Activities for Girl Scout Week 2015

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The Girl Scouts of the USA is based on the Girl Guides that were in England at that time, a scouting activity for girls. After living in England for many years and trying to find a purpose in her life after the death of her husband, she helped in the Girl Guide organization and was encouraged by it’s founders to give it a go in the United States.

The only rule for Girl Scout Week is that it must fall during the period of March 12th. Otherwise, leaders are free to have their girls do whatever they want to celebrate.

Many churches and synagogues around the country hold a special service to honor Girl Scouts. The girls can earn a Sabbath or Shabbat patch for attending. It is also a time that the girls in a troop can share their faith with their sister scouts if they desire.

One way my troop shows it’s Girl Scout pride is to wear their vests to school for the entire week. We always offer our services to the teachers and staff at our school. Fortunately for us, our principal was a Girl Scout until she graduated high school and earned every award offered, so she is very supportive of our efforts in making the world a better place!

In March of 2012, for the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, we had a successful canned food drive in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts and collected over 2,000 cans and boxes of food for a local food pantry.

There is no shortage of ideas for you to use to celebrate Girl Scout Week with your troop. The only thing you need to do is plan ahead!

Why Should You Participate in Girl Scout Week?

My local Service Team has made a concerted effort over the past few years to get our Council’s Girl Scout troops involved in this celebration. Troops can choose to participate, and most do. Each troop makes a poster about why being a Girl Scout is a great thing. My troop has made posters that feature them on various trips and doing different activities.

In class, girl who want to share what their favorite part of scouting is.Since we do not sell cookies, the children in my troop share other things, like the service projects we do, the trips we have been on and the badges that we have earned.

Read About Juliette Gordon Low – A Biography for Younger Girls

Use sections of this children's biography of Juliette Gordon Low to teach young girls about the founder of the Girl Scouts.
Child’s biography from Amazon

Girl Scout Week is all about celebrating the founding of the Girl Scouts of America in 1912.  Without Juliette Gordon Low, there would be no Girl Scout organization!  This book has many photographs of  “Daisy” when she was a young girl, and can open up a great discussion about how girlhood was different back in the 1860’s.   It does not go into detail about her marital problems, just that her husband died.  Simple, easy to read and perfect for younger Girl Scouts!

Recognizing that we are a special group of girls with a common bond is one reason to celebrate. There are activities each child can do to highlight the importance of scouting and how it helps their local and global community.

Activities for Celebrating Girl Scout Week

There are scores of wonderful activities for all levels of Girl Scouts to do in celebration of this special week.

Week Long Chart of Activities

The Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois have a downloadable chart for you to send home with your girls. If the girls complete one activity a day, they can earn the Girl Scout Week patch.

Activities for Brownies and Juniors

The Girl Scout of Rhode Island have a list of activities that they created in honor the the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts last year. They still apply for this year!

Scouting Web

This is a chart of daily activities for girls to try.

Smart Cookies Movie for a Girl Scout Movie Party

Now that cookie season is finally over, you can enjoy yourselves and your newfound time that was lost during cookie selling season.

One way to reward your daughter or your troop as a whole is to host a Girl Scout movie night. Since this will be done off site (unless you meet at your home), you will need field trip permission forms.

A great movie that got terrific review is this one from Hallmark:

Although the plot can be a bit unrealistic in parts, the overall review of the movie is that it is great fun and teaches the girls important lessons.

Have you seen Smart Cookies?  What did you think?

Our Junior Meeting for Amuse Update

In my last post, I shared with you my plan to do the Junior Girl Scout Amuse Journey as quickly as possible so we can work on the Bronze Award.  My girls are stoked to do this big service project, and so am I.

I arrived at school a bit earlier than usual because I wanted everything set up so we could get started on time.  I took the sticky notes and placed them on two separate white boards that the Art Room has, so the girls would not be congested into one area and then bumps and accidents happen in their zealousness. After snack, we began our meeting.

Sticky notes for Flurry of Roles.
Sticky notes for Flurry of Roles.

I asked the girls a question… “When people think about Girl Scouts, what do they think of first?” They immediately replied “Cookies!” I told them, since we do not sell cookies, then that is a stereotype, and then I told them what that meant.  We talked about all the things Girl Scouts do, what we have done, that is not cookie related.

I then shared with the girls the different roles I play. Mother, writer, teacher, wife, volunteer, daughter, etc. and asked them to share some of theirs.

We then launched into the Flurry of Roles activity. I told them to pick two of them for themselves and one for another girl.  It went okay until two girls said that no one pinned anything on them  OY!  I  assigned a person to pin one on each girl and then we were done.  Maybe if you try this, you will have to assign girls to other girls or have them pull colors from a hat so each person is guaranteed a match up.

I put in more roles than we needed just so the girls would have a choice.
I put in more roles than we needed just so the girls would have a choice.

We followed the activity by sharing what they picked, why others picked the role for that girl, and why were the ones left over.

Using a shoe box, we played a quick game of Charades for the Take the Stage activity.  They had to use words for this or else it would have been too difficult.

Next we did page 12 and we talked about it together instead of doing it in small groups.  Some girls had a hard time finding a character they liked, so talking about it helped them find one or two they could use.

I skipped page 16-17 and went right to the paper doll craft.  The girls liked it very much.

My daughter premade these for each girl to save time. She also took the girls unsure of how to cut it aside to help them.  No one made a mistake!  I had extras just in case.
My daughter premade these for each girl to save time. She also took the girls unsure of how to cut it aside to help them. No one made a mistake! I had extras just in case.

Overall, the meeting went well and now I am looking forward to our next one.

If you want a copy of this booklet and want to run off the pages you will use,  go to  this link

and print what you need.

Today is Our First Junior Girl Scout Meeting of the Year!

I am very excited for our very first Junior Girl Scout meeting of the year.  It has been a long time since we have gotten together as a group, and I am looking forward to a very different kind of year.

First of all, we are adding two new girls to our troop.  One is a child who is my daughter’s friend and was in a different troop, but decided to transfer to ours.  Another is a girl who has been waiting to be placed in a troop for four years!  I would have gladly taken her had I known, as she is friends with the one girl who does not attend our school.

First on the schedule is introducing the new girl to all of us and welcoming the other girl to our troop.  Then we are going to have a little Welcome/Rededication ceremony.  I know that some troops like to invite parents to these things, but honestly, it will take about five minutes and then we are getting down to business.  I am using the ceremony called “I Am a Girl Scout” from the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey website.  You can find this ceremony as well as many others right here.

We ARE NOT using candles!  That is not safe and we are also in a school building.

Each girl will read a part and at the end, I will have a pinning ceremony to give five of my girls their Five Year pin.

Then we will talk about the Bronze Award and what it is,as well as the Journey.  We will be doing the Amuse Journey, and I will share it with you as we go along.

Last, I have this cute keychain craft for the girls to do.  My daughter helped me do all of the prep work.  This is how we did it:

I had pony beads at home, but not enough green ones, so I purchased those as well as cord. I cut the cord into 12 inch pieces, double knotted the end, and placed tape at the other end for easy lacing (just like a shoelace aglet).

I downloaded one of these and cut it out.
I downloaded one of these and cut it out.

I used green Jewish Star shaped foams that I had on hand and had my daughter trace a trefoil that I printed off the internet.  After she traced them, she cut them in a smaller shapes so the girls can finish cutting them tomorrow.  She then punched a hole in one end.  In Sharpie, the girls will write our troop number.

trefoil 2

I decided the pattern should be:

1 white bead

5 green beads

Girl Scout law colors

1 white bead

5 green beads

They will then tie the beaded cord to a clip that I bought at the craft store.

To make my life easier, I put all of the Girl Scout law beads in a piece of plastic wrap, taped it up, so each girl will have her own set.  My own personal Girl Scout craft kit!

This is how the keychain looks when completed.  I hope the girls want to put these on their backpacks!
This is how the keychain looks when completed. I hope the girls want to put these on their backpacks!

If time permits, I have elastic that the girls can bead and make Junior bracelets.

I will let you know how it goes!

For other first meeting ideas, here is my post about last year’s first Junior meeting!

Our First Junior Girl Scout Meeting!

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Yesterday I had my first Junior Girl Scout meeting with my troop.  I only have seven girls registered-I have not heard from the mother of my eighth girl who bridged with us in May.

For prep work, I created a worksheet that was divided into three sections:

  • One for “Badges I Want to Earn”
  • One for “Field Trips I Want to Go On
  • One for Community Service Projects

Here is a lesson plan for your very first Junior Girl Scout meeting.

Photo from Pixabay

My first goal for the meeting was to make this as girl-led as possible.

Our band of seven has been together since kindergarten.  We are a school based troop, and four of the girls started with me in kindergarten Daisies, two started as first grade Daisies and one joined us in second grade for Brownies.  Because we are a small school with very few girls in the grade, our girls have had a few ups and downs.  As a seasoned parent (my older daughter is 17 and a high school senior), I have “been there, done that” with girls this age.

My second goal was to prevent any of the things I saw happen at the end of last year.

After meeting the girls in front of the Main Office in our school building, we sat in front of the Art Room to have our snack.  I baked my favorite five ingredient cookie recipe and added some green food coloring and swirled it into the batter.

When snack was over, we went into the Art room and I told them that I was leading the opening of the meeting for the last time.

My co-leader and I sat down with the girls at our large rectangular table and I started our “business meeting”.  I did the following activity which I got off the internet…I wish I could link it but I did not bookmark it.

Crumpled paper anti-bullying idea for girls to do at a Girl Scout meeting. Have the child write her name on a piece of paper and then crumple it up. Have the girls throw them at each other and then pick one up. Ask them to smooth it out. They cannot. Lesson learned-you cannot undo the things you say and do. Be careful with your words and actions.

Photo from Pixabay

I emphasized out sisterhood and then had them draw their name in marker any way they wanted on a piece of paper and decorate it. Then I had them crumple it up and do a “snowball fight”.  CAUTION-Make sure your girls are far apart before they throw-one girl got knocked in the face. (She was fine).

I had the girls randomly pick up a piece of paper, open it, and try to smooth it out.

Of course, it could not be done.

I told them that it was the same with words.  You can say “I’m sorry” but the damage has been done.  This kind of behavior would not be permitted at our meetings.  That is why they signed the “Code of Conduct” paper. As a teacher and as a woman who volunteers a lot of her time to her troop, I will not have any nonsense.  They are all too old for this and I put too much time and effort to have any of them spoil it for the others.

We went back to business and they went to the blue section of the Junior Badge Book.  They had to pick three badges they wanted to earn.  They did the same thing in the teal section, which is about fitness.

The only fail was having them select a community service project.  What they want to do is more Bronze Award kind of work, and we are not there yet.  They have grand ideas!

I made the executive decision to select our first service project. Since I have figure out all of the logistics, I still need to be in control of this part for now.

When it was time to go, I had a great surprise.  A mini van pulled up to mine in the parking lot.  It was one of the girls who left my troop last March.  I had told her mom she could come back any time, and I guess the excitement of the other girls and all of their chatter made her ready to join us again!  I was so excited!

I have yet to look over the papers the girls filled out. and I will let you know what the results are in another post.

How did your first meeting of the year go?  Please share your Girl Scout meeting ideas for Juniors!