Sunday, February 7, 2016

Junior  - Social Butterfly Badge

We obtained the Social Butterfly badge in November prior to Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays.  The skills learned in this badge were perfect for the party season. 

1.  Table Manners - My co-leader and I acted out a lunch date scenario.  She told the girls she had invited me over for lunch and the girls had to write down all the improper manners we exhibited.  I don't know why the girls like these skits, but for some reason they love watching us be silly.  During our skit we acted out the following bad  manners:
  • Picking Food out of my teeth
  • I started eating before my co-leader sat down
  • She blew her nose at the table
  • We talked about potty habits
  • I spilled my drink and reached across the table to grab her napkin
  • I commented that the green beans were cold
  • She removed a green bean from my plate and tasted it
  • I laughed and spit water out of my mouth
  • We both spoke with our mouths full of food
  • I ate as fast as I could, telling her my day is really busy and I barely have time to visit
  • I gestured with my fork
  • She fidgeted a lot
  • I loudly sipped my drink
  • She opened her purse and began brushing her hair
  • She placed her elbow on the table and propped her head 
I bet you can come up with even more poor table manners.  This was really pretty fun, but felt totally unnatural :-)  We gave the girl who identified the most poor manners a small prize - Free Sonic slush!

2.  Hold a Conversation / Practice being at Ease - After identifying a Winner, we discussed all the poor behaviors.  We provided a Bucca di Beppo pasta meal with a salad and bread for the girls for dinner.   We asked them to use their good manners which they had learned and we awarded points.  We identified 3 girls with the best manners, but awarded all the girls for their effort with dessert :-)
We set conversation starters on the table to give them an idea for good table conversations.  They really enjoyed this activity.  Examples of conversation starters:
  • If you could go anywhere in the world , where would you want to travel?
  • If you could have an old teacher again, who would it be?
  • What grade level do you miss the most?
  • What was the most favorite gift you have ever received?
  • What is the nicest thing you have ever done for another person?
  • If you could double a class, what class would it be?
  • If you could eliminate a class in your schedule what would it be?

3.  Be Prepared for Special Occasions - Each girl was given a template and shown how to set a formal table.  We also included dollar finds from Dollar Tree to allow them to decorate the plate setting.  Once the table setting was explained, we grouped girls in 3s and asked them to properly set a table from a random set of dishes and silverware.


Random Dishes

Proper Placement

Decorated Place Setting 

At Dollar Tree I purchased the following items to allow the girls to decorate the table:
snowflake ornaments, glitter tree, glitter ball ornaments, ribbon, holly plate, holly bowl, red glass, silver wine glass, napkin, place mat, holiday scarf, floral items, place card holders etc.  
The girls really enjoyed picking and choosing decorative items to decorate the table.

4.  Say Thank You - Each girl was asked to write a thank you note for the dinner.  We gave each girl a nice piece of card stock and stamps with different color ink and let them design their own cards.  Each girl walked away with a "Thank You" stamp provided by the leaders. A Holiday gift placed in pretty cellophane wrap.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Junior Flower Badge by Ginger Forst

Networking is extremely important as a leader.  You can get some great ideas talking with other leaders.  For this reason I have several ladies I like to brainstorm with over lunch.  My go-to-gal is Ginger Forst, she has lots of great ideas to share.   She recently completed the Flower Badge with her Junior Troop and I can't wait to use her ideas so I thought I would share them with you too!  She was kind enough to submit a Guest Blog Post.  ENJOY!

Before the meeting:

In preparation for this badge, I had my girls press flowers at home.  We were going to be making bookmarks with pressed flowers.  I did find a video on YouTube that showed how to press flowers in the microwave, which was very helpful.  This way they can be done in a matter of minutes versus days.  I did not have access to a microwave at our meeting location, so having them prepare them at home ahead of time was perfect…plus it got the parents involved too!

I also took time prior to the meeting to shop for flowers.  The girls were going to make a bouquet for one of the steps.  Shop around for the best prices.  I was able to get three bunches for $10 at Central Market.  Trader Joe’s has great prices too.  Select flowers in a variety of shades (for example, I had many different shades of yellow flowers for the girls to choose from) as well as two different colors that would go well together.  I chose purple since it was the complimentary color of yellow.  Remember to purchase some filler (green leaves).  I have a small troop and I still spent a good amount of money on flowers.  If you are working on a tight budget, you could suggest that parents donate flowers.  Sometimes local nurseries or grocery store flower shops will donate some flowers when you purchase flowers from their store.

You’ll also need:
Vases – I chose to purchase mason jars, but Dollar Tree has a large selection of vases
Ribbon- to tie around vases if desired (Dollar Tree again)
Sachets- Dollar Tree, in the Baby Shower Party favor section- 6 for $1!  (see photo)
Dried Flowers- I bought some potpourri at Hobby Lobby and some Lavender from Amazon
Bulbs- I bought a box of hyacinth from Sam’s Club
White Carnations- at least one for each girl
Cardstock- cut into bookmark size, any color you like
A laminator- hopefully you have access to one or packing tape to laminate!
Flower snips/scissors for cutting stems for the arrangements

For the steps:
  1. Uncover the Science of one Flower- I chose to let the girls take home five bulbs to plant for the “Grow your Flower” choice.  They were able to choose the bulbs and put them in a baggie, along with photocopied instructions on how to plant them.  You could actually have little pots and soil and they could plant them at your meeting.  
  2. Look Under the Petals- Dye A Flower using food coloring- Again, this task was to be sent home.  I had planned to dye the carnations with the girls at the meeting, but as I researched it, I found out that it can take hours for the carnation to start to change colors!  So, they each took a carnation home.  I asked them each to send me a photo of their dyed carnation.  I also suggested they have an adult split the carnation up the stem with scissors (carefully) and place each half of the stem in different colored water.  I won’t tell you what happens, but it’s pretty cool!
  3. Find Out How Flowers Help People- Flowers are Healers- For this, I brought my own essential oil diffuser which I had on for the meeting.  I brought about 10 different essential oils for them to smell, along with a print out of common oils from flowers and their uses for them to learn about. Also the girls created potpourri sachets with lavender to place in a drawer at home. 
  4. Have Fun with Flowers- Dried Flower Art- The girls glued their dried flowers to bookmarks and laminated them.  I also had a hole punch handy along with some scrap ribbon that they could add to the top of their bookmark if they desired.  They turned out really cool!
  5. Send a Message in Flower Code- Make an Arrangement- I printed out some “meanings of flowers” to look at with the girls.  You can find a lot of them on Pinterest.  However, the florist that I spoke to said that not to get too caught up in the “message” of the color and that is really an old fashioned idea.  She suggested that if the person that you are giving the flowers to likes it, then that’s all that matters!   
I had the girls watch a video about arranging flowers and then they created their own flower arrangement.  They turned out beautiful and most importantly the girls loved the hands-on activities.

This badge did take quite a bit of prep work, but it was a blast!  The girls loved it and so did I!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Girl scout  leaders…your  calendar is full of  awesome, empowering activities  for your troop, but to ensure that these activities are a success, you need VOLUNTEERS! You might have already noticed that the same few parents do all of the  volunteering; and while you  do appreciate the continued help of these die-hards, you know that there is  plenty of work to go around;  and it’s nice to include other parents in scout  life as well. So, whether  you still need a Troop First Aider, Cookie Manager, or just some extra chaperones, we’ve put together 5 simple tips to help you get more parent volunteers:

1) Don’t forget to ask.

Once you have your activities scheduled, don’t forget to ask for help. Since most parents have a busy schedule, ask early and get it on their calendars well in advance.

2) Accept help, no matter how small.

While not every parent can commit to a rigorous volunteer schedule, many of them can commit to helping out every once in awhile. Even if your volunteer spots are filled, create a place for them - this will only encourage more volunteering. :)

3) Make it easy to sign up.

Use technology to your advantage and avoid the dreaded “reply all” emails with tools like SimplyCircle. We make signing up for a volunteer commitment as easy as a click of a button. And you know exactly who volunteered for which event!

Thank you to SimplyCircle who generously contributed to this blog post.  Streamline your communication with parents visit
A GS Leader's Best Friend.