By: Kylie Pierce, Troop Leader in Rome
It’s been a rather surreal month with no Girl Scout meetings. My co-leader and I were laughing together because we had a recurring calendar reminder for our meetings, and when we got the reminders in July we felt a tug of melancholy that we weren’t meeting with the girls! So glad we’ll all be going to the Zoo in August.
This is such a great time of year for Girl Scouting. While parents and girls get ready for Back to School, troop leaders everywhere are getting ready for Back to Troop, a time of new beginnings and new Girl Scouts. Our girls will soon be bringing friends and neighbors to join them in Girl Scouting. We’ll be planning new activities and breaking new ground with the three brand-new Brownies that we bridged in June. We’re stocking up on meeting supplies, organizing our paperwork, and looking forward to our Unit kickoff meetings. It’s a lot like the beginning of the school year!
It’s especially exciting (maybe a little scary!) for Daisies, some of whom are joining Girl Scouts and attending school for their very first time. I would encourage parents to engage girls in Scouting when they are in Kindergarten. Not only does it help build a strong foundation for girls as they grow, but it also gives them a ready-made and smaller set of girl friends with whom they can visit, work together, and share fun experiences. Our troop is very open to parents who may want to help ease the transition. I would say that at least half of our parents like to stay for meetings, especially in the beginning of the year, to make sure their daughters get a great start. We’re more than happy to help this happen; girls need a good support network while they’re learning the skills they’ll need to change the world for the better!
Troop leaders work hard to ensure that girls are learning the things that they need to reach their full leadership potential, while having lots of fun in the process. We love it when parents want to help! Here are some tips that will help new parents be the best supports that they can be:
- Try your best to make sure that girls make it to meetings on time and with whatever semblance of uniform they may have. Girls at this age benefit greatly from consistent structure; it gives them the best foundation for our activities and the things they will learn throughout the year.
- Read over any materials sent home with the girls. We are always sad when a Girl Scout can’t participate in an activity or can’t receive awards that are coming to her because our information flew below a parent’s radar. My co-leader and I make every effort to inform parents of our activities, and this sort of information distribution is a lot of work when multiplied by many girls!
- Keep up to date with activities and paperwork. Registration is important for Girl Scouting; it ensures that your Girl Scout has access to all of the activities that there are to choose from, and guarantees that she will be safe and protected when we are out and about. It’s also exciting for girls to receive their recognition at our patch ceremonies. Daisies sometime don’t understand when other Girl Scouts receive awards for meetings that they did not attend. We are happy to share our activities with you if you would like to work on them at home. Though there is no obligation to do so, we’re sure your Girl Scout will appreciate the effort.
- Ask your Girl Scout about her meetings, and engage her in conversation. Girls are just starting to test their wings at this age in making decisions and working together. It helps to reinforce the work we do when they get to talk about it at home as well.
- If you can, volunteer to participate in troop and unit activities. The girls love to see other adults involved, and it sets a great example. You’ll also have a lot of fun in the process! Our network of parent volunteers makes much of what we do possible.
Can’t wait to see you all soon!