The third level of Girl Scouting, Junior Girl Scouts, is designed for girls in fourth and fifth grade. While Junior Girl Scouts generally have more opportunities for outings and overnights, the troop meeting remains the core element of team building and leadership development. Junior Girl Scouts are typically not new to Girl Scouting and often have an established meeting format that includes a start-up, an opening, activities, a snack and a closing.
Start-up activities often coincide with the meeting agenda and include anything from an easy craft or game to a simple science project or activity sheet. Have each girl write her name in the middle of a piece of paper and then decorate around it with pictures of her hobbies and interests. Have the girls discuss what they’ve drawn during the meeting opening. Alphabet scavenger hunt is played by giving each girl a piece of paper with the alphabet written on it. Staying in the designated meeting area, each girl tries to find items which begin with each letter of the alphabet.
Meeting openings typically include reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Girl Scout Promise and Law. It is also the time when meeting business is conducted such as attendance and collecting dues. Other things to consider for the opening are a formal flag ceremony, singing Girl Scout or patriotic songs, reviewing Girl Scout materials and awards, discussing goals and expectations or having sharing time by inviting each girl to share something new she has learned or experienced.
Activities can incorporate anything of interest to the girls from cooking and art to nature and science. Ideas for meeting activities that coordinate with badge work can also be found the Junior Badge Book. Create a troop banner that can be used at cookie booths, in parades or for troop booths at community events. Celebrate Juliette Lowe’s – the founder of Girl Scouts - October birthday by hosting a party at a local assisted living or nursing home for all the residents that have a birthday in October. Visit a Daisy or Brownie troop and teach the younger scouts the formal flag ceremony or favorite Girl Scout songs.
The closing is a short and simple group goodbye. Closing ideas include singing a song while standing in a friendship circle. At the end of the song, consider giving a friendship squeeze by crossing right arms over left and holding hands. One girl squeezes another girls hand and the squeeze is passed around the circle until everyone has received it. Then turn out of the circle to end. Once everyone has gathered her things, create a tunnel by having two lines of girls stand facing each other. The girls raise their arms to each other. Have the two at the end furthest from the door walk under the tunnel. Continue down the line until the last pair exits.
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