Monday, August 25, 2014

Planting Party: Meeting Fourteen

Our Planting Party was quite the endeavor.  The goal was to get 5 six year-olds and 3 seven year-olds to plant a 11x14 foot garden without trampling anything.  That led to me down the rabbit hole until I decided I needed to give them each one-on-one attention while they were planting.  Thankfully, that morphed into the slightly more reasonable, if still elaborate schedule you see below.

We had two additional moms helping that day as well as my 
 next door neighbor, a Girl Scout Junior, and my husband on the grill.  I had one mom doing the rabbit garden and garden game and the other mom and the Junior Girl Scout manning the craft table.  I was in the big garden covered with dirt the entire time while my co-leader kept time and moved from station to station making sure everything ran smoothly.  Incredibly, it did.

Daisy Scout Meeting Fourteen

Planting Party!
First Week in May

Goals and Badges:

At the beginning of the meeting, we finished up the Honey Bee Award and had a simple ceremony to give it out.  We learned another song for the end of the year show and added Honey the Honey Bee and Clover from "Using Resources Wisely" to our garden posters.  Then we planted our Vegetable Garden for our Amazing Daisy Award and made Mother's Day gifts.

Patch set with Honey Bee and Amazing Daisy Awards.


Arrival - 4:05            Honey bee craft

               4:05-4:15    Circle: Promise, Songs, Hello in Dutch and Persian
               4:15-4:25    Honey bee Song
               4:25-4:30   Honey bee Ceremony

               4:30-4:50   Dinner

                                        Group A                 Group B                       Group C              Group  D    

              4:50-5:10    Plant in garden   Rabbit garden          Crafts                  Crafts
              5:10-5:30    Rabbit garden     Plant in garden        Crafts                  Crafts

              5:30-5:40   Break for drink and cleaning up

              5:40-6:00   Crafts                Crafts                          Plant in garden   Rabbit garden
              6:00-6:20   Crafts                Crafts                          Rabbit garden     Plant in garden

              6:20-home   Ice Cream and closing


1. Clover in Garden
2. Paint Suncatchers
3. Decorate Boxes


Email I sent out about the Planting Party:

Friday’s meeting is going to be a big undertaking.  Here are somethings to help it run smoothly:

1. Drop off your daughter at 4 at the front door (we’ll be starting the meeting upstairs) and pick them up in the backyard at 6:30.

2. I’m planning on A___ and J____’s help. Anyone else planning on staying, let me know (so I can make sure you have a job ).
3. Dress- Bring their vest, we’ll be giving out honey bees in the first part of the meeting, but otherwise dress in old clothes that can get dirty. I recommend old jeans, because they protect your knees in the dirt. If they want to wear shorts warn them their knees will get dirty. I also strongly recommend crocks if they have them, but otherwise just make sure whatever they have can get muddy.
4. Bring an extra set of clothes in case they get really dirty and wet.
5. Bring kids gardening gloves if you have them (I have three pairs, I really only need one more).
6. Please bring the food item you signed up for.  If your kid doesn't like what’s on the list, feel free to have them bring something they will eat.
7. Please bring a box the size of a large shoe box.
8. Also bring the “Using Resources Wisely" Worksheet, but they don’t need their journey book.


For the gathering we had the girls' Garden Posters set out for them to add Honey the Honey Bee.   I laid out an example and the supplies and the girls were able to make them without further instruction.

My Honey the Honey Bee

Supplies for Honey
1. Yellow pom-poms
2. Black pom-poms (ours were sparkly) 
3.  Black pipe-cleaners cut to 2.5 inch lengths
4.  Googly eyes
5.  Wings cut from white cardstock
6.  Black and gray sharpies
7.  Elmer's type glue

One of the girl's Honey

For the girls who finished too quickly, I had red sequins and black sharpies to make ladybugs.

Poster with red sequin ladybugs

Daisy Circle

We gathered the girls around the Daisy Circle and recited the Girl Scout Promise, then sang several of the songs we had learned over the year.  After they had settled a bit, we (as per the handbook) said hello in Dutch and Persian.  These languages are supposed to represent the countries Tula the Tulip originate from.  I like to use Omniglot on my iPad to model for the girls so I don't butcher the pronunciation.  Also it's more fun.  The girls found it very funny how not different the Dutch "Hallo" is.

After, we went over what the rest of the afternoon's schedule and broke the girls into pairs.  My co-leader and I spent a good amount of time prior to the meeting choosing the groups.  We wanted the pairs to get along, but we also wanted the girls to be with buddies they wouldn't normally choose to foster friendships outside their comfort zone.    

Honey Bee Ceremony

For the Honey Bee Award ceremony we put on "Flight of the Bumble Bee" and had the kids pretend to be bees flying about.  Then we called them over one by one so I could Badge Magic the bee onto their garden patch.

We didn't have a cd of "Flight of the Bumble Bee" and didn't want to spend $0.99 on it on iTunes so we used a YouTube site like this one:

YouTube "Flight on the Bumble Bee"

Baby Bumble Bee Song

After the ceremony, my co-leader ran off the join my husband and the other moms to get dinner ready while I took the girls out back where there were plenty of dandelions to pick.  I don't know about you, but when I was a girl we always sang "Baby Bumblebee" with a freshly plucked dandelion.   

Now, I know this song doesn't exactly embody the nature loving ideals we're trying to impart, but its catchy, fun, and quickly became the girls' favorite.  Also, I've noticed that most of the Girl Scout Camp Songs are at least this morbid, so... Yeah.  

If you don't know this song from childhood, in the first verse the girls hold the flower in their cupped palms.  In the second, she smushes it violently between two hands.  In the third, she pretends to lick it up.  In the fourth, she clutches her stomach and pretends to vomit (everyone's favorite part).  And in the fifth, they sweep it up.  When we do this my daughter always points out that is the only verse where mommy would actually be proud.

Teaching the girls the "Baby Bumble Bee" Song

Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee 

I'm bringing home my baby bumble bee
Won't my Mommy be so proud of me
I'm bringing home my baby bumble bee -
OUCH!! It stung me!!

I'm squishin' up my baby bumble bee
Won't my Mommy be so proud of me
I'm squishin' up my baby bumble bee -
EW!! What a mess!!

I'm lickin' up my baby bumble bee
Won't my Mommy be so proud of me
I'm lickin' up my baby bumble bee -
ICK!! I feel sick!!

I'm throwin' up my baby bumble bee
Won't my Mommy be so proud of me
I'm throwin' up my baby bumble bee -
OH!! Another mess!!

I'm Cleanin' up my baby bumble bee
Won't my Mommy be so proud of me
I'm cleanin' up my baby bumble bee -
Bye-Bye baby bumble bee!!


We had a sign-up for dinner items on shutterfly.  If I remember correctly we had hot dogs, baked beans, corn on the cob, watermelon, chips, and lemonade.   This is pretty standard fare for us.   All our girls eat hot dogs.   We had ice cream sandwiches as a carrot for being good at the end of the meeting. 

Planting in The Big Garden

I planted the big garden with the girls.   I had measured everything out and put popsicle sticks where each vegetable would be planted earlier in the day.  This may seem like overkill but I've learned to make a "garden map" for all my vegetable gardens, the only difference for this one was that I had it laminated and drew in the veggies because most of the girls couldn't read yet.


I divided the map into four strips so each girl got to plant different types of plants.  We added pea and bean seeds to the ones we had planted two weeks prior since you can plant a lot of those close together and they grow fast.  The carrots were also planted from seeds.  Once the plants were in the ground I had peat moss for the girls to sprinkle on the. Then they look turns watering.

The first planters.  Peat moss in the pink bucket.

Popsicle sticks marked where to plant

Tomato plants are in the  back since they get huge.

Next group of girls with the hose.  (No we don't plant organic. 
 I'm addicted to Miracle grow).

Rabbit Garden and Game

A rabbit garden, for those of you who don't know, is a garden that's not protected by a fence or anything else and is expressly planted so that the rabbits and other critters can eat their fill.  Hopefully, this means they'll leave your main garden alone.  It's a very eco-friendly version of pest control.  Unfortunately, it's no match for a really good fence, but its a nice idea.  Ours is out by the edge of the woods, far behind the house, whereas the main garden is directly adjacent to the house where the deer at least are too nervous to wander.

We had four square raised beds for the girls to plant and a whole bag of different kinds of seeds.  When one of our girls was asked, "Do you know why we're planting a rabbit garden?"  She answered, "Because we can't all fit in the big garden at the same time."  While she wasn't wrong, the rabbit garden also let the girls choose whatever they wanted to plant and however they wanted to plant it (as opposed to my very organized main garden).

Since I was too busy to observe what happened there I'm just going to give you the OCD instructions I left for the mom in charge of this activity.  (She said she appreciated the detail and didn't think I was a crazy micromanaging lunatic at all. Really.)

Rabbit Garden
  1. Talk to them about why you have a rabbit garden.  It’s a natural form of pest control.  Feed the rabbits and they won’t be as hungry to try and get in OUR garden.  We like the rabbits and want to keep them though we don’t want them eating our vegetables.
  2. Have each group pick a square for them to plant and show them the seeds.  Then as a team they should discuss how they want to plant it.  Will it all be one type of seed, do they want to do several different types.  Do they want to do it in rows or scatted, etc. 
  3. Once the two of them can agree on what they want to do with their team square give them the seeds they need and a shovel each and let them go to town.  They can do it any way they want as long as they stay in their square.
  4. Once they’re done they will need to carry the watering can to the hose, fill it up and water the seeds.

Our four raised beds.  My Dad made them from scraps.

Planting seeds.

The second activity in this station was a game straight out of the Daisy Garden Journey Handbook.   We modified it only slightly to fit our needs.  I filled the bag with different types of rocks, branches, leaves and pinecones.

From the handbook.

Nature in a Bag Game
  1. We’ll give you a draw string bag with a handful of “natural” objects.  The girls should take turns reaching into the bag without looking and trying to name the objects. 
  2. Once they’ve both had a chance to feel all the objects dump them out to see how they’ve done.
  3. Let the girls search around to find a new and different object to add to the game for the next group of girls.  If they find more then one they like, ask them to pick the one they like best.
Gold Coins
I’ll also give you gold coins to give the girls after the whistle blows if they behave well.  Feel free to not give it if they don’t listen.


The craft group was actually two groups combined together.  We put up a large folding table and chairs in the yard.  I had boxes set up with all the supplies for each of the crafts as well as my OCD directions for the moms.  

The girls working of their Garden Posters outside.

Our garden posters were almost done at this point, only two flowers left including this one.  We had just done "Using Resources Wisely" on a field trip two weeks before and used this time to add Clover.

My Clover

A Girl's Clover

Supplies for Clover
1.  Multiple width petals cut from white cardstock. (Sorry, I can't remember where I got that shape).
2.  Multiple small clover leaves cut from green cardstock. (I used a picture of a real clover as a template).
3.  Green pipe-cleaners cut into one long and two short pieces.
4.  Googly eyes.
5.  Stapler.
6.  Elmer's type glue.
7.  Red and/or pink sharpies.

Directions given to mom in charge:

Projects: (I would make them stay together and clean up one project completely before moving on to the next.)

Clover Flower for Gardens
1. Hand out the gardens, a zip lock bag with all the flower pieces, and a glue bottle.
2. Pass around the picture of real clover, remind them that Clover “Uses Resources Wisely.”
3. The girls will whine, “I don’t have any more room.” Tell them they do have room and use my garden as a guide. Tell them flowers like to be close together.
4. The girls should glue down their pipe-cleaner stems. You will need to go around and staple the stems to the poster-board to re-enforce them. 
5. For the flower head, I recommend taking one of the larger white petal shapes and gluing shapes behind it to make it look layered. Then glue the completed head to the top of the stem. It doesn’t matter, though. If they don’t want to do it that way, just show them mine and let them do it however they want. 
6. Have them use the small green circles to make three and four leaf clover leaves
7. Glue on the eyes and use sharpies to draw on mouths.
8. If some girls finish way before others you can let them put on more ladybugs with the red sequin.


Our second craft project didn't have anything to do with our Journey or Petals except maybe that I was able to get flower shaped wind chimes and garden stakes to paint. For the most part, however, it was just fun, easy, and good as Mother's Day presents.  

I got all the supplies from Oriental Trading:

Wind Chimes 

This is the Paint I bought, though unless you make 
lots of suncatchers I wouldn't buy this much.  

Garden Stakes 

Palettes I highly recommend.

If you get the above, the only other things you need is paper plates (if you don't have palettes), cups for water, and paint brushes.   Here were my instructions for the mom in charge:

Sun Catchers
1. Give them each a paper plate and have them write their name on it.
2. Each girl gets one bug suncatcher for the garden and one mobile suncatcher (the second in a mother’s day gift so remind them to not let their mom’s know.  No surprise for you, sorry :S)
3. Have them go to the hose and carefully fill up a water cup.
4. They get one pallet and can chose 6 colors and only six colors, they can squeeze it themselves if they don’t overflow and waste it (tell them if they start to mix colors and make a mess they won’t get any more because the paint is expensive).
5. Let them paint and create and lovely peace. (ahh 5 minutes of calm)
6. They can each choose one additional sun catcher if they want and you aren't running short on time.
7. Put the sun catchers on the plate to dry so I know whose is whose and have the girls wash out the paint supplies with the hose.


I think only one group got to the "planters," but it really didnt matter.  This last craft involved using craft supplies I already had lying around to decorate the shoe boxes the girls had brought.  

Directions for moms:  
1. Each girl should have brought a box to use to as a “planter” to bring home extra plants.
2. They can use construction paper, markers, crayons, and stickers to decorate their box.
3. Make sure they put their name on the side.

Wrap up

After our stations, we asked the girls to help us clean up.  When they were done, everyone got ice cream sandwiches and got to play in the yard until their parents came to pick them up.  At that point, everyone got 6-8 plants to put in their "planter" and take home.

Tomatoes right before planting

Peppers ready to plant

Afterward: Harvest

We started harvesting the vegtables the last week in June.  My husband and daughter made our first drop off at the food bank.  Starting in July, each girl signed up for a week where she came over and helped us pick vegetables.  Each family was responsible for the delivery of these vegetables to the food pantry that week.  

Not every food bank takes fresh vegetables.  Ours was a 30 minute drive.  They are out there so if you want to do this project, and I so completely recommend it, its worth the effort to find one that does.  The girls loved it, the food bank was very appreciative, and the parents felt good about it.  All in all I found it extremely satisfying.

Peas from the first harvest

Picking beans

The first harvest: beans, lettuce, and squash


Picking a pepper.

Harvesting from the mid-summer garden


Mid-summer harvest: cucumber, peppers, beans, tomatoes

Tomato and pepper plants

The garden late-summer

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SWAPs Interlude VII

Ok, so this is the final SWAPs post of the summer, I promise.  Then I have the rest of Daisy Year One written, it just needs to be edited, so I hope to keep posting every Monday at least through the first year bridging.  Then I'm going to try and do some Journey Reviews before starting year two (and honestly, I can't imagine I'll get to year two until next summer).

Anyway, these SWAPs are from our last camp and they are all for the adult volunteers.  Yes, I came up with and made SWAPs for my husband and Co-leader because they were not going to do it themselves.  As usual, my co-leader was very proud that she can get me to do her crafting for her and my husband was both appreciative and couldn't careless in turns with a bit of reluctant indulgence of my insanity mixed in.

Lobster SWAPs

This is what I came up with for my husband, aka "Dr. Lobster."  They are actually pretty quick SWAPs, if you excuse for the drying time.

1.  Red Tempera Paint
2.  Dixie cup
3.  Small twist shells
4.  Red pipe-cleaners
5.  Scissors
6.  Googly eyes
7.  Low heat hot glue gun
8.  Safety pins
9.  Tags with whatever you want printed on them

1.  Drop several shells at a time into a half inch of red paint.  (The hand you see is my daughter.  She gladly helped with this.  Thought it was the most fun ever).

2.  Let dry several hours or overnight.

3.  Cut pipe-cleaner into 2 inch lengths.

4.  Bend length in half, then roll in end to make to tiny "claws."

5.  Using hot glue, attach the dried shell to the center.

6.  Glue on googly eyes.  I used elmers because I had the time and it looks cleaner, but you can use hot glue for faster results.

7.  Fold Tags and pin to the claws.  Tada!!! 

Firefly SWAP

My Co-leaders camp name is "Firefly" and we've been talking about a possible firefly SWAP for a year.  In the end, however, she lost interest, I got fixated on my "vision," and this is what I came up with (all on my own).  

I loved how they turned out (though part of me still feels they need legs).  They could be done by girls but I think I'd stick to Juniors and older.

 Finished swarm of fireflies

1.  A variety of gold beads (I got this box from Michael's $7.99 before coupon)

2.  Glow-in-the-dark paint
3.  Small paint brush
4.  Low heat hot glue gun (I got glue on my fingers a lot during this one so low heat is important.  It's still uncomfortable, but causes no real damage.)
5.  Googly Eyes
6.  Gold Pipe-cleaners
7.  Gold Florist Wire
8.  Scissors or wire cutters
9.  Safety pins
10.  Tags with whatever you want printed on them

1.  Hot glue smaller/ shorter beads together.

2.  Paint the ends of a variety of beads with glow-in- the- dark paint and let dry.

3.  Use glue gun to attach googly eyes on the other end of beads. (Elmers didn't work for me on this one).  

4.  Cut and twist the florist wire into an antenna.  Bend end where antenna are joined to make shelf to glue to bead.

5.  Use glue gun to glue antenna "shelf" on bead, hold for ten seconds to set.  Add a dollop of glue on top if seems unstable.

6.  Cut gold pipe-cleaner, wrap around your finger and twist ends together to make two wings each.  Each pipecleaner will make 4-5 wings.

7.  Hot glue wings on either side of bead.

8.  Allow a minute to dry then bend wings out.

9.  Pin tag onto wing

For flat beads put eyes on the flat, wide surface, otherwise it looks really bizarre.  My co-leader laughed for a half hour over one fat little dude.

Eyes on flat side

Fat Dude my co-leader found so funny.  I also tried red faces on the first
 batch before deciding it was too much work and I didn't like the look.

10.  Don't forget to remind the girls you give these out to to check them out in the dark (if it's a day camp).  They do actually glow in the dark! Sorry I couldn't get them to photograph in the dark.

For extra fun, carry your SWAPs in a jar like real fireflies.  :)

Mermaid Shrinky Dink SWAP

And these were my SWAPs.  They are very like my Fairy SWAPs, so this will just be a quick tutorial in pictures.  :)

Mermaid Shrinky Dink

Thread embroidery floss

Add Beads

Hot Glue Shell on back of bead

Thread more beads and a small shell bead

Add safety pin and double knot

And Done!  Camp SWAPs are finished.  Hurrah!  Next week we start the last couple of meetings of the first year!