April 3, 2013 – This meeting focused on the violet petal, which is earned when you “Be a Sister to Every Girl Scout.” I looked around the internet at some of my resources, and found a lot of good ideas, but mostly centered around World Thinking Day. Since I’m not quite organized enough to figure out that I can do those things at the same time, I modified the plan a bit and came up with a meeting agenda that I was really happy with. I created a worksheet that helped the girls look at how they were similar to and different from other girls in the troop. Each Daisy drew the name of another troop member out of a hat as they arrived for the meeting. They put that girl’s name at the top of the page, and then colored a picture of that girl. The artist stood up and spoke about the ways the two girls were alike and different, and what they liked about their sister Daisy. Then they gave the picture to their sister Daisy, each of whom smiled hugely when it was their turn to be the subject. Here’s the form I created:
After the girls did their presentations, we had snack time and I read “Vi’s Story” from the Daisy Handbook. It was about how flowers/girls in other countries do and like things that we like here in the US, so I threw out ideas for the girls to think about. First, I asked what girls in Japan do that the Daisy troop members also do; they came up with “go to school.” Then I asked about a girl in Australia – eat dinner with their families; Russia – play jump rope; France – walk their dogs; and so forth. We talked about how people can be alike, while having different facial features and speaking a different language. This really helped the troop to see that they are just like other girls all over the world. We also talked about other troops in our area, from other Daisy troops, to Senior troops who have put on various events throughout the year.
The meeting wrapped with talk of upcoming events, like the Tea Party they’ll have with sister scouts. I also tied it all together by talking about the sleepover we’d had over spring break. One of the Daisy scouts was really nervous about staying the night, but by the time her mom checked back in, she’d decided to stay. We talked about how she had her sister scouts around her, and how that made her feel comfortable since they all are friends. I praised her for finding the courage to stay, even when she was nervous.
It’s Cookie Time!
My troop had our first booth sale this year, and boy were they ever excited/nervous! Our food drive back in November really helped to pave the way for this sale, as the girls got to experience approaching people and pitching an idea. I’m really proud of our booth display, which we all worked on together. It has a floral theme – we are a Daisy troop, after all – but I think this could be used for any troop level with just a few wording changes. The supplies were easy to find at a hardware store (for the PVC), and the local Wally World for all the rest of the purchased items. Here’s a how-to for building the display:
- Three (3) 5′ lengths of 3/4″ PVC pipe
- Two (2) 3/4″ PVC elbows (to connect the 3 pipes together)
- Two (2) 3/4″ PVC T-shaped joints (for stability at the bottom)
- Two (2) 24×30″ foam boards
- Two (2) terra cotta planters
- One roll green Duck tape
- Two (2) plastic rectangle table cloths (1 in green for the table, 1 in blue for the sign)
- Colored paper plates (we used the same as the box colors for the cookies)
- Downloaded pictures of cookies (enlarged to 5.5″ diameter)
- Green pipe cleaners (for flower stems)
- Sand to fill the pots (for weight)
- I started by going online for cookie pictures; I looked for larger images knowing they would blow up easier. I used MS Word to center the 5.5″ diameter cookies inside a 6.5″ diameter circle, so that I’d have a diagram to cut out. I chose to laminate the cookie pictures after I cut them out, so I can reuse them if I’d like.
- I hot-glued the pictures inside the colored paper plates, using green for the Thin Mints, purple for the Samoas, etc.
- While the cookie plates cooled, I assembled the top of the sign by taping two 2×3′ foam boards together, making a 2’x6′ sign. I covered the sign with the light blue plastic table cloth, and really liked the sky effect it had.
- Next, I put together the sign frame. I attached one of the 5′ PVC pipes to the top of the sign under a flap of the table cloth by taping the heck out of it, so that it was covered but still sturdy. The decorations were made from cloud outlines I found online and enlarged in MS Word, with added wording to emphasize the cost. The troop created the butterflies by using glitter glue, markers, and multi-colored plastic gems. The rainbow letters were created using Word Art in MS Word.
- I wrapped the green Duck tape around the side pipes…no worries about any wrinkles, since these are supposed to be plant stems, anyway! I assembled the two “stems” of the sign by attaching the 2 PVC elbows to the end of the sign pipe, and the t-joints to the bottom of the other two pipes.
- The cookie plates had cooled, so I attached them using hot glue. In order for them to stay attached in what was expected to be a very breezy day, I adhered them directly to the side pipes, which was a bit tricky since it meant I had to hold them in place and not hot glue myself, too! I added the pipe cleaner stems by twisting them around the larger pipes, using enough to attach to a cookie plate and leaving enough to make a small leaf tendril.
- Once all of the separate bits had been decorated, I combined them all and “planted” the sign in the terra cotta pots with sand for added weight, and it grew into the grand display we used.
I’m the leader of Girl Scouts Daisy Troop 1105 in San Marcos, CA. My troop is working on it’s second Daisy year, which means that most of them are first graders. When the new troop year started, we had a new girl join the troop, and I had to let her know what needed to be done to catch up with the other troop members. I originally emailed the catch-up information to her mom, but my clever husband suggested I post it, since it really is a how-to for earning some badges.
I’m a solo leader, where most troops have a leader and a co-leader, so I probably do things differently from other troops. For example, because we started our troop so late in the year last year (March of 2012), we only focused on earning petal badges for the remainder of the year, and didn’t do any additional activities aside from our meetings. Now that I’ve dabbled a bit, I’m more confident, and have made some changes to the way we do things, so we’ll see how it all works out.
I know that there are lots of Daisy resources out there, but I figured I’d add one more anyway, as a reference to my troop for things done, and a resource for the Daisy and her mom who are still trying to catch up!
Every meeting has opening ceremonies that include roll call, reciting the Girl Scout Promise, flag salute, and singing our troop song (not necessarily in the same order every time). We also have some sort of start-up activity like coloring to allow all of the girls to arrive before we start the meeting. There’s a healthy snack served at every meeting, and it’s provided by the Daisy parent who volunteers to be the extra adult at the meeting. Then we work on whatever topic we’re on for the meeting, and wrap it up with moving the jobs around the Kaper chart to assign new work for the next meeting.
March 6 – This was our first meeting, so we took it kind of slow. We practiced reciting the Promise and the Law (though that was the last time we practiced the Law, since just the Promise seemed like a lot and it is the focus of the petals we’re working on), and got to know each other a little. We also talked about how this is all of our troop, so everyone would do jobs to help out, and from there we picked jobs for the Kaper chart. A Kaper chart is like a chore chart, and the girls each take turns doing the various jobs. On the right, you can see the Kaper chart that I created based on the jobs that the girls and I came up with together.
March 20 – We started working on our badges this meeting, beginning with the blue Promise Center of the Daisy. We talked about what a promise was, and what it means to us to keep them and how it feels when one is broken. I read a book called, “A Promise is a Promise” by Robert Munsch to the girls during snack time, and we talked about the story. Honestly, the book didn’t make a huge or awesome impression on me, but I checked it out from the local library so that’s OK.
April 2 – We made Scout Law bracelet during this meeting that I ordered from makingfriends.com. The colors of the beads for the bracelet represent the colors of the petals of the Daisy, and the circle represents the Daisy bond that she’ll be forming with the girls in her troop. We talked about each petal briefly as we added them, and I awarded all of the girls in the troop their blue Promise center badge after we talked a little more about promises and how important they are.
We then moved on to the light blue Honest and Fair petal badge, and I read Lupe’s Story from the Daisy Girl’s Guide to Scouting to the troop while they were eating their snack, and then we talked about it afterwards. To finish off the meeting, we acted out Lupe’s Story, which was rather silly and had all the girls giggling, and they agreed that being honest and fair was much better than being greedy and playing alone.
April 17 – We finished up the light blue Honest & Fair petal badge this week. Our activity was an “egg hunt,” and each girl was told that they could find only 3 plastic eggs in the search area. When they were done, they were to step out of the way and let the other girls hunt. This was to let them practice being honest and fair, since there were only enough eggs hidden for each girl to find the allotted amount. I was so proud of them, they ALL stayed within the confines of the game, and several of the girls even helped other girls out in finding their remaining eggs. We then did an experiment with Skittles candies. The Daisy who finished the egg hunt first was asked to evenly divide a pile of candies among all of the troop members; she had 3 left over candies, which wasn’t enough to divide among everyone, so the troop had to vote for how to handle the leftovers. My 4-year-old “Daisy Sprout” came along right about then and suggested SHE get them, and the troop thought that would work just fine…everyone was happy! While they nibbled their Skittles and the healthy snacks, I read them a story called, “Sam Tells Stories” by Thierry Robberecht.
May 1 – We talked briefly one last time about why it was important to be honest and fair, just to wrap things up and I gave them their light blue petal badges at the end of the meeting. We moved on to the yellow Friendly and Helpful petal badges by sharing what it meant to be friendly (introducing yourself to a new student, sharing a snack with a friend without any, etc.), and helpful. While the girls snacked, I talked to them about being friendly but safe. Here’s what we covered:
- Children need to know when it’s ok to NOT be friendly or helpful. (strangers coming up asking for help finding a puppy)
- Adults should NEVER ask them to help when it’s something that would make them feel scared, uncomfortable, or be beyond their capabilities. (helping them rely on instincts)
- It’s ok to not hug someone (even a family member) if they don’t want to; its ok for them to not ‘be nice’ if something inside them is telling them not to. (again with instincts and setting body limits they are comfortable with)
- Taking care of ourselves is ALWAYS our FIRST PRIORITY
- Friendly means smiling and saying hello SO LONG AS WE ARE SAFE AND COMFORTABLE
- We can be friendly…but still keep our physical distance
- We don’t have to be friendly with someone who makes us uncomfortable
- We can be friendly but we don’t have to be trusting until someone earns our trust
The important part of this particular discussion was helping kids to understand that friendly has it’s limits. Forcing kids to be friendly when they don’t want to teaches them to ignore their instincts and makes them think being ‘nice’ trumps their discomfort. At the teenage level, this disconnect becomes a very real liability for young women…and it begins with forcing girls to ignore their feelings. Researching this week’s topic really made me rethink the things I request of my own daughters!!
We moved on to being helpful, and I used a white board to write down the ideas the girls came up with for helpful things they did at home. Each girl picked one of the home tasks plus some others they would come up with to do before the next meeting. They got the Complete Helpful Daisy Packet, so parents would know how to help their Daisy show that they were Helpful & Friendly.
May 22 (skipped a week due to illness) – The girls took turns standing in front of the troop and talking about how their work on their Friendly & Helpful yellow petal went. They told us what they’d done at home, and how it made them feel to be such good helpers to their families. This part took quite some time, since some of the girls are still a bit shy with getting up and talking in front of others, but what a great skill it is to foster in young ladies! We ended up eating snack while we finished this part of the activity up.
After that, the troop showed how friendly they could be by writing on post cards that we sent to a little girl in Scotland who was working on collecting them from all over the world. This part was a bit of a flop, since the penmanship was atrocious! However, the girls enjoyed it even if I had to go back and write at the bottom the translation from kid print to actual English. I packed them all up and stuck them in an envelope that got sent off.
We finished up the petal by talking about the Girl Scout slogan – “Do A Good Turn Daily” and what would be a Good Turn or Good Deed. We discussed the Kaper chart responsibilities each girl has to the troop, and what would happen if these jobs did not get done. The girls went home with their yellow petal badges at the end of the meeting because they all did a wonderful job of being friendly and helpful! At some point, I read Sunny’s Story from the GS book to the girls, but I honestly don’t remember when; probably during snack time, but I’m not sure.
June 5 – We started work on the spring green Considerate and Caring petal badges this week. The plan was to make pine cone bird feeders, but I couldn’t put together enough pine cones, so we made them out of fresh corn-on-the-cob instead. We smeared peanut butter on them then rolled them in bird seed and I stapled a yarn loop onto the end so we could hang them in our yards to help out the birds who were feeding new hatchlings. The corn worked alright, but it was kind of heavy for the yarn loop, so I’d stick to the pine cones if I did this activity again. Another idea I’ve seen since is to use toilet paper rolls for the center rather than the corn I used or pine cones. I’d also consider doing this one, too. The picture to the right is basically what our finished feeder looked like. I had to photoshop the loop on since I can’t find the picture, but the corn really looked like that…you get the idea!
June 19 – We worked on the Caring and Considerate petal again this week. I told the kids about the backpack program that provides food to school children who won’t have enough to eat over the weekend without help, and talk to the kids about how there are two schools right here in our own district that are a part of the program! We talked about having a food drive so that we could donate the bounty to the backpack program, but so far that idea has not come to fruition, though I’m hoping it will happen in November before Thanksgiving. To finish off the meeting, I read Zinni’s Story from the GS book and we talked about what it meant to be considerate and caring to those around you.
July 3 – This was not so much a meeting as a play date. I knew not all girls would be around due to the holiday, so we just kept this as a fun, voluntary meeting.
August 7 – Since we skipped a meeting due to illness, we jumped back into things and got moving on our badges. We tabled the light green badge for the moment since the food drive is still a work in progress, and moved on to the Courageous and Strong red petal badge. While the girls snacked, I read them Tula’s Story from the GS book. We talked about how hard it could be to stand up for someone else on the playground, and about how the girls would feel if someone had/would stand up for them. Then we talked about a different kind of being courageous and strong, and that was the kind you needed to be if an emergency happened and what to do. We talked about reason TO call 9-1-1, and reasons NOT to call 9-1-1. Here’s some of the situations we talked about, and whether or not they are good reasons to call for emergency assistance:
- Someone at your house fell down the stairs and won’t wake up (yes, call 9-1-1)
- Your friend is playing at your house and won’t give your favorite toy back (don’t call)
- Your little sister/brother fell down and scraped his knee (don’t call)
- A babysitter is at your house while your parents are away, and she’s in the bathroom when a stranger comes in the house (do call)
- There’s a fire, and you can’t find your mom (grab the phone and run outside to call, or run to your neighbor’s house and call)
Some of the situations are kind of silly, but the girls were coming up with suggestions, so I went with it. We then moved on to what would happen if you have to call, and how important it was to speak clearly and keep talking to the emergency operator even if you are afraid or nervous. How it’s alright to be scared, but how important it is to get the right kind of help by letting the community helper know what has happened. Then I sent the girls home with the assignment to learn their address and phone number, just in case they ever needed to call for help. I also emphasized that while telling strangers private information was not a good idea, community helpers like police, firemen, and emergency operators were safe people to give information like our name and address to. The girls went home with a cute aid to help them write down and memorize their telephone number and address; you can find it here if you’re interested.
August 21 – The coloring activity during the start-up phase of the meeting was to draw a picture of a time when they were courageous. Out of the 6 girls at the meeting, 4 of them said that their bravest, most courageous moment was starting 1st grade! Apparently, it made an impact on them. Then we moved on to giving the girls a chance to show they’d done their homework, and 2 of the Daisy scouts got their red Courageous and Strong petal badges by correctly reciting their address and phone numbers, and the rest will give it another go at the next meeting. We then practiced calling 9-1-1 using one of my house phones with the battery taken out. I showed the girls how some phones have a “Send” or “Phone” button that you have to press after you dial it, and we talked about the differences between house phones and cell phones. Then I got to play operator, and the girls had to either invent an emergency or play along with a scenario I suggested. LOTS of giggles with this one! Needless to say, that took up most of the meeting, so we enjoyed snacks while “calling” and then said goodbye.
September 4 – We had our annual parent meeting where we discussed the status of the troop and tried to get a handle on the upcoming year. The girls all got to play together, so the meeting was a huge hit for them! While I did not secure a co-leader at the meeting (we’ve got such a busy group of moms!), our talk about goals for the upcoming year included the desire to do more stuff outside of meetings. Our service unit and council are both very active, and we all agreed that it was a good idea to try and be more a part of this great community. However, because I am without the co-leader, I just didn’t think I’d be able to take on planning events as well as the regular day-to-day for the troop. The solution we arrived at was to have troop families plan one event a year so that we’d have fun things to do and I wouldn’t go totally bonkers! Some of the ideas for activities included:
- the long-awaited food drive in November
- a “mommy and me” cooking activity led by a parent who is also a nutritionist
- a tea party at a historic house nearby
- grocery store tour
- Christmas caroling at a local retirement home
- spend an afternoon working at a local stable that uses horses for physical therapy
- “Camp out” at the leader’s house
We’ll see how it goes, but I’m really excited that the troop parents are going to be working with me to give our Daisy scouts an expanded experience this troop year!
September 19 – At our first troop meeting of the new scouting year, we started off by coloring a picture that related to the orange Responsible for what I say and do petal. At the end of the opening ceremonies, the girls were told to crumble up their newly colored pictures into a ball. Then they each had to smooth out the pictures, and were called upon to notice all the wrinkles left on the paper. I explained that when you say something bad or mean it will always leave a mark on that person in the same way that crumbling up the pictures left wrinkles on their pictures. We talked about how some marks don’t show because they have to do with feelings, but others do.
Next, we played “I have a secret” to show how the last girl hears a completely different sentence then the first girl. It shows how inaccurate gossip is as it passes from person to person and if we are honest people we don’t spread lies or gossip. Then we talked about how unexpected happy words make them feel good, and bad words can just as easily hurt. A Girl Scout’s job is to be responsible and not say things that might hurt someone on the inside. We also talked about what words hurt and what words are nice, and which they would like to hear and say.
We finished up the meeting by talking about being responsible when we go away from the meetings, on activities and field trips; how important it is to be responsible and pay attention and behave. I should have put that last bit in earlier though, as the girls got quite giggly and excited talking about field trips!
October 3 – We worked on the orange petal again this meeting, but while the last meeting was largely about words, this time there was an emphasis on the do part of being “Responsible for what I say and do.” I asked the girls to commit to being responsible for themselves at home by doing chores; things like doing homework without a fuss or not fighting with a sibling. I gave them a certificate that states their promise and asked their parents to only sign off on the certificate if their Daisy completed the tasks. Then the girls assembled a chore chart using foamy door hangers, foamy stickers, and clothes pins. Click here to go to the inspiration for this activity, which I found on Pinterest. I left the clothes pins blank, but sent home instructions for mom/dad to help the Daisy figure out 5 chores she could be responsible for and write them on the clothes pins. The chores were then pinned to the “To Do” side of the hanger, and when the Daisy finished, moved to the “Done” side. Reports back from parents was glowingly positive, with many saying that their Daisy felt a real sense of accomplishment when she got to move all of her clothes pins in a day. To earn their orange badge, they needed to complete 2 weeks of chores to get mom/dad to sign it. I found some age-appropriate tasks to suggest to parents:
- Clean Up My Own Mess
- Load/unload the dishwasher
- Dust with a feather duster or microfiber rag
- Help get clothes to the washer and from the washer to the dryer
- Make bed
- Take out garbage/recycling
- Wash dishes (with supervision)
- Get mail
- Fold/hang laundry
To earn their badges, the Daisy scouts must bring in that signed certificate from mom/dad. Some of them are still trying to get it, and I think I may have to lower it to one week if I want all of the girls to get their badges!
October 17 – This is the meeting that we started working on the purple Respect Myself and Others petal badge. We started off by coloring a picture of Gloria the morning glory from the Petal Friends in the GS book. Then we talked about Girl Scout Traditions, and I showed them the Girl Scout handshake and they showed me that they knew the quiet sign, too. I also told them that saying the Pledge at our meetings was a sign of respect for our country, and then had them come up with other ways to show respect to themselves and others.
Snack time was fun today, because the girls didn’t just dig in to the food. We played “Gloria Says,” which involved me telling the troop to do something, and them deciding if it showed good manners or not. If it was bad manners, they didn’t do it, if the direction involved good manners, they did. Some of the actions included chewing with their mouths open, using a napkin to wipe their face, grabbing someone else’s snack, politely asking for a sister Daisy to pass a dish, stick out their tongue while eating, etc. While they nibbled, we talked about what words can be used to show respect (please, thank you, you’re welcome), how they could show respect for themselves (good hygiene, good manners). They came up with some pretty funny answers to those questions!
Each girl shared with the group one thing that she is going to do at home or at school to show respect for herself and others. and their promise was written at the bottom of the Gloria picture. We’ll check back with them at the next meeting to see if they kept their promises!
November 7 – We rearranged our usual schedule today, skipping over our opening ceremonies to get straight to the object of the meeting: getting ready for our food drive! We’re finally having it this weekend, and I wanted to be sure the girls were ready for meeting strangers and such since we haven’t sold cookies at a booth yet. We started out by coloring posters to hang at the tables, and the girls had a load of fun with that. The posters definitely look like they were done by 6-year-olds, but they are very proud so I am too!
The decorating took quite a while, so we had snacks next, and while the girls nibbled, I talked to them about how they would have to speak to people who were going into the grocery store that was allowing us to set up outside, and what they would say. We practiced some, with parents taking on the role of customers so that each Daisy got a chance to sell the idea of donating. Some were more shy than others, but I think this will be a great practice run for having a cookie booth in a couple of months! We’ve got the girls scheduled into 2-hour shifts, and while it’s supposed to rain, we’ve flooded the local school with flyers and still hope to have a wonderful turn-out. Proceeds from our food drive are going to the Food 4 Kids Backpack program which is run by the San Diego Food Bank. This program provides food to youngsters at local elementary schools who are in danger of hunger over the weekend when the free school meals are not available. My tender-hearted Daisy troopers were all horrified that someone might not get breakfast, let alone an after-school snack! If you’re interested, we’re also doing a virtual food drive, and you can make tax-deductible contributions at our site.