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					Daisy Girl Scouts

  A guide for your first year of Girl Scout leading.
   Written and distributed solely by your Daisy Consultant, Amber N. Slaughter.
 Chapter
   1
Getting Started
You’ve got your roster, now what?

 Tips for getting off to a running start

           One of the biggest challenges is getting everyone on the same page to ensure a smooth
           start and finish to your Girl Scout year. See below for tips to get started.

           1) Create a group category in your email options so that sending emails will be a breeze.
               I put the parent’s first and last name and the Girl Scout’s first name in the nickname
               field and this made it simple to pull up the correct address right away. Organize all of
               the contact information in a quick sheet so that you can begin learning names and can
               streamline your correspondences.

           2) Email your scout parents to introduce yourself and get their feed back on important
               decisions for the troop to make your decision making easier and more convenient for
               all. (See Parent Survey.doc)

           3) Decide on the location, time and place for your parent meeting and send out
               invitations to all of the recruits on your roster. (www.evite.com is a quick and easy
               resource for sending out pre-made email invitations)

Planning Your Parent Meeting

           Once you have completed the above tasks, its time to decide on your troop meeting
           details and make other important decisions on how you want to run your troop. I
           encourage making decisions to accommodate as many people as possible but you have
           to keep in mind that this is your troop and it is impossible to please everyone at all times.

           Details to Have Ready before Your Parent Meeting

              Troop meeting dates, times, frequency and locations.

              Basic events and outings and general cost estimates to aid you in setting dues. (Tip:
               We set a $20 due amount to be paid in the beginning and offered to option to pay a
               little at a time and asked for supply donations and the parents paid for admission to
               events)

              A meeting agenda (See meetingagenda.doc and packet or folder with registration
               paperwork, calendar (See daisycalendar.xls), contact sheet, Uniform order forms (See
               daisyuniformorder.xls) and anything else you feel would be important.
            Get a volunteer to occupy the girls in another area from the meeting (Tip: Come up
             with a great icebreaker activity such as creating name tags to wear in the first month
             of meetings, have them try to remember each other’s name.

            Another great thing to do is have your volunteer take a photo of each girl with their
             nametags so you can start remembering names. If you plan on having a troop
             website this is a great tool for your meet the troop area.

            Log all funds received because you will forget who gave what when the dust settles.
             (See: fundlog.doc)

            A great way to organize everything is to get the pocket folders and arrange everything
             for them to fill out on one side and everything for them to take home on the other. Be
             sure to have plenty of pens available and if you can get your hands on clipboards
             you’ll be glad you did!

            Another tip, once you get your troop number, check out www.vistaprint.com and get
             inexpensive business cards made up with your contact information to give out at the
             meetings. There are several free templates to choose from and will serve the
             purpose of your troop. Often, the pocket folders have a spot for business cards on the
             inside.

            When you pass out the uniforms, include a how-to for the assembly of the uniforms to
             reduce confusion, it’s also nice to include a little tag with earned petals on how to
             attach correctly (find the instructions on the back of the petal package). My co-leader
             came up with a template cut out of poster board that really made it easy for the
             parents to space the petals out. Also, periodically send out uniform updates so that
             they know what their scouts uniform should look like and ask for replacements or
             make up work for those they are missing. (See Daisyuniformstatus.doc, daisy petal
             log.xls)


             When organizing your meeting, consider it from a parent perspective, what would you want to know?
              What would you ask? What is the quickest and most efficient way to deliver all of the information?


Organize Early…You’ll Thank Yourself Later

         Being organized and orchestrating groups is my strong point, and even I wish I had set
         myself up for success better in the beginning. Learn from my “shoulda couldas” below.

            Set up a mailbox system for your troop parents so you spend less time taking
             paperwork and money when you need to be focused on your Girl Scouts. We got a
             portable file box and created a hanging file folder for each girl, we placed badges and
             other important information to go out in these and it made it much easier to manage.
             We also included an inbox and stocked it with payment envelopes, pens, a check
             stamp and blank notes (See: notetotroopleaders.doc, mailboxnotes and
             mailboxsign.doc), we also placed a clipboard and volunteer sheet on top for them to
             fill out during the meetings. (See: volunteersignup.doc) *Don’t forget to include leader
             daughters too!

            Set up an organized filing system at home and include folders for each girl, each
             events and important references you receive. Keep a binder with you containing


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             attendance sheets, meeting planners and health information to take to your meetings
             and events. (See: attendancesheet.xls, meetingplanner.xls) I

            Daisies earn their petals and also fun patches or badges for events they attend. Take
             a look at your calendar and decide how many petals and/or badges you want to earn
             each month and this will help you plan your events for the year ahead. Something to
             consider is you will inevitably have to come up with make up activities for late joiners
             or missed meetings so you may just want to anticipate in advance so you can pull
             from your files when needed. (See makeupform.doc, and daisycalendar.xls)




 Communication, Communication, Communication!

         It is the key to your success; find a system that works best for you and your troop and offer
         different options for obtaining necessary information.

         1) If you are website savvy perhaps building a troop website is your cup of tea, there are
             also options to build from templates, (check out www.clubspaces.com).

         2) Newsletters are another great option and you can choose the frequency that works
             best for you. (Tip: While their registration forms are handy, jot down their birthdays so
             you can remember them and/or include in your communication methods.) These can
             be emailed and/or placed in the mailbox mentioned earlier.

         3) I found that sitting down after a troop meeting or the morning after and sending out a
             group email while everything was fresh in my mind proved to be helpful.

         4) This year I have added a free chat room applet to my troop website that allows for an
             online forum for our parents without asking them to coordinate a meeting place and/or
             register for an unneeded username account. I will be planning some online meetings
             for you to ask questions and seek advice as a group.

Keeping Your Sanity

         Good organization, good communication, time management and delegation are the key to
         keeping this from being a burden instead of a rewarding experience for all.

            Pick a day that works for you to prepare for meetings and events and complete any
             troop tasks needed that is at least two days before your troop meeting day. Stick to
             handling Girl Scout business on that day and perhaps another day or particular times
             to follow up with emails and phone calls.

            Work a month in advance, plan your meeting agendas and event details at least a
             month ahead of time because you will notice time has a way of passing you by if you
             have any life hiccups along the way….and you are no doubt a parent so it will!

            When securing your troop meeting spot and year calendar consider school holidays if
             you will be holding them on school property. We just took out our FISD calendar and
             if there was no school, there was no meeting, so it made it a quick and easy process.
             Also, take note of FISD open houses and other events that you may want to consider.



                                                      3
Delegation

           Something I learned the hard way was that you can’t do everything on your own no matter
           how organized, energized or committed you are. Get help! Some things I wished I had
           delegates set up for in the beginning.

              Historian –Someone to take photos and video of events and/or meetings (Needed
               mostly for those who indulge in the keepsake priority that we’ll go over later).

              Parent Representative –Most parents will stick around during the meetings, if you
               have someone who can go over topics, get forms filled out and/or head up parent
               projects while you are chasing a group of six year olds you will thank yourself later.
               Plus, it’s a productive way to use that time they are idly waiting by. (See Volunteer
               Position Sign Up.doc)

           It’s also necessary to sit down with your co-leader(s) in the beginning and figure out who
           will be responsible for what being certain to utilize each person’s strong points. Ex.
           Finances, Petal/Badges/Uniforms, Event Planning, First Aid certified person.




 Chapter

   2
Events and Meetings
Now that they’re organized what to do with them…
           Go through the connection guides and see what’s available in your area, consider
           timeframe, cost, and distance when choosing events for your troop and be sure to follow
           all Safety Wise procedures and other policies.

              When choosing your events find the petal lesson it could reinforce and see if there are
               any fun badges available to commemorate the event as well. This will help you plan
               out your petal and badge-earning plan that can be placed on your calendar.

              Consider having guest speakers come and ask the parents if they know any
               community service workers that would be willing. Frisco has a lot of great programs
               that can help you find someone (Frisco ISD’s school resource police officer is Glenda
               Covington gcovington@friscotexas.gov) Tip: Go all out and get them police badges or
               fireman hats and teach them safety techniques before the speaker arrives to keep
               them motivated. This age learns through play so plan with their interests in mind.

              For great meeting and other Girl Scout resources check out www.scoutingweb.com it
               is a lifesaver!    For great activity kits, supplies and everything else visit


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              www.orientaltrading.com, dollar stores and keep your eyes open for clearance sales
              during back to school sales and especially markdowns afterwards.

             Be sure to get approval for all activities by submitting the activity approval form to me
              via email or by mail, each Girl Scout attending will need a parent permission form as
              well UNLESS the parent will be staying with their child during the event. A good
              method is to make a file for each outing you plan and bundle all of the permission
              forms with your approval document. (See: activityapproval.doc, parentpermission.doc)

             Once you have your details for the meeting set, create a quick flyer with final details
              (what to bring, wear, directions, time, location etc) (See eventflyer.doc)

             Something else you can do is find a sister troop (Daisy or Brownie) that you can take
              some time to write to, we took their picture and reduced it down to a wallet and used a
              little template and this went towards the be a sister to every Girl Scout petal. (See Pen
              Pal Template.doc) or for their responsible for what I say and do have them do a chore
              chart for a week (we put this in their scrapbooks when completed) (See Daisy Chore
              Chart.doc)


 Needed Supplies

             Project supplies ex. Tubs of crayons (enough for little arms to reach from all around
              the table but also learn to share, kid scissors, glue sticks etc)

             Plastic table cloths for excitable artists and baby wipes and paper towels

             Troop binder with important information to have on hand at meetings

             First Aid Kit

Chapter

3
Finances
Cutting costs and keeping track…
          Being resourceful is part of the Girl Scout law and vital to the success of your troop as well
          as keeping solid record of your financial information; see some tips below for things I
          learned.

             Get a moneybag with a blank fund log and pen inside so you can log what a parent
              has given on the spot. Considering your troop account name is so long you may want
              to purchase a stamp for check writing ease and this is also a useful addition to the
              moneybag. (www.vistaprint.com has free rubberstamps that will do the job)



                                                        5
             Make your troop finances available to the troop parents, I found that creating tabs on
              an excel sheet as is each Girl Scout was a different “account” was a helpful way for
              me to keep track of dues and event costs. I emailed out a statement as well as our
              troop account standings monthly being sure not to include each individual girl financial
              tab on everyone’s email. (Email me if you’d like a template)

             Back to school markdowns and sales are your jackpot as well as donated supplies.
              I’ve heard some troops do a treasure hunt for supplies they may have lying around
              the house in excess too and that sounded like a fun idea too.




Chapter

4
Keepsakes
Capturing memories and the essence of your troop
          Okay, this was my priority because as a mom, I realize how precious they are at this age
          and we focused a lot on creating keepsakes for them to look back on when they get older.

             Scrapbooks are a lot of fun but at the 5-6 year old age group must be simplified, we
              created inexpensive books by purchasing ½” binders and plastic sheet protectors at
              Costco and putting together a word document with colorable pictures and captions for
              the activity we were scrapbooking. Each activity or petal earned we would get a
              vertical shot of each individual scout and then a group shot in a horizontal format.
              Then we just had them paste their photos in the preprinted boxes and color the rest as
              they pleased. We kept the books and gave them out all completed at the end of the
              year. We also had them color a page from the GS law-coloring book during a petal
              lesson and placed them in the scrapbooks as well. (See: Scrapbook Files for all
              references) (Tip: have them paste their photos first so they don’t insist on coloring in
              the boxes that will be covered up anyways and if a girl isn’t present during photos
              have them complete a make up scrapbook page or draw a picture of themselves in
              the boxes.)

             Another fun project if you have the ambition is a troop DVD, this is something we did
              progressively through the year and edited on a DVD to give out to each girl. We did a
              “Daisies Say the Darndest Things” segment that was a huge hit. If you are interested
              in doing this for your troop feel free to contact me for more specific information and
              ideas. Be sure to take footage of the investiture ceremony to start off too! A nice idea
              would be at your wrap up meeting/party have a short “viewing” for the parents and
              girls, it’s truly amazing to see how much they’ve grown during the year.

             At the start of the year, do a mini interview of the girls and get their height and weight
              so at the end of the year you can see how much they’ve grown and/or if their answers
              change. (See: Interviews1.doc and Interviews2.doc)



                                                        6
             At the end of the year make a little photo shoot for the girls, get a plain background or
              decorate some butcher paper and get some daisies for props and take their photos
              with their completed uniforms. Create a troop photo just like in school and include
              their names, dates and leader photos if you are PhotoShop savvy.


              Costco is an unbeatable resource for photo developing, especially if capturing moments it is a priority for
                   your troop. You can even send your photos in advance and pick them up at www.costco.com




Chapter

5
Things I Wished Someone Had Told Me
Random words of wisdom drawn from my first year
          You will learn what works best with your troop and your management style so these are
          not steadfast “rules” but rather things I have looked back on and wished I knew in advance
          that is definitely not in a Daisy Girl Scouting manual! =o)

             Find an area for the parents and siblings to be during the meetings that are not
              disruptive to your troop. We were very fortunate to move to the library where there
              was a separate reading room. Even though close by, it helped us focus on troop
              activities with minimal distraction. Remember: You are not a free daycare or
              mommies day out program; you have an objective and a responsibility to be a part of
              the growth of your Girl Scouts. With respect to their often-wonderful family you have
              to ensure the independent growth of the girls.

             It is your troop; at the Daisy level you won’t really have much Girl Scout involvement in
              planning unlike when they get older. Plan everything out, ask for input when
              necessary, keep others in mind but don’t be afraid to make decisions. With respect to
              rules and regulations you are able to run your troop as you see fit.

             People WILL lose individual petals, try to keep on top of who has received them and
              consider buying an extra set or two and allowing them to purchase individual petals if
              need be.

             Don’t forget your daughter!! I know that sounds terrible, but I often forgot that I too,
              was a Girl Scout parent and would forget to adhere badges, do home activities, etc. If
              you have a mailbox system makes one for your daughter as well so you’ll remember
              to do them too. =oP




                                                                  7
   Just like your own children, your precious little Daisies will need boundaries too. Be
    sure to set the expectation for good behavior by being consistent. Use the quiet sign
    and talking stick (We used a plush “talking Daisy”) one false move and you could
    have a chaos inflicted kindergarten mob on your hands!

   Make a ritual out of unwinding after meetings, I was very fortunate to have my best
    friend as a co-leader and after the meetings we would go to my home and have a
    glass of wine, a light dinner and watch Grey’s Anatomy! (Don’t forget to designate the
    husband on daddy duty!)

   In the beginning you will be overwhelmed but soon after you will get your methods
    down and truly be able to experience the joy in watching them grow in front of you.
    Don’t forget to have fun! I promise…there is a method to the madness! =o)

   Just like you and your co-leader(s) will have strengths and weaknesses so will the
    girls, be sure to make a conscious effort to grow their weaknesses. Ex. If you have a
    shy girl, don’t embarrass them by putting them on the spot but encourage them and
    spend some time and attention on them at an outing so they can get comfortable by
    being a part of everything even if they are too shy to be the center of the group. If you
    find you have cliques (and you very well may because of classmates) be sure to
    encourage building your troop by pairing up against the cliques and different
    personalities.

   Decide early if snack time is the right decision for your troop and meeting time. We
    started with it and ended up without it due to being so close to dinnertime (5:45-
    6:45pm) and the mess associated with 5-6 year olds. If you do decide to have snack
    time consider assigning a different parent each week and ensuring that quick clean up
    and allergy warnings are adhered to.

   An easy way to keep your petals in order is when they purchase the set write their
    name on theirs and keep it in their file. Then when its time to pass them out just pull
    the appropriate petal from each file to ensure they aren’t forgotten and/or given out
    multiple times.

   Write everything down, you think you’ll remember, but you won’t.

   Come up with a “Phone Tree” so that if a meeting must be cancelled day off you can
    ensure everyone will be contacted at his or her daytime number in a flash (See
    phonetree.doc).

   Come up with a space filler game, ours was Telephone…quite a Daisy crowd pleaser!

   If you decide to do the picture ideas during a meeting where they are doing an activity
    to earn a petal have the girls work on coloring pages and then have another parent or
    leader take each girl aside to take their individual photos having something to do with
    the activity. (Ex. Respect authority petal the girls wore their police badges for photos)
    the divide and conquer method works wonders and keeps little bodies busy in the
    meantime.




                                             8
Chapter

6
Important Contacts and References

Your Daisy Consultant::

          Amber N. Slaughter

          9621 Euclid Drive

          Frisco, Texas 75035

          troop9321leader@yahoo.com

          (972) 439-4110 cell phone




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