Generic Meeting Structure

Jane Maddin
1st Orleans Pathfinders, Orleans, Ontario

When I was a Beaver leader back in the early 80's I worked with a very organized lady, named Doris. Can't remember Doris' last name. Doesn't matter.

Doris had a form that we used every week as a starting point for our meeting planning and I adapted that form to Cubs when I became a cub leader, Brownies when I was a Brownie leader and Guides when I was a Guide leader. Pathfinders is a little different, or was - since the program is changing, I'm not sure what to expect, but... (If you wait long enough you can be sure that I will get to the point!!) The basic idea of a form for meeting planning is what I'm getting at. I found this to be really helpful when I was a beginner leader in particular.


So I'm going to share it with you.

Gather Game The Gather Game was an activity that the girls could join as they came in with out having missed anything. I have read here that people have some kind of ongoing craft in the patrol boxes that the girls know that they are to work on when they come in.
(Inspection) Inspection was something that we did in Cubs, Brownies and Guides to encourage the kids to bring their dues, wear their uniform, get their badges sewn on, and bring their program books. Oh, and wear their indoor shoes. We met in gyms in various different spots and the leaders were concerned that stocking feet were going to cause an accident during a fast paced game.
Dues In Beavers and Brownies handing in the dues and the World Friendship fund was part of our opening ceremony, in Guides it was part of the Inspection. (Oh, the Patrol that had the highest points for inspection would, on a random basis, win a prize. That is one leader had a bag of little fun things, erasers, fancy pencils, etc, that she had picked up at a dollar store and once a month she would let each member of the winning patrol or patrols in cases of ties, pick something from her bag.)
(Colours) In some units we did colours each week as part of our opening ceremony.
Badges (if any) Once a month, or each time there were badges earned, we would hand out badges during our opening.
Game (Active) Then we'd have a rowdy game to use up some energy.
Program Work It would take a couple of seconds to get things organized for program work, or for badge work if that was on the agenda. While someone lead, or supervised, if the girls were leading the game, the other leaders were able to get the next activity ready.
Song Then a song.
Quiet Game  
Camp Fire Then a craft, or Camp fire. Generally there wasn't time for both. We had a schedule set up, and with Guides the patrols were responsible for campfire once a month. We gave them a photocopied form asking for songs and skits in order for campfire. And we often planned for campfire one week and ran it the next, so the patrols that were not planning the whole campfire would plan a skit and a cheer, so that they were ready to perform the following week.
Closing Then we'd have our closing, sing taps, hand around the squeeze, and as the girls went out the door, we'd hand out any papers to go home.In Pathfinders last years, we gave the girls a sheet of permission forms, with out dates, or places filled in and then when we were going wherever, we'd get the girls to fill in the place, date and times, and their own names and they'd be responsible for getting their parents to sign them, then they'd bring them back the following week.