Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How to do a journey in a day!

Confession time- when I have blonde moments, they are pretty massive (and usually a tad embarrassing).  I will be the first to preach about how much I love Google Drive, yet this blondie forgot to use it for you all!

So, with that being said, I finally uploaded some files that many of you have emailed me about (please, keep emailing away!  I love helping you and your girls out!).

First file, my original plans from our Daisy-Brownie sleepover (not included were the pages we read during the sleepover)
Not listed- I took the Brownies and the Daisy and split them up in to two patrols each (so four patrols total), and we told them that once they transplant their take action, to please rinse and recycle their plastic bottles.

Second file, a little how-to guide that you may find useful
Not listed- sample kaper chart (for those who don't know what a kaper chart is, it's like assigned "chores" during GS events.  We used in ours things like help set up for breakfast, clean up after snack, clean bathrooms, mop).

In addition, check what resources your council may have.  For example, I found on my council's website a handy form that can help you budget for any event and a helpful checklist to help you keep track of needs (mainly GS required things, ie: adult to girl ratio, extra insurance for specific activities, and more).  And of course, Google!  I'm not the only leader blogging out there.  So many other awesome leaders have shared their own resources with us (that's what Girl Scouting is all about, sharing!).

Hope that helps!

End of the year trip, second year Daisies

Guess who's Daisies were among the top earners in their Service Unit?  If you guessed mine, you deserve a Thin Mint (if you have any left).  Seriously, my girls ROCKED cookie sales this year! I do, in part, credit the planning we did.  It kept them focus and on the goal at heart.  Our end of the year trip was 100% paid for by their cookie funds.  The parents had to pay nothing.  Yes, you read that correctly, our parents were on the hook for zero dollars!

Our fun filled day started out with a trip to the Birthplace in Savannah.  If you ever have a chance to visit, plan in advance so you can reserve a spot at one of their programs (they have them for all levels).  It was SO much FUN!  The girls got to play a few games and took a mini-tour of the house.  After the tour, they got to go to the carriage house to do a few arts and crafts.  They wouldn't let us adults in though (it was a surprise).  It did give me a chance to slip into the gift shop to buy some Birthplace pins and patches (still using cookie money).

Next up, lunch time!  The girls opted to eat at Lady and Sons (Paula Deen's restaurant).  It was sooooo good!  We got there a little early, but it was ok since they have a waiting area for people about to be seated (by the way, make reservations in advance!).  While the girls were waiting, I left my trusty co-leaders with them so I could slip into the gift shop to buy them some patches and pins.

The next activity of the day was a trolley tour of the city.  It was fun, but it was also a nice break in the day (we had to leave our hometown at 7 AM and we didn't get on the trolley until nearly 3 PM).  A few girls did snooze for a bit, but I was not about to wake them!

So, what do you when have a troop of awesome girls who raised SO much cookie money?  Treat them Build-A-Bear, duh!  It was a surprise though.  I knew it was something all of them had wanted to do, but we simply said that after the trolley, we had a special activity for them to do.  We all pilled into our cars and made our way to the mall.  Once safely inside the mall, we had them close their eyes and we lead the way.  We then told them to open their eyes, and we (the adults) had to hold our ears.  I would have loved to let them get any bear they wanted, but we did have a budget.  They all got a bear and all opted for the Brownie uniforms.

Our day was finished off with a meal in the food court, and very quiet cars (they all slept on the way home!).  We didn't get home until 9:30, but, it was worth it.  The girls all had a blast!

We still had cookie money leftover too!  We used the leftovers buy the girls their Brownie vests (and all the necessary patches), re-register all of the girls and our troop product managers for next year, and saved the rest for a few activities for next year.  Ok, I have to brag just one last time- my girls ROCKED it!

Meetings 22-32

Boy did I manage to get behind in blogging!  The new scout year is just around the corner and I haven't finished blogging about this year, oops!  I'd hate to leave you all hanging, so you're about to get the Cambell's version. But fear not, I promise not to leave out important details!

Meeting 22
Today we continued on with our journey, Between the Earth and Sky.  Since we started our Blue Bucket of words activity, this was the first meeting where I did not have to remind the girls that were writing down positive words to stick in the bucket (spoiler alert: they wrote down a few funny things).  Once we read and discussed the latest chapter, we headed back out to our "old" garden to get some work started on it.  It was great being back in the garden!

Meeting 23
Today's meeting was very much last week's meeting.  The biggest difference was that our garden time was more aimed at getting out some nasty stuff we found.  Ok, time for a pet peeve of mine- so called "weed prevention" tarp.  Let's get real for just a moment here.  The stuff does not work and most of them can actually pollute the soil, which in turn can pollute the overall environment.  We happened to find this in the garden (we had finally gone deep enough to find this plastic ickyness).  So the majority of the day was spent ripping it all out.  It was a good lesson for the girls though.

Meeting 24
GIRL SCOUT BIRTHDAY!  Fact- on March 12, 2013, GSUSA turned 101 years old!  Crazy, right?!  Well, the even crazier part was what did today- a whole lotta relaxing!  No, really, we had a meeting where we kicked back and just relaxed.  Of course we had some cake first, and then we watched Brave (it's Girl Scouts, you have to throw in those good female role models wherever you can, right?).

Meeting 25
Today was much like 22 and 23- wrote out blue bucket words, read a chapter in our journey, discussed it, and worked on out garden.  I know, boring, but the girls really enjoy getting out there and getting dirty.

Meeting 26
Earth Hour (not to be confused with Earth Day) happens every year on March 29.  During Earth Hour, people, even whole towns and cities, pledge to "power down" for one hour (this usually begins around 8 or 8 :30 PM).  By power down, I mean go off the grid, as in turn off anything and everything electronic, or anything that uses electricity to charge its batteries.  Earth Hour may only be one simple hour observed every year, but it's a precursor to something much bigger!  As such, with Earth Hour just a few days away, we all talked about it and pledged to power down.  Most of the girls are already in bed that late at night, so with it being a Saturday, we decided to observe it as a troop earlier in the day.  It was a challenge, but most of the girls made it happen.  We discussed what we do while not using electricity.  We could read a book, play outside, play a card or board game, or even take a nap.  This discussion was also part of us working on the Global Action award (which is similar to the Global Action Theme badge from WAGGGS).  BUT, the even bigger picture here, we, as a troop, took the Forever Green pledge and committed to help the environment.  But, more on our project next year!

Meeting 27
Guess what we did today?  We finished up Between the Earth and Sky.  To celebrate, we held a classroom vacation!  Between the Earth and Sky depicted our favorite flower friends taking a fun trip around the country, many of the destinations being places most of us had not yet been to.  So help bring their journey to life, I helped the girls out by pulling up a bunch of photos of where they went.  We then reflected on the journey and the many lessons we took from it.  We finished up the day by finishing our garden.  Knowing that we may not meet at this school again next year, we planted several lovely perennials (grasses and flowers) so the school would have something lovely.

Meeting 28
Today was not Earth Day, but it was just a few days before.  Like our meeting before Earth Hour, we talked about the meeting and more things we can do to help the environment.  Ok, so, uhm here's there thing..... though I am not a natural blonde anymore, I still tend to have massive blonde moments, and don't remember what activity we did next.  In my old meeting planner I had written down "recycling activity," but I'm sure we did more than that (this is also what I get for being so behind on blogging!).

Meeting 29
For today's meeting, we invited Emily Post, figuratively that is.  We had a manners lesson that started with all of us wearing skirts or dresses (me too!).  We learned about proper manners seeing as how we would be soon be visiting some important places in Savannah (our end of the year trip!).  We did have some really good blackmail leverage for the girls though.  They had asked that for their trip, we have lunch at The Lady and Sons (Paula Deen's restaurant in Savannah).  We just happened to mention to them that occasionally she was actually in the restaurant.  So, if they were acting up and using poor manners, it would embarrass Miss Paula to bits!  Ok, so the chances of her actually being there when we were, were slim, BUT, it was a good motivator for them to pay attention.  They learned the basics and more- chew with your mouth closed, don't talk with food in your mouth, use your silverware, and more I have forgotten by now.  However, the fun part came next- our semi annual "blind" taste test.  The one where I tell them I know exactly what each and every one of you are allergic too, and this ain't it, so you have to try it!  As usual, my kid ate everything without question, while the rest were a little iffy.  I was nice this time and got a few "normal" things this time. One of them was dried, candied strawberries,which was a hit.  The fun one though was my cupcakes.  It was chocolate based, but it also had in it coconut and zucchini.  Yes, I got my girls to eat a GREEN VEGETABLE!  Yes, I do have a bit of an evil streak in me.  I really do love sneaking in these taste tests because it gives the girls to broaden their culinary pallets.

Meeting 30
Remember our top secret project from last year?  We did one again this year, only better!  Well, not really better so much as it was different.  Random useless trivia for the day- one of the very few things our illustrious founder, Juliette Gordon Low, could not do was sew.  Hey, guess what my Daisies now know how to do?  SEW!  Ok, now I'm just bragging, but seriously, we taught them how to sew today so they could make small pillows as a part of their Mother's Day gifts.  That pretty much took up all of the meeting!

Next up is our end or year trip, but that I will make a separate blog for because it was AWESOME!

Meeting 31
The first part of today's meeting was spent finishing our pillows.  All the girls had left to do was stuff them and sew up the enclosure.  After that, we made some cute pinwheel looking flowers with toilet paper rolls that we attached to some mason jars.  The jars were used to make bath salts (epsom salt, a little baking soda and a few drops of essential oils of their choosing).  We finished that off with some pretty ribbon and tada!  All of their Mom's loved it!

Meeting 32
Today was not only our last meeting of the year, but it was our last meeting as Daisies!  We did two things today.  The first was a quick rehearsal for our bridging.  I purposely had put off learning the Brownie Smile song until the end of the year just so they could sing it at our bridging.  After that we did something very important- we planned out next year.  I put everything on a table for the girls (journeys, badges, supplemental badges) and told them to take some time and read it over.  After that, we spent a few minutes voting on what all they wanted to do, and so now we have our year one Brownie plan!

Our bridging wasn't anything grand, but it was special.  Our girls began all in their Daisy tunics, and for one last time, we sang the Daisy song (after the pledge and promise of course).  One by one, the girls took off their tunics and crossed our bridge where they received their Brownie vest and bridging certificate.  Once all of the girls had crossed, they gathered up to sing the Brownie smile song!

That's me and my new little Brownie! (And a preggo trying desperately not to bawl her eyes out!)

We had an extremely successful year two.  Something that I am extremely proud to say is that 100% of my girls are registered and will be returning next year.  Sadly though, one girl had to move, so she will be in a new troop in a new state next year (we will miss her dearly!).  I can't wait for next year!  The girls planned out a REALLY fun year!