Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Alas, it is 11:49PM. I started searching the web for girl scout ideas at 8PM and haven't found anything that will work. I have 19 girls between the ages of four and 8. If I find something to keep the older girls engaged, it is generally too complicated for the younger girls. And if I find something that appeals to the younger girls, the older girls will be bored out of their minds. Our space is limited, so outdoor games are difficult to find, and there is never a guarantee that we will be able to go inside, so that makes things difficult.

I am really frustrated here. So frustrated that I just had to give up for a while. I don't know what to do about scouts - it is quickly becoming the bane of my existence. My co-leader and I did finally make the decision to change our meeting schedule from weekly meetings to an every other week basis, but the planning thing has just become a nightmare. And I feel terrible about it. I try to make the meetings entertaining while slightly educational and my ideas have been tanking lately. The girls just want to go home (or they'll ask, "Will you sign me into after-care now? I'm bored"). They don't all hate it, but I feel guilty because I feel like I'm not doing the best job that I can, even though I'm trying.

It doesn't help that tomorrow is going to be a crazy busy day for me. I have to get up and get Bella off to school (in the honda of the tundra - it doesn't have any heat, and when I went to the car to get something earlier there was already ice forming on it, so it will be a cold ride), then come back home and get Bubba and myself dressed. Then I drop Bubba off at my MIL's, go in to work for a couple of hours, on my way home from work I need to stop at the store to get scout supplies and formula, go back to my MIL's and take her to lunch, then go to school for scouts (did I mention that there are 19 girls? this is not a relaxing activity). Then back to my MIL's to pick up Bubba, then home to rustle up something for dinner and get everyone into bed to start all over again. Sigh.

I am just at my wit's end. I am in all honesty almost in tears, because I feel hurried and harried and because I don't feel like I'm doing these girls any favors. I did put this off to the last minute this week, but I've been busy with other things and haven't had a chance. And now that I've vented a little, I'm going to resume my search for an activity that will not make the kids prefer quietly doing their homework under the supervision of a nun.


T with Honey said...

If i remember correctly my mom planned our scout meetings around activities to earn badges or planning upcoming trips/special activities. I can't remember for sure and specifics are way outside my memory recall abilities. I'll send her this way and maybe she'll be able to leave a comment with suggestions.

Anonymous said...

I am T’s (T with Honey) Mom. It sounds like you have Daisies and Brownies. First thing to remember, you will lose girls. It is not that you are doing something wrong. Some want only to be entertained. If they have to work too hard or think too much then they would rather get their homework done so they do not have to do it at home and could watch TV. You can also try getting older girls to read directions for the little girls to do the work. I worked with Junior Scout with 22+ girls. We did work around badges and holidays. We broke into groups and designed cardboard house (like a doll house). They designed measure, cut, glued and taped cardboard to make the house. The girls decorated their houses by cutting out pictures of furniture to put into the house. This took several weeks until the houses were done. They were not the prettiest but the girls had fun doing it. We check windows in the old school to see if they leaked with a candle flame (energy badge). We created “Hello” cards that a few girls delivered to a nursing home for the patients. We practiced Christmas carols and then one day after school with parents help, we took the girls to the county nursing home and sang carols. We made Easter baskets weaving construction paper strips. Decorate paper cups and putting seeds in them to grow a plant. I got the supplies from dues or donations from the families. I had parents or friends come in to talk to the girls. My hairdresser came in and talk to the girls about their hair. I got a Mary Kay representative do a demo. Some one can talk about the proper care of pet. Valentines Day is coming. They can make Valentines for family or friends. Presidents Day is coming up. Make a collage of presidents or US symbols taken from the internet or magazines. Memorial Day – What is it? Why do we celebrate it? Have each girl create a paper flag with crayons. Practice some patriotic song (God Bless America, etc.) and put on your own little show, maybe for their parents? A project does not have to be finished in one week. You get a box or two with lids to keep your supplies and unfinished projects. It keeps things together and easy to start and stop projects. We marched in Christmas and Memorial Day parades. I still have my daughter big cardboard star she made and decorated in brownies (I was not the leader) and wore over her coat in the Christmas parade. Last year I had to keep my 2 ½ year old granddaughter occupied. I printed out pictures from my computer of family members on regular paper. She cut them up and then glued the pictures, cotton balls, and stickers inside a lid of a gift box. It is a beautiful collage that I displace with pride. Remember, no matter what, you will lose girls.

MamaK said...

Wow. T's Mom sounds like a total expert leader! I love the holiday ideas! Could you also have 2 versions of the same activity, maybe? Like an option to make it more complicated for the older ones? And, you may not need this, but:

Also, I don't know if this would work, but.... our church does a VBS from group that purposely mixes ages in small groups. Each day (mtg?) there are jobs that get assigned and rotated later on. Like, READER (for someone to read instructions or short stories- depending on teh activity you could have a few of these) - and TIME KEEPER (who keeps track of how long is left for one activity, or when the break is, etc) - RANGER (odd name, but this is the gal who'd lead the others physically when it was time to change stations, etc. If she wanted to skip, everyone did!) - COACH (job was to encourage others all night).

Finally, I have at least two fairly easy and fun science experiments you can do with a crowd- just let me know if you want 'em :)