Category Archives: Badges/Petals

Brownies 10/16/17 – Painting (Field Trip)

Our fourth meeting of the year was also our first field trip. We went to Canvas Crashers, a local social painting studio, so the girls could complete the first two steps of the Painting Badge.

Step 1:
The owner of the studio talked about his art – what he does, why he makes art, and why he likes to teach others how to make art.

Step 2:
The girls painted a tree in autumn for their still life. I’m sure that this was bending the rules a bit as they didn’t painted from a picture of a tree instead of an actual tree, but they had fun with it. I liked seeing how different their paintings were even though they all painted the same thing.


Brownies 9/25/17 – GS Way, Snacks, & Movers

Our second meeting of the year went well, though I now know for sure that I need to add an extra 15 minutes to the meetings. An hour isn’t enough to get everything done.

Opening Circle
*GS Promise

*Started Girl Scout Way
*Started Snacks
*Continued with Movers

Closing Circle
*Sing “Make New Friends”
*Hand squeeze

My plan is to slowly pick away at this badge throughout the school year. We might get it done before Christmas break, but it depends on how easily I can fit some of the requirements into our meetings.

Step 1:
I’m modifying this a bit in that I’m going to teach the girls multiple GS songs, starting with “Princess Pat” (a call and repeat/action song) and “The Brownie Smile Song”, and then moving on to some more camp songs. Tonight was “Princess Pat”, which the girls loved. There are multiple versions, which can make it hard to figure out which one to use. I used the lyrics and movements from the alternate version on Scout Songs (scroll down), and the tune as heard on this video.

This is the third time I’ve done the Snacks Badge, and it is one of my favorites. I make it a requirement that the girls try at least one bite of everything they make. They don’t have to like it, but they have to try it if they want to earn the badge. My plan is to finish this badge during our Halloween Party, rolling two of the steps into the party itself.

Step 1:
I do my own thing for this step, having the girls measure out and see how much sugar is in the sweet snacks that they eat. Each girl is supposed to bring in a sweet snack (chips and crackers won’t work for this – it must be candy or cookies or something else sweet), but that doesn’t always happen, so I make sure to have extras on hand (always a bottle of soda and some flavored yogurt – there’s a lot of sugar in yogurt). Also make sure that the girls bring the actual snack. An empty Twinkies box won’t work because the point is for the girls to see the treat next to the measured out sugar.

First we figure out what a portion size is, then use a kitchen scale to measure out how many grams sugar are in the snack. So two double stuffed Oreos is a serving, and there are 12 grams of sugar in a serving.

L-R: Oreos, strawberry-banana yogurt, McDonald’s chocolate milk, fruit gummies, Kit-Kat minis, single-serving Pepsi.

Step 5:
To make something sweet, I keep it simple and have the girls make smoothies – apple juice, bananas, frozen strawberries. With 10 girls, I broke them down into three groups. Each had their own ingredients, blender, and adult helper.

We continued on with our third badge project – paper copters. I recommend making a few of them first so you know how to fold the paper. This is a very fast project, so either make sure you do it at the end of a meeting or make sure there is a balcony or some other elevated place for the girls to spend 10-15 minutes dropping copters.

Back for a new year…

I gave up on Girl Scout blogging last year because it was an incredibly rough year for me in terms of balancing working full-time, three children, and leading two troops. At the end of the school year, I stepped down from my older daughter’s troop – the new leader will do a wonderful job with the girls. My daughter is not returning, instead opting to do Juliettes – she will be a first year Cadette.

I am still leading my younger daughter’s troop – first year Brownies – and am very excited. Brownies is my favorite level, and my troop is down to a much more manageable 11 girls. I also have all of the 2017 meetings blocked out, which will make filling in the details so much easier.

Tonight was the first meeting of the school year, and the hour flew by. I will need to bump up the meeting length from one hour to an hour and fifteen minutes at some point this year.

Opening Circle
*GS Promise
*Girls shared a picture of their favorite thing they did during the summer (pictures were drawn and colored before the meeting started)
*Played hula hoop team challenge game (loop the hoop)

*Set to do a field trip to a local nature preserve to earn the Senses and Hiking Badges (November)
*An overnight at the aquarium is in the planning stages
*Girls voted on Troop Crest

*Started Movers Badge (retired)

Closing Circle
*Sing “Make New Friends”
*Hand squeeze

I sort of did this with my older daughter’s troop, but it was hard because the girls were split between two grades, and thus two different levels each year. My younger daughter’s troop is all one grade, which makes planning so much easier. I wanted them to have a Troop Crest to act as a theme or what was important to them as Brownies. My co-leader put together a simple poster board with the descriptions of five crests (no images!) for the girls to vote on. We chose: Lightning, Pansy, Shooting Star, Sun, and Unicorn. During round one, the girls could vote on two crests based upon the description. The top two choices made the final voting round – coincidentally, Shooting Star and Unicorn. Shooting Star won, so now the girls are “rare, unexpected, and beautiful.” It definitely fits them, especially the unexpected part. I have a few girls who keep me on my toes. They will get the crests at our Rededication Ceremony in October.

I have a stash of retired badges, and Movers is one of my favorites. It’s not about the science of air, but more about the fun of making things that fly and spin. The requirements for the retired badges are a bit different than for the new ones, so I mash it up and have the girls complete five or six activities. Tonight we made pinwheels and ring gliders.

Pinwheels – My co-leader prepped the paper by cutting it and marking the lines and dots to save a bit of time, and to keep from having girls make mistakes on how long the lines should be and accidentally cutting their paper in half. This activity definitely requires adult help. Some of the girls had trouble folding and pinning the paper properly. They also needed help pushing the the sewing pin through the pencil eraser. Two bits of advice – 1) we found that placing two beads behind between the pinwheel and eraser made it easier for it to spin, and 2) push the sewing pin through the eraser far enough that only a few millimeters of it pokes through (the pointy end will be covered with a bubble of hot glue). There needs to be enough space for the pinwheel to easily spin when it’s blown upon. If you push the pin through too far, it pushes the paper too close to the pencil, causing the tips to bump the pencil.

Ring Gliders – We did this a little bit differently than the instructions, again to keep it simple. Each girl made two gliders, each one a different shape. They got two straws (the sturdy kind you find in the party supply aisle in Hobby Lobby), two 12″ x 1″ strips of card stock, two 6″ x 1″ strips of card stock, and scotch tape (shared between several girls). The girls taped their strips into circles, then pinched them into the shapes they wanted (circles, tear drops, and triangles being the popular choices). Attach a strip of tape to the end of the straw, then press it into the shape. To test them, the girls stood in the hallway and threw their gliders to see how far they’d fly. We asked questions such as, “which shape do you think will go farther when you throw it?”, etc…


Juniors 10/13/16: Make It Matter & Social Butterfly

It has been 10 months since my last post. GS was completely overwhelming last year, I had a hard time making it through with my sanity intact. The short of it was: too many girls (several new girls had very strong personalities that caused issues), not enough behind the scenes help, and working full-time (I had to figure out how to balance work, three kids, and two GS troops).

This year, my older girls are split between Cadettes and Juniors. One of the Cadette moms became my co-leader, and she is working with the four girls who bridged (and doing an awesome job with them!). Six Juniors came back, and we picked up one more. Seven girls is much easier than 16. I’m still trying to decompress from last year, and put myself back in a positive focus.

Moving on…

Badges the Juniors are going to work on this year:

Making It Matter (Retired)
Social Butterfly
Simple Meals
First Aid
GS Way
Ceramics & Clay (Retired)
Entertainment Technology

making-it-matter-junior-badgeMaking It Matter
This is a retired badge that focuses on several specific aspects of science. I am roughly following the old badge book, but also modifying it to suit our needs. I happen to have a stash of the old badges, but it would be easy to turn this into a “make your own” badge for your troop. I’ve started a Pinterest board for ideas. We focused on polymers last week (made slime and gak). This week, we focused on acids/bases.

  1. Watched two YouTube videos:
    All About that Base (No Acid)
    TedEd Acids and Bases (kind of over their head)
  2. Mouth Rabies (what my daughter named it)
    This is an up close and personal experience of an acid/base chemical reaction. Mix equal parts: citric acid, baking soda, powdered sugar (1/4 teaspoon). Put the ingredients on a small piece of paper or in a very small cup. Make sure the girls have a cup of water as well. Take a sip of water to wet the mouth, dump the powder mixture in. Watch as they foam at the mouth. The mouthfeel is similar to pop rocks.

    1. What’s going on?
      When both the acid and base are powder there is no reaction. There is nothing to force the molecules to interact. This is where saliva comes in. It provides the carrier to make the reaction. Towards the end of the reaction, the mixture should taste salty – a byproduct of an acid/base reaction is salt. The powdered sugar is added simply to cut the sour/bitter taste.
  3. Litmus Tests
    I bought litmus paper so the girls could test various acids/bases. You can also make your own using red cabbage, but I didn’t have the time. The color spectrum runs from red/acid to blue/base. Neutral is yellow or green.

    1. What we did:
      The girls partnered up and were given seven cups with different liquids or solutions. They were given a chart to mark acid/base/neutral. Dip the paper in, see what color it turns, mark the sheet. We compared answers afterward, and all the teams got the right answers.
    2. Acids: lemon juice ; white vinegar
    3. Bases: baking powder solution ; liquid starch ; dish soap
    4. Neutral: tap water ; powdered sugar solution

social-butterflySocial Butterfly
I had wanted to do the retired Manners Badge with the girls when they were Brownies, but never had the opportunity. This time around, we are doing a manners badge.

  1. Step 2: Use Table Manners / Set the table
    1. I broke the girls into teams, gave them a dinner plate, cup, napkin, fork, knife, and spoon. They had to figure out the right way to set everything up. Each team made mistakes, which wasn’t surprising. We made corrections until the settings were right. Then I added in a salad plate and fork.
    2. For the second part of this, I had one girl put together a proper place setting in the center of the table. Then I stacked two full place settings and put them on the ends. The girls competed one-on-one to see who was the fastest at getting their place setting done properly. They had fun trying to beat their best times.

Red Petal – Courageous & Strong


I am in the process of doing this Petal with my Daisies right now. I introduced the Petal with a discussion about what courageous and strong mean, then we read The Terrible Plop and talked what the various characters did and how they behaved (I try to always start a Petal off with a picture book as I do not like the stories in the Girl’s Guide).

The next step in earning the Petal was teaching the girls how to schoolyard jump rope. I did this with my older daughter’s troop and was surprised that none of them had ever done it before. Jump rope, yes…but not the schoolyard style where two people turn the rope while a third person jumps. Running and jumping into a spinning rope is kind of scary if you’ve never done it before.

However, that is not how I started the girls. I demonstrated how to do it, but for round one, the girls just jumped while the rope was slowly swung back and forth. Most of them were not able to get the rhythm down to jump over the rope, even with guidance – make sure to stay on the X on the floor, face one of the moms turning the rope, watch the rope so you know when to jump. Round two was optional. This time the rope was swung in a full circle and the girls had to run and jump into it. (Note: we did this at a second meeting, and more girls were successful in getting a jumping rhythm.)

The rest of this Petal will be earned by playing with slime (equal parts Elmer’s school glue to liquid starch –  white vinegar will get the slime out of everything from hair to clothes to carpet), and a visit from a K-9 Officer who will give a demonstration and talk to the girls about being courageous and strong (the same officer did this with my older daughter’s troop as well).

**I tied this Petal in with the 3 Cheers for Animals Journey when I did it with my older daughter’s troop several years ago.**

The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubosarsky
Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger
Sheila Rae the Brave by Kevin Henkes
Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen
Peep: A Little Book About Taking a Leap by Maria van Lieshout

There are many other books out there that would work for C&S. If you want to focus on strong women, take a look at the book selection on A Mighty Girl (here is a link to their top 100 picture books).

*Learn to jump rope (schoolyard style)
*Relay races
*Superheroes (look at the activity plan from GS River Valleys)
*Do a show-and-tell focused on courageous and strong women
*Create a skit and perform it for their families
*Play with slime (or maybe do a variation on the Halloween touch boxes with peeled grapes and cold spaghetti noodles)

Field Trips/Meeting Visitors
Dance studio
Martial arts studio
Indoor rock climbing
K-9 Officer demonstration
Police / Firefighters / EMT / Military

Yellow Petal – Friendly & Helpful

yellow petal

I’ve found the Yellow Petal an easy Petal for the girls to earn, and a way to incorporate the GS “do a good turn” into this level given there is no right side up for the Daisy Pin.

As with pretty much every other Petal, I do not use the flower story included in the Girl Guide. I generally find those stories stilted and ham-fisted. Instead, I read a picture book. A quick internet search will pull up many more books than the ones I’ve listed below, but these are ones I’ve read and enjoyed.

After reading a picture book, the girls make their “friendly & helpful daisies” to take home and give away to the person they did “a good turn” for. At the following one or two meetings, the girls share what they did to help another.

With both troops, the girls earned their Yellow Petal before we did our Investiture Ceremony.

Princess Hyacinth by Florence Parry Heide
The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers
Help!: A Story of Friendship by Holly Keller
Otis and the Tornado by Loren LongThe Mouse and the Lion (I like this version)

Both crafts are different versions of the same thing. Each girl gets three “friendly & helpful daisies” to give to someone after the girl has helped them.  The yellow centers are printed on card stock and punched with a 2″ circle punch.





Daisies 11/2/15 – Light Blue Petal

Last week we finished up the Friendly & Helpful Petal, and started the Honest & Fair Petal. I would like the girls to have earned both of them before we do our Investiture Ceremony (probably on 11/30).

During our Opening Circle, I explained what helper sticks are. In lieu of making a kaper chart, each girl has a craft stick with her name on it. I’ve never had much luck with formalized kaper charts. When I need help, I’ll pull a stick from the jar. When the jar is empty (after all the girls have helped, which will probably be over several meetings), everyone’s name stick goes back in and we start over.

yellow petalFriendly & Helpful Petal
At our last meeting, the girls made helper daisies to take home and give to people they’ve helped. At this meeting, we went around and each girl shared one or two things she did to “earn” the helper daisies. Most girls helped around the house, but some helped friends or teachers. We also played Daisy Islands to reinforce the Petal – the girls had to help each other squeeze onto the mats.

blue petalHonest & Fair Petal
The rest of our meeting was dedicated to starting the Honest & Fair Petal. I gave the girls two picture books to vote on, Being Frank and The Little Red Hen. They chose Being Frank, which is about honesty, but from the angle that honesty is good, but that doesn’t mean you should be hurtful. After we finished the book, I divided the girls up into two groups to rotate through two activities. I have 16 girls in the troop, and it is much easier to divide them up.

being frank

Being Frank by Donna W. Earnhardt

Activity #1: The Versus Game (original idea from GSRV’s yellow petal guide) – I put a piece of masking tape across the floor in our meeting room and had the girls stand on it. I gave them different scenarios, and depending on what they thought the right answer was, they either jumped to the left (truth/fair) or the right (lie/unfair). Once I gave them several prompts, each girl had the opportunity to share a prompt as well.

Activity #2: Remember the Lie (from Tracie Bruno/HubPages) – two of my parent volunteers were in charge of this. They took the girls to our craft room and sat them around a table. One parent then held up a pink rose and made up a lie about it. The girls had to repeat her lie and add their own. The second parent kept track of what everyone said in case anyone needed help. The purpose of this game was to show how hard it is to keep lies straight.