Wednesday, June 8, 2016


My goal when choosing activities is to try and create not only a memorable experience, but a useful end product; something the girls would be proud to give away as a gift or use themselves.  Most importantly I love when an activity instills confidence, creativity and cost conscientiousness in the girls.  There is nothing I enjoy more than hearing, "I can't believe I made this myself!" 

I spent a great deal of time in search of a fun jewelry project ad was thrilled to find 2 on Pinterest which I modified to meet our needs and keep within budget.  Kendra Scott jewelry is all the rage in our area, but that comes with a hefty price tag so I knew if I could find a similar craft the girls would love it!
The girls were able to create a Faux Quartz Necklace, which is very similar to the Danay Platinum Crystallized Drusy Earrings and a Glitter Sparkle Necklace, which looks like the Layden Necklace in London Blue Illusion.

Pendant Bezels in any size or shape you like (Hobby Lobby $2.99/each)
Necklace Chain
A variety of metallic fingernail polishes
Mini Glass Mosaic Tiles (Hobby Lobby $3.99 - $5.99)
Mod Podge Dimensional Magic (Hobby Lobby $6.49) (A Must for craft, a little goes a long way!)
paper dixie cups
Heavy Duty Zip-Loc Baggie

Place mosaic glass tiles in a bag and crush with hammer.  You want to strive for a variety of sizes, but not too large.  I took care of this step for the girls.  I placed a small amount of glass tiles in paper dixie cups for the girls.  My parent helpers placed a thin layer of Mod Podge in each bezel.  The girls then poured the glass pieces into the bezels.  (I did caution them that they were handling glass and to use discretion).  Next, they used a toothpick to sort of place the glass as they would like inside the bezel. Then the girls applied one more layer of Mod Podge filling in gaps and sealing the glass in place.

Then we set these aside and worked on the Glitter Sparkle Necklace while the Mod Podge dried.(Ideally I would give this 2-3 hours, but we only had about an hour and it worked fine.)

When we returned to the semi-dried faux quartz bezels, the girls dotted the glass with their favorite combination of metallic fingernail polish using silvers, purples, blues, turquoises and pinks.  By far Silver seemed to be the favorite so have a bottle or 2 on hand.  I just asked my girls to bring any metallic fingernail polish they had and we had a plenty and a good variety!  The end results were STUNNING!  And the girls loved them.  Be sure and seal the fingernail polish with one last layer of mod podge.

Round Bezels, any shape will work.  (I found at Hobby Lobby 30/$3.99 but these were too small, but cost efficient) 
Necklace your choice or yarn, rope etc
Glitter (Dollar Tree has the best glitter for this project) because the colors are nice and in small packages you can pass out and the girls can use individually with as little mess as possible.
Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
coffee straws to blow out bubbles in mod podge

Pass out bezels with a thin layer of mod podge.  Have girls sprinkle in 1-3 colors of glitter.  Use toothpick to swirl for effect.  Add more mod podge to seal. Viola! Amazing results for very little effort.  This would be great as a ring or magnet for their lockers too.

Because the projects take a while to dry.  My parent helpers cut 2 vertical lines into the side of a dixie cup and placed the bezel in the cup and threaded the necklace chain through the cut lines in the dixie cup so the girls could transport them home.

They all wore them to school the next day and with 30 girls it was definitely a hot topic at school.  They were proud of them and their classmates could not believe they made them.  These would make wonderful Mother's Day gifts too.

 Resource photos:

Monday, April 11, 2016

Cadette Movie Make Badge

Today my Cadettes earned the Movie Maker Badge.  I think I have finally learned I don't have to be hands-on all the time!  It's hard to make this transition from educator to facilitator. However, I learned today that the girls 'can take the bull by the horns' and in effect run their own meetings.  This was great... as I said I facilitated the meeting and then I sat and watched the magic!!!

Movie Maker Badge:  To kick off the meeting I had a Senior HS student heavily into the High School Theater Department and involved in movie production.  He was the perfect guest because the girls could relate to his age, he was highly qualified on the topic of movie making AND he was cute!  A total Bonus at this age!  The girls were mesmerized and probably the most attentive I have seen.

Wyatt Hall's video "The making of Frankenstein" was ranked 18th in the Texas UIL contest out of over 700 submitted videos.  The girls loved watching his creativity.  They watched his short 7 minute video and asked him questions.  He explained how he created the scenes and pieced together the different cuts.  Then we watched several of his "fun" short clips to give the girls ideas on how to make a fun and entertaining video.  Wyatt will attend Chapman College in Orange County in the Fall.  He will be majoring in TV production.  He hopes to one day create TV sitcoms.   You can check out his fun videos on his YouTube page ‘lifesmisadventures'  You can choose a few minute videos to show your girls as examples and inspire them.  He has a large array of videos to choose from.

Of course this meeting was not without some instruction.  I had the girls brainstorm movie and cinematic jobs.  We talked about various film shots, story boards and Shot lists and their purpose per the Girl Guide and Badge requirements. Then I tasked them to make both a storyboard and quick shot list and film a short movie using their phones.  The challenge was to incorporate a Girl Scout value or topic.  They chose Internet Safety.  They were given a hour to create the movie and a half hour to edit it.  The girls worked great together and included everyone!  The movie turned out super and was a funny satire on what otherwise is a very serious topic.  However, I think the film is educational, relevant and entertaining for girls their age.  The most important thing is that they make an impact and a memorable movie.  Finally, we premiered the movie for our parents.  And they were quite impressed.

I did catch myself lending suggestions and on several occasions the girls asked me to stop offering advise and I am so glad they did.  This was 100% their creativity! Created in 1 hour.



Sunday, April 10, 2016

Mail Chimp Rocks!

What exactly is Mail Chimp?   CLICK HERE

An awesome new way to communicate with your troop parents and it is FREE!  Whether this service is used for your Service Unit or your personal troops, you will find this electronic newsletter a dream!  While creating and hosting a troop website is wonderful, it is time consuming and often under-utilized.  Mail Chimp allows you to create professional looking newsletters ABSOLUTELY FREE (I am still shaking my head over this.)  If you are familiar with Constant Contact the transition to this free service is pretty simple.  

For you techy friends there are a few disadvantages: 1) you cannot attach files, total bummer.  I place my files on my website host and point readers to the location using a URL address.  For those of you who don't understand what I just said, I suggest you insert a photo of a PDF file or attachment and sum up the flier in the body of the text box.

Another disadvantage: 2) for whatever reason the program does not like gmail addresses.  So when you enter the from address and you place a gmail address for contact information (and this must be done) it will flag the system every time and you either "accept the risk" or change it to a different email.  I guess gmail has some new security precautions in place that may prevent the newsletter from delivering or being opened by readers. 

Finally the program does take some time to learn.  It is pretty user friendly, but on occasion you may find yourself scrambling to complete an otherwise simple act like sending the newsletter.  It has taken me several times of using the program for it to become intuitive. In other words there can be a learning curve.  

The Good News: you can't screw up the program.  If you are willing to learn and spend some time by trial and error, you can put together an AWESOME looking email in a matter of minutes.  And you will get faster each time you make a newsletter.  It's worth the initial investment of time because in the near future you will be able to publish a professional looking newsletter quickly.  Plus, you can send to a list of readers instantly without having to enter emails over and over.  You can designate groups too.  So in my case I have Troop 4005 and all the parent emails as one group, group #2 4036 and group #3 my service unit leaders.  

TIP:  There is a difference between a "Template" and a "Campaign".  This was confusing for me at first.  Once you create your 1st newsletter save it as a "Template".  Then in the future you can pull up the template erase the unwanted info and add new info and the newsletter will have the same format and look.  Each newsletter that you create and SEND is considered a Campaign.  These campaigns will be saved in an archive so you can see what you have sent in the past or resend it if necessary.

CLICK HERE is a completed newsletter I recently sent to my Service Unit Leaders recapping our recent service unit meeting.  This is a great way to keep your leaders connected and it is easy for leaders to access resources.  Hopefully this will fuel ideas for your own troop(s) and service unit.