of time to decide on what to do.  Some popular closing ceremonies include the friendship circle and squeeze, saying goodbye in other languages, a group hug, singing a goodnight or goodbye song, simple flag ceremonies, sharing thoughts for the day, or reciting the Girl Scout Promise.

Making the right goodbye connections
Parents should be aware of the importance of coming for their children promptly when the meeting is over.  Take the time to learn the names and the faces of those who are responsible for picking up each girl in the troop to ensure the girls are making the right connections.  Encourage the girls to tell you when a different person is coming to pick them up, but rely primarily on parents and guardians for this information.

Remembering to follow through will all these basics will help the typical Daisy Girl Scout meeting become an exciting and memorable occasion – one that you and your troop always look forward to.

 

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