Thursday, January 22, 2015

Welcome to Daisy's! (soon)

As a volunteer, I think it's just part of our nature to be giving and empathetic. Those qualities get me into so much work!! But, that's okay. You know what the Bible says about idle hands... there is no worry there for me. HA!

My lovely ladies are Cadettes. I have been with them for five years and I won't leave them. They are my girls. With their quirks and habits and craziness...they are my girls. I think I mentioned we brought together 4 troops this year to form our current Troop 70258. Out of 7 girls, I have 3 girls the have been with the troop for more than a year. My stepdaughter is the only "original" member left. So, it's a work in progress. It's been a little bit of a struggle. The girls have varying personalities, maturity levels, and thoughts on what is acceptable behavior. 

We have been thinking of ways to help them bond. I've also been looking for ways to get them excited and more involved. In comes "the plan". 

Each year we have a few Daisy's that for whatever reason aren't able to get into a troop.


Either troops are full, leaders are no where to be found, or there aren't any established troops at their school... all sad, right? I've been toying with this idea for a year. It started as a "we'll just start a Daisy troop" comment to my co-leader when I was frustrated with 5th grade Juniors and their 'tudes. It grew into thoughts about "look at the Daisy's... they are so happy with the smallest thing" and "give me back the days of glitter and glue and singing". All those thoughts were swirling for months in my mind. I also have this crazy heart that goes out to little girls that just want to be in a troop and just want to be Girl Scouts and no one will say "okay! come on!". Yep... I fantasize that I would have been there with Juliette selling my pearls and recruiting girls.

I mentioned "the plan" to my husband and his response was "I think you do enough, but I'll support you no matter what!" That's close enough to "great idea" in my book. I talked with my amazing co-leader and she was like "hmmmmm... you are asking if I will go from Ambassadors to Cadettes to DAISY'S!!!??" Then, I explained the plan and she was like "oh... that might work!!!" Again, close enough to "I'm in!". Then, I spoke with my Cadettes. I will say their response was definitely the most positive and engaged and excited. "Can we be like their leaders?" "Do we get to run the meeting?" "Can we like work with little groups and be in charge of certain girls or things?" Yeah... they were in without much persuading, though I have to say it's all in the delivery and tugging the heartstrings. 

The idea? I'm sure you are dying to know. We are starting a Daisy program. They have their own Troop number and will have their own "stuff". We will gather up the girls that need a troop (up to 10-12 girls) and start having meetings once a month, 1 hour long, immediately following the Cadette meeting. I requested all Kindergarten girls, because of the plan. The first 2 meetings, I will plan and explain to the Cadettes and they will help. In the Fall, our Daisy's will be in 1st grade.We'll get them their petals and have a great time in 1st grade. Then, when they bridge to Brownies... their parents have to step up and become Leaders for the troop. We will evaluate the program and possible gather up another group of girls and go again. But, next time, we'll start in the Fall. We'll do petals in Kindergarten and a journey in 1st grade. We are not taking on a multi-level troop. We are getting parents comfortable and ready to take over once they get to Brownies. That will be made clear from the beginning. Parents need to learn to fly, too. 

The bottom line... be watching for some Daisy "stuff" to show up on Girl Scout Leader 101. :)

3 comments :

  1. Lora, I think this is an amazing idea. It's similar to how Cub Scouts works, something I did not know until my son joined and my husband became assistant den leader. Instead of being told, "your kid wants to join Scouting? Great, start a troop!" they join an existing Pack and have a curriculum provided, but the parents of the youngest kids become the den leaders for that level. Girl Scouts would really benefit from that kind of structure.

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  2. I just did something similar this year. My girls are Cadettes now and have been together since they were Brownies. Each year it seems like we lose 1-2 girls to cheerleading, drill team, etc. So this fall there were some little sisters to the girls in my troop that couldn't find troops to join. We asked them if they would like to join our troop (the younger girls were all Juniors).

    The results have been wonderful! The younger girls fill the girl scout hut with laughter and energy. The older girls right away took over teaching the younger girls things like our opening ceremony, snack song, closing circle, etc. Seeing the older girls mentor the younger girls has touched my heart.

    I was really worried that I would spread myself too thin - planning for one age level is time consuming in itself. But it hasn't been as much work as I thought it would be. I have a Junior parent that is helping with the younger girls when we divide up to do badge work.

    I know you aren't planning to have the two age levels meet together but I just wanted to encourage you. In August I was in the same position & worrying if I had made the right decision or not. Just thought I would share how it worked for us. Hope you have fun with the Daisies!

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  3. What a great idea. I just jumped in as a leader, but I know most parents would want a mentor along the way. This is a great perpetual way to give back!

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Thanks!!