Daisy Scout leaders, how do you do it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-06-2000
Daisy Scout leaders, how do you do it?
Tue, 03-19-2013 - 11:13am

I am finding that honestly spend 20+ hours a week on GS when you take into account the meetings, the prep (paperwork--for meetings & council, crafts (coming up with ideas & getting supplies), games, stores, distributing & geting patches/petals from GS store), banking, the leader meetings & the events.    Heck, just this weekend I spent 8+ hours working both our cookie booths (not to mention all the work that went into setting it up) & yesterday I spent 3 hours picking up & sorting cookies because my cookie mom screwed up the time/place to meet.     I really wasn't expecting it to be this much work. 

I have a 1st grade Daisy troop that is in their first year of scouts (12 girls).  We meet every other week (sometimes every week) & are earning 1 petal a meeting, plus working on another badge (a leaf or journey badge).  I have a co-leader, but she doesn't contribute to prepping the meetings (she does help with stuff, but it is all my ideas /work).   She did step up to be cookie mom becaseu no one else would & I said that I  could not do that & meetings.    I am still doing half of the cookie mom work :(

I volunteer at school too, so my time is being sucked away & I am behind on "real life" stuff.        I need a true co-leader that will share the responsiblity.   I really dread being a leader if I have to do everything!    How do I politely ask her to help with Brownies next year? 

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Community Leader
Registered: 05-28-2000
Thu, 03-21-2013 - 12:45pm

My advice is to have a meeting with parents.  Bring print outs of the meeting agenda and assign them to a scout / parent partner.  You can assign one part of the meeting or the entire thing.  When my older son was little we had the parents do a craft at each meeting. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
Tue, 03-26-2013 - 9:01am

It's true- Girl Scouts is quite tough to get the hang of during your first year because as a leader, you are entirely in charge of everything for your troop (whereas in cub scouts, there is already a pack set up to deal with money, fundraisers, trips, and such).  You will find that your second year will go by much more easily since you have been through it once.  But you are right- there is a lot there to do that is time consuming if you "do it the right way".  You will find that many adult leaders will skip a leaders meeting or skip an activity just because they don't have the time.  I'm finding that out from our newer leaders this year for even an event that my troop of cadettes completely planned for them and the leaders simply just had to tell the girls about it- the leaders didn't even have to come- and only 7 girls out of the whole service unit came... but that could also fall to the parents who were told, but decided to skip it.

So, my advice to you would be to finish out this year with the girls.  Assign a month to a pair of parent starting with June and tell them that they need to plan an activity or field trip and even give them some ideas.  Like a picnic and hike for one in June.  A trip to see a play for one in July.  A visit to the zoo in August.  And tell them that they need to collect info- get it to every parent, collect money and attend their event.  Tell them which badge it will apply to for the Brownie level and maybe try to work on 1 a month and that's enough.  That way you get all parents involved for one activity and you can see which ones you like and have your same style or which one your daughter gets along with.  I would then ask that person to be the troop treasurer or the troop paperwork person or the troop cookie mom for next year.  Now that you have seen each thing once (this year) and you know how it works, it will be easier for you to tell someone else what's invovled and offer to help them.  Explain how you felt overwhelmed with the work this year and you will be not intersted in continueing if you have to do everything.  Once the school year starts, you plan one meeting a month and keep assigning the other parents to plan the other meeting... you can even tell them what you want done.  Say- I need you to have them play a board game and then discuss the food chain (or whatever the topic is).  That way- you will be assured to have a parent there and you will have some time during meetings to deal with permission slips, parent questions, etc 

And just do what you can do.  Don't skip your dishes at home for more than an extra day.  Explain to the girls at the meeting time that you really had to do xyz for your family at home because that is important and that's why you don't have the certain part of something you would have liked to do with them... this is a good example to the girls that family is important and maybe their parents will also see you need help when you "show" that you don't have everything done so well for each meeting... since you are doing so well, they probably don't want to step on your toes.

And if you like scouts and you want to have your daughter keep with it... make it what suits you and her the most.  Yes, you need to have some consideration for all the others, but she is your family and she is your priority or you wouldn't be the leader.  I know that Brownies used to be the easiest years before they changed the program.  I am not really familiar with the program now, so I don't know what it will be like.  But if you are feeling in a jam and don't have time to prepare, just throw some cards or a game of apples to apples in your car and do that as the meeting sometime... it's really ok and the girls will love it.  And as they get into Brownies and older, ask them to do more of the leading.  You can have a kaper chart and let the girls be in charge of doing your opening/closing/clean-up... a parent could easily make that happen and switch the names each week for you until the girls are old enough... mine are 6-9th grade and I don't even start the meeting... they know to watch the clock and gather for flag and promise/law at a certain time.  And I sometimes go to meetings now without a plan (just my bag that has the binders and such) and I tell them that I dont' know what they want to do next, and that they need to come up with ideas for what they want to do at an upcoming camping trip and that these are the thank you notes that need written and I don't really care who does what, but it needs done and they need to have a plan of what comes next and how it's going to get done... so about a half an hour later, I get things handed to me on paper- "we want to do this next time and we need these supplies".  I know that is still a long way away for you, so yes- get parents to help, but also don't try to keep up with everything- it's impossible... and that is a tough lesson for people with the type A personality like me... but I did it.  I hope things work out for you.  And I hope that my (rambling) message will help you in some way.  

-Jen Livingston

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-06-2000
Wed, 04-10-2013 - 10:18am

Hi Ladies! 

THANK YOU!!!   So much for the advice Laughing       I have tried to get the parents involved & it hasn't happened.    I am very "type A", so yeah I try to do it all because I am the only one to do it.    It has to change or the group will not continue.    As a matter of fact, I will be sending out an email today becuase my co-leader can't meet at our meeting time next year & we have to find more help.      

Again, thanks for all the great advice!

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