My Journey as a Troop Leader

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Favorite Meeting (so far)

Many of my girls really love to earn badges. Our troop has been working hard through a “Journey” and several badges so far this year. However, it seems that my favorite meetings are the ones that don’t necessarily involve badges at all. I personally love earning badges myself, so I know they are fun and important to the girls, but doing something different is also fun and sometimes easier.

So far this year, our “Girl Scout Birthday Party” meeting was the best. It was easiest for me to prepare and tons of fun for the girls.  Plus, we even incorporated a service project in all the fun.

The Theme

I think that having a theme made the day. It doesn’t have to be a “Girl Scout Birthday” theme to be a winner. The theme just guided the meeting for us.

The Activities

We still started our meeting with a snack and the promise and the law. We just added a round of “Happy Birthday” singing to the mix.

Then we played a fun game. I picked up some bags at the dollar store that are just the right size to hold the girls Journey books and vests. I bought one for every girl and put it in a box, then wrapped the box in several layers wrapping paper. (I ran out of paper before I had enough layers for each girl to open one, but that didn’t seem to matter.) For the game, we played music while the girls passed the package around a circle. When the music stopped, the girl holding the box got to open a layer. They just LOVED this game. I was surprised at what a hit it was.


Our service unit was creating a gift basket to present to the local hospital that was to be given to the first baby girl born on March 12th, Girl Scouts Birthday. Each troop contributed something. So, at this meeting we decorated squares of fabric that would be sewn into little burp rags. I had purchased "fabric pastels” that I let the girls use to draw on the flannel squares. They created cute baby pictures.

After the meeting, I heat set the squares and sewed them together with seams out so they could be clipped. This is called a “flannel rag quilt” and is very easy to do. It turns out so cute. When washed, the clipped edges fray and are soft and fluffy. I was disappointed that the pictures washed out quite a bit. These pastels must work better on regular cotton than on flannel. (They worked great on t-shirts). Perhaps a different medium would work better on flannel.


One of my co-leaders made cupcakes and brought frosting, so the girls got to decorate a cupcake too as part of the “party”. We made these at the end and had them take them home to eat since it was close to supper time by then. They loved decorating!


The Preparation

The reason this was a better meeting was that preparation was easier. Perhaps it was because I’ve planned so many birthday parties in my lifetime. Perhaps it was because just having a theme helped us along.

Because we had the theme, it was far easier for me to delegate parts of the prep work to my co-leaders. So often that is hard for me to do. They are willing, but if I don’t plan far enough ahead, I can’t ask them to do anything.

Once you have activities planned, purchasing and preparing the supplies is the next challenge. This blanket idea really didn’t take too many supplies. I had to buy the flannel and cut it. Then I just brought the pastels.

Finding a gift for the “pass the package” game was a little more challenging, but you got to love the dollar store! The bags I found had clear pockets on the front for the girls to place pictures or decorated papers. I put a picture of our troop in one and our troop number in another. Then, the girls had two spots to decorate themselves. We did this as an added activity at that meeting. I just had to bring paper that had been cut to fit the spots.

Prep for meetings is time consuming, but if you have a plan, it goes by much quicker.

Any other ideas?

I’d love to hear your comments on any ideas you’ve used for themed meetings. Please comment by clicking the comment link below.


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