Whether this is your first time with a group of Daisies or you’ve been leading Daisy troops for a while, we know there’s a lot to teach these young girls about the wonderful world of Girl Scouting.
To give you some context, the Daisy Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting was the foundation for our first year in Girl Scouting. As a brand-new leader, I looked at the petals as our first year goals and I wanted to learn alongside the girls. Our troop meets biweekly which motivated me to map out each petal by month (November: Yellow, December: Light Green, etc.).
My Daisy troop was able to earn all 11 petals and 2 financial literacy leaves during our first year, and here’s exactly how we did that:
Meeting #1: Girl Scout Promise
The Promise Center of the Daisy flower badge represents the three tenets of our organization: serving God and our community, helping people at all times, and living by the Girl Scout Law.
The Promise Center is a natural place to start, since the Girl Scout Promise is at the center of everything we do as Girl Scouts. By group repetition at the beginning of meetings and individual practice at home, my Daisies learned the Promise and Law. To reach girls of various learning abilities and learning styles, I included pictures along with the words on a large poster. We reinforced the active side of our promise by discussing ways we keep our promise outside of meetings, like picking up litter or following the rules at school and home.
After a few meetings it’s not hard to see who can mouth the words; my kindergarteners always amaze me with how much they retain.
Meeting #2: Friendly & Helpful
The yellow petal (each petal has a name – this one’s name is Sunny) illuminates the importance of being someone who notices when others need help but also willingly offers their assistance.
Friendly & Helpful was the first petal we worked on and was a three-for-one learning experience. I showed the girls how to make the Girl Scout sign and taught them about the symbolism of our three fingers, representing the three parts of the promise. This was the first thing they learned during this meeting.
Then, each girl traced their hand 3 times, keeping the middle three fingers close together to create an outline of the Girl Scout sign. After tracing, they went back and added lines in between the three fingers and cut out each hand. Next, they glued the thumb and pinky together so that the hand is in the Girl Scout sign. As the girls were working, I told them about Juliette Low’s motto to “do a good turn daily” and explained that they would be practicing being like Juliette as well as earning their yellow petal by completing three helpful deeds. This was the second learning experience.
The girls went on and did their deeds at home and offered the hand to the person whom they assisted. Their last learning experience was volunteering at a Food Bank and discussing the Thanksgiving season together.
Meeting #3: Honest & Fair
The light blue petal, Lupe, teaches girls that our word is our bond. We strive to be truthful and support equal treatment for all.
Honest & Fair was the only petal we initially skipped over – we ended up completing this petal 2nd, instead of 1st, as it’s listed in the Girl Scout Law. We used our first December meeting to play board games and I asked the girls to show good sportswomanship by not only following all game rules, but also cheering for the winner of the game. This activity is great for after a break as it allows the girls to get reacquainted and learn while having fun! We chose games that involved 4 players and only required basic counting skills like Hi-Ho-Cherry-O, Candyland, and Pop the Pig.
Meeting #4: Considerate & Caring
The light green petal, Zinni, emphasizes walking in others’ shoes and living by the Golden Rule of treating others the way we’d like to be treated.
Earning Considerate & Caring was 100% organic – go figure! On social media, I read the story of Safyre, a New York child whose home was burned and who lost her entire family in the fire right before Christmas. I knew I had to share this story with my girls, who then used this meeting to craft cards of love and support for her.
Meeting #5: Courageous & Strong
The red petal, Tula, teaches us to be brave, even when we feel afraid, by summoning our inner strength.
We earned Courageous & Strong by watching a short video about Sybil Ludington, who was the 16-year-old female equivalent of Paul Revere, but has gone virtually unacknowledged in history books. We discussed the impact that young people can make and I reminded them of their own contribution of time and labor to the Food Bank in November. It’s helpful when earning a new petal to show how its concept connects to each of the others.
Meeting #6: Responsible for What I Say and Do
The orange petal, Mari, encourages us to keep our word and be reliable for the things that we say we will do.
My Daisies completed the Responsible for What I Say and Do petal requirements during the Winter holiday break. I gave the girls chore ideas and chore charts and they were responsible for filling out the chart with their parents and carrying out the chores for two weeks (school days only). With this activity, I was hoping it would also benefit the parents as it taught the girls to take responsibility for their homes!
Meeting #7: Use Resources Wisely
The green petal, Clover, covers being diligent in taking and using the resources we have, and emphasizes the importance of the 7 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Refuse, Repair, Recycle, Repurpose, and Recover.
Use Resources Wisely was a combination of a field trip to a local recycling center (I’ll never look at garbage the same!) and a fun recycling craft. At our next meeting, the girls brought egg cartons that they upcycled into a Mother’s Day wreath, further helping our planet while also doing something sweet for their moms.
Meeting #8: Respect Authority
The magenta petal, Gerri, reminds girls to follow instructions of those in charge of safety and security.
The meeting to earn Respect Authority was hosted by a troop parent whose husband is a police officer. She invited a female Deputy Sheriff to her home to speak to the troop about her job. The girls adored meeting Deputy Fox, asking lots of questions, and checking out her awesome duty belt. Overall, I thought that inviting a guest speaker to run this meeting was a great way to engage the girls in a new way and made the meeting a little easier for me to plan.
Meeting #9: Respect Myself and Others
The purple petal, Gloria, shows that good feelings have a ripple effect and, when you start with treating yourself well, you benefit along with everyone around you.
We achieved the Respect Myself and Others petal with an online story and quick craft. We listened to a reading of Kevin Henkes’ Chrysanthemum. The title character is a happy-go-lucky little girl until she gets to Kindergarten and finds out that her name is not so normal. She is teased and bullied by her female classmates and starts to dislike school and herself. The story takes a heartwarming twist when a well-liked, cool substitute teacher remarks on the beauty of Chrysanthemum’s name, making the girls who were being unkind suddenly anxious to have similarly flowery names.
As I handed out tissue paper hearts, we talked over the story’s meaning and noted that, like our own fragile hearts, once the paper is crumpled, it is impossible to get all the wrinkles out. Because of this, it’s important to be kind to ourselves and to each other so that we don’t add any unnecessary wrinkles to our hearts. The girls thought up and wrote positive, affirming words on their hearts, such as “beautiful, “helpful,” “smart,” “strong,” and “kind.”
Meeting #10: Make the World a Better Place
The rose-colored petal, Rosie, illustrates that when girls notice and address a community need, they will positively impact many lives.
My troop chose to make the world a better place by coordinating a warm clothing drive through One Warm Coat. The elementary school where our meetings are held allowed us to place a collection box in the main office from Thanksgiving break until Winter break. Hanging the poster provided by One Warm Coat and a quick post to the school’s parent’s club website were all we needed to have a successful service project. Our drive was also featured in our weekly first grade parent newsletters. To our surprise, at the end of our drive, two schools donated all of the coats from their lost and found to us as well!
By taking the lead like Girl Scouts to build a better world, my Daisy troop was able to see the influence that a seemingly-small project could have on other people in our community.
Meeting #11: Be a Sister to Every Girl Scout
The violet petal, Vi, reminds girls that we have sisters all over the world and that, no matter what level of Girl Scouting we represent, we are all working toward one common goal.
Be A Sister to Every Girl Scout was my absolute favorite petal, though it took a little more coordination than the others because we participated in the Flat Juliette exchange. I found a leader of a twelve-girl troop from New York and, after a few emails, we agreed on our plan for the project (If you aren’t a part of the Daisy Girl Scouts Facebook group, RUN TO YOUR COMPUTER NOW! What an amazing resource!).
The girls exchanged Flat Juliettes and traveled with them during Spring Break. After the break had ended, we sent the Flat Juliettes back with journals, pictures, and some artifacts – it was so much fun! When we opened the boxes with the returned Flat Juliettes from the other troop, we loved reading about their adventures and seeing pictures of where they had been.
The only snafu: one of my girls moved, lost the Flat Juliette, and was unable to complete the project. Nonetheless, my daughter and I pulled together a last-minute project for our sister in New York so she could earn the petal in a different way. Moral of the story: be prepared to work with your girls and their families when your activities don’t go as planned!
Meeting #12: Financial Literacy Daisy Leaves
The Financial Literacy and Cookie Business leaves are a natural complement to the Fall Sales and/or Girl Scout Cookie programs. Our troop chose Money Counts and Count It Up for our first Fall Sale and we will tackle the other two leaves (Making Choices and Talk It Up) during our cookie season. The leaves give many Girl Scouts their first introduction to vital business and life skills, such as counting money and money management.
A side note about managing expectations: every leader must gauge the amount of time commitment they can expect from their families. For my troop, our girls and their families agreed that some petals would be 100% troop completed, some would be partially completed in meetings with a portion done at home, and just two were to be 100% at-home commitments. I notified parents of the importance of their roles in our troop and asked that they kindly inform me of any way I could help the girls earn all their badges. Girls who join the troop later or are absent on the day of a badge-earning activity were also asked to complete those projects at home.
Earning Additional Badges and Patches
There is so much to do in Northern California to earn additional badges and patches; you and your Daisies are only limited by your imagination!
- For fun, my girls really loved attending the Oakland A’s game, where they got to march on the field. Last year, we were directly behind the flag bearers, which was EPIC!
- A great way to volunteer is through a Take Action Project with the National Park Service’s Junior Ranger program. We are so fortunate to have so many National Parks in our area; one of the many reasons Girl Scouting in NorCal is the best!
- Participating in many of the events and activities council offers can help your Daisies earn a patch or badge! Search for programs for your troop in Activity Finder.
Liz LiVolsi—Liz LiVolsi is a second-year Girl Scout Daisy leader of 12 eager first grade girls and stay-at-home mom of two great kids. She is a former junior high Language Arts teacher who adores everything Girl Scouting: spending time outdoors, crafting, having adventures and learning. Follow Liz and her troop’s adventures on Instagram: @datroopleada.