We spent a weekend in October at an area Girl Scout lodge. Unlike previous years where we stayed only one night, this year, we stayed both Friday and Saturday nights. I wanted the girls to earn the first award associated with Agent of Change, and with doing both archery and first aid, there was no way we could have done all of that in one evening/morning.
First Aid Badge
One of the girls’ fathers is a firefighter, and he stayed with us to be both our first aider and to work with the girls on the First Aid Badge. They completed two of the steps (Steps 1 and 2). First they did Step 2 by talking to the firefighter about his job. He went over what he did and opened it up for the girls questions. For Step 1, he talked about Call, Check, and Care, having a discussion with the girls about what each one means. Then I broke the girls down into their teams to make either a poster or create/perform a skit. Two teams chose skits, and one team made a poster.
Agent of Change
After much research online, I came up with a rough outline of how I want to handle the AoC Journey. My goal for this weekend was to complete the first badge, the Power of One (PO). The girls were able to complete four of the five tasks I set up for PO. We’ll do the final one at a future meeting. Once we’ve done that, I’ll get a post up detailing what we did. In the meantime, I pulled a lot of my ideas and activity organization from Girl Scout Leader 101.
Rope Ceremony – this is in the Journey guide, but I liked how GSL101 modified it to include looking not only at the girls’ talents, but also their weaknesses. The girls, as well as every adult present, shared which line of the GS Law they felt they needed to improve upon. The two most common answers were Respect Authority and Use Resources Wisely, but Courageous and Strong (to stand up for oneself) and X also made appearances. It was enlightening to see how some of the girls answered this. Their talents were diverse, ranging from cooking to fishing to playing a musical instrument. 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.
What is Power? – The girls used page 11 of the girl journey guide as a basis for this section. We talked about power and what the girls thought it was.
Self-Collage – Last year one of my moms lead an activity where the girls had their bodies traced onto butcher paper. They then spent the better part of an hour decorating the bodies with illustrations, words, and magazine clippings that represented who they were and what they liked. I didn’t want to repeat that activity (with 15 girls it would have been very time consuming), so instead the girls traced their hands and drew/illustrated “power words” that represented who they are.
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 their teams in order to build an obstacle course. The kickers being the person going through it would be blindfolded, and they would not get to go through their own course.
They had 10 minutes to design and set it up before two team members would narrate/demonstrate what to do. Each team had to make some kind of modification to their course to compensate for the the fact that blindfolds were mandatory – as in, you probably shouldn’t have the person spin around ten times, step over a bench, and then hula hoop.
When it was time for the girls to run each course, their teammates were there to give them directions in order to make it through unscathed. The other girls were supposed to cheer her on (this worked to varying degrees of success). Overall it was a hit. The girls enjoyed it, and it helped reinforce team work and coming to a consensus.
The highlight of the weekend was archery. Two Council instructors came and taught the girls safety and the basics of archery. Because there were only three targets, I divided the girls into pairs. I pulled their names out of a hat because I wanted to use this as an extension of AoC – you can’t always choose who your teammates are, but you still have to work together. The girls who weren’t on the archery range played gaga ball or hula-hooped. All but a two of the girls were excited (the two who stayed up way too late on Friday night). They grumbled about being outside (it was on the chilly side), but between myself and one of the instructors (who is a GS goddess), they participated. One girl was visibly happy by the end, the other still grumbly, but it was the kind of grumbly used to cover up the fact that she actually had fun.
This was the first time I’ve formalized camp kapers. We’ve done them before in the sense that the girls teamed up and took turns cooking and cleaning, but never as named teams and a chart to show everyone what they were doing. The girls divided into 3 teams of 5 girls each. One parent was assigned to each team as a kind of overseer. The girls chose team names: Camp Rock, Blue 15, and Glowstone Ocean. They rotated through Cook, Hostess, and Clean Up for meals, and each team took a turn cleaning the bathrooms (Saturday morning, Saturday night, and Sunday morning).
Friday Dinner: cookie sheet pizza / baked apples
Saturday Breakfast: pancakes / sausage / fruit
Saturday Lunch: sandwiches / chips / carrots / grapes
Saturday Dinner: crescent roll dogs / salad / fruit / s’mores
Sunday Breakfast: ziplock omelets / toast / fruit