Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Brownie Girl Scout Way #3 Make a Troop Flag or Banner

The Brownie Girl Scout Way Step 3 requirement includes an option to make a "team mural, collage, flag or other artwork". I jumped right onto this one and decided that making a troop flag would b oh-so-cool. We've had camp outs in the past where each troop brought their own flag and posted it outside their campsite. It was really cool to go from site to site and see their flags and learn more about the girls who made up their troop. Now, if you want to make a flag for your troop, there is a super simple step-by-step guide over at WikiHow that will walk you through it.
Another fun option for this would be to make a troop banner. These are especially great if your troop does a lot of parades (which can fulfill a requirement for the Celebrating Community badge). So, what's the difference between making a flag and making a banner? Well, really it's the placement of your pole. If you make a flag the pole goes down the left hand side and it's carried like the American flag. If you make a banner, the pole goes along the top and it's carried by each end. The image below shows you the difference between the two. Either set up will complete this badge requirement, so just make the one your troop will get the most use out of.

Brownie Girl Scout Way #2 Celebrate Juliette Low's Birthday

The Brownie Girl Scout Way Step 2 requirements include hosting a birthday party for Juliette Low. Since Juliette's birthday was on Halloween, why not host a fun twist and have a Halloween birthday party? Have each girl come in costume and bring a guest (a great way to have a recruitment event too!) or invite a sister troop to join in the fun with you. To add in a service project, have each girl bring with her an unwrapped gift. If you do this event near Juliette's birthday you will easily be able to find toy drives to donate the toys to for the upcoming holidays.

Games: What party would be complete without a fun game or two? A super easy (and really very fun) game that I have used for years is the Mummy Wrap game. Basically, you divide girls into groups of three and you have one mummy and two wrappers for each team. Each wrapper gets one roll of toilet paper (get the cheap stuff). Turn on some great Halloween music and let your wrappers wrap. The team who runs out of toilet paper first is the winner.

Pumpkin Dress Up: If you opt to not have the girls come in costume, or if you just want to really dress the place up, have a pumpkin dress up contest. The girls can carve them, paint them, decorate them however they want. My favorite (and we've done it several times now) is the Cinderella coach pumpkin. You could also run with the idea and have a themed pumpkin decorating contest. Some theme ideas would be to make a pumpkin that depicts a favorite badge or Girl Scout activity, or a favorite movie or book or even one that resembles your costume. I have lots of pumpkin decorating ideas over on my Pumpkin Pizzaz Pintrest board if you would like some more inspiration.

Of course, no party would be complete without snacks, right? There are so many great options for fun Halloween food out there. Since this is a birthday party as well, why not do some fun cupcakes? You can either opt to have a Girl Scout theme, a birthday theme or a Halloween theme - so many options, right? A quick google search lead me to the coolest looking cupcakes I've ever seen for a Girl Scout theme, and you can purchase them online (woot, woot).  They are a little pricey at $4 each, but if you're going for something super special, they are available from Magic Mommy Cakes.

Now, if you would prefer something a little more do-it-yourself-ish then how about making your favorite cupcake, topping it with some frosting (green, maybe) and adding a trefoil cookie to the top. Very Girl Scout looking and super easy. Or opt for something along the lines of these polka-dotted cuties. You can stick with the Halloween colors or swap them out for green and white and you've got Girl Scout cupcakes. If you're doing a Daisy party, go with blue and yellow, for Brownies, brown and blue. If you have a mix of girls, make a mix of options. I also love the idea that there are some mini cupcakes and some regular ones, perfect for those of us who just want a little cake.
There are lots of other finger food options if you would like to go with a mini meal buffet. In the past I have done little smokes wrapped in bacon as mummy toes, chicken strips breaded in trisket crumbs and baked for werewolf fingers (add half a black olive to the end with a bit of cream cheese for a claw), baked chicken wings (leave whole and don't fold) for bat wings, baby carrots as pumpkin teeth, broccoli as elf trees and so much more. The best part with a buffet like this is making little name cards for all of the food so that the girls get the extra fun of it.
If you're looking for a cute and quick craft project for your party, why not make swaps? You can pull out the craft supplies and let the girls use the little bits and scraps or you can make a swap sample in advance and have everything ready to go. I have oodles of swap ideas on my Girl Scout Swaps pintrest board, take a look for inspiration.

My girls know I'm a patch addict and I really like being able to have a patch for each event to add to my blanket. For some this might seem like overkill, but for me it's a way to remember all of the cool Girl Scout things I've done over the years. If you're a patch addict like me, here's a great patch for this event from Advantage Emblem.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Brownie Girl Scout Way #1 - Brownie Smile Song

The Brownie Girl Scout Way Badge Step 1 requirements include the girls learning a new action song. Since this is for Brownie Girl Scouts it seems only logical to use the Brownie Smile Song. This is the best video I found on youtube for showing the hand motions to the song, unfortunately it is sideways so you will be watching it in that head-tilted stance that is reminiscent of one of the opening scenes of the Gilmore Girls where they are waiting for the light to change (please don't tell me I'm the only person who gets this reference). I would love to give you an image to see what I'm talking about, but alas, google has failed me.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Badge in Review - Entertainment Technology for Junior Girl Scouts

Entertainment Technology

I've had several requests from frazzled leaders to share ideas on the new GGGS badges.  I have to admit I've been a little slow to provide that service, not because I don't want to or because I don't think it's needed but simply because it's very hard for me to convert my brain from the legacy badge train of thought to these new badges.  For that I apologize, but I'm sure many of you understand (or I might not be getting so many requests on this topic, right?)

Well, yesterday I took the plunge and purchased the add-on packs at the Junior and Cadette levels (since those two age levels make up 95% of our troop girls) to go with my investment in the GGGS books for multiple levels (all I need now is the Daisy book and the Senior book).    I cringe at the thought of having now spent nearly $100 and still not having all of the information to lead my girls but I digress...

After pulling out the Junior packets last night I began to get a little excited about some of these new badges - and we all know that it's key for a leader to be excited before the girls can be excited.  So, I have decided to start reviewing some of the badges as I discover the ones that really excite me.

Today's badge is Entertainment Technology and it's part of the It's Your World  - Change It (Agent of Change) badge packet (which means it does not come in your standard GGGS binder).  The first thing I did after I discovered how much fun this badge was going to be was to check out what other badges (at different age levels) correspond with it.  I was quite shocked to discover that this badge is actually put into the "Storytelling" category on the badge pull out from the GGGS.  Really?  To me it's a pretty big stretch but hey, I really think this badge is going to be fun.

So, if you would like to earn this badge here's what you need to do:

1. Animate your own artwork
2. Dig into video game development
3. Try the science of amusement park rides
4.  Create your own special effects
5. Surf a sound wave

Am I the only person who read number five and instantly heard the Magic School Bus song in their head?  I hope not, that would mean I was a huge dork. (-:

With the new badges girls must complete all of the steps, but they can pick and choose what activities they do for each step.  Since we will be doing this badge as a troop I'm sharing with you my personal badge plan for this - feel free to change it up to fit the needs of your girls.  The badge plan sheet I designed is for the girls to keep up with what they have done for each stage of the badge so they get blank ones, but I like to use one myself when I plan out our activities (-:

Step One: Play with Stop Animation
I have a few girls who are already curious about this so even though this is the most involved step (read most difficult) I know it will be perfect for our troop.  Basically, the girls will work with clay to create a figure OR use a bendable doll (I'm thinking those wire rabbits for Easter will be perfect here) that will then do a simple movement - wave, bow, etc and take pictures using a digital camera (making sure to keep the camera in the same spot) and create animation using Jasc Animation Studio (because that's the program I am familiar with).  After we are all done with our mini movies we will have a movie night and watch a professional example of this process - I'm sure the girls will have a new found appreciation for these kinds of movies!

Step Two: Special Guest
We are lucky enough to live in a college town and I'm going to contact the college and get a guest speaker (would be awesome to get a student) to come and talk to the girls about creating video games.

Step Three: Marble Coaster
When I was a classroom teacher we had a game the kids LOVED that basically was a bunch of track pieces that they could put together and create a marble coaster.  Well, instead of purchasing that game again (pretty pricey) we will use foam insulation (or pool noodles if you like) and duct tape to make the track, TP tubes for tunnels and lots of imagination to create a coaster for our marbles.  More information on this can be found in this PDF file from the FETCH pbs kids program.  On a side note, after exploring the web to find this I discovered that there is a FETCH patch program that your girls can earn - how cool!

Step Four: Special Effects Make Up
My own girls have become very big fans of the SciFi series Face Off which is an excellent example of special effects make up.  We will watch a short clip from the show and have a special guest (my dear husband who does our younger daughter's Halloween make up each year) come and show us some basics for effects make up.  The example photo above shows last year's make up magic.

Step Five: Acoustic Experiment

I hope that this badge plan helps you with your troop.  If you like it, please leave a comment and let me know.  Is this something you would like to see for more badges?  Do you have any stellar ideas for this badge?  Please share! (-:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pipe Cleaner Ring Craft

I love finding new *inexpensive* ideas for make and take projects for our girls.  Today while perusing pintrest I found the greatest project - a pipe cleaner ring.  Now, what Girl Scout leader doesn't have a few extra pipe cleaners running around their house to try this one out?  This isn't my own creation, it's from Wendy, the Pipe Cleaner Lady.  After doing some youtube searching I found a video that show a Daisy ring and I think that's perfect for Girl Scouts!  I'm adding this to my list of ideas for hosting a Girls Rock event (basically a one day recruitment event that we hold occasionally when the kids are out of school for the day).


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Juliette Low World Friendship Fund Action Story

As the story is read, players do the following actions when certain words are said. Practice the motion first so everyone understands. This is easier to play standing up.

"JULIETTE LOW" - Join hands with persons on right and left
"SCOUT’ OR SCOUTING"- Smile and salute
"WORLD" - Spin around once
“FUND” - Punch a button with one finger and say “cha-ching”

In 1912, Juliette Low became interested in Girl Scouting while visiting her friends, Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, who lived in England and who started Boy Scouting and Girl Guiding in their part of the world.

When Juliette Low came back to America, she thought Girl Scouting was so wonderful that she decided to start the first Girl Scout Troop in her own home town of Savannah, Georgia. This she did on March 12, 1912 and this first little troop of eight girls was the first Girl Scout troop in this part of the world.

This first Girl Scout troop was so successful that Juliette Low wanted to see Girl Scout troops all over the world. She knew that Girl Scouting would help girls all over the world become friends and to help build world peace and good will.

Girl Scouting grew and grew until now you are not only a member of your own little troop, but also a member of the Girl Scouts of the USA and the World Association of the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Juliette Low died in 1927 and her friends wanted to pay her a great tribute. They knew that her greatest dream was of world friendship and of world peace and that she hoped to accomplish this through Girl Scouting. So her friends started a memorial fund in her honor and called it the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund and each year all Girl Scouts in the United States contributed to this Fund which helps Girl Scouting all over the world.

Your contributions to this Fund will travel to all parts of the world and help Girl Scouts in many ways; maybe it will help to send older Girl Scouts from our country to a world, center in Switzerland, Mexico, India or England where Girl Scouts from all over the world get together to exchange ideas and to help build world peace.

We have no way of knowing how far our contribution may travel; we have no way of knowing what ways it may be returned to us in new friendships and world peace. But we do know that the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund is doing a lot of good. We do know that we are helping the fund to spread Girl Scouting around the world when we make our contribution to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Girl Scout Volunteer's Survival Kit

A new Girl Scout year is coming quickly and it's time to start thinking about getting your leaders ready for new adventure. As a way of saying "thank you" to both returning leaders and new recruits we are sharing a Girl Scout Volunteer's Survival Kit. I am putting together these kits and sharing them at our September service unit meeting. The kits are super simple and are a great way to show appreciation for your volunteers. Here is a supplies list for our kits, but you can always customize this and make it your own.

  • Mounds candy for the mounds of information you learn.
  • Crayon to color your day bright and cheerful.
  • Nuts to be a little nutty sometimes and have a good laugh.
  • Puzzle piece because without you things wouldn't be complete.
  • Band-Aid for healing hurt feelings, yours or someone else's.
  • Marbles to replace those we loose from time to time.
  • Rope to remind you that when you reach the end of yours, tie a knot and hang on!
  • Cup for when yours is overflowing.
  • Rubber band as a reminder to stay flexible.
  • String to tie things together when everything falls apart.
  • Eraser to remind you that everyone makes mistakes, and that's okay!
  • Sweet and sour candy to help you appreciate the differences in others.
  • Hugs and kisses to remind you that someone cares for you.
  • Penny so you'll never be broke.
  • Paper clip to help you keep it all together.
  • Candle to remind you to share your light with others.