Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Soda/Tin can pot

DIY pots are easy, cheap, and give you a LOT of options.  Plastic bottles are great for terrariums, but if it's something you plan on transplanting later, I do not recommend it.  If you do plan on transplanting it later on, there's a couple routes you can go.

Newspaper pots are great for things like vegetables that you will be putting in the garden.  Like peat pots, simply get the paper wet and break it up a little when it's time to stick it in the garden.  The newspaper can also be a handy dandy little fertilizer (not the best though, but it's safe at least).

Tin can pots are something easy to do that can be used over and over again.  There's a few things you need to do for the prep of this project.  Make sure there are no jagged edges on the inside of the can- sometimes when you take off the lid, a small piece is left behind that can cut you.  You can take that off by using small metal cutting scissors (I recommend the ones you can find in the jewelry section of a craft store) or a metal file.  The next thing you need to do is poke a few small holes in the bottom for drainage.  There's a few ways to do this, but however you do it, just be careful.

Soda can pots (pictured above) are similar to the tin can pots, but require a little more prep.  As you can see from the photo, I used some metal cutting scissors to take off the top of the can.  I cleaned up the edges a little and then covered it with some snazzy red duct tape.  I also poked some holes in the bottom of the can for drainage.

When it comes down to it though, you can use just about anything as a recycled pot.  I've seen pots made out of kitchen pots, coffee mugs, bowls, a toolbox (I wish I took a photo of that one, it was awesome!), and many others.  Just remember, if you use something that you can't make drainage holes in, don't over water your plants and look out for rotting from sitting water.  Also, don't forget to re-pot your plant when it out grows its pot, otherwise you will kill your plant.

One last note- if you make a pot out of a soda can, be careful when you cut the top off.  Small metal shards that fall are hard to find, and it's easy to cut yourself if you're not being careful (I should know, I'm like the queen of clumsy).  And, the cute duct tape can be found all over now a days (Target, Walmart, Michael's, Hobby Lobby and more).

Lots of great links!

As a leader, I am constantly looking for new ideas.  Sadly, our local library is not the best place to look.  For me, the next best resource is the good ole' internet, and boy, are there a lot!

I do keep up a Pintrest page for many of the sites we've used as inspiration.  For those of you who are not familiar with Pintrest, in order to post a link, the page needs to have a photo you can attach to it.  This is a list of sites we've used as inspiration that do not have photos for us to tack in Pintrest (will edit this list as I go along, since I keep finding more):  This site has a LOT of amazing games that are perfect to do with our girls.  This is one of several sites that we pulled our songs from.  This great little gem has some terrific ideas on learning the GS law  We pulled most of our ideas for our investiture from this site.  This site has several ceremony ideas listed.  Another site with some great songs.  An amazing resource for activities relating back to the GS law. A rough idea of a year's plan for Daisies GS Jeopardy (could be really fun for older girls too)   A few games relating to JGL, very easy and fun A ton of great games to play with any age scout  More great games Another awesome how-to-planning guide   And another great meeting planner guide   A basic how-to for SWAPs

More coming as we go!  Hope these help!

Spring Prep, redux

With a newly formed troop, I have had to re-shift my focus on planning out our spring schedule.  I have a bit of a hidden agenda though.  Not that long ago, I found out that I would be attending the Girl's World Forum this summer that will be tackling the eight Millennium Development Goals in Girl Scouting.  If you take a look at the eight goals and the UN's reports on their status, you'll see that it's some pretty serious stuff.  However, the MDG's also play into a special badge, the Global Action Awareness badge.  The best part, if you take a look on the Girl Scout website, you'll see that it has steps on how to earn this badge for every level, including for Daisies.  It gets better- most of these tie right in with the Daisy petals.

We have a lot of new girls coming into the troop, so we're kind of starting over.  We do have a few who have been in since the fall, so this obviously is not new to them.  Meeting one will be an introduction for the new girls.  Meeting two will be a good refresher for our "old" girls since we plan on making a collage about the GS promise and law (I might regret later on letting them use modge podge and tissue paper!).

Meeting three is when we will finally dive into the MDG's and Global Awareness badge.  We're going to learn about environmental stability and recycling, which falls right into saving the planet and end hunger and poverty.  Now you ask, how??  Simple!  We're planting mini-gardens in recycled cans.  Before you do this, make sure you have metal cutting scissors (I'll post a how to with photos later).

That is being followed up with a lesson in one of the financial literacy leaves and a trip to a local farmer's market.  This then plays into meeting four, which is more about the two above MDG's and plays a little into helping children survive.  We're going to cook with what the girls buy at the farmer's market, since obviously our gardens won't be ready in a week. This will also be a good healthy eating lesson, and plays into all the MDG's which relate to nutrition, survival and education.

The next few meetings are along the same lines- tie in an MDG and portion of the Global Action Awareness badge in with a Daisy petal, and keep up with using as many recycled materials as possible (I'm trying to find something else to do with those toilet paper rolls).  We probably won't get in all 10 points by the end of the school year, but we might meet a few times over the summer, and it's easy enough to finish this up in the fall.  We're still planning on resuming our journeys in the fall and continuing work on the petals.

Mixed in with all that will be an attempt at some fun time.  We're hoping that our last meeting of the school year can be something fun like an indoor camp fire (not real obviously).  It's been a while since I made a faux fire, so I think I need to hop in Pintrest to research the easier/cheaper ones before I destroy my crafts stash. However, next up on the list is inventorying the craft room again to see what all I have.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Centennial Bridging and Sunrise Ceremony

I'm not exactly the biggest fan of the town we live in, BUT, we live roughly one and half hours away from the birthplace, so that does have a huge advantage.  As you all know, we just celebrated the 100th birthday of the Girl Scouts, and as such, my daughter, Mother and I were all able to go to the Centennial Bridging and Sunrise Ceremony.  I volunteered during the bridging, so I got very few photos (my Mother took a few of my daughter).  I did get a few good ones during the Sunrise Ceremony though, so enjoy!

Sorry the photo is so blurry, it's the best photo I was able to get of the bridge.  This was the ceremonial bridge the girls made that was up in Forsyth park.

It's a little hard to make out, but one of the Girl Scouts in the front is holding the Eternal Flame of Friendship!

Who else thinks the uniforms of the past was a wonderful idea?!

This photo is something amazing.  The woman on the right, with the hat, is Margaret Skene, the CEO of Historic Georgia. The two ladies to her left are women who were in the first black Girl Scout troop back in the 40s.  It goes with out saying, those woman are a part of history!

It's sunrise, gotta have taps!
Welcome second century!
Not the best photo (sorry), but that would be our wonderful CEO, Anna Maria Chavez.

Sing along time!
And now, for the Eternal Flame!
My cute kiddo gave me the flame.
And there you have it- 100 years of Girl Scouting!

Backing up to the Bridging.... there were literally people from all over!  I met people from Ohio, California, Texas (not including my Mother who flew in), Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida and more!  The Boy Scouts can poke fun at us all they want, but their centennial got nothin' on ours!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Next Year's prep, take 2!

For those of you who follow this blog, I'm sure all of you have figured out by now that I have a very "type A" personality.  It can be annoying to some, but when it comes to planning out things for kids, it has its benefits.  After re-reading my list of "challenges," I got to work!

My eighth challenge that I listed was finding a new co-leader, as our troop will be splitting up after our first graders bridge this year.  That challenge, thankfully, I have completed.  The best part, it's a friend who's daughter will be one of our new Daisy's next year.  I've known her for almost six years now, and I am so thankful that she will be my new co-leader!

My first challenge that I tasked myself with was coming up with activities for the petals next year that are different than this year's.  So far, I have the SWAP project and Flat Juliette to start us out.  Also to work with will be our two journeys, Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden, and Between the Earth an Sky.  Meeting two, we plan on diving right into the petal "be a sister to every Girl Scout," by knocking out our SWAPs.  Meeting three we plan on diving into Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden.  This seems like the perfect way to start out the year, as this book truly introduces the girls to Girl Scouting.  That also leads us into our fourth meeting.  Our fourth meeting, tentatively, will involve planting a garden at the school we meet at.  We're working on getting our materials donated for this project.  No decision has been made yet, so fingers crossed!  The next few meetings we're still working on, however, we did come up with a terrific idea on what to do for Founder's Day.  While looking through some of the free books Kindle has to offer, I stumbled upon the Girl Scout handbook from 1925.  That gave us the idea to come up with a way to earn a badge from this handbook or any other "old" handbook.  

Challenge number ten obviously goes hand in hand with our meeting plans.  It has been trying to work this in, but we're getting it, slowly.  The Discover portion seems to be easy for the Daisy aged girls.  Planting and caring for a garden is one of the many ways they can discover.  Connect has been presenting us with a small challenge, but as we look closer into Between the Earth and Sky, we have realized that this journey is perfect for this.  Take Action is iffy right now.  There are portions that we are able to incorporate here and there, but others we're trying to figure out how to show this to our girls.  More importantly, trying to incorporate the leadership skills for this age of scouts is difficult.  Luckily, we have all summer to work on challenger ten.

Backing up to challenge seven, that SWAP project.  Somehow, with very little effort, it's managed to work itself out.  I do have a partner in crime, and she has been wonderful (I know you read my blog Heather, so again, thanks for your help, it is invaluable!!!).  We're slowly getting more people who are interested.  We do have some international troops who want to participate, and that is completely awesome, on so many levels!  I am so looking forward to kicking this off next year.  My new Co and I have a few cute, and cheap ideas we're looking into for our SWAP.  This past weekend, at the Centennial Bridging and Sunrise Ceremony, my daughter collected quite a few cute SWAPs that have given me lots of new ideas.  I think this week I will sit down and look at them.

Looking at challenge two again, working in our journey books, has obviously provided us with a lot of good material.  As I said before, Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden is absolutely perfect as an introduction to scouting.  After reading the book and the accompanying leaders guide, I felt like I had very little work to do.  The leaders guide was an excellent compass for planning out our meetings.  At this very moment, I have not finished reading Between the Earth and Sky, as I had to exchange it for a working copy (my original copy was printed upside down and backwards, but thankfully I was able to exchange it for a good copy).  In what I did read so far, I have picked up on two themes- travelling and feelings.  A good friend of mine was telling me a little about the journey she's doing with her junior troop.  They've been doing a bit with feelings, and have created a safe space within their meetings by having a "secret clubhouse."  Knowing that we're going to touch on this, with our second journey, I realized that it would be imperative for us to create a similar safe place.  This is something we'll have to get into later.

Ok, so what exactly have I been babbling about this whole time, and will do in another post?  Preparedness.  This amazing article sums most of it up.  It is important to prepare ahead of time to make sure that your troop is getting everything they can out of scouting, and to keep everything together in an orderly fashion.

And now, for my next set of challenges, starting up a new troop sooner, rather than later.... as in next month.  Fingers crossed!