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This year we’re doing a district enrollment ceremony and everything is kind of compressed as a result.  Instead of 20 minutes to have girls go across the stepping stones individually as in other years (Brownie Enrollment Ceremony 2012), we’re going to have them twisted and turned in one big bunch.  We’re trying it out, and I hope it works.

Tonight we’re making enrollment invitations and this time, I’m switching it up (yes, really!).

  • Other years, we’ve done a card for parents – it amounted to a folded piece of construction paper that the girls decorated.  You’ll see it here (look for first year and second year invites)
  • I shared a neat idea for this Owl invite in early September, but it is a little too fancy for a Brown Owl who is only planning what to do at 9PM on Monday night (our meetings are Tuesday).
  • Instead, I did a Google search for an Owl Colouring page and found this Baby Owl Colouring Page from http://www.coloringpagebook.com/.  I’ve used Publisher to put the meeting info on its tummy, and we’ve got a cute, simple, and easy to execute last minute enrollment invitation.  Phew.  The beauty of this is also that the meeting is going to be so darn busy tonight that, if we happen to get crunched for time, we can send it home and the invite is still complete enough to give the information necessary.  Here is my Publisher File so you can see what we did and make your own.

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When we started in September we weren’t quite full.  But now we’ve reached capacity and there are two girls who must be enrolled. 

Dilemma!  The original girls got a nice big ceremony focused all on them.  These new girls deserve the same attention, but there just isn’t time.

In a perfect world, here’s how I’d like to receive new girls mid-year.  (See my notes at the end for what actually happens)

  • Meeting 1 – Welcome them.  Introduce them to their circles and the songs.  We say our promise together every meeting and make sure we get our Brownie sign right – this is a good time to say something short about it to the new girl.  Do a Name Game.   After the meeting, meet with new girl and her family just before or just after the meeting to go over uniform, book and where to get the stuff.
  • Meeting 2 – Separately with the new girl during the meeting (this is TOUGH – we don’t want the girl to miss out on something fun or program – and we usually need the Guiders hands for regular program), one of the Guiders to go over the Promise and Law.  Homework – Read the Brownie Story and Toadstool Story in the book.
  • Meeting 3 – Separately again – go over tie tying.   In Campfire with everyone, go through the Brownie Handshake and Grand Howl.  Homework – practice tie tying.  Read through Key to Brownies.
  • Meeting 4 – Separately – go through Enrollment.  What it means.  What’s going to happen – I usually try to get a practice in with the Circle Leader.  We have stepping stones with the Promise written out that we can pull out quickly to make a ceremony – we’re (ok I am ) always messing up on remembering to bring a mirror.   Send a note home to parents to talk about enrollment and what’s going to happen.  “Please stay for the first 30 minutes of the meeting next week.  We’ll have an enrollment ceremony for your daughter – she’ll say her promise, get to wear her tie for the first time, and receive a special pin.  The group will cheer and she’ll officially be a Brownie.  Definitely bring your camera.”
  • Meeting 5 – Enrollment day.
    • 6:30 Arrival Game
    • 6:40 Inspection
    • 6:50 Brownie Circles and Enrollment – setup – stepping stones and mirror (pond) are in place around toadstool.
    • Brown Owl’s introduction.  It is a special day when we have a new Brownie and today there is someone here who is ready. 
    • Snow Owl: Circle Leader Name, do you know of anyone who is ready to become a Brownie?
    • Circle Leader: I do!  ____ is ready to become a Brownie!  Circle leader takes new Brownie by the hand, walks her over the stepping stones (with the promise written on it).  New Girl says her promise as she goes.  At the end, Circle Leader says “Twist me and Turn me and Show me an Elf,” and New girl says “I look in the water and there see… myself!”
    • Brownies Clap – new girl is a Brownie.  Circle leader goes back to her spot in circle.  New girl walks to Brown Owl for tie tying.  Snowy Owl Pins.  All other owls shake hands.  Congratulations, welcome to Brownies.  New girl goes back to her spot.
    • Brownie circle songs.  Brownie Song.  Brownie Promise together.  Grand Howl (to celebrate!).
    • 7:05 Program – whatever we had planned.  Parents can leave at this point. 

What actually happens:

  • Meeting 1 – Holy cow, we have a new girl!  Hi, welcome… here’s your circle.  Circle leader teach the song please. 
  • Meeting 2 – regular program – maybe a talk with parents.
  • Meeting 3, 4, 5, and maybe 6 – regular program.
  • Meeting 7 – Drat, we really should enroll the new girl.  Let’s get something together for her before Meeting 7.  Note – right around Christmas there is a spot where celebrations fit in nicely. 

So tonight we’re holding a sort of rushed enrollment ceremony.  We did some of the Key to Brownies stuff, but I can’t say we’ve done all of it.  Oh well.  It will get covered through the coming weeks, but not really in the Key to Brownies timeframe.

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This is our fourth meeting of the year and Enrollment is next week.  This year we are doing a joint enrollment with the Sparks so we’re working closely with them.  But our standard Brownie enrollment can be found here – we like tradition and don’t go too far off our favourite one with stepping stones. 

UPDATE after the meeting: this meeting – and the last one, actually – is a lot of talking and requires a lot of listening.   Next time we do this, we’ll try to add a few more run around and have fun activities to get the sillies out.   Perhaps the arrival craft could be done during program and a round of Romeo and Juliet would be in order.  The Tie Tying Relay (which I need to get Snowy Owl’s permission to write out was a great active break to all the listening).  But to note, other years we’ve done our rehearsal in place of campfire.  This year, we needed to do the rehearsal kind of mid-meeting to accomodate the Sparks who finish 30 minutes early. 

The plan for tonight:

6:30 – Arrival Craft.  We make Enrollment Invitations for families.  These pages are updated by me depending on the date and time, etc, then printed in advance.  Each girl gets either a First Year Invitation Template or Second Year Invitation Template.  These are pasted onto a pretty paper and the girl customizes it with her name. 

6:40 – Brownie Circles – Circle Time Quick!  There’s a lot to do tonight.

6:50 – Brownie Ring, Circle Openings, Brownie Opening, Brownie Promise, Brownie Handshake.

7:00 – Enrollment.

  • Girls may be enrolled once they
    • have attended four Brownie Meetings. 
    • know and understand the Brownie Promise. 
    • have completed Key to Brownies
  • What’s going to happen? 
    • This is a ceremony – like a graduation ceremony or something at church – that marks the occasion that you become a Brownie.  Your parents will be here and will watch you say your promise and receive your Brownie enrolment pin.  
    • This is the first time you will get to wear your Brownie tie.  

7:05 Enrollment Ceremony Rehearsal.   We’ll just rehearse the Toadstood story and stepping stones part tonight.

7:15 ish Spark and Brownie Rehearsal – combined

7:35ish – 1st years talk about promise and law, practise tie tying.  2nd years make tissue paper flowers for decorations. 

7:50 ish Tie Tying relay

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