by Kerry Cordy
Every meeting of Frontier Girls Troop #101 starts in song. Why? Music is a huge part of our culture. It expresses emotion, sets mood, engages people and allows them to interact with others. Singing with your girls can set the tone for your whole meeting. Singing silly, active songs at the beginning of a meeting helps get the wiggles out, starts the girls off with laughter and giggles, and at the same time provides a cohesive activity that everyone can be involved in. Transitioning to quieter songs helps get everyone calmed down and ready to pay attention at the meeting.
Singing and music have been shown to actually accelerate brain development. Using action songs force the body and mind to work together and helps kids develop self expression and self confidence. It has also been shown to improve language skills. Singing with your girls is especially important if you have a younger troop as learning rhythm, pitch, timing, etc. will help them in everything from reading to mathematics.
Building a singing routine into your meetings can help let the girls know when certain things are happening. Do you have a specific song you sing to kick off your meeting that lets girls know it is time to settle down and pay attention? What about a song at the end of the meeting to end everything in quiet ceremony and let the girls know that they have officially been dismissed? Patriotic songs can be used to enhance your flag ceremonies and build patriotism and increased respect for our flag. Traditional camp songs can build memories as each campfire is lit to the lyrics of “Rise Up O’ Flame” or similar songs.
Many troop leaders are not comfortable singing and so they reject songs as a useful part of their meetings. I encourage them to sing anyway. Is there a parent willing to lead the singing for you? What about the girls in your troop? Giving girls the chance to lead the singing and teaching their friends their favorite songs builds leadership traits and self confidence. Having their troop leader sing out with everyone else, even if their voice isn’t perfect, makes girls more inclined to sing along as well as they realize that it is about having fun and being part of something together, not having the perfect voice.
In the Members Area of the Frontier Girls website you will see a link for Resources which includes a link to a variety of songs to help you get started. Lyrics and music samples are included as are links to some videos to demonstrate action songs with hand motions.