The Expected and Unexpected

Troop Meeting #2

Troop 40072 had it’s second meeting last week. With notes from last meeting and great suggestions from other Girl Scout volunteers, I planned my second meeting.

Expected

  • Since they like the snack and kept snacking last time, I arranged to have it outside so we could clean it up and move on to our next activity, after it was put away.
  • We chatted and caught up while snacking.
  • The girls liked the outdoor activity, sensing the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the outdoors. There was lots of giggling.
  • They were thrilled to get their Girls Guide to Girl Scouting.
  • The three Daisies read with my high school assistant, Aisling. They liked working with her.
Unexpected
  • They seem to be forming a group already. One of our girls is very quiet, still learning English with Chinese as her mother tongue. When I asked her a question and she didn’t answer, a few girls said, “She doesn’t talk much.” And her friend said, “She’ll explain it to me and I can tell you.” Her friend went on to translate.
  • The girls were very insightful about our outdoor activity. One said: “The ground smells like fall; it’s different than how summer smells. Now it’s fall and you can tell.”
  • It was so nice to have another pair of hands! Aisling was a Girl Scout and the girls know her from school. Our littlest Daisy was sitting in her lap within minutes of starting.
  • The girls all have different ideas about what badges they want to do.
  • The Juniors did not want to help the Daisies. They wanted to help the Brownies.
  • Some parents arrived early and the meeting broke up — sort of — early as a result. It was a kind of chaotic departure.

What I’m wondering: How do you manage badge selection with 14 girls in different age groups?

6 thoughts on “The Expected and Unexpected

  1. Judy

    I just attended training at GSCGNY on the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting (perhaps Heart of the Hudson has a similar training or you could attend one at the Greater NY council, since I’m assuming you work at GS headquarters in Manhattan).

    The wonderful thing about the new books is that you can work on similar curricula across age groups. I’ll admit that I don’t know much about Daisies (I’ve worked with Brownies through Ambassadors), but from what I understand, they’re slightly different, but it shouldn’t be TOO difficult to work with a similar concept that fits a badge for each level.

    For example, all of our troops (we meet at the same site, have separate leaders for Brownie [including a few 1st graders who are technically Daisies], Junior, Cadette – Seniors/Ambassadors are in one troop) worked on the level-appropriate first aid badge last year – since we were all working on similar subject matter, we were able to do great things like having the Seniors teach the Brownies about splinting, which fulfilled pieces of the badge for both ages.

    This year we’re all working on the GS Way badges, the “citizen” badges, and the “nature” badges – it’s slightly different than your situation since each level has different leaders, but hopefully something I’ve said will help you. :)

    1. mmclean Post author

      Thanks Judy. I’ve heard there are some themes across books — I will take a look. The Daisies are working on their petals and I may just keep that separate since we have someone who works with them. Did you let your girls choose the badge?

      Thanks for contributing!

  2. Linda Schlosser Post author

    Re:Managing multiple badge interests. Remember that kids interests change quicker than the weather! Don’t be upset by that embrace it and work with it. Maybe start with a badge jar… put each on a piece of paper and draw out 2 or 3. There is no reason you have to do only one badge at a time, start to finish. You can work on several and over a period of time complete them all. Talk to the girls about the choices that were just made, get their ideas on who can help (parents, grandparents, local businesses?), what skills they might need to find or learn, etc. After the first selection pick out a new one upon the completion of a badge. That way you always have multiples going and if interest wains in one you can concentrate on the other until interest returns. The random selection from a jar takes the “deciding” away from you and makes it less of “you picked her choice over my choice”, kids know it’s random. Maybe save the pieces of paper and stick them to a running list to show off what you have done.
    Linda

    1. mmclean Post author

      Thank you Linda. Great suggestions. I love the idea of them all working on a variety of badges and the badge jar. Thanks for participating!

  3. Donna Brazas-Reynolds

    Have you picked journeys? Even after journeys are chosen, there are many try-its–the Boy Scouts call them merit badges–that work for the different levels. We also do double-dipping where if writing a journal is required for two different things, we combine the requirements into one journal. I’d suggest that the Daisies are only given two options to choose from, or you’ll be there all day.

    There’s also nothing wrong with recruiting parents to help out with one of the levels while you work with a different one. We actually require one parent to join per girl for purposes of helping out and being covered by insurance for car pooling.

    Why did you choose to put these age groups all together? In my council, it’s advised not to do so, since there is such a huge chasm of differences in terms of attention between the ages you describe.

    1. mmclean Post author

      Hi Donna! Thanks for the message. I’m coming to think we need one parent for each age group. My girls are in a very small school so we decided to do a mixed-age group. We didn’t think we’d get so much participation! Almost every girl in K-5 joined! It is a challenge, but I’d like to make it work. I like seeing them all work togehter.

      Thanks for the suggestions and please come back again!! Best, Mary

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