One of the few things I kept from the Leader’s Guide is the “secret garden stuff” game suggested in Session 5 (page 73 in orange insert box). It seemed like it would be fun for the girls. I divided them into three teams of four. Of the two extra girls, one floated between the teams (my #1), and the other was designated to be my helper that evening. I gave her the choice to join a team or help me, and she chose to help me.
In four lunch-sized paper bags, I put in: a packet of seeds, a small pot, garden gloves, and a child’s hand rake. I had my helper do the first one (seeds) to give the girls an idea as to how to play the game. I think it was a bit over their heads. They sort of got it as the game went on, but some of them needed prompting in trying to describe what they saw in the bag without actually saying what the object was. It was a moderate success, though I don’t know if I would do it again. I had some sparkly plastic rings to hand out as prizes for the girls (yet another thing I forgot at home and another mom went to my house to get them).
While we were waiting for the rings to arrive, and because well…there was not a lot of action in the secret garden stuff game, we played a garden-ish version of Simon Says. I went first and had them hop like bunnies. Then I gave my helper a go. After she chose what action the girls had to do (act like birds), she chose another girl to give the command. We worked through each girl in the troop, and by the time they finished, the rings had arrived! I had them line up to choose their rings to keep some semblance of order. Once they chose their rings, they went back to the craft room.
The craft for the night was to make tags to identify which garden belonged to which girls. I gave them each a 3”x4” piece of cardstock to decorate. Each girl wrote her name on it, and then drew some sort of picture. One of the moms brought a laminator with her and laminated all of the cards. I want to glue them to craft sticks and put them in the soil (at some point).
By this time, we were five minutes away from our meeting time being over. It was about then that the girls realized they hadn’t had a snack yet. Good thing for me that we were out of time as that week’s snack family did not bring one. The girls were pretty much done by then anyway. I had to put Bean in time-out in the craft room while we did our closing circle. Another girl left during the circle since she also had a tantrum. And I forgot to pass out the girls’ Valentine’s Day cards from their pen pals. And I forgot to pass out the background patch for starting the Journey. Oy. My vacation can’t come soon enough.