Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meeting Five!

Today's lesson learned... if you're going to do a team based, sharing-focused activity, you might want extra help to keep an eye on everyone.

We started out with our usual routine. While our fearless leader set up the tables for painting, I took the girls and read with them. We read A Little Birdie Told Me, on page 17, which was a perfect way to begin talking about caring for animals. It was also a good way to get the girls involved. We took a point from the story and went around the circle asking each girl, if they were a bird, what color would their feathers be. We related it back to the week before when we made our all about me nests.

Since we have 15 girls in our troop, we split the project up in to 3 groups. Two groups had pots and one group had the base (bath portion). Each group was initially given 4 cups of paint (blue, yellow, red and green) and 4 paint brushes. This then worked into this week's good turn. We told the girls that they need to share the paint and paint brushes, and if they wanted a different color, they needed to ask their team mates to please pass the paint. As each table began to do this, we rewarded them with special paint brushes and 2 extra colors (purple and orange).

After each table finished, they were to help with the initial clean up, and then went with our leader to play the game choices choices. During snack time, we talked to them a little bit more about remembering to use manners. We asked them to go out of their way this week to remember to say please, thank you, excuse me and to over all, be polite. Immediately, we had several girls thank us for snack time.

Next week's meeting will be laid back. We'll be starting the meeting out with rehearsal for our investiture, and the rest of the meeting will be a fun day for them.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Meeting Five prep

I can not wait to do meeting five with the girls! We will be making a team bird bath. Before the bath activity, we plan on reading A Little Birdie Told Me, which will lead right into the bird bath.

This will be the first meeting that we had to spend money on. We found a lot of easy bird baths that used terra cotta pots and their bases. The concept it to get 3 large pots, all in different sizes, and to stack them up (large on bottom, small on top), and to use the largest pot bottom as the "bath" portion (much likethis bird bath). To save a little money, our idea was to use 2 medium sized pots, stacked at their bases, and to use the larger bottom still for the bath. Our fearless leader and I really liked the idea from that link that used a small base for a bird seed holder, so we thought we could add our touch by decorating that one ourselves.

With 15 girls in our troop, we decided it would be easy to split up the work a little, so we wouldn't have so much crowding or oopsies. We plan on splitting them up into 3 groups, and letting each group paint a portion of the bath, and then assemble the bath the next day once it's dry.

Before the meeting prep:
2, 12" terra cotta pots
1, 12" terra cotta pot base
1, 6" terra cotta pot base

Acrylic or tempera paint, various colors (stuff that will wash off the girls and their clothes)
paint brushes
paper plates or bowls (for paint)
acrylic based silicone caulk (afterwards, to assemble the bird bath at all seems)
Clear spray paint (make sure the can says for out door use)

As part of our example, my fearless leader and I did that bird seed portion today. It's far from perfect, but it serves it's purpose (identifies who dun it). We also found some inspiration to add a little something to it....

We took that phrase and painted it around the edge of the dish. We had some extra room, so we wrote our council name in there as well, and separated it by a trefoil and faux-daisy.

As for the top, not too special as you can see (yes, I put my hand over our troop number, gotta keep this anonymous you know!). We're still waiting on it to dry, but as soon as it's done, I'm gonna lay on that clear/seal spray paint to give it the final pop (I promise I will edit in a photo when it's done!).

The best part about this craft... we got in touch with our local parks and rec department to see if we could donate our bird bath to one the parks in our county. That way, the girls can take their friends and family to show off their work. As of today, we're still working on the kinks, but if all goes as planned, in the spring, we will be putting the bird bath in one of our locals parks and we will get to plant daisies around it (which will go with one of our petals project, and our Earth Day good turn).

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meeting Four!

You would think that with five bottles of glue for fifteen girls it would be enough. Well, it would have been if we remembered to teach them the three drops rule. Note to self: next time we use glue, teach them the three drops rule.

We started out our meeting with the usual potty and water fountain dance, followed by the pledge, the promise, the law and a song. After that, we went into talking about our good turns. Last week we taught them that not only do we clean up after ourselves, but we leave our areas looking better than we found them. We then suggested that their good turn for the week was to pick up any trash that they see (and since theses are five and six year olds, we had to remind them that if it was hazardous or really icky trash, to tell an adult). Each girl had a turn to tell everyone else what they did. They had done things like pick up trash in their classrooms, help clean up after a sibling, help a relative clean up and just the usual make sure they cleaned up after themselves.

Yesterday, we got to read from the journey book for the first time. Our first story later worked into this week's good turn. We read A Perfect Surprise in the Garden (starting on page 7). There are many things you can take from that story, including to be cautious around new friends (stranger danger even) and to be kind to new people. Next, we read When a Camera Meets a Nest (page 14). After reading the two passages, we discussed what we learned from each. The biggest thing we emphasized (leading into our craft) was that birds use whatever they can find to make nests, but each species of bird creates different nests. That then lead into even though we are alike, we are also unique. We then explained that their nests were to reflect who they were as person and the things they liked (and not to copy their neighbors). The girls had a lot to choose from. We had the packing paper that we had shredded, shreds of construction paper, remnants from fabric, yarn, pom-poms, foil and a few other things I can't remember at the moment. Each bowl came out so well! They definitely were a reflection of each girl.

With the few minutes to spare, we then had the girls make their investiture invites. We pre-printed the info for them. All they had to do was pick what color paper they wanted, decorate it, address it, and then glue in the info. It was simple, but it also gave them a sense of pride to know that they made the invitations themselves for their ceremony.

Next week, we're going to be making a team bird bath, that in April, we will have the opportunity to put in one of our local parks (that is in conjunction with a petal activity and community service).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Investiture and Rededication prep

Raise your hand if it feels like our little girls were just babies!!! Ok, it's nice to know I'm not the only one with my hand up. Our fearless leader and I started planning our investiture and rededication ceremony the other night. We have a few girls who were Daisies last year, but most of them are new. We did the generic Google search for Girl Scout ceremonies and got a lot of good material to work with. The short version, we took pieces from a few ceremonies we found and smooshed it all together into one big happy thing.

First site we looked into was this one. We thought it was a good jumping point, and we knew we liked the idea of having each girl being able to say something. That lead us to this gem. We took the second part and put that into our ceremony. After that, we started looking for something that we could do to involve candles. Our fearless leader thought it might be a really nice touch (and I agree!). While searching, we stumbled upon (literally, used Stumbleupon) various candle ceremonies and got an idea for what we wanted to put in there.

In the mean time, we worked out the rest of the kinks for the ceremony. Seeing as how each girl will have a line, we made index cards. Each card had the girl's line on it, as well as who she would follow. The lines are short, and very easy. Some of the lines, as you can see from the ceremony above, are representative of the GS law. Next up, was making the board we would be using for the petals. Now comes the fun....

What you will need:
2 poster boards (1 can be in green)
1 roll of velcro, with sticky backing
hot glue gun
glue stick or a bottle of glue
1 cut out in each of the Daisy colors- blue, light blue, yellow, spring (light) green, red, orange, purple, magenta, green, rose, violet

For the full photo, head over here

2 short candles
1 tall candle, wrapped in yellow ribbon (or already yellow)

For the petals:

Step 1: Print out the petals over 4 sheets of paper (to do this, I used the program Print Shop, which allows you to "blow up" posters)

Step 2: Put together your 4-page "poster" of the petals over a poster board (to give it a "solid" backing)

Step 3: Begin to cut out your petals, but do not cut all the way (this allows you to properly line then up

Step 4: Place your velcro over each petal and the center

Step 5: Place the petals on your green poster board

Step 6: Finish cutting out your petals

Step 7: Using small post its, label each petal (so the girls know where to place it)

Ok, so maybe that was a little bit of overkill, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist (or as my husband puts it, slightly neurotic). In addition to the lines on the note cards, we also wrote which petal each girl will have to place, and who they will speak after. As you will see from our program below, not every girl has a petal to place, but it ended up working out to our benefit. Most of our troop is comprised of first graders, but we have a few kindergartners mixed in. We gave those girls the short lines that had no petals to place (we tried to make it easier on them). It killed me a little because those girls are super smart, but we had to be fair all around.

Obviously, the girls who are rededicating, will not be receiving their pins this year (since they got them last year). We didn't want to leave them out though, so I had a nifty little idea. I love working with Fimo (polymer clay), so I decided to make them some cute pins that we could give them (a "fun" pin). Now, onto the fun stuff!


Girls will line up and walk in, then line up at designated spot

ALL: Pledge of Allegiance

Leader: Welcome and thank you everyone for coming out tonight for troop {troop #}’s Investiture and Rededication ceremony. I’m {leader name}, and this is my Co-leader {co-leader name}.

Co-leader: Tonight we will be inducting our new girl scouts and welcoming back our returning girl scouts. We’d like to start out with one of the songs we start our meetings out with.

Opening song, I’m a Little Daisy

Petal Ceremony.....

Leader: Troop {#}, you are about to become Daisy Girl Scouts. Together we will
explore all the fun and adventures of Girl Scouting. Do you know about scouting?

Girl 1: The founder of Girl Scouts was named Juliette Gordon Low.

Girl 2: Her nickname was "Daisy".

Girl 3: We are named after her.

Girl 4: Together we will learn more about Girl Scouting.

Girl 5: The Girl Scout Promise is the pledge that tells us how to be good citizens and scouts.
(Place the blue Promise Center in center of felt board.)

Co-leader: In Daisy Girl Scouts, the girls will earn the 10 Learning Petals. Each petal is a different color, which represents a different phrase from the Girl Scout Law.

ALL: I will do my best to:

Girl 6: (place light blue petal on felt board)
Be honest and fair

Girl 7: (place yellow petal on felt board)
Be friendly and helpful

Girl 8: (place spring green petal on felt board)
Be considerate and caring

Girl 9: (place red petal on felt board)
Be courageous and strong

Girl 10: (place orange petal on felt board)
Be responsible for what I say and do

Girl 11: (place purple petal on felt board)
Respect myself and others

Girl 12: (place magenta petal on felt board)
Respect authority

Girl 13: (place green petal on felt board)
Use resources wisely

Girl 14: (place rose petal on felt board)
Make the world a better place

Girl 15: (place violet petal on felt board)
Be a sister to every Girl Scout.

ALL: Raise right hands and recite the Girl Scout Promise
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country
And to live by the Girl Scout Law!

Pinning Ceremony

Leader: Each living thing begins as a small ray of light, of hope. The seed needs to be nurtured in order to grow. In Girl Scouts, these rays of hope are the girls of the world. Each seed is planted with love. The value of each young girl is recognized by older people-parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, leaders, and community members. Our Daisies have been nurtured in their homes and in their community. They are now ready to bloom!

Co-leader: Troop {#}'s Daisy meetings will be a place where each girl's individuality is valued. It will be a place where the importance of caring for ourselves and others will be emphasized. We will learn about our world and ways to care for nature. We will have fun! Our troop will be a place for each girl to live the new Girl Scout motto, "Girl Scouts. Where Girls Grow Strong!" We are here to greet the newest buds in the Girl Scout world. It is time for our new Daisies to emerge!

Leader: Our precious Daisies, at this time, you will officially become Daisy Girl Scouts. As we place this trefoil pin on your ribbon, notice that we will be placing it upside down. Each time you do a good turn, your parents can turn it for you, until you have it right side up.

Co-leader: We hope that by our next meeting, all of you have your pins right side up. We can’t wait to hear about your good turns! At this time, we will call you one by one to receive your pins.

(pin girls)

Leader: In addition to our newest members, we have several girls who are rededicating themselves tonight. I've worked with these scouts, and helped them to grow. I'm sharing them now, but want you to know... These girls are precious, as precious can be. Love them, take care of them, and you will see a bright new memory with every day. They grow in such a special way.

(pin girls)

Candle Ceremony

Leader: This candle represents the spirit of Girl Scouting. It burns eternally to represent the friendship and fun we will enjoy together.
(lights center, big yellow, candle)

Co-leader: This candle represents tonight’s investiture by welcoming our new girl scout sisters
(lights first small candle)

Leader: This candle represents our girl scout sisters who have rededicated themselves to a new year of scouts
(lights other small candle)

ALL: Line up to do a semi-circle friendship circle (leader on each side) and sing the Friendship song, turning out when done

Make new friends,
But keep the old,
One is silver and the other’s gold!

Co-leader: Let us pause for a moment in this rededication and investiture, quite mindful of the Girl Scout Promise and Law to uphold, remembering our duty, to serve God and country, and to live our lives by the Girl Scout law. And so when we travel away from each other, we will still be alike in our hearts and our minds. Girl Scouting will guide us, our Promise will bring us together as the great world of the Girl Scouting sisterhood.

Leader: We proudly present to you the Daisies of troop {#}!

In addition to the pins, we made a few fun things for the girls. Our fearless leader is a nifty knitter, and knitted some fabulous hats for the girls. I made some awesome pencils for the girls much like these pencils, and we made some cool certificates for them. At this very moment, I still need to make rededication certificates, but I did finish these nifty investiture certificates:

Here's the full version in case you want to use it:
Investiture Certificate

And, we also made a rededication certificate that is very similar to the investiture certificate:

For full version, go here

The day of our ceremony is also going to be our kick off the year party for our meeting. Our plan is to practice the ceremony once or twice, and then let the girls let loose and have fun. We're going to have some fun games for them to play. An hour after our meeting we will be having the ceremony, with a pot luck dinner to follow. We still have a few weeks to go before our ceremony, so that means the girls should all remember their lines by then (we sent out the ceremony cards after meeting 3, and our ceremony will be after meeting 6).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Meeting Four Prep

For meeting four, we will be reading a few passages from 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Animals! Including Perfect Surprise in the Garden and When a Camera Meets a Nest. That will then transition into our project, making all about me nests. We looked around for things that we could use to make these nests and were a little shocked how much some of the supplies cost. Our next idea was to head out to one of the local parks to gather materials for free, until it started raining.

So, just like a couple weeks ago, we were looking around my house for inspiration. It just so happened that my awesome father-in-law had just sent a box to my fabulous husband. It had a long wad of brown packing paper in it. We noticed that the paper was crinkled up, much like the pre-cut crinkle paper you can buy in the gifting supplies section at most stores. That's when it hit us. The next thing I knew, I was standing on my kitchen counter looking in the cabinet above my fridge for paper bowls (yes, I realize that might be an odd spot to keep them, but it's the only free spot I had).

For our first moment of deja vu, there we were, on my living room floor, cutting up the paper. We wadded it up a little more and cut it in thin(ish) strips. Not knowing exactly much we would need for 15 bowls, we cut up the whole thing (which was roughly 20 feet long). The strips were on the thick side (roughly a half inch wide), but would be perfect for what we were doing. Our intentions were to have the girls glue the paper in the bowls, and then using whatever they could find in our arts and craft box, pick out what they like and what represents who they are. For this specific craft, we added a few things in, including pipe cleaners, tissue paper, foil, pom-poms, ribbon, and asked the girls to bring small things from home they might want to put in.

What you will need:
15 paper bowls (16 if you want to make an example)
brown packing paper, wadded up and cut into thin strips
paint, or crayons, or markers, or colored pencils
misc. items, such as ribbon, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, foil, cotton balls, pom-poms, buttons, Easter basket grass, and other small things that you might find in a bird nest

The how to is pretty straight forward- just glue it all in, color it, or whatever their little hearts want to do with their nests. That's the beauty of this project- the nests are about them, so they get to decorate it to reflect their personalities. All of our girls in our troop are so unique and all have a lot of the same and varied interests. I am a chef and a writer, but I also like to do things such as sewing, knitting, scrap booking and more, so my fearless leader and I each made a nest as an example to show them who I am.

I can not wait to see what they come up with tomorrow!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Meeting Three and a parade!

Last week, we learned about the Girl Scout Law and Promise. The promise is short enough that it makes it very easy for the girls to remember. Even though I was a scout for eight years, and a leader previously, I still can't always remember the law. Our fearless leader had a brilliant idea- Red Rover, Red Rover, but instead of calling the girls names, assign each of them a line from the law and promise, and call them over that way. Learn from our mistake- make sure you remember the law, otherwise you'll have to write it on your hand (or do what we did and have our notebook in front of us). It was a HUGE hit with the girls, and when we were done playing, they wanted to play again!

As much as we wanted to play one more time, we had something fun on the agenda. We got to march in a local parade yesterday, so we had banners out for them to make signs. The lesson that we learned yesterday was, butchers paper, even when reinforced, will still tear if it is really windy. The signs were so cute though; the girls did an amazing job on it. Halfway through the parade, our largest sign gave way, but the small sign was salvageable. My leader and I trudged along with the sign while the girls held hands behind us, and their parents walked behind them. And, the best part, they're getting a fun patch for being in the parade!

Next week, we're going to be making bird nests. We got really creative in the prep for those, and we know the girls will have fun. So, be on the look out for that prep post!