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I have been a Girl Scout for most of my life in some capacity – first in Mrs. Taylor’s Brownie troop, later in Mrs. Dunn’s Junior and Cadette troop, and then as a leader first in south Jersey before I had children, and now with my daughter here in Pennsylvania.
I have learned so much from my experiences as a Girl Scout – from outdoor skills to leadership skills and everything in between. It has helped to shape the woman that I am today.
One of the things that has always been true about Girl Scouts is that it should be girl run. This seems daunting when you are talking about a Daisy Troop of 25 kindergarten to first graders (yes, that is how big our troop is). But its all about progression, and teaching the girls about the decision making process, so yes, even Daisies can plan a trip.
5 Tips for Planning a Trip with Daisy Girl Scouts
- Get an idea of what the girls want to do. We had a brainstorm session, and came up with a list of ideas with the girls. We asked them where they want to go, or what would they like to do. Ideas ranged from going to a movie to visiting Disney. No matter the idea it went on the list.
- Have the girls cross off items that are not realistic. For example – anything that requires airfare or is extremely expensive. Visiting Paris is a great goal for Seniors and Ambassadors, but is not realistic for Daisies.
- Take time between the two meetings to review the trip ideas with the other leaders and cross off anything that you can not do because of Safety Activity Checkpoint restrictions in your council, or that is cost prohibitive. Return to your troop with 2-4 ideas for the girls to vote on.
- Present the ideas to the girls with what they can do during each trip. Show them photos, pamphlets, or even the website of where they are going. Explain to the girls that they will vote for their favorite trip and the trip with the majority of the votes will win. If there are two activities that seem to be the favorites, have a second vote to get a clear winner. Our troop has found the easiest way to vote, and guarantee only one vote per girl, is to have them physically move to an area in the room for each choice. (When I say go, if you are voting for the zoo line up by the door and if you are voting for the aquarium line up by the table.)
- The leaders then plan the logistics of the trip, including the girls when it is appropriate. Since they are only in kindergarten and first grade, appropriate choices are things like which fun patch do you want to get while on this trip and give them two options, asking them for the name of one scout they would like to be in their patrol while on the trip, or which exhibits they absolutely want to make sure not to miss. You know your girls, and what level of involvement is appropriate for them. Just remember to keep the girls as the focus of the trip, not the leaders, parents, or chaperones.
The troop leaders can talk about budgeting and transportation with the girls as well so they know there are additional steps to planning a trip, however at this young an age most of the girls do not have a strong grasp of money and what things cost. We made a goal sheet for our troop with how many boxes of cookies the troop needs to sell to do each activity, and then through out the cookie sale we update which of our goals we have now met. This way the scouts knew why they were selling cookies, and what the reward was going to be for their hard work.
Our troop has planned several trips for this year, and are already starting on a plan for next year following many of these steps. This is how we keep the girls as the focus in Girl Scouting.
Do you have any tips for planning trips with your younger Girl Scouts? Let us know what has worked for your troop in the comments below!