Posts filed under Girl scouts

Google and Troop Communication

The task of organizing a troop with calendars, emails, forms, and documents can seem daunting. I have an easy method to keep most of what I need all in one place. I use Google!

Use the following Google apps to make your planning more organized.

Troop Parent Handbook: Do you have one?

Do you bother with creating a Troop Parent Handbook? Some people might think it's too much but, in my opinion, it lays a foundation for how you plan to lead the troop, your expectations of parents/guardians and how you can work as a team to have a successful year. It's a hard copy of when and where you have your meetings, your objectives, contact information and policies and procedures you have for events and outings….

7 Crafts to Try With your Kids While Camping

I'm always looking for easy and fun ways to entertain our kids while we are camping. Sometimes we travel to amazing destinations that provide the entertainment and activities but there are times when we need a little something to keep our kids happy, occupied and out of the fire pit ashes...lol 

Here are 5 fun crafts that you can do with kids at camp.

Girl Scout Camp Weekend: Tips on Planning your Trip

Every year we try to do at least one camp weekend with our GS troop. This year, since it's one of the things the girls really love and look forward to, I hope to do one a season! The planning process from troop leadership can seem overwhelming. It's a big weekend and the more girls/adults you have attending the more work you will have to put into it. But, after all is said and done, it's totally worth it. If you haven't considered an overnight or camp with your troop I strongly encourage it! The excitement, sister scout bonding, life skills and lasting memories are just a few of the things you and your group will take away.

Cookie Party Cruise on Lake Michigan and Swaps!!

This year my oldest daughter worked her butt off to reach the 500 goal selling cookie boxes. We have a fairly large troop and another Girl Scout in the house that made for extra obstacles this year. She had to share her friends and family sales with her younger sister. She did a ton of cookie booth and went selling door to door. She pushed!

That's why I was so excited for her when she reached that mark and was invited to the cookie cruise as a program incentive for selling 500 boxes. It was our first year attending and we had so much fun!! A couple of her sister scouts reached their goal and got to go on the cruise too, which only adds to the fun!! It was a two hour cruise along Lake Michigan and included a yummy buffet with Bella's favorite food... tacos! Then the girls had fun dancing with fellow sister scouts. 

We were encouraged to make SWAPS and we were up late the night before trying to get done as many as we could. She did about 90 percent of them herself. Thanks Pinterest!

Bella really hasn't done much swaps in the 4 years that she has been a scout. This cruise really showed her the heart of SWAPs and she fell in love with it!

It was a fantastic time despite the overcast and occasional rain. I'm sure both of my girls are going to want to shoot for the cruise next year! What was your girl's cookie goal this year?

Devil's Lake Wisconsin Camping Trip!

Last fall, our family took a major step and decided to invest in a travel trailer. I stalked the internet for months trying to find the best deal on a used "starter" camper for our family. Our knowledge of campers, or towing anything in general, was sparse but I'm a firm believer that if you want to do something you just have to pull the trigger and learn through doing.

After dabbling a little over a month on RV repairs, updates and fixing the rotted floor, we were able to take our first trip to Devil's Lake, Wisconsin. It was our first visit to this park and I wish we would have spent more than 2 nights there.

We stayed at the Northern Lights campground in a non-electric site that was wide open. We tried for electrical but you have to book early!! You can make reservations up to 11 months in advance. My daughter loved that we could see other people and there were definitely fewer bugs than the forest sites. We picked a site (167) at the entrance to the Northern Lights campground that was near to the trail that led down to the beach and North Shore. It was also pretty close to the Ice Age campground where we purchased firewood.

We brought along our fur baby. This was her camping first trip and I'm pretty sure she loves camping now. There were a ton of dogs at the campgrounds and throughout the hiking trails, they just were not allowed in the picnic areas.

The first night we focused on setting up the trailer and cooking dinner. It was misting when we arrived but that didn't stop us from starting a campfire. The misting was actually nice because it kept the mosquitos away. The rain stoped for a short while when we decided to take a trip to the campground store for some firewood. One of the campground stores is located in the Ice Age campgrounds. That night it rained with thunderstorms and we were happy to find that the camper didn't leak...lol The next morning we ate breakfast and hit the only trail we thought the youngest child could handle. 

Tumble Rock Trail

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What a beautiful trail and gorgeous scenery. It was an easy trail that followed the shore of the lake from the north shore to the south shore. From start to the south shore was 2 miles, 4 miles round trip. We didn't really think about the 4 miles or if our kids could handle it when we set out. Looking back I don't think I would have done the full 4 miles and would have stopped halfway. We ate lunch at the south shore at the concessions building. We let the dog dip her paws in the dog-friendly beach while Penny napped on her daddy's shoulders. She was sooo tired and rightfully so. If it weren't for that short 30-minute nap, Penny would have NEVER made it back. It was just enough rest for her to get a boost and be excited to step back on the trail. 

The following day it was time to pack everything up. There were clear skies, unlike the previous overcast day, and it was warm. After packing up we decided to take a walk do to the beach and let the kids play in the water. Bella fully enjoyed the beach while Ryleigh had to be content with dipping her toes due to the cast on her broken arm. 

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In the future, I would love to bring the Girl Scout troop here! So much to do (hiking, swimming, kayaking, fishing, biking)! The campgrounds are great. Some have electrical hookups and I saw a ton of tent camping. There are bathhouses located throughout the campsite that offer showers. Some bathhouses are nice than others. The campgrounds were very family friendly and quiet without the partying. 

We regret only booking the campsite for 2 nights. There was so much more to enjoy and I would have loved to have a full day at the beach or to at least use the kayak we brought with. There are many trails to try out, varying in difficulty but with amazing views from what I hear!! This will definitely be a destination to add to the yearly trips list!!  

 

 

Ocean Pollution Clean Up Experiment

We tried this experiment with our girls on Earth Day and it really struck a cord with our troop. We first showed the girls this video.

Take a Garbage Walk

We then took a walk around the neighborhood and collected trash on the streets. We connected how this trash could easily get in the sewers or nearby river (which leads into the Mississippi River--->and then into ---> the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Water Clean Up Experiment

Materials:

  • Garbage (food wrappers, paper, plastic straws or can rings cut up, plastic wrappers, dirt, sand, veggie or olive oil, banana peel, etc.)
  • Plastic shallow tubs filled with 3/4 water
  • Things to help clean up such as:
    • small strainer
    • plastic sandwich bags
    • paper towels
    • tweezers
    • tongs
    • flour sifter
    • cups
    • coffee filters
    • ladle
    • anything else you can think of
  • sterile rubber gloves (enough for each girl)

Prepare:

Fill your plastic tubs up with 3/4 of the way with water. I had 4 tubs and broke the girls up into teams of 2 and 3. Place your garbage into the water to resemble pollution. I used a couple tablespoons of olive oil and cut the plastic into small particles. I tried to make the tubs identical as possible.

Price out the different items the girls can use to cleanup their water. The easier items like strainers were higher priced. I priced items from $25 to $500 keeping in mind that I was going to give the girls a budget of $500. All of my items including the plastic tubs I was able to purchase from the dollar tree or I already had it in my house.

Experiment:

1) Break the girls up into teams (of 2 or 3) and assign them each a polluted water tub. Explain that water clean up can be an expensive project which is why a lot of the pollution is still left today. Explain that it is easier to clean up after ourselves and not pollute than it is to clean it up later.

2) Let them know they have a budget. We gave the girls $500 a group. Show them the items for sale (clean up items). Have them discuss as a team which items they would like to purchase. When they are ready have them come up and purchase their items and get to cleaning up their water bins. Have them put on gloves before they start the experiment.

3) After 10 minutes we had the girls step back and we examined each of the bins and talked about the methods they used to clean up. We took a vote as to which group did the best clean up job.

They really had fun with this experiment and it helps break down the problem of ocean pollution. They learned how bad it really is, how our daily habits impact pollution and the challenges organizations face with clean up efforts. Overall a successful Earth Day!!

 

 

 

Don't forget to check out our SAVE THE MERMAID patch program!

Daisy Scout: Respect Authority

Does anyone feel like this is not the most amusing petal to the girls? LOL 

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The best way I can recommend having your girls complete this badge is through a field trip. There are so many places in your community that girls don't always get to see so take this chance and get out with the girls. I'm not even going to suggest meeting activities because they will just stare at you like some boring teacher. You know the stare I'm talking about....

Our girls love visiting new places and this was the perfect opportunity to show them something they might not have seen before. 

For this petal we did two different trips. Before we adventured, we had a brief discussion on what authority was and why it was important. We talked about how laws keep everyone safe and we referenced back to our Girl Scout Law. We also used this opportunity to create rules for our troop that the girls agreed to follow. By creating their own rules and standards we kept the activity girl led!

Field trip ideas

  • Police Station
  • City Hall
  • Court House
  • Fire Station

 

When visiting, it's always kind to bring a little something for your tour guides. The police station and Firefighters love fresh baked cookies!! Make sure to deliver a thank you note as you are leaving or have the girls send one the meeting following the visit. Gratitude is the ultimate form of respect!

If you are not able to take a field trip, this petal is pretty easy to complete in a meeting. Here are some fun activities to liven up the meeting...

  • Have the girl makes puppets of different authority figures. Have them create puppet skits where they can act out ways to respect authority.
  • Create a set of troop rules that is posted at every meeting. Have each girl add something to the rules. 
  • Play a game. This one is similar to Simon says except you can pick an authority figure. Bonus points for dress up! You know Firehouse subs has those free plastic fire people hats! Have the girls rotate being the caller.

Don't forget to follow up along on Facebook and Instagram!! Be sure to check out our fun patch programs in the shop!

Posted on April 4, 2018 and filed under Girl scouts.

Brownie Designing Robots Part 2

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If you are just joining us, we previously completed Part 1 of the Brownie Designing Robots badge! We broke the badge into two meetings because it really does require that much time if you are focused on what they are learning and not just completing the badge.

We searched and searched the internet to find an easy and affordable robot idea for the second part of this badge. It can be hard to find the right supplies but you're in luck, we have included them for you in this post! 

Create your prototype

The idea came from a fantastic tutorial on bristlebots. You can find the tutorial here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Bristlebot-1/ They do a great job of explaining and providing pictures along the way.

What you need:

Before the meeting:

Before your meeting, you will want to cut the toothbrushes down with your garden shears. You will also want to prepare the motors by stripping about 1/2 inch off of the end of each wire with your wire stripper. I also separated the materials into ziplock bags for each girl so distribution during the meeting would be easy. 

We started the meeting explaining what we were going to do and then we showed the video below to the girls. We always have great success with video media and the girls' attention span!!

We then handed each girl a ziplock sandwich bag with all of the supplies they would need to create their bots.

With the instructables website up on the projector screen (or you can print it out), we did each step together.

Debug

Oh were there bugs!!! Not just Bug Bots, but obstacles with constructing and getting them to work. But ya know what? That is the purpose of the last step!! Trial and Error. Isn't that what engineering and life is all about?

The bug doesn't work?

Here are a couple ideas to troubleshoot a bot that doesn't work...

  • There is an object (probably a finger or googly eye) blocking the motor from spinning
  • the wire attached to the foam tape is submerged into the tape and is not conducting electricity
  • The wire is not properly touching the other end of the battery.

And there ya have it! You have successfully completed the Designing Robots badge!!! I hope you found this section helpful and if you are looking for Part 1 you can find it here: Designing Robots Part 1. Leave us some love in the comments below and let us know what you would like to see next!!