Wednesday, April 25, 2012

At each meeting we take turns assigning kapers. That's a fancy way of saying chore.

If you have spent any time with girls in Kindergarten and 1st grade, you know that "No one knows fancy like Nancy."  A kaper is a fancy word for chore.  A kaper chart "can be used to clarify which responsible for completing a specific job" (angelfire).  Such charts ensure that everyone in the troop plays a part in the meeting.  Shortly after our recruitment meeting, I searched the Internet for kaper chart ideas.  My favorite descriptions were found on while my favorite images were seen on Google.  I combined several ideas and sketched three kaper charts on paper to show to our young troop.  I introduced the idea of kapers to the girls by discussing Fancy Nancy and her love for big fancy wordsDuring that meeting they voted for their favorite chart which is pictured here: 
I LOVE to scrapbook, so I have some tools that made crafting this kaper chart a cinch.  I used the Creative Memories Jumbo Circle Pattern to cut out an 11.5" circle from a 12x12" piece of white cardstock.  This could easily be done by tracing a large plate and cutting the paper with scissors.  I then mounted the cardstock on a piece of cardboard that was cut to the same size.  I divided the circle into ten pieces before assigning each slice a job with a black permanent marker.  The possibilities of specific kapers you could include on the chart are endless.  This Girl Scout site may also be helpful.  I used my Cricut to cut out the 3" blue scalloped circle (Mini Monograms cartridge) and the 2.5" white flower (George cartridge).  I used a .5" circle punch to cut the yellow center.  Then each piece was glued in the center of the chart.  I wrote each girl's name on a wooden clothespin.  These clothespins are clipped onto the kaper chart before the beginning of each meeting.  

We have 10 girls in our troop which explains why we have 10 different jobs on our kaper chart.  However, there may come a time when someone misses a meeting or we may not sing a song or play a game during a meeting.  Sometimes we may have an activity that requires more than one helper.  We simply adjust the chart to fit our needs for the specific occasion by skipping over a job on the chart or by clipping more than one clothespin on another job.

For our Kickoff Meeting, the first girl to arrive at the meeting (who was not my daughter) had the job of assigning kapers for that meeting.  I placed her clothespin on the "kapers" section of the chart.  The clothespins are stored in a zippie bag.  She was instructed not to look in the bag as she pulled out the next clothespin.  This pin was clipped to the "buddies" section.  She continued to clip each successive pin onto the chart in order around the circle.  I recorded who was assigned each job.  The girl responsible for assigning buddies for this meeting would then get to assign kapers at the beginning of the next meeting.  This way everyone had the chance to do both of these jobs as the year progressed.

Descriptions of the other jobs are as follows:
PROMISE--leads the troop in reciting the Girl Scout Promise
PLEDGE--holds the flag while the troop says the Pledge of Allegiance
CODE--reads the Daisy Code that was developed by the other leader of our  
     D     Do unto others as you would have done to you.
     A     Always be respectful of others and our surroundings.
     I      I use my inside voice.
     S     Speak when it is your turn.  Listen when it is not.
     Y     You are the most important part of Daisies.  Have fun!
SHARE--is first to share her answer to a question asked to the troop.  This
      helps them get to know each other.  For example, we asked them their
      favorite ice cream flavor at the Ice Cream Social meeting. 
SONG--chooses which song to sing
GAME--chooses the game to play or goes first if game has been determined
HELPER--passes out supplies or helps clean up
CLOSING--chooses how to close the meeting.  Our girls LOVE the friendship squeeze, so she starts the squeeze. 
I hope this post serves as a springboard for you as you help your girls decide on a kaper chart that best fits the needs of your troop.  Our girls enjoy leading their meetings by being responsible for a specific jobPlease feel free to share your kaper chart ideas here.  Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Girl Scouts is SO Much More than "Crafts and Singing"

I have loved my first two years as a Girl Scout leader because Girl Scouts is so much more to me than crafts, songs, petals, and patches.  In addition to spending scheduled quality time with my daughters twice a month, I get the opportunity to serve some of the young girls in our community.  I am honored that other parents allow their daughters to spend time with us.  I get excited when girls in our troop express that they value helping others and making our world a better place.  I challenge you to embrace your role as a troop leader.  Your meetings can be about so much more than "crafts and singing."  The Girl Scout Law provides guidance for lessons, activities, and projects.  As the girls learn the Law, they will be growing into strong and secure young women.  THAT is what Girl Scouts is all about.
Here is the schedule we followed our first year:

  1. First Meeting
  2. Founder’s Day
  3. Tour Library—Apply for library card  (orange petal)
  4. Investiture Ceremony (receive blue center and orange petal)
  5. Make gift for the elderly  (spring green and rose petals)
  6. Service Unit Christmas Party 
  7. Service Unit Skating Party  (red petal)
  8. Plan Thinking Day tea party and Review for Cookie Sale
  9. Service Unit Bowling Party  (red petal)
  10. Tour Police Dept (magenta petal)
  11. Thinking Day tea party (receive spring green petal)
  12. Recognize Girl Scout Birthday (March 12th)  discuss Soles for Souls               (rose petal)
  13. Tour Fire Dept (receive magenta petal) 
  14. "Horseback riding"--pony rides   (receive red petal)
  15. Speaker (eye glasses recycling)  (rose petal)
  16. Jump Zone with Service Unit
  17. shoe and eye glasses collection  (receive rose petal)  
  18. End of Year Party:  Paint Pottery
  19. Backyard Camping and Hike at Woodland Mound 
  20. Tour of Sunrock Farm

Here is the schedule we followed our second year:

  1. S’mores Fest!  Camp Butterworth
  2. Kickoff Party
  3. Game Day (receive light blue petal)
  4. Fire Station Tour (for 3 girls who joined our troop this year) (magenta petal)
  5. Shaw Farm Halloween Party   
  6. Founder’s Day: Investiture Ceremony for New Daisies and Manicure Party (dark purple petal)
  7. Roller Skating with SU at Beechmont Rollerarena
  8. “Everybody Counts”  (receive dark purple petal)
  9. Christmas Ornaments for Nursing Home Residents  (Money Counts Leaf)
  10. Deliver Ornaments/Christmas Party (flower pot snowman)
  11. Cookie Sale Review     (Talk it Up Leaf)   Decorate  clipboards.
  12. “Everybody Counts” (speaker and sign language demonstration)    Make friendship pins.  Make Ice Cream Social invitations.  (dark purple petal)
  13. Thinking Day:  GREECE--Snack, Dance, Game, Craft, Outfit, presentation
  14. GS Birthday:  Ice Cream Social with Sister Troop (receive violet petal) 
  15. Animal Shelter Tour (receive yellow petal)
  16. Jump Zone with Service Unit 
  17. ZOO  (receive green petal)
  18. CocoKey Water Park               
  19. “Near Sleepover:"  ZINK THE ZEBRA, ribbon flip flops, PJ collection
  20. Bridge to Brownies Ceremony
I do not believe our way is the only way, but it has worked well for us.  I would love to hear what has worked for your troop.  Hopefully you have found inspiration in this post.  Thank you for reading! 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Suit Up, Girls! Our Daisy Uniform

Girl Scouts wear uniforms to display the petals, patches, and pins they have worked so hard to earn.  The uniform also unifies the girls by giving them a sense of being part of a team.  Over the years, troop leaders have devised creative uniforms for their troops.  An official Daisy Vest or Tunic and Petals Set is offered by Council shops.  PLEASE check out GSUSA's uniform policy.  I came up with a less expensive and very cute alternative to the official Daisy uniform.

Hobby Lobby sells a royal blue canvas child-sized apron.  Occasionally the aprons can be found on sale.  Otherwise I search the store website for 40% off coupons to use.  I purchased aprons for the girls for less than $2 each.  

I also used a coupon to purchase white puffy paint.  I wrote our troop number in the upper right-hand corner which is where it is placed on an official Daisy vest.  Please note that our troop number was purposely concealed in these photos.  I used the paint to write each girl's name along the edge of the backside of each apron.  I was responsible for adding each petal to the aprons as the girls earned them, so I chose to keep the aprons between meetings.

I decided to make felt petals.  I was able to purchase the different colors of felt from Hobby Lobby for $0.25 each.  I used an image of the petals from the Guide for Daisy Girl Scouts to make a template.  The Daisy Center on the apron above is 1.25" in diameter while the petals are each 1.5" x .75".  Each petal needed an adhesive backing to enable it to be ironed onto the apron.  I used Wonder-Under to accomplish this effect.  This product is available at most craft stores.  For perspective, I bought 5/8 of a yard for $1.24 (this was MORE than enough).  The Financial Literacy leaf and the CookiBusiness leaf that are placed below the Daisy Petals Set will be described in a future post. 

DIY Petals
1.  Preheat iron to Cotton setting.
2.  Cut felt rectangle to desired size.
3.  Cut Wonder-Under the same size as felt.
4.  Place rough side of Wonder-Under against felt.
5.  Press for 5-8 seconds with a hot, dry iron.
6.  Let cool.
7.  Trace petal shape onto paper backing.  
8.  Cut.

Iron-On Petals
1.  Preheat iron to Wool setting.
2.  Remove Wonder-Under paper backing from felt petal.
3.  Position petal and cover with damp washcloth.
4.  Press for 10-15 seconds.
 *Petal should be securely adhered to the apron.  If the petal begins to peel away after time, simply repeat these steps.   

I would really enjoy hearing how your girls display their recognitions.  Please share!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

...and Patches

Our Daisies LOVE to earn extra patches.  We don't purchase fun patches for every activity and outing, but many troops do.  (Most fun patches cost $1 each).  At the beginning of the year, I picked up a catalog of fun patches from our Council Shop.  Prior to the girls' arrival at the meeting, I cut out pictures of the patches from the catalog and taped them to a piece of paper.  Each girl was taken aside and asked to pick her favorites.  I kept tally on a separate sheet of paper.  After the vote, I circled the winner.  The girls were excited to see the fun patches they would earn throughout the year.  

We bought blue canvas bags from Hobby Lobby with money the girls earned during cookie sales last year.  The bags were either on sale or purchased with a 40% off coupon for less than $2 each.  I wrote each girls' name and our troop number along the top edge of each bag with white puffy paint.  I was also able to use a coupon to purchase the puffy paint.  (Saving pennies is important when you are working on a budget, especially when you are first starting out with your troop).  I purposely included photos of the bags without our troop number in this post, but the troop number is written to the right of the name.  The girls' parents are responsible for sewing on the patches or adhering them to the bags with fabric glue.  In these pictures, you can see the friendship pins that were given out during our Ice Cream Social (please see my previous post).  

There are many community activities that host Scout Night and offer a patch with attendance (Disney on Ice, for example).  I always pass the information along to the troop; however, a Girl Scout does not often have to attend the event with her troop.  Our family has enjoyed some of the Scout Night events that just didn't work with the schedules of the other families.  I occasionally "quiz" our girls to make sure they remember what they did to earn each patch.  All of the girls in our troop may not have all of the same patches, and I think that is okay.  They all earn the same petals that are displayed on their uniform.  Speaking of the uniform...I have a cute an inexpensive alternative to the official Daisy uniform.  Please stay tuned to learn more...


ROY G BIV...I think it is safe to say that most of us recall learning this acronym in grade school when we were memorizing the sequence of the colors of the rainbow.  Thanks to a catchy little jingle in an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, it was easy for my young daughters to remember the color sequence ("Mickey's Color Adventure").  Daisy Girl Scouts can learn the Girl Scout Law, using their knowledge of the rainbow.  This post will hopefully answer questions or start conversations about Daisies for readers who are new to Girl Scouts.

Girls spend their kindergarten and first grade years as Daisy Girl Scouts, learning the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law.  They participate in activities designed to help them earn their Daisy petals.  The 10 petals correspond to the 10 components of the Girl Scout Law.  The blue Daisy center represents the Girl Scout Promise. 

Our troop spent their first year earning the DAISY CENTER along with the ORANGE, RED, SPRING GREEN, ROSE, and MAGENTA petals.  They have worked on their DARK PURPLE, LIGHT BLUE, YELLOW, GREEN, and VIOLET petals this year.  It worked best for us to split the petals between the two years instead of working on all of them in one year.  I should mention that we have not tried any of the Daisy Journeys that are available.  Since we focused on half the petals each year, the troop was able to complete a couple different activities for every petal.  During each meeting and outing, we directed their attention to the appropriate part of the Law for repetition and reinforcement.

When I first started as a Daisy leader, I was overwhelmed with the freedom provided to leaders by the organization.  We all function under the same framework, but our options are endless.  I hope you will find my future posts helpful as you navigate your way through your first couple years as a Girl Scout leader.  I know what has worked well for us may not work for others.  I always enjoy hearing what other troops have planned.  Thank you for reading!