Girl Scouts is full of creativity, service, and adventure - but how do we make it less like school? A few weeks or months into the school year and your girls are probably showing some fatigue. They don't want to sit at a desk all days just to sit at a desk during Girl Scouts too. So we put together some great ideas for changing up your meetings, making them fun - and less like school!
1. Change up the Meeting Place
We often find that taking our meetings outside or in a different location is helpful and improves the overall tone of a meeting. This is because it allows us to interact with each other in a more casual setting than behind desks or tables. Having meetings outside get the girls in a different headspace, and bring about new ideas and better interaction as a group. This is a key idea especially if your normal meeting place is in a school building.
2. Keep Instructions and Lecturing to a Minimum
Instead of focusing the meeting on a lot of lecture type learning, minimize the amount of speaking a leader or guest does. If someone is presenting, ensure that the presentation is packed with troop participation. This way, you can keep the girls focused on the topic while learning and keeping it fun.
3. Take Breaks
We should always add a little levity to our meetings. Once in a while, you should create fun missions or experiences that allow girls to step away from the badgework and interact with each other for no reason other than for relationship building. For example, you can do a brain break, ice breaker, or a simple game.
4. Have a mix of both Left-Brain and Right-Brain Activities
In addition to the fun activities listed above, it is also good to have some quieter activities or crafts that allow girls to use their left brain while at the meeting. You can do puzzles, draw pictures together, or play games. It does not have to take up too much time, but you should also avoid too serious activities and keep moving along.
5. Invite a Guest
Guest speakers or visitors is a great ways to change up your meetings and make them more interactive. Having a guest speaker will get the girls out of their normal meeting structure, similar to changing up the meeting place. Guest speakers/presenters should ensure they plan for interactive lessons/demonstrations to keep the troop attentive and learning.
Anytime you need to run a meeting, you know that it can be challenging. It is essential to take the time to make sure that you have the right supplies and agenda in place, especially when it comes to planning a quick meeting. But don't stress out if some meetings are school-like and some meetings are free-for-alls, because if the girls are having fun, you've done your job!