While on our first camping overnight last year, our troop worked on the Girl Scout Way badge. To fulfill one of the badge requirements, the girls made a team banner. The girls each traced their hand print, cut it out, and decorated it with crayons. We glued these colorful hand prints to a piece of white poster board. The team banner has been displayed during many of our meetings.
In early August, I attended a Fall Kick-Off Meeting at our Council Office. I learned the theme for the Girl Scout membership campaign this year is "I Can't Wait to be a Girl Scout." I came up with an idea that would not only tie this campaign in with our team banner, but it would serve as a good ice breaker during our first meeting. At this point, I must provide some context:
Last spring, we asked the girls in our troop to vote on the badges they would like to work on during their second year as Brownies. We gave the girls a handout to take home to review the badge names and a brief description of the requirements for each badge. They were asked to mark down the badges that interested them and to indicate their top three favorites with a "1," "2," and "3" in the margin of the paper. The girls turned in their papers before the end of the school year, giving us (the leaders) a good deal of time to prepare for this school year. Please note that these girls have been together in the same troop for the past three years. When a new girl joins the troop, we provide many opportunities for her to voice her opinions and vote when our troop needs to make decisions throughout the year.
To begin the first meeting of this school year, we had the girls read a list of all the badges, service projects, and events they had voted upon last spring. Each girl was given a small slip of paper that read "I can't wait to..." across the top. They were instructed to write something they are excited to do this year. It had to be related to Girl Scouts, but they were allowed to write down an idea that was not listed on the paper. We glued the papers to the hand prints. We are pleased with the result. (Please excuse the white spots on the photo. I wanted to respect the privacy of those in our troop).
Whether or not your girls are Brownies working on the Girl Scout Way badge, making a team banner can be a great way to get your troop working together right from the start. Maybe you have the girls share what they can't wait to do this year as a Girl Scout? Maybe you choose a different question to break the ice? The team banner can serve as a visual reminder that the girls don't have to be best friends outside of troop activities, but they are Girl Scout sisters. They must respect and encourage each other. They are there to support each other when and if someone needs a helping hand. Thank you for reading!