Category Archives: Brownies

Brownies 10/2/17 – Movers & Snacks

At our third meeting of the year, the girls completed their first badge – Movers! One badge down, and more to go.

Opening Circle
*GS Promise
*Practice “Princess Pat”

*Snacks Badge
*Finish Movers Badge

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

I’ve always had a “one bite for the badge” for any food-related badge. The girls don’t have to like it, but they have to try it. Hummus was a hard sell for some of the girls, while others were excited. It was split down the middle as to how many girls liked/disliked it.

Step 2:
We used this recipe, which is the same recipe my husband has been using for years, though he has gotten more creative with it as the years have gone by. The girls were split into three teams, each team making their own batch of hummus. Most of the ingredients were measured out beforehand to simplify the process and make sure the mess was minimal. Once the hummus was finished, the supervising mom spooned samples into small cups. The girls tried their serving with crackers or carrots.

The girls finished up the two final steps for the retired Movers Badge by making bird kites and balloon rockets.

Bird Kite – This was a fairly straight forward craft, though in addition to having a sample prepped, it is worth walking the helper adults through the steps. We had to have several girls start over with new paper because they put a crease in the wings instead of just rolling them over.

Balloon Rocket – I have done this before with my older daughter’s troop, and it was a big hit with them. It was also a hit with this troop as well. I do recommend making sure you have more than 10 minutes left of your meeting if you do this activity. It is not enough time for the girls do have more than one turn. I also recommend having two strings set up for racing, and that you have adults hold either end of the string. This makes it much easier to remove and reload rockets. It is also better to use a larger size of balloon, such as the ones that come in a packet of 12 at Wal-Mart. And finally, depending on the type of string that you use, make sure to have a lighter handy so you can melt the ends to keep the string from fraying. It is hard to get the straws loaded onto frayed string.



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…


Girl Scouts 4/30/15 – Senses

At our final meeting of the school year, we finished up the Senses Badge – sight, smell, and sound. We did meet one more time, but it was our Bridging/End of Year Ceremony. This is going to be a short, fairly perfunctory post. I need to get caught up before we start meeting again (with two troops, no less!).

sensesFor all three senses, I started with a brief explanation I found on this website. I also used this site for the taste and touch.


We did two activities for sight – Kim’s Game (from the badge book), and writing our names in braille (from Follow the Leader).

We played follow the smell for this step. The girls partnered up, taking turns being the blindfolded follower and the smell-holding leader. Each team got three cups with the “smells” – a vinegar-soaked cotton ball, lemon juice, and coffee grounds.

We also did two activities for sound. The first was the ear drum experiment that showed how sound waves interact with ear drums. For the second, we made chicken squawkers. They are incredibly easy to make, and incredibly annoying to listen to – in other words, long-lasting fun for children.

Girl Scouts 4/23/15 – Pets

PetsOur first April meeting was spent entirely on finishing up the pet beds for the Pets Badge. The girls finished tying the fleece (leaving a small opening for the stuffing), and then stuffed polyfil into the pillow. I tried to have them overfill the pillows to compensate for the stuffing being compacted once in use by pets.

These last steps also reinforced to me that both layers of fleece need to be cut at the same time. Many girls had different numbers of tabs on any given side of their pillows. Several of my moms ended up taking pillows home to do a quick fix by sewing around the edges next to the knots.

When all of the pet beds were touched up, we took them to our local pet supply store. They put several in their cat room (a living space for cats who do not have homes, but haven’t been taken on by a foster or permanent family yet), and kept the rest to sell at a “yard sale” to raise money for one of the local animal rescue groups.

pet bed 1

The finished product.

pet bed 2

A happy cat?


Girl Scouts – Art Museum

PaintingFresh back from our trip to Virginia, my troop had a field trip to the Castellani Art Museum. We signed up for their weekly Art Express program ahead of time, the instructor knowing we had Brownies wanting to earn their Painting Badge. Van Gogh was the theme, so all activities were centered around his Sunflowers painting.

The instructor started off the program by giving the girls a tour of the art museum, then read a picture book to set the theme – Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt.

The girls spent the rest of the program painting their own version of Sunflowers using several different techniques and mediums. Paint for the flowers, white crayons to create a resist for the vase, and markers to add stems/leaves and the background.

gs sunflowers

Fall 2014 Overnight

Last weekend my troop did an overnight at the local GS lodge. We’ve been there several times before, and the girls always have a good time. The focus of this trip was working on various requirements for four badges:

Home Scientist

Simple Meals
Make It Matter (retired)


This is the second time I’ve done this badge. Here is what we did the first time. During our trip, the Brownies completed two steps:

Step 3: Try a sweet snack – they baked brownies. This tied into the SM badge in that the troop baked thee batches of brownies. One was a control batch, and the other two had substitutions (replace oil with applesauce and add pureed black beans).

Step 5: Slurp a snack – the Brownies were in charge of making everyone smoothies at breakfast. We had two blenders, and each girl took a turn (with the help of an adult, to some degree) and make a smoothie. The base was orange juice, bananas, and frozen strawberries. Additions were blueberries, vanilla yogurt, and kale.

Home ScientistHome Scientist
Another badge girls in my troop have earned before. Here is what we did. This time around, I am doing it a little bit differently.

Step 3: Dive into density – (cauldron bubbles, activity plan 1)  I pulled this one from the wonderful GSRV guide. Each girl was given a clear plastic glass half-filled with water. Two measuring cups filled with vegetable oil was passed around, each girl pouring about 1/2 inch’s worth into the cup. The girls were given plates with salt, and had to drop pinches of salt into the cup to see what happened.

Step 4: Make something bubble up – (film canister rockets) this was an awesome experiment. Make sure to have extra Alka-Seltzer tablets because sometimes the girls don’t get the lids on right, and the canisters don’t pop, but also because they’re going to want to do it more than once. This is an outdoor activity as the canisters can shoot up over 20 ft into the air. I would like to get my hands on some glow in the dark stuff to mix with the water to turn the rockets into tracers (if done at night).

simple mealsSimple Meals
The girls completed three of the five steps at the overnight. The other two will be completed at our next meeting – a field trip to a nearby university for a kitchen tour/pizza demonstration/pizza making extravaganza. One of the fathers is a hospitality professor, and he was able to arrange the trip for us. Only the Juniors are going.

Step 2: Whip up a great breakfast – (create an egg dish) several of the girls have cooked eggs before, so it was somewhat of a review for them, focusing on technique. They made scrambled eggs for everyone, and then practiced making fried eggs.

Step 3: Fix a healthy lunch or dinner – (pocket food) the girls made runzas (pasties, empanadas, etc…) for dinner. My AL prepped the dough beforehand, but the girls made the veggie/meat filling, formed the runzas, and put them on baking sheets.

Step 4: Create a delicious dessert – (make a favorite dessert healthier) we turned this into a science experiment by baking three batches of brownies – one regular, one substituting apple sauce for oil, and one adding black beans to up the protein. The girls then had to do a blind taste test to see if they could tell which brownie was which. The regular recipe was the favorite, followed by the black bean batch.

making-it-matter-junior-badgeMake It Matter
This is one of the retired Junior badges I managed to hoard before they all disappeared. Once an official badge, always an official badge as far as I’m concerned. When GS revamped their program, they got rid of pretty much all of their outdoor and science badges (this last one really makes no sense given GS is pushing STEM).

Activity 4: Materials and structures (Step 5) – one of my moms was in charge of this step. She told me about the Marshmallow Challenge a while ago, and my response was to put her in charge of it for this overnight (delegating is great!). The girls were put into three teams and given 15 minutes to build the tallest free-standing structure possible from 20 spaghetti noodles, a yard of string, a yard of tape, and one mini-marshmallow. The girls got very creative with their building. One structure was modeled after the Eifel Tower.

Activity 5: Reverse engineering (Step 9) – the final step the girls completed for the badge was to take apart broken electrical appliances, observe what they looked like inside, and then try to reassemble them. There was some of this going on, but really…the girls just wanted to break the electronics down to their smallest components. They spent over three hours playing. They were like toddlers playing with empty boxes.

gs wm elect 2 gs wm elect