\ All Things Girl Scouts: 2016-04-03

April 9, 2016


Are you looking for a last minute troop activity? Do you have little ones who like outdoor activities? Just wondering if the closest national park is really worth the annual pass fee? 

From April 16th to April 24th, all National Parks are free of fees.  It is national park week in the US and you can celebrate all week long, enjoying the National Parks at no cost!

There are also some events that are happening throughout the US at these parks.  Some examples of these events are park ranger for a day, junior ranger, every kid in a park day and instameet.

National parks are a great place for families and troops to get together, and play, hike or just enjoy the outdoors.

Check out this site to locate your nearest national parks, as well as calendar events for national park week!


April 5, 2016

Healthy Habits 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 this post is about is the healthy habits fun patch.  My girls are 5 and 6, and this is a great patch to do at this age.  They are becoming more independent in these areas of life, and giving them the knowledge to make healthy decisions will benefit them for a long time to come!

 The three requirements chosen for this one were:

-  General Healthy Habits
-  Making a Healthy Smoothie  
-  Healthy Eating Pledge 

The first thing I did for this badge was that I asked the girls these questions:
  1. What is health?
  2. What does it mean to be healthy?
  3. Why do we want to be healthy? Why is it important?

After that, we took a 
look at this infographic and talk about being healthy.  We went over the bullets on this infographic, and talked about *why* those things are healthy.

For the second requirement, we did just that - we made a healthy smoothie.  I have a nutra bullet, so this made this task pretty simple - I just brought it along to the meeting.  To make this step more exciting, I selected a variety of items for this step.  I had them all out displayed, and asked the girls to first choose what the healthy options were, then to select, as a group, what we would put in our smoothie.  I didn't want to mess with a *lot* of smoothie, so I just grabbed some dixie cups and gave each girl a small bit.

The items I brought were: 

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Clementine
  • Strawberries
  • Carrots
  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • White Sugar
  • Honey
  • Processed Juice
  • A juiced apple
  • Snickers
  • Hershey Chocolate
The girls really enjoyed creating something themselves, and this showed them that they can choose a variety of healthy items and make something delicious.

The last part of this meeting was a healthy habit pledge.  After much discussion about healthful habits, the girls were armed with ideas on how to make their own live healthier.  I created this fun pledge sheet, and you can get a printable copy of it by clicking this link.

I had the girls write down *ONE* thing they would like to change in their lives to make them healthier, happier little people.  Our plan is to start our next meeting with this sheet as well, so they can write down what they did to keep their pledge. 

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. 

April 4, 2016

How to Request Appearances

In my adventures as a troop leader, one of my favorite things to do is career day.  I implemented this with my first troop of Daisies as a monthly experience, and when my service unit heard about the success I had, they asked me to host a larger event that would benefit all of the girls in my service unit.

I accepted without a second thought [my downfall lol] and immediately began planning.  I decided that 12-14 *all female* professionals would be amazing, and set out to somehow get local professionals to agree to help!  I chose to only ask female professionals for this event because this was targeted towards the younger girls.  While men can be and ARE great advocates and supporters of women, *I* believe it is easier for a young girl to see herself in the role she is exploring.  It also reinforces the train of thought that girls can and will do anything they want with some hard work!

I drafted an email [see below] and reached out to professionals locally, and on Facebook (those community groups are AMAZING for girl scout resources!).  I emailed them, and then followed up by phone 2 days later. 

This was a hugely successful event - the council let me use one of their facilities free of charge, and the presenters almost all brought take aways for the girls.  We also ordered career day patches from www.Snappylogo.com.  We charged $2.50 per girl, and the SU saw about $1.50 of that back to them after name tags and coffee/donuts for the wonderful women who gave up a Saturday afternoon to interact with and inspire young girls.  We had a city council woman, a CIO, a realtor, etc.

Here is a copy of the email I used to request appearances - feel free to use this as needed (AND share with me how your event went!)

To whom it may concern:

 Hello! I am trying to reach [Potential Presenter].  My name is [Troop Leader] and I am a girl scout leader, here in [Local Area]. I lead a group of Daisies - they are 6 and 7 year old, wonderfully ambitious ladies. 

     This year, our girl scout theme is 'Dream, Explore, Be: Anything is Possible'. We work hard to show the young women in our local troops that they have worth. They are smart. They CAN do anything they want to do, if they work hard for it.

     In line with that, our service unit, [SU Number], is hosting a career day for these young women, so they can see real life application of where hard work and dedication can take them in life. 

     I would like to invite you to participate in this event as a local[Career], as it would be an honor to host you. 

     This event will take place at [Location, including address]. What we would ask of you is to host a table (which we would provide.)  You can bring any materials you would find useful or beneficial in explaining to the girls what you do and what it took for you to get to this career.  The event is scheduled from [Time] on [Date], and girls will expect to spend 5-6 minutes at each table interacting. 

Please let me know if this is something you would be willing to participate in - it would be a great help and inspiration if you are able to help us show these young women what they are capable of doing with their lives. 

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Did you plan a successful event? Do you have a different method than this to solicit guest appearances for your troop? I'd love to hear how you do it, and/or how this worked for you!

Patch Distribution

There comes a time in every girl scouts life when they experience that quintessential girl scout experience, and they receive patches!

This is generally a *very* exciting and rewarding time for these girls, and as a leader, you want to make this experience special.  You have the fall back option of tossing the patches in a plastic baggie and calling it good, but most leaders like something a little prettier.  I have Daisy's so my girls are pretty little yet.  I have done a few distributions with girls this age, but we recently relocated, and so I have a new group of little ladies, and we are coming up on their first badge distribution.  This is an especially exciting time for them because these will be there *first* patches in their girl scout career.

I didn't want to spend a ton of money, since we are a new troop, and I also got my girls all a little gift to commemorate their first badges, so I rooted around in the house.  I started looking through craft supplies in my craft closet, and found a super cute spool of daisy ribbon, and I was off!


Spool of Ribbon

My girls all have different amounts of patches dependent upon who made it to what meetings, but I do like order, so I picked an order for the patches, and kept it throughout all of my girls, even if they were missing a few.

1.  Lay patches out in order on the table, and unroll the ribbon next to it.  You'll want to leave about 2 inches at the top and at the bottom.  Measure and cut ribbon.

2.  Lay out patches on the ribbon, and staple each on to the ribbon.  Each patch, I've found, works best with two staples in it, on opposite corners.

3.  Light the lighter and pass both ends of the ribbon through it - this will prevent the ribbon from fraying.

4.  I like to embellish these with some kind of theme, or cute start and finish.  I add the name in some capacity on the bottom - this time, I printed it on the ribbon itself - and I add some kind of embellishment at the beginning.  I haven't decided what I will put on these, but in the past I've used cute bottons, made bows, or added a small gift card for McD's (for my last troops first distribution).

My girls have always loved these, and I enjoy thinking up different ways to personalize them!  How do you handle your patch distribution?  Do you theme yours? I love seeing ways other leaders hand out their patches, so please comment and share!

April 3, 2016

Vi: Be A Sister to Every Girl Scout - Violet 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.

Petal Activity #1: Enjoy Vi’s Story and talk about it

Vi's story is in the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting.  Vi the Violet is the tenth petal of ten that you will learn about in this guide.  Vi's petal is about learning what being courageous and strong means.  If you don't 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 Vi's story:

Read Everybody Bakes Bread, by Norah Dooley

Elana's Ears, by Gloria Roth Lowell
How I Became the Best Big Sister in the World by Gloria Roth Lowell

Petal Activity #2:  Make a mural from girls around the world

For this part of this petal, we wanted something that was more tangible, that each girl could take home.  We made *word* murals!


Heart Frame
Compliment List (in case anyone hits a roadblock)

1.  Give each girl a piece of cardstock and a scissors.  I like to randomly hand out different colors, but some may prefer to use just one color - perhaps blue for daisy.  

2.  Have each girl cut a square of cardstock to size for her frame, and insert it. 
3.  These frames have no glass, or any plastic, so no need to remove anything.  Each girl will need a sharpie, and they will go around/interact yearbook style.  They need to write on each girls heart - ONE - word that best describes this friend.  
4.  When they are done writing, the girls can decorate their frames and read what their friends wrote about them.

This is an incredibly affirming activity for little girls, and it really bolsters them to hear all the good things about themselves.  My girls were almost preening at the end of this activity!

Petal Activity #3:  Practice being a sister to every girl scout

There are lots of activities and ways to fulfill this step, but what we did was a pen pal project with another troop.  We were in Nebraska, and we connected with a troop that was in Georgia.  Each of my girls filled out this simple and *free* pen pal template.

This pen pal letter guides the littlest ladies so they can still have a great, informative letter, and not be too stressed about getting it all right.  It lets the girls share their name, age and birthday, and also what their favorite color, part of school and food is, then leaves space for a short letter.  They can also paste a picture of themselves, or draw a pic of themselves as well.  I know it can sometimes be hard to network with other troops, so feel free to join Girl Scout Leader Connection on Facebook - there are lots of leaders from lots of places there!