Tag: Brownie Girl Scouts

Leader Appreciation Week

VolunteerhaveHeartLast week was leader (volunteer) appreciation week. I am the leader of a Brownie Girl Scout Troop – that I often refer to as my Brilliant Brownies. I love my troop, they are a great group of girls but I must be honest in saying that many times this year I have contemplated quitting. So, leader appreciation week weighed heavy on my heart.

In addition to some added responsiblities in my life this year. I have the thoughts that probably run through most leaders minds: “I can’t keep up this pace”, “I have no idea what to plan”, “Didn’t we just have a meeting?”, “Am I giving them what they need to benefit from this badge?” or “Will the girls be inspired by this?”. But, for every time I think any of those doubting thoughts or get to feeling exhausted, I am rewarded ten fold by these amazing girls. I am often awestruck by their understanding of what is important in life and their social awareness. Each and every one of them is inspiring and holds something special something that I can learn from.

If I had to explain each of my 10 Brilliant Brownies the words would be: outspoken and energetic, humble and sweet, shy and curious, talkative and kind, outgoing with a sunny disposition, determined and headstrong, a giving heart and a team player, playful and sensitive, talented and ambitious, consistent smile and an easy-going personality.

During the week, I was treated to some very kind words and gifts from the Mom’s of my troop but what stood out was a card given to me by one of my Brownies. Her beautiful words made me tear up. At a time when I was feeling defeated, her words brought me joy and strength.

The truth of the matter is – as much as the girls might think I am leading or inspiring them, it is actually I that am being led and inspired by them. Outside of my faith, family and wonderful friends –  volunteering for Girl Scouts has made one of the biggest impacts on my life. I am blessed to be in the presence of these incredible girls and look forward to the challenge for years to come.

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Home Scientist Badge

I’m a little behind in updating my last Girl Scout meeting. I should be preparing for my next meeting but instead here I am writing about the last one. 

Home Scienctist badgeThis meeting was a Halloween celebration, so the girls came dressed in costume. Last year we had a straight out Halloween party ( while earning the Girl Scout Way Badge), so this year I decided to try to get most of our Home Scientist badge requirements done. Since We  already completed Step 1 – Emulsion last year by making salad dressing, I focused on steps 2, 3 & 4.

I was very excited about this meeting, not only was it our Halloween celebration but it was the end of National Chemistry Week and we would be working on our Home Scientist Badge. There is no way to meeting could go wrong. Right!?!

As my Brownies arrived they first had to share their costumes with each other (very cute) then they created foam pumpkin faces for their pre-meeting activity. From there, we quickly transitioned into our experiments.

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Here are the steps we covered 

  • Step # 2-Create Static Electricity– Bend water with a comb

  • Step #3-Dive into Density–Skittles Experiment 

  • Step #4 -Make something bubble up–Halloween Shakes 

Bending Water – I gave each Brownie her own comb, some of girls where able to create the static electricity needed to bend water while other obviously had some great conditioner in their hair, not all of my Brownies were able to bend water but I encouraged them to go home and try rubbing their comb on a clean sock for about 30 seconds and try it again. The following is the procure and why it (should) work.

1. Turn on the faucet and slowly turn down the water until you have a VERY thin stream of water flowing.
2. Take the plastic comb and brush it through your hair ten times.
3. Now slowly bring the comb close the flowing water, (without actually touching the water) If all goes well, the stream of water should bend towards the comb!

What makes it work? When you brushed that comb through your hair, tiny parts of the atoms in your hair, called ELECTRONS, collected on the comb. These electrons have a NEGATIVE charge. Remember that, its important. Now that the comb has a negative charge, it is attracted to things that have a POSITIVE charge. It is similar to the way some magnets are attracted to certain metals.

When you bring the negatively charged comb near the faucet it is attracted to the POSITIVE force of the water. The attraction is strong enough to actually pull the water towards the comb as it is flowing! If you want to try another experiment with your comb, tear up pieces of tissue until they are as a small as you can get them…I mean really small! Then charge your comb again by brushing it through your hair, and bring it close to the tiny pieces of tissue. If the pieces are small enough they will jump off the table to the comb the same way that the water was pulled to the comb.It is all thanks to the wonders of static electricity.

Skittles Procedure – All of my Brownies loved this experiment. It quick and easy. Easy way to have fun with leftover Halloween candy. 

1. Put about 1 cup of very warm water into each of three small bowls.

2. Add 3 red Skittles in one bowl, 3 blue Skittles in another and 3 yellow ones in a third. You can also choose any other colors of Skittles (or M&M’s) except for brown.

3. After about a minute, what has happened to the ‘S’ or ‘m’ letters? What other observations can you make about the water in each bowl?

What makes it work?

The letters on the M&M or Skittles candy do not dissolve in water and are adhered to the candy with an edible glue that dissolves in warm water. Since the letters are less dense than water, the letters peel off and float as the rest of the candy shell dissolves. The colored dyes of the candies will color the water

Halloween Shakes – We made Creamsicle Floats (Orange Soda with vanilla ice cream),  of course they loved them, more important then the taste though was that it was a fun explainion of chemical reactions. The colors are also very Halloween.

What makes it work? 

Soda contains CO2. Over time the gaseous CO2 comes to the surface. The ice cream increases the rate of this CO2 from the soda causing increased fizzing (bubbles). This increased rate is a result of the solvation of ice cream particles in the liquid. The particles serve as nucleation sites for the growth of gas bubbles. The bubbles get large quiet fast thus you observe fizzing.

 

After our experiments we made Halloween cupcakes. Complete with all the sprinkles, bat wings, candy corn and imagations the cupcakes could handle.

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At the end of the meeting we handed out their past meeting projects: art from their painting badge outing, pottery from their Potter badge outing and badge bags with their earned badges.

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I always freak out a little before meetings but as always, my Brownies seemed happy with their meeting (or maybe it was the sugar). I had fun with the home based science experiments and I had the perfect opportunity to live out Chemistry week at home (I had to try things out before the meeting – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).

We still have our last step to complete before earning this badge. Step #5 – “Play with Science”, so maybe we can make some silly putty or slime at our next meeting.

I am so proud of this group of girls, they’ve really bonded and it’s fun watching them grow.

Until next time, Happy Scouting!

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Girl Scout Brownie Meeting – Painting Badge

paintingBadgeOne of the badges I’ve wanted to tackle for my troop is the Painting Badge but I’ve been putting it off for a while. My Brownies voted on this badge last year. I’ve had my ideas/plan all written out for this badge but I  knew that the supplies needed to earn this badge take a toll on the budget pretty quickly. also the meeting place we had really wasn’t an ideal place to paint at (not to mention the clean up involved).

Well thank goodness for a new art studio that just rolled into town, the Palette Station. They have absolutely saved me when its comes to this badge.

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This art studio is very different from other art studios in town. This is a drop -in art studio, with no commitments to scheduled art classes, you use their art supplies, get assistance from an artist, draw, paint, or color whatever is inspiring to you and they clean it all up, for just $10.00 an hour, per person.

I was pretty excited to hear about this studio, not only for my girls but for my Troop. I quickly setup an appointment with the Owner, Ray, he was so accommodating.  I called him told what I needed to accomplish and set up an appointment to talk with him and visit the studio.

When I walked in the following day, I found an inviting and bright location filled with inspiration. He was so prepared when I arrived for our appointment, he already had all the requirements and a game plan for my troop.

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When my troop arrived, the Palette Station staff had prepared a beautiful welcome sign for my Brownie Troop (that I will proudly display and use through the year for other troop events). My Brownies where obviously as excited as I was. The Pallette Station staff had arranged three separate areas set up and ready to go.

Girl Scouts – Legacy Painting badge requirements: 

1. GET INSPIRED: Learn more about the paintings you like and the artists who painted them.

2. PAINT THE REAL WORLD: Painting what’s around you is the first step to becoming an artist. Pick one choice and try to painting something from the real world.

3. PAINT A MOOD: Some painters create “abstract” art. They don’t paint objects or people. They use shapes, lines, and colors to paint a feeling or mood.  Pretend you are an artist who is trying to paint an emotion. Paint what you think one of these moods would look like.  Remember, it’s your idea, so it’s OK if other people don’t see it like you do!

4. PAINT WITHOUT BRUSHES: Who says you have to use brushes? Try painting with one of the things below.

5. PAINT A MURAL: A mural is a really big painting that tells a story.  Murals are something painted on buildings (some take up whole city blocks!) Do you have any murals in your town? If not, team up with an adult to look at some online.  Then create a mural on butcher paper (or many pieces of paper taped together).

They started with one of the artist giving them an explanation of art and quick tour, they than moved onto a still life display and painted on canvas, they discussed how to paint a mood using colors and painted and did some finger painting station, lastly they all worked together to create a Troop mural.

Throughout the night, my Brownies were at times very focused , very passionate, very excited and very liberated while working on their art projects.  I loved watching them work on their troop project. All of them were huddled around it, all participating, all them felt free to express themselves without any expectations or preconceived ideas of what their art should look like.

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I apologize if this post sounds like an advertisement for this art studio but I have to thank the Palette Station for not only making this badge painless and worry free for me but for making this badge so much fun for my Brownies. They put together an awesome program for us and my Brownies loved it. If you are in or around Tustin/Orange County, this is the place to get this badge completed. They are reasonable and they take care of everything for you.

Congratulations Troop, consider this badge earned!

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Girl Scout Brownie Meeting – Snacks Badge

Friday night was our back to scouting meeting. I talked about being nervous in my previous post but everything went great!

One of the big differences for my troop this years is that we will be bouncing around for our meeting space.

Last year we meet at a local church which was great but it’s not looking like an option for us this year. The good thing about meeting at one of the parents homes is that we will have the freedom of covering some badges like “Snacks” which really needs a kitchen to complete.

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I wanted to stress healthy eating habits through this badge, so I sliced, diced and roasted some veggies for them to work with. Well….my Brownies didn’t really like the “healthy”stuff I brought for them. Thank goodness our meeting was hosted by one of the parents because she saved the healthy face pizzas with cheese. Here’s the agenda:

Pre-meeting: 15 minutes/6:15-6:30

Healthy/Unhealthy food Crossword puzzles

Opening: 5 minutes/6:30-6:35

Flag, Promise and Law

Business: 20 minutes/6:35-6:55

Welcome back    
Share one special things they did during summer
Discuss what to work on this year

Exploration: 15 minutes/6:55- 7:10

Snacks -Step #1 -Good vs. Bad food poster

Create: 25 minutes/7:15 -7:35

Snacks – Step #2 make a veggie face (pizza) & Step #5 make your own fruit smoothie

        Snack time: 5 minutes/7:35-7:40

Closing/Friendship Circle 5 minutes/7:40-7:45

The meeting went along smoothly until I brought out the hummus and veggies for our healthy face pizzas. Only one girl liked the hummus (which happened to be my daughter). As I said earlier, the parent host brought out some cheese and put the pizzas in the oven. The girls all had a good time building their pizzas.

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As far as the smoothies went – overall that went well. I included the girls in on how much of what ingredient to put in. The first batch came out a little tart. The parent host again, saved the snack by bringing out some honey  to make the second batch of smoothies a little sweeter (but I liked the tart batch).

Overall the meeting went very well and I was actually glad that not everyone liked everything. It teaches them to deal with adversity and how they how to make the best of situations. They all handled themselves very well. I’m proud of my Brownies! As for myself, I learned to provide alternatives, not everyone likes hummus (although I’m not sure why, I love hummus). wpid-2014-09-15_11.41.54.jpg

It felt good to be back leading my Brownies and to see them again. Next meeting we will be covering our Potter Badge at an art studio, I’ll update you next time, until then…Happy Scouting!

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Back to Scouting and my Girl Scout Leader Jitters.

I have the most adorable Girl Scout Troop! 11 bouncing Brownies, full of energy, opinions and spunk.

Tonight, is our first meeting after taking a summer break. At our end of year celebration in June, I fully intended on getting together for at least one meeting during the summer…but we didn’t. Summer was busy and I took my Girl Scout Leader hat off, I’m glad I did. I really needed the rest, leading a troop meeting can be exhausting.

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10 of my brillant Brownies at Carol Fallon Riding Center

As I am preparing for tonight’s meeting I find myself feeling nervous. Why I am feeling so jittery about leading 11 girls through an 1.5 hour meeting? Quality. I really believe in the Girl Scout program. I love what it does for the girls and the opportunities it presents. I want to give them the best experience, the best quality I can possibly provide.

I want them engaged, learning and having fun. I want them to want to be involved in Girl Scouts, even if I’m not their leader. So, I feel the pressure of providing good content. I’m usually exhausted at the end of meeting because I give it everything I’ve got for those 1.5 hour meetings, which is good but exhausting. These girls  have no idea how much they motivate me to do better.

Tonight’s meeting agenda is set. Today, I will be shopping for everything needed to complete our badge work and I will (as I always do) continue thinking of ways to make it better….all day.

As with all things in my life, I am my biggest competition. My jitters come from a desire to have these girls look back at these times as some of the most refining times in their lives. So, with this in mind – please pray for me and I’ll update you on our meeting next week.

Until then, Happy Scouting!

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