Summer Sale-99 Cent Items for Your Troop

Summer Savings Event at Birthday Express

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Great news! Birthday Express just launched their Summer Savings Event and it features some great deals including hundreds of products $.99 and under! These deals sizzle so get them while they’re hot!

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What Can You Get for 99 Cents and Under?

When you click on the banner below, you will find 16 pages of deals!  There are items featuring the Minions, who have a new movie coming out this summer. There is candy, jewelry, Disney Frozen items…think ahead to community service projects or gifts for the holidays if you make them during troop meetings. Your daughter may even have her own birthday coming up and you can buy party favors for very little money!

Check out what you can get for less than a dollar a piece!

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Are you planning on giving your girls a bridging gift?

10 Fun and Easy Girl Scout End of the Year Ideas

This post contains affiliate links.

For many leaders, the end of May and the beginning of June mark the end of the Girl Scout calendar for them. Cookie selling is finished, and with the bank account now full of the profits of their hard work, both the girls and the leaders are looking for a fun way to end the scouting year before their summer break.

If you are not busy working on a bridging ceremony, or even if you are, what kinds of activities can you do with your girls to end the year on a high note?

Here are 10 easy to use and implement ideas for your final meeting of the year.

Planning the Girl Scout End of Year Activities

Your co-leader and you will need to decide if the last activity is going to be during your regular meeting or at another time and place. What you plan to do, of course, will influence this decision.

The biggest pro to planning the end of year Girl Scout party during your regular meeting time is that the families have already committed to this time slot. Unless there is an illness or family emergency, all of your girls will more than likely show up. There should be no scheduling conflicts.

Another benefit to having your party during your regular meeting is that no additional field trip form will be needed for you to fill out if you plan on using troop dues to pay for things. Meeting off-site in an official manner requires you to meet all of the Safety Checkpoints.

Girl Scout paperwork

One option is that you can meet informally as a group and not call it a Girl Scout Event so you do not need to fill out all of the paperwork.

The other decision that has to be made is if you wish to include parents or not. Remember, if parents are included, they will have to find child care for other siblings, unless they are invited along as well.

If you are planning to meet at a different day, time and place, you will need to be prepared for the inevitable calls, emails and texts about some children not being able to attend due to a scheduling conflict. Expect some grief, but if the majority of girls can attend, then it is a life lesson to be learned.

You also need to bare in mind that not all parents are friends or get along with each other. Their daughters may be fine, but not their mothers. Just a thought to consider.

Another thing to factor in is the behavior of the girls outside of the usual Girl Scout meeting. It may change when the parameters and scenery are new and different and when their parents are present. Make sure to lay down some basic rules and guidelines for parents to read and sign before you venture outside of your meeting place.

Here are 10 ideas that are both fun and easy for your girls to do and for you to implement. Adapt them to meet the age requirements of your troop and whether or not this is an official trip of just an informal gathering of families.

1. Go on a Picnic

This is an easy thing to do. Each girl/family is responsible for bringing their own food and a dessert to share.

2. Have a Cookout

If you want to grill for the girls, you need to decide if each family will bring their own meat to grill or if the troop will be picking up the tab for everything or just a few things.

Girl Scout end of year activity-have a cookout!

3. Go on a Field Trip

Not all field trips can be taken during a meeting time. I used to take them on our scheduled half days off from school. Parents who worked outside the home did not mind as they would have to find childcare anyway. Parents who were home also did not mind that their daughters would be out for the day and they did not have to entertain them.

4. Have a Tea Party

Younger scouts will enjoy dressing up in fancy clothes and having tiny sandwiches and sweet desserts. Older girls will like to do the prep work of baking and organizing the tea. They might also like an opportunity to dress nicely as well.

medals

Medals from Amazon

5.Have a Mini Olympics

Your co-leader and you can organize a few volunteers to have a fun sporting event for your girls.  These can be simple games and at the end, give each girl a medal and some sweet treats.

6. Have a Backyard Water Park

Have families help set up water balloons, relay races with water and sprinklers in someone’s backyard. Buy some ice cream and toppings for sundaes and some ice pops. Plan a rain date just in case.

7. Have a Faux Slumber Party

If you want to meet in someone’s home, you can have a faux slumber party. It can be done in the day, evening or night. Set a predetermined time for pick up and have the girls come to your home in their pajamas. Play games and do crafts like you would at a real sleepover, but the best part is that the girls go home!

8. Go Fruit Picking

If you live near a “Pick Your Own” farm, the girls can go out together and pick fruit. They get to take home an equal portion and enjoy the fruits of their labor!

9. Go to a Park

This is a cheap and easy field trip to take. Pick a park that is not too far from home, pack snacks, beverages and wipes and you are set!

10. Craft Party

If you want to leave the confines of your meeting room, try doing a craft that is messier than usual. Tie dye, painting, or anything that can spill and wreck the inside can be brought outside, weather permitting. This can be done on site or at another person’s home.

Do you have any other ideas for a Girl Scout end of the year party?

Our May Cadette Girl Scout Meeting

Out May meeting was very successful as we covered a lot of ground in our 90 minutes together…and it certainly seems to fly by! Eight of our ten girls were present to discuss our fall camping trip and to prepare for it.

Before the meeting started, I waited outside for my girls to arrive with the bag of food they were asked to bring so I could load them into my car. I was so touched that several of our families brought multiple bags to contribute! Even the girls who did not attend brought food over and did the right thing for others in need.

All together, we have fifteen bags of food and seven boxes of Girl Scout cookies that I will be delivering this week.

Quick and Easy Girl Scout community service porject
Our donations…so proud of my girls! Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

Roundtable Discussion

After our opening, the leader discussed her camping training that she participated in last month. She also shared that another mom was also getting camping certified, so that we will be all covered for any camping trips!

As I have shared before, we did not go camping when I was the leader as that was not my assigned role. Even though the girls bugged and begged to go, we never did.

Now that we are really going, some of them are having second thoughts! The bugs, missing a sporting activity, sleeping in a tent, the type of food they were going to make and eat…now some of them were getting a bit wary of the whole camping idea. Others were very excited about going. The girls were told that since the campsite is only eight miles from our town, they could come and go to attend a sporting event or not sleep over and rejoin us in the morning.

Time will tell who will go on the trip!

She then discussed the Silver Award, which will be optional. I know that certain girls will not do it, but we have a core group that will.

Building a Campfire

Part of the meeting was having the girls learn how to create a campfire and basic campfire safety. The girls collected tinder, kindling and logs.

Building a Girl Scout camp fire
The fire pit where we built the fire. Fire starters made from lint were used. Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.
Teaching my Girl Scout troop how to properly build a campfire.
Kindling and tinder were added. Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.
Girl Scout campfire safety
With the log added, the fire started to get big. Notice the jugs of water nearby to ensure that it could be put out if it got out of control.
Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

If you are going to have a campfire, then you are going to have to make S’mores! The girls liked this part of the meeting best of all!

IMG_1731
Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

The leader had planned on the girls doing a part of the Amaze Journey, but the girls were having such a great time outdoors that this idea was put on hold.

How are you preparing your girls for your camping trip?

A Quick and Easy Community Service Project

The picture appeared in my Facebook newsfeed and I felt my heart break. A local food bank posted a picture of empty shelves.

Totally barren.

It is sad to think of families going to seek assistance, only to be told that there is no food to give.

This week, my girls are going to do their share to make the world a better place, to be friendly and helpful and to be considerate and caring.Here is a Girl Scout service project that is easy to do and will make an enormous difference in your community.After clearing it with the leader, I sent an email with the picture and asked the parents to show it to their daughters. I felt that the visual would make an big impact. I saw my own daughter’s reaction when I showed it to her. Her jaw dropped and her faced grew quite concerned.

I sent parents the link to the food bank’s website with their most wanted items list and asked them to bring a bag of food to our meeting this Thursday. If the girls could not attend, I would pick up the bag at their home. All of these food items are already on most (if not everyone’s) shelves. Pasta, tomato sauce, tuna fish, cereal, canned fruit and vegetables…no extra effort was needed on their part. I simply asked them to go to their pantry with their  daughter and fill the bag. I will deliver the bags.

Unlike our big canned food drive,  where we collected over 2,200 cans and boxes when my troop was in third grade, this is not a major undertaking. With busy spring schedules and the last minute urgency, this cannot be that kind of food drive.

But that does not mean that we cannot make a difference in the lives of others. It is the small things that add up to making a change.

There are 10 girls in our troop, and that means 10 bags of food will be brought to the food bank. It may not fill up the shelves, but we will be able to feed a few families.

Imagine if every troop leader did this in their own community…the shelves would be filled.

It is not too late for your girls to do a quick and easy service project to end the year on a positive scouting note!

Girl Scout Bridging Gift Ideas for Older Girls

This post contains affiliate links.

It’s that time of year when we look at our troop of girls and wonder where the time has gone. Recently, four of my girls attended an older girl led Rope Runner Derby, and watching the little Daisy Scouts running around with their toothless smiles and pigtails made the other leaders and I smile and remember when our girls were that young.

Now they are tall young women (some taller than us) who were the oldest girls to attend a Council event.

If you are a Junior troop bridging to Cadettes or a Cadette troop bridging to Seniors or a Senior troop bridging to Ambassadors, then you may be considering giving your girls a gift from your co-leader and you to commemorate this occasion.

Girl Scout Bridging Gift Ideas for Older Scouts. These are inexpensive items that you do not have to spend time creating.

Unlike Daisy or Brownie Scouts, who will be happy with a cute little something that you found on Pinterest, your older girls will probably prefer a little something more substantial.

But substantial does not mean expensive.

As your girls have gotten older, you have also gotten busier. While there are so many adorable things you can craft and create, be honest…do you have time to make them? Stop the guilt! You already have devoted hours and hours of your time and you continue to do so if you are moving up with your girls.

Here are some adorable gift ideas for only a few dollars each. Depending on how many girls are in your troop and how many leaders are splitting the cost, the out of pocket cost to you will be minimal. And as an added bonus, you are saving time-a most precious commodity!

Here are some adorable bridging gift ideas. You can tuck something meaningful inside like a personal note to each girl.

Girl Scout bridging gift for older girls-change purse comes in 11 different colors and patterns.

This adorable change purse comes in 11 different colors and patterns. Available on Amazon and the shipping is free!

Coin purses with sequins make a cute bridging gift for older girls. Available in all the colors shown here.

Here is another version of the coin purse, but it this on has sequins. This has free shipping and is available here.

Pencil or makeup case for older girls comes in four different patterns.

This is a pencil case that can also be used as a makeup bad for a purse as well. There are four different patterns that you can order. Available here on Amazon with free shipping.

Pretty makeup pouches/pencil cases are perfect bridging gifts for girls.Here is a similar kind of pouch that makes a great little gift for girls who are bridging. You can find them here.

Are you planning on giving your girls a bridging gift?

How to Earn Brownie Badges Meeting Plans

For the past month, I have been busy at work creating a brand new website for Brownie leaders. Updating this blog earlier in the year had me thinking about the new Brownie program and how different it was from when I was leading my girls at this level of scouting.  Many leaders such as myself still loved the plethora of Try It options that were available with the old program. Try It badges were from this older version of Brownie Scouts was readily available at Council stores a few years ago, so it was easier for us to buy these badges in bulk.

(Some of these Try It are still available. Check out the Girl Scouts of Indiana Council  Store if you are still in need of them.)

How to Earn Brownie Badges website with meeting plans and resources for every badge in the new program.

I have spent a great deal of time reading about and researching every single badge-Legacy and Journey-in the current Brownie program. As of today, I still have four more pages to write, but I could not contain my excitement about sharing it with you.

Each badge has it’s own page with a lesson plan that you can easily do in one meeting. There is no need for all of the experts that are a requirement and there is no need for girls to do work at home (we all know that this part of badge work rarely gets done).

Lists of resources are given with links to sites that can give you more information and choices.

You can find How to Earn Brownie Badges right here!

 

Starting Work on the Cadette Amaze Journey

Last week was our monthly Girl Scout meeting and nine of our ten girls were present. Attendance  has been fairly consistent, with only one child missing the past two meetings. That may be because we have lucked out and the next day we have had off from school so there have been no worries about not being able to complete homework or having to study for a test after getting home late from the meeting.

It also may be related to the fact that we only meet once a month, and if you miss the meeting, you are missing a lot.

As a sponge activity, the girls were given paper, pens and markers and told to write a short note telling a friend (she did not have to be in the troop) why you are glad to be friends with her. This was also a way for the girls to socialize while they crafted. When most of the girls had arrived, the leader began.

First Meeting Cadette Amaze Journey
Photo from pixabay.com

We discussed our final cookie totals, and the girls netted almost $1,200 dollars-not bad for the first official sale! The Cookie Mom had looked into a few activities the girls had suggested at the last meeting, and after investigating, she narrowed it down to a few choices. Some of the girls were not happy about their previous choice ( a theme park) being eliminated and let us know. They also worried about being busy that day-LOL! I assured them that parents would be notified at least a month in advance so all calendars could be cleared.

The leader let the girls speak and also let the comments roll off her back. She said that if they did not wish to participate in the activities that they had chosen, then they did not have to.

We also shared that one case of cookies was being donated to our troops and the other to a local food bank.

Girl Scout camping
Photo from pixabay.com

Next on the schedule was a discussion about camping. When I was in charge, we did not camp because that was not what I signed up for. I did all the planning, shopping, paperwork, field trip planning, trips to the stores, attended Council meetings, planned service projects, contacted parents…you get the picture.

The other leader was supposed to be in charge of outdoor activities and camping  when we signed up to be leaders together . But, she never got the training, so we did not go.

Our new leader is an avid camper with her family-tents and all! She is going to be getting the necessary training to take the girls out in the fall. However, before we do that, the girls are gong to do a trial “backyard camping” experience to see how they can handle it.

Some of the girls did not want to camp, backyard or in the woods!

She told them fine, they could stay for activities and then their parents could pick them up before they go to sleep.

This trial is necessary because, they were told, if they cannot go to bed and behave in the tents in the backyard, they will not be taken camping at all.

How to Do the Cadette Amaze Journey
Photo from pixabay.com

Then we moved on to the Amaze Journey. This was chosen because of the dynamics of this group, which have been together since kindergarten. Relationships between the girls have certainly changed over the years, and we are trying to keep the group together.

The leader decided that we are not gong to devote entire meetings to the Journey, but doing one activity per meeting. This was suggested to her by a leader who has a multi-level troop and she said it worked out well.

I think this is a great idea, as the girls can still do badge work and those interested in earning the Silver Award can do so, since completing a Journey is mandatory.

The leader led a discussion about social media and the damage it can cause to the feelings of others. They talked about hurting feelings posting pictured where others are not invited, texting, etc. The point was made-be careful with your words because once it is out there on the internet, you cannot take them back.

The meeting concluded with a game, and the new rule of no phones allowed.  Some of the girls could not keep their hands off their phones for the 90 minutes we were together, so they will be put into a basket if they bring them next month.

Have you done the Cadette Amaze Journey? Do you have any helpful hints that you can share?

 


Activities to Celebrate Girl Scout Founder’s Day for All Levels of Scouts

Girl Scout Founder’s day is a very important Girl Scout holiday.  Here are activities for troops of all levels to do so they can participate in the celebration.

For Girl Scouts, there are two reasons to celebrate on October 31st. Besides Halloween, it is Girl Scouts Founder’s Day. On this day in 1860, Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts, was born in Savannah, Georgia. Juliette, whose nickname was Daisy, was born into a life of privilege.

By Edward Hughes (1832-1908), painter. (Daderot (I took this photograph)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Edward Hughes (1832-1908), painter. (Daderot (I took this photograph)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Throughout her life, Daisy had several challenges to overcome, among them being almost totally deaf.Daisy was married to William Low and moved to England, where he was from. Unfortunately, their union ended when William died during their divorce proceedings.

Feeling a sense of failure, Daisy wanted to find some purpose in her life. She was very good friends with Lord Robert Baden-Powell, who founded the Boy Scout movement. He encouraged her to participate in the Girl Guides, the sister organization of the Boy Scouts. Daisy loved helping the Girl Guides, which inspired her to bring the idea to America; she started the Girl Scout movement on March 12, 1912 in Savannah.

Save the Date

Because Girl Scout Founder’s Day is on Halloween, you won’t be meeting on that day, as your girls will be celebrating Halloween. Plan your activities on your meeting date closest to the 31st.

Girl Scout Founder’s Day Celebration Ideas for Daisies

Young Daisies are going to need a very hands on approach when celebrating Girl Scout Founder’s Day. You can read parts of Juliette’s biography to the girls as an introduction to who she is. You can also download pictures of Juliette Gordon Low from the internet and share the different parts of her life with the girls. Write a paragraph about her on the back to read to the girls. This would be a good time to discuss the concept of “long ago” and when girls were told that they could not do the same things as boys.

Daisy Bracelet Bead Craft

An easy and fun activity for Daisies is beading. Have them make blue and white bracelets that they can wear to every meeting. Precut and knot the elastic at home to save time. You can always make the elastic shorter if necessary.

Make sure you have bowls for the beads-enough for two girls to share a bowl. Bring a few extra precut elastic strips for those who might need a replacement. You can ask an older Girl Scout troop to help you with the celebration, so they can be a “Sister to Every Girl Scout”.

Girl Scout Founder's Day craft for Daisy Scouts
Beadery Bead Extravaganza Bead Box Kit, 19.75-Ounce, Pearl
White Elastic Cord 100yd - Medium
White Elastic Cord 100yd – Medium

 

Since it is Juliette’s birthday, cake is in order!

For a fun activity for little hands, have them ice and decorate cupcakes. Use flower cupcake liners, Daisy sprinkles and Daisy cake decorations to really tie in the Daisy theme! The icing can be blue and white. As leader, have a cupcake of your own and top with a candle. Sing “Happy Birthday” to Juliette Gordon Low! At the end of the meeting, ask the girls questions about Juliette’s life and see what they remember.

Daisy Cupcake Decorations

There is nothing more delightful than a bunch of little girls devouring cupcakes. Based on my own Girl Scout leaders experience, my troop always loves any badge that involves food or a special meeting when I bake a treat for them. It sets a festive tone. Fortunately for me, none of my girls have any food allergies, so I can bring in whatever I want. Before you bring in a treat, double check with parents and make sure this information is always in your leader binder.These flower power accents will be enjoyed by your Daisies!

Daisy Flowers Sprinkles/Quins
Daisy Flowers Sprinkles/Quins

 

Girl Scout Founder’s Day Celebration Ideas for Brownies

As Brownie Girl Scouts, your troop should be somewhat familiar with Juliette. A brief review of her life can be played as a trivia game. You can divide the girls into teams, and keep score of who gets the questions that you have written correct. Once the questions are finished, go over the answers together.This can lead into the following community service project, which will take up two meetings.

As leader, you will need to find a local organization that is in need of Halloween costumes for children who cannot afford them. Once that is in place, then the fun begins!At the first meeting, talk about how Juliette permitted anyone who wanted to be a Girl Scout to join. Religion, race, or how much money their parents earned could keep any girl out of scouting.

At Halloween time, which is Juliette’s birthday, there will be children who will not have a costume because their parents cannot afford one. Their service project will be to collect gently used costumes. Many people have old Halloween costumes sitting around in closets with no one to give them to. Brainstorm ways to go about doing this. Can they make flyers? Ask neighbors, family and friends? Can they get permission from the school principal to ask the school via announcements or ask their classmates?

Halloween Harvest Laser & Inkjet Printer Paper
Halloween Harvest Laser & Inkjet Printer Paper

Once the ideas are agreed upon, hand out white copy paper or Halloween themed paper for the girls to design a flyer. Talk about what information to include, like date they are due and when they can be picked up. The girls can then have their parents scan it for emails, print it for mailboxes, and to hand out to neighbors.Decide on a date to drop them off at your home.

On the day of the next meeting, have the girls deliver them to the organization. This will require prior field trip approval, so be sure to get that in order prior to this meeting. It makes a large impact on the girls when they see where their donations are going to be received.

Girl Scout Founder’s Day Celebration Ideas for Juniors and Older Scouts

For Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors, Girl Scout Founder’s Day should be service oriented. Whether they are helping a Daisy or Brownie troop with their meeting and service project, or creating one of their own, they can help make the world a better place.

One idea that spread nationwide in 2011 is Birthday in a Bag . Because many people cannot afford the basics, buying candles and pretty napkins for a birthday are an extravagance. Older Girl Scouts can collect the following items and put them in pretty gift bags or colored lunch bags:

Cake Mix

Ready to Use Frosting

Sprinkles

Foil Cake Pan

Birthday Candles

Pretty Napkins

You can ask local Dollar Stores for donations of gift bags and foil pans. Ask permission from grocery stores to have a donation box for the items you are seeking. The more advance notice you give, the more likely you will get approval for your service project.Older girls who have Facebook and Twitter accounts can ask their friends and family via social media with parental permission. Younger girls can put flyers in their neighborhood and ask friends and family to help.

Gift Wrap Bag Tissue Paper Multi Color 25 Sheets 20 x 20 Inch Made in USA
Gift Wrap Bag Tissue Paper Multi Color 25 Sheets 20 x 20 Inch Made in USA Makes the bags look pretty!

Girl Scout Founder’s Day is a great way for Girl Scouts of any age to celebrate the life of it’s founder, Juliette Gordon Low.

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Camping With Your Girl Scout Troop More Resources for Leaders

In my last post, I shared the history of Girl Scout camping and resources for leaders.  This second post is a continuation of the first and has additional ideas for leaders.


I wonder what this group of Girl Scouts brought with them on this trip?

By Unknown or not provided (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Unknown or not provided (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Camping Resources-Websites That Can Help You Get Organized

Camping Games and Songs for Girl Scouts

Being outdoors has so many layers of fun. Water activities, nature hikes, cooking outdoors and learning about the stars are just some of the things girls get to do when they go camping.

Other, non traditional games can also be played just for the fun of it! Glow sticks lend themselves to so many outdoor activities after the sun goes down, and girls just love them!

50 22″ Premium Glow Stick Necklaces Assorted Colors Glowsticks from Amazon

Sitting around the campfire, making s’mores and singing songs is also traditional. Download some of these classic camping songs for your girls to sing as they roast marshmallows and enjoy the memories they are creating together.

Girl Scouts Greatest Hits Vol 5, Camp Songs for Every Girl, Everywhere from Amazon

What resources do you use when you go Girl Scout camping?  What are you must haves?

Activities for Daisy Girl Scouts, Brownie Girl Scouts, Juniors, Cadettes and More!