Money Talk

Next week, we will be focusing on the Money Talk badge. This is one of my favorite badges because I think it is so important to teach kids how to handle money from a very early age.

We purchased this classroom size set of money from Scholar’s Choice. We will be able to use it for the money, number magic and cookie selling badges. The kit comes with a book of worksheets related to money and math.

This week, we are going to split the activities up into stations and have the kids make their rounds. I think it will be easier to cover a larger amount of material in smaller groups.

Station One:

This will be an opportunity for the leader and the girls to talk about money. Some questions we will ask are:

Q: Who is depicted on every Canadian coin?

A: The Queen

Q: Which coin is worth the most?

A: The toonie ($2.00)

Q: Which coin is worth the least?

A: The penny or the nickel, since we do not use pennies in Canadian circulation anymore

Q: How much money do you need to buy groceries for your family for one week? This will relate back to a challenge at the end of the meeting…

Q: Who has a savings account? This will relate back to a challenge at the end of the meeting…

Q: Does having a lot of money make you happier?

Finally, this station will end with a sorting challenge!

Activity: Do these items belong in the “want” bucket or the “need” bucket? We printed out pictures of a bunch of different items that represented wants and needs. We are going to decorate 2 shoe boxes in these themes and ask the girls to sort their items into the two boxes. Afterwards, we will discuss why they chose each category.

Station Two:

Challenge: What is something you would like to buy? How much does it cost? How long will you have to save up your allowance to buy it? Make a plan to save up and buy this item! Kids can draw a picture of the item and write the information down on the side. Leaders will have to help them do the math. The girls will be encouraged to take this home and share with Mum and Dad.

Station Three: Money Magic

This is the station that will have the money set.

Q: You sell a box of Brownie cookies for $5.00. Your uncle buys 3 boxes and gives you a $20.00 bill. How much change do you give him? Show me how you can make this change in three different ways.

Q: You owe $15.00 in change to your Grandma. What are three ways you can make up this change? (These math problems can be made easier or harder depending on your branch)

Q: What does this sign mean? $

Q: What does this sign mean? ¢

What does it cost activity: For this part, we will ask the girls how much they think something costs where we live. After each girl makes their guess, we will let them know the correct amount. This will help them to get a rough idea of how much things cost. You can do this with props or just have a conversation.

After all the girls have rotated through each station, we will have a final group section together before we close for the night.

We will read the book, Dr. Seuss’ All About Money.

And this book by Ethel Footman Smothers.

We will also issue a couple of challenges to our Brownies and their families for the week!

Challenge 1: Ask your Mom or Dad to help you go to a bank and set up a savings account in your own name! (if you don’t already have one)

Challenge 2: Ask if you can help with the grocery shopping this week. Tally it up and tell us in the next meeting how much it costs to feed your family for one week.

If you have extra time, you can talk about or plan activities on the following:

  • advertisements (what ads have the girls seen lately; what makes an ad work; what makes an ad annoying; do they think ads make them want to buy more things)
  • Sorting Activity: good or service? (have them sort purchases into these categories)
  • Save/Spend/Share craft (give each girl a large, medium and small container to decorate and label them save, spend, share in turn)

Here is an example of the Save/Spend/Share craft that I stole from pinterest

The visual differences between the sizes of jars will help the girls to conceptualize the differences between these categories and the percetage it is reccommended to put towards each category.

xx

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Canadian Anthem Controversy

A fellow guider recently told me about a heated argument on a Canadian guiding Facebook page, where a leader shared that her unit didn’t sing the national anthem in their meetings. I’m not sure if she was just taking a poll on how many groups did or didn’t, or if someone had said something personally to her and she was asking for feedback…

Nevertheless, I felt terrible for her because she was 100% bullied for asking this question. To the point that she left the Facebook group. I have been bullied as an adult in guiding before and there needs to be much less tolerance for it among guiders, GGC leadership and by the admins of online sites and pages.

Leaders should and do share their questions and ideas online. We share resources and routines and solicit input from others in this community.

But we are a COMMUNITY. And we are shaping the next generation of women. If you are the type of person who brings others down, you should be removed from the guiding world. Period.

For the record, my unit does not sing O’Canada in our meetings. No one has asked to all year – girl, parent or leader – and last year we only sang it once. We will sing the national anthem in an upcoming meeting because we are doing the Canada badge and it is directly relevant, but I do not see any need to do it on a regular basis.

Does your unit sing O’Canada on a weekly basis?

xx

Christmas Badge Presentations

How do you award your badges?

We are awarding them periodically throughout the year. Personally, I really don’t like waiting until May. For many of our girls, receiving them – and watching friends receive them – is a motivating experience. Everyone wants to get every badge that they can. It is the reward for all of their hard work.

We handed out a few right after Halloween, although we hadn’t earned much by then. Most of the girls earned a fair number this time around though and they were So. Excited. 

Badge Presentation Idea

Sorry for the rough quality in this picture. I shot it really quick as I ran out the door to our meeting on Tuesday night.

I made the infographic using this free website. I place it in wordpress to play with the sizing a little and ended up with the following document, which you are welcome to download and use for yourself:

I printed out enough copies on plain white cardstock, and we cut them into rough Christmas tree shapes. Then we stapled brown ribbon to the bottom for our tree trunks and used safety pins to pin the badges onto the ribbon. 

This was a fairly simple process. All in all, it took about 2 hours to do everything and I had 19 Brownies to prep for.

I knew they were excited for the badges since they ask for them every single week but they were so happy with the presentation as well, which surprised me. We could overhear them saying to their parents, “Look what Skye Owl made for us” , “It is so pretty!”. This was lovely and reiterated the importance of making this a big deal every once in a while.

I am a stickler for only giving the girls the badges they have earned, so they didn’t all have the same ones. However, if someone is sick for an evening, I try to make sure I have a way for them to “make up” the badge work at home, if they want to. 

While handing out the badges, I also recognized three girls for outstanding Brownie work. Two of the girls went with their Mums in the fall to plant trees with a local community group. A third girl collected new, warm socks with her Mum to send to the far North of Canada, to communities with a lot of poverty. Each of these girls got a crest for her efforts (see pic below) and I explained how and why they earned them. We all clapped for them. Hopefully their actions will encourage the others to take action for a better world as well.


In retrospect, seeing what a big deal it was for the girls, I wish that we had invited the parents to pick up a little early so they could see the presentations. But I am positive they heard all about it on the way home.

xx

Police!

One of our most recent and successful meetings lately was at the our local police station. A female officer had been assigned to our unit for the evening so we could learn about the job of a police officer in a rural / small town community. She was AWESOME!

Image result for police officer clipart

Officer L. was super friendly with the girls and did a fantastic job answering many questions – some inappropriate – in a fun, age-appropriate manner. We talked about her experiences as a female and smaller officer and the different types of officers.

She also gave us a tour of the station where we met some others on duty and explained how things worked. Each girl got a chance to climb into a police cruiser and turn on the lights, and also to sit on a police ATV, where we snapped a quick picture of each and sent it to their parents. 

Officer L. had brought in a big ol’ box of Timbits with her for each girl to have a couple, which was super nice and thoughtful of her. She said she didn’t want them to be hungry! 

We had an amazing experience and it was the best “night out” since I started with the unit. I definitely would encourage you to reach out to Fire/EMS/Police in your area for visits as well. We had a good time last year at the fire department and will try to visit EMS soon. 

I am applying this experience towards a couple of different badges. It is one of the jobs in the community lessons we are working towards (Key to My Community), as well as safety badges, which we will build on later.

At the end of the meeting, I brought up some safety rules. I asked if they would ever get into a vehicle with, or take food from, a stranger; had them recite Mum’s/Dad’s first and last names and phone numbers, and their home addresses. About half of the girls didn’t know the phone number or address so I alerted the parents to this. I also used our next regular email to talk about a family safe word, and encouraged parents to build on these discussions to make one.

I always try to have books on a related subject. It helps reinforce the message and also is a great time filler when needed. I used them the next week as we ran out of time on this night, but here are some options:

  • Topsy and Tim meet the police
  • I’m afraid your teddy is in trouble today
  • Daddy, I worry about you
  • Police: hurrying, helping, saving!
  • Let’s meet a police officer
  • Big Mike’s police car
  • A day at the police station
  • Officer Buckle and Gloria
  • Keeping you safe: a book about police officers 
  • Busy people, busy police
  • Officer Dan looks for clues 

The other great thing was that at the beginning of the night, I had asked the girls who wanted to be a police officer when they grew up and only two hands went up. At the end of the night, about three quarters of the girls put up their hands. Success! 

xx

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

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!

arnaud-jaegers-253360-unsplash

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

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.

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

xx