Warm air is in the breeze, flowers are popping up all over, and the time has come to celebrate the coming of spring! May 1st is called May Day, and this is the perfect time to celebrate the beginning of spring with your troop.
However, if you’re a troop leader, you might not know how to celebrate this holiday well with your girls. If you need some help, you’re in luck! I have some customizable ideas that you can use in your girl scouting.
The History of May Day
There is a lot behind the history of May Day. It has permeated lots of different cultures with many different meanings attached to it, but the main theme is ushering in and celebrating spring!
There are so many ways you can celebrate May Day, and you have probably already done some of these with your family. However, this article will give you some helpful ideas for how to celebrate it with any grade level Girl Scout troop!
- May Day Baskets
May Day baskets are a classic tradition to celebrate May Day in a way that’s modern and full of joy! There is nothing better than opening your door on May 1st to see a cheerful little basket or cup of goodies on your porch! This is at the top of my list of great ideas for how to celebrate May Day, and it can really add to your troop’s girl scout experience. Building baskets and writing letters together is a wonderful way to encourage whoever you decide to gift the baskets to.
There are so many ways you could translate this fun tradition to your Girl Scouts celebration. You can help your girls create baskets of treats and flowers for themselves or their families, gift them to other troop members, distribute the baskets in a neighborhood, or choose a specific cause or location like a nearby charity, faith partner, or retirement home with notes from your girls to show your Girl Scout pride. This is the perfect opportunity to make a positive impact on your community.
- Bringing In the May
A historic May Day tradition is a practice called “bringing in the May.” This is where you bring beautiful spring items inside to decorate your household. You and your troop can go on a fun, spring-themed hike where you collect wildflowers together and put them in something like a basket or bucket. Your girls will develop some new skills in the process!
Together with your girls, you can make wreaths, garlands, and other indoor decorations that you can either use for your troop’s meeting space or send home with your girls for their families. You can discuss Girl Scout values while you do this activity– bringing in topics like different types of plants, sustainability, art skills, and relationships.
- Flower Crowns
If you have extra flowers from the last activity or simply want to do this on its own, making flower crowns is a fun, sustainable craft you can do with your troop that doesn’t take much time. Each girl can make a flower crown in a shape and color that she believes represents herself, and you can talk through why each girl made her crown the way she did. You could also have them make crowns for their new friends in the troop, as gifting to their fellow girl scouts is a great way to build community.
If it’s still too chilly or snowy out to do this with wildflowers in your area, you can also pick up some cheap flowers like baby’s breath from the store and use those in celebration of May Day. You can bring in the Girl Scout law into this activity as well, especially if you donate any floral arrangements with May Day baskets to a charity or gift them to community members. Outdoor activities like these are a great opportunity to learn about nature while having a great time together.
One of the oldest traditions to celebrate May Day is the practice of young women dancing around a maypole. Explanations of the origins of this tradition are varied, but it’s still a beautiful opportunity to celebrate the beauty of nature. You can gather all kinds of colorful, long ribbons from a craft store like Joann’s Fabrics or Michaels, or you can source them from your troop members’ families, if there are any parents or grandparents connected to your troop who are crafters. The idea is to have lots of different color options available.
There are plenty of beautiful ways you can tie the ribbons around the maypole. There are a lot of things you can use as a maypole, like a porch umbrella pole, a tetherball pole, a basketball hoop, a tree trunk, or one of the metal poles or pillars outside the front of the building you meet in. Feel free to have your adult volunteers help out with this, and maybe even video it to post on social media.
Once everything is securely tied, your girls can each grab a ribbon of their choice and walk or do easy dances around the pole together so the ribbons wrap around the pole. You could add some music to make it more of a fun experience for your girls.
I hope you and your troop members love these fun new traditions to celebrate spring together!
Enjoy every minute being a leader and continue to inspire your girls!