Category Archives: Badges/Petals

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
Musician

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

red

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.**

Books
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).

Activities
*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
Gymnastics
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.

Books
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)

Crafts
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.

new-018

 

 

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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.

Juniors 10/22/15 – AoC, Detective, & Flag Ceremony

My troop is now up to 16 girls, and as evidenced by our weekend camping/lodge trip, the increased size has adversely affected behavior. Things that were annoying, but not deal breakers, have now become large enough to be disruptive. Our next meeting will be focused on the GS Promise, the GS Law, and appropriate behavior. Some of the behavior is due to the girls’ ages, and some of it is due to the fact that I kept the focus on “fun things” instead of GS values as a whole. This is not a mistake I will make with Bug’s troop.

The girls learned the flag ceremony this past weekend at our camp out. All of them enjoyed participating, though we need to work on what constitutes respectful behavior during the ceremony. Right now we’re borrowing a ceremony kit from Council, but I need to return it soon. I am glad I used the kit first because I found out that the ceiling in our meeting room is too low for the flag poles for 3’x5′ flags. We ended up doing the ceremony in the church’s fellowship hall, but this isn’t really a long-term option because there are many times when the hall is used for other functions during our meeting time. The girls also “filled the space”.  Hopefully, flag poles for 2’x3′ flags will be short enough that we can do the ceremony in our meeting rooms. One big positive of the ceremony – almost every girl showed up in uniform!

AoCWe started working on Power of Team at the meeting (doing Power of One at our camp out). We didn’t do a lot with it other than the “fist to five” exercise. It is a good idea, but I wonder about the requirement that in order for something to be passed, every girl most vote a 3 or higher. With 16 girls, there will always be 1 or 2 girls who vote a lower number than 3.

Putting their voting power to use, the girls voted/re-voted on:

*GS Way, Step 3 – all but 2 girls voted 3 or higher for pen pals. More girls chose 3 or higher for that option as opposed to the last time where more chose looking at activities for older Junior badges. There were still strong sentiments from girl who did not like the options, so we will revisit this again.

*Detective, Step 5 – after looking more into The Giggling Ghost, I found out it is a 100+ page book, not an activity. I gave the girls the option of the cookie mystery or a mystery-themed wide game (which could do double duty for the GS Way). More girls chose the wide game, though there were still some dissenters. We will do the wide game.

*AoC Team Activity – the Journey guide has the girls reading the comic book and then either writing their own comic book, or creating a skit. I didn’t know how that would go over with the girls given their reaction when I brought up writing a chain story for one of the GS Way steps, so I wanted to have another option for them. While researching the Journey, I came across a leader who set up a mock trial about a puppy who stole food from a dumpster to feed his starving family. The girls voted and results were mixed for both choices. We will have to revisit  again.

detectiveThe final part of our meeting was devoted to Step 4 of the Detective Badge. I found a great activity on CyberBee where the girls compared several different powders. They worked with a partner, and each team had to write down their findings. The girls generally like science experiments, so it was a popular activity.

088 ed

Daisies 10/19/15 – Yellow Petal

Last night the girls started earning their first Petal – Friendly and Helpful! The meeting was a mix of high energy and quiet(ish) listening. Because the girls are still new to each other, we played a name game (from GSRV – the Promise Center guide) after we did the GS Promise. They absolutely loved it! The rules: say your name and do an action of an activity you like. Everyone copies you. Each girl does this, and each time you say everyone’s name and do their actions. By the time we went around the circle (11 girls), they were giggling non-stop. For some reason, a lot of them liked jumping and swimming. This was a great way to get their wiggles out, which made it a lot easier to talk about the Petal and read a picture book.

yellow petal

I brought out my Petal Board and read the GS Law to the girls. I pulled off the Yellow Petal and asked the girls how they are friendly and helpful. They gave some good examples of both – sharing toys, being nice (friendly) and helping with chores (helpful). I added that sometimes we’re not always friendly and helpful because no one is perfect, but we need to try to do our best.

I do not like the stories included in the Girl Guide. I avoided most of them with Bean’s troop, and plan on avoiding all of them with Bug’s troop. I much prefer picture books. They are more engaging and, if you choose the right one, not so heavy-handed. I brought two books, and the girls voted on which one I would read. They were evenly split between both books, so a little sister who was tagging along broke the tie (she chose the mouse book). I told the girls that we could read the second book at the end of the meeting if we had time.

help kellerHelp!: A Story of Friendship by Holly Keller

After we finished the book, it was time for our craft activity – making “A Friendly & Helpful Daisy Was Here” daisies. Each girl made three daisies. The idea is that they will be friendly or helpful to someone, and leave behind one of these daisies. I asked parents to try to keep track of what the girls do so they can share at our next meeting.

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2″ circle of yellow construction paper glued inside a white cupcake wrapper glued to green construction paper.

Our final activity of the evening was a game called “Friendly/Not Friendly” (from GSRV). I put a strip of masking tape down the middle of the room and had the girls stand on it. I read out a short scenario, and they had to jump to one side of the tape if it was “friendly” or the other side of the tape if it was “not friendly”.

Because we had a little bit of time left over, I read the second book, Princess Hyacinth. Doing it over, I would have skipped it because it was long enough that after a meeting chock full of fun, the girls were ready to be done.

We ended with our Closing Circle, singing “Make New Friends”, doing the friendship squeeze, and turning out.

Juniors 10/8/15 – GS Promise & Detective

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.

detectiveThe 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.