Running Your Girl Scout Troop - "Manners"

This Try-it was one of my favorite to do with the girls. You have to put in the time with them but the results are worth it. I also did not cover the requirements as they are written exactly. Once you read what to do I believe you will feel the girls will have done enough to earn this Try-it and have had a lot of fun doing it.

Girl Scouts has phased out the Try-its. You can no longer get this Try-it patch. That does not mean it is not a worth while meeting to have for your girls. If you really want a patch, you can get a fun patch for the back of their vest.

The Meeting

Plan for a "station" meeting. Have one adult or older Girl Scout run each station. Have one leader keep meeting on time and help with any problems that arise with the girls during the meeting. She can also be extra hands if a station needs them. Keeping the meeting on time is the most important thing. For this Try-it you will need three stations. As the girls are gathering play a simple game with them such as telephone. Pick something age appropriate and that will keep them in their seats so they stay calmer for the meeting. Do your opening for the meeting. Explain to the girls that you are going to have a Thank You Tea. At this meeting they will be planning the Tea and learning proper manners for setting up and serving at the tea. They will make their invitations. Also tell them to dress properly for the "event". My little ones always love a reason to get dressed up. This is a really good one. Lastly, they will learn other manners that are important in life. Break down your girls into smaller groups for the stations. Don't put all the talkative or shy girls in one group. If you have 15 girls there should be 5 in each group. It does not matter which station a group starts at, as long as they get to all of them. The extra leader should time the meeting into 20 minute sections. Then rotate the groups to the next station. This meeting may be a little longer than your other meetings. You will need a full hour just to do the stations and 20-30 minutes for your opening and closing.


The Stations

Station 1. You can cover requirement #2. Talk to the girls about being polite to others and have them practice doing so. They should practice greeting a person as they would for the Tea. Make sure you include the "talking" manners you want them to use at your Tea. If time permits include other ways of being polite such as taking a phone message.

Station 2. You can cover requirement #4. I didn't do a restaurant though. I showed them how to set a table. Use paper and plastic items for practice. Teach them the "serving" manners you want them to use at your Tea. You might be able to find a story book on this subject for this station or as a closing activity for the troop as one group.

Station 3. Hand make invitations for the Tea. Teach the girls the proper way to do an invitation. I had the girls invite one special person in their life to the Tea as a thank you to that person. It can be a Mom, Grandparent, neighbor anyone they want. You can photocopy all the important info, time, date, reason for Tea, etc to be glued into the invitation. The girls can address it and decorate it. Try to stay away from things like glitter glue or anything that has to dry for a long time or is bumpy. They girls need this to get home and to their guest in one piece. This is why I like colored pencils. Completing an invitation to use, as an example for the girls, the night of the meeting is helpful. If there is time the girls can decorate place mats for the Tea.

The Tea

Host your Tea. How you run your Tea has to be up to you. Here are a few things you can consider.

Pick a date and place that will work for the girls. They all must have a guest at the Tea for this to work. Talking to your parents first may help with the date. You can have the girls pick an alternate person in case their first choice can't make the time you pick.

I asked the girls to make or buy something to bring. I had a list of who was going to bring what so I didn't have all brownies. You will need:
Cold drinks, finger foods (baked goods and fresh fruit etc), paper plates, cups, napkins, paper towels, table cloths, and flowers or balloons for decorations.

Do Not serve hot beverages. The girls will be serving. At least one will spill.

Make sure you fill out any paper work that your council requires if you are holding your Tea at a location other than your regular meeting place.

You may want to buy some of the paper supplies in larger quantities to get a lower price per item. You can use the "extra" for other events later in the year.


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