Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Brownie Household Elf

Today we earned the Brownie Household Elf Badge.  I used the Brownie Skill Building Badge insert in the Brownie Girl Guide to supplement our discussion.  
I was able to ask lots of questions from the guide.  Example:  "If you use 1 gallon a minute in the shower, how much water would you use in 10 minutes?"
I brought an old jug of milk to give the girls a visual of exactly what 1 gallon looks like.
"Why do you think your freezer works more efficiently when it is full?"
"How many plastic bags do you think the world uses in a year?"  How many do you think your family uses?"
"Why are hand-made, natural cleaners better for the environment and more cost efficient?"

We talked about conserving energy in our home.  The girls supplied a long list of small things they can do to make a difference in the household energy bills.  We talked about how important water is and how we can prevent using too much water.  We also talked about recycling and why re-using things can be so important and how that too saves energy.
The girls actively participated in classifying how fast these items degrade in our landfill:
Newspaper - 6 weeks  (PINK)
Apple Core - 2 months  (YELLOW)
Plastic Bags - 10-20 years  (GREEN)
Aluminum Cans - 80-200 years   (BLUE)
Glass Bottles - 1 million years   (ORANGE)
Plastic Bottles - NEVER!    (PURPLE)

I printed 6 pieces of paper with each item on one sheet of paper.  I also printed one sheet with all the time categories listed "6weeks, 2 months, 10-20 years, 80-200 years , 1 million years and NEVER".  I placed a colored dot next to each time category.  I then taped all 7 sheets of paper on the wall.  Each girl was given a pink dot and asked to place on the item they thought would take 6 weeks to degrade in the landfill.  Then they got another color dot, etc.  Surprisingly my troop overwhelmingly thought an apple core would degrade in 6 weeks and that glass bottles would NEVER degrade.  This was an eye-opening activity for them.

They also created a reminder for their mirror:  I created a clever saving that hopefully they could remember over time.  "Don’t be in rush, turn of the water when you brush!"
I passed out neon on index cards and the girls wrote down the saying on a card and decorated it with stickers.  They were asked to tape it to their mirror at home where they brush their teeth.

Finally they made a Draft Stopper Snake from a soft, knee-high sock.  
1 knee-high (about $1.00)
1 pound bag of pinto beans ($1.00)
funnel  (had)
rubber band  
safety pin 
googly eyes
hot glue gun

We funneled pinto beans into the sock and then the girls stuffed the sock with poly fill.  (This works best if you funnel a small amount of beans, then stiff with a hand-full of poly-fill and repeat until sock is fully filled).   They secured the sock with a tight rubber band and finished off the tail spiral wrapping a few pipe-cleaners up the tail.  We secured a snake ribbon tongue with a simple safety pin and hot glued googly eyes to complete the stopper.  Their draft stopper is ready for use in a window or near a door where cool air might escape.

Finally I ended our meeting encouraging each girl to work hard on conserving in their own home this week and gently reminding other family members to help.  I asked them to make a mental note of what they do and we will share at our next meeting.


  1. I found the knee high socks at Dollar Tree: https://www.dollartree.com/Printed-Junior-Fashion-Knee-High-Socks-Size-5-9/p368956/index.pro