Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Month #3 -- Earning our Yellow Petals

We started this meeting by practicing the Girl Scout Promise. For less than $1.00 I bought a sheet of poster board and wrote out the Promise and the Law. I read the Promise to the girls once and then asked them to read it aloud with me. To earn our Yellow Petals, for being friendly and helpful, the girls were supposed to help out around the house without being asked. Most of the girls were able to give specific jobs they had helped with at home. Their moms were usually able to tell me if they had done well or not.
We then moved on to a story to help them thinking about our next petal, light green for being considerate and caring. Since this was our December meeting I chose to read them a story about Christmas. I chose a wonderful book about a bear who stays up after everyone else has gone to bed and makes presents for all of his friends, even though he can barely keep his eyes open. I started the conversation with them about what we care about this time of year and how to be considerate to families who are less fortunate. Each girl was given $0.50 to place in a Salvation Army bucket. I will ask the girls at the next meeting whether they kept the money for themselves or if they shared it with a family who could really use it.
Our craft for this month was to make Christmas ornaments. I would like to start a tradition with the girls in my troop. Every year they will make a new ornament that symbolizes what we are working on that year. This year I fell in love with some penguins made out of socks. I did have to do most of the prep work -- stuffing and sewing the socks, cutting out the felt pieces and as a special gift to the girls I made bead daisies for their ornaments to wear as necklaces.
Here is a picture of Sammi with her ornament. She colored his gray parts with a black fabric marker, but he's still pretty cute.
Sammi & Her Penguin
And you can download the instructions to make this ornament here, it is a PDF file.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Month #2 Earning our light blue petals

This month we had a whole lot of stuff to cover in not so much time!
We had all 8 of the original girls in the troop plus a new girl joined Girl Scouts and became part of our troop, and Becke's daughter (3 years old) got to come and take part in the fun!
Thank goodness for parents who were able to iron patches onto the girls' vests while the girls worked with Becke and I. We started off by talking a little bit about how the girls were honest and fair during the last month. We used the example of trick-or-treating at houses where a bowl of candy is set outside with a sign that says, "take one please". Sammi told how she had only taken one piece but her friend took two. We then played a fun game where the girls each started out with 10 pennies. I asked them 10 questions and they were told to answer honestly and put one of their pennies into the center if their answer was "yes". The girls knew at the end of the game one of them would receive the pennies but not if it would be the girl with most pennies at the end or if it would be the girl with the least. The ten questions were:
1. Have you ever ridden on an airplane?
2. Have you ever left this state?
3. Have you ever left America?
4. Have you ever swam in the ocean?
5. Have you ever ridden a horse?
6. Have you ever been inside a cave?
7. Do you sleep with a special stuffed animal?
8. Do you like to eat vegetables?
9. Have you ever been to see a movie at the theater?
10. Can you tie your own shoes?
At the end of the game I randomly chose an adult to decide if the girl with the least or the most pennies left would win the "pot". The girl with just 1 penny left won and everyone seemed okay with that. We also had a chance later in the meeting to display being fair. When the girl in charge of snacks this month was handing out her snacks, one girl said "No thank you." Then later the little girl changed her mind and asked for a snack. Other little girls started asking for more snacks and I told them that to be fair, each little girl could only have one snack since there wasn't enough for everyone to have two.
click here to see a picture of my daisies
(I blurred the faces of the girls whose parents have not yet signed the release forms to have their daughter's pictures posted online.)
We also made turkey crowns to celebrate Thanksgiving. My girls had wonderful things to be thankful for, some even said they were thankful for their troop leaders. I didn't get to tell them, but I am very thankful for my daisies and their parents who have been so helpful. To start the girls thinking about being friendly and helpful for next month, I read them a story about doing chores to help mom and dad and then I gave them little slips of paper to leave behind if they do a chore without being told. Mom and Dad are going to keep track of them and let me know if they did at least 6 chores without being asked during this month.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

SWAPing good time!

Today was our SWAP and I must say, I had a ton of fun. 7 of my 8 girls showed up and they were not shy about trading with the older girls. We played some fun games, and I think it went really well. I enjoyed helping the girls find SWAPping partners during the games, you wouldn't think it would be too hard to find another October birthday in a room full of girls, but it was. The kids liked the games like hook tag, we'll have to meet up with one of the other Daisy troops to play, since they only have 3 girls. I think I see a chance for a sister-troop playdate!
Sis had a little harder time. She felt like one of the older girls wasn't nice to her, but she has a hard time when she is in a new situation. She has a hard time jumping into anything new, and today EVERYTHING was new to her. To top it off it was so loud that she got a headache. So she had some quality time with the moms and then after the meeting I made sure to talk to her about not letting people get to you. The biggest thing to remember is that even if someone else is having a bad day, you don't have to let them ruin your day. This has been a great mantra for me in my working life. It makes it easy to overlook a crabby coworker and its a good life lesson for the troop. I promised them we would practice the friendship circle at the meetings, they liked it but it can be confusing at first!! Overall, Janet's troop hosted an A+ SWAP!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

SWAP Meet this weekend!

I am getting very excited for our first SWAP (Share With a Friend) Meet. The idea is to make something unique to our troop and trade it with girls from other troops. Since we are Daisies, we needed to make something very simple not too hard for little hands. The solution is bag SWAPs. I looked on line at sites like these for ideas:
We (Sis and I) tossed around ideas like rainbow seeds or friend seeds, and went to the store to see what was available. Sis saw some cute little white puffballs with silver tinsel sticking out of them and asked if we could please use those. But what to call them?? I thought about it for about a week and it occured to me that we could make our SWAPs into a wish for a silver lining when a friend feels down. Here is our finished SWAP.
The girls seemed to get the idea of wishing for a silver lining on a sad day and they were so fast at putting them together. I prepared for the meeting by counting out what each girl would need to make 20 SWAPs and seperating them into bags for each girl. They finished during the meeting so they didn't have to take any work home. There was also enough supplies to make SWAPs to send to our Sister-Troop in Danville, Kentucky.
I know the girls will have a great time meeting new girls and getting new SWAPs.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Month #1 -- Earning the daisy center.

Tonight we're having our first official troop meeting. I will be working with the girls on earning our daisy center. Most of the online GS sites I've read recommend making bracelets with beads the color of each of the petals for this goal. I was planning to have the girls make nametags tonight, and it occurred to me that we could incorporate the beads into that project. I am also hoping to start working lessons like "use resources wisely" and "make the world a better place" into each project we do. For example, our nametags start with a recycled piece of plastic. The plastic comes from the library cards at work. When the cards come to us they are secured in a sheet of 6 -- each card actually being 2 pieces, a wallet card and a keychain card. We normally cut the plastic braces apart and discard. As a joke, a coworker suggested we should find a craft to make out of them. Inspiration struck at just the right moment, and I saw the beginnings of our nametags.
I cut and glued cardstock to the plastic braces using a craft glue, and then let it dry. Then I wrote the girls' names in the top section, leaving the large opening for the girls. My plan is to give the girls markers and ask them to do whatever they like on their nametag. They can write their name again or draw pictures or both. Whatever makes them happy. Then we will insert cords through the punched holes, stringing beads as we go. I prepared enough nametags for the girls, my assistant and for myself. As well as one extra, just in case.

Monday, October 19, 2009

You learn something new every day

It really is true, that old saying. Yesterday I learned that my mom was a Girl Scout leader for my sisters when they were kids. My sisters are 9 and 7 years older than me, and by the time I was old enough to be in Girl Scouts, Mom was working full time. So unfortunately, she wasn't my scout leader. I can't say I'm not a little jealous but I also know that some Moms just don't have the time to give to a troop. It happens.

Today I made a new friend on Face Book. She's a first-time Daisy leader, like myself. But here's the funny part -- she is from Danville, Kentucky! Why is that worth all the excitement? My husband and I moved from Nebraska to Danville, Kentucky less than a year after we got married. We lived there for 4 years before moving to South Dakota 4 years ago. If we had stayed there, Sis might have been in Jill's Daisy Troop and I might have been her co-leader.

It goes to show what a small world we really live in! I am hoping my troop can be pen-pals with Jill's troop. What a fun way to see another part of the country! The Law says, "be a sister to every Girl Scout," and that goes for Girl Scouts all over the country and world, not just in our town.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Adventure Begins!

Well, Sis and I have decided to be Girl Scouts. Of course she's a Daisy and I'm the leader. At first I thought I'd be an assistant. Then I thought I'd be a co-leader. But as it turns out, my co-leader is just too busy and so I'm going to try my best to do this right all by myself. Ha ha! Not really, I am not alone in this. I am part of a service unit that has a whole lot of leaders who have been where I am. My troop of 9 kindergarten girls also has a few moms willing to step up if I need the help. I am lucky enough to have some great friends who are willing to help me out, one has never done this before and the other was a leader for years with her kids. I tease Becke (no experience in Girl Scouts) that I'm just training her for the day she takes over a Daisy troop of her own -- her daughter is the same age as Lola and so we'll need to get them started right away. We've managed to sell some nuts and candy and earn a few patches for Sis. This year I get to work with the girls earning their Daisy Petals, or teaching them the fundamentals of Girl Scouts and living a good life in general. Wish me luck!