What Types of Games Are Best For Girl Scouts?
The best girl scout games are inclusive, active, intellectual, and fun.
Girl Scout troops range from kindergarten-aged girls to high school seniors, meaning a wide variety of ages and experiences in girls scouts. Whether the troop leader is working with a Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadettes, Senior, or Ambassador troop, the game ideas should fit the grade level. However, all Girl Scouts enjoy activities that help them to learn something new, have fun, and bond with other girls in their troops. Here's what makes certain games better than others for girl scouts:
- Inclusiveness. No one likes to be left out of something. This means that the best activities for girls scouts are inclusive, ensuring that no one is left behind or feels like they aren't a part of the group.
- Active. Although not every activity needs to be active, it's always good to include a physical activity like a sport or hike. Some of the best girl scout activities are simple games that get the girls moving and laughing.
- Intellectual. Learning is important. Girl Scouts love to learn new things and new skills. If you're struggling to think of a new activity, simply teach your troop something new.
- Fun. At the end of the day, the Girl Scouts in your troop are young girls who want to have fun with their friends. Always make sure that your planned activities are fun, exciting, and age-appropriate.
- Challenging. Each girl scout troop is unique and will enjoy different activities. While some might prefer a fun activity and a sleepover, others might prefer an outdoor adventure and earning a badge. Whatever the game ideas you come up with, make sure that the kids have a challenge.
When choosing games and activities for your girls, don't be afraid to ask for their opinions. One week, you might want to bring them a list of options and plan out the next several months with activities that the girls will enjoy. This will also help to encourage all of the girls in the troop to attend each activity.
How Can Troop Leaders Encourage Everyone to Participate?
Answer: Troop leaders should make sure all troop members feel comfortable and included.
One struggle that all troop leaders will face at one point in time is figuring out how to get all of the girls to participate in an activity. When planning an activity, all troop leaders want their girls to have fun and enjoy the day. However, all girl scouts are different and will enjoy different things. One girl may love to play sports while another may love to bake. Regardless of the differences between the girls, troop leaders should strive to find a way to encourage all of the girls to participate in the activities.
To encourage the girls to have fun and participate, plan activities that all of the girls will love. Planning fun activities will make sure that each girl will have fun with the activity. However, if there is an activity that only half the girls love, find a way to incorporate the rest of the girls. For example, if one girl loves to bake and the other girls love sports, have a cake decorating contest. The cake decorating will appeal to the girls who love baking, and the contest will appeal to the competitive side of the girls who love sports.
Additionally, leaders should never alienate a girl scout because she doesn't feel comfortable participating in an activity. Regardless of the girl's reason for sitting out, forcing her to participate could make her loathe the activity and the troop. Instead, show her that you care about her and encourage the girls to include her in small ways.
Troop leaders can encourage participation by making all the girls feel loved, comfortable, and included in the troop. When a girl begins to feel uncomfortable, she will stop opening up and may attempt to distance herself from the other girls. Troop leaders should stay aware of behavior that might show that a girl is being bullied or left out of the troop. If a troop leader suspects that one of the girls is struggling, plan an activity that will bring the girls together and create lasting bonds between the troop members.
What Are the 10 Best Girl Scout Games?
Answer: The best games are fun, exciting, and develop both teamwork and independence.
To help your Girl Scouts bond with their troop and develop lasting relationships, you need to make their time in Girl Scouts memorable. Here are ten girl scout games that encourage teamwork and creativity.
- Game Night
One of the easiest things to do with your troop of Girl Scouts is a game night. For this activity, have everyone bring a game from home. Depending on how many girls are in your troop, you will end up with a wide range of games that all the girls will love playing. When all the girls arrive with their games, you'll end up with a variety of games to choose from. One girl may have brought Monopoly, and another brought Apples to Apples. Someone else might have brought Uno, and another brought a puzzle. When hosting a Girl Scout game night, there are nearly endless possibilities to what games will be brought, making each game night unique and fun for everyone in the troop, including the leaders.
Having a game night is easy because girls ranging from Daisies to Ambassadors will all feel welcome in the games. No matter the girls' age, everyone will be able to fit in and have fun with a game night.
- 9 Square
If your Girl Scouts group is more active and competitive, a fun game to play is 9 Square. 9 Square is a fairly recent game that has increased dramatically in popularity over the past year. It's a popular game among girl scout groups because the game is portable and can include up to nine people at the same time. To play the game, your troop will need a 9 Square court, which is a raised court that has a three by three grid.
The rules of the game are fairly simple. The game is separated into nine different squares. The center square of the three by three grid is the Queen square. The goal of the game is to make it through enough rounds to get to the Queen's place. The Queen starts with the ball and hits the ball up through her square and over into another player's square. That player must hit the ball up and out of their square and into another. If the ball falls on the ground or it hits out of the court, the person at fault is out of the game and moves to the lowest square. Because the court's height can be adjusted, girls of all ages can have fun playing this game.
- Chalk Maze
For younger groups of girl scouts, such as Daisies or Brownies, use a chalk maze activity. This activity is best done outside on a sidewalk where the girls can draw with chalk and best use their imaginations. To make a chalk maze, separate the girls into two groups, and give each group a chalk bucket. Instruct each group to make a maze wide with wide tunnels that the other group will walk through. Both leaders should help both groups of girls with their maze to make sure that both groups are enjoying the process. You can even divide the groups even further and have four groups all working on a maze, depending on how large your troop is. After the mazes are complete, have the other groups walk through the mazes.
This activity is the perfect way for younger girls to express their imagination while working as a group. This activity isn't competitive either, making it perfect for Daisies and Brownies. Creating a chalk maze encourages the girls to think creatively and work together as a team.
- Nature Photo Scavenger Hunt
Having a nature scavenger hunt is the perfect activity for troops of all ages. A nature scavenger hunt encourages the troop members to explore nature (under the supervision of an adult for younger troops) and identify plants and animals outdoors. To plan a nature scavenger hunt, teach a lesson about the common plants and animals in your area. If you live in Northern California, talk about oak trees and poison oak. If you live in Utah, talk about birch trees and cottonwood trees. The lesson should be centered around plants and animals that you can find in a nearby park or hiking trail.
After the lesson, compose a list of plants and animals that were talked about and give a list to each girl. Then, go for a hike or a walk in the outdoors in separate groups. On the walk, each girl should have access to a camera and take a picture or selfie with each item on the list. After the hike, bring all the girls back together and talk about the things that you all found.
This activity is the perfect way to bring your troop outdoors and gain a better appreciation for nature. While on the hike, talk about the local plants and animals in your area and point out things that aren't on the list. This will help the girls to remember the different things they learned about their local nature.
- Spy Obstacle Course
For younger girls such as a Brownie Troop or Daisy Troop, create a spy obstacle course. Obstacle courses are a loved favorite with girl scouts. Obstacle courses are a fun way to get moving and be more active while meeting as a troop. To make sure your obstacle courses are fun, give each one a theme. A fun theme to try is a spy theme. For this obstacle course, string up red yarn across a room and tape each end from wall to wall. You will pretend that the yarn is a red laser beam stretching from one end of the room to the other. String up more yarn so that the obstacle course is full of crossing red yarn.
When the girls arrive, create a story of why they will need to get to the other side of the room. You could even set up a table of snacks and deserts on the other side and then sit down and watch a fun movie together. Whatever you chose as your reward, make sure that it's something that your troop will enjoy. As the girls make their way through the yarn obstacle course, take pictures, yell out tips, and have fun. You can also add other obstacles to your spy obstacle course.
- Teach a Skill or Craft
An easy way to entertain girl scouts of any age during a troop meeting is to teach a craft or skill. Girl Scouts are always learning and always looking for new skills. For one of your troop meetings, showcase an important skill that the girls would be interested in learning. Here are some examples of crafts and skills:
- Teach the troop how to cook a favorite recipe
- Teach the troop how to start a campfire
- Teach the troop yoga
- Teach the troop how to fish
- Teach the troop how to paint
- Teach the troop how to change a car tire
- Teach the troop how to compost
- Teach the troop about online safety and social media safety
- Teach the importance of the Girl Scout Promise
There are endless activities that your troop can learn. Your troop might have fun having the girls host their favorite skills. This idea would mean that each girl would get a certain amount of time to teach the other girls their favorite hobby.
- Get-to-Know Spider Web
A get-to-know spider web is a great get-to-know-you game for girls of all ages. However, this game might be better suited for younger girls. To play, separate the girls into groups of four or five. Give one girl a spool of yarn and a pencil, and ask her a question about herself. That girl will tie her end of the yarn around her pencil after she answers the question and then tosses the spool to another girl and asks her a question. When the second girl answers the question, she will wrap the spool once around her pencil and then toss the spool to a third girl. This pattern continues until you are out of thread. As the questions continue, a pattern should form in the middle, creating a spiderweb.
This game is simple and entertaining to watch as it unfolds. It also encourages shy participants to feel more comfortable with her troop and open up to the other girls. This game helps the girls to build bonds and friendships with one another.
- Candy Cakewalk
The candy cakewalk can be played with girls of any age and is a fun way to earn prizes and treats. If you're near a holiday, you can make the activity themed, which adds another layer of fun to the game. To play, set up paper in a circle and write numbers on each paper. Do not tape the paper to the ground since you will be removing the paper one by one later in the game. After you have the numbers, write those same numbers on cards in a bowl so you have a number for every tile.
Once the setup is complete, bring in the girls and have them step on a number. The girls will then walk in a circle to music until you stop the music (similar to musical chairs). Once the music stops, you will pull a number from the bowl, and that number is eliminated. The girls standing on the number will get a small prize and sit on the side. The game continues until there is only one participant left. The final winner earns the big prize. A good example of big and little prizes are cupcakes and a full cake. Each person eliminated will get a cupcake, and the winner will get the entire cake.
- Night Hike
For older girls (Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors), a night hike is a fun way to see nature in a different light. Before going on the night hike, prepare flashlights, pepper spray, a first-aid kit, and other materials to make sure that the hike will be safe. Bring the girls together and go on a night hike together. This activity is a fun way to see nature differently since everything looks different at night. While walking, tell stories and encourage the girls to open up to one another. This activity is the perfect way for a close group of girls to bond and build long-lasting friendships.
- Make a Commercial
Our final suggestion for a fun girl scout activity is to make a commercial. For this activity, separate a group of girls into groups of four or five girls. Each group should have the supervision of an adult or volunteer to help with the process. Next, tell them how to make a commercial. If the girls are selling Girl Scout Cookies, prepare a commercial in preparation for selling the cookies. Or the girls could make up a fake product and create a commercial to sell it to the other girls.
As the girls are making their commercials, encourage them to be creative, funny, and thoughtful. After all of the commercials are finished and edited, get together again and watch all of the commercials. Have a group of judges decide awards for each video (make sure each group earns a reward). This activity is fun for all ages because the girls get to think of small skits that make each other laugh. It's a great bonding activity for all girl scout groups.