Friday, May 31, 2013

Fall Nut and Magazine Sales 2012





Fall Nut and Magazine Sales 2012
Late September – Late October

We also did Fall Sales this last year, even though we were a new troop, even though we had to do it the first month in to a brand new troop … because well, we’re absolutely nuts (pun intended).  We were planning on doing it very casually and making it optional (which it was, technically) but somehow the crazy made us one of the top sellers in our service unit.  (Though to be fair not a lot of troops do fall sales so that wasn’t hard). 

I do recommend doing Fall Sales, though, with certain modifications.  If it hadn’t been for Fall Sales there is a lot we couldn’t have done.  As it was, we were flat broke by the time we finally got our cookie money and that was with getting $300 in fall sales. 

We are in the Council of the National Capital, so some of this may not apply if you aren’t.  I am incredibly curious as to how other councils work, so please leave a comment about how your council works if you’ve done a different fall sales. Ours was pretty complicated, maybe another reason why no one does it.

Also, for transparency sake, I am posting this now because my OCD is not allowing me to move on to November meetings until I do.




What we did, what we would do again and what we wouldn’t :

1.    Optional?

From the beginning we told the families that Fall Sales was absolutely optional.  And it was.  Technically.  However, we were so enthusiastic (read OCD) about the whole thing the moms maybe kinda coulda felt a little pressured.

We made it seem like all the girls getting the patches was a big deal, so no one would feel left out.  In our defense, we were genuinely worried about the feelings of the girls who got fewer patches.  Now, looking at my daughters' 2/3 full vest back and wondering where I’m going to fit next years' patches, I realize it’s not really a big deal.  I would not push that this coming year.  Some girls and some moms will want all the patches and some won’t care.  But it won’t come from me.

This year I’m planning on giving the parents three options from day one:
a.  No, I don’t want to participate in fall sales at all.
b.  Yes, I want to participate fully and want my daughter to try for the goals we set (which will probably be what’s necessary for the minimum patches, but really set by the girls participating)
c.  “Buy Out”-option to donate instead- ie. last year each girl brought in an average of $35 in profit. The moms could donate that or another amount.  This would give the moms an option so they don’t feel guilty about not doing it and that the other mom’s don’t feel resentful.

I think we had a mom or two who participated purely out of guilt and I think option 3 would give them a nice out.  Though I’d say at least half of the troop moms were as gung-ho as I was and totally enthused.

2.      We kept it in the family

The girls did not go door to door.  They were encouraged to personally ask family members and help with coming up with a list of email addresses and typing them up to send to family.  One or two of the moms who were completely comfortable and very enthusiastic brought the sheet to work. 

I would keep this the same.

3.      QSP internet program

For those of you who might not know, this is the program where you enter emails of friends and family members. They then order magazines from the girls over the internet with their credit cards (which is kinda awesome actually).  There is also a “Nut Promise” part where they can buy the candy and nuts but you are responsible for delivery of those.

What I liked- Obviously, this was crazy convenient.  Also, I was surprised how many people bought using this.  I thought for sure the troop would sell candy and not much else.  My plan, personally, was to let my kids each pick out a kids magazine to get the 2 magazines we needed for the patch that way (which I did and will do again), but then everyone in my extended family bought at least one magazine.  And the magazines cost more so the troop made a lot of money on this.

What I didn’t like-  Magazines had to be bought within a month to count toward troop proceeds, so I put the emails in right away.  I would NOT do this again.  Turns out that QSP sends out a reminder every week.  I found these reminders extremely annoying.  Next year, I plan (and will encourage the rest of the troop) to put in the emails maximum two weeks (or 13 days) prior to the deadline, so no on gets more then one reminder.

4.      Magazine Booklets

The booklets are packets where you (or the girls really) fill out ten addresses, write a cute note to “granny” and the troop gets $2 for each book turned in.  Easy way to earn money and get the girls involved right?  We thought so, now I’m not so sure.

The kicker is that the $2 is all you get.  So nothing your family buys goes to the troop.  And they get two separate mailings.  I don’t know, but looking back it doesn’t seem worth it, not the work, because that was minimal, but the bother to the people we were mailing it to.  Also, now it feels a little exploitive of the girls.  I don’t think I’ll do the books again.

5.      Candy and Nut Sales

The stars of the Candy and Nut Sales are the ones with the tins.  The tins are really, really nice.  The mailbox one from last year the troop uses all the time.  It was our money box for cookie sales.  They are ideal for holiday gifts for teachers, coaches, dance teachers, Sunday school teachers, admin assistants, etc.  If everyone in the troop just bought their own for this purpose you’d make a decent profit.

6.      We chose no incentives

The deal for our counsel was the troop got 10% of sales, an extra 5% if you did no incentives, and another 2% if you made the goal of $125/per participating girl (so if someone sells one nut you were better off them not participating at all because it brings down your average). 

We went round and round about this and whether to get the incentives (they get the patches regardless).  In the end, my co-leader and myself decide 5% was a lot of money when most of the girls would just get a snap bracelet.  I would probably choose this option again, but next year we’ll probably let the participating girls choose (girl led and all).

7.      Made the girls help

It’s so easy to have this be a parent endeavor at this age.  We made a point to ask the girls to help with the emails, write up the booklets and ask grandma personally.  There are also computer games they can play to learn about the items. I want them even more involved in the fall.

8.      Going for the Patches

Patches were as follows:

Flamingo: 2 Magazine items- Super easy to do.  All my girls got this patch.

Wave: Booklet- easy to get, but may not be worth it for you.  Is a good way to have the younger girls help. 7/8 got this

Sun: 12 Email Addresses- Fully recommend doing this with the above restrictions.  7/8 got this.

Beach: 10 nut items – This was harder to achieve.  It’s a good goal but if they don’t get it it’s no big deal.  5/8 got this.

Goal Achiever: $125 combined sales.  This was surprisingly easy.  If you met the magazine and nut minimum goals you were already there or close to.  One girl made it with magazines alone (some of the magazines are expensive).  6/8 got this

  


Product Reviews (Mostly my humble opinion ;)

Magazines:  Just be aware that it may take a few months to start getting them.

Candy and Nuts:

1.      Chocolate Covered Pretzels in Tin- I didn’t try these, because I don’t like chocolate covered pretzels.  The tin, however was adorable and very good quality.

2.      Carmel Treasures in Mailbox Tin- Tasty candy, individually wrapped so I put some in with other gifts from my daughter to family members for Christmas.  She loved the chocolate caramels.  And, as I said, before I use this tin all the time.  It’s great.

3.      Whole Cashews- My in-laws got these and put them out for Thanksgiving.  They were delicious.  The sea salt must have really helped.

4.      Pistachios- good.  Pistachios.

5.      Wasabi Almonds-  I didn’t try these.

6.      Blueberry Pomegranate Nut Crunch- I was really excited about these, but in the end found it bland.  It was a filling snack though.

7.      Chocolate Covered Raisins- I didn’t try these.

8.      Cranberry Nut Mix - I didn’t try these.

9.      Peanut Butter Bears – Very cute, bigger then Reeses,’ not nearly as good.

10.   Deluxe Pecan Clusters - Delicious.  My favorite candy.

11.  Chocolate Covered Peanuts- I didn’t try these

12.  Gummi Berries- These were my daughter’s favorites.  They were fine.  They taste more like a softer Dot candy then a gummy bear

13.  Dark Chocolate Mint Penguins- Also very cute, but the fact that there are still some of these in my top cabinet says something.

14.  Honey Roasted Peanuts- I didn’t try these.

15.  Hot Cajun Crunch- Nope didn’t try these either (can you tell I have a sweet tooth).


So in summery, I would do fall sales again, but I would:

1.      Try to dial it back a notch. (If I can.  Damn you OCD!  Damn you!!). 

2.      Give the parents a “buy out" option.

3.      Get the girls participating more involved in decisions.

4.      Send out emails later.

5.      Probably not send out booklets at all.

6.      Buy tin candy for gifts.

7.      Hit up close family members only.


The full set of patches




 
Hope this helps.  I’d love other people insights on this or comments on how other counsels work.

Monday, May 27, 2013

First Field Trip - Fall Festival


First Field Trip- Fall Festival
Last week on October 2012

 
First Field Trip: Fall Festival

3:50        Meet in Parking Lot and give out bracelets, find buddies

4:00        Enter Park

4:05        Daisy Promise in circle and all around

4:10       Nature hunt, ABC, and gathering

4:25        Crafts

4:40        S’mores

4:55        Head to Hayride

5:00        Hayride (garden animals)

5:30        Slides

5:50        Gather for circle, give out patches, ask to be honest all week, remind about homework, sing Daisy song

6:00        Pick up
 

For our First Field Trip we went to a local “Fall Festival.”  There are a ton of these in our area.  It’s huge.  We chose not to do the most popular one with all the awesome attractions, but instead went to a quiet place with lots of woods and nature to explore and pick your own pumpkins.  There were a few things that I was able to tie in with the Garden Journey.

Looking back now, it was one of our least educational and most expensive field strips ($9/person.  The girls were paid out of dues.  This was a significant chunk so early in the year).  But it was a lot of fun and a nice, comfortable way to ease the girls into field trips.
 

Recommendations for 1st ever field trip
(To ensure they’ll come again)

  1. Make sure it’s close to home.  We didn’t even have to car pool, which was great because that can be anxiety provoking for parents until they get to know you).
  2. Invite all the parents to come if they’d like (we invited siblings at the group rate as well).
  3. It’s gotta be fun, so the girls want to go again.  I wouldn’t bring them anywhere where they really have to be quiet this first time (unless your girls are much older).
  4. Make sure the moms know ahead of time what they are doing and exactly what their job was.  (This we didn’t do until much later in the year.  We learned the hard way).
  5. If one of the girls has older girl scout sisters, have them come along and ask them to bring their song book for down times.  (Life saver for waiting)


Don’t get me wrong.  This experience was far from perfect.  The girls had trouble staying with their buddies and in some cases accepting their buddies.  Girl’s acting different because their moms were three and often clung too much.  I was overly ambitious with crafts and I wouldn’t do them at all on the first trip if I had it to do again.

Overall,I felt scattered and overwhelmed during much of the trip and exhausted but satisfied at the end.  All the girls left with smiles on their faces.  Need to keep reminding the OCD that that’s all that matters.

 

Daisy Circle

We did this formally this first time with the promise.  Can’t say I remember a time that we did it again during a field trip.  Normally now it’s, “Make sure you have all your stuff, grab your buddies hand and line up.” 

Nature Hunt and ABCs

This is straight out of the Leaders Guide to the Garden Journey page 47.  Had the girls run through a wooded area and burn of energy while looking for things that started with the first letter of the alphabet.  I think we only got about half- two-thirds of the way through the alphabet, but that was fine.  Biggest problem was probably that the girls were shyer with their moms there and less likely to call out answers, waiting for the moms to help them.

Also I’m sure this game would go better in the spring or summer when there are more options.  The fall was pretty though.

We also had the girls gather leaves, seeds and other natural things from the ground for the craft project.  The two things at once were probably too much.  Next time, I’d do one then the other or just pick one.



Craft Projects
We had two (yeah, first mistake)

  1. Simple wreathe.  Paper plate with a hole cut in the middle, Elmer’s glue, and anything the girls found on the ground that they wanted to glue on.  Then as they were winding down, bring out a little glitter and they were excited again.   
    We should have just stuck with this.

  1. Acorn necklace:  I saw this on the internet and just had to try it.  It was a disaster.  Way too small and delicate for this age group.  Honestly, I couldn’t even make one that looked right.  I don’t think I’d do it again.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Cute, but never again
 









S’Mores

          
The place we were had a nice fire pit that allowed the girls to try out s’mores for the first time.  They enjoyed it, even if many of the girls ate them deconstructed. 

 
Hayride and Pumpkin Patch and Free Time

While waiting for the hayride my co-leader’s cadette daughter came in handy leading the girls in rousing call-and-response songs. 

On the hayride I asked the girls to make the sounds of the different animals they saw (there are cardboard cutouts around the farm).  This was modified from something I read in the leader’s guide, though at the moment I can’t figure out what.  But they really liked doing it and trying to be the first one to call out the sound. 

After the pumpkin picking the girls were allowed to go play on the slides and playground equipment as long as an adult was within sight at all time.  This was probably their favorite part and there was no way they could have done anything structured at this point anyway.



Closing Circle

Again, we didn’t do this often, but it worked well here.  We reminded the girls about their homework and gave out goodie bags that included their fun patch and some Halloween treats.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Daisy Scout Meeting Three


Daisy Scout Meeting Three
Third week in October 2012


Goal & Badges:        
We finished earning the Promise Center and began working toward the “Honest and Fair” petal.


OCD Itinerary:  (This is what we actually used for the meeting.  BTW I don’t keep to the actual times, but it helps my tendency to overbook and go over)
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Arrival:      Gathering- Girls do Page 11 (picture of family) of Daisy Garden Book and if finished do page 26 (draw what’s hidden in the garden)

4:05            Daisy Circle-
                   Girl Scout Promise
                   ‘Round the Daisy Circle with “members of the family”

4:10            Water the Team Garden and hand out Garden patches

4:15            Go get treasure box

4:20            Back in circle distribute bracelets and read Daisy Garden book pages 46-55, have girls point to flowers on bracelet as go around

                   Show law and explain next activity.

4:30            Count off by 2s “fairly” and divide into two groups
                   4 girls go to living room to do Promise
                   4 girls go to craft room to do Lupe activity.

4:45            Switch

5:00            Divide snack “fairly”

5:05            Read Lupe story and eat

5:15            Play “Lying Game”

5:20            Act out Lupe story with masks

5:30            Final Daisy Song in Circle
                   Remind girls to be honest and fair
                   Remind about field trip next week.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Gathering

Journey Books-

The plan here was to have the girls work on pages 11 and 26 of their journey books, but many (of course the ones that showed up first) had worked ahead.  Those girls finished everything they could do in the book for the first three chapters and then I gave them construction paper to color with until everyone showed up.



Page 11
Daisy Circle
          Leaders read the promise, we went around the circle and the girls talked about their families (page 11 of book).  Then we watered the garden with the spray bottle and we handed out the Garden Patches (mostly because we forgot at the end of the last meeting).  We pinned them on with safety pins.  I don’t recommend this.  It takes too long.


Note on patch distribution: After this we distributed most of our patches by giving them out at the end with the take home packet, which include homework, any permission slips or info for their parents, and a small zip lock bag with the patches they had earned.  When we got to adding the little pieces (watering can, bee and daisy) I reapplied Badge Magic, (which is a heavy duty double sided sticker) then was able to peel off the back and put it on the girls’ Garden background pretty quickly during our ceremonies.

My co-leader swears by Badge Magic, and never irons on a patch.  Other moms find the stuff way too expensive.  I think it’s worth it for small and oddly shaped patches, as well as patches that aren’t iron-on.



Treasure
            At this point we had the girls put on their shoes and run to the back yard to retrieve their treasure.  Earlier that day I had filled it with these bracelets:




How to make Bracelets:
(These cannot be made by Daisies.  They are either gifts made by adults or something older girls can make, perhaps as gifts for Daisies).

            Supplies:

      1.      Leather bracelets with snap.  I got these in a bag of 8 at Michael’s.  Fabric would        
            probably be even easier and cheaper if you can sew, but not as durable.
      2.      Felt flowers in every daisy petal color (we hid these in the treasure box two weeks
            before)
      3.      Gold seed beads
      4.      Gold embroidery floss
      5.      Heavy duty needles

I sewed the flowers on the leather in my down time (ha!) between the two meetings.  Basically it’s up through the center, through the bead and back through the hole you made.  If I had a leather puncher it would have probably been much easier.  I could see girls as young as eight doing it under those circumstances.  But with the heavy leather, at least 10 years old.

At this point, the girls came back to the Daisy Circle and distributed the bracelets and helped them put them on as my co-leader rewarded some more in the Garden Journey (I wouldn’t say my idea to have the girls point to the colors as we talked about the flowers worked very well).

Then we showed the girls the Girl Scout Law again and explained that we were going to start working on “Honest and Fair.”  Then we divided the girls in two groups to work in small groups.  We used counting off by “2s” as an example of being fair.

Note of Splitting Up Group:  This worked great and we split the group in half probably every meeting, with my co-leader and I being in charge of different activities.  It basically worked like “mini-stations.”  We did this with anything that would probably be complicated.


Promise Center

We didn’t want to give the Promise Center away without the girls actually knowing the Girl Scout Promise.  So, we had half the girls go with my co-leader and her Cadette older daughter into another room to go over the promise and practice saying it.  They didn’t have to recite it perfectly, but they had to know if with prompting. 

To get them to do this fairly boring task we bribed them with candy corn.  No, we have no shame.  And nothing is boring if it includes candy.  I wonder if Juliette Gordon Low would approve?  Oh well.

The Daisy Garden Craft Project

This project is my baby.  It probably wasn’t necessary, but I really loved it.  The girls enjoyed it as well and are very proud of the finished product.



 My "Sample" Garden Completed


Basically, each girl was given a blank “garden” at the beginning of the year and with every petal we did, the girls added the corresponding flower friend made out of paper and other craft materials, until in May we finally had 10 flowers.  I also tried to do different craft techniques in the different flowers to practice skills and inspire their art work.  We plan to hang them up in an art gallery for our final celebration in two weeks.


Supplies to start the garden:

 1.       A piece of light green poster board for each girl
 2.       A good stapler that opens
 3.       Paper stock in various colors (I recommend investing in a large pack of various colored paper stock.  If you try to use construction paper there won’t be enough shades and it will turn out muddied.  You should be able to get a 100 piece 8x10 value pack for $10.  Most craft stores will have a %50 coupon as well.)
4.      Value pack of multiple shades of green pipe cleaners
5.      Value pack of googly eyes (I like the ¼” ones best).
6.      Sharpies in red, pink, black, green and blue (yes, they stain, but they look so much better and the girls adore them.)
7.      One bottle of Elmer’s type glue per girl (cheap stuff you get at back o school time in fine)

Lupe Prep (you can do mini-baggies with the supplies for each girl or you can divide it out at meeting time.  I did it different ways with different flowers.  Since this was a “fair” unit I put pieces in the center and had the girls divide it among themselves.)

For each Girl (be sure to have extra):

                        1.      5 face petals in various shades of light blue card stock
Template I took off the internet for Lupe's Face
                           2.       One long, one short green pipe cleaner
                           3.      Light blue and medium blue tissue paper cut into small squares (try to use leftovers
                            from birthday presents.  If you don’t have any another mom might.)
                           4.      4 green leaves out of green cardstock
                           5.      Elmer’s type glue

                   To share/for you: 

                   1.      Pictures of real Lupine Flowers
                   2.      a stapler
                   3.      lack, red, and pink sharpies or markers (if you’re a wuss) to share

Photos off of Google Images I used
 






Lupe Steps:
            1.    Pass around pictures of Lupine and remind girls she stands for being “honest and fair.” 
            Show them the Lupe you made.  (It’s best if you only do one at a time so they don’t get
            distracted).

            2.      Have girls glue stems first, then go around and staple down the stems.  They will never
            stay with glue alone, but having them glue it first puts it where they want it.

            3.      Then have the girls layer the Lupe petals of the face and glue them on top. 

            4.      Have them crumple up the tissue paper and glue it along the stem for the smaller
            flowers, then add the leaves. 

            5.      Finally they can use the Sharpies to draw in mouths and glasses


Close up on my Lupe

***Remember, the girls flowers don’t have to look anything like yours.  After showing them yours, encourage them to do theirs any way they like.  This is art after all.  Resist the OCD urge to correct them and everyone will have more fun. ***



One of the Girls Finished Gardens


Snack & Story time

            For snack this time we made a point of having the girls sit around the food and give suggestions on how to divide it up fairly (we ask the moms not to send in individually packaged snacks and to have it be at least some what healthy.) 

            Once snack was distributed we read the Lupe story.  We always have a short discussion using the questions at the back of the story. 



Lying Game


            For this game the girls got in a circle and I brought out a stuffed animal.  Then we passed the animal around the circle, each person adding a lie.  I think it was a stuffed dog.  So I’d saw this is a pig and the next girl would say this is a yellow pig, and the next girl would say this is a huge yellow pig, etc.  The idea is that it gets really hard to remember the lies.

            Then you do it again only telling the truth and it’s supposed to be much easier.  Unfortunately, the girls were tired at this point and very wiggly so it didn’t work out just right.  If I did it again with girls this young, I’d do it in smaller groups.


Act out Lupe Story:

            As suggested in the book, we had the girls act out the Lupe story.  It went fine but they didn’t like it as much as I thought they would.  The only hit was the girls who got to play the birds.  We slowly got to the point where we stopped using the activity suggestions at the end of the stories.


Closing Circle: same



Take Home:

Homework- Lupe Worksheet

I created worksheets using the coloring pages on the Girl Scout website. http://forgirls.girlscouts.org/print-play-color-me-daisy/ Basically I typed up the I____ have been _____and ____ this week when I 1._________2. _______3. ______.  Then I cut out the flower and glued it onto and made photo copies.

We gave these out after we introduced each petal.  This reminded the girls (and the parents) to reinforce the ideas at home.  I really wanted to get the most from the character building part of this. 




That being said, the girls got their petal even if they didn’t bring their homework.  I reminded them in an email before each meeting, but we never gave them a hard time forgetting it.  (Except my co-leader.  If she forgot it, I always gave her a very hard time :D )

If I had it to do over

            I would skip the Garden reading all together and do the Lupe reading and the snack earlier.  I would also do the lying game in smaller groups.


The girls received today:

 Promise Center



The background Garden to their Garden Journey patch set.

 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Daisy Scout Meeting Two


Second Meeting
First week in October 90 minutes


Goal/ Badges Working on: This week we were working on both introducing the Journey and getting their Garden base Patch. Also, we worked on learning the Daisy Promise and the Promise Center. 

 
Our general method was to introduce a concept the girls were learning for a patch or petal in one session and having them work on it between sessions at home.  We would continue to cover the material at the beginning of the next session and then get the patch at the end of the second session.  We’d often have field trips that reinforced the concept too. 

So, yeah, we got through 10 petals, but the girls really got the concepts.  They aren’t learning building character if you do a quick craft and a game about fairness and give them a badge they don’t understand.


Gathering

Journey Books-

I had all the girls brand new books (nothing more exciting than a brand new book) laid out at the girls’ seats with their names on them and several sets of colored pencils My girls prefer colored pencils to crayons and markers it seems.  3-4 set of 12 colors worked perfectly for us.  Ask for donations at the beginning of the year or buy the store brand super cheep at back to school time.

We let the girls look at the books and color in pages 8 & 9, until everyone arrived.  They didn’t come close to finishing.  Let them know they can do it at home or next time. 
Page 8 and 9 of Garden Journey book finished

Opening Ceremony (about 15 minutes)

(Now that I know more about girl scouts I would call this an Investiture and would even give the girls a patch for this.)


Set up:

            I had all the girls’ freshly ironed vests hanging behind me
            A step stool in the middle of the room
            The girls were sitting to the side
            My husband with a camera in the front
            Parents had been invited to stay through this part.


Ceremony:

I called up the girls one by one by reading the name on the inside of their vest.  I highly recommend putting their initials on the tag.  They will wind up in a pile on the floor at some point.

After I helped the girls into their vest, they climbed onto the stool facing the audience.  I said… “I now present Daisy Scout _____.”  And everyone clapped. 

Repeat.

Very simple, but very cute.  The girls and parents loved it, without it getting so complicated that the girls lost interest.  The end is a great opportunity for a Troop picture.  The parents then left the meeting.

Daisy Circle (15 minutes total)

                       1.      “Here we go `round the Daisy Circle…”

Girls said their names and two things they like doing (Straight from page 9    of the Journey book).

                        2.      Reviewed the Daisy Scout Promise

At this point we read the promise then went through it slowly, asking questions about what honor and promise meant.  Then we talked about what country we were in and asked them to point to the place on their uniform that showed it (flag).  Then we discussed (briefly) helping each other and that we were going to do a project where we helped each other.  Then we briefly read the law

(Note on Discussions with Daisies: After 5 minutes things rapidly fall apart and after 10 they don’t hear a work you’re saying, especially after school.  I recommend getting them up and changing activities often to keep them focused and engaged.)

Daisy Promise Craft (15 minutes)

This is a craft I’ve seen all over the internet.  We did make it a little more hands on (no pun intended ugh) for the girls.  Instead of using pre-cut hand shapes as most do we had the girls trace and cut their own.  This was difficult for their age, but good for their fine motor and much more satisfying, even if they aren’t as perfect looking as the other version.



My "Sample" Project


My the 5 year-olds version of the Project, still up on the window.

Supplies:

1. Cream, tan and brown paper cut in half.  (I had to use cardstock because I couldn’t find flesh colored construction paper)

            2. Pencils (one every two girls)

            3. Glue sticks (one per girl)

            4. Girl Scout Promise, precut (at least one per girl)

            5. Construction Paper in various colors

            6.  Glitter pens, stickers and anything else to make it their own.

            7.  Kids scissors (one per girl)



Template used for the Promise in GS sign


            Steps:

           1.      Show the girls the finished product and how to make the Girl Scout sign with their hands. Have them practice it.

           2.      Divide girls into pairs and have them pick out two sheets of hand colored paper.

           3.      The girls need to “help” each other by tracing their partners hands

           4.      Each girl then cuts out their own hand print. You’ll see who has good fine motor skills real quick.  Some will be great and some awful, but resist the urge to do it for them.

           5.      Let them pick out a piece of construction paper as the background.  Hand out the promises and let them glue it on. 

           6.      Have them glue on the hands and make them into the Girl Scout Sign.  They may need help, especially if it’s really badly cut.

           7.      Have the girls write their name and decorate their paper.  This will give the faster girls something to do while the slower girls catch up.


BTW:  My OCD is not the kind of OCD where I need all the girls’ projects to be perfect.  Quite the opposite.  I strongly believe that all kids’ art project should be 100% their own.  Who wants an art project that looks like an adult did it?  Do you think that helps the kids’ self-esteem, creativity, independence…?  No I think a disastrous art project is so much cuter then the one done by their parent.  End of rant.   (Though just in case you were wondering I always make a sample for the girls to look at and, yes, that has to be perfect.  :)) 



Snack Story time (30 minutes)

1.      The girls gathered again on our parachute where we do circle time while one of us read the first Chapter in the Journey book, “Only Little Daisy Shining in the Sun,” pages 17-19.

2.      At the end of the very short first chapter the three Garden Girls, Cora, Campbell, and Chandra, lie down and fall asleep.  So we had the girls lie down and pretend to be asleep at the end.

3.      While their eyes were closed we delivered each one a drink box and a snack (Have the moms sign up and each take a turn to bring them). After “waking up” the girls ate their snacks while we read the second chapter, “A Smiling Bee and A Special Key.” Pages 23-30.  (A friend of ours said not to have a snack because it’s too distracting.  Quite the opposite; we found snack time is the only time they sit still.  Pass out the snacks then sit and read the books.  Unfortunately, the Journey books are no Dr. Seuss.  They aren’t super engaging or well written and lack any kind of conflict at all.)

4.      In this chapter the girls find a treasure box containing a letter and a key.  After the chapter was over we showed them a treasure box that was empty and told them they needed to “hunt for the treasure.”
The treasure box we used.  It usually holds my co-leaders hair stuff

5.      In the front yard, I had hidden zip lock bags each containing felt (paper or foam would have worked as well) 10 flowers cut from one of the petal colors.  10 bags total.
 Felt flowers we used.  At one point I had one for every color.  About the size of a quarter.

6.      Each girl was told to find one bag (we secretly scooped up the extra two).

7.      When they were done they were told to go to each girl and trade flowers until they each had one of each color (team building).

8.     We then had the girls put all the bags in the treasure chest and gave the box to one of the girls (not a leader’s daughter) and told them that we were going to hide it in the back yard.  (The girls ran like crazy people- you’ve never seen happier girls in your life).   They were shown an area with a lot of dried leaves and allowed to hide it any where they wanted.

9.      We then sat them in the grass and my co-leader read them Chapter 3, while I set up the mini-garden. (Can’t say they focused really well on this chapter.  It was probably too much, but don’t know where else I would have moved it and had it read either.) 


Mini Garden (10 minutes)

            I already mentioned that instead of lettuce and basil we decided to plant some easy-to-grow flowers from the story.  I also thought that having a mini-garden that stayed at my house would be great for my daughter, but not so much for the other girls.  It was a team project, after all.  So we put it in a clear plastic storage bin, 18” L x10” W x 6” H (it needs to be light enough to carry) with a clip top.  We had every family sign up for 2 week chunks where the girls took the garden home and cared for it themselves. 

I kept the garden home until it had some good sprouts and then every girl had a chance to take it home.  They were really excited about it.  You just need to tell the parents to keep the garden in a warm, sunny place and keep the soil moist, but not soaked (there is no drainage). 


We did have one family who seemed to forget about the garden around later January and it came back bone dry.  Everything died and I had to replant.  We told the girls the truth and we talked about why it died and what plants need.  They regrew and in May I planted the flowers in my back yard.  They are all very proud.

Supplies:

  1. Clear plastic bin
  2. Seed starting potting mix
  3. Large plastic cup for scooping
  4. Large spray bottle with water (so girls don’t over water.  This goes home with the garden).
  5. Seeds 

Steps:

  1. Girls sit in circle around the bin and take turns scooping potting soil into bin (I would pre-moisten this; we also warned moms they might me getting dirty).
  2. After bin was full, girls take turns planting seeds.  Each was allowed only one hole.  They were told to stick their finger in to their knuckle then sprinkle in 2-3 seeds.
  3. Girls went around one last time spraying from the spray bottle

Our Mini-garden in early March (second try).  Zinnias, Marigold and Daisies.


Closing Circle: Girls joined hands and sang Daisy song one last time before leaving.



Take Home:

Homework- to go over the Girl Scout Promise at home (in book, page 15)



Addendum:  As requested

"The Garden Girls"  From Right to Left: Cora, Campbell, and Chandra