I listed the agenda in my First Meeting post, but it was specific to that meeting, so here's a more general one. You may choose to have Kapers associated with every activity, or with whichever ones work best for your troop.
TAKE WITH YOU TO TROOP MEETING (assuming your troop meets in a site that isn't a dedicated Girl Scout room):
- First Aid Kit
- File folders/paperwork
- Meeting plan (in files)
- Attendance sheet (in files)
- Badges to hand out (if applicable; also in files)
- Info sheets to send home to parents, if need be (files)
- Craft supplies
- Cell phone with parents' contact information
- Wipe-down cloths and any other cleaning necessities
- Trash and/or recycling containers/bags
- Kaper chart
- Something with the GS Law on it until your troop has memorized it
TO DO AT TROOP MEETING (adjust to your own troop's needs):
- Kaper chart update (as you go)
- Pledge of Allegiance
- GS Promise and Law
- Activity/game/craft/story (any combination -- and you can read the story while the girls are eating their snacks, etc.)
- Clean up
- Daisy/Brownie Circle
Your meetings might not work out with this specific schedule, but so far it's worked well for ours. Because we meet immediately after school, and they have a small snack during school in the afternoon, we can afford to do quite a bit before snacktime. But if your troop meets later in the day, feed them sooner rather than later. ;) Hungry kids don't pay attention, and are harder to wrangle. If you have a sugary snack, you might choose an outdoor activity so they can run off the energy a bit.
Bottom line: Keep it flexible. Always have a backup craft (coloring sheets are great) in case you have extra time, and always have something that can be sent home or saved for another day, if you run short on time.
WHILE YOU ARE LEADING THE MEETING, SOMEONE ELSE . . .
- Can collect folders/manilla envelopes from the girls and go through and remove any paperwork, forms, or notes for you.
- Can put together any information sheets that need to go home with the girls, and put them in the folders. Any child who forgot her folder gets the info sheets (along with any completed work from the meeting) paperclipped together and put in her backpack.
- Can be working on any craft prep, if necessary.
- Can be opening snack bags or whatever else you might need at some point.
- Can keep an eye on the clock for you, so you can know when it's okay to let the kids have a longer time with snack/crafts, and when you need to be prepared to skip something.
Bottom line: Do not be afraid to delegate!
Your time as leader is intended to being really involved with the girls. Yes, early on you are directing them, basically being their teacher, but you are also prepping them for leadership, so putting effort into it -- making it fun, while getting things done -- focusing on THEM in the moment, as opposed to the five other things that need doing? Well, that's your job. :) It's okay to ask other volunteers on hand to handle other jobs for you while you're doing yours.
AFTER THE MEETING:
Make sure the room is as clean, or cleaner, than when you arrived. Make sure each Scout leaves with her folder (or take-home info in backpack) as she leaves.
Make sure every girl goes where she's supposed to go. If you're meeting at your daughter's school, have an adult walk kids to Aftercare, if some need to go. If parents are picking up anywhere other than the meeting room, you need to be there.
Your parents need to keep you informed on who is picking up their kids, and if there are special circumstances. Make sure they know you need to know ahead of time. Many of my parents have written "AFTERCARE" on their daughters' folders, as a handy reminder for me. Others have called or emailed ahead of time to let me know when someone else will pick up their girls. But I'm responsible for them. I need to know. I've made every effort to ensure my parents know this too.
Please note, when it comes to Girl Scout events, every driver must be is a registered Girl Scout Volunteer. Also, be sure to check with your state's laws and regulations regarding carseats! Many states require boosters until age 8 or so, or a certain height, etc. If you are planning to drive any Daisies in any GS activity, they all must be riding in appropriate carseats in accordance with state law.
Go home and type up a quick synopsis of the meeting and email it out to parents along with a note about the take-home materials, and/or put a note on your Shutterfly page (or whatever site you're using, or include in the email, if you don't have a private site) with the dates from this meeting to the next, and which petal/badge you are now working on, and what needs to be done to earn it.
Doublecheck on schedules and upcoming events.
Post any pictures to your site, or other information.
Doublecheck your craft supplies, etc. File any paperwork, and add any health forms to (or replenish supplies in) your first aid kit.
And then? Relax. You have a while before you have to dive in again. ;)