26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2010
I originally purchased this Journey for use with my Daisy Group, but I found it so cumbersome and school-like that I ultimately rejected it in favor of extending activities for earning the petals.
My Daisies were at the time entering Kindergartners, going to a full-day program, with scouts after school. Since these young girls were adjusting to a 7 hour school day, I didn't see myself reading them a story from this book and having a "discussion" about the flower characters and tying it into an activity that would take several consecutive weeks.
The story is flavored with multiculturalism, to the point of being trite. To me it felt awkward and too much like scripted PBS children's programming rather than a backyard neighborhood group of scouts getting together to try new things.
Also, GSUSA's new "Journey" program is entirely level-based. If you run a multi-age group (as I do now) the Journeys become even more cumbersome. I hear GSUSA is discouraging flex troops now, but in many situations, it's the only option. Our Service Unit includes rural areas where only a few girls are scouting together.
I ran the original Daisies through 2 years of programming using a combination of petals and fun patches. I felt the petals were more open-ended and easier to work into 1-hour chunks, and if we did an activity that could not be tied into the Girl Scout Law, I gave the girls a fun patch for the back of their vest, which over the two years became a wearable scrapbook of all the fun they had together.
Journeys seems to have been created by educators, and perhaps it would work well in a classroom setting, but I don't think it's something that is very practical for many scout leaders.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2012
I have to say that myself and my Daisy troop are trudging along on this "journey" together. They've assigned a flower character to each petal, each related to a portion of the Girl Scout Law. "Lupe the Lupine is Honest and Fair" which isn't the problem in and of itself. The problem is the storyline.
Three girls discover an overgrown garden, find a key and through magically the next day the garden has been brought back to life. (I am not sure what this teaches the girls, since it is not based in reality but anyway). Through thinking good thoughts the garden becomes even more bountiful. Through the rest of the story, each flower is introduced. As the other readers said, the name dropping of countries and states is too much. "This is Sunny, she's my cousin from Great Britain", Mari "she's a cousin too. She's from Africa and has family in France, Central America and Mexico", "Lupe", who "was born in Texas and then moved to Minnesota. She spends her summers in Maine", Tula from Holland whose family moved there a long time ago from Iran, Gloria, from California and has family throughout South America and Asia, and Gerri who grew up in the mountains of Virginia and has family all around the world esp. in Greece. This is after the three girls and their ethnic backgrounds were already covered (one girls parents are "from Mexico and her great grandparents were born in Spain" and another one used to live in Georgia but her great-grandparents come to America from Ireland and Italy). The relatively non existent storyline is overshadowed by the family relations in the statements--cousin, parents, grandparents, etc. and family origins--states and countries!! Fine, tell them the flower's grandparents were from Iran, but leave out the fact that the family now lives in Georgia. At least streamline the information!! I understand they are trying to introduce the concept of multiculturalism, but I don't think this is the way to do it!
By the time the story finally gets to the point of something the girls can do, a worm composting project, it gives misinformation. As in page 70, where it says "every week, you can take fresh compost out to the garden." You don't get fresh compost out of a worm bin on a weekly basis!!!! Good lord!
Three elements of the journey---the bee, the watering can, and the daisy flower--small patches that go onto the big patch, aren't even mentioned as to what they represent and how to earn them. The new Daisy binder shows the bee, watering can and daisy in a place where you can write in when you earned them, but doesn't say what they are for either. I am glad I bought the leader book that accompanies the journey book, because that is where I found that the Watering Can award represents girls being "responsible for what I say and do", the Honey Bee represents taking action---a planting or growing project in their area" and the Amazing Daisy award represents knowing and living the GS Law. Regarding the watering can award---didn't we just get introduced to a flower that is associated with that concept? And isn't there already a Petal Patch for that? Regarding the Honey Bee award--don't they realize some of us live in the Northern climate which limits the seasons of the "planting or growing" projects we can do?
To top it all off, this book seems to duplicate a lot of what is covered in the new Daisy Binder, the flowers and which part of the law they represent.
I like to plant my herb garden, like to grow flowers, but this journey wasn't for me. The girls liked planting the mini garden, though unfortunately someone killed it early on, and they had a great time with the worm composting, but the journey's story just didn't captivate them. If I had this year to do over again, I definitely would try a different journey.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2012
I agree with most of what has been said by others. Another thing I would like to point out is that the price listed here, $9.55 is $2.55 MORE than buying it directly from the Girl Scouts online store. What a rip off, epic fail Amazon. The journeys are cumbersome, the stories are trite (even for 6 year olds), and they don't help the girls to really learn anything about being a scout. The content is a bit over the heads of the target age group so they aren't retaining or really even listening to whats being said. This is supposed to be a workbook for 5 to 7 year olds. This age group is generally still learning to read. Why do they have a workbook that they can't read? Why do they need their own copy of the story? Why not have it be a coloring/activity book to accompany the adult guide that should include the story. The adult guide is a complete waste of time. It doesn't do anything but outline basic meeting activities, all of which would bore this age level to tears. The actual story and required activities are in the girls' books. We did the journey, I read to them from the only copy of the "workbook" I was going to waste money on, and we made up our own activities to tie in the lessons from the book. To me this feels like very little thought went into whether or not this would improve the Girl Scout experience and more about selling enough copies of the "workbooks" to make some more money. Not very in sync with the Girl Scout Law and way of life if you ask me. This isn't what scouts was about when I was a kid and I am not a fan. I have told the girl scout organization my feelings. However I am only one person. It needs to be brought to their attention that this is a horrible system that is really killing the fun parts of being a scout.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2013
I've just finished using this journey with my kindergarten Daisy troop, and it's about as awful as everyone said it was. The characters are one dimensional cliches (the sporty one, the smart one, the fashionable one... shouldn't we be aiming for girls to be well-rounded and multi-dimensional, instead of only offering role models that are defined by one specific interest?), and the diversity is so awkwardly inserted (and mainly related to snack foods) that it just ends up confusing the storyline because there are whole paragraphs that add nothing and go nowhere. The girls look and act rather like they're in late elementary or middle school, so I'm not entirely certain why they're the stars of a program for kindergartners. My girls (all perfectly bright kids) were interested at the beginning, but the storyline lost them, and by the 3rd chapter their eyes were glazed over.
If any leaders are reading this, I also bought the leader guide. The expectations were totally bizarre. We meet for an hour 2x per month, and many groups meet once a month. I don't know where they think we were going to plant a garden or compost worms. I tried to start this in the fall, when our troop started meeting, and had an impossible time finding seeds or planters or even soil. So I did it in the spring, but there isn't enough time to grow much of anything before the end of the school year. Some of the things we're supposed to talk about were weird, too. I guess the key conversation is supposed to tie in to the Brownie journey, which I guess is about keys? But I felt like I was just asking the girls if they had keys to their house, which is a weird question and none of my business... what kind of keys does a 5 year old have? A few had jewelry boxes with keys. But it was unclear where the conversation was supposed to lead, so it just turned into a conversation about what they'd all gotten for their last birthday.
I really have no idea how you'd get 6 weeks out of this journey. We're doing it in 3. The first week we read the first 2 chapters, painted flowerpots and made tissue paper flowers (it was Mother's Day), talked about keys, and planted a windowbox garden with some lettuce and radishes that would sprout quickly. The second week I started the 3rd chapter, totally lost the girls, and decided not to read anymore. The activities we did at that meeting weren't related to the journey (though we did water our garden, which I dutifully carried back to the meeting spot, and saw a few little sprouts), but we talked a little about the concepts that the Leader's Guide said to talk about in weeks 3 and 4. The third week we're doing a community service project: helping a local museum tend to their garden. So far as I'm concerned, that covers everything. I can't imagine boring the girls to tears doing anything else related to this journey.
At the beginning of the year, I'd asked the girls to purchase the workbooks, but they never cracked them, and I definitely won't have them buy the books for the other two journeys. The only activities in there are to draw a picture. Why on earth would I spend valuable meeting time having them draw a picture in their individual workbook? Aren't the meetings supposed to be about doing group activities, games, and learning new things? I have no clue who thought this would be interesting for meetings, but they've obviously never attended a scout meeting. I don't recommend wasting money on the workbook unless you're going to make them draw the pictures at the meetings: they serve no other purpose.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
These books have made the whole badge thing really complicated. They look cute, but they are a pain to follow. It almost seems as if it is part of a grander money making scheme to get you to buy more GS stuff. These require too much adult planning and training and should be more straight forward.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2014
I have been a Daisy leader for one year now. I bought the book at the beginning of this year but put it aside and we worked on getting each Petal and each line of the Girl Scout Law this year. I thought I'd revisit this book now to see if it is doable next year.
Well on second glance it's as awful as I remember. I can't imagine how kindergarteners could ever follow the cast of characters from all around the world; place names just being thrown at them out of nowhere. And, our troop work progresses through the winter and we meet in a church basement. there is no way I can keep seedlings alive over the winter in Chicago without having a grow room in my house. they can't possibly read this book alone or do any of the work in it. The illustrations are way too busy and hard to follow.
The book is wildly age inappropriate and I'm so disappointed. We are going to try for a different "Journey" and I guess I'll be making it up as I go along, because whoever wrote this curriculum doesn't really understand what motivates 6 year olds. I think we'll end up sprucing up a natural area and planting some native grasses and plants.
I just hope the scouts dump this Journey thing soon because none of the leaders I know have ever used this stuff successfully.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2010
I was very disappointed to see that the characters in this book are never pictured in their girl scout uniforms or attending meetings. And don't expect something like a handbook-- the text is not instructive in recipes or crafts, but is more of a story. The main thrust is how three friends learn about the Girl Scout Laws, but I don't think the idea of assigning a different flower for each one really worked. I also agree with another reviewer that the multiculturalism is rather trite, especially considering there is little substantive information about each culture, just statements about how Chandra is from India, Campbell is Irish- and Italian-American (Campbell? Really?), etc. I wish the girls had been portrayed earning their petals or preparing to go on overnight camping trips as Brownies.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2013
The book had lots of writing and drawings all in it. My daughter was disappointed. This book was not worth buying used. A word of advice just take the extra money and buy new.
on February 10, 2014
Came as described. Some markings but all in all not a big issue. I don't like the journeys but this was an easy transaction.