Tonight was our first official Daisy Girl Scout meeting.
It was without a doubt one of the most insane experiences of my life.
Parents dropped their children off promptly at 5:30 PM and drove away smiling and grateful that they weren't the brand new troop leader.
Because there needs to be one non-related adult here with me for all troop meetings, I've recruited one of the parents to participate during every event from now until our last meeting in June. So tonight it was just the two of us ... and one Girl Scout Cadette (i.e., an older Girl Scout) with a room full of absolutely WIRED six-year-old girls.
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD.
Less than five minutes in to it, I couldn't tell if I was suffering from the onset of a rapid and acute migraine or if someone was trying to squeeze my brain out of my head.
For years and years and years, I've been getting together with three of my triplet mom friends and their kids and there would be TWELVE children and there wasn't nearly the chaos as there was with a room full of "Daisies."
That name "Daisies", does not do them justice. I suggest they change it to "MAN EATERS." Of course if they did that, then they wouldn't have people falling all over themselves to volunteer with these absolutely adorable little girls.
Now would they?
Despite my best laid plans to prepare for this meeting last night, Charlie and I instead watched a movie, while my mind was reeling with what I needed to do today to get ready. I've been thinking about it a lot, I just hadn't put any of my "thoughts" in to action. So this morning when I woke up, and I realized just how much time it would take me to prepare, I had a mini-nervous breakdown because I had to be at work and the meeting was scheduled to start 30 minutes after I arrived home, this afternoon.
My husband being the superstar that he is, stepped in to help.
His job was to pull together the "Welcome Daisy Troop!" board.
How it works in "Daisies" is that when the girls learn certain components of the Girl Scout Law, they earn a "petal" which corresponds to that law, in a specific color.
For instance, once the learn how to be courageous and strong, they earn a red petal patch. Once they learn to make the world a better place, they earn a pink petal patch. And so on and so forth until all of the petals are earned and they have a complete "Daisy" patch in the middle of their uniform. He did a fantastic job.
And once he completed that, he set about working on the "Who Am I?" board, which was an idea I had partially borrowed / partially created to help the girls get to know one another while also learning about the Girl Scout founder, Ms. Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low.
I'd read in one of my handbooks that we should cut out little "footprints" and put in basic trivia about Daisy Low that we would hide around the room. The girls would scatter to find the "footprints" and bring them back. We'd pin them up on the board and piece together who was this FIRST Girl Scout. I added a spin to the game by cutting out footprints that had basic trivia about each of the girls in the troop, as well.
But we never got to that game.
When they arrived, we set about on activity of drawing a picture of themselves with the appropriate eye color and hair color on individual little faces. Then, I had them draw a little "Daisy" that each picture was glued to.
There was more to this activity, that involved hunting and finding all of the "footsteps" that had been strategically hidden around the room which I had planned to glue to the "Who Am I?" board, but before we could get to that, there was a wrestling match in the middle of the floor and children were climbing the walls.
So we shifted to the "Name Game." Ten minutes later we shifted to "Mother May I?" Ten minutes later we shifted to "Duck Duck Goose." Ten minutes later we shifted to learning a new song. Ten minutes later we shifted to learning the Girl Scout handshake. Three minutes later we switched to the "Blob" game. Ten minutes later everyone was thirsty and needed a drink of water. And so on and so on it went for SEVENTY FIVE MINUTES.
All in all, it was truly fun. The children were delightful. But I need to figure out some kind of way to keep them focused that doesn't involve a cattle prod.
After everyone left and I was cleaning up downstairs, I was actually grateful that we didn't get to the "footprint" game, because now we'll have something to do in two weeks, when we have our next meeting. Although, at that meeting there will be FIFTEEN more girls, because I invited over another Daisy troop that will be bridging to Brownies and if they are able to come help our girls learn the "Girl Scout Promise" they'll earn a badge. And I feel like if I'm able to pull off a troop meeting with TWENTY FIVE children in my house, someone should make me a QUILT out of badges.
As I'm picking up the various "footprints" that Charlie had hidden, I was smiling at the various trivia that he had chosen to write down about Daisy Low. She liked to stand on her head. She enjoyed working with iron and made gates for her home. She enjoyed poetry and art and loved animals.
He told me that he had gone on line to look up some facts about her, and since anyone* can alter a definition on Wikipedia, he wasn't sure if the story about her being kidnapped by Indians was true or false. He thought probably false, so he left that one out. (I just went and looked it up myself and it turns out her great-grandmother was captured by Indians.)
(*Is anyone reading this that remembers Diana from the Resolve days? If so, do you remember how her husband went on to Wikipedia and altered the definition about "Jeff" from the Wiggles? He fictitiously wrote something along the lines of, "Jeff is best known for carrying around a butcher knife and the other characters will yell, "PUT DOWN THE KNIFE, JEFF!")
Anyway, as I was looking over some of the trivia that Charlie included in his "footprints" it's probably better that I provide a QA/QC before we read these aloud to our kindergartners.
I'm guessing that at their young age, they don't really need to know that when Daisy Low died, she was buried in her Girl Scout uniform.