Sunday, June 16, 2013

Daisy Scout Holiday Party

December 2012

Patches and Goals: Gather our Project Elf service project gifts and make gift bags and wrapping paper for the presents. Practice our Courage with some caroling. Have fun!

* * * * * * *

Arrival:                                    Gathering- Decorate Gift bags for project Elf
6:05                                        Daisy Circle- Daisy Promise
                                               Practice
                                               Prepare
6:15                                        Caroling
6:40                                        Eat- kids explain what they brought
7:00                                        Make Wrapping paper
7:20                                        Graham cracker gingerbread houses
7:40                                        Dance
8:00                                        Pick Up
* * * * * * *



A Note on the Political Correctness of the party:

We called this a “Holiday Party.” Truly, it was a Christmas Party. There wasn’t really anything religious about it, but we didn’t do anything to include other holidays either.  Seven of our eight girls are Christian. For my one Muslim girl, I asked her mom ahead of time if she wanted to talk about their traditions and bring a traditional dish from their culture to the party. She showed up with red and green cupcakes.

My co-leader and I worried and fretted about making sure this girl didn’t feel excluded.  We had favors and plates that only had snowmen on it and were very careful. Then this girl cheerfully showed up for the party head to toe in a Mrs. Clause outfit. She was the Christmasiest kid there. Turns out she loves Christmas and looks forward to celebrating it outside since they don’t at home. So, you never know.  I do recommend you ask any non-Christian families what they would like to do if you have a holiday party.

Gathering Activities

When the girls came in they brought their Project Elf Gifts and put them under the tree.  Our “adopted” family was a mom and a six year old girl (see meeting 5 for more details). Everyone had signed up for one gift for the little girl and most people also brought a gift card for a local grocery store for mom.

We encouraged the moms to have our girls pick out “stocking stuffers” for the both members of the adopted family. There was a lot of bath wash and toothbrushes, crayons and gloves, that sort of thing. I bought two stockings from the dollar store to stuff.  They were over flowing in the end.

My co-leader bought plain brown and white gift bags. We laid these out on the table with markers and after the girls came in and put down their gifts, they decorated the bags.

Most of the moms stayed for the party and some younger siblings went caroling with us. Everyone brought a holiday dish and the moms got those squared away while the girls decorated the bags.


Daisy Circle:

We skipped the Kapers for the party and just said the Promise quickly together. After that we talked about proper etiquette with caroling, safety (staying together etc) and practiced a song or two.


Caroling

Initially, we were going to “Carol for Cans,” where you ask for donations for a song. Ultimately, we decided that was too complicated and I’m glad we did. Only a few of the neighbors came to the door to let the girls sing to them.  It worked out fine, but looking back I can’t imagine asking for donations.

I had thought that the girls were going to be shy and it would be hard to get them to come out of their shell and sing (thus the Courageous tie-in). I don’t know if it was all the preparation they had for this or if they were just so excited to be at a party together but the girls took to this like ducks to water. You’d have thought they were trick or treating the way they ran from house to house, arguing about who got to ring the door bell.

As I said, we only got a few people to answer the door and let the girls sing, but those people were very nice and kind to the girls and he girls absolutely loved it.
Caroling fun


Food

We asked everyone to bring a dish that was traditional to their family for the holidays. What we got was mac and cheese, mini meatballs, risotto, fruit and a bunch of sweets. Not exactly the cultural tie in I was imagining, but everyone was happy with the food.  All in all, the girls came back from caroling starving, ate a ton and left us with clean up. Next year we’re being much stricter with the girls about cleaning up after themselves.


Wrapping Paper

This was a fun way to get the girls more involved with Project Elf.

Supplies
1. Roll of mural paper (butcher paper would work too)
2.  Foam stamps (and rubber if you have them, though foam works better)
3. Red, green and gold washable paint
4. Paper plates

We rolled out the mural paper on the tile flour and gave each girl a paper plate with their choice of paint.  They then went to town with the stamps.  After a little while,  they must of gotten bored with the stamps because they moved on the hand prints.  I thought that looked pretty great too so I let their creativity flow.
Project Elf Gifts.  Wrapping paper girls made is front and center and the bags they decorated toward the back


Graham Cracker Gingerbread houses

After washing up the girls moved on to an even more messy event, the building of Gingerbread Houses.  This was probably the highlight of the party.

Supplies

1.      Paper plates
2.      Lots of graham crackers
3.      White frosting (Royal would probably be best.  We just used tubs {not whipped}, easy for the girls to use and less work for the leaders).
4.      Pastry bags or gallon plastic bags (one for each girl)
5.      Lots of tiny candies or foods (we had each family bring a contribution)

Pre-party Prep

1.      Make a bag of frosting for each girl and put them in the fridge to stay cold. (Unless it’s royal icing then the fridge would make it too hard)  Them each having their own frosting bag not only helps the mess and the fighting, but cuts down the frustration.  It's much easier for them to manipulate a pastry bag then use a cup of frosting and spoon or knife. 

2.      Make a sample house.  Can’t help the girls if you don’t know how to build it yourself.  I simply, using frosting as mortar, connected the sides first (half a graham cracker for the ends and a whole for the sides and roof) and then made a roof and glued it on.  It worked very easily when I did it earlier in the day.    By the time it was the girls turn, it was very hot in the house, the frosting got warm, and the walls didn’t stick as well.  I wish I had kept the frosting in the fridge longer.

The girls turn

I want to be able to give you detailed steps the way a good OCD Girl Scout Leader should, but we didn't do this in a very organized way.  Basically, we handed out the plates, handed out the graham crackers, snipped the pastry bags, and told them to have at it.  I put my sample house in the middle and showed them how I connected the sides, but mostly they made their own creations.  I do think they enjoyed it more that way.  We put the decorations in dixie cups around the table. 

The girls laughed and joked the entire time, having a grand time, even when half the houses fell.  I guess that much sugar will do that to them.  A couple took to making Santa beards (on themselves) with the extra frosting.  It looked like fun so I didn’t stop them, just made them wash up after. 

An original Gingerbread house creation
One of the older girls made the awsome house in the front.  She was one of the only girls to accomplish the sloped roof.
The village of graham cracker houses before they started to collapse.

Full on carnage, some successful houses, some a pile of frosting and candy.  The girlls consoled themselves with the extra frosting


I think a lot of people would have assembled the houses first and the houses would have come out looking a lot prettier.  We, however, felt it was more fun this way, more educational (they had to be little engineers), and more of a self-esteem builder.  Even if it fell flat, the girls were proud of what they did.  



Dancing

After the houses the girls got to turn on music and just dance.  I’m sure the parents loved us.  Hyped them up on sugar, got them all wound up then sent them home.  The girls had a blast!

Closing Circle:

I honestly don’t think this happened, all I remember is sugar crazed munchkins running in circles.

Homework/Handouts:

No homework.  We had favors that included the caroling patch and a bunch of cute little Christmassy things.  Wish I’d taken a picture of them.  Who knew we’d have a blog and need pictures of that stuff.

patch




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