Category Archives: Brownies

Brownies 12/18/17 – GS Way & Festival of Trees

The last meeting of 2017 was a resounding success! We didn’t have an opening circle because as the girls arrived, I gave them white paper bags to decorate with a holiday theme. The bags related to the Festival of Trees patch, so we just rolled into the meeting from there. Throughout the meeting, the girls loudly sang Christmas carols before morphing into a never ending loop of “Bazooka Bubble Gum”.

Badgework
*Festival of Trees (Council’s Own)
*Painting

FESTIVAL OF TREES
We completed the final step of this patch tonight by putting together gifts for the local children’s hospital. Each girl brought in a new box of crayons or colored pencils, which were paired with a coloring book (themes ranging from dinosaurs to animals to robots – I tried to get a mix that would appeal to both boys and girls). The crayons/colored pencils and books were placed in the decorated bags for my co-leader to take them to the hospital for delivery.

PAINTING
The girls spent most of the meeting painting the mural panels they drew at our previous meeting. I haven’t figure out what to do with the mural once we’re finished. I don’t believe there isn’t a place to hang it up at the church. I should probably have my co-leader ask.

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Brownies 12/4/17 – GS Way, Painting, & Festival of Trees

With 2017 winding down, December is all about finishing up any remaining requirements for Girl Scout Way and Painting, and to do a Council’s Own patch called Festival of Trees. My older daughter came with me for the sole purpose of teaching the girls how to sing “Bazooka Bubble Gum”, one of her favorite camp songs. It was definitely a hit. The girls had a lot of fun at this meeting, working up until the very end.

Opening Circle
*GS Promise
*”Brownie Smile Song”
*”Princess Pat”
*”Bazooka Bubble Gum”

Badgework
*Festival of Trees (Council’s Own)
*GS Way
*Painting

FESTIVAL OF TREES
This Council’s Own badge seemed like it would be a fun way to both get into the holiday spirit and to do a small service project. The girls only had to complete three of the suggested steps, but we ended up doing more overall because not all of the girls were able to go on our troop field trip to a local Christmas tree farm. The alternate being to go to some sort of holiday festivity as a family. Tonight, we learned about one of the symbols of Christmas, the candy cane. We watched two YouTube videos: “The History of Candy Canes” and “Candy Canes / How It’s Made”.

GIRL SCOUT WAY
The girls started working on their “sisters mural” for Step 3. We will keep building on it, adding their favorite line of the GS Law, and pictures of their favorite hobby, etc… but tonight, we did the hand prints.

PAINTING
Our second mural of the meeting was for Step 5. I had the girls partner up and work together to design their panel of the mural. First they sketched out their idea on a regular piece of paper. When they finished that, they were given a sheet of butcher paper to redraw their idea on a larger scale. Both of these steps took most of the meeting. The actual painting of the panels will be done at our next meeting.

Brownies 11/6/17 – GS Way & Painting

This meeting went really well. It has been a good year so far for Girl Scouts, which is wonderful given how stressful it has been for the past few years.

Opening Circle
*GS Promise
*”Brownie Smile Song”
*”Princess Pat”

Badgework
*Girl Scout Way
*Painting

Closing Circle
*We skipped the closing circle because our painting ran past our ending time.

GIRL SCOUT WAY
We started making our JGL pumpkins at our last meeting, but were not able to finish them as time was tight once the cooking and making of snacks got past the initial start up phase.

Step 2:
We celebrated Juliet Gordon Low’s birthday by finishing the birthday pumpkins we started last week. We read Here Come the Girl Scouts last year, so I didn’t want to repeat reading it. One bit of (obvious) advice is to make sure you have at least one hole puncher. I forgot to bring one, and while an exacto knife gets the job done, it’s kind of a pain. Also, when assembling the pumpkins, you put brads in both ends of the strips. Arching them into a rainbow makes it easier to start spreading the strips out. The pumpkin/ball shape will naturally appear as the strips are pulled apart from one another.

PAINTING
We tackled two more steps of this badge, and it was interesting how the girls interpreted the music played during the “paint a mood” step. They also got a bit crazy with the “paint without brushes”, with of the paintings ultimately look like camouflage.

Step 3:
For “paint a mood”, the girls painted calm/relaxed and angry/upset. For calm/relaxed, we gave them a palette with three shades of blue. On my phone, I played “Thanksgiving” and “Jesu, Jesu, Rest Your Head” from George Winston’s December album. For angry/upset, we gave them a palette with red and two shades of orange. On my phone, I played “Mars, Bringer of War” from Holst’s The Planets, and the first couple of minutes of “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana.

Step 4:
For “paint without brushes”, the girls were given a full palette of colors, and various objects with which to paint – q-tips, bark, leaves, and pieces of sponge. They could paint a picture of whatever they wanted, however most of the paintings ended up looking like a green-blue-brown something. They were happy with it, so I didn’t really care.

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Brownies 10/30/17 – Rededication, Snacks, & GS Way

This post will be much better organized than the actual meeting. We did a decent amount of up/down the stairs between the church’s kitchen and our meeting room.

Opening Circle
*Girl Scout Promise

Rededication / Investiture
*Brownie Pond Ceremony

Badgework
*Snacks
*Girl Scout Way

 BROWNIE POND CEREMONY
I found this ceremony on the GS of San Jacinto resources page and have used it with both of my troops. I modified it a bit from how that council does it because I didn’t like the poems at either the beginning or the ending of the ceremony. For the ceremony, had the girls sit in a circle. In the middle, I placed a circular mirror surrounded by pine branches – this was our pond. Then I read the girls the Brownie elf story from the handbook. I had each girl stand up to do the “twist me, turn me”, and to be pinned. When I pinned my girls, I pinned their badge upside down. The intention is that after they have done three good “turns”, they can flip the badge so that it is right side up.

SNACKS
The girls did the final two steps of the Snacks Badge. It was definitely a bit chaotic having 8 girls in the church’s kitchen, but it all worked out. No one was injured, and there was surprisingly only minimal mess. It also helped that moms who were not in adult helpers to the girls washed dishes as soon as they were dirty.

Step 3: Sweet Snack
We made rice krispie monsters (idea from One Little Project). While you can use ready-made treats, I broke the girls into teams with an adult helper to make the treats from scratch. Once the treats were finished, we placed them in the fridge to cool down faster. We melted the candy melts in the microwave, and the girls dunked their treats in, took them out, and put the eyes on. Each girl had a piece of parchment paper with her name on it for placing the finished monsters.

Step 4: Snack for Energy
This was our final step to complete the Snacks Badge! In keeping with Halloween, the girls made harvest hash (idea from The House of Hendrix). This was the last thing we did, so the girls took their portions home with them.

GIRL SCOUT WAY
We managed to complete two steps for this badge. We’re still working on Steps 1, 3, and 4. Regardless, we should be done with the badge by our second December meeting. I don’t want any badges from 2017 carrying over into 2018.

Step 2: Celebrate Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthday
I read a brief history of JGL and then the girls started working on their own JGL pumpkin (idea from here). Each paper strip has a different fact about her life. We didn’t have the time to finish the pumpkins during this meeting because the ceremony and food prep took longer than I expected.

Step 5: Enjoy a Girl Scout Tradition
This step tied into our Brownie Pond Ceremony by reading the story of the brownie elves.

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 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”

Badgework
*Snacks Badge
*Finish Movers Badge

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

SNACKS
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.

MOVERS
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.

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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

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

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

GIRL SCOUT WAY
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.

SNACKS
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.

MOVERS
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.