Welcome to my blog! I started it when I was a new Girl Scout leader and needed some kind of organized "to-do" list. I decided the best way to keep things organized was to start a blog. So here it is! My oldest troop has since bridged up to Juniors, and I've taken on a Daisy troop as well, so I will continue updating with new Juniors information and additional Daisy stuff too. My hope is to continue to update with every level as my troops advance. But we'll see.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope it's helpful!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Daisies: Blue Petal

Since we went out of order and did the red petal before the blue (see this post here on why, and what that meeting entailed), our third meeting focused on the "first" petal: the light blue one, for being Honest and Fair.

Before we started working on the blue petal, though, I wanted a quick review of the red one, which is about being Courageous and Strong.

I told them I'm not a very good singer, and sometimes singing in front of other people makes me nervous or a little scared. But because we all have earned our red petal and we know Girl Scouts are Courageous and Strong, I was going to sing a song for them, but maybe they could help a little?

And I taught them this song (thank you, GS of SD for posting a version online!):

After I'd sung it once, I had them all sing along (we didn't do the Daisy Circle for it; we waited until the end of the meeting for that and sang it again).

Then we moved on to the blue petal.

Most of the online resources I had found beforehand focused on the aspect of being Honest, and while many did give suggestions on addressing the Fairness aspect, I didn't feel they were the best fit for our group.

Most of the girls in our troop are six-years-old (a few have turned seven). If we were dealing with younger Daisies, I might've approached this petal a little differently.

As it is, though, these girls have a pretty good grasp on what it means to be honest, and why it's important to tell the truth. Instead of reading The Boy Who Cried Wolf, which many sites suggest, I just asked the girls why they felt it was important to always be honest. They didn't need that story. They'd heard it before. Since honesty was something they had a good grasp on already, we spent the bulk of the meeting covering Fairness. But not in a way you might suspect. . . .

Many online sites suggest activities like giving the girls an unequal number of treats, then talking about being fair, and then giving a treat to those who were left out.

I wasn't comfortable with this for a number of reasons:

1. It makes some of the girls feel left out (rightfully so) from the get-go. To me, that's not ideal at this age.
2. It ties the concept of Fairness to material objects only. But being fair goes beyond things; I wanted to focus on actions (and perhaps more importantly, reactions) as well.
3. Sometimes things aren't fair, or sometimes they are, but they don't feel fair. I wanted to give the girls a way to respond in that situation.

But the challenge for me was to keep things simple, because they are quite young still, while also focusing on this concept in a manner I was comfortable with.

After we finished talking about honesty, I stood in front of them and asked, "Has anyone here ever felt like something wasn't fair? Has anyone here ever done this?" and I stomped my foot, put my hands on my hips, and whined very loudly, "THAT'S NOT FAIR!" (I over-exaggerated, so it was a little funny, but at the same time, familiar. I'm pretty sure they've all done this. All kids at some point have. At least mine have.)

Then I said again, "Has anyone ever felt this way?" and I raised my hand to show I have.

Immediately the girls' hands shot up in the air.

I lowered my voice, almost to a whisper (this is a great trick -- they will be extra quiet to listen, in most cases) and said, "I'll tell you a secret . . . Girl Scouts don't do that."

They all stared at me.

I said, "Instead of stomping our feet and saying 'THAT'S NOT FAIR!' Girl Scouts stop and think of a way to make it feel fair."

Then I had two girls come up and asked them their favorite colors. One was purple; the other was gold. I gave a pretend example of what if the first one had a gold crayon and the second had a purple, and each wanted to use the other's crayon. Instead of saying "THAT'S NOT FAIR!" what could they do to make it fair?

My Daisies knew the answers immediately: "SHARE!" "TAKE TURNS!"

Yep. I reiterated Girl Scouts look for a solution to the problem. I also tried to let the girls come up with the answers themselves.

So while I wanted to introduce the concept of fairness beyond material things, I still had to use a scenario involving (imaginary) things to get the point across. But, my focus wasn't on everyone gets the same. My focus was on not whining about things feeling unfair, but acting on making them feel fair.

Our first craft was this coloring page, because it tied into the larger craft we were going to do after snack:

While they were coloring, I asked them to describe what they saw in the picture. It's tough to interact with the kids while they're doing crafts, so keeping it down to simple questions, or walking around and asking a few at a time, seems to help.

They described what they saw, and I repeated the answer loudly enough for all to hear, "Oh, they're making friendship bracelets? They're sharing their beads?"

They all responded, "Yes!"

I said, "Is that something YOU would like to do?"

"YES!" they cried.

I smiled and said, "Great! Because after snack, that's what we're going to do!"

And we did. Beforehand, I'd gathered enough small, colorful, wooden beads for each girl to have 18 (which were more than they'd need for bracelets, but I wanted extras just in case). I had a variety of colored strings, and had already tied one end and attached a small bead, to keep the beads from sliding off, when they started making their own. I'd separated the beads and strings so they were in groups of three and four (we have 16 girls total in our troop, but three were out that day). I used Chinese take-out plastic containers to hold them, so the beads could live in the bowl part or the lid. (Good way to show reusing in action, too!)

Because we'd already talked about sharing, and not fussing when things don't feel fair, there were minimal incidences of girls wanting something another girl had. In each (slight) case, we reminded them about Girl Scouts being fair, and to find a way to work it out so everyone was happy. I'm very proud to say they did. :)

The bracelets turned out great, and the moms helped tie the bracelets for the girls.

After craft cleanup, I read them the Lupe story from the blue Daisy book. (Note: Lupe is pronounced "LOO-pay," and Lupine is pronounced "LOO-pin," because it's the flower/noun, not the adjective.)

It's hard sometimes, to read a story aloud to kids. But the more animated you can be, the more into it you are, the more into it they will be. Don't be afraid to really throw yourself into whatever it is you're doing with your girls. They will LOVE it.

Anyway, this is a cute little story and touches on both being fair, and being honest. Afterward we talked about what if Lupe had made different choices, and what that would mean, etc.

The girls got it. And because this meeting fell on a week where so much was going on at school, there were no take-home activities required to earn this petal. At the end, I had them all stand and say they promised to try very hard to always be Honest and Fair, as a Girl Scout should be. They did. And with that, they'd earned their petal. :)

I included this coloring page (from this site) in their take-home folders, because we didn't have time to do it in the meeting (if we'd had time, it would've been after the story). I attached a note that they were not required to do it, but were welcome to, if they wanted.

And that's it for meeting number three!