Saturday, September 29, 2012

Games Go Global Badge!

This past summer, my daughter and I were glued to the TV during the Olympics.  It just wasn't possible for us to watch everything, but we tried to watch pieces of every event.  Some of my daughter's comments were just too funny.  For example, while watching fencing, she asked why were the people trying to poke each other with sticks?  She then said if they did, can't they loose a spleen and die?  Then, while watching men's diving (and before she knew what a Speedo was), she said, EW MOM!  Why are they wearing underwear to go in the pool?  That's so gross!

Today, the Daisies got to earn the badge from WAGGGS, Games Go Global.  The basis of this badge is to bring out the Olympic and team spirit, and we did exactly that!  The badge is divided into three categories- stadium (physical/athletic activities), temple (mental challenges) and theater (arts based activities).  Like the Olympics, there are three levels the girls can earn- bronze, silver and gold.  The number of activities you do determines which level of the badge you earn.  For Daisies, they are only required to do four events to earn the gold, so we went for the gold!

So, what's an Olympic themed event with out an opening ceremony?  Before we could do that though, we needed our torches!  By using construction paper and tissue paper, the girls made their own version of the Olympic torch.  No two torches were alike!  We had some stickers and markers out for them to dress them up.  We grabbed our new torches, the American flag, the Girl Scout flag and the 100th anniversary flag and held our opening ceremony.  We played the Olympic theme song and marched around a baseball field at a local park.

With our first event out of the way, we began our stretches.  We learned that it's always a good idea to do some simple stretches so you don't hurt yourself.  Once we were done stretching, we did the orange pass.  To do this, the girls had to pass an orange around the circle, without using their hands (they used their chins). It took a couple drops, but eventually they got it.

Our next event was a listening activity. We read a chapter from a Girl Scout book (a fictional one) and asked the girls questions. The book happened to take place in Savannah, so we were able to ask a few "trick" questions that we knew some of them might know the answers too.  It was also a nice chance to sit down and get out of the sun for a little bit.

The next event, I thought, was very fun.  My awesome Co and I prepared some bags with random materials in it (construction paper, ribbons, some ribbon tutus, tulle, and more).  The girls were split into two teams, and had 20 minutes to create a costume using only what was in the bag (or use the bag too).  They were permitted to use the crafts box as well (which had markers, scissors, glue sticks and masking tape).  They made one team costume and had to choose a model for each.  We played some runway music and let the costume models strike a pose!  We then had all the girls give us their best runway walk (it was SUPER cute!).

We redid the groups and prepared for the relay race.  This one was a little tricky because the girls had never seen or done one, but eventually they got it.  We used our mini Girl Scout flags instead of batons (it was way more fun that way).

Our last event was a real brain teaser.  We made cards based on the Olympics and played memory with them.  The cards each had a purpose.  We used the 2012 torches, the Olympic rings, the 2012 mascot, the Fab 5 (the USA women's gymnastics team), one of the female athletes from Saudi Arabia (they only sent 2 this year) and a few others that were centered around the theme.  We split up in two teams to work on this as a group and learned about each card as we matched them up along the way.

Like the real Olympics, all good things must sadly come to an end.  We grabbed our torches and headed back onto the field.  But, before we had our closing ceremony, we awarded our medals (patches).  Everyone also got a nice little ribbon that said great job on it.  With our shiny "medals" around our necks, we had one last parade, and "extinguished" our flames.

All of the girls had a blast!  The one downside was the heat (we live in South Georgia, we're lucky if we get 5 days of winter), but we had our water bottles on hand, and shade nearby, so it wasn't terrible.  Coming up next, our investiture and rededication ceremony!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Daisies, Year 2, Meeting 4

I'm about to do something very naughty.... I'm about to do an obscene amount of bragging about my scouts. So, I would just like to apologize right now, but in my defense, I am just so immensely proud of them right now!

We started out our meeting by reading chapter 1 of Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden and doing the all about me activities in the journey book in the pages before the chapter. It wasn't anything immensely special, but it gave the girls a chance to get in the swing of things.

Now, here comes the part where I brag (you've been warned!).

Our troop is so lucky in that we get meet at one of the awesome schools in our county.  We are extremely lucky because the principle of the school is allowing the girls to use the school grounds for their take action project.  Last year after our adventures earning the Global Action Badge the girls were inspired and asked if they could plant their own garden.  Being the smart Daisies that they are, the consensus was they wanted to turn it into their take action project.  Today, we went outside and surveyed the area of the school ground where we were given permission to use. On one side, there was a lovely rose garden that an organization had planted.  Behind a brick wall, we found a section that had been marked off as a garden around, but was filled with weeds.  I don't want to spoil it, but it reminds me of a chapter we will be reading shortly in our journey!

Being first graders, they did need some help.  We showed them how to use the tape measure, and helped them mark off the area with some paint stirrers and orange rope (we did this so the principle can give the final ok on our area as well).  We had a quick science lesson about what kind of climate we live in, the type of dirt in our area (yes, this affects plants here, big time!) and what is a weed..  After that, we all talked about what kinds of fruits and vegetables we like to eat.  Then came a quick lesson on herbs and a discussion about flowers.  All of the girls went home with an assignment.  From the list they came up with, they have to find out if it is possible for us to grow these things here in south east Georgia.  They also need to find out if these items need sun, shade, or both.  Each girl went home with one flower, one vegetable and one fruit to research.  Here's the best part- every single item they came up with was something they all wanted to eat and learn about.  The girls are researching broccoli, summer squash, cherries, strawberries, tulips, marigolds and more!  Some of the suggestions they came up with were not what you would stereotype a 6 year old as liking.  I was beyond impressed!

Now I really am going to do some hard core bragging.... we went back inside and had our snack a little early. When the girls were finished, we wrote letters to our local Lowe's asking if they would donate some of the materials we needed.  I asked them a blanket question- what do we need?  Those brilliant girls came up with some of the best answers right off the bat!  They came up with seeds, dirt, shovels, gloves, mulch and more that I can't remember right now.  They each hand wrote a letter that we will be sending to them.  If that's not the epitome of awesome, then I don't know what is!  Oh yeah, copies of these letters are totally going in the scrapbook!

Next week will be a momentous occasion!  The girls will be having their investiture and rededication ceremony. In the down time we'll have during that meeting, we're going to sit down and plan out the second half of the year.  We'll also take a moment to practice what we'll be doing during the ceremony.  I only hope that I'll be able to get enough photos!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Daisies- Year 2, meeting 3

I love Pinterest, so much!  It's highly addicting, but in a good way, really.  Some of the best and most fun things we have done as a troop have been inspired by many things I have found on Pinterest.  Today's meeting was one of those many gems.

Today, we learned about the Daisy Garden and the flower friends.  We talked about ways that we can live by the Girl Scout law and what it means.  To reinforce that, we did some crayon art.  We gave each of the girls a box of crayons.  To review the flower friends, we went through the ten colors, and picked out the blue center (which represents the GS promise).  We helped them hot glue it to pieces of poster board, but we set the blue crayon on it's own, so that they would remember that it was special.  After that, we helped them melt the crayons using hair dryers.  No two pictures looked alike, and it was amazing!

What we did next, I think, was truly amazing.  We had a quick science lesson about light (mainly how when we see white, it means it is reflecting all the colors of light, but when we see black, it's absorbing all the colors of the light).  Our summation was because the black crayon was absorbing all of the colors of light, it was the most beautiful crayon in the box!  We then asked the girls to then take a look in their crayon boxes and pick out what they thought was the prettiest color left.  I asked them to give me those crayons.  I had made an example to show them how it was done.  We added their crayons onto mine and have decided to donate it to a worthy cause.  A good friend of mine is helping out with an auction for Susan G. Komen and their piece of art will be in this auction!

Fellow leaders- think back to one of those moments you've had as a leader when you just thought, oh my gosh, that's it, I'm going to get in so much trouble because of something one of my girls said or did.  Well, I kind of had one of those moments today.  My girls, being the smart cookies that they are, asked what the foundation was for.  I explained that they raised money for breast cancer research, and this was especially important because Juliette Gordon Low died from breast cancer.  I was also asked, what's breast cancer?  My answer was it's something that affects your boobies (strike 1).  My co-leader's son happened to be at the meeting today, pretending to be a good "girl scout," and decided to repeat that... loudly.  That cute little 3 year-old just blurted out, BOOBIES!  I just could not keep a straight face (strike 2).  And then he said it again, and again, and of course the whole table of 6 year old girls were giggling or saying ew, and some of them started saying it too (strike 3, I'm out)!  The first thing that went through my head was oh my gosh, that's it, I'm toast, I'm gonna get a call from the GS police!  It was definitely not one of my better moments, and of course I'm a little mortified right now.  I know, boobies is far from a bad word, but to a 6 year old Girl Scout, it pretty much is.  I just hope that my troop parents can get a laugh out of it too (it was a little funny after all).

Next week, we will be starting on our first journey, Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden!  I'm so excited!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Year 2, meeting 2

When my daughter speaks fast, she doesn't always pay attention to what she says.  For example, when we start talking about GS SWAPS, she calls them "swamps."

With this being our first full meeting, we were able to fall back into our normal routine easily.  Our returning girls were great about helping out the new girls learn the ropes. After our opening, we sat down and took a look at some of the great SWAPS I got while in Chicago.  It was to show the girls that SWAPS can come from anywhere and in many different forms, and gave us the chance to really explain to them what SWAPS are all about.

Since we're participating in the SWAPS project, we went ahead and knocked out all of our SWAPS for the year.  We opted to do three SWAPS.  The first one is an oldie, but a goodie.  It's puzzle pieces painted gold and silver, and glued together.  Our next one is a clever little one.  We took several beads, put them in a bag with some glitter, and named them the Daisy beads (get it?!  I love this one!).  For our last SWAPS, we colored clothes pins the colors of the Daisy flower petals and called it a GS promise and law reminder.  They're not fancy, but were very easy for the girls to do and was a small aide in introducing them to parts of the GS law and promise.  We closed out our meeting with a quick snack and the friendship circle.

Next week we're going to dive in, head first, in learning more about the GS law.  We've got a really cool craft planned to help us out.

Monday, September 10, 2012

My next scouting adventure is.....

My wonderful friend Heather calls her blog The Life of a Crazy Volunteer and she's got a good point to it!  Those who don't know, have a hard time understanding what it means to be a volunteer.  It means loving something so much that you are willing to devote your time to it, because it's for a greater good.  It means things like cooking 150 breakfast burritos at 4 AM, or driving 3 hours round trip just to get a special patch, or even walking into a room of strangers just to tell them about your experiences.  

I have two new adventures in scouting coming my way, and I am so stoked about them!  I literally just began my first one today.  I was accepted into the WAGGGS Online Leadership Course with 49 other participants from all over the world!  It so happens that a couple ladies I attended GWF with are also a part of this course.  Yes, I am excited to know that I have a met a few of these ladies face-to-face.  I am however bummed that I may never get the chance to meet some of them, but, I can remain hopeful that I might get that chance one day!

As for my second adventure, well, how do I put this?  I am not crazy.  Ok, so maybe just a little, but in the good kind of way, I promise!  I took on a second troop of Juniors.  We have not had our first meeting yet, but will be very soon!  For those of you who are not familiar with what Juniors do, well, that depends on the troop.  "Traditionally," the first meeting with Juniors is when they sit down and plan out the year.  Every troop is different, and having not yet met these girls, I don't know what track they will want to take.  As their leader, I will do my best to be open to anything they want to do (ok, back to that crazy thing- I will not let them do something like go skydiving, I am not crazy enough to do that!).  I'm really excited though.  Normally, I don't do well not knowing what's going to happen next, but surprisingly I'm ok with it right now.  

I kind of have one more adventure coming up, but it's more for the adults than everything else.  I'm facilitating a few sessions next month at a leader's retreat at Camp Low, and one of them is based on what I did at GWF.  We're going to be playing a ton of games I've come up with to help teach the subject materials.  I'm also facilitating a session on how to teach younger girls how to cook and how to use your own pantry to make simple first aid remedies.  I'm excited!  I already have my course outlines done, now I just have to find some hot deals on the supplies/materials I need (if you guys have the hookup on essential oils, please, let me know since I need a bit and that stuff is expensive!).

Year 2, Meeting 1

I'm very sad to report that for a good bit of our first meeting, our darling Daisies were left to do their own to do arts and crafts while we the adults took care of paper work and questions.  But, it was nice to be back to meeting time (even though it was also my birthday).  While the adults talked, we let the girls make name tags on some large, foam flowers we found at the dollar section of Target, and they got to color an all about me sheet.  I know, not totally fabulous, but add some glitter glue and they made them look extremely fabulous.

We did get a chance to go over the quiet sign, and we got to teach our new scouts about the friendship circle and song, and did a proper closing.  Something so small can be so awesome because we the leaders got to truly see the dynamic of the song right before our very own eyes- "make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver, and the other gold!  A circle is round, it has no end, that's how long I want to be your friend!"  Our circle had our returning scouts and several new scouts.  When we got home, Leah started telling me about the new friends she had made that day, and it was nice to hear about it.

Next week, we're going to try and knock out a bunch of SWAPS for that project I set up.  If we have enough time, we're going to be making something nifty to donate to a charity raffle/auction, that will benefit the Susan G. Komen foundation.  I'm not sure yet what the girls will make, but I have a few ideas ready for them!