\ All Things Girl Scouts: 2016-03-27

April 2, 2016

Rosie: Make the World a Better Place - Light Pink Petal

Welcome to the Daisy Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting!  The main focus of this book for our first and second year girls is the Daisy Petal Patch.  Unlike the badge work for older girls, there are not a whole heck of a lot of guidelines for the petal patches.

1.  Read Rosie's story and discuss it

Rosie's story is in the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting.  Rosie the Rose is the ninth petal of ten that you will learn about in this guide.  Rosie's petal is about learning what it means to use resources wisely.  If you don't have the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting, you can hear it read here by Troop #5007.

Other appropriate books to enjoy and discuss in lieu of Rosie's story:
Only One You, by Linda Kranz
The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown
The Lorax, by Dr. Suess

2.  Act out Rosie's story

This step is pretty self explanatory - just assign each girl their own part, and help them come up with a quick skit of this story.  This step is really about comprehension, so as long as they get the gist of it, it's all good.  If you have a large troop, splitting them up into groups, and assigning parts of the story to act out will work well.


3.  Practice making the world a better place

For my girls, this part of the patch was really about service to our community and friends.  We talked a lot about what it means to make the world a better place, in an open forum discussion.  The questions I asked were:

1.  What does 'make the world a better place mean?'

2.  Our health and future can be preserved by making the world a better place.  Who is responsible for protecting our future?

3.  What are some things your family/school/church do to better the community?

4.  What is something out troop can do to better the community?

My girls chose to clean up a neighborhood by their school.  We met with the girls and parents, handed out trash bags, and spread out to pick up any litter or trash we found.  This was an activity that really made an impact for our girls - even today, over a year later, my girl picks up trash off the ground, stating girl scouts make the earth a better place.

We had a great time with this - not many things cuter than 5 and 6 year olds learning about girl scouts! Tell me how your Rosie the Rose earning went!


April 1, 2016

Clover: Use Resources Wisely - Green Petal


Welcome to the Daisy Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting!  The main focus of this book for our first and second year girls is the Daisy Petal Patch.  Unlike the badge work for older girls, there are not a whole heck of a lot of guidelines for the petal patches.

1.  Read Clover's story and discuss it

Clover's story is in the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting.  Clover the Clover is the eighth petal of ten that you will learn about in this guide.  Clover's petal is about learning what it means to use resources wisely.  If you don't have the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting, you can hear it read here by Troop #5007.

Other appropriate books to enjoy and discuss in lieu of Clover's story:
The Earth Book, by Todd Parr
I Can Save the Earth!:One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, by Alison Inches
The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree Loving Woman Changed A City Forever, by H. Joseph Hopkins

2.  Make a collage



The Girl's guide suggests a magazine collage is made for this requirement - that's definitely an option!  With my girls, I wanted something a little more involved.

Supplies:

Worn, Old Crayons
Wax Paper
Iron
Hand Held Cheese Grater for each group
Pretty Paper
Paper Plates

What I did was ask the girls to collect old, broken crayons for a week.  They all went home, and looked for crayons. By the next meeting, we had a pretty good stockpile of crayons.  We sorted them into similar color groups, and split into 3 groups. I only have 6 girls, so this was a good amount of groups.  

1.  Each group used the cheese grater to grate the crayons. I like the hand held ones you drop the item into, to keep little fingers safe.  

2.  Once all crayons are grated, pile up the shavings on a few paper plates, and have each girl pick one pretty paper.

3.  Have the girls get whatever shavings/colors they want, and place them on their paper.  They can make a design, or they can draw in the shavings.


4.  This part should be done by a leader if you have small girls: Place a piece of wax paper over the wax design, and lay the hot iron on it.  Don't rub the iron, because it may smear the wax.  Just place it on the paper for a few seconds, lift, and do again until all the wax is melted.  

5.  When you are finished, just lift the wax paper and you'll be left with a beautiful picture.

**Another variation on this project is to use two pieces of wax paper, and then cut out shapes to hang as sun catchers!

3.  Practice being resourceful

My favorite thing to do with this part of this petal is a a girl scout scavenger hunt!  Some troops do this petal earlier in the year so they have the girl scout scavenger hunt sooner.

A girl scout scavenger hunt is a great way to gather resources when you are a new troop.  You (as a troop, or even as a leader) make a list of things that your troop needs. The list I use is: 

  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Construction Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Glue Sticks
  • Hole Punch
  • Computer Paper
  • Embellishments
  • Colored Pencils
  • Felt
  • Fabric Scraps
  • Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Notebook

Then I give each girl a list, and ask them to look around their homes and rooms to see if there is anything they find that we could use - or resuse - to be resourceful, rather than spending money we don't yet have on these supplies. 

The girls dig this, and I do it once a year (even past the age we do petals) and it keeps our troop pretty well supplied!We had a great time with this - not many things cuter than 5 and 6 year olds learning about girl scouts! Tell me how your Clover the Clover earning went!





March 30, 2016

Gerri: Respect Authority - Pink Petal

Welcome to the Daisy Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting!  The main focus of this book for our first and second year girls is the Daisy Petal Patch.  Unlike the badge work for older girls, there are not a whole heck of a lot of guidelines for the petal patches.

If you want to print off a picture of the Gerri for the girls to color during the gathering time, you can find one here!

1.  Enjoy Gerri's story

Gerri's story is in the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting.  Gerri the Geranium is the seventh petal of ten that you will learn about in this guide.  Gerri's petal is about learning what it means to respect authority.  If you don't have the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting, you can hear it read here by Troop #5007.

Other appropriate books to enjoy and discuss in lieu of Gerri's story:


  • The Berenstain Bears Show Some Respect
  • Office Buckle and Gloria, Peggy Rathman
  • What is Respect, Etan Boritzer


2.  Talk to someone in authority

**For a copy of this scripting
you can copy and paste, 
click here.
This is a perfect time to have a guest speaker come in and chat with your girls.  With my girls, we do a monthly guest speaker, for an event we call 'career day.'  Career day is when I ask a strong female professional from our local community to come and speak with the girls. I ask them to share what they do, and path they took to get where they are today.  It is so so SO important that our young women in today's society look at the world and think, wow - so many opportunities, rather that, I really want to do this, but it's a boy's job.  In respect to that, I think it's extremely important that girls are exposed early on and frequently to all types of careers.

For *this* badge, I asked emailed the local police department, and asked if their female canine officer would be willing to talk with my girls.

They forwarded my email to this officer, and she graciously agreed to speak with my girls.  I've found with professionals, its easiest to have 2-4 dates and times that work, and letting them choose what works best for them.

If you have the opportunity to request a female canine officer in your community, I highly recommend it! This was one of our favorite speakers.  She came, and spoke with the girls about being an officer, and how she got there, then her transition into canine officer.  At that point, she went and retrieved her partner from her vehicle (that was running for temp control, AND she wears a sensor at all times that alerts if the temperature in the vehicle is too warm - don't worry, pup was safe!) and she showed some of their training, had her canine partner scent and find something hidden, and ended with the girls being able to pet Dexter.

3.  Show respect

For this part, we did a craft I call, 'It Bugs Me'.  Its a simple craft that allows the girls to think of something that bugs them - and then gives the troop an opportunity to discuss how to show respect in those situations.  I did specify for this craft, we were going to think of something that bugs them in terms of respecting authority.  I gave them the example of 'It bugs me when...someone talks when the teacher is talking.'

Supplies:



**Another option would be to make the lady bug out of construction paper.

I gave each girl a printout, and a pair of scissors and had them cut them out - this is a great way for kinders and first graders to practice their cutting skills a little bit more.  Then we wrote 'It bugs me when...' on the left wing, and what bugs them on the belly. ie. someones talks when the teacher is talking.

When they were done with this, we glued the bugs to the popsicle sticks.  We set them aside for a bit and had snack, then came back to them. We had each girl hold her bug up, and read what bugs her.  Then we discussed, as a troop, how to avoid it happening, ie. remember to raise your hand when the teacher is talking.

We had a great time with this - not many things cuter than 5 and 6 year olds learning about girl scouts! Tell me how your Gerri the Geranium earning went!
















March 29, 2016

Policy regarding the usage of the Girl Scout Branding

Image result for copyright symbol
I wanted to take a moment to touch on the branding policy, and risk of copyright infringement on the Girl Scout trademark.  You'll notice, as you look through this blog, there is no official branding on it.  There are no trefoils, or GS trademarks, because this is my personal blog, and is not affiliated with the GSUSA in any way.

This time of year, leaders start looking for end of year gifts, or something special for bridging.  With a quick google search,, you pull up no less than 594,000 ways to buy something with Girl Scout branding on it.  I encourage you to make sure you aren't infringing on copyright, or encouraging someone else to do it.  It is illegal, and you can be prosecuted for infringement.  The GSUSA regulates everything from typeface, to size, to specific color used, as well as designating a specific person to request product approvals from.  


PLEASE NOTE:  While the profiles (or "heads") trefoil  can now be used by itself, it should only be used to represent the BUSINESS of Girl Scouting, while the solid trefoil should be used to represent the FUN of Girl Scouting.  That said, 9 times out of 10, you will use the SOLID trefoil instead of the profiles trefoil for items such as t-shirts, flyers, etc. These items should be approved on a item by item basis.

Most councils have their own pages on copyrights and trademarks as well - and if you have any remaining doubt, feel free to reach out to your individual council, or the GSUSA at large - they are always willing to help!















March 28, 2016

Gloria: Respect Myself and Others - Purple Petal


Welcome to the Daisy Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting!  The main focus of this book for our first and second year girls is the Daisy Petal Patch.  Unlike the badge work for older girls, there are not a whole heck of a lot of guidelines for the petal patches.

If you want to print off a picture of the Gloria for the girls to color during the gathering time, you can find one here!

1.  Enjoy Gloria's story and talk about it

Gloria's story is in the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting.  Gloria the Morning Glory is the sixth petal of ten that you will learn about in this guide.  Gloria's petal is about learning what it means to respect yourself and others.  If you don't have the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting, you can hear it read here by Troop #5007.

Other appropriate books to enjoy and discuss in lieu of Gloria's story:
I'm Gonna Like Me by Jamie Lee Curtis

The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper
I Won't Comb My Hair by Annette Langen

2.  Invite an older girl scout to talk to your group about ways to respect yourself and others.

This is a great opportunity for an older scout to fulfill requirements for bridging or other badge work.  It's a good time to reach out to your network of leaders to see if anyone has a girl who'd like to take a few minutes to share with your troop.  You could also ask your girls, and families, if any of them are or were girl scouts, and ask them to talk to the girls.  My troop had my sister come and chat for a bit, but my girlfriend's troop had a grandmother come and not only talk about ways to respect yourself and others, but also share a bit about girl scouting 50 years ago!

3. Practice respecting myself and others

One activity for this is a healthy snack.  Discuss the importance of healthy eating for a healthy body, and then tell your girls you will be making a healthy snack today.  My favorite is a smoothie, and it can be done simply with a bullet or similar blender that is easily transported.  

Ingredients:

  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Clementines
  • Honey
  • Ice
  • Juiced Apple Juice
  • Any other fruit you, or your girls may like to try

**I juice an apple for this so I can add some liquid that is all natural - you can definitely use whatever juice or water you like.**

1.  Plug in blender, and peel 1 banana, 2 clementines and cut the greens off of 5 strawberries.
2.  Toss fruit in blender.  Add a squeeze of honey, and about 1/4 cup of apple juice. 
3.  Put a handful of ice cubes in - I use 5 ice cubes.  Its important that the ice goes last (if you invert the container to blend) or first (if using a traditional blender) so that the ice is the first thing to hit the blade.
4.  Blend, and pour.
I also encouraged my girls to add in or take out any fruit that met their desire.  We had a large variety of smoothies, but they were all tasty.

Another very cool activity is one that stresses the importance of hand washing.  I love this simple experiment that shows how easily germs are spread.

Supplies:
  • Glo germ or some similar substance 
  • Black light or UV light
1.  Open this experiment with a short discussion about the health benefits of hand washing.  Explain that this experiment will show what happens if we don't wash our hands, and discuss proper hand washing technique.

Open Dialog:
  1. Do you think you wash your hands well enough?
  2. How does illness spread?
  3. When should you wash your hands? 
2.  Apply the powder (or gel - it comes in both forms) thoroughly to your girls hands.  Make sure it's worked into both sides of the hands, and into all the creases.  This is when I explain how the powder works - this powder is made of fluorescent material, and we can't see them without a UV light, and that is similar to how germs cannot be seen by the naked eye.  In this experiment, the powder will symbolize germs.

3.  This step will look different for everyone, depending on what they choose to do.  I had 6 girls, and I split them into two groups.  One group (GROUP A) had 3 girls, and only ONE had the powder worked into her hands.  She then shook hands, held hands, high fived - however they wanted to interact - with the other two girls.  The other group (GROUP B) had 3 girls, and each girl had powder applied.  These girls performed normal daily tasks - one drank from a cup, one used a pencil to do homework, and one played with a toy.  

4.  Hold the black light up to all affected surfaces.  With GROUP A, talk about how ONE girl had germs, and didn't wash her hands, and ask the girls to notice how those powder transferred to the other girls.  With GROUP B, look at the cup, writing utensil, and toy, and ask the girls to notice how the powder transferred.

5.  Ask the girls to head to the sink, and wash their hands appropriately.  When they are done, look at their hands under the black light again.  There will be spots they missed - this should be related back to how we can miss germs if we don't use proper hand washing technique.  This is a great time to reinforce that proper technique.


We had a great time with this - not many things cuter than 5 and 6 year olds learning about girl scouts! Tell me how your Gloria the Morning Glory earning went!








March 27, 2016

F.A.I.R. Method

F.A.I.R. Method

For most girl scout matters (or ANY issue, for that matter), the F.A.I.R. method can be employed.  It allows leaders to lay out all of the facts, while remaining empathetic to parents and girls.  


F (Facts)This is what you will open with - you just want to give facts here.  Refrain from any emotion or frustration, and neutrally explain the facts of the situation.

A (Acknowledge) - After laying out the facts, take a moment to recognize the other party, and their role.

I (Impact)- Explain the significance and repercussions that this will have on the troop.

R (Result) - End with the conclusion you want or need to derive from the situation

You can find a PDF of this graphic here: F.A.I.R. Method


**For example, if you have a girl who is late with cookie money, you might say: 

F - GS mom, the date to turn in cookie money was last Friday.  I haven't received any funds yet. 

A - I know things have been really crazy with cookies, and it may have slipped your mind. 

I - Without these funds turned in, the troop becomes responsible for that money, and it will take away from the girls earnings. 

R - Can we set a time to get those funds dropped off before Wednesday, so they are in the bank in time for the council withdrawal?

In the coming weeks, I will be posting a series of situations that can be addressed with the F.A.I.R. method, and some potential scripting that will be
useful to you!


Have you had any difficult situations to handle, where you employed the F.A.I.R. method? How did it go for you? Are there any specific situations you'd like to see scripting for?



Baking Fun Patch


One of the MANY great things that girl scouts do, is to complete 'fun' patches.  Fun patches are just that - fun.  They technically have no requirements, and you can purchase them through the council, or through a variety of websites - www.snappylogos.com is a go to for us.

When my girls do a fun patch, our troop implements some rules.  This isn't for everyone, but we really like this process.  We choose a patch, and then we choose 3 requirements to go with it.  One requirement must be a hands on activity, one must be education based, and the third can be whatever they wish.

The patch we will discuss in this post is the Baking Fun Patch.  The girls felt a need to create - really, who doesn't want to create something, some way.  This was a fun patch to do, and offered a lot of variety within it, so the girls could experiment and make their own designs.

The three requirements the girls chose for this one were:
- Baking Safety Guidelines
- Sampling a variety of baking ingredients
- Bake cupcakes in a jar

We started this patch work, most appropriately, with baking safety guidelines.  I first asked the girls what kind of safety guidelines they knew, and then handed out a small cheat sheet to each girl.
The gist of it is, wash everything, be safe, and bake with an adult.  These girls are 5 and 6, so these are pretty all encompassing guidelines.  I did find some other great sources for more detailed guidelines for older children.  You can find them here:

The next thing we did was sample a variety of baking ingredients.  This doesn't have a purpose beyond letting the girls familiarize themselves with a variety of ingredients.  This is likely the first foray into the kitchen for many of your girls, and tasting or sampling is a great way to learn about these things.  We used this template, and sat the girls around a table.  They each got a cute little set of measuring spoons from the dollar store, and used them to take a little bit of each item on the list. 
 Things listed were ingredients such as vanilla extract, brown sugar, and chocolate chips.  We had each girl taste a small bit (emphasis on small - some of these are pretty bitter and not tasty!)  Then they used some of the senses to describe the ingredient - taste, touch and smell.
This was a great experience - the girls really delved into the ingredients and discussed them in depth.  It was a lot of fun to watch, and the girls really became familiar with many of the most common baking ingredients.

The last task on our list was to bake cupcakes in a jar.  This was a GREAT experience with the girls - they really enjoyed baking AND the cupcakes were baked in a jar, which made them SO simple to take home. 

Supplies: 
  • 1 Box of White Cake Mix (and ingredients needed for it)
  • Food Coloring
  • Empty Baby Food Jars
  • Sprinkles
  • Whip, in a Can
  • Cookie Sheets
  • 1 Large Bowl
  • 6 Small Bowls
You can use cake mix from scratch, but I have Daisies, so it's in everyone's best interest in my troop to have the simplicity of a box mix!

Our colored cake mix!





1.  Mix the box cake mix, according the the instructions on the box.  Once you've finished with this, scoop the batter into 6 separate bowls.  
2.  Each bowl is going to have a different color - we chose the colors of the rainbow this time, but I also liked the idea of shades of blue (since we are daisy's).  This was a LOT of fun for my first graders - they really enjoyed dropping the colors into the and mixing them to make a variety of colors. 




3.  Next, fill the jars with the cake mix.  Mix, layer and swirl the colors for fun designs.  I put each color in a large ziploc (like you would for frosting) and cut the corner off, so the girls could just squeeze the cake batter into their baby food jars.  My girls were *very* creative!





4. Place the baby food jars on a cookie sheet and bake the jars (baby food jars are tempered, so they won't have an issue in the oven) for the appropriate cupcake time.  
**The one thing we DID learn, a little to late, is that you CANNOT fill the jars as full as we filled them in the first and second jar in this picture...because it bakes over! LOL!**






5.  With the excess cake batter that baked over, we just lopped it off (leveled it), and set it aside. Set the cupcakes aside to cool, once they have been leveled. 
6.  The final step for the cupcakes is to top with whip and sprinkles.  It made a super cute, super simple cupcake the girls could take home, and was a great serving size!






7.  Since we are girl scouts, we didn't want to wast anything, so once we were done with all the cupcakes, we decided to have a taste of cupcakes - and we took the part we cut off earlier, and added some whip and sprinkles to it! 





I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you do this badge, please tell me about it! How did it go - did you do it the same, or tweak it a little? I love hearing about other's experiences.