“This was so much fun!”-My troop
In my previous blog post, I shared with you the specific Senior Girl Scout Mission Sisterhood resources I used to plan my troop’s Journey in a Day. While it is taking us two days, it really could have been done in one.
Here is a little background on the girls so you can understand why I am so pleased with how it all turned out.
My daughter and one of the girls have been the best of friends since kindergarten. They are very tight, and this young woman is one of the few remaining real friends my child has. Her mother, the troop’s head leader, is one of my dearest friends. These two are original members of the troop.
The other girl joined my troop in fifth grade and attended a different elementary and middle school. I have always liked her since she has such a genuine soul and says how exactly how she feels. No drama or pettiness from her at all-quite the opposite. My daughter and her friend have always gotten along with her, but unless it was Girl Scouts, they did not hang out.
While normally three girls makes drama, with this group, I knew it would not be the case. For example, my daughter told me that she had thought about a particular friendship object that close friend in the troop gave her years ago, but she did not want to make the third girl uncomfortable. That is not only being a sister to every Girl Scout, it was a parent win in my book.
Here is what we did.
Mission: Sisterhood Part One
Photo from Pixabay
I picked up both of the girls, who live nearby, since both of their parents were working. We sat in my family room and I talked about the purpose of the Journey. I then asked them what they thought “Sisterhood” meant .
There were different crafts in the leader guide and to be honest, I did not care for some of them and others I tweaked. I decided to have the girls paint river rocks and have them write positive messages on them. These were not going to be left in random places, but to be given to a friend in need when this person needs someone to tell her she cares.
Photo by Hannah Gold
Before the girls arrived I set out the paint and plates with rocks on them so they could get started.
Photo by Hannah Gold
I bought all of my craft supplies at Michael’s. These are the rocks I purchased.
Because the rocks would need more than one coat of paint, I had them start painting them as we chatted. We then talked about the different sisterhoods they each belonged to.
And then, something magical happened.
Much like car conversations when your teenager and you are looking forward, we had a great sideways conversation that covered so many of the talking points in the Journey. With heads bowed down while painting, the three girls really opened up. I interjected as needed to guide the conversation, but letting them talk about the issues they had faced with friends and how it made them feel was natural. No silly cheers or games were needed. I was able to skip some of the other planned discussions because they were covered during this time.
I am not sure if this would happen in a large group setting, but knowing that our troop has slimmed down to four, and only three were vested in the Journey, created a bond that took root at my kitchen table.
When they were done with painting, they took out their friendship objects and talked about them.
Mission: Sisterhood Part 2
Our Sisterhood Poster
I purchased a piece of posterboard and had a pile of magazines that I had not gotten to read. Now they were going to be put to good use!
- Glue Sticks
So we transitioned from individual projects to a group project.
Photos by Hannah Gold
Here is the finished project. It took about 20 minutes to complete.
Since we started at 10:00, we did not have a snack break because the girls got up later and had just eaten. I wanted to plow through as much as we could before lunch time.
Mission: Sisterhood Part Three
Now it was time to use the leader’s guide in the Know Thyself section. We did the Social Situations game on page 37 and talked a bit more about what girls valued in a friendship (page 38). The girls discussed their style of interacting and why they felt the way they did.
Mission: Sisterhood Part Four
Lunch and a Show
It was time to get ready for lunch. The guide book talks about making tacos.
My daughter does not like tacos.
Instead, we made homemade pizza. I bought ready-made dough, sauce and cheese. You can provide other toppings if you wish. It is the same concept as the tacos-put in what you want and how much. It is all different, but together, it is something fantastic!
While the pizza was cooking in the oven, it was time for the girls to watch a show about friendship. I was really stuck on this, as so many of today’s programs that are aimed at teens are way too mature, in my opinion. Others are just plain silly (think Disney Channel). While searching online, I discovered a lost gem…The Facts of Life! Over the years, the four main characters developed a special sisterhood bond with each other, as well as with the adults who were charged with their care.
I decided that during cooking and eating time, the girls would watch a two part episode from Season 2, when the character Jo is introduced. Jo is an outsider-a scholarship student from the city who has not had the advantages the other girls at Eastland have had. This two parter shows how the girls friendship, particularly the one between Blair and Jo, developed.
I did do a disclaimer with the girls about it being a show from my and their mothers’ time. No technology was available to get them out of trouble (or into it), and the clothing was dated. Otherwise, this show has stood the test of time.
I have Chromecast, so I was able to cast it on my television.
Here is Part 2.
After the show was over, we talked about it. Interestingly, the first few minutes talk about Mrs. Garrett’s weight loss and how that is the first thing the girls noticed and commented on. I shared how the four lead characters were called “The Fats of Life” while the show was on the air due to their weight gain and going through puberty while the show filming. These two things led to discussions about appearance and inner beauty versus outer beauty, two parts of the Journey.
Mission: Sisterhood Part Five
Here is another place that I diverted from the guide. The book calls for making different “Sisterhood Snacks”. I decided that since my child did not like any of the options, we would do a cookies in a jar snack.
- Cowboy Cookie Mix in a Jar Recipe
- Dry ingredients for the recipe
- Mason Jar
- Measuring utensils
- Printed recipe
Wash and dry the jar before using. Be sure to buy a large enough jar…I learned this the hard way. Ours was a bit too small, so I had to put the chocolate chips in a baggie, not in the jar.
Photo by Hannah Gold
Yes, I know the ribbon is not Pinterest pretty and the recipe tag is too large. Being an older, seasoned leader, I did not care. I did not have to “Wow” the other two moms, who are my friends. My energy is needed elsewhere.
Mission Sisterhood: Part Six
Friends and Our Health
The leader’s guide calls for the girls to do a healthy activity together. One of them is swimming, and since I have a pool, that was what they did. (Yes, I am a Certified First Aider). The girls were together for almost an hour-I could not get them out of the pool! After the first time I tried to get them out and failed, I gave them a task. They needed to come up with a sisterhood issue for the video they were creating. We talked about what they did and did not like from the ones they have viewed on YouTube and they worked together from there.
While I watched from the window, they were bonding and creating their new sisterhood!
After I dragged them out of the pool, I served them snacks as they dried off on the lounge chairs and started creating their project. They actually got some of it done, and if I had planned on this being a few hours longer, it could have been finished in a day. But I had a meeting to go to that night so extending it was not an option. I had planned for additional time the next day for it to be completed.
When it was time to bring the girls home, they all said, “This was so much fun! Who thought a Journey would be fun?”
Certainly, not me.
But keep in mind all the planning I had to do, all the shopping and preparation that was required to get this done. I can tell you that during my busy school year, this would not have happened. It is only thanks to the many other leaders who published their lessons online that I was able to put less time than I would have otherwise needed to accomplish a Girl Scout Journey in a day.
So I am sharing with all of you what we did and hope that it is helpful to you.
My next post will be about how the second and final meeting went.