Here’s a meeting guide for a great November meeting, incorporating the “Caring & Sharing” Try-It and Thanksgiving all into one fun-filled meeting.
Your Brownies will get to discuss what it means to be caring and share with others, as well as practice both skills. Focusing on the Caring & Sharing Try-It during November makes it easy to talk about what the girls are thankful for and tie the lesson together around the holiday. Enjoy this sample agenda and feel free to comment on other activities you have tried with your troop for Caring & Sharing or in the month of November.
Start your meeting with a fun snack that teaches a lesson about Thanksgiving and being thankful for what we have. For snack, we made a Thanksgiving Mix. Each ingredient had a special meaning that we discussed as a troop. Use the following ingredients:
• Twist pretzels: to represent hands folded in prayer
• Bugles: to represent the Thanksgiving cornucopia and all the great food at the Thanksgiving celebration
• Dried fruit, such as cranberries, raisins and dried apples: symbolizing the fruitful harvest
• Mini-marshmallows: symbolic of the first snow and the hard winter the Pilgrims faced
• Pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds: to represent the seeds Pilgrims planted in order to provide a bountiful harvest the next year
• Candy corn: to represent the corn eaten at the first Thanksgiving
You could either make the mix yourself before the meeting or you could have each girl bring one of the ingredients. Serve on Thanksgiving themed plates with Thanksgiving napkins to get them in the holiday spirit!
As the troop is eating snack, ask each member to share what she is thankful for, what she likes best about Thanksgiving, or what she’ll do with her family for Thanksgiving this year.
Following snack, start the official meeting with the Girl Scout Promise and then move into the activities for the meeting. Tell them that they’ll be earning the Caring & Sharing Try-It and that the meeting will be focused on those values. To get them in the mood, read a book to the troop that represents the values of caring and sharing in action. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (http://www.amazon.com/Giving-Tree-40th-Anniversary-Book/dp/0060586753/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1288834188&sr=8-1) is a great story for this age group and provides lots of parallels to the conversation about caring and sharing. Following the story, ask the troop questions about the boy’s relationship with the tree. What did the tree share? How did both the boy and the tree show that they cared? How could the boy have cared more about the tree? You’ll get some great answers to these questions from this age group.
Next, it’s time to put caring into action by giving the girls an example to share how they feel and care for one of their own troop members. Give each girl a note card with the name of own of their fellow troop members on the envelope. Have the girls spread out around the room and write a secret note to that girl. In the note, they should share what they like about that troop member. This gets them thinking about how they care about others. Once the girls are done writing, have them seal their envelopes and turn them into the leader. You can then distribute the cards to each troop member. Each troop member can then read and share their note out loud to the troop.
You can also continue the sharing and caring examples by having the girls participate in role playing. Put together a list of different scenarios that the girls can role play to the larger group. Some sample scenarios to include:
• Your best is upset because she feels left out. How would you show her that you care?
• A neighbor is sick and homebound. What would you do to show that you care?
• Your friend is nervous about singing in the school concert. How can you show her that you care?
• Your parents have lots of yard work to do at home. How can you help share in the work that needs to be done?
• Someone in your classroom forget her lunch. How can you demonstrate caring and sharing?
• One of the girls in your troop has a birthday. What would you do to show caring?
Write up each of these scenarios on a slip of paper and put them in a bag. Have the girls pair up, pick a scenario from the bag, and then act out the scenario. After each role play, talk about the lesson from the sharing and caring, and brainstorm other ways you could approach each scenario.
If you have extra time, you can talk about Thanksgiving as an opportunity to continue the sharing and caring lessons that they learned throughout the lesson. There are lots of great resources available online for puzzles, coloring sheets, etc. Check out this Thanksgiving crossword: http://www.dltk-holidays.com/thanksgiving/m-crossword.htm.
You can also have each member bring a donation for a local food bank and collect these items at the meeting. Talk about what each member brought and how their donations will help those in need. It’s a great way to put caring into action.
End your meeting with the Friendship squeeze.