Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Daisy Flower Garden Journey: Session 1

An Introduction into the Daisy Flower Garden Journey
We recently started our adventure with the Daisy Flower Garden Journey. Its part of the national Girl Scouts program for daisy scouts. I was really excited to start this journey as I love gardening and thought the spring time would be a perfect introduction. Since we are already several months into the program and have earned several of our petal badges and nearly mastered the Girl Scout law and promise, I didn't follow the leadership guide exactly as planned. If you are just starting out with first time daisies, the leadership guide would be a great start as it introduces the promise and law.

When I first started my planning for this journey I read through the "How to Guide" first and then the girl's book "Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden". Each chapter of the girls book is to align with a session or meeting and concluding the journey at session 6. Don't be afraid to alter this depending upon your goals for the troop. If you need to extend this out that is perfectly fine. 

Before the first meeting
Preparation is very important for the first meeting. There are many supplies you may need to purchase. I wanted the girls to have a field journal throughout this journey to record everything and have something to look back on as a keepsake. This required me to print and copy pages from the Girl book (GB) and paste them into each journal a head of time. Read on to the Field Journal section on how to pre-assemble.

  • Leadership How To Guide (LG)
  • "Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden" book (GB)
  • Potting soil
  • seeds ( basil and assorted flowers)
  • garden shovel
  • garden gloves
  • small gardening pots (one for each girl) I found these from the Dollar Store in sets of 2.
  • tray or storage container to carry the pots
  • Seed starter kit (like this one)
  • composition notebooks (one for each girl) Purchased from the Dollar Store.
  • rubber cement
  • crayons or other coloring utensils
  • photocopies for each girl of ...

GB pg. 8,9,10,12
Optional pgs. 11,13
Here is how I broke down the first session.

Start-up activity: 
As the girls arrived, they completed page 9 (from GB) in their field journals. Make sure all the girls complete this page as you will be sharing during the group discussion.

Flower Garden Field Journal
Prior to the meeting put together the field journals by pasting in the photocopies of the pages from the girl book (GB pgs. 8, 9, 10 ,12) with rubber cement. I like using rubber cement because it doesn't crinkle the pages and dries fast. I used a new page for each photocopy. I just glued to the front of each notebook page, not the back. 

*Note: I started with Page 9 first and then followed with the girls bios. (ex. 9, 8, 10, 12)

I explained to the girls that I would be keeping these journals between sessions. This ensures that each girl has a notebook for every meeting and if I need to do any preparation between meetings I have them available.

GB pg. 9

GB pg. 10

  • Form a Daisy Circle and practice the Girl Scout Promise and Law. 
  • Have each girl share what they wrote and colored from the start-up activity (GB pg. 9). 
  • Explain what the Garden Journey is and what the girls can expect for the first session and the rest of the Journey. I took this time to explain about the Take Action Project.
Introduce Daisy Journey Girls
Introduce the girl characters by reading the short bios of each one. As you read through each one have the girls color the page in their Field Journal (pages 8, 10, 12). After you read each one, do a recap. Ask questions like "where are they from" and "what do they like to do".

Garden Story Time
Read the first chapter of the Garden story (GB pg. 17). Recap the story at the end and follow up with some questions about the story. You can also reference the questions from the LG on page 41.

Mini Garden Planting
You can start by having the girls decorate their own pot or use a permanent marker and write their names on the bottom of the pots. Start an assembly line by filling the pots with dirt about 3/4 of the way to the top. We used basil as it's pretty easy to maintain and doesn't require replanting. Have the girls plant their own seeds and lightly cover with some soil. 

Next, have a small watering can for the girls to water their seedlings. Have a long container or tray for the girls to place their pots in when they are finished. This will help in transporting the flower pots to each meeting. I explained to the girls that I would be keeping the basil pots for the journey and bring them to each meeting. The girls will be allowed to take home their basil pots at the completion of the journey. This ensures that each pot is brought to each meeting and no girl is left out.

I also had a separate seed starter going for the flower seedlings. I explained to the girls this was in preparation for their take action project where they will plant a community garden with the flowers they start today. Several meetings previously the girls had voted on what they wanted to plant and agreed upon flowers. I wanted to make sure this was still an option for them.
You can use a seed starter like this one.. Seed starter kit (like this one

Daisy Game, Garden-Style

Refer to page 44 in the LB. Have the girls get in a circle and talk about the different critters you find in your community and garden. Explain that the girls will be the critters that live in a garden. This game takes about 5-10 minutes and is a great way to conclude the meeting and get the wiggles out!

Closing Ceremony and Friendship Squeeze
Found on page 45 of LB. 

I hope this helps you in your planning and encourages you to think outside of the box. Don't be afraid to do something different from the program to best suit your troop and the needs of your girls! Don't forget to check back for more updates and ideas for the remaining sessions of the Daisy Flower Garden Journey!

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