Tomorrow evening is the weekly Brownie meeting. Am I ready? Well, yes. Between 20-plus years in Girl Scouting and my job in a public elementary school, I’m pretty much ready for any Brownie meeting. Do I know what we’re doing yet? NO! Anyone been there?
So, I’ve got to make an outline. First of all, Girl Scout leader training will tell you that there are five parts to a meeting:
The Pre-meeting Activity (something for the girls to do while everyone is getting settled)
The Opening (a song, ceremony, saying the Girl Scout Promise, etc.)
Business (taking attendance, planning for future activities)
The Main Activity (crafts, working on a badge or patch, etc.)
The Closing (another song or something to end the meeting)
Sigh. Great, yes, I’ve known the five parts of the meeting for at least 10 years. How should I fill in the blanks?
Well, I know that for business, we need to decide what Try-It patch we are going to work on next. So I need to come up with a couple of good choices for the girls to decide between (part of Girl Scouting is teaching girls to make their own decisions and do their own program planning).
For our Closing, the girls really like doing the Friendship Squeeze — everyone makes a circle with crossed arms, and then we pass around a hand squeeze to everyone.
For the Opening, we usually do the Girl Scout Promise and Law, as the girls are still learning them.
So that takes care of three of the five parts! (pat on the back)
I really don’t know what to do for the actual activities, though. I am now going to turn to one of my favorite resources, Scouting Web (www.scoutingweb.com). This site is a comprehensive index that will lead you to ideas and training materials related to just about anything you might encounter in Girl Scouting.
First, I click on Programs. This leads to a menu of different types of programs — crafts, games, careers, health, etc. I click on Crafts, but the resources I get are all things that I already know about, so I decide to go elsewhere.
Next, I click on Brownie, since that is our program age level (first and second graders). I have come to this list time and time again since our troop started meeting this fall. The information is especially good for those just starting out.
Here’s something interesting — Brownie Girl Scout stationery! Maybe we could do some letter writing. I’ll print this out. It might make a good pre-meeting activity.
I don’tt find anything else on Scouting Web. I’m going to try a good, old-fashioned Google search for “brownie girl scout instant meeting” (without the quotes).
Now, this is interesting too — I find a link to the Trillium Council Girl Scouts, who have their own resource list of links. In this list, I click on a link for instant meetings for Brownies. This takes me to Canada! In Canada, they also have Brownies, but the girls in their organization are called Girl Guides, not Girl Scouts.
The Girl Guides in the Northwest Territories have a file for an instant meeting about snow. It snowed here yesterday (not so common in Portland, Oregon), so I’m sure that would be of interest to the girls. There are games, crafts, and songs listed, with full instructions.
Ta-da! Here’s my completed outline:
Pre-meeting Activity: Sponge painting snow, snowflakes, snow people, etc.
Opening: Girl Scout Promise and Law
Business: Take attendance, decide which Try-It to work on next.
Main Activity: Snow-related games
Closing: Sing “Make New Friends” and do the Friendship Squeeze
I consider my meeting planned. All I have to do is gather the supplies we need for the games (we have the painting supplies needed already).
I did print the stationery, and will save that for a backup activity or for another time. It never hurts to have something extra on hand.
Whew! Thanks for joining me on this journey.