Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spring, Meeting 7

Today was a sad day... it was our last meeting for the school year.  At least we'll have a few outings this summer, but still, it was bittersweet.  We started out our meeting by doing a short practice for our court of awards.  It wasn't anything fancy, just a basic ceremony.  After that, we got down to the FUN stuff, I mean super fun.

We have been lucky enough to have been asked to be pen pals to some Girl Guides in the Czech Republic (hi Joanna!).  Seriously, how awesome is that?!  Our girls were floored when we pointed out how far away they are.  Our first batch of letters that we did was more like a little get to know you type thing.  We made a worksheet for them to fill in that had the basics- my name is, I am _ years old, my favorite color is, my favorite food is, my favorite book is, I love Girl Scouting because and I love Georgia because.  On the bottom, we left a space for them to color a picture of themselves.  My fab Co and I each did one too.  I think our girls did a better job with their self portraits than we did!  We made a cute little cover sheet with some "facts" about Georgia.  My husband, the self proclaimed Georgia know-it-all, thinks we covered it all (GA peaches, Coke, Juliette Gordon Low birthplace, GA Aquarium, and NSB Kingsbay).  We finished our meeting playing games, since this was our last meeting.  Of course, we had to go back to their favorite, red rover.  I really am beginning to regret doing that back in September, BUT, they loved it.

Our court of awards was short and sweet, but lovely.  I knew our girls were learning as the earned their badges, but I didn't realize how much they had learned over the course of the past year.  It finally hit me that we've done an entire journey, petals and a special badge.  On top of all of this, we'll be earning the Games Go Global badge which is a very special badge from WAGGS.  We really did accomplish a lot this year, and I am so immensely proud of our scouts!

Next year shall be very interesting, and I can't wait!  Up next, SU day camp, and, I'm going to Chicago to participate in the Girl's World Forum with Scouts and Guides from all over the world!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring, Meetings 5 & 6

I didn't write a blog last week because we worked exclusively on our super duper top secret project.  This week we finished it, so now I can finally tell you all!

First off, I am so proud of our scouts for keeping this super duper top secret project a secret!  This was our Mother's Day project, hence why we kept it a secret.  You'll never guess how much this project cost.  Seriously, try!  If guessed less than $5, you win!

Small coffee filters
Spray bottle with water and vinegar
Pipe cleaners
Plastic bottles
Modge podge or watered down liquid glue
Tissue paper
Beans, rice, or something else to put in the bottom of the bottles

My awesome Co and I experimented on this before we did the craft with them, just so we knew how to do it (since they always have questions).  We had seen a number of how-to's for the the vase and flowers, so it was a matter of figuring out what was going to work best for our girls.

Step one is coloring the coffee filter, which we did during meeting two.  It's so easy, really!  Simply lay out a coffee filter, color a few squiggles around it (don't color in the whole filter), and spray it with your watered down vinegar.  Then, let it dry.  It takes roughly 2-3 hours to dry on its own, hence why did this a few meetings before.  When the filters dry, it will look like you tie-dyed them.  If you use contrasting colors, you'll get some really cool effects too.

Step two is making the flower.  You'll want to use about 5-6 filters for this.  Layer/stack your filters and then staple it in the middle to hold them together.  Start by picking up the top/first filter and scrunching it up.  Then, one by one, crumple up each layer around that center layer.  Once all of them are done, tape or wrap your pipe cleaner at the bottom.  Then, while holding it at the bottom, carefully open up your newly formed petals.  When you're done, it will look like a flower!  

Step three is the vase/bottle.  Essentially, you will be decoupaging it.  Using a paint or foam brush, cover your bottle with modge podge or watered down liquid glue.  Place tissue paper scraps all over the bottle, and make sure you cover it!  Brush modge podge or glue over the layer of tissue paper to seal it on there.  This will also take several hours to dry, so you might want to do this a few meetings ahead of time too.  

Once all of that is done, you may want to place something like dried beans or rice in the bottom of your new vase before sticking your flowers in.  For an additional measure, you might want to coat the vases with a clear lacquer.  But, that's it!  The total cost of this project is roughly $3.  A pack of small coffee filters is about a dollar, and you can buy a large pack of pipe cleaners and tissue paper at most dollar stores, and you will have leftovers of both.  We let the girls make more than one flower and vase, and still had lots of leftovers.  When our moms saw them, they loved it too!

These vases were also the perfect opportunity to work in a lesson on being considerate and caring.  We read a passage from the guide book and related this to every day life.  We talked about simple thing we can do to be considerate and caring, such as using manners and going out of our way to be nice to people. The girls had way better ideas than we did about being considerate and caring.  Can I just say, again, these girls are SMART and are going to set the world on fire!

For today's meeting (6), we dove back into the Global Action badge before we finished off our Mother's Day gifts.  For our next point, we honed in on "empowering women."  How do you bring such an adult topic down to a five and six year old's level?  Simple!  Tell them about famous ladies who were girl scouts, such as our very own Juliette Gordon Low and Anna Maria Chavez.  We also mentioned Katie Couric, Venus Williams, Nancy Lopez, Dakota Fanning, Rachel Ray, Sandra Day O'Conner and several others.  In case you didn't notice, each of those women has a very different job.

We got so lucky today and had some guest speaker's volunteer to come in.  Sadly, two of them had to cancel (a minister and a welder), but we still had one very awesome guest speaker.  Our speaker happens to be a teacher to a few of the girls.  To set up our guest speaker, we asked the girls what they wanted to do when they grew up, and what they think they had to do to become that.  We even tied it in- the teacher would teach the gardener how to plant and care for wheat.  The gardener would grow the wheat, harvest it, and sell it to the chef.  The chef would make flour out of the wheat and then make bread.  The news caster would interview the chef who made the bread, and then bring her all the way back to our teacher.  I guess you could call it our own circle of life lesson, but when we put it into action like that, the girls got the two biggest points- you can do anything you want, as long as you stay in school, and of course work hard.

Our speaker was so kind and told the girls what she did to become a teacher.  She told the girls about going to college and the classes she took as well as the training she had to take.  This interested girls.  Most of them thought you went to college, and then you got a job.  They really understood better when I told them what I had to do.  I'm a chef.  I did not sit in a classroom and memorize recipes.  I first cooked in a classroom before I had to cook for fellow students.  Then I worked in two different kitchen settings (front and back of the house) before I went to another country to practice my skills before graduating.  Our teacher had to observe other teachers and practice teaching before she could do it, just like I had to practice cooking before I could do it.  Needless to say, our girls thoroughly enjoyed this portion of our badge too (by the way, our cute kiddos gave a vase with flowers to their teacher as a thank you).

We finished off our meeting by throwing in some beans to our vases and placing our flowers in them.  After that, we made some invitations to our awards ceremony next week.  All in all, it was a fairly low key meeting, but fun.  We also got a chance to work parts of the Girl Scout law into what our scouts want to do, ie: being a welder is friendly and helpful and being a gardener makes the world a better place.  I can't wait to do this badge next year with new activities, it was so much fun!