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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!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Daisies: Journeys

Someone asked me why I didn't include information about the Journeys for Daisies, here in the blog. There were a couple of reasons (in no particular order):

1. I took over for the second year of Daisies (first graders), and the year before that, the troop was much smaller, but wasn't able to meet very often, so unfortunately they didn't get to work on many patches. Because of this, and the fact that so many girls were new to Scouting this second year of Daisies, I had to basically fit two years' worth of fun/activities/patches into one.

My co-leader and I decided early on we would focus on the Daisy Petals, since they were key to learning the GS Law. I did get copies of all three Journey books from our Service Unit, and did use some ideas from them, to incorporate into our Daisy Petal activities.

However, we did not work on a specific Journey. So our girls did not earn any Journey patches. None complained. But the bottom line was, we simply did not have time to do Journeys.

2. We had a very large troop, compared to others in our Service Unit. We met twice a month, at our school. This meant that any activities away from our set meeting place were very difficult to arrange, given that several of the girls were also in Aftercare at school. To move the meeting place, or day even, would've been too burdensome for many parents.

3. I will be very honest. While I love Girl Scouts, and think it is a phenomenal organization, and am very proud to be involved in it, I am not a huge fan (thus far) of Journeys.

I understand that the goal is to help connect what has, in the past, been fairly dispersed badge-earning activities -- to make it so we are working on something that has several components that all connect. However, the format simply was not a good fit for our girls.

I'm not sure what we will do for Brownies. I have a rough idea in my mind of what the syllabus for the two years will be. How much of that will include working on Journeys? I don't know yet.

I've heard very mixed things about Journeys, but I'm not choosing sides at this point; I'm holding out hope that we will find a good fit within the Brownie Journeys for our troop!

In the meantime, I hate to disappoint anyone who comes here looking specifically for Daisy Journey suggestions. Thankfully the books have suggested activities, and of course, there's always Pinterest!

I'll be posting intro info for Brownies soon. Stay tuned!


2 comments:

  1. Hi. I will start my troop next week. Most girls are first graders. I bought the Journeys that looks geared for first timers should I go back and buy other book since we will only have 1 year as Daisy?

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is entirely up to you! Some leader prefer to focus on Journeys. Others ignore them completely, or focus on just one throughout the year as they go, in addition to petals (for Daisies) or Legacies/Make Your Owns (for Brownies).

    Since you've already bought the Journey books, I'd use them (unless you can return some of them? It might be challenging to cover all three books and the petals too. Don't bite off more than you can chew).

    We focused on the petals primarily because I felt like since we only had one school year to accomplish everything, learning about the Girl Scout Law and what each aspect meant was more important than learning about the Journeys. I did it backwards to the way Girl Scouts currently recommends it, I'm assuming. But it worked for us. We had plenty of service unit events to accompany our meetings, and while we didn't structure our meetings around the Journeys, I did read the books. I did include aspects of them in the meetings. I just didn't follow the laid-out steps for earning the badges. Nor did I purchase these patches for the girls, since we didn't accomplish (what I felt were) the steps needed to have earned those patches.

    That does not mean my way is the best way! It's just my own, personal opinion, and what was the best fit for our troop. We also had a big troop (ended up with 18 girls) and it was easier to come up with crafts and activities for the petals than for the Journeys. Had we focused on some Journeys, the girls wouldn't have earned all their petals. We simply did not have time.

    Your mileage may vary. Because everyone's situation is different.

    Since you've already purchased the Journey books, read through them. See what activities are suggested and if any might be a good fit for your troop and where you live (for instance, have a big troop, live up North, and want to do planting seeds? Might not work well in wintertime! Try a different Journey instead). It all depends on what your troop needs.

    Were any of the girls in a Daisy troop last year? What did they work on then? Are they all new to Daisies? I would personally try to do some of the petals if you can, and work on Journeys along the way. Definitely have them exposed to the Law at each meeting, and you can work aspects of the Law into each meeting, even if all you're working on are the Journeys.

    And if they were in a troop last year and already worked on petals, finish up any remaining and then start on a Journey.

    There is no hard and fast rule that says "Here are the badges your Daisies MUST earn."

    The main GS site has this as the "What Daisies Do" page: http://www.girlscouts.org/program/national_program_portfolio/what_daisies_do.pdf

    It does say here to start with a Journey and then add the blue book if you want: http://www.girlscouts.org/program/basics/

    So I understand why you bought the Journey books first. It's what it sounds like GS wants us to do! :) And it is, I'm sure, a good approach for many troops. It just wasn't for ours. And that's okay!

    This site might be able to help you more than I can, regarding starting with Journeys: http://www.girlscouts.org/program/journeys/maps.asp

    Good luck! I hope you and your girls have a wonderful year!

    ReplyDelete

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