If you’re starting a new troop, this is a very exciting time for you! Even if your Girl Scout troop won’t start meeting until the fall, there are so many things to plan in advance to make sure everything goes smoothly, and your troop enjoys their time together.
One part you really don’t want to get wrong as a new leader is first impressions. The perfect icebreaker activities can help your girls start off the troop year on the right foot with each other and with you. Don’t stress over what to start with! I have a compilation of some of my favorite easy icebreaker activities you can use as a new troop leader to help larger groups or smaller groups get to know each other!
Here are some of the very important entrepreneurial skills your girls will learn in your troop:
Introduce a Friend
If your new batch of students doesn’t already know each other, this can be an amazing way to help them start to make connections right off the bat during in person meetings. You can make cards with a list of different questions on them, like:
- What is your favorite TV show?
- If you were a flavor of ice cream, what would you be and why?
- What is your favorite hobby outside of school?
- Do you have any pets?
- What is your favorite subject in school?
You can put these questions on a word document with enough space for your troop members to write the answer to each question underneath them, and print them out with two cards per sheet of paper. Cut them in half, and hand them out to your girls with pens or pencils.
This is the point where you can pair girls together. You can make the choice how to pair them, I’ve had positive outcomes from pairing new girls with people they’ve never talked to before. Encourage them to go through the list of questions with each other and write down the answers, and find common ground with each other.
After everyone has had a chance to get through the questions, they will take turns introducing their new friends in front of their peers by walking through their favorite responses that the other person gave.
This activity not only ensures that your students will listen to each other’s answers, it will help them build their confidence.
Two Truths and a Lie
Most people are familiar with Two Truths and a Lie, and for good reason– it’s a lot of fun! Two Truths and a Lie is a popular game that you can play with your new troop so you all can get to know each other, and also share some giggles!
If you don’t know how to play the game, this is how it goes. Each person in the room comes up with two things that are true about themselves or their life, and one thing that isn’t true. Each person in the room takes their turn sharing their two truths and a lie, and everyone guesses which one is the lie, and then you reveal the answer and move on to the next scout.
If you want to spice this game up, you can also have the girls write their two truths and a lie on index cards, shuffle them up, then read the two truths and a lie and have the girls guess whose card it is, and then guess the lie! This can also be good if your scouts are nervous to “present” their two truths and a lie upon first meeting each other.
If you want a scouting-related icebreaker, you can customize the classic game of charades to be related to Girl Scout topics. You can have them act out terms like:
- Horseback riding
And more! At the end of the activity, you can explain how your girls can expect to experience all these different activities throughout the year. This has been a huge hit with my troop.
This can be modified to be more like Pictionary or Taboo if you like, and you can set your own time limits. Any guessing game is an easy, fun way to teach your scouts about what they can expect from being part of your troop. If you want to go crazy, you can have the whole group act out their terms at the same time just to be silly! Helping your scouts get out of their comfort zone can launch them into building relationships, and fun games like these are an easy way to do it.
Verbal Interests Inventory
If you really want to get down to business, you can weave learning about each other into your planning for the year. You can print out resources that have lists of things your girls can try out during Girl Scouts, and have an open discussion about what your girls already have experience with, what they’re interested in trying, and what they’re not interested in doing.
This activity is a great way to help your scouts learn what all is available to them, and give them a feeling of control over their experience. Giving them opportunities to bond over shared interests is always a good idea!
If you’re interested in learning some more unique icebreaker activities, you can check out our previous post about good icebreakers older scouts will love! I hope these resources help you feel equipped and ready to approach your new troop with confidence.
Enjoy every minute being a leader and continue to inspire your girls!