Posts tagged ‘girl scout meetings’

Rededication Ceremonies for Girl Scouts

Depositphotos_1108348_s-2015It’s Investiture and Rededication Ceremony season for Girl Scouts, and I offer you three options so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel!

Being a Girl Scout leader provides me with an exciting way to inspire young girls and foster leadership qualities early in life. No matter what the age of the girls, I like to infuse my meetings with moments of introspection and meaning. Here are three different Rededication/Investiture ceremonies that you can use to spark your own imagination, use verbatim, or any variation in between.

DEEP & MEANINGFUL REDEDICATION CANDLE CEREMONY – GIRLS SPEAK & LIGHT CANDLES

(All sit in a circle, with a table in the middle prepped with one white taper candle, 3 gold taper candles, and ten colored tea-lights or votive candles. It would be lovely if the colors were the colors of the daisy petals, which ultimately are the colors of the Girl Scout Law values. You may find it helpful to use 3×5 index cards for girl’s parts.)

Colorful short candles without flame. Isolated over white background Stock Photo

Leader: Today we come together to rededicate ourselves to Scouting. I light this first candle to represent the flame of sisterhood that burns in the heart of every Girl Scout. (Light the white taper candle.) Although this is a tiny flame and it lights only a small area, all of us can see it. Though tiny, it is a beacon to every one of us. This tiny light can grow, multiply, and spread, lighting the world. Someone just needs to join it. First we light three candles signifying the three parts of the Girl Scout Promise.

Co-Leader: LIGHTING GOLD CANDLE FROM THE SISTERHOOD CANDLE – Repeat after me “On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country.”
This candle that we light shall shine as a symbol that Girl Scouts are true to God and their country.

Leader: It is our goal is to help you be good citizens of high character.

Co-Leader:: LIGHTING GOLD CANDLE – Repeat after me “To help people at all times.” May the light of the second candle shine as a symbol that a Girl Scout’s greatest desire is to serve.

Leader: It is our goal to help you be confident girls. Enough confidence to have your voices be heard and to make a difference in the lives of others.

Co-Leader:: LIGHTING GOLD CANDLE – Repeat after me “And to live by the Girl Scout Law.” May the light of the third candle shine as a symbol that Girl Scouts are true to their ideals and values, and that these ideals and values make up the Girl Scout Law.

Leader: It is our goal to help you become girls of courage, courage to remember your ideals, and to be true to who you are.

Co-Leader: Now it is time for you to recommit yourselves to the Girl Scout Law. Girls please stand and circle around the table. You may begin. (Girls use the sisterhood candle to light the following candles.) 

Girl #1: LIGHTING 1st COLORED CANDLE – “I will do my best to be honest.”

Girl #2: “What is honest? It is to be truthful in everything I say and do.”

Girl #3: “I will do my best to be fair.”

Girl #4: “What is fair? It is treating other people the way I want to be treated.”

Girl #5: LIGHTING 2nd COLORED CANDLE – “I will do my best to help where I am needed.”

Girl #6: “What is helping where you are needed? It is finding out what others need, and doing what I can to show them that I care.”

Girl #7: “I will do my best to be friendly.”

Girl #8: “What is being friendly? It is being generous with my kindness.”

Girl #9: LIGHTING 3rd COLORED CANDLE – “I will do my best to be caring and considerate.”

Girl #10: “What is being caring and considerate?”

Girl #11: “It is to be thoughtful of others. It is being the kind of friend you would like to have.”

Girl #12: LIGHTING 4th COLORED CANDLE – “I will do my best to be courageous and strong.”

Girl #13: “What is being courageous and strong?”

Girl #14: “It is being brave enough to be true to my heart and to listen to my inner voice.”

Girl #1: LIGHTING 5th COLORED CANDLE – “I will do my best to be responsible for what I do and say.”

Girl #2: “What is being responsible for what I do and say?”

Girl #3: “It is knowing that I have choices about what I say and do, and that choices always have consequences. So I always choose wisely.”

Girl #4: LIGHTING 6th COLORED CANDLE – “I will do my best to show respect for myself and others through my words and actions.”

Girl #5: “What does it mean to show respect for myself and others?”

Girl #6: “It means to do your very best in the way that you treat others.”

Girl #7: LIGHTING 7th COLORED CANDLE – “I will do my best to respect authority.”

Girl #8: “What does it mean to respect authority? It means to listen to people who are responsible for us and follow their directions.”

Girl #9: LIGHTING 8th COLORED CANDLE – “I will do my best to use resources wisely.”

Girl #10: “How can we use resources wisely? We can learn not to waste what we have.”

Girl #11: LIGHTING 9th COLORED CANDLE – “I will do my best to protect and improve the world around me.”

Girl #12: “What does it mean to protect and improve the world around me? It means to help preserve the world around us and to help make it a better place.”

Girl #13: LIGHTING 10th COLORED CANDLE – “I will do my best to be a sister to every Girl Scout.”

Girl #14: “What does it mean to be a sister? It means to think of all Girl Scouts everywhere, not as strangers, but as friends you haven’t met.

Leader: Thank you ladies for making the world a better place with your light. Congratulations on re-dedicating yourself to girl scouts and the pursuit of courage, confidence and character.

SHORT YET MEANINGFUL CANDLE CEREMONY – GIRL’S LIGHT CANDLES

Burning gold candle on a green background

(All stand in a circle, with a table in the middle prepped with one white taper candle, 3 gold taper candles, and ten colored tea-light or votive candles. It would be lovely if the colors were the colors of the daisy petals, which ultimately are the colors of the Girl Scout Law values. An * indicates where to light a candle.)

Leader: Today we come together to rededicate ourselves to Scouting. I light this first candle to represent the flame of sisterhood that burns in the heart of every Girl Scout.

Co-leader: Although it is a tiny flame and it lights only a small area around it, all of us can see it. Though tiny, it is a beacon to every one of us.

Leader: This tiny flame can grow and spread, lighting the world, it just needs other flames to join it and multiply.

Co-leader: Next we light three candles with the flame of sisterhood, signifying the three parts of the Girl Scout Promise.  (*) Please repeat after me: “On my honor, I will try…”

Leader: On my honor, I will TRY. We cannot succeed if we do not attempt. So, we will do our best, put forth our best effort, and although we may not always succeed, we will grow with each new experience as we put into practice the values of the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law.

Co-leader: Please repeat after me: “…to serve God and my country”

Leader: Our goal is to help you become good citizens today and active citizens tomorrow, for a Girl Scout loves her country and knows the importance of having a loving relationship with her God.

Co-leader:: (*) Please repeat after me:  “…to help people at all times”

Leader:  We are all connected as human beings. Never forget that. It may be easier from time to time to help people who are like you, but where there are differences we gain exciting opportunities for understanding and growth.

Co-leader: Others need you and we hope you take pride in knowing that you are learning skills and seeking knowledge which could help someone be happier and allow you to experience what being of service feels like.

Leader:  (*) Please repeat after me: “…and to live by the Girl Scout Law.”

Co-leader: Being generous with your kindness and showing people that you care about them is living by the Girl Scout Law. Being truthful about your feelings, treating others how you wish to be treated, and being the kind of friend you would like to have is living the Girl Scout Law.

Leader: Knowing you have choices and making them wisely, and being brave enough to be true to your heart and listening to your inner voice is living by the Girl Scout Law.

Co-leader:: Listening to people who are responsible for you and following their directions.

Leader: Making friends with your fellow Girl Scouts.

Co-leader: Not wasting what you have.

Leader: Protecting and improving the world around you, and making it a better place…

Co-leader: That’s living the Girl Scout Law.

Leader: Please come forward one at a time to re-dedicate yourselves to Girl Scouts. Using the flame of Sisterhood, light a colored candle representing one of the values of the Law. (* When all candles are lit, move on to the next paragraph.)

Co-leader: As the candle light grows brighter it does indeed fill this room, but it is actually the light inside each one of you that is making this room glow.

Leader: Thank you for making the world a better place with your light, and for sharing it with all of us. And congratulations on re-dedicating yourself to Girl Scouts and the pursuit of courage, confidence and character.

Both: Welcome Back Troop 7755!

MEANINGFUL & FUN GORP CEREMONY

Trail mix made of nuts, fruit, and candies.

Trail mix made of nuts, fruit, and candies.

(Have a big bowl handy, some large mixing spoons, and some serving bowls/bags/baggies to eat from. Give every girl a mini box of raisin for each year she has been a girl scout before you begin. This ceremony can be done with multiple leaders, or even modified to have each girl add an ingredient. Having done it both ways, I am partial to having the girls only add their raisin boxes.)

Leader : Have you ever wondered what goes into making a Girl Scout? Well, we have a recipe to show you what Girl Scouts are all about.  Girl Scouts come in all colors, different cities and towns, Every Girl Scout’s a sister no matter what she looks like or how she sounds.  I am starting our mix with these colorful M&Ms.

Leader: Some of us are tall, and some of us are small.  But when we get together, size doesn’t matter at all. I am adding pretzel thins and marshmallows.

Leader: With our words and our actions, we show that we care. We try to do our best to be fair and SQUARE.  I will add Chex Cereal to our mix.

Leader: Sometimes we act a little NUTS, we love to joke and play.  We’d love to put a Girl Scout smile into everybody’s day.  So I am adding a bunch of nuts.

Leader: When we get together, we make circles so round. It’s our never ending friendships to which we are bound.  I will add Cheerios to our mix.

Leader: When we’re planning and working we just don’t stop, we use our creativity so that our imaginations POP.  Next we add some popcorn.

Leader: We respect all God’s creatures, if they’re big or if they’re small. The earth is our home, and there is room here for all. So for all the little creatures, I add some Goldfish crackers.

Leader: It was 1912 when Juliette Low started us off, and like the girls back then, we’re just “CHIPS off the old block.” So for all of us, I add some butterscotch candy chips.

Leader: We get a KICK out of doing new things cause the learning never ends, a kick out of helping others, and spending time with friends. I am adding Kix Cereal to our mix.

Leader: When you were Brownies, you were fresh, new and rare, but now that you’re Juniors, you have experience to share. I’d like for each of you to come up one at a time and add your mini-box(es) of raisins representing each year you’ve spent in Scouting. Today you are adding _____ boxes representing ____ years of combined service.

Leader: Now we stir to the left and we stir to the right, we mix it together with all of our might. We welcome our troop to another great year, and hope the memories we make, we will always hold dear.

Leader: Now that our recipe is complete, let us look upon what we have just created. Each of the ingredients went into our recipe separately, just like each of you girls came into this troop separately.

Leader: As the ingredients mix together to form a dish, you girls mix together to form a troop.

Leader: And even as we look upon the mixture, we can still see each ingredient as separate and unique. You girls each bring your own unique talents and gifts to our troop to make this “mixture of girls” as special as it is.

Leader: Now at this time, I’d like (name girls who are brand new to scouting to join in on the “Investiture” part of the ceremony. If there are no new girls, simply move to the next paragraph) to step forward. Ladies, please make the Girl Scout Sign by raising three fingers to represent the Girl Scout Promise which you are about to recite, and repeat after me — “On my honor I will try, to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.” Congratulations, you have just “invested” yourself in Girl Scouts. (Put her vest/sash on her.) You may rejoin the others.

Now it’s time for the rest of you to each rededicate yourselves to Girl Scouting. Please make the Girl Scout Sign and together we say the Girl Scout Promise. (When done, put their vests/sashes on them.)

To complete our ceremony, let us all say the Girl Scout Law together as a troop, Girl Scout Signs up — “I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, AND TO respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place and be a sister to every girl scout.”Welcome to Troop #_______, ladies, and thank you for continuing the journey of becoming young women of courage, confidence and character. Now let us eat GORP!

September 25, 2015 at 5:10 am 1 comment

The Art of Earning a Brownie Girl Scout Painting Badge

There comes a time in every Brownie leader’s life when she must prepare for her first field trip with the girls, and so was my task for my third meeting. In fact, I prepared for two field trips at once.

The troop had a fantastic opportunity to work with an artist in an art gallery and to create pieces using non-traditional materials. This was a very exciting venue for our girls to earn their Painting Badges. Moreover, the girls were given the chance to sell their art at an Art Walk and give back to their community. It was a beautiful lesson that was going to come full circle.

In preparation, several things had to be done to make this trip seamless. First, our Transportation Coordinator filled out the Parent Permission forms and emailed them to the parents for their signatures. Next, he arranged for three drivers, besides me, to transport the troop to the Art Gallery. (Here’s a tip to make transportation easier: consider making multiple transportation binders. In each binder, includes a complete set of Health Histories for the girls in the troop, blank Accident/Incident Forms, and blank Adult Health Histories for each driver to fill out as needed. I also suggest keeping a set with your first aid kit. For more organizational tips, please feel free to email me at AskShelby@YouCanPlanAParty.com.)

The next task was to collect donations of 4×4 ceramic tiles and new or used nail polish and acrylic paints. The final task was to purchase materials to transform the girl’s painted ceramic tiles into coasters to sell. This included adhesive cork backing and small stickers printed with “Made with Love” and our Troop Number.

Once our preparations were complete, and snacks primarily eaten in the car on the way to the art gallery, we arrived at our destination where we began our third Brownie meeting, as outlined here, using the Girl Scouts of America’s meeting structure.

Start-up

  • Walk through

As we waited for everyone to arrive, the girls finished their snacks. Then they had the opportunity to walk through the gallery and enjoy the art.

Opening

  • Promise
  • Law
  • Brownie Smile Song
  • Attendance

Convening in a Brownie Circle outside the gallery on our sit-upons, the girls opened our meeting with the Girl Scout Promise, Law, Brownie Smile Song, and attendance, each led by a new volunteer.

Business

  • GIve Back Badge
  • Internal Ceremony

“The first order of business is to introduce you to a new badge we will be working on, called the Give Back Badge. Who can tell me what it means to give back?” I asked. After some discussion, I went through the Give Back Badge pamphlet from the Brownie Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting binder. Moving through each of the five steps, I outlined for the girls that (1) we would be researching businesses that give back between now and our next meeting; (2) we would be selling our art at an “Art Walk” in a couple of weeks with a goal of selling all 60 pieces that we make today; (3) our plan is to donate 50% of the proceeds to a business or charity that gives back selected by the girls; (4) during the Art Walk we will be asking our customers what they would like to see improved in their community, as this may help us with our decision or for future project ideas; and (5) that we will collect contact information from our customers during the Art Walk who would like to know who we end up donating our money to.

The next order of business was to move into our first Internal Badge Ceremony, a ritual I created to earmark the giving of a badge and to make it special. While my co-leader passed out the badges and their corresponding introduction/memory slips, I began:

“Earning a badge means that you’ve learned something new and that you’ve learned it so well that you can use your new skill to help others. I’m so excited I can’t hide how happy I am inside, to present this to you with pride. Congratulations troop, on receiving your Girl Scout Ways badge! You have earned this badge today because you have learned four new Girl Scout ways. You have learned the Girl Scout Handshake and the Brownie Smile Song. You have assembled an important first aid kit for the Troop and made your first Sit Upon. Plus, you have reviewed the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

Ladies, always remember, Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, the 3 C’s that make the world a better place! As a Girl Scout, you are a leader in your daily life, a leader in the world, and YOU can do extraordinary things!”

Activity

  • Painting Badge

Our host at the art gallery, Vanessa, graciously led the girls through an hour and a half lesson. As they walked around the gallery, she showed them various art styles (modern, abstract, impressionist), using the works on the gallery walls as illustration. She then introduced the lesson plan and had the girls paint tiles covering each with nail polish. She offered a variety of tools for the girls to use next. Using sticks, sponges, Q-tips, and brushes, she invited the girls to paint what moved them with acrylic paint over the polish. The two mediums together created a lovely texture and depth. Once the tiles were finished, they were laid together to create a beautiful mural.

Tile Mural

Clean-up

Reminding the girls that Brownies always leave a place cleaner than when they found it was a helpful motivator, as there was much to clean-up this day.

Closing

  • Friendship Circle

The girls formed a Friendship Circle outdoors and sang the Friendship Song and then ended the meeting with a fun and giggly hand squeeze. It was with much enthusiasm that everyone went home, excited to gather again for the Art Walk coming up in a few Saturdays.

The Art Walk

Even though the Art Walk itself was cancelled, the weather was miserable, and there was very little foot traffic, I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you how much fun we all had.

Display Table

Those girls who couldn’t be with us on Saturday contributed by making signs, post cards for customers who wanted to be contacted, and name tags for the groupings of coasters. Tile groupings got such names as Beach Days, Modern Art, and The Happiness. The spelling on the name tags was even more precious than the names themselves.

We made beautiful displays using buffet plate servers for added height and elevation, table clothes for added class, and balloons on sticks to add just the right pop of color. Of course, the warm brownies proudly displayed on cake platters were a huge draw.

Table Display II

Table Display II

Our girls worked one-hour shifts and they were troopers. They sold coasters and brownies and made over $322 that day! Imagine what they could have done if it wasn’t cold and rainy. Anyway, I can’t wait to find out at our next meeting where they decide to donate their money.

Conclusion

The art of any good meeting is preparation. Having to do lists and some routine systems and procedures in place is extremely helpful for repetitive monthly meetings. For example, here is my Meeting Prep worksheet. I have one of these printed in advance for each meeting, as well as this Meeting Worksheet. These allow me to write ideas and notes as they come up and to keep things organized, especially when planning two meeting at once.

December 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm 11 comments

Earning a Brownie Girl Scout Snack Badge Using the Power of a Theme

Halloween is a big deal in my house. Before I had children it was hands down my favorite holiday and now that I have children, it’s simply the justification for all the decorating, costume-wearing, pumpkin carving and pie baking shenanigans that begin on October 1st!

Therefore, my October Brownie Meeting was not exempt from a few Halloween festivities. For this special meeting, I paired together two talented moms; one who volunteered to lead a nutrition segment, another who committed to provide snacks. I had them work together to create something unique and memorable for the girls as they earned their Brownie Snack Badge.

The following is my “party plan” for Brownie Meeting #2, as outlined in the Girl Scouts of America’s meeting structure.

Start-up

  • Snack
  • Girl Scout Handshake
  • Decorate Water Glasses

To satisfy their hunger and to kick off this distinctive meeting as we traveled from school to our meeting place, the girls enjoyed munching on festive Mummy Pizzas, foreshadowing what was to come.

To reinforce the learning from our last meeting, upon arriving at our destination, my co-leader and I met the girls at the door and asked each to give us a Girl Scout Handshake. This was their ticket into the party.

Inside the girls were given the opportunity to decorate their own reusable water glasses. After we explained that these glasses were better for Mother Earth and theirs to use at every Brownie meeting, the girls got so excited that many hurried through the decoration process so they could use them faster.

Opening

  • Promise
  • Law
  • Brownie Smile Song
  • Attendance

Our meeting opened by asking for three volunteer Brownies to lead us in the Girl Scout Promise, the Girl Scout Law, and the Brownie Smile Song. The opening concluded as one of the girls took attendance with our fancy feather pen and each Brownie called out “here” as her most expressive self.

Business

  • Intro Game
  • Talking Stick
  • Share
  • Handbooks
  • First Aid Kit
  • Homework

With flower pens and a “Getting to Know You Board” (Intro Game) in hand, the girls went outside for a friendly introduction game. The object was to find friends who like the same things they do. Brownie Ring of Sit-UponsAs promised at our previous meeting, my co-leader and I put out the sit-upons and before long we asked the girls to find theirs on the grass and join us in the Brownie Ring.

Once everyone was seated, I introduced our troop’s talking stick, explaining that she who has the stick, has the floor. The girls noticed the brightly colored ribbons in all different lengths, widths and textures that decorated the stick and I explained that they represent the diversity of our troop and the colors of the Daisy Petals, which also make up the Girl Scout Law. Then they asked about the big silver key with the open heart attached to the stick. I explained that the key to being a happy Girl Scout is following your heart and being open to new ideas. Our talking stick also has a gold topper with butterflies and some of the girls asked what the symbolism of the butterflies meant. Once again, I explained that like them, butterflies go through an amazing transformation; from caterpillar, to chrysalis, to beautiful butterfly. As Brownies, they are about to embark on their own incredible journey as well. “This talking stick is a representation of all the things we hold sacred,” I told them. Brownie Talking Stick“Now, who would like to share something they learned about a Brownie sister today while playing our game?” A hand went up and then another, and soon our talking stick made its maiden voyage around the circle.

When the game was over, I asked the girls to put their game boards away and to grab their First Aid Kit contribution item and meet back in the Brownie Ring. While they were busy with that, my co-leader and I passed out the new Brownie Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting. Once the girls returned to the circle, they were surprised at learning that these amazing three-ring binders were theirs to keep. It was joyful to watch. I went through the three sections briefly along with the inside front cover, then asked everyone to turn to page 10 where I read the Girl Scout Motto blurb about “being prepared,” a lovely segue into creating our first aid kit.

I put our First Aid Box in the center of the circle. “Here is my contribution,” I said, “the box to house our first aid kit.” To the Brownie on my left, I asked, “What is your contribution?”  As I sat down on my sit-upon, the brownie stepped forward, told us what she had brought, and dropped it into the box. This ceremony continued around the circle until our kit was complete. “Congratulations Troop,” I said. “Your first aid kit is now complete and you have earned your Girl Scout Ways Badge. You have earned this badge for learning and remembering your Girl Scout Handshake and Brownie Smile Song, and for making your sit-upons and your Troop’s first aid kit. You have also memorized your Girl Scout Promise and reviewed the Law. This badge will be presented to you at our next meeting.”

Finally, I asked each Brownie to open her Handbook to page 4 and assigned homework. “I encourage you to read pages 4 and 6 at home and fill out pages 8 and 9, giving thought to what you would like to accomplish this year,” I said, and provided a homework reminder slip at the end of the meeting.

Activity

  • Nutrition Presentation
  • Make Snacks

After introducing our nutrition expert and our snack mom who was a certified yoga instructor and restaurateur, the girls settled into learning about the new food pyramid, which is not a pyramid at all anymore. It’s now a plate, a plate that divides your portions of fruits, grains, vegetables, proteins and dairy. (It’s quite lovely actually, and can be found at www.choosemyplate.gov.) Intrigued, the girls participated in a lively discussion about what each food group is and how it helps your body. They colored in their plates and drew pictures of the variety of foods in each group. They then talked about healthy snacks, which was an easy and natural segue into making adorable and healthy Halloween snacks. They made edible eyeballs from cut carrot chunks, cream cheese and a black olive slice. Yum! They made scary cheese fingers out of 3/4 of a stick of string cheese with knuckles notched out using a plastic knife. They used dollops of cream cheese for the nail beds and slices of red pepper for fingernails. Scary! Lastly, pretzel sticks and fringed fruit roll segments made adorable witches brooms. We had hoped the girls would take their goodies home to show their parents, but they were too excited. When some would say, “I don’t like black olives.” or “I don’t eat bell peppers,” I simply responded, “Well, you’re a Brownie now, and Brownies try new things. That’s what we do.” You know, it worked! One still didn’t like it, but the others found something new they liked or at least could eat in combination with something else.

Clean-up

Reminding the girls that Brownies always leave a place cleaner than when they found it was a helpful motivator.

Closing

  • Friendship Circle
  • Assignment Slips

In the Girl Scout tradition, we created a Friendship Circle and joined hands, right over left, to end our meeting. I asked for a volunteer to lead our Make New Friends song. This year we learned a second verse from the cadets that came to our last meeting, so we sang that as well: “A circle is round. It has no end. That’s how long I want to be your friend.” The hand squeeze made its way around the circle and afterwards we tried to untangle our hands without letting go. The squeal of delight not only affirmed that we had accomplished our goal of getting untangled but was also the perfect closing to our meeting.

Later, I realized that I could have gone crazy with this theme and included something “Halloweeny” in every aspect of the meeting. But that’s the beauty of a good theme. You can do as little as you like or as much as you like. You can spend a little money or a lot of money. The lesson here is that having the theme guide the activity portion of the meeting went a long way in creating a fun and festive atmosphere that the girls could connect with, and in doing so provided them with a memorable experience. It’s these experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime. In fact, the girls were talking about making these snacks for their friends and family next Halloween! That’s the power of a good theme.

November 15, 2011 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

From Party Planner to Brownie Leader

I am proud to announce I am a new Brownie leader for the Girl Scouts of America (GSA). As the Queen of Connection, committed to transforming lives, imagine my surprise to learn the organization’s purpose: to have girls discover new things for themselves, connect with them on a personal level, and take action to make the world a better place. I couldn’t be happier.

As I was planning my first meeting, imagine again, if you will, my surprise upon discovering that the GSA’s suggested meeting structure has six segments, just like my easy six-element approach to planning a great party.

I’m sharing my adventures in Girl Scouting this month from the perspective of a volunteer who is delighted to have found an organization with a vision that matches my own in so many ways. I love the possibility of a world where girls can grow to be committed to being honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what they say and do; where they can learn to respect themselves and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, and make the world a better place. This is what we teach in Girl Scouts, and we do it in a fun and playful manner. Each meeting is in essence a party filled with fun activities meant to inspire and fill the heart. I am delighted that my work contributes to the lives of 2nd and 3rd grade girls.

Following is my “party plan” for Brownie Meeting #1, as outlined using the GSA meeting structure.

Start-up

  • Name Tags
  • Tea Lights

Using 3×4 paper inserts, my co-leader and I had each girl make a name tag with brightly colored pens and self-adhesive stars. Once completed, the girls inserted them into plastic sleeves and put them around their necks in preparation for our special guests.

Then we moved onto painting glass tea light candleholders. We explained that the candleholders would be used in a ceremony later in the day and then suggested they paint a simple symbol that represents who they are or what it means to them to be a Brownie.

Opening

  • Snack
  • Leader Introduction
  • Attendance

With name tags on and tea lights drying, the girls ate their snacks. My co-leader and I introduced ourselves and I choose one of the girls to take attendance using a fun feather pen which everyone loved.

Business

  • Cadets
  • First Aid Game

Our special guests arrived during this portion of the meeting—a troop of Girl Scout Cadets. The Cadets recited the Girl Scout Promise and the Law, and reviewed the Make New Friends song. They also taught our girls the handshake and the important Brownie Smile Song. Then we played a little memory game that I’ve played at many a baby shower. We removed the contents of the Cadets’ first aid kit and placed them on a tray. Once each Brownie had a chance to look at the tray and commit the items to memory, the tray was removed. I wrote the numbers one through fifteen on a dry erase board and then asked the girls to tell me what they saw on the tray. These fifteen items would later make up the contents of our troop’s first aid kit. Each girl was assigned one item to bring to the next meeting when our kit would be assembled.

Activity

  • Sit-upon

In preparation for this Girl Scout tradition, my co-leader and I pre-cut oil cloth into 14 x 36 inch pieces for sit upons. Once folded into a 14 x 18 inch piece, we hole-punched the 3 sides about an inch apart. We also pre-cut carpet padding into 12 x 16 inch pieces making enough for two per sit-upon and coordinating yarn.

At the meeting, once each girl chose her materials, they were also given a Butler GUM Threader Dental Flosser to use as a needle. This was our secret tool to making this project easier to accomplish and in less time. 

Then we simply wrote everyone’s name with a Sharpie pen. The girls were so excited about their sit upons that we had to promise to use them at our next meeting!

Clean-up

Clean-up by the girls is an important element to any Girl Scout meeting. Once this was accomplished we moved into our special ceremony.

Closing

  • Ceremony
  • Brownies
  • Assignment Slips

All but three of my girls are returning to Girl Scouts, so for them a “Rededication” Ceremony was in order, my new girls — an “Investiture” Ceremony. Marrying the two was easier than I thought. I asked each girl to pick up her tea light and line up in a predetermined order.

“If you were a Daisy last year you are participating in a Rededication Ceremony today.” I said. “If you are new to Girl Scouts this year, you are participating in an Investiture Ceremony. Traditionally when you “invest” in something, you make a commitment or a promise. As Girl Scouts you have a very important promise that you agree to live by. Each of you has heard that promise spoken by our visiting Cadets and today you are being given the opportunity to invest yourself or rededicate yourself to the Girl Scout Promise and Law in this special ceremony.”

Girl Scout Law PDF  I used a long tapered candle to light each girl’s tea light while she repeated a line I gave her from the Girl Scout Promise and then the Law. For Example: One girl said, “I will do my best to be honest and fair.” Another said, “to be friendly and helpful,” and another said,” to be considerate and caring,” and so on. My co-leader followed behind them adding Membership Stars to their vests and turning their Brownie Pins right-side up. Once all the candles were lit, and with tea lights in their left hands and three fingers still raised on their right, my returning girls gave their promise. Girl Scout Promise PDF  I welcomed them back to the troop. Then calling our new girls forward, I asked them to repeat after me as I led them through the Girl Scout Promise. Once completed, I took their tea lights, shook their hands, and welcomed them to our troop. Congratulating our girls, I announced that they were all officially Brownie Girl Scouts and with that, they received a brownie cupcake as they left the meeting.

That was a very busy meeting. In two weeks, we’ll enjoy (to quote one of the girls) “sitting upon our sit upons” and taking time to get to know each other. I have to say, the best part of the day was having one of my girls throw her arms around me and say, “You’re the best Brownie leader ever!” How awesome was that? Parties filled with heart really do pay off.

October 13, 2011 at 7:19 pm 3 comments


Shelby L. Phillips

As an intuitive transformational messenger of hope, a communicative wife of 25 years, and an open-hearted mother of two, I take pleasure in telling good news stories, connecting people to the seven dimensions of well-being, and inspiring us to love ourselves and each other because life really is worth celebrating! Find out more about me at ShelbyPhillipsConnects.com

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