Monthly Archives: October 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Juliette Gordon Low

JGL Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, was born Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon on October 31, 1860, in Savannah, Georgia.

And what’s a birthday party without CAKE!?!?! Or, in our case, cupcakes!
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The troop celebrated Juliette Gordon Low’s 153rd birthday with a cupcake decorating party!

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(Cupcake decorating day was also this cutie-pie’s bday! Happy Birthday Miss I.)

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We think JGL would approve of this party!!

GS Ways and “Tradition”

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This week we alotted time for the troop to work on some Girl Scout Way activities. In modern Girl Scouts this is a called a “legacy” badge. Looking back in some of our own Brownie handbooks, from years WAY passed, the requirements for this badge have been pretty much the same since the dawn of time 🙂 The Girl Scout Way badge shows the girls how they are part of a rich history, filled with many “traditions”. So, two levels worked through some of those this week.

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“I’ve got something in my pocket,
it belongs across my face.
I keep it very close at hand,
in a most convenient place.
I’m sure you couldn’t guess it,
if you guessed a long, long while.
So, I’ll take it out and put it on
it’s a great big Brownie Smile!”

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Our Brownie troop learned about Girl Scout history, such as the hand shake and some songs from old handbooks. Mom, Mrs. A, took time to show the handbooks, hand shake, teaching some of the old scouting songs we all know and love, and telling a little bit about her time as a Brownie. Especially cool was that she let each Brownie try on her old Brownie uniform! The girls all thought it was really cute! Seeing that uniform was a walk down memory lane for some of us leaders. Girls today are missing out on rocking a brown beanie, brown knee high socks with orange tassled sock-stays and a RAD orange tie!!! 🙂

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GSWayEllie GSWayKacey

GSWayKendyll GSWayMaya

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Keeping with Girl Scout “tradition”, our Daisies worked on sit-upons. Basically, this is a cushioned square the girls can SIT UPON (imagine that!) on the ground. When we were growing up we used this as an activity to learn to sew or as an around-the-campfire activity, for example. More often than not they were sheets of plastic, like a shower curtain, wrapped around the “Sunday Times”/newspaper. It was more comfortable and cleaner than sitting on the ground, but that newspaper sure got heavy if it happened to get wet! In the past, we have done these with our older girls and have brought in sewing machines. However, with Daisies this is a little difficult so we did a really easy version with vinyl squares, cut from cheap tablecloth, and SUPER FUN duct tape! We lived the Girl Scout law by USEing RESOURCES WISELY, and stuffed them with old plastic grocery sacks. These are squishy, comfy, light-weight and water proof!

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SitBrae SitIreland

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SitRiley SitSabrina

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“Make new friends
But keep the old
One is Silver
and the other Gold”

We’d like to welcome 2 new girls to our troop!

GSWayChar SitElla

Annual Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

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We always take a trip to Studt’s Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze. It’s about 10 miles from our meeting location so it is an easy and SUPER FUN field trip for our girls. It is usually the one event that we always get 100% (or close to it) participation and the girls always have a great time.

Of their plethora of activities, we have done a small photo-journal in line with some of the bullet points direct from Studt’s website, with the activities we were able to partake of this year. There are even more than this!!!

•Pumpkin Patch has a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors
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•Pumpkin Jump is a massive orange inflatable for great jumping fun
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•Hay Mountain is HUGE this year! With tons of extra additions! These include: Corn Pit Slide, Gunny Sack Slide, Chute Slide, Kidz Slide, Climbing Wall, and more!!!
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•Petting Zoo is filled with animals for the whole family to enjoy petting, feeding, and photographing
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We only got photos of the horses, but there were sheep, goats and pigs, too!

•Scarecrow Corn Maze is a maze with many difficulty levels and games for all ages (unfortunately we have no photos of the girls in the maze, but they all managed to get out even after a small group got “lost” for a little while!)

•Photo Area is made with fun and beautiful settings for you to create your own memories
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A GORGEOUS photo of our GORGEOUS girls and leaders!! Can’t wait for next year!

Special thanks to mom Amie and Co-Leader Deedra for taking all the photos.

Juniors – Reach Out badge EARNED!!

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Girl Scout leadership journeys invite girls to explore a theme through many experiences and from many perspectives- through the 3 keys to leadership: Discover + Connect + Take Action!

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Our Juniors have earned the ‘Reach Out’ badge! They accomplished this by reaching out to women and girls to explore the many roles they play in the world and learning about the leadership skills they use to play them.

Last Week, the girls broke into groups and discussed the women in their lives and the roles they play. Each team invited a woman to join us this week for a panel discussion to learn more about the different roles they play in life. Every girl participated by asking some GREAT questions.

Three, of the five women invited, were able to attend the scheduled meeting to sit on the panel. All three were very inspirational.

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Mrs. Browning – Discussed how God, and her faith, have been the most influential thing in her life. She is a Pre-Kindergarden teacher at the Catholic School our troop attends, and is a familiar face to the girls in our Junior troop as her son is in their grade at school. She talked more about her teaching and how she came to doing that. She originally worked in radio and it was not the right role for her. She touched a lot on her struggles with having patience, having love for everyone and working with children under 5.

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Mrs. Hurt- She talked about how everything she does is based on the foundation of God. She is an Intermediate School teacher at the Catholic school our girls attend. Mrs. Hurt was the first person in her family to graduate from college. She talked about how she prays and about the many roles that she plays in life. She touched on her children, one of whom runs an orphanage in Africa, her travels, her cooking (all from scratch), her canning and, her farming. Mrs. Hurt discussed why she made some of the decisions in her life, such as how she originally wanted to become a nurse until she found out she fainted every time she saw blood!

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Mrs. Coltrinari – Mandy, also talked about how God is the foundation for everything in her life. She touched on the many different roles in her life, including her job as a Nurse Practitioner. She explained why she became a nurse and her choice to not become a doctor. Her mother was the most influential person in her life. She discussed how her mom is a very strong woman and taught her that there is nothing she cannot do.

The girls asked great questions, for example… Was there anything that stopped you from performing a role? What influenced you to perform a certain role? How does God play a roll in your life? Etc.

Thank you to Mrs. Browning, Mrs. Hurt and Mrs. Coltrinari for your time! The girls had a great time!!! (even the photos are proof they were paying attention…those leaders, well….hmmmm. LOL)

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In preparation for the next step in the journey and to earn the ‘Speak Out’ badge, the girls were asked to start thinking about stereotypes and to discuss this with their family. This badge work encourages us to speak out against stereotypes by:

· Identifying a stereotype that could hold you or others back from trying on roles in life

· Teaming up to create a story about this stereotype, and

· Sharing your story to inspire other people (kids, adults, whoever you choose!) to help you stop the stereotyping.

We are looking forward to engaging in further conversation!

Self-Esteem Program update

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We created a Self-Esteem Program last year after one leader watched the documentary Miss Representation at her sorority’s convention. This film had a HUGE impact on her (several of the other leaders were able to catch a showing when it came to our small town later in the year…if you get a chance, SEE IT!!). Without being able to show the film to every level of our troop, as some are pretty young and the film is fairly graphic, we came up with a program that promotes positive body image, good morales and character, self-actualization and embodies the theme of the film, “how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence.” We have touched on a lot of topics including, bullying, air brushing, exercise and good food choices, to name a few.

Last year, it was kind of a free-for-all show-and-tell where the girls could share something they saw during the week at our circle time. It was always positive and the girls definitely got the gist of what we were attempting (in addition to each and every one of them feeling comfortable and confident enough to share in front of the group…another thing on which we diligently work) but, some weeks we got a lot of “it didn’t make me feel good to see a naked woman in the magazine when what she was selling was perfume”, or something along these lines. So, this year we added a little more focus.

Each week 3 girls are assigned “homework” and they get to present the following week. Their assignment is specifically to be sure she has something to share with the group that supports positive attitude, body image, etc. Each girl should find something in her daily life (from a magazine, TV, etc) that makes her feel proud to be a girl. She should be able to talk to what is making her feel good about what she is picking. She has up to 3 minutes to present. Not only has the limit of 3 girls allowed us to have better time management of our all-troop circle time, it also focuses the conversation. The assignment as “homework” also encourages the girls to research and work with their parents as if it is a “project” rather than just show-and-tell. We have been MORE THAN pleased with the results so far!

In the few weeks since we have started our troop year, topics have varied greatly. Topics have included conversations about the positive influences from some of our favorite media, such as the American Girl movies and magazines, and Discovery Girls magazine, especially with regards to setting goals and working towards them, being a good friend, and anti-bullying (the photo above shows one of our Brownies discussing this very topic). One girl did some research on famous women in the field of study she would like to pursue when she is an adult, Marine Biology. Surprising to her, and her mom, were how few women are actually in this field. Another talked at length, with FANTASTIC visual aides, about why she loves Merida, from Disney’s Brave, and how she was disappointed when merchandise marketers changed her look to be more “cartoon” and “sexy” just to sell their products. One girl made a poster board with a collage of pictures from several magazines with a photo for EVERY aspect of her life that makes her proud to be a girl. In such a short time it is truly amazing to see the creativity!

We don’t always but, this week we remembered to take photos!
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Here Brownie M., is talking about a movie she watched where the character had lost her shop but set goals for herself and worked hard to get it back and reopen. We all talked about how when you use hard work, dedication and believing in yourself, anything is possible.

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Daisy S., brought in a visual aid with some “I would rather be” quotes describing how good, healthy and smart choices make you a well rounded person. Sometimes what people assume is the better option isn’t always the most healthy option. We also talked at great length about how everyone is different and it shouldn’t matter what others think of you if you are always doing and being your best self. Our favorite was “I would rather be athletic than skinny”.

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Junior E., chose a member of her own family to discuss. Her great-great grandmother staked claim, riding side saddle, in the Oklahoma land run. At a time where women didn’t have very many rights and weren’t considered to have the abilities of men, she beat out over 60,000 other people to stake a piece of land on which to build her home, even in a super long dress! E. also brought in a photo of her great-great grandmother AND the horseshoe from the horse she rode in the run, 120 year ago!

We are very proud of this program and have talked at length about how if even one girl, when she is a teenager (or older…or tomorrow!), hears our voices in her head when she comes to a crossroads…then we have done our job!

This is the Official Trailer for the movie. WARNING: It IS graphic, visually and verbally.

Nice Words Project – Juniors (Pt.1)

We have continued with the Nice Words Project with our other 2 levels. If you recall, Brownies started us out a few weeks ago. We have gotten through the rest of the troop with just as much chaos as we seemed to have with the Brownies!! It’s not an easy project to keep everyone on task when you really only have 2-3 girls “working” at a time. However, the Juniors “warmed up” fairly quickly and got a good system down for rotating the group through to be more efficient. (pictured below is a sampling)

nice words Alesia

nice words BridgetB

nice words Lauren

nice words Magdalena

nice words SarahC

We also did this project with the Daisies. They were all pretty quiet and shy and seemed to write the same words each time. Unfortunately, when we got home to pull the photos off the SD card, every one of them was blurry! URGH 😦

This project has the potential for MAJOR impact so we feel it is important to see it through with acceptable results. We would like to stress to the girls that “positive attributes” do not have to (and actually should not) pertain to the way a girl LOOKS! While “Nice”, “Pretty” and “Good friend” are all positive assets, we want them to think deeper and come up with better descriptives of how their sister-friends inspire/motivate/encourage/etc them. We will definitely do this project again towards the end of the year.