Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How does your meeting work?

I start this post by saying... this is what works for us. I have nine girls in my troop and they are awesome, creative, energetic, wonderful young ladies who really want to earn some badges and do some stuff. 

I have received numerous emails asking "How do you get so much done?" and "What are your meetings like?" and "How long do you spend on _____". Those questions are what prompted this post. 

Our meetings are right after school across the street at a church. We meet for 1 1/2 hours basically... when you subtract out the time to walk across and get settled.. we are "down to business" for 90 minutes. 

Here is a sample meeting outline. I do one of these for each of my meetings. It helps keep my Assistant Leader "in the know" and me on track. We adjust as needed. We may spend more time on something than anticipated and push things off until the next meeting. We may decide to say "forget it" and just sing and play games. Other times, we scramble to look at the badge flyer to see what else we can accomplish because the girls flew through what we had planned. So... when looking at this, don't set your timer!! Remain flexible and keep it girl-led. 

We have Kapers and the girls know when we arrive they are to put down their things, get their water bottle, use the restroom, check the Kaper chart and meet me on the carpet squares for Opening Circle.

Meeting OutlineMarch 5, 2013 - Digital Photography/Scribe/Jeweler

Opening Circle (15 mins)
  • Roll Call - I have a sheet I simply hand to the Business Assistant and she marks the names.
  • Girl Scout Promise & Law - YES! They know it by heart and recite it from memory.
  • Good Turns - We stopped doing this as Juniors, as the girls are holding themselves accountable for doing a good turn daily and feel they don't need to say if they did it or not at a meeting.
  • Song - The Song Bird selects one song from our song books to sing at each meeting, because my girls love to sing.

Snack (15 mins) - end by 4:30
  • PB&J Sushi & Ants on a log (PB, jelly, bread, celery, raisins) - Our Troop made the decision that while snack is important, it also needs to be healthy and with minimal waste. So, we try to have a small, healthy snack that isn't prepackaged in individual servings. We also use reusable water bottles instead of juice boxes. I keep those with me and they come in handy for field trips.

Activities (45 mins) - end by 5:15 - Activities are obviously different each meeting. But, this is how I break it down. I note the badge and activity number by each. That way if I split a badge between more than one meeting, I can keep track of which requirements we have met. If it's an activity that has numerous supplies, I note that behind it or any notes for discussion. 
  • Digital Photographer 1: Interview a photography student (Erin Fucher)
  • Digital Photographer 2: Photo groups
  • Jeweler 3: t-shirt bracelets
  • Digital Photographer 3: Edit 3 - add borders (Google+ )
  • Digital Photographer 4: Make a digital project (MDS card)
  • Scribe 1: Poetry
  • Scribe 2: Short Story (team)
  • Scribe 3: 10 words about me
  • Scribe 5: Opinion essay

Clean up - We do have a Kaper for this, but they are the team lead. EVERYONE pitches in to help.sweep floor, rearrange tables, turn down furnace, turn off lights, take trash

Closing (15 mins) - end by 5:30
  • Friendship Circle
  • Our “Good Turn” for the next meeting (write these down for next time) - As I said, as Junior we stopped doing this. They do them on their own.
  • 1 Song - Song Leader Choice (one of GS songs) - We've actually stopped this because most of the time we focus on cleaning up before the Closing Circle and run out of time.
  • Join hands, Friendship Squeeze and “turn out”

And that's that... that's how we do it... Now, when I put together posts for the blog, keep in mind that we may not do it ALL in one meeting. I try to note when I've split badges or Journey sessions up, but I am not 100% on that. Please don't look at one of my posts and think you can cram it all in at one meeting... go at the pace of your girls. With that said... the Scribe badge I had planned 1 activity and the girls did 4... good thing I had that badge booklet with me to get them to the next one, as they love writing and wanted to just "get it done!". 

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