Tonight was our only March meeting. (I cancelled our first one because of the raging snow storm that hit the night before we were to have it.) This meeting focused on our next WOW session and Bridging requirements for my third graders. My second graders are essentially along for the ride on this one, and will do it all again next year.
We reviewed our water uses/likes board, then added more pictures under the heading of “how I can save water”. I told the girls that this counts as their promise as to how they personally can save water. Most of them went with turning off the faucet/hose when not using it (like when brushing your teeth). One went for not polluting our river, and another for drinking all of the water in her glass so she doesn’t waste it.
This activity segued into a discussion about water restrictions. The first example I gave was of water restrictions in Australia (a parent of one of my girls is Australian) several years ago that were severe enough that when people showered, they put buckets in there with them to collect as much water as possible so it could be reused for things like flushing the toilet.
The second examples was of my experiences growing up in New Mexico. Because it is a desert, we would be put under restrictions from time to time. Not as severe as in Australia, but enough that I remember some people painted their lawns green. People were also rewarded for xeriscaping their yards (which is what my mom did).
After we talked about saving water, we moved on to the cleanliness of water. The girls watched a video clip titled, “Water Purification and Collection” from The Magic School Bus: Wet All Over episode. Then did an experiment with water filtration.
For the experiment, the girls were paired up and given three mason jars. Each had a different filter – paper coffee filter, nylons, and fabric (birdseye, specifically). They were given a fourth jar filled with muddy water. In theory, the girls were supposed to watch the water settle and the sediments sink to the bottom. This did not happen in most cases. They then poured the water into the fabric, removed the filter when done, poured that into the jar with the nylon on it, removed the nylon, and poured it into the jar with the coffee filter.
The experiment was not terribly successful – we followed the experiment as written. Doing it again, I would have the girls start with the nylon, then fabric, then paper filter. If I have the chance to make a sand water filter, I will do that and bring it to our next meeting.
When the experiment was done, the girls watched another video. This one was about a 14-year old girl who created a solar-powered water filter. The science was over their heads, but it let them see what is possible.
The remainder of our meeting was taken up by discussing Bridging and its requirements. Even though only four of my twelve girls are Bridging, they’re all going to end up participating because it would be too much of a pain to split them up.
First up was “Pass It On”. One of the Daisy troops in our SU will be Bridging as well, so the girls talked about what they liked most about Brownies, then drew a picture of it. There was camping, rock climbing, aquarium overnight, and pottery, but for some inexplicable reason, half of the girls chose jelly marbles. So a silly little time killer from our Valentine’s Day party was the winning activity. Did not see that one coming.
I passed the cards on to my assistant leader, so her daughter can put together a poster using those cards to show the Daisies. At their meeting, my Brownies will talk about what’s on the poster and do an activity with them. Balloon rockets are on the agenda, possibly something from the Snacks Badge if there’s a way to do it easily.
The second part of Bridging is “Look Ahead!”. We do have a Junior troop in our SU, but trying to coordinate that will end up being too much trouble scheduling-wise. Instead, we’re going to do what we did last time – earn our first Junior Badge. The girls voted between Detective and Drawing (Detective won), so we’ll spend our last to actual meetings working on it in conjunction with WOW. My non-Bridging Brownies will get a related fun patch.
As part of looking ahead, I showed them the badges they can earn, as well as the Bronze Award (we’ll wait till the whole troop is a Junior troop to do this) and Junior Aide Award.
Next year will be different, yet again. I should have my act together this time around. Trying to balance grad school, homeschooling, and Girl Scouts was too much. Changes have been made that will help. It also helps that I pretty much know what I’m going to do with the Brownies – all of the fun badges my olders did their first year as Brownies. Makes planning a heck of a lot easier! I also already have our fall camp out on the books.
We have two actual meetings left, one other will be at the rock climbing center again, and the final one is our Bridging Ceremony. I like the idea of not planning a separate event for this. We’ll still meet after our formal year is done so the girls can help plan our camping trip.