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As we get cozy this fall, it’s a great time to plan activities, crafts, and projects based on friendship and giving. As part of the Girl Scouting community, it’s so important to continue to teach girls about the power of generosity. Fall is a special time of year in our troop—we plan for the next year, get to know each other a little better, and even work on being better sisters to our fellow Girl Scouts.
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With over 35 girls in our troop from the Daisy to Ambassador levels, focusing on coming together as a Girl Scouting family is important. Here are six things we do to come together as a troop and embrace the fall season.
Host a Friendsgiving or Special Gathering That’s Girl Focused
What’s cozier than sharing fall foods with friends! In our troop, sharing a meal together is a big deal. Fall is a great time to host a backyard party with food and fun. Challenge girls to create games they can play together, foods to share, and how they can use the power of friendship to have a great party.
This year we’re changing things up and hosting a Frozen Movie Day, and the girls and the female role model in their lives will be our guests. Best of all, the girls get to design their own Frozen look to wear at the showing! We’ll roll out the red carpet for all the girls and their guests with themed snacks, treats, and cheer.
Hold a Ceremony
If you’ve never held a dedication or rededication ceremony, this is the perfect time of year. One troop leader in Ohio said they specifically wait until November to host this because it is a great way to bring in the importance of the Girl Scouts Mission and reinforce what a sisterhood Girl Scouting is.
In Texas, Troop Leader Melissa Miller says that her girls enjoy planning and implementing their own rededication ceremony each year. For them, a candle ceremony is one way their troop celebrates Girl Scouting. Candlelight Ceremonies have been a tradition in Girl Scouting for many years. When used as part of a troop’s Investiture or Rededication Ceremony, the candles can represent parts of the Promise and Law. This year, Melissa’s troop also completed part of their dinner party badge by making a fall-themed meal for themselves and guests.
Candle Ceremonies can also represent the flame of Girl Scouting that each of us has in our hearts. In our troop, we often talk about how the light of our candles during Investiture or Rededication is to remind us that even in the darkest of times, the smallest light can guide our way. When we first started, we had only 8 girls light a candle and say the Promise and Pledge while holding them. This year we had over 24 girls lighting candles!
Create a Kindness Drive/Project
From gathering food to hosting a coat drive, this is the time of year to show you care. Some of our favorite kindness projects have been writing cards for Honor Flight, sending cards to our local Veteran’s Hospital or Nursing Home, and even leaving kindness rocks around the city. However your troop decides to focus on Kindness, don’t forget to remind them that kindness is an action that everyone should practice daily.
Prepare Your Community for the Change in Season
Talking with girls about what happens as fall comes and the weather changes is a great way to introduce social responsibility and ways to take action in their communities. The season naturally brings out the “giving” part in many of us, but it is important to discuss the reasons why this time of year makes us want to give and help others. This type of project is also easily tied to badges like My Neighborhood for Daisies, Give Back for Brownies, and Social Innovator for Seniors.
Learn to Sew or Knit
Learning to sew is something everyone should learn to do. When you learn to sew or knit you can create warm blankets, caps, scarves and more. Sewing also builds fine motor skills, launches creativity, and creates an opportunity to design new things. Plus on a cold day, it’s easy to have the girls sit together, without distractions like phones and tech and have conversations while they work. If you yourself don’t know how to sew, check with your local quilters club, craft store, or fashion design school to see if an expert can come to a troop meeting as a guest.
Explore Your Inner Foodie
Left: Kayleigh O. with fall-themed cupcakes. Right: Caitlyn N. prepares for an upcoming troop meal.
Food is a great way to bring people together. Host a Girl Scout dinner party and have the girls dress up and have each girl bring a dish that they have made. Pick a theme like local favorites, fancy foods, or brunch. Let each girl talk about their dish and why they brought it to share. Work on table manners, using kind words, and if you are really bold, creating a meal plan that includes an appetizer, salad, main dish with sides and dessert.
No matter what you choose to do, don’t limit yourself to handprint turkeys and fall leaf crafts. The fall season is about so much more!
What to do next:
- Break out the popsicle sticks, yarn, and all the crafting supplies in between with these easy fall art projects for all craft levels. Don’t want to be limited to the pumpkin season? The craft world is yours for the picking with a range of projects that take fifteen-minutes tops to create.
- Kickstart the season of giving a month early with a kindness project. No work of love begun or deed of kindness done is without value, whether your girl starts her own Giving Tuesday jar or writes an encouraging chalk message on the sidewalk.
- Looking for more ways to flex your creative muscles? Check out past Trailhead articles on Girl Scouts taking the creative route to tackle a badge, being both thrifty and artsy, and doing so much more.
Richel Newborg—Richel is a troop leader to Troop 2740 located in Fort Worth, Texas (although she was born and raised in California). Her mom and grandmother were also Girl Scout Leaders. Her favorite memory so far as a troop leader was packing friends, family, and excited girls into her living room (almost 50 people) when their bridging/rededication ceremony was rained out. It was crowded but an awesome celebration of Girl Scouting and they even managed to have a real bridge!Richel is a troop leader to Troop 2740 located in Fort Worth, Texas (although she was born and raised in California). Her mom and grandmother were also Girl Scout Leaders. Her favorite memory so far as a troop leader was packing friends, family, and excited girls into her living room (almost 50 people) when their bridging/rededication ceremony was rained out. It was crowded but an awesome celebration of Girl Scouting and they even managed to have a real bridge!