Junior Girl Scouts (part 4 of 4)
David D. Miller +49 6221 404415 (DDM@DHDIBM1.BITNET)
Wed, 7 Oct 1992 18:28:20 CET
One final idea, which you may or may not be able to use: you mention
moving from one table to another. Sometimes you can get very good
results by just not using tables. My favourite Scout meeting places
are normally empty, but with folding tables and chairs available.
The first advantage is flexibility: you can have games with the girls
all running about, or you can set up tables in any pattern you want.
Once the girls master the art of quick-change for their meeting place
other good things can start to happen. Watching a hall change from a
postal sorting office dealing with 5000 Christmas cards a day, to a
open room for a Cub Scout end of season party (with food), to a theatre
for 150 Beaver parents and their friends, to a banquet hall for forty
Venture Scouts (all this inside 36 hours) gives a wonderful feeling
of satisfaction (and exhaustion!).
The cliques that form sometimes form around a place for the clique to
be, such as around their table. If you don't give them a table, but
just chairs, you'll find that a circle of chairs is much more open to
visitors. Also, by changing the furniture round from activity to
activity, the overconfident girls get slightly lost. Everything is
new: everything is a learning experience.
If possible, start and finish the meeting with an empty room. Encourage
the girls to arrive and move to their patrol corners as soon as
possible. For the opening, have them move out into the middle of the
room, or into a horseshoe at one end - just to emphasize that it's a
ceremony. Similarly, finish the meeting in the same formation, and
use it at other times, like award presentations and investitures.
My old Scout Troop was dismissed from the horseshoe immediately after
flagbreak, and returned to their own corners for the PL to collect
subs, take attendance and check the uniforms. A leader then came, and
did a ceremonial inspection, which included receiving the subs from
the PL. The PL was given a lot of responsibility - holding a couple of
dollars for two minutes, bringing the patrol to the alert, saluting the
leader while handing over the money, and finally bring the patrol back
to 'at ease'.
Inspection was usually followed by a lively game, decided by the adults,
but usually run by one of the PLs. That gives 15-20 minutes breathing
space for the adults to confirm the program for the rest of the meeting.
For the meat of the meeting, each leader or instructor had the choice
of furniture and location. In most cases, a circle of chairs was
more than enough. Just occasionally for crafts would we use a table.
Sitting on the floor is a sure-fire way to take the most precotious
kids down a peg or two. For discussions or yarns, sit down yourself
and let the kids come down to your level. (Use your assistants to
encourage the 'let'!) This works just as well with Cadette and Senior
Troops, especially when they're worried about their denim jeans getting
dirt off the floor!
We finished off our meeting with a snack, followed by clearing
everything up. By the time it came for the closing ceremony, the hall
was empty again for the flag lowering. With some groups, the closing
was done with the kids fully dressed to leave, with their bags or
whatever on the floor behind them. After the closing, they walk
straight out of the building.
David D. Miller
Scouting in Europe - A Unique Experience
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City