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.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cadette Badge:  The Science of Happiness

I will admit initially I was not thrilled about doing this badge.  How in the world was I going to present this information and keep the girls interested?  

However, there is a website that will change your life!  It is one of those hidden gems I never would have found had it not been for the GS Badge.  After presenting this information to my girls, I feel I have given them valuable information that will positively impact their life now and into the future.

How many times is your daughter disappointed, sad, not pleased with her body or self image, frustrated, stressed or concentrates on the negative, rather than the positives in her life?  Oh my goodness, my daughter is 13 and a basket full of emotions that swings in the wind.  One moment she is happy, the next moment she is sad or upset or frustrated.  It's hard to watch your child suffer through the mood swings of life, even though it was not long ago and we were in the midst of this childhood chaos ourselves.  Hormones, acne, boys, tests, early mornings, late nights, extra-curricular activities... it's a wonder we survived!

My true profession is nursing and although I am not currently working, I know all too often anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications are prescribed to help people manage stress.  However, now there is a website designed to teach and promote happiness.  A totally different approach to the management of stress and unhappiness.  This site tells us what we should already know... we control our own happiness.  The site offers skills and encouragement and teaches you the Science behind Happiness.

Here you will find everything you need to create a great meeting.  The site has stories, videos, suggestions, skills... and more.

So what exactly did I do for my meeting.  
1.  The girls enjoyed a 30 minute Free Yoga class provided by Ivivvia in our town square which is a large outdoor mall.  This company is amazing.  It supports the girls in their community by offering free classes, parties, donations, takes photos and promotes active girls and more.  The yoga class offered them a positive way to deal with stress, encourages activity and promotes self awareness and positive body image.

2.  The girls took a quick GS Quiz and we evaluated and discussed our answers.  Girls had some great input.

3.  I created notes and passed them out to the girls.  We read through each section including: 
  • What isn't Happiness & what is the definition of Happiness
  • What is stress and how can you turn it into ProStress
  • 5 Skills that will Learn Happiness
  • Simple Acts to Feel Happier
4.  We concentrated on the skill of THANKS & gratitude.  We talked about the concept of Random Acts of Kindness and how it can make you feel to be a recipient or a giver.  We also discussed the domino affect.
  • Each girl was given $5.  They were tasked to get into groups of 3 girls and do a good deed or random act of kindness.  They had one hour to look for an opportunity to positively change someone's day.  They were not required to spend the money, in fact they could save it or buy themselves a yogurt or coffee if they could find a way to do a good deed without the money.  The girls voted on the best act of kindness that was completed.  Here are the acts that the girls managed to complete:
  1. bought a coffee for the person behind them in line
  2. exchanged $1 for nickels and handed to children in commons area to throw into fountain
  3. bought an ice cream for a child
  4. taped $5 to library window with note that said buy a children's book on me
  5. purchased pretty post-its from Barnes and Nobles and wrote 25 positive notes an stuck them on windshields of cars in the parking lot or handed to people walking (GIRLS VOTED THIS #1)
  6. paid a compliment to a stranger
  7. opened a door for a busy mom
  8. listened to a musician, left a tip and told him how talented her was (compliment)
  9. Tipped a bus boy at a restaurant
  • Girls were asked to write down 3 things they are thankful for in the next week, avoiding the common items like family, home, food, pets, finds etc
  • Try to identify 3 stressors they encounter in the next week and turn them into pro-stressors
  • Look for another opportunity for a random act of kindness and evaluate it's effect

To view or print my notes & Quiz and save yourself some time CLICK HERE