gallery Halloween Party by Design: A Girl-Led Exercise

Our Juliette Lowe birthday party this year will be a little less Juliette Lowe and a little more spooky scouts. But in the end, that may not be a bad thing.

This year, I’ve loosened the reigns and truly let our girls lead the decision-making for our troop. That means talking about whether and how to earn our Bronze, or what activities they want to do. And it’s not always easy, at least for me.

This week, our Junior troop planned one of our bridging requirement activities: Meeting with a Brownie troop at school. We’d already met with bridging Cadettes to learn about the Bronze and Silver Awards and to play Cupcake Wars, and now it was time to share the love with our sister Brownies. I had to chuckle at the initial response: “But the third-graders are so annoying!” – it’s amazing how quickly they forget! – but they came around quickly and embraced the idea of having a Halloween/Juliette Lowe birthday party like we did two years ago.

Of course, being 10- and 11-year-old girls, the theme quickly moved from Girl Scout tradition to celebrating spookiness. And here’s where I remember: The toughest thing about transitioning to a girl-led troop is holding your tongue just because you personally don’t like an idea!

Transitioning to a girl-led Girl Scout program

Getting my girls on task that evening was a tough one, we kept diverting to field trips like the Children’s Museum and corn mazes. It has a hard thing to hear that we needed to stay on site because we simply couldn’t coordinate the logistics with two troops within the context of our meeting. (And I am trying, desperately, to let these girls run the show this year as fifth graders.)

Ultimately, the girls embraced the idea of a Halloween party over all else. The party discussion centered on what every Junior has on her mind: Food. The girls are going to make homemade caramel apples, with or without toppings, with the Brownies, and then they’ll munch and talk about Junior life.

They’ll also do a craft (spooky eyes from toilet paper rolls and glow sticks) and subject the Brownies to a spooky “touch” box. One of my girls had tried a touch box out when she was at the hospital with her late father and fondly remembers that Halloween, “trick-or-treating” in the Endoscopy unit. The girls giggled and laughed as they came up with ideas for that project.

The evening will be topped off with a Halloween dance-off; guess that means mom is going to have to build a playlist!

So our Juliette Lowe birthday party will be a little less Juliette Lowe and a little more spooky scouts. But I give points to my girls for coming up for this idea to give a nod to our Girl Scout founder’s birthday: They asked that each girl bring a box of cake mix for the church food pantry. Recognizing that scouting in part is about doing a good turn – and has been in Juliette Lowe’s being since her childhood – is probably more important, anyway.

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