It may not seem like it now
but, a Troop/Group year can fly by! There are so many activities
and outings to choose from. What awards do the girls want to
della Martin of the
former Pines of Carolina Girl Scout
Council has graciously shared with us the planning method she uses with
her older girl Troop. It can be easily modified to be appropriate
for different age levels. This is a wonderful way for girls to
make choices and learn just what is, and isn't, possible and realistic
to do in a scouting year!
Decide on the
Each girl gets a bunch
of sticky notes - as many as they want!
Go through the list of local events
available to their program level.
The girls then write down each activity they want
to do on a sticky note, along with the fees for the event.
Once they are done writing down the activities
they wanted to do, have them post the sticky notes all around the
room, trying to match up any duplicates. (Spread ‘em out---WAY out).
Then each girl gets 7 self-stick stars of any
color, and one red one. The red one means, "I’d rather die than do
this event!" (make sure they know the don't have to use this one!).
Any other color means, "I want to do this event."
Let ‘em loose and put their stars on each
activity. Letting them mill around helps eliminate clique voting,
because they’re so worried about using their stickers the way they
Tally up the number of stars. All stars count as
one point, except for red which subtracts a point. Only those that
got votes were considered, and were ranked from most to least
Add up the cost of each. Depending on the
total cost, you might need to have a discussion about whether they
can really manage the cost of all their choices!
Preplan the activities
For each of the
activities, list (each on another sticky note) everything that needs
to be done. For example, for a Campout, you might need to do: SWAPs,
meal planning, a kaper chart, and shopping for the food.
Don't forget about money earning projects and
Cookies! Cookies might need a meeting to go over the info, at
another you might collect pre-orders, and another to cover booths.
Go over each event to make sure each has the
proper number of sticky notes.
Schedule the activities
On a loooooong sheet
of freezer paper (about 12 feet), make a large calendar of the year,
lengthwise. Underneath the name of the month, put your meeting days,
weekends, and any pertinent activities.
Mark the dates of council events (especially
"individual" events like PA training), put Cookie dates on the
calendar, major holidays, and anything else you can think of.
Each day/weekend on the calendar is big enough for a sticky note
(another reason for not writing all the dates!).
Now, one event at a time, place the events where
they need to be. For planning work, put the post-its on the
meetings--no, we can’t do SWAPs, meal planning AND shopping
all in one meeting!!!
Now they see how many meetings are still empty.
Now they can decide how many Try-Its Badges, IPAs they want to try
Choose Awards to do
Use the same process with sticky notes and stars to come up with the
list of Awards to do.
Because your calendar can be rolled up quickly, your troop can use it
to track their progress during the year (repositioning sticky notes if
they need to)!
della shared the following about the success of this planning method:
"We have spent 2 meetings on this so far, and they have had FAR MORE
FUN planning than I thought they would. They feel VERY much in control
of their activities, they are VERY interested in what’s coming down the
pike, and (the best part for me), I keep hearing, "Ms. Della, this is
HARD to figure out how to do all this!" One even thanked me because they
didn’t know how much work planning a GS year is! We had to make a lot of
difficult decisions, because there’s only so much time during the year,
and so much to do! I saw a lot of teamwork, consensus building,
compromising, and other good qualities that we’re trying to build in
Download this more detailed sheet on the Girl/Adult Partnership.