Parent's Corner: Girls Scouts...Leaders Helping Leaders

In my “spare time” when I am not working part time in a financial planner’s office, running various PTO committees, managing my house and family or spending time on events with the book/website, I am a Girl Scout troop leader.

I know many of you are involved in scouts too.

This coming year will be my fifth year as a troop leader and I still feel like a newbie.

Our troop started as Daisies in kindergarten, flew through Brownies and are now moving up to Juniors. There are sixteen girls in my troop and each have very different personalities. Planning the meetings seems to always stress me a bit.
I wish there was a way of sharing the different ideas that we all have for meetings. Maybe we could save each other those 4 hour cram sessions on a Sunday night?
What have you done in the past that worked well, what was a complete flop, what brought out the best in the girls, empowered them and maybe even gave them an ah-ha moment?

My favorite meetings have always included special guests.
I found it’s better to bring in people and build on the basic “Try It Badges” than to just go through the steps of the book.
I remember the time when a Dad came in to talk about exercising (for the Brownie Try It Badge “My Body”) and joined us in a game of balloon volleyball. All the girls thought it was so cool that the 6 foot tall Dad was jumping right in the game like he was a little 7 year old girl!

We had a local store owner (and troop Dad) show us how to make (and then rip apart and eat…yum) one of those fruit bouquets, a chemistry teacher (and co-author of Picture Me Cooking) climb up on top of a table and show the kids that science can be fun, and once I learned one of my girl’s babysitter taught at a school for hearing impaired we learned the “Promise” in sign language!

Our unit has monthly leader meetings.
If I had one tip for new leaders it would be to find a buddy leader.
I always try to walk out with another leader who has girls my age.
I find this time to be the most important part of the meeting.
It was on one of those walks that I was gifted with a wonderful play (one of the troop’s favorite meetings). On another I found out about a local store offering free bread making classes.

What works for you? What tips or ideas do you have to share?
As a new Junior Troop Leader…I can use all the help I can get!

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