We all know meeting new people can be intimidating, but from my experience, participating in random activities together is one of the best strategies for getting girls comfortable and getting conversations started. With the start of the new school year and back to troop season right around the corner, you’ll surely encounter tons of new faces in the coming months that you’ll want to remember. So whether you’re meeting your girls for the first time or just want them to get to know each other a little better, these four fun icebreaker activities will surely thaw any awkward vibes and leaf your girls laughing this fall:

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1. Action Name Game

Ideal Age/Level: Fun for everyone!

Remembering names can be hard, but this game, which pairs each girl’s name with an action or movement, is a surefire way to commit them to memory.

Rules and Instructions:

  1. Have everyone stand in a circle
  2. Go around the circle, having each girl say her name and something she likes to do while performing the corresponding action

    Some examples include:

    “I’m Leah and I like to swim” – moves arms in freestyle swimming motion

    “I’m Ashley and I like to read” – opens hands as if holding a book

    “I’m Marissa and I like to hike” – walks strenuously in place

  3. After each introduction, have the group repeat the speaker’s name and action in the format, “Hi, Leah who likes to swim” while moving arms in freestyle swimming motion
  4. Go around the circle until everyone has shared their name and action
  5. Too easy? Have the girls remember EVERY name + action combination! After each new introduction, have the group repeat the new introduction as well as all the previous introductions. So if Leah was first, Ashley was second, and Marissa was the last person to introduce herself, the group would repeat “Hi, Marissa who likes to hike, Ashley who likes to read and Leah who likes to swim” while performing each corresponding action. Repeating all the name + action combinations may be a little tougher, but the repetition will reinforce the memorization.

2. I Like My Girl Scout Who (AKA I Like My Neighbor Who)

Ideal Age/Level: Fun for everyone!

If you have an active group of girls who love to run around, I Like My Girl Scout Who is an exciting, fast-paced way for your girls to discover common interests.

Rules and Instructions:

  1. Have your group stand in a circle (if you like, you can set up chairs, but make sure the number of chairs is one less than the number of girls participating)
  2. For each round, one girl will stand in the middle of the circle. When in the middle of the circle, the girl must say her name and something that she likes.

    Some examples include:

    “Hi, I’m Leah and I like my Girl Scout who… likes Thin Mints”

    “Hi, I’m Ashley and I like my Girl Scout who… likes camping”

    “Hi, I’m Marissa and I like my Girl Scout who… is wearing green”

  3. As soon as the speaker finishes her statement, everyone (including the speaker) who agrees with the speaker’s statement must run and find a new spot in the circle. Whoever does not find a new spot, remains in the middle of the circle and repeats the process.
  4. The fun can go on forever, but keep an eye out and make sure each girl introduces herself at some point in the game.

3. Whisper Line-Up

Ideal Age/Level: Younger girls, such as Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors

Need a quiet day? Whisper Line-Up tests your girls’ listening skills while keeping the volume low.

Rules and Instructions:

  1. The goal in this game is to form a single-file line, so first you’ll have to set an objective for the order you would like your girls to line up

    Some examples of objectives include:

    a. Alphabetical order by first name

    b. Alphabetical order by last name
    c. Birthdays or birth months
    d. Height
    e. Or even the number of letters in their full name

  2. The catch is your girls must complete the challenge while speaking quietly – only whispering is allowed in this game!
  3. Need more of a challenge? Don’t let your girls talk AT ALL… This gives them the opportunity to discover new ways of communicating, like gesturing.
  4. Want to add even MORE fun to this activity? Since your girls are already in a single-file line, have them try out another game like Telephone Charades or Scattergories.

4. Human Bingo

Ideal Age/Level: Older girls, such as Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors

Human Bingo may require some extra planning ahead of time, but doesn’t require you to mediate the activity, giving you time to sit back and relax while your girls talk amongst themselves.

Rules and Instructions:

  1. Before your meeting, prepare bingo cards – filling the slots with common interests and traits, such as “has a cat”, “wears glasses”, “likes to hike”, etc. We’ve attached an example of a Human Bingo Sheet, but feel free to personalize the card’s slots with this Word Doc to better suit your group
  2. Print out cards ahead of time and make sure you have enough copies, so every girl in your group gets one.
  3. To start the activity, simply provide each girl a bingo card and a pen/pencil
  4. Have girls chat and mingle in order to find other people in the group who fit the descriptions in each slot. Be sure to set a limit on the number of times a girl can sign each bingo card! I’d suggest 2-3 signatures for small groups and, if you have a group larger than 15, tell your girls that they can only sign their name once on each person’s card.
  5. Play until someone fills five slots in a row (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) and announces “BINGO!” Have some extra time? Have your girls complete the entire Bingo card instead of just one line

There’s no magical, instant friend making icebreaker, so whichever activity you choose, just try your best to get your girls mingling. Whether your girls are whispering about birthdays or chatting about cats, you never know what random fact or action might spark a new friendship.

What to do next:

  • Share this post with your fellow troop leaders and volunteers so their girls can make new friends too!
  • Check out more kid-friendly icebreakers for your troop meetings
  • Share your favorite icebreaker activity in the comments section below

Leah TakahashiLeah Takahashi—Leah is the Digital Marketing Specialist for Girl Scouts of Northern California, where she creates content, plans blog posts, and promotes all things Girl Scouts in all formats digital. Leah joined Girl Scouts at the age of 5 and has been a part of the organization ever since (shout out to Troop 31213 – woot woot). During her younger Girl Scout days, Leah did everything from selling thousands of Girl Scout Cookies to serving as a National Delegate at the 2011 Convention and even earning her Gold Award in 2012. She may be young, but she’s got plenty of Girl Scout experience under her belt and is excited to share it with you!

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