This was our first meeting of the year with actual content. My troop is now up to 15 girls (and we’re going to have to work on appropriate behavior because I think some of my returning girls were a bit thrown off by the increase in size). I also realized that in my attempt to keep things fun for the girls, and to keep my sanity while balancing so many different things, I have been lax on some of the more Girl Scouty things I should have been focusing on – GS knowledge, ceremony planning, flag ceremony, and having more input on what the troop does (though this last one has more to do with the fact that every other year, my troop splits into different levels).
During Opening Circle, we talked about the Girl Scout Way badge requirements, and what the girls wanted to do for them. We focused on Steps 3 and 5, with the girls wanting to look at and try old badges (Step 3) and playing the wide game (Step 5). Most of the girls also wanted to try finding pen pals (also Step 3), but one or two girls did not want to. I need to figure out how to handle that.
As both an ice breaker and way to practice the GS Promise, we had a snowball fight (idea from GS Greater Atlanta, page 12). For this game, you really need to have the right number of girls – 8, 12, 16… because one part of it has them trying to create groups that make a complete GS Promise. We had 14, so it didn’t work out perfectly. The girls still had tons of fun, and it is a game we will most likely play again.
The main event of the meeting was the Detective Badge. While a few of my girls have earned this badge, it was the one badge they all voted on doing – which is why we’re starting with it. Tonight we did Step 3: Fingerprint Fun. Like last time (link to last time), we watched a short YouTube video on fingerprints. Then the girls looked at their own fingerprints. I gave each girl a sharp pencil and a small piece of paper. The girls colored a small patch of paper with the pencil, then rubbed their index finger over the marking to get their finger as dark as possible. Each girl took a piece of clear packing tape and used it to lift the print. Then they put the tape on a white index card.
As a bonus activity, the girls attempted to lift their fingerprints from a glass. They tried it with cocoa powder and with corn starch (idea from Cyberbee). Most girls were able to lift a print, but several could not even after I had them run their fingers over their scalps to pick up more oil. Of the girls who were able to collect their prints, many were not legible. The print was more of a solid smudge instead of showing lines and whorls.