Meetings and planning your time properly

When you have a Girl Scout meeting, you should plan to get there at least fifteen minutes early. Why? Some girls come early, and some come late. How many troops do you lead and when do they meet? One year I had my Brownies meeting first and then the Juniors immediately after. When parents realized what I was doing, they’d drop their Juniors off for the duration of BOTH meetings and Brownie parents would take their time picking up the Brownies.

What you should know- parents will drop off early and pick up late. Wouldn’t you? πŸ™‚

Early bird activities. Yes, this will sound familiar they touch on it in training or in the packet you get. I usually set out crayons and paper for the girls to go to town on. Sometimes I put out holiday related items. I’ll buy a few coloring books making sure I don’t offend anyone’s religious beliefs, and then tear out all the pages and let the kids go to town. To spice it up, sometimes I will add glue and leftover items like pompoms and pieces of tissue paper. Another fun one is bracelet making. Pipe cleaners and beads, can’t get any easier and you don’t need to worry about tieing. Let the kids twist the ends and wear or trade their bracelets.

If you are doing aΒ  kaper chart, now would be a good time to point it out so that the girls will know what they are in charge of for the meeting.

Opening circle. This is important. I also start promptly. One or two girls will inevitable be late. Wait, didn’t I say they all come early? One or two will be late for every meeting, you’ll see ;). We do the Promise of Allegiance including the Word God. None of my girls have any issues with saying it, so I am fortunate not to have to worry. My personal beliefs have nothing to do with leaving the word God in, most of the parents are happy to hear the girls say it, so unless I have problems arise why change what works? We do the Girl Scout Promise and the Law. For those who have not yet memorized it I have the words posted, but I stress to them that they need to memorize it for certain badges, and so they aren’t embarrassed at fucntions when everyone around them is reciting it and they stand there unsure what to say. Not only that, but it is what we build our badges around. It is Girl Scouts, we are proud to be one and love to teach the girls what it means to be a Girl Scout.

Business. It depends on the age of the girls for how long you will devote to this. I usually focus on what we need to, and then move quickly into the meeting.

How long your meeting lasts will determine how many crafts or activities you can do. Some badges you can knock out in one meeting, others take several. Are you working on badges tonight or a special project? Like Baby Bundles, SWAPS, International Fair, etc…

If you have younger girls remember that they might need a game or two to burn off excess energy. For example, I had parent meetings to get the girls registered and let them meet each other while the parents could mingle and chat. My Juniors were content to sit and draw/color and chat. The Brownies wanted to run and play instead of sit, and the Daisies were willing to do anything I asked. Cadets and Seniors, and now Ambassadors will be older and more likely to run the meetings themselves. The Juniors usually can, they just need to be reminded to stay on task. (Don’t we all need that reminder. πŸ˜‰

Don’t forget Closing Ceremony and TAPS. We often change up the way we do taps. Sometimes we do the squeeze where one girl is told ahead of time to start the squeeze. Other times we pick a random girl while in the circle and she starts the squeeze and we’ll put our foot in and then allΒ  turn and step out when we are finished. (That is what we do when we attend large Girl Scout functions.)

It’s okay to stress the importance of TAPS. There should be silence and no goofing around during opening and closing circles. We read the meaning of TAPS to the girls every year so that they think about how much it means to us to sing it, and that it’s no laughing matter.

Planning. Start planning now for your next meeting…unless you are like me and have everything planned out, allowing some room for things to crop up.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandi
    Oct 18, 2007 @ 12:34:52

    WOW, I really am enjoying your blog. Anyhow.

    We run our meeting just like yours. Yeah, I’m doing something right! The way we choose who will start the squeeze is the person that brought the snack that day is in charge of beginning the squeeze.

    I like that you read to the girls what TAPS is about. I need to find that info for my troop also.


  2. kellskorner
    Oct 18, 2007 @ 13:38:58

    I’ll blog about TAPS πŸ™‚
    It’s something that I really enjoy. I’m not above sitting my girls down and reading them information on it!

    There’s never a wrong way in Scouts πŸ˜‰ We are volunteers doing the best that we can.


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