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Agent of Change Journey – Power of One


Two sites were instrumental in my being able to plan this part of the Journey. Both have great ideas and kept me from having to fumble through the leader and girl guides to figure out a way to make it interesting for my girls:

Girl Scout Leader 101
Girl Scouts River Valleys (GSRV)

I broke Power of One (PO) into five activities. The first four focused on PO, and the fifth was a transition into the Power of Team (PT). We were able to complete 4/5 of the activities at our camp out. The final one (herstories), was done at a meeting.

  1. Rope Ceremony
  2. Power (strengths and skills)
  3. Self-Collage
  4. Herstories
  5. Leaders/Trust Me!

Rope Ceremony
We tied an equal number of knots in the rope for participating girls and leaders. Everyone chose a knot and held it. We went around two times, first sharing our talents, and then sharing our weakness (as related to the GS Law). The girls were given an index card to write their talent on one side, and their weakness on the other. We pinned their responses to their knots. One parent wrote down everyone’s answers in case any of the girls needed help remembering what she said. At the end of the ceremony, I explained to the girls that as individuals we all have strengths and weaknesses. When we become a team, we bring both of those with us. Our strengths help our team succeed, and our team helps us strengthen our weaknesses. Even a weakness can be an asset.

Power (strengths and skills)
The girls used page 11 of the girl journey guide as a basis for this section. There were question prompts to help get them started: What do you think about your powers and strengths? Why are they important? How do your powers or strengths reflect the values of the GS Law? Which value of the GS aw means the most to you? We talked about power and what the girls thought it was.

Each girl traced her hand, then decorated the inside of the hand with words and pictures that make them who they are. Their focus ended up being talents and likes more than “powers”. Once everyone was finished, the girls briefly shared the highlights of their hands. Most of them talked to me afterwards, giving me a much more in-depth account of what they chose and why.


I ran this section as homework. I emailed parents a template (based on page 50 of the leader’s guide) for the girls to follow in order to write up a brief statement about a woman they admired. The woman could be alive or a historical figure. Over several meetings, the girls shared their herstories.

Here is the example I made for the girls:

This is a story of Juliette Gordon Low.

Not too many people know about her because she lived one hundred years ago.

Her ability to start a scouting organization for girls interests me because it was an opportunity for girls to gain skills and learn new things that were not traditionally seen as things girls should do.

Here are a few facts about her life: She was started Girl Scouts in 1912. She got the funds to start it by selling a pearl necklace her husband bought her. She was born on Halloween. Two of her hobbies were woodworking and metalworking.

Leaders/Trust Me!
This section is a transitional activity from the Power of One to the Power of Team. We talked about what makes someone a good or bad leader. We also talked about what makes someone a good or bad follower, something I think is often overlooked.  After talking about leaders/followers, the girls broke down into teams in order to build obstacle courses. Each team went through another team’s course when they were finished. Teamwork was imperative because the person going through it was blindfolded.



June Books – Shifting Blogs

In order to simplify what I post where, I will no longer post about the books I read on Plant, Plant, Electro.  This blog will focus on Girl Scouts and educational activities I do with my children.

Anything book-related will be posted on my other blog, Books & Bibliotheks.

Link to June Books.

Thank you!

May Books

jewel emma alien 1 koch 9 rules break rake accidental duchess alien 2 koch alien 3 koch hausfrau 10 ways adore 11 scandals prudence alien 4 koch Untitled-3 alien 10 koch alien 6 koch ACOTAR

*The end of my semester marked a return to binge reading. The Alien series by Gini Koch was definitely a high point. I love that the main character is unrepentantly herself. I also like her music selection.
*Hausfrau – This book is my “guilty pleasure” for Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge. It is definitely a love it or hate it book. I’m on the love it side of the fence, but then I like stories that focus on a person’s psychological downward spiral. I will most likely end up buying it just to have it on my bookshelf because there are aspects of my life reflected in main character’s passivity and complacency.
*PrudencePrudence is the weakest novel by Gail Carriger I’ve read, but I liked the continuation of characters from her Parasol Protectorate series.  Some of the characters felt out of character (ha), such as Alexia and Conall, but I assume that’s because they are being presented through Prudence-colored glasses. I’m curious to see how this series develops.
*A Court of Thorns and Roses – I  love dark(ish) books with flawed, mouthy heroines. The tone reminded me of Cruel Beauty (another book I adore). This is the start of a new series, and I really hope a love triangle is avoided in future books. Why are there always love triangles?!

ms marvel 1 rat queens rat queens 2

*I decided to read Ms. Marvel, vol 1 because of all the buzz I’ve heard about it over the past eight months.  I like that she’s not your stereotypical superhero, I like that she has to sort out what she got herself into, but I didn’t connect with it. That being said, when my girls are a bit older, this is a comic I will put in their hands.
*The Rat Queens are still violent, crass, and awesome in the second volume. I like the development of both the characters and the plot. Can’t wait for the next volume!

westing game frankweiler bad beginning
ruby fairy amber fairy

*Bean enjoyed all three books we read in May. The Westing Game is one of my childhood favorites, and happily for me, Bean is now on board. I haven’t read Mixed-Up Files in close to 25 years, but I remembered liking it.  Bean and I agreed that it was a fun book even if aspects of it are a bit dated – how much things cost and the lack of security cameras everywhere. The Bad Beginning was the third book we read in May. I wasn’t crazy about it when I read it years ago, but thought Bean would like it. She did, but I told her that she’s on her own for the rest of the series.

*May also marked my first foray into reading chapter books to Bug. I gave her the choice of either The Rainbow Fairies series or The Magic Tree House series, and she chose fairies. While not the greatest literature in the world, they don’t make me want to gouge my eyes out when I read them. And Bug is really into them.

April Books

To note, three books I listed as March reads, were in fact finished or read in April:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (audiobook)
The Just City
Stormy: Misty’s Foal

I should probably also note that I’ve been playing/reading two of the “Shall We Date?” otome games – Niflheim and Blood & Roses. The latter game caused The Smithereens’ song by the same name to get stuck in my head.

red queen rabbit back mfing sharks glass arrow shambling ny 4 nights duke
*Red Queen – Even though this book is on the tropy side, and the MC has too many potential love interests, I liked how the tropes were used. I wouldn’t buy it, but I would read it again, and I will read the subsequent books as they are published.
*Rabbit Back Literature Society
– I don’t know exactly what to think about this book. It was interesting, but I could only read it in 15-20 minute bursts because the story didn’t suck me in. However, I liked how it played on the idea that mental instability helps authors to be better writers.
*Motherfucking Sharks Pulp Fiction Samuel L. Jackson was my in-head narrator, and when I finished, I had the strong urge to watch Sharknado (RiffTrax version).
*The Glass Arrow – Glad this book ended like a stand-alone as opposed to the ubiquitous YA trilogy. The idea behind it falls in with A Handmaiden’s Tale and Only Ever Yours, though different enough that even with some conceptual overlap, is very much its own story. I enjoyed it, and wouldn’t mind reading it again and then doing a comparison between it and the other two mentioned books. Maybe after I graduate.
*The Shambling Guide to NYC – A fun little romp, also helped by the fact that the author cited Anne McCaffrey and Robin McKinley as favorite authors, who happen to be my favorite authors from childhood.

say i love you 1oddly 1 oddly 2 over the wall here

*Say I Love You, vol 1-4 – It’s nice to read a manga romance where the male MC isn’t a whole lot of asshole surrounding a nugget of loving boyfriend. This is a series that I will most likely end up buying.
*Over the Wall – I liked the idea, but the story didn’t feel complete.
*Here – (Hundreds of) thousands of years overlap the same physical space. There’s no real plot, but is instead a voyeuristic looking-in-other-peoples’-windows romp.

see saw girl

*SeeSaw Girl – both Bean and I enjoyed this book. Several more books by Linda Sue Park are on my to be read aloud list.

March Books

mermaids paradise poisoned apples 42 just city

*Mermaids in Paradise – An interesting concept with a stream of consciousness narrator (this does start to wear after a while). The story was silly, with an out-of-left-field climax. I was alright with everything up until the last page when the author threw in a deus ex machina. Then I wanted to throw the book across the room.
*Poisoned Apples – a book of poetry that uses fairy tales and their tropes as jumping off points for poems about women, girls, and body image. This is a book I needed when I was in high school. It still resonates with me in my 30’s. I loved it.
*The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (audio)– one of my favorite books of all time, listened to in my car as read by Stephen Fry.
*The Just City – My knowledge of all things Greek/Platonic philosophy is very shabby, and while having a better understanding would have probably increased my enjoyment of the story, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. The folly of gods (or goddesses) and man.

xxxholic tsubasa miss don't touch me beauty hubert

*XXXHolic & Tsubasa – Multi-dimensional time traveling story told from varying perspectives (depending on the series). It was interesting, but not so much that I read beyond the first three volumes of each.
*Miss Don’t Touch Me – A young woman joins a brothel in order to search for her sister’s murderer. Hubert does a wonderful job showing how her single-minded determination ends up causing her to lose everything.
*Beauty – A fairy tale that revolves around an ugly girl who is granted her wish by a fairy she rescues to become beautiful. Her wish ends up being a double-edged sword, heavy on the bitter and bloodshed. Another folly of man story.

sea star stormy

*Sea Star & Stormy, Misty’s Foal – Bean was very taken with Misty of Chincoteague, so we read the two other books available. They are good, solid stories even if they are a bit dated in some ways (minor technological things that I had to explain – like why a camera’s flash bulb popped). We were going to go to Chincoteague and Assateague Islands during our visit to VA, but decided that a 6 hour round trip drive with my two littles was not something we wanted to do (they are an entire chorus of whining unto themselves).


Below are some reasons for not posting anything during the past few weeks:

(Now to play post catch-up…)

A visit to the Royal Ontario Museum (photos are from the Coupland exhibit).

A visit to the Royal Ontario Museum (pictures from the Coupland exhibit).

as snip

Visit to the Air and Space Museum’s annex (in VA) to see the space shuttle Discovery and the Enola Gay.


The B-26, “Flak-Bait”, in the middle of restoration. My grandfather was a gunner in a B-26 during WWII (shot down over Germany).

york snip

Fun at Historic Yorktown – holding a grenade, and getting water from a well.


February Books

I didn’t do very much reading this month. My time was split between being sick and trying to stay on top of schoolwork. March probably won’t be much better, but instead of being sick, I’ll be dealing with Girl Scout cookies.

dowager empress cixi bone season glamour in glass wo a summer

*Empress Dowager Cixi – History is always written by the winners…and the successors to fallen regimes, especially when the previous ruler was a woman. I wonder how different China would have been if Cixi had had an uninterrupted rule.
*The Bone Season – I will read this book again. The second one was just donated to my library, so I grabbed it as it was finished being cataloged. I like books that slip fantasy in without it dominating the book (My Real Children, A Natural History of Dragons).
*The Glamourist Histories (books 2 and 3) – The characters are more like themselves and less like Jane Austen shadows, which was nice because I wasn’t constantly making comparisons. I liked the plot and pacing of the second book, but the third was a bit bumpy. The story dragged in the middle before picking back up again. I started reading the fourth book, but ended up putting it down. I read the ending, then read part of the middle, and didn’t have the interest to fill in the gaps.

flights chimes misty

*Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times – Both Bean and I loved this book. The majority of the story is set in a parallel London, with clockwork creatures being the natural order. The tone is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman, and the quality of writing is much better than a lot of the newer children’s books. Many of these books feel light and fluffy, with a writing style and vocabulary to match. That isn’t to mean  these books are any less fun to read, but Flights has more gravitas. It assumes children can handle the dark things.
*Misty of Chincoteague – Bean has wanted to read this for over a year. She absolutely adored the book, clutching her blanket during several scenes because she was so involved in what was happening. Chincoteague is not too far from where my best friend lives, so we’ll take a day trip to see the ponies when we visit.