Monday, May 30, 2016

Brownie Safety Award

There are 5 requirements for earning the Safety Award for Brownies.

We utilized the checklist found on this website to complete the requirements for this pin.
Find the form here
Step 1.  We discussed safety when out at playgrounds as well as in our back yard.  Maya created a list of rules that she posted next to our backdoor.
playground rules

Step 2.  I drew a street map of the section of our Borough that we live in.  Maya then marked the important locations, like police, fire, EMTs, hospital, and local spaces we use often.  We also looked for the important numbers and wrote them down.
Marking important spots on the map

Ready to go

Step 3.  Maya and her dad went over fire safety and how our fire alarms work.  She worked on creating a safety evacuation plan in the event of a fire emergency.
Creating a fire evacuation plan for our family

Step 4.  We discussed stranger danger, calling 911, and what to do when lost.  (This dose double duty as step 1 of the First Aid badge).  We created a safety plan for the Farmer's Market that we attend weekly.
Creating a safety plan with Mommy

Step 5.  Using the computer, we researched the most common natural disasters in Pennsylvania as well as talked about what to do in the event of a natural disaster.  (This took almost 2 hours and spanned both parents, but Maya enjoyed this step the most.)
Researching with Daddy

Disaster Preparedness

Beyond the Badge:
Maya is in the process of creating mini first aid kits along with a disaster preparedness checklist to deliver to our three closest neighbors.

Brownie Bug Badge

There are 5 requirements for earning the Legacy "Bug" badge for Brownies.

  1. Learn about bugs
  2. Create a bug craft
  3. See bugs in action
  4. Learn about bug homes
  5. Take a bug field trip

Step 1: Learn about bugs.
Maya selected a lady bug as her bug to learn about.  Using the suggestions in the Brownie Handbook, she watched several kid-friendly YouTube videos about ladybugs.  (These were her favorites: video 1, video 2, video 3.  A note: Maya only has access to the kid version of YouTube, so for her independent research, she uses that.  If you are using the full version, you will have access to more videos.)  In addition, together we researched different websites to learn about ladybugs.  (Her favorite websites were this one and this one.).  After our research, Maya created a poster of information.

Working on her poster
Her poster (with part 2 attached at the bottom)

Step 2: Create a bug craft.
Although the handbook gave ideas that related to other bugs, Maya wanted to stick to her ladybug, so we made a ladybug craft out of construction paper, using Maya's fingerprints for spots.

Making her craft

Fingerprint Spots

Completed craft

Step 3: See bugs in action.
We went outside to the backyard, where we observed a spider, a mosquito, a fly, and an unidentified bug, all going about their every day lives while everyone played.  Maya was so fascinated by the ants that she has decided to leave them food near their anthill.

Our unidentified bug.  We checked with an insect expert but, based on our picture, he couldn't determine what it is.

Step 4: Learn about bug homes.
We discussed a variety of different homes for bugs, including caterpillars and butterflies, lady bugs, stick bugs, and ants.  Using construction paper and cardboard, she created a trifold of our house and tree, with a variety of different bugs.
Our house and the tree in our front yard, complete with the different bugs you might see.

Step 5:  Take a bug field trip.
We took a visit to the Academy of Natural Sciences. In addition to seeing butterflies and bees, we were able to visit the special Tarantula exhibit.  We spent several hours at the museum and the kids (as well as the adults) loved every second of it.  We can't wait to return.
Group shot (sans the baby)

Touching a turtle was much safer than touching a scorpion!
Dressing up like spiders in the Tarantula special exhibit

Monday, May 23, 2016

Brownie Painting Badge

There are 5 requirements for earning the Legacy "Painting" badge for Brownies.

  1. Get Inspired.
  2. Paint the Real World.
  3. Paint a Mood.
  4. Painting Without Brushes
  5. Paint a Mural

Step 1: Get Inspired.
For this step, Maya was very fortunate to be able to talk with her grandfather, who is an artist.  He has practices his craft for over 50 years, and was more than happy to talk with Maya about what inspires him (making art imitate real life, something he often does in his portrait paintings) and his favorite topic to paint (nature).  Maya's favorite pieces were a series of an old oak tree that he had painted in every season, a 4 painting set called "Tree".  Afterwards, the two completed part 2 together, by painting together.
Maya interviewing her grandfather, local artist Troy Allen

Step 2: Paint the Real World.
With her grandfather, Maya painted a sailboat on the ocean.  Later, Maya painted a still life of her other grandfather and grandmother's house.

Painting together
The finished paintings

Step 3: Paint a Mood.
Using window crayons, Maya selected several colors to denote moods (blue-sad, red-angry, yellow-excited, green-happy).  She decorated her window with an abstract art piece that she called "my feelings".

"My Feelings"

Step 4: Paint Without Brushes
With her grandmother, Maya created an American flag, using dough, tempera, toothpicks, and cotton balls.

Step 5: Paint a Mural.
Because she loved the window painting so much, Maya opted to do her mural on the window, creating a stained glass effect.  It was really neat!

Beyond the Badge:
Maya would like to paint a mural of our favorite field trip, the Adventure Aquarium, to decorate our homeschool room!  Pictures to follow!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Juliette Way

Now that I've almost finished up the traditional troop method for Daisies, I can get into why this new troop (and this blog) exist.  This troop is a test subject for a new type of Girl Scout Troop, combining the aspects of Juliette scouting (independent, solo scouting), Digital/Virtual scouting, and Troop scouting (the traditional scouting model).  Scouts will embody the Juliette spirit by selecting and working on badges and awards independently; they can also get together with each other in small groups to work on the same, if desired.  A private and closed Facebook group has been set up so that girls and parents can share their journeys together to create the digital aspect and to take the place of many traditional meetings.  Finally, monthly a Service Unit or Council event will be highlighted and girls will be encouraged to attend; in addition, the Troop will meet quarterly for in person connections.  This Troop has the capacity to be multi-level, and is ideal for scouts with special needs or in families where another child has special needs and it is difficult for the family to make scout meetings.  I hope to use this space not only to chronicle our unique Troop's journey, but also to follow the ups and downs of running a troop like this.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Brownie Snacks Badge

There are 5 requirements for earning the Legacy "Snacks" badge for Brownies.

  1. Jump into the world of snacks.
  2. Savory Station.
  3. Make a sweet snack.
  4. Snacks for energy.
  5. Slurp a snack.

Part 1: Jump into the world of snacks.
Maya selected 3 items from the pantry and looked through the ingredient list to identify items she didn't recognize.  She selected Peas Please (and knew all of the ingredients), Gold Fish Pizza Crackers (she couldn't identify yeast), and gluten free spinach egg noodles (she didn't know what tapioca starch or xantham gum were).  Together, we searched online and learned that: yeast is used as a leavening agent in cookie and allows dough to rise; that tapioca starch is the flour made from cassava root and can make gluten free baked goods soft or chewy; and that xantham gum is a natural thickener which, used in small amounts, is fine and safe, but can cause stomach issues when eaten in large amounts.

Our food to investigate

Part 2: Savory Station
Despite loving to make guacamole, Maya decided to create a "vegetable man" to then eat as her snack.  She made the eyes from avocado, the hair from romaine lettuce, the ears from grape tomatoes, the nose from a carrot, and the lips from a red bell pepper.  He was delicious!  (And cute, too.)

Making VeggieMan


Part 3:  Make a sweet snack.
We love brownies, and Maya decided to make a batch of gluten free brownies.  Instead of using fat, she decided that her secret "healthy" ingredient would be a banana-avocado mash.  The brownies were very chocolately and soft, although not chewy, and the addition of banana gave them a very slight banana aftertaste.  Maya and her brothers inhaled them!  We ate half the batch after dinner!  (U have a feeling they wont survive tomorrow!)

The secret ingredient: banana-avocado mash

Pouring the brownie batter into the pan

Part 4: Snacks for energy.
Using the recipe for Sweet and Salty Nuts found in the handbook, Maya roasted a combination of cashews, pecans, and hulled edamame with honey, dairy free "butter", cinnamon, paprika, and salt.  She opted not to use the fresh herbs.  We roasted them for 15 minutes.  The combo made a delicious snack and a perfect accompaniment for our field trip (the next day!).
Combining the nuts and seeds by hand

Whisking the honey, melted "butter", and seasonings together

Mixing the seeds/nuts with the seasonings before roasting

Part 5: Slurp a snack.
Maya loves smoothies and makes all sorts of concoctions.  To carry on her brownie theme, she made a smoothie with banana and added raw milk & frozen blueberries.  Yum.... Her brothers loved it, too!

Making her smoothie

Thumbs up!  It's a keeper!

Beyond the Badge:
This was the first Brownie badge Maya earned and she was super excited!  To celebrate, she made the family dinner, using the gluten free spinach egg noodles.  With her dad, she prepared White Clam Pasta (the pasta tossed in a white clam sauce), with her healthy, secret ingredient brownies for dessert!  (I would have gotten a picture, but we were too busy eating!)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Daisy Sunny Petal

Girls complete their petal earning by earning the Sunny, "friendly and helpful" petal.  After reading the story, girls colored pictures for a local nursing home.  Girls received a magnetic weekly chore calendar to continue being helpful at home. This petal finishes up the Daisy Petals.

Girls completed Bridging requirements.  The Brownies that visited told the Daisies about their favorite parts about being Brownies and shared how they earned some of their patches and pins, before leading the Daisies in their favorite song (Baby Shark). Daisy 2s presented to the group, telling their sister Daisies about a time they put the GS Law into action in their own lives.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Daisy It's Your Story Robin and Birdbath

Girls earned the Robin and Birdbath of the It's Your Story Journey, and reinforced the Tula aspect of that Journey.

Girls each picked a different animal and created a 4 page brochure. (Fold a paper in half, creating pages 1 (cover), 2-3 (inside), and 4 (back).
Page 1: On the cover of your brochure, draw your animal.
Page 2: On page 2 of your brochure, talk about your animal....
Page 3: How do you take care of this animal?
Page 4: In what ways do you take care of yourself and the animal in ways that are similar? That are different?

The It's Your Story Journey is complete.  Girls who have completed all three journeys have earned the Summit Award.