Monday, August 26, 2013

Growing Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts is back in full swing for me.  I had so many Girl Scout things to do last week and I was so busy that when Friday came and I knew my girls would be arriving for their first meeting I was a little tired.  Not dreading the meeting, but not full of the energy I knew would be required to interact with all my girls. 

To add to my trepidation we had two new girls joining our troop for the first meeting.  One of whom the girls were just getting to know because she just moved here.  Also, this is the first year we have an "accelerated" class, and half of my troop was in that class, the other half not.  I am still not sure how or if this will effect the girl dynamics, but I am going to keep an eye on it! 

So.....what happened, why this long winded introduction, get to the point lady!  Right?!

I was pleasantly surprised.  That is what happened.  I had to reassert myself for some of the girls who need a little discipline and structure.  That was expected and not as difficult as it was last year.  We played a fun get to know each other better game.  That went well.   They were noisy and boisterous, and had fun, which was good. 

Then I told them we were going to do a circle, a REAL Girl Scout circle.  Now, we have been doing circles for all their years in Scouts, but we have never really set rules.  We have always commented and not necessarily gone around the circle, sometimes it was a raise your hand and let's see what happens event.  This time we had guidelines ahead of time.  I appointed a timekeeper to keep a maximum limit of two minutes on our long winded girls.  They were not allowed to talk or respond unless it was their turn.  They had to actively listen.  We talked about this before we started, and I was a bit nervous.  They are only eight, I wasn't sure they were ready for this. 

We started with a full stop moment, but I don't really like that term.  Instead I told them we were going to take a minute and put ourselves on pause, close our eyes, and just relax and not think so we could better focus.  This resulted in a few giggles, but I think the more I do it the more it will work.  

Well shock me silly, there were a few infractions in our circle, but we are learning, for the most part they were attentive to one another and willing to share.  Most of the kids just shared a quick little something about their week or summer.  I had one girl who HAD to fill up her two minutes and kept going and going and going and going, even though she really had nothing left to say.  I had one pass because she wasn't yet comfortable, but even my new girls shared. 

I am not going to share what they shared with you as that is our private knowledge, but some of the girls were sharing things you could tell touched them deeply.  I was touched. 

For our next meeting I have one or two more girls joining us.  I am going to build on what we have a started and make sure it becomes our tradition.  My true hope is that these girls remain in Girl Scouts and are able to stick with each other through high school.  Growing up is hard, the more good friends you have the better, and they know that I don't tolerate hearing that they are not helping each other out and being a sister to every Girl Scout.  Sometimes that is challenging for them, but eventually I hope that no matter what social circle they join at school they will still be there for each other. 

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