In its second year as a Troop, the Daisies of Girl Scout Troop 4779 (comprised of kindergarteners and first graders) are learning a lot about the fundamentals of Scouting, and embracing the concept of sisterhood. The eight-member troop is based largely in Pacific Beach.
Rather than “patches” found in upper levels of Scouting, Daisy Scouts earn “petals” that represent different concepts in Girl Scout law, and “leaves” that represent financial literacy.
The 10 petals include: honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considering and caring, courageous and strong, responsible for what I say and do, respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, be a sister to every Girl Scout. Daisies earn a petal by completing three related activities.
Leaves include: money counts, making choices, count it up and talk it up.
And thus far, the Daisies of Troop 4779 have hit the ground running.
Troop leader Jenna Micolino explained that the girls marched in the Earth Day Parade in Balboa Park, toting signs to encourage recycling; collected and saved their Halloween candy to be given out at the La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival; and gathered canned goods for a food drive benefiting the San Diego Food Bank.
“They had a contest to see who could bring the most cans of food during the drive,” Micolino said. “We have eight girls, and together, they brought 26 cans of food. As part of this activity, we discussed wants versus needs, and they learned that food is a need everyone has, and how to provide for those less fortunate.” (The latter of which helped the Scouts earn their “making choices” financial literacy leaf.)
Less than a month later, the Troop marched in the La Jolla Christmas Parade, giving out saved Halloween candy to attendees.
For Daisy Scout Lila Vasquez, marching in parades is one of her favorite activities. “The whole Troop gets to march together,” she told La Jolla Light. “We work together and we do stuff as a team. We work and have fun at the same time.”
The girls also work to boost each other up, both within their own Troop and with others in the Girl Scouts program. For the first time, Troop 4779 created SWAPs (Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned) to bring to larger Girl Scout events. These are crafts the Daisies make to give one another and to wear for encouragement, commendation or community building.
And for Micolino’s daughter Talia, making SWAPs are one of her favorite activities. “We like to make SWAPs and swap them at events,” Talia chuckled. “We have fun playing before the meetings and we feel special getting to wear our patches (petals).”
That encouragement and support may have helped Scout Lila come out of her shell. As her mother explained: “The skills she has developed include a willingness to engage in the group, because she is one of the newest members. She puts herself out there to take on projects with girls she doesn’t know. She wants to be involved and meet the milestones.”
Both Talia and Lila said next year’s “big project” — selling Girl Scout cookies — is a favorite. Talia attested: “I’m so excited to sell cookies next year!” A multi-benefit project, the Daisies will use the cookie sale to earn financial literacy leaves (particularly the “count it up” leaf), and raise money for the Helen Woodward Animal Center.
Giving back to the community and the importance of sisterhood are concepts the Daisies have embraced. “One of the petals that embodies the Troop is to be a sister to every Scout. Some of these girls, in meetings or outside, consider each other teammates and they truly feel like they are part of a tribe,” Micolino explained.
(Girl Scout Cookie sales start Jan. 27, by the way.)