Monday, July 28, 2014

SWAPs Interlude IV

 Since no ones ready to plan for next year but Girl Scout Camp is in full swing, I'm going to take some time to post about our SWAPs.   The first is actually the SWAP our troop made for World Thinking Day in February and the second the one my 7 year-old daughter and I prepared for her day camp "Where in the World are the Girl Scouts."

These are both pretty simple SWAPs.  I've got some more elaborate ones to post about next week.

Tourist SWAP

This last February, our troop attended our first World Thinking Day.  We didn't feel ready to host a booth, so we attended as "tourists."  As such, instead of doing SWAPs that were from another country we designed SWAPs that were more generic, going with two themes, one a globe (world traveler) and one representing the United States (where our girls were traveling from).  

We made these in the morning during a camping trip and they were fairly simple.  They were designed so that the girls (6 & 7) could make them themselves and also so they could inject a little creativity into them.   I've learned quickly that the girls quickly tire of making identical SWAPs over and over and over.  (One attempt to make a "quick and simple" SWAP resulted in a Daisy with 50 eyes).  

Supplies for America SWAPs
1.  Red, white and blue pony beads
2.  Silver pipe cleaners
3.  Safety pins
4.  Black sharpie
5.  Red, white and blue cardstock cut into America shapes.  (I use cricut but you could also buy foam shapes)

The shapes are both found on the cricut cartridge "Going Places"

Supplies for Earth SWAPs
1.  Green and blue pony beads
2.  Blue or green pipe cleaners
3.  Safety pins
4.  Black sharpie
5.  Blue and green card stock cut into world maps  (I use cricut but you could also buy foam shapes)


I think this is fairly self explanatory from the picture, so I'm not going into it.  I just left out bowls of each supply.  They got to be creative with the pipecleaners  and the pony beads, any order they wanted, straight round, figure 8, whatever.

"Come  to Hawaii with me" SWAP

My daughter's first Girl Scout camp of the summer was themed "Where in the a World are the Girl Scouts?"  We were really busy the few weeks prior so we had to make them before we knew anything else other than it was travel themed.  I asked my 7 year old where she wants to travel most and she said she wanted to do a Hawaii SWAP.  

This SWAP is very similar to a lot of others on Pinterest (I'm not claiming any originality here) and to be honest that was the inspiration that my daughter and I agreed to.  Its a great idea and very easy for her to make (almost too easy, she got a little bored after awhile).  Also I already had the 2 inch square ziplock bags from last year, a dozen different colored sands from her birthday party, and the cricut shapes cut out from a Girl Scout project earlier in the year. 

There were two main differences that I could see from the other beach SWAPs I saw.  First we used colored sand art sand instead of beach sand.  More expensive, true, but prettier, cleaner, and more fun to make and swap.  My daughter made SWAPs in multiple colors.  Also I already owned the sand (btw sand art was a huge hit at the birthday party.  I definitely Recommend it for a backyard party.  Too messy for even me inside.)

Second, we taped the umbrella on the outside.  To get it to fit inside the bag, it would have to have been at least 2x3 inches (which I did not have) and even then the umbrella would have had to been cut pretty small.

1.  Two inch square zip lock bags (available on Amazon)
2.  Safety pins (also best bought in bulk on amazon)
3.  Colored Sand Art Sand (Available from Oriental trading)
4.  Mini shells (I got these from oriental trading too)
5.  Cocktail umbrellas with tips cut off (so not to poke anyone)
6.  Beach shapes (stickers or cricut shapes)
7.  Labels with message of your choice
8.  Scotch tape

Sand we bought.  They do have smaller packs.

Cricut cartridge I use for this project was "Pack Your Bags."

This is also fairly self explanatory so I'll be brief.  We had variety in the colors of the sand and the different shapes used.  
1.  Poor colored sand into bag using a small funnel
2.  Add shells and 1-2 beach shapes.  I had pre-cut cricut shapes from cricut.  I usually use the shadow cuts and almost never layer when making things for the kids to use.
3.  Seal bag and cut sharp tip from umbrella, taping it with scotch tape onto the side.  I would double tape it, since my daughter complained that some fell off in the swapping chaos.   
4. Pin on tag.

As I said, these are pretty easy-peasy.  I've got a couple more summer SWAP and craft projects to post about over the rest of the summer.  Then hopefully I can get the rest of year one in early fall.   Please let me know if there is anything you particularly like or want to see.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Camp Craft Interlude

Since it's summer camp time (and not planning for the year time) I'm going to post some Girl Scout camp related blogs over the rest of the summer.  My goal is to post something every Monday for as long as I can keep it up, so cross your fingers for me.

My co-leader and I both volunteered at Girl Scout Day Camps this summer.   I worked with rising first and second graders and created a Biffy Sniffer project for them to make (though I would recommend rising second grade and up in the future).  My co-leader worked with rising fifth and sixth graders and we created a Duct Tape bag Project for them (though my rising second grader was able to do a decent job with that as well.)

Fairy (and Butterfly) Biffy Sniffers

The story behind these Biffy Sniffers started with an idea from my Aides (Teen Staff) and ballooned out of control when my OCD took over.  For those of you who are new to Girl Scout Camping a Biffy is a latrine (Bathroom In the Woods For You).  A Biffy Sniffer, as I learned, is nice smelling object that the girls make to sniff in the latrine to cover it's smell (it gets pretty unpleasant as the week goes on).  

During our planning session in May my Teen Staff came up with many of our unit activities (Girl Led and all that) and the Biffy Sniffers were put on the schedule.  I knew nothing of them but I was in charge of all pre-camp buying so once I was home I did some research and found some cute ideas.  My units name was the "Fairies" so my imagination ran wild and came up with these.  

The butterflies were created as a simpler option and I will say for the age group I was working with the girls who made those had more success.  They were all able to make a fairy or butterfly, but the younger girls needed more help with ripping the duct tape and making the heads.   The girls really loved the project but it was high clean up.  I think I would recommend it as a Brownie or Junior project.

My sample Biffy Sniffers

I got the majority of these supplies at the dollar store.  The only expensive part of the project is the fancy duct tape, though you don't use much of it.  I recommend shopping around and not spending more than $3 for 10 yards for the fancy stuff.  The bright colored should be cheaper and you should be able to get blue, white, black and red really cheap in the hardware section.

1.  Cheap 6 pack of sweet drink like Kool-Aid Bursts
2.  Cotton balls
3.  Cheap scented oil
4.  Array of duct tape
5.  Nail
6.  Masking tape
7. Sharpies
8.  Googly eyes
9.  Pipe-cleaners
10.  Scissors
11.  Card stock (or foam) butterfly wings
12.  Scotch tape
13.  Self-adhesive jewels
14. Yarn

Scented oil from the dollar store.

1.  Clean out drink containers for body.

We worked on the "Using Resources Wisely" Petal with the younger girls so we gave them half frozen Kool-Aid Bursts on the first day and had them wash them out to make the bodies.  You should be able to get the Burst or some equally good imitation for 6/$1.  I froze them overnight then let them melt all day at camp.  Hint: Make sure your cooler isn't too good or the girls won't be able to drink them.  I opened my cooler up about 2 hours before drinking them.  

Cleaned out bottles.  They are easier to work with if you cut off the top.

2.  Soak (just to wet) cotton balls with the scented oil.  The girls were able to do this themselves after it was demonstrated.

3.  Add three wet cotton balls to the container.

Cotton balls inside

4.  Cover the bottle with duct tape.  The rising 2nd graders were able to do this entirely by themselves, even if it was a bit wrinkled.

5.  For the Fairy: Add one pattern of duct tape to the top and another for the bottom, then cap the bottle with another cotton ball and cover it with masking tape.

Cotton ball head

Draw on a face and glue then scotch tape on hair (the glue takes too long to dry and the girls will get frustrated).

6.  For the Butterfly:  Cover the bottle with one color tape, then fold a pipe-cleaner to form antennae and insert the folded part into the top of the bottle.  Then draw on face and glue on eyes.

Butterfly pre-face

7.  Using a nail to punch two holes on either side of the base to let out the smell.  You or a Teen helper should do this step.

Nail punched in to make a air vent.

8.  Meanwhile, the girls can decorate their wings with markers and jewels.

My butterflies were cut with my Cricut, but a simpler version could be done free hand.

9.  Glue (for permanence) then scotch tape (for immediate stability) the wings to the back of the bottle.

10.  Ta-da!  Finished Creation:

My Fairy (with ugly green shirt)

My butterfly

Butterfly made by a rising first grader

Bee created by my AIT (Aide in Training)

Duct Tape Bag

My co-leader decided she wanted to make duct  tape Personal First Aid Kit as part of a Junior badge.  It was her idea to use the quart-sized ziplock bags and braid the strap.  She brought me the supplies, then drank her coffee and chatted as she left me to put it all together.  (I think she's quite proud of how she got me to do all the actual crafting for her).

While she used the bags as Personal First Aid Kits, you can make them for any purpose.  I personally like them as SWAP bags.

The SWAP bag I made and used myself.

1.  Quart-sized zip-lock bag
2.  Array of duct tape
3.  Scissor
4.  Scotch tape

1. Starting with plastic bag, wrap it with strips of duct tape.

2.   Make sure to line the strip on top with the edge so it doesn't stick together (or carefully fold it over both edges).

3.  Seal the bottom with another strip of duct tape.

4.  Decorate as you wish with other duct tape patterns.

This cross represents First Aid

5.  For the handle lay out long strips of duct tape and fold inward by thirds to make a sealed tape ribbon.  Repeat twice more with two different tapes.

6.  Tape three strips together with scotch tape.

7.  Braid. Seal with Scotch tape on other end.  

8.  Draw a shape on duct tape and cut it out.

9.  Use tape shape to attach strap on left front, then repeat on back.

10. Finish!

Finished First Aid Bag

My seven year old thought the bag was cool and wanted to make one herself.  She made this one (below) entirely on her own.  The only part she struggled with was cutting the duct tape shape.   She gave up, found the orange flower you see in the picture among her craft supplies and used a glue gun (that was out for another project we were working on) to attach the straps.   The glue gun was her idea and she used it herself.  She now uses the bag to carry her journal around.  It makes a nice watertight seal.  She's very proud of it.