Notes on the leaves:When you go through the handbook, the leaves really aren’t that complicated to earn and they kind of overlap. I think they are designed to do 2 the first year and 2 the second year, but since almost half of our troop were Second Year Daisies we just did them all together over the course of a month which included one meeting, a Cookie Rally and a Field Trip. We also earned most of what they needed for the Cookie Pin during this time.
Leaves in Brief:Count it Up Leaf: Learn about the different type of Girl Scout Cookies. Learn how much they cost and practice making change. Set a sales goal
Talk it Up Leaf: Decide what you want to do with cookie money for troop and figure out how many cookies you need to sell to accomplish this. Decide how use money to help others and make a poster.
Money Counts Leaf: Practice understanding coin and paper money. Make a budget for a fun activity and talk about fun things you can do for free.
Making Choices Leaf: Find out the difference between wants and needs. Set a goal to save for something you want and help others get something they need and want.
FYI: There are a few things the handbook asks you to do to earn leaves that has the girls saying complicated phrases about how great selling cookies is. Not only would my girls (who are rather bright if I do say also myself) never be able to memorize these phrases, they sound disingenuous and manipulative. We skipped that part. (You will find that the Money Counts and Making Choices leaves are much more educational and worthwhile for the girls. But if you only did them, the vests would be unbalanced and we can’t have that.)
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So, it seems that Christmas had entirely taken over my OCD and I was a bit last minute with Girl Scout Stuff in January. All I have for this meeting is this hastily written sheet:
Front of my awesome itinerary for the week
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Gathering Activity : Worksheets
When they first came in we had the girls look and do the activities on pages 2-4 of the “Money Counts” booklet. This is where I wish we had all the kids buy the handbook. I had to make photo copies for the other kids. They come out awful in black and white and cost a fortune to do in color.
I also made two (very simple) worksheets for the kids. One was a sheet that had 1c, 5c, 10c and 25c on it and a place to match up the money and do money rubbings. On the table we had piles of coins (we took out coin rolls from the bank that morning). The other was photo copies of different size bills where they had to circle where you could tell how much it was worth. Also, they each got a voided check (the Girl Scout account came with more then we could ever use) and we taught them how to write a check for $5. Obviously, we voided them later.
Promise Leader of the day led the promise.
We went around the circle and all the kids said what they did that was brave in the last few weeks. We stopped “All ‘round the
Daisy Circle” at this point because the girls were getting bored with it and it was taking too long. We tried to have only few girls give answers at the beginning to save time, but the girls immediately nixed this idea. They wanted everyone to have a turn. So from here on out everyone answered the question of the day, but going around the circle in order instead of where the flowers landed.
Cookie Taste Test
We took great pains to try to get as many Girl Scout cookies as we could for the girls to try. You wouldn’t think this was as hard as it was. This was the beginning of cookie season and the only people that had them were from last year. We were able to get Trefoils, Do-Si-Does, Thank You Berry Much and Dulce de Laches from our Service Unit Cookie Manager. (She had a stash in her freezer). Then we got the Keebler versions of Thin Mints and
Samoas, Grasshoppers and Coconut Delights (I know sacrilege, but we were desperate). Savannah Smiles and Tagalongs went untasted, unfortunately.
Believe it or not we still had snacks after this. Even more unbelievable, the girls ate it all. Though, I think we were smart and had something like grapes and water. After handing out food we got out our big notebook and started talking about how we were going to use our cookie money and how much we would have to sell to meet these goals.
We used the “personal goal” to help the kids decide what they wanted to in the fall. We explained that we would use the cookie money to keep doing fun things like field trips and crafts then we asked if the girls liked doing the Garden Journey. They all said yes, though we hadn’t done anything with the Journey in months. They did like the books and loved taking their turn with the mini-garde
Whenever we had the girls decide something big we tried to give them only two choices. (And maybe kinda I made the one I wanted them chose sound a tiny bit better. Lalala.) We gave them the choice between the two remaining Daisy Journeys “5 Flowers, 4 stories, 3 Cheers for Animals” and “Between Earth and Sky”. For this exercise we chose to ignore the fact that 3 of the girls were going to be Brownies in the fall. It would have made matters too complicated.
We described the Journeys as the “Animal Journey” and the “Road Trip Journey.” (I did read them ahead of time `cause I’m just that crazy). Then) we told them for the Animal Journey we would try to do a camp-out at the Zoo (It’s called the Scout Snooze” at the national zoo) and for the Road Trip Journey we could do a mini-road trip. Then we had the girls vote.
They chose the Animal Journey. The only thing shocking was that it wasn’t unanimous since I sold that Zoo Camping Trip like you wouldn’t believe and the girls were pretty darn excited about it. Who wouldn’t be? Coolest thing ever.
After choosing we went through the things we would need to buy for the journey and how much it would cost, including the books, patches and field trip. Then showed the girls how many boxes of cookies would need to be sold to pay for that. I did some quick (and extremely rough) math and we came up with the troop goal of selling 600 boxes.
The cool part girls totally got this and bought into this and that as our team goal. Down-side, looking back, the estimate was absurd. We wound up selling over 1000 boxes and after doing a budget for the end of the year and the second half of next year there was no way the troop was going to be able to cover the cost of the Scout Snooze. We had to have the families’ pay of the zoo camping trip on their own and we’ll still be charging dues. Between registration, all the other field trips, patches, pins and badges, and the books money goes fast. Thankfully, our families think it’s worth it.
The “Talk it Up” and “Making Choices Leaves” require a pledge and a plan to contribute to a charity of some kind. Also, it’s always a good thing to teach the girls, especially since the girls in my troop (my daughter included) have a pretty cushy life.
My co-leader and I had brainstormed what we thought were a few good ideas before hand, but we did open this up to the troop and had them go around the circle and say what they thought may be a good idea. We had a lot of ideas on how to give to the animals ,tying into the fall journey, like the shelter and the zoo (one girl was very adamant about the zoo idea) and several who wanted to give the money to homeless or hungry people.
We introduced the idea of SHARE, the Girl Scout charity and it was soundly shot down. For some reason whenever we bring up using our money to help girls pay for girl scouts our girls quickly vote it down. Since they chose another worthy charity we don’t fight them.
We knew at this point, having learned our lesson the hard way, that the girls were going to have to burn some energy or we were in trouble. So, we set up a money relay race. We had five cups set up on the far side of the room (spread out) with 1c, 5c, 10c, 25c and $1 on the side. Then we divided the kids into two groups and gave each group a cup of mixed coins and dollar bills.
The game was a relay race, a girl from each team was to grab something at random from their cup, run across the room and put it in the correct cup, then run back and tag the next girl, etc etc, until all the money was gone.
The girls did better then I thought they would at sorting (this wasn’t easy for the kindergartener) and they really enjoyed the game of it. Burned off plenty of energy. There was a winning team, though it was close. We try not to dwell on the winners and shuffled the girls to the next activity before anyone could have hurt feelings.
Pretend Booth Sale (half of the kids)
After the relay, my co-leader immediately led one team into another room the play “booth sale,” which is just like playing lemonade stand but with cookies so they loved it. We used the empty cookie boxed and real money. The buyers had a twenty dollar bill and the girls behind the stand had fives and ones. The girls took turns buying and selling.
Poster (half of the kids)
I took the other half of the kids into the craft room and let them make a poster. I asked them what the wanted to say. It was something like “Buy Cookies. Help the puppies.” (They were really into helping the puppies at this point). I wrote it in pencil across a piece of white poster board. Then I gave the girls glitter pens and markers to trace the letters and decorate.
The girls had a really good time doing this. The poster was a mess. Completely unusable. There were so many different colors and glittery curlicues there was no way anyone could have read it. In the end, we didn’t use it for booth sales at all and we wound up doing something different entirely (but I’ll talk about that later).
Closing Circle: In the interest of transparency, I’m not sure if we even got to do a closing circle during this meeting. We ran way over. The girls didn’t even have time to switch back and do the opposite activity, time was so tight. If I could do it differently, I’d skip the poster and have all the girls play booth sale, either together or in two groups.
The only homework was for the girls who showed up late and didn’t get to do the worksheets at the beginning to finish them. I also had handouts about the movie night/cookie rally and the spending wisely trip. They were all hand written because I was a mess that first Friday after Christmas. Ugh. Sigh. I’m stressed just writing about it.