October is often the first month of the Girl Scout troop year. In September, everyone is busy getting back to school, and in October, they’re ready to think about Girl Scouts again. Troop leaders, here are some ideas for your October meetings and activities.
If your troop is brand new, you may want to focus on learning Girl Scout traditions and practices. Brownies may want to work on the Girl Scout Ways Try-It, and new Junior Girl Scouts might enjoy the Girl Scouting in the U.S.A. badge. You might also start planning an investiture ceremony, to welcome your girls to Girl Scouting. Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) publishes a book called Let’s Celebrate! Girl Scout Ceremonies , which outlines several ways to do an investiture ceremony
Established troops may want to hold a rededication ceremony, in which the girls rededicate themselves to the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Sample rededication ceremony outlines are also available in Let’s Celebrate!.
October 31 is the birthday of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouting. Many troops hold a birthday party in her honor. Here are some ideas for holding a Juliette Low Birthday party:
–Hold Halloween themed party, with costumes, pumpkins, and apple-bobbing.
–Ask girls to bring birthday gifts for the troop, such as craft supplies (a great way to build your stash for the year). Have them wrap the gifts, and then open them during the party.
–Bring plain cupcakes and let the girls decorate them; or have the girls bake the cupcakes, too, if you have time. Light birthday candles and sing “Happy Birthday.”
–Have peach ice cream or peach pie in honor of Juliette’s home state, Georgia.
Service projects are always an important part of Girl Scouting. In October, consider the following:
–Collect needed supplies for an animal shelter (Juliette Low loved animals).
–Volunteer to rake leaves for neighbors (especially the elderly or physically challenged).
–Visit a nursing home or retirement home to sing “Pumpkin Carols”.
–Hold a Halloween or Juliette Low Birthday party for younger girls.
As always, consult Safety-Wise, the Girl Scout safety manual, to make sure you are following safe procedures for all activities. If you are doing any activities outside of your regular meeting time or place, you will need to have signed parent permission slips for all of the girls. Additional paperwork may be required by your local council; be sure to check with your service unit manager or program consultant if you have any questions.