Hi all! Leader needs a little help with her Daisy troop (all first graders). Lately, I think partly due to winter, the girls have been getting out of hand at the meetings, not listening to me or each other, and it’s been tough. Our meetings are 1:15 long so we don’t have a snack break. I try to work in at least 1 craft and 1 game but they are so hyper! (Meetings are after school). Any tips on how to keep them happy and also listening? I can’t handle the chaos any longer! (I’m a first year leader with no co-leader – I have 1 parent helper at each meeting.). Thanks!
Our Facebook scout leaders shared their thoughts:
Jodi wrote in: Here’s what I learned after a few meetings with my Daisies – If I can get 15 minutes of their attention with official “Scout Stuff” – I’ve been successful. Remember that they are 5/6 years old. They want to run around, hug each other, play and generally be silly. Come in with a plan, engage them to help you (they ALL want to help) and break the meeting into small chunks, but not too many. Always always have a craft or two. I also think that 1:15 is too long without a snack. I’m curious who/why you are sticking with that meeting structure? As a leader, it’s YOUR meeting…Also…one big issue to correct ASAP: You need a co-leader. If you have girls, they likely have parents, which means they have the ability to step up and help. If none of them are willing, then you might want to consider whether or not the troop can continue. I completely respect and admire your stepping up to lead, but nobody can or should fly solo, especially with Daisies.
Amanda’s troop: Keeping Daisy girls focused is not easy! While the girls are arriving in our room and gathering, we have cartwheel time. There is a specific area where they can do cartwheels, they have worked out among themselves how to do it so that everyone is safe, and it really helps with the energy level. I also think that you should do snack. Our meetings are also 1h15m, and I break the meetings in half with snack. They have ten minutes where they eat and socialize with no interruption from adults. I think that it’s important that they have that. They are expected to be polite and respectful, and they can chat and eat. Generally, after this, I can sit them down in a circle and do business stuff and move on to our next activity.
Dana’s help: You are definitely spending too much time & energy trying to control their energy. But they need to have an opportunity to “get the wiggles out” if you meet right after school. I would suggest starting with a music game or other active game, then a lite snack with at least water, before you try to have your opening. Make sure your opening is consistent & structured, so they know the “meeting” has begun. We do flag, promise, GS song every meeting as opener. As 1st grade Brownies, they now transition into and lead that themselves.
Jenn: I talked to my girls last week about the same thing. I explained that if they can’t listen and settle down during meetings that we can’t go on field trips. (We have a few coming up) Last weeks meeting went well. Good luck!
Jessica’s experience: 5 -10 min activities with as much movement as you can work in…rotating to stations etc. my girls never liked the daisy flower stories so I scrapped them and we learned through activity. I also ditched the chairs and had them stand when doing table top activities. Depending on space try searching team building games on pinterest. Go noodle is great too… Also gs songs with motions… Gs games.. You can teach gs traditions which are just as important as the petals. Hang in there and get some back up. It is worth it!
Teresa’s trick: We did yoga at the beginning of a meeting. It really helped the girls focus and get the wiggles out. They liked it so much they want to use their cookie money to purchase yoga mats.
Katherine’s idea: Earn stars and once their punch card is filled up they can pick from a treasure box. Point out the good things of why they are earning a star!
Terri’s suggestion: My Daisies did much better when we switched from the cafeteria to the art room at school. They seem to fill whatever space you give them.