Meeting with Girls for the First Time
When you first get together with girls (and this meeting may also include parents/guardians, or you may decide to hold a separate meeting for the adults), you’ll want to get to know the girls, and give them a chance to get to know one another.
Ice-breaker games that let girls share simple details about themselves are a great way to start off your first gathering. Journeys often start with such an icebreaker, so if you’re digging in to a journey right away, you’ll be all set. You can also check Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan’s resources or search the Internet for “ice-breakers for kids” to find more ideas.
If you already know which Journey the girls want to do, you’ll find it useful to accomplish some of the following during this meeting. (Note that all these points are detailed in the adult guide for each Journey, too). If your girls haven’t chosen a Journey yet, you can spend time during the first meeting talking about the themes of the three Journeys that are available for their grade level and find out which one the troop would like to do. You can then discuss these points in the next meeting, if you run out of time.
1. Introduce the Journey, its theme, and its ties to leadership. Each Journey’s adult guide gives you ideas for talking with girls and their parents/guardians about the Journey’s theme and the Three Keys to Leadership.
2. Find out what interests the troop (and be sure to include the other adult volunteers), so that you and the girls can begin to customize the Journey. Do the girls want to dig deeper into a particular aspect of the Journey? Without promising anything (yet!), ask the girls to talk about what they’re passionate about, what they’ve always wanted to do, and how they would spend their time if money and other barriers were no object. Build off the ideas shared, but be sure to include opinions from all the girls. Ask direct questions of those who seem to be holding back or are unsure about answering, so everyone is included.
3. Get the girls talking about how they want to schedule their time together. Use the planning pages from their Journey (referring to your draft calendar only as needed, so that the girls lead). Consider questions like these:
- Can girls organize and plan a field trip or longer travel opportunity that will allow them to learn more about a particular Journey topic or theme?
- Is there an event that meshes with this topic or area of interest?
- Can the girls locate and communicate with an expert in the field via email or social media?
- Can they invite a guest speaker to answer questions or demonstrate particular skills?
- Which badges can the troop choose to work on that will deepen their skills in this particular area?
- If they are Juniors or older, are they interested in pursuing their Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, or Gold Awards?
- Do they have ideas for activities that will involve younger or older girls?