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Experiential Training -- Let's Do It!

by Patty Calnan of Chaparral and Gail Seckins of San Gorgonio

The goal of the class was to develop some experiential activities for basic leadership classes, focussing on areas difficult to make experiential.

We were initially divided into groups. We had a problem in my group, since we were asked to use an unfamiliar training device. Eventually we had to come up with ways to make training product sales, forms, policies/standards/procedures, and finances experiential. After reporting to the whole class, groups had to hand in their results, which were compiled and mailed to the participants. The summary sheet is listed below, with an occasional comment by me in brackets.

Four Program Goals

  1. Four goals listed on four poster boards
  2. Tables have sticky notes or paper petals for each person
  3. Instruction: Participants list one activity their troop would do during the year. Participant is asked to place her petal on the appropriate poster board.
  4. Options: for brand new leader, give her petals with example activities
  5. Card Sort - Trainer pre-prints activities in each area, has participants sort into categories

Product Sales

  1. Role-Playing - videotaped role playing, exaggerated mistakes. What is wrong with this picture? Discuss.
  2. Hand out sample forms completed which match a "walk 'em through it" form projected on the wall.


  1. Matching game - Which form do I need for ________?
  2. Visual Time Line on the wall of the training room. Break participants into groups. Give each group a set of forms for a leader to take the troop camping. Have the groups try to place the forms in correct order on the timeline. It's a race.


  1. Board Game - A year in the account of a troop. One time around covers, expenses, income for one year. (Similar to monopoly)
  2. Role Play - Angry parent confronts Leader over "my daughter sold 700 boxes. Susie sold 10 boxes. How come we both have to pay $30 for this outing?"


  1. Case Studies - How many adults, drivers needed?
  2. Questions - True or False? Then discuss "correct" answers.

Policies and Standards

  1. Scavenger Hunt in policies/standards/procedures. Break into small groups to ask questions.
  2. Set up scenarios - have leaders find answers in policies/standards/procedures.

Purpose of Girl Scouting

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Visualization - If you were a Girl Scout, do you remember?

Girl/Adult Partnership

  1. Role Play - Leader and several of the girls do it wrong
  2. Leader takes over, plans whole menu