Troop too big??? How to deal?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2006
Troop too big??? How to deal?
6
Wed, 10-25-2006 - 6:30pm

Man... I'm co-leader (first time) of a brownie troop, first graders. all 15 of them!

It just seems so hard to deal with them all, even when the leader and I split them up in half.

Any tips or tricks?

Avatar for celticmom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 10-25-2006 - 8:22pm

When you speak to them, speak softly!

Gayle

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2006
Wed, 10-25-2006 - 10:22pm

Any chance of getting another adult in there. 15 first graders is a huge undertaking (for me), but 15 third graders is managable.

Yvonne

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-25-2006 - 10:57pm

besides prozac and vodka.. Not really..lol...
Just wanted to really say HI , welcome and best of luck
this is a GREAT place to come to!

tammy

Avatar for cl_cathiann
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 10-26-2006 - 9:06am
Oh I think 15 can be a great size for a troop.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
Thu, 10-26-2006 - 11:22am

Last year we had 18 Brownies...1 was 2nd grade, 1 was a repeat K, and the other 16 were 1st and most were new to scouting. We had a classroom in a church hall that had a rug and 3 hexagonal tables...so 6 to a group and we begged for an extra adult each meeting and had 2 juniors most of the time.

Here's how we managed to get things done: snack first and let them chat for a little bit while I got organized...then towards the end of snack, I had them be quiet and I told them anything really important.

Then we did things in groups or pairs mostly and one adult or junior was in charge of overseeing each group. For trickier parts of crafts, we had them go 1 or 2 at a time to the corner to finish with an adult. For Brownie Ring, keep it short. I had to remind them often that Brownies is supposed to be fun and not like school...but they had to hear directions in order to play the game or make the craft. Sometime we had a talking stick or ball and only that one could talk. Or do a quick get to know you game like say your name and favorite flavor ice cream or do something that starts with the same letter of your name...(I was jumping Jennifer and had to jump and my co was Dancing Dawna and she had to dance, then we went around the ring and had everyone say each name and do each movement.) To actually learn the girl scout stuff like about Juliette Low or world centers or SWAPS or any of the trivia type of things, we would play games or make up silly ways to say things which would help them remember and make them feel more a part of something larger. When we had to stay in our room, we would invite guests over or tell them about upcoming events and how what we were doing that day would be needed for that day in the future or how cards we made would make others feel when the got them...always try to connect it to something larger. And keep decisions to a bare minimum, but do have votes so they learn. Come up with 2 or 3 choices and then let them vote on non-critical things...we tried to have them vote about using money for a particular thing and we ended up changing the vote to if you thing Mrs. L. should make this decision for you, raise your hand...it was just too much even though we had tried voting before and we had talked about the money earned from our cookie sale. They just couldn't handle it though.

Also, when the girls had to learn a particular thing like how to wash dishes in the out of doors or how to act around the campfire for our first outting, we devoted a meeting to pretending and had all the stuff there to actually DO the activity minus the water in the dishpans and only logs, but no fire in our campfire. They learn by trying so try many things. And find some to fall back on like the Color A Smile thing mentioned earlier... colorasmile.org is great for when you need a little down time. Also teach songs or have older girls come in to teach songs...especially ones with motions. They seem to really pay attention to that and keep on task for it.

I guess that after all this rambling, I'm trying to say that it's possible and even fun. Spend some time learning about the girls and make decisions based on them...like where you need to sit in Brownie ring and when to say the important stuff and what activities to do. Good Luck to you.
Jen

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 11-02-2006 - 6:38am

We had 15 to start too (have only 12 this year with 3rd graders).