Sunday, December 18, 2011

Meeting Thirteen

To set up the meeting, we asked our girls to start listing off foods from other countries, and every last thing they came up were things we would not be trying, such has hot dogs, pizza and spaghetti (typical kid food, right?). Even when we tried to get creative, we got things like sandwiches, chocolate and meatballs. It was time to burst their little bubbles.

My family will eat just about anything. My daughter usually has qualms with raw onions, but so do most 5 year olds. Our fearless leader's daughter is the same way. So it was no surprise to watch our daughters scarf down what we put on their plates. The key to our meeting was that we told them that we knew what allergies they all had, and that they all HAD to have at least one bite of everything on their plate (since everything was "allergy free"). My daughter practically inhaled the hummus. Most of the girls loved the Souvlaki, and virtually all of them loved the spice cake. There was a lot of whining about how they didn't want to try the things on their plate.

Our one concern was green stuff. We made sure to peel the zucchini and cucumber before they went into the spice cake and tzasiki. We feared that some of the girls would do the typical kid thing and freak out. By the time everyone had tried everything on the plate, we began telling them what things were and what was in them. When we told them about the cucumber in the tzasiki, they were a little weirded out, but ok. The zucchini in the spice cake was the kicker. They all flipped! By the looks on their faces, you would have thought that we just killed the Easter bunny. It was priceless!

Since this was our meeting before the Christmas break, we finished out with our Secret Santa exchange and talked about what Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are. Most of them already knew, but it was a good refresher for them. And now, we have 3 whole weeks off of school, which sadly means a 3 week break from scouting.

Meeting Thirteen Prep

Call me a nerd if you want, but I think meeting thirteen is going to be my favorite meeting of the whole year. There's an awesome lesson suggestion in the leader's book of 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Anmials! That does taste testing, and there's a wonderful passage in the girls book that goes with it. After reading it, I geeked out!

The challenge for us is that we do have a few food allergies in our troop, but thankfully, not many and they are minor allergies. So, for us, no blueberries and we have to go easy on the milk and cheese. Our other concern was thinking day. Our Service Unit is having a big festival for the thinking day, and our troop will be in charge of doing a booth for Greece. We decided to work in some Greek food for the girls to try. For our menu we decided on:

Pork Gyro with whole grain pita and mosca style tomatoes
Chicken Souvlaki with pita
Tzasiki (for Gyro and Souvlaki)
Chorizo Empanada
Zucchini and Apricot spice cake/bars
Japanese Ramune soda

Reading that, it sounds like a LOT of cooking, but with both us working on it, it really wasn't that bad. Granted, for me, this was nothing but another day in the kitchen. My husband, on the other hand, almost made this impossible since he was standing over us the entire time wanting to "perform quality assurance testing." We caved and gave him an Empanada and that kept him happy, until he finished it and wanted more. BUT, we got it done, so now to see how the girls like it!

Meeting Twelve

Much to my surprise, meeting twelve went over very smoothly! We started out reading a passage about birds nests before we dove into our project. It was the perfect chance to talk to the girls about the various types of homes and shelters we use, such as tents, cabins and more. Seriously, those girls are smart!

Today's lesson learned- even when you repeat the glue rule, you still have to keep an eye on the girls. There were many that went over board with the glue bottles (I owe Target a HUGE thank you- 20 cents for a bottle of Rose Art glue, that's cheaper than the dollar store!). We showed them what to do, but still had to go around and help them. The concept seemed foreign to them, but eventually they all got it. Putting on the roofs was a challenge, but they all made it work.

Meeting Twelve Prep

I'm not sure if this is going to be a hit yet, but we'll see. For meeting twelve, we'll be making classic popsicle stick birdhouses. Thankfully, one of our awesome parents donated a giant box of popsicle sticks, so if the girls have trouble, we'll have extras, and lots of them.

The last time I made one of these, I was in elementary school, so I had to do some research on this, and find a way to do this without having to buy more sticks (granted, we have 1,000 sticks, so we should be ok). Some versions have you using dozens of sticks to make large houses. We also won't have to time to make those, so we needed to find something smaller, more practical, and easy enough for our Daisies to do. I can honestly say that for the first time ever, a search on Pintrest did not help, so on to Google I went! And oh the horrors I found! I mean, a house that needs 800 sticks, one that needs sticks, pine cones and hot glue, another one that needed a milk carton to glue the sticks onto and I even found one project that used tongue depressors to make a castle. I mean, really? Who has time to do that? Around page 12, I found a poem about birdhouses. It was about that time that I wanted to bang my head against the wall and wished that I could remember how we did in art class all those years ago. By the time I hit page 22, I was running into to sites that were selling kits to make birdhouses. I even found a book on making "creative" birdhouses. But, thanks to a clever little article on Ehow, it hit me- log cabin style.

The principle is fairly simple. Make a base by lining up several popsicle sticks (enough to cover the length of one) and then use a popsicle stick on either end to hold/glue the ends together. From there, stack it like you would a log cabin, gluing at the corners. To make this easier, we got out some foam sheets we had left over from another project and cut them into square so the girls could use them for the bases. We also used the excess foam to make roofs for the houses. I made one to show them how, but figure like mot projects, it's best to just show them, and then let them do the rest.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Meeting Eleven

Never, ever forget your craft supplies, especially crayons or markers. Our fearless leader accidentally forget our crayons, so our turtle shell activity had a bit of a bump. She did remember glue sticks, so the girls were able to glue on the googly eyes that one of the girls brought in for us. I'm not entirely sure they understood the why (shells protect turtles and give them confidence, illustrate on your shell how you can be confident) after seeing what they did. Most of them glued on the eyes and just decorated the shells. Maybe it's something we'll have to revisit later on. The foam turtles were a big hit though. We didn't have time to finish them, but it gave them something to do over the weekend and something to talk to their families about. The theme of having a way to protect themselves as turtles do, they got.

Meeting Ten

Today's big, huge, massive lesson learned- if one of you is sick, get help from a parent. Our fearless leader had a bad case of the sniffles, so I was left to fend for myself. We've gotten so into our routine that it was easy for me to forget that while one of us reads with the girls, the other one does the basic set up. And, being by myself during the meeting, I felt like I was so mean the whole time. Oddly enough, the girls had a blast!

The girls loved the turkeys. I challenged them a little with it. I printed out the petals on their respective colors of paper and set them out on the tables. We reviewed the law and I told them that they had to make sure to get all ten petals on their turkey. A few of them put the same color on more than once, so they had to go back and figure out which ones they were missing.

Making the turkeys went by quickly, so we had a secondary activity to do for them as well. We had been collecting toilet paper rolls and used some of them to make Indians. It was a simple craft, but easy for the girls to do and really got them into the Thanksgiving spirit.

Meeting Nine

Meeting Nine was the day before Veteran's Day. We live in a town that has a military base (which my husband happens to be stationed at). Our town also has a lot of veterans and active duty personnel because of the base. It was the perfect opportunity to bring in people to talk about what it's like to serve in the military, and give your girls a greater appreciation for those who serve. Many of our girls have parents who have served or are serving, but the rest of them do not.

Before the meeting, my husband came in to talk to our daughter's class. The boys loved him, the girls didn't seem to care. The sentiments were repeated during our meeting when my husband, our fearless leader's husband and another friend talked to the girls. They all understood what it meant to be a veteran, but were more interested in making them thank you notes and flags for our parade the following day. It wasn't really a failure, but if we do something similar next year, we'll have to really re-think how we're going to do it.