Oct 16 Meeting Plan ~ Voting Theme

Here is our plan for week 6, October 16th:

Game: Dodgeball

*We always start with an active game to try to run out some of the girls’ energy. It usually leads to better listening later in the evening.

Circles: 

  • Girls do attendance 
  • This week we have new circle bins (our old ones broke), so present those and let them switch out their goodies 
  • Give the girls books about service projects and tell them to pick one they would like to do this year (1 pick per circle) 

*We picked out two books for each circle to look at from the local library and were able to get two copies of most of the books. This is building on what we learned last week during our visit to the Municipal Office.

Book 1: The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects by Barbara A. Lewis

Book 2: Pay it Forward Kids by Nancy Runstedler

Book 3: Our Heroes by Janet Wilson

Book 4: Be the Change in Your Community by Megan Kopp

Opening Ceremony / Big Circle Time 

  • 3 presentations while in big circle (2 girls for girlfriends through the ages and 1 for be a chef)  
  • Ask if anyone else has “badgework” to turn in. Encourage them to bring back their girlfriends through the ages sheet next week (we handed this out before Thanksgiving)
  • Circle Leader from each circle gives presentation on the service project their circle picked 
  • Hand out voter ballots and pens and have each girl vote. Winner to be announced at end of the meeting (we were lucky that the Township Office photocopied real voter ballots for use during this activity, free of charge!)
  • Tell the girls that we sold 20 cases of cookies at our cookie sales on the weekend. Congratulate all the girls for their hard work so far this year 
  • Read these books: Start Little: Think Big, Vote Little; Barbie: I Can Be President
  • Snowy Owl explains the craft and why we are making these invitations  

Craft Time: We are making invitations for friends. Two weeks from now, at our October 30th meeting, we will be having a Halloween Party / Bring a friend to Brownies night. I will post this craft separately after our meeting. Right now, I don’t know what Snowy has dreamed up!

Games: Wheelbarrel race (pair up); Red Light Green Light 

Song: We are learning some songs from different regions as part of the Sing Ontario Sing Challenge of 2019-2020. This week we are going to learn an American Girl Scouts Song, Make New Friends.

Make New Friends 

Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold. 

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That’s how long,
I will be your friend. 

A fire burns bright,
it warms the heart.
We’ve been friends,
from the very start. 

You have one hand,
I have the other.
Put them together,
We have each other. 

Silver is precious,
Gold is too.
I am precious,
and so are you. 

You help me,
and I’ll help you
and together
we will see it through. 

The sky is blue
The Earth is green
I can help
to keep it clean 

Across the land
Across the sea
Friends forever
We will always be 

 xx

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Voting, Elections and Girl Empowerment – Week 5 Itinerary

What are we doing at Brownies this week?!

Well, the municipal election is coming up later this month in Ontario so we are going to talk about local governments.

How they get elected … who is elected … what functions it fulfills …

And what better way to do this then by taking a tour of our local municipal office with the clerk’s department!

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I love nights like this, because leaders basically just show up to supervise the girls. The clerks are going to be preparing all of the programming for our Brownies. We will carry this theme into next week to help the night to have more meaning, but basically – I get this week off!

Well timed, since we celebrated Thanksgiving at my house today.

I’m not sure exactly what badge this is going to contribute to yet. I need to sit down and really look at the book, but if you happen to know, comment below!

xx

Corn Mosaic Thanksgiving Craft

I mentioned in my recent post, Week 4 Meeting Plan, that I would explain the craft in a separate posting. Well, this week we are doing two crafts so I guess that means I am writing two posts! One craft is very small and the other much more time consuming. It also requires more prep work from the adult, so I will post it first.

The more intricate and detailed craft. Definitely a test of patience.

I got this idea from a blog website called Fun A Day to allow the kids to make a corn mosaic that they can show off to their families for Thanksgiving. I didn’t want to get too into traditional crafts that schools and families do this time of year. I was really hoping to find something more unique that children don’t repeat year after year for the holidays. Using corn as a medium to create seems close enough to the origins of the Thanksgiving feast, while still offering something new (I hope!) to the crafting perspective.

Thankfully, corn kernels are super cheap at Walmart and the paper, (liquid) white glue and dye were already in our stores.

Supplies:

mixing bowls or pots

metal spoons

food colouring

protective gloves (optional)

corn kernels

slotted spoon

vinegar

tap water

old towels or paper towels

waxed paper

thick paper (cardstock, etc)

white glue (liquid, not gluesticks)

In order to die the corn, I filled several large mixing bowls with water, 1-2 tablespoons of food colouring and several tablespoons of vinegar (adjust based on the size of your bowl). Stir to mix the colour in. I then added 475 ml (~2 cups) of corn to each. Make sure that the water covers the corn. Allow to sit overnight, or for 24 hours if you can.

*Note: If you use plastic bowls, they will probably stain from the food colouring.

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This was my counter for 24 hours

After the kernels have taken on the proper colour, pour out the excess liquid as best you can and then remove with a slotted spoon. I laid down wax paper to protect the counter and then put down old towels for the corn to dry on. You could use paper towel instead if you really care about your towels, but you will go through a lot of it!

 

I am very happy with how the red and orange ones turned out. The green and blue didn’t dye as well, even though I followed the same recipe, and even added extra dye and vinegar for the last few hours of soaking. I am also going to try making some purple overnight … I just ran out of bowls and counter space yesterday.

Below, there are a couple of gorgeous mosaics from the Fun A Day post. I am purposely not making an example, because I don’t want the girls to copy it. I would much rather they craft with free expression, which is so much harder after they have seen an example.

mosaic-3

Fun A Day owns this picture

Let me know in the comments if you tried this craft, or if you have done something similar. I hope that it goes well for you. If you have an easier time dying than I did, please send me some tips for my next attempt!

xx

Pen Pal Program

Girl Guides of Canada and Girl Scouts of America both offer a badge to members for participating in a Pen Pal program. We decided to partner up this year with two units in the United States that we could exchange letters with.

WAGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) heavily encourages the use of Pen Pals as a way to participate in World Thinking Day each year. They have a website called GLOW that leaders can make an account on and meet up with other leaders around the world who are also searching for a unit to exchange letters with. This is how I found the two units in USA for my girls to write (they are smaller units and together make up enough numbers to match my 1 unit).

It was much easier to facilitate this exchange than I had expected. Both of the American units agreed to send us the first letter, and then we will write back when we receive them. As a part of this process, we will also do some small gift exchanges throughout the year, and send holiday postcards.

I would highly recommend that you work with the leaders in the other unit to match up specific girls (ex, Kandra in my unit with Andrea in the other unit) and have those same girls always write to one another. Also, we are sending our letters in batches. This way all the girls get letters and write back on the same night. As the facilitating leader, I send and receive all letters in one large envelope using my personal address; the leader at the other end does the same.

Additionally, make sure you read the letters your guides/scouts have written to make sure there is nothing too personal in there and that it is appropriate. You also want to make sure that they are responding to specific questions that were posed to them in the letter and asking some of their own. You will probably have to do a lesson on how to write a letter at the beginning of the program and at the start of each letter-writing session.

We are going to expand upon this program slightly, but introducing limited calligraphy. Learning to write in calligraphy is one of the ways to earn a Super Crafts badge in Brownies. Although the letters themselves will be printed, I want to teach the girls how to write their names and the name of their partner in calligraphy, and perhaps the salutations as well.

The most difficult aspect of everything so far has been purchasing reasonably priced and cute stationary! I didn’t want to use regular lined notebook paper, but I also want the stationary to be lined because second and third graders … need I say more?

Walmart, Dollorama and Amazon Canada have all let me down. Staples does have cute stationary so I guess I will be shopping there. I am going to try using a ruler to draw the lines on one paper, using that as a master, and then photocopying the lines onto the other pages … we’ll see how this goes.

I have also found some websites that allow you to download stationary to PDF and then print them on regular white paper. I’m going to try this first because it seems soooo much easier, but I want it to be quality too. Le sigh.

Capture
Cute, but so much ink!

xx

Girlfriends Through Time

The Brownie Program Book 2004

Some of the badges in the Brownie book are pretty difficult to do in a meeting. There are a few, like the Girlfriends Through Time Badge, that require a fair amount of parental involvement. I am taking advantage of holidays this year to try to encourage (read: strongarm) parents into helping their kids with these badges by supplying as much support as possible.

br_me_girlfriends

For example, I used the guidelines in our Brownie book to create a one page worksheet for parents and kids. I have typed it out below. Feel free to copy and paste into Word, just make sure to add the spaces back in to give kids a place to draw and answer questions.

*I also numbered the blank spaces after questions, so girls would name three things there grandmothers and mothers liked to do.

We handed these out to each girl roughly two weeks before Thanksgiving, so hopefully parents will use the holiday to talk to their daughters, and encourage conversations with grandparents as well! It also gives Mums and Dads lots of time to work on it, in between homework and extracurriculars and everything else a modern family has going on these days.

Handout:

 

Note to Parents:  If your family gathers together over Thanksgiving, please consider working through the first two badge points. We will do the last step in our meeting. 

 Girlfriends Through Time Badge 

Draw a picture of what your grandmother and mother wore when they were your age.

Draw a picture of what you wear on a typical day. How have clothes changed? 

What did your grandmother and mother like to do when they were your age? 

My Mom liked to:

My grandmother liked to: 

*In meeting: Read a story about another time. Tell your circle about your story. 

xx

Week 4 Meeting Plan

This is the meeting 4 plan, as of right now. Nothing ever seems to go exactly to plan but we like to have a foundation on which to start the craziness.

October 2nd meeting – Thanksgiving Theme

  1. Girls go to their circles and complete attendance. While in circles, Tawny Owl will take around the thank you cards and have the girls sign them. These cards are for upcoming events where we will be visiting or having a speaker in.
  2. Active Game: Dodgeball
  3. Opening Songs. While sitting in circle, bring up Thanksgiving
    1. When is Thanksgiving?
    2. How do we celebrate it?
    3. Why do we celebrate it?
    4. What was the first holiday like?
    5. What are you thankful for?
  4. Skye Owl will read the non-fiction book (Canadian Holidays: Thanksgiving) and Tawny will read the picture book (Thanksgiving Rules by Laurie Friedman)
  5. Explain and then start craft (details to come in separate post)
  6. Game: Handshake Murder
  7. Return to circle
  8. Game: Catch / Don’t Catch
  9. Sing: There was a bear, black socks, fire’s burning
  10. Talk about elections and how to vote
    1. Next week we will be going to the municipal offices to learn what our elected officials do. One meeting coming up we will have our own election where girls get to vote on something
    2. If time read a book about voting
  11. Closing

xx

Enrolment Ceremony Night

We did our Enrolment Ceremony this week. As I have mentioned in some of the other posts, we wanted to include the second year Brownies by having them perform a skit of the Brownie Story. We had a couple extra girls who read The ToadStool, in order to make up enough parts.

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I feel like this was a great idea! This helped to explain some of the practices and ceremonial bits and pieces to our new Brownies and their families.

The girls were all so excited about it and their parents seemed receptive as well. We practised in two meetings but had the girls read out their lines from scripts. Hence, skit is deliberately used rather than “play”.

It was way too much to expect them to memorize that many lines, especially on short notice, and we also didn’t want to have to deal with creating costumes or a set.

We usually meet from 6:45-8:15.

We asked family members to return for 7:30 this night to watch the ceremony. Before they returned, we did a quick rehearsal, discussed etiquette and tried to impart some meaning behind the whole night. The girls did a wonderful job hosting their parents and helped us to set up the gym. They were SUPER enthusiastic about decorating for the space theme they chose and bringing up chairs for guests.

Almost too enthusiastic … we were literally tripping over girls like they were puppies.

shrug

For the actual ceremony part, we followed the tradition from last year of hiding all our Brownies in a small room off our main meeting room. They huddle inside while guests arrive and then I welcomed everyone as unofficial and impromptu MC. The girls came out and lined up in two rows facing each other, first years on one side and second years on the other.

One girl from each line walked to the centre space as a pair, and the second years supported our new Brownies as she said her lines and looked into the water / mirror. Then we gave our 1st year her pins and badge in a little gift bag and her welcome certificate and both girls sat down on the floor in front of the chairs, assembly style. And the next pair went, and so on.

At this point in the evening, the skit commenced.

After each girl had had her moment in the spotlight, we formed our Brownie Circle around the looking glass and toadstool to recite the Brownie Promise and Law. I explained the meaning of the Grand Howl, which we enthusiastically performed to honour our guests.

I’m pretty sure this was the girls’ favourite part of the night. It certainly was the loudest!

This flowed into our dessert and drink buffet – all space themed of course – and families celebrated and mingled while myself and another leader hustled to the door.

Most of our decor and tableware was purchased from the dollar store, Walmart or Party City. We forgot to take pictures at the event. ‘Cause we were, you know, busy. But I have some from store websites or pinterest of product we either used or were inspired by. See below!

Lucky, lucky us, this was also cookie night. It helped that the parents were all there, but it is also so much work to do both things on the same night. I will talk about that aspect in another post, so this one doesn’t turn into a novel.

If you are curious about the details of how to create an enrolment ceremony, let me know!

xx