Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Brownie My Great Day Badge

There are 5 requirements for earning the Brownie "My Great Day" badge.  They are:

1. Start your day right.
2. Sort out your stuff.
3.  Make homework a breeze.
4.  Plan ahead.
5.  Help others get organized.

1.  Start your day right: Lay out your clothes, Make your bed.
Maya decided to do both of these activities.  She checked the weather app on her tablet to look at the weather for the next day and, before bed, she laid out an appropriate outfit.  In addition, she made her bed and made it a goal to make her bed every morning when she gets up.  She also helped her brothers make their beds.

2.  Sort out your stuff: Organize your clothes
Every season, I go through the kids closets to box up clothes they can possibly wear next year or to use as hand me downs, to look at what to keep, and to bag up to give away.   Maya and I went through her closet together, making piles to either bag up and give away or to keep in her closet.  We ended up with 2 trash bags worth of giveaways and she went with me to drop the clothes in the Drop Off bin.

3.  Make homework a breeze: Create your own homework space, Make a homework station.
As homeschoolers, we eschew homework.  :)  That being said, Maya has a chair and bookcase in her room where she does her reading and some of her independent tablet work.  She cleaned up that area to make it more functional.  She also organized the reading nook downstairs.  Downstairs, in our homeschool room/playroom, Maya organized the table where she and her brothers work on homeschool assignments.

4.  Plan ahead:  Be a family grocery helper.
One of Maya's weekly activities/chores/errands is to come with me to the Farmer's Market.  She used our standard "needs" list to shop and to make sure that our staples were in stock.  (She also took the opportunity to chow down on some gelato and the stand put her picture in their newsletter.!)

5.  Help others get organized: Help a relative, friend, or neighbor. 
Maya cleaned up and organized our family room and homeschool room/playroom.  She also encouraged her brothers to help her clean up.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Brownie Making Friends Badge

There are 5 requirements to earning the Brownie "Making Friends" badge.  They are:

1. Make friendly introductions.
2. Show friends you care.
3. Share favorite activities.
4.  Learn how to disagree.
5. Practice Friendship.

1. Make friendly introductions: introduce yourself.
Maya went to an indoor playland with her grandmother, where she made new friends.  Although she is shy and has anxiety, Maya often tries to make new friends.  This badge has encouraged her to introduce herself to new people.  Today, she met a group of 3 new kids and was able to talk to them about homeschooling, girl scouts, and playing.

2. Show friends you care: give something special to a friend.
Maya drew a picture of Rainbow Dash from MLP, the favorite pony of her BFF (who is also a Daisy scout).  She addressed an envelope and then hand delivered the picture.

3. Share favorite activities: share a favorite activity with a friend.
Maya invited me to go to her favorite spot downtown (our local Starbucks) for an after dinner coffee.  She even offered to use the Starbucks giftcard that she received for her birthday to pay for our treats, as a thank you for my helping her clean her room.

4.  Learn how to disagree: find kind words.
Maya made a list of phrases that are kind and can be used to compliment or diffuse a situation.
"I'm sorry"
"Great job"
"I forgive you"
"I love you"
"You're really helpful"
"How can I help?"
"You look nice today"
"Do you want to play?"

5.  Practice friendship: Go to a dance or art class, sports game, camp, or other activity.
Maya attended the GSEP event "Courageous Campers".
You can see videos of Maya bouldering here and here.  Videos of her archery can be found here and here.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Brownie My Promise, My Faith Pin (1)

My Promise, My Faith

You can earn this pin each year that you’re a Brownie.  You’ll find that Girl Scouting and your faith have a lot in common!  Complete these 5 steps to earn the pin.
1. Choose one line from the Girl Scout Law.  Find a story, song or poem from your faith with the same ideas.  Talk with your family or friends about what that line of the Law and your choice have in common.
  • I will do my best to be… COURAGEOUS AND CARING
  • “Glory in the Cross” (the Good Friday words, especially verse 2)
    • Let us ever glory in the cross of Christ who redeems us with his blood.  Let us tell the story of the cross of Christ and the power of his saving love. Like a lamb he was slain; he carried our shame, to show us the mercy of God.  Let us ever glory in the cross of Christ and the triumph of God’s great love.
    • Let us bring our burdens to the cross of Christ who has known our sorrow and tears.  IN the great compassion of the heart of Christ, God had walked in our hopes and fears.  He was mocked and betrayed, deserted by friends, and banished to die among thieves.  Let us ever glory in the cross of Christ and the triumph of God’s great love.
    • Let us kneel in homage at the cross of Christ where we see God’s human face.  We behold the Maker of the sun and stars as he hangs on the throne of grace.  As we share in his pain, his sorrow and shame, our hearts will be tested in fire.  Let us ever glory in the cross of Christ and the triumph of God’s great love.
  • Maya can be seen singing verse 2 of the Good Friday words here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o3eji-0g5Q
2. Find a woman in your own or another faith community and ask her how she tries to use that Law in her life.
  • Maya emailed her Aunt Eileen, who is the music director at our church.  
    • Dear Aunt Eileen  I am earning my My Promise, My Faith pin and am asking for your help.  My favorite part of the Girl Scout Law is I will do my best to be courageous and strong For part 2 of my pin can you tell me how you use that part of the girl scout law in your life and what that means to you as a Catholic.  Thank you. Love, Maya

    • (The Response)  Dear Maya,  I am very proud of you for working to earn this pin. Thank you for asking me about being courageous and strong. I believe that as a Catholic and lover of Jesus I need to always try to do what is right in God's eyes. This takes courage because it might be more fun to do what I want sometimes! But then I think about how much God loves me and blesses me, and then I can't say No to Him. He gives me the strength to do His work through me.  Love, Aunt Eileen
3. Gather at least 3 inspirational quotes by women that fit that line of the Girl Scout Law and put them where you can see them every day.
  • Maya selected 12 quotes from different female saints.
    • “If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!”  -St. Catherine of Sienna
    • “We always find that those who walked closest to Christ were those who had to bear the greatest trials.”  -St. Teresa of Avila
    • “Love God, serve God; everything is in that.” -St. Clare of Assisi
    • “Whatever God gives and permits…he gives and permits it for our good.”   -St. Catherine of Siena 
    • “If you suffer with Him, you will reign with Him.”  –St Clare of Assisi
    • “I am not afraid.  I was born to do this.”  –St. Joan of Arc
    • “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring”  –St Catherine of Siena
    • “Jesus…my strength, fortify me.” -St. Faustina
    • “Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.”  -St. Rose of Lima
      “I am the handmaid of the Lord.  Let it be done to me according to thy word.” -Blessed Virgin Mary 
    • “The source of justice is not vengeance but charity.”  -Saint Bridget of Sweden
    • “I know well that the greater and more beautiful the work is, the more terrible will be the storms that rage against it.”  -St. Faustina
    • “Do not allow yourselves to be disheartened by any failure as long as you have done your best.”  – St. Teresa of Calcutta
4. Make something to remind you of what you’ve learned.
  • Maya made a craft out of the quotes from #3.  We colored one side of popsicle sticks, then taped a quote to the other side.  Maya decorated a small jar with Brownie stickers and now the jar of inspiration to be courageous and strong sits next to her bed for prayer time.
5. Keep the connection strong.  Talk with your friends and family about what you’ve learned about your faith and Girl Scouting.  Show them what you’ve made!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Brownie Girl Scout Way Badge

There are 5 requirements for earning the Legacy "Girl Scout Way" badge for Brownies.

1. Sing everywhere
2. Celebrate Juliette Low's birthday
3. Share sisterhood
4. Leave a place better than you found it
5.  Enjoy Girl Scout traditions

Step 1.  Sing Everywhere: Make up your own song based on nature. 
Maya created her own song and then we recorded her singing it.  The words to her song are:
"My Nature Song."
-By Maya
I love nature.
Yes, I do.
Yes, I really do love nature.
I love the trees and flowers.
I love the birds that sing.
I love the bees and butterflies that pollinate the flowers.
Nature is beautiful, outside in the dark and light.
I love the sounds of the bees buzzing
And the birds that sing
And the flutter of wings of the butterflies.
I love to see bees pollinating flowers
And the butterflies flying by, sucking up nectar.
My favorite season is spring so I can plant flowers.
Spring makes me think of all the pretty things in nature.
I love nature.
Yes, I do.
Maya writing her song.

Step 2. Celebrate Juliette Low's birthday: Throw a birthday bash.
Maya decided to help me plan and throw our Service Unit's JGL Birthday Halloween Party.  More information about this event can be found here.

Step 3. Share sisterhood: Make a team flag.
Maya and her twin brother created a "family flag".  They decided on images that represented each of us (pen and paper for Mommy the writer, a scientific beaker for Daddy the scientist, a turtle for the TMNT obsessed Maya, a rainbow (B's favorite) for her twin, an Elmo for her toddler brother, a bottle of milk for her baby brother, and 3 crosses topped with halos for her three older siblings who died).  It was amazing to watch them work.

Step 4. Leave a place better than you found it: A better room or home.
On her own, Maya encouraged her brothers to join her in cleaning up our playroom/homeschool room.  They worked with their dad and surprised mom. 

Step 5.  Enjoy Girl Scout traditions: Follow in a Girl Scout's footsteps.
Maya and I talked as part of our homeschooling about what it was like when I was a scout in the 1980s.  We often chat about this when we are completing badges that I worked on when I was a kid.  It was a longer conversation that normal, and was neat to hear about her scouting experiences as I remembered my own.

Brownie First Aid Badge

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

1.Find out how to get help from 911.
2.Talk to someone who treats injured people.
3.Make a first aid kit.
4.Learn how to treat minor  injuries.
5.Know how to prevent and treat outdoor injuries.

Step 1.  Find out how to get help from 911. 
Maya completed this step in conjunction with her Safety Award.  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.

Maya discussing her safety plan

Step 2.  Talk to someone who treats injured people.
Maya completed this step while she worked on her Outdoor Adventurer badge.  We met with a park ranger at Mauch Chunk Lake in Jim Thorpe, and Maya talked with him about being safe at the lake, what is in the Lake's First Aid Kit, and how to treat common injuries found at the Lake.
Maya talking to the Mauch Chunk Lake Park Ranger

Step 3.  Make a first aid kit. 
We went to a local store after researching things found in a common, basic first aid kit. Maya picked out the items she wanted (bandaids, gauze, tape, Neosporin, alcohol wipes, and hand sanitizer) and then put them in her kit, which she plans to take on all of our Girl Scout adventures.
Maya and her completed First Aid Kit

Step 4.  Learn how to treat minor injuries: Get tips from a medical professional.
Maya completed this part of her badge while she had her annual retinology appointment.  She met with Dr. G, the surgeon who did her laser eye surgery in infancy, and before the appointment, she spoke with him about proper eye care for children.

Step 5.  Know how to prevent and treat outdoor injuries: Take a hike.
Maya completed this step while she worked on her Hiking badge.  Prior to our hike in Stony Creek Park, we discussed the common things found while hiking, like poison ivy and poisonous plants that appear edible.  Because we were walking through a nature path, we discussed the probability that we would see bees and how to avoid being stung.  Maya was able to identify poison ivy several times on our walk.
Maya spotting poison ivy on our walk

Brownie Make Your Own Badge: Yoga Elf

Maya is really enjoying her year as a Brownie and decided to create her first "Make Your Own Badge".  As a yoga instructor, I was really excited when she decided that she wanted to learn more about yoga!  Here is a link to our Yoga Elf badge requirements.

There are 5 steps to complete in the Brownie Make Your Own Badge process.  They are:

1. Pick a topic.
2. Learn.
3. Do.
4. Share.
5. Make your own badge.

Part 1.  Pick a topic.
Maya often asks to do yoga with me, but other than moving her body, she hasn't really explored yoga.  She decided that she would create a "Yoga Elf" badge that explored yoga.

Part 2.  Learn.
Maya decided to learn about the following aspects of yoga: how yoga started, what to wear when doing yoga, how to become a yoga teacher, and basic yoga postures.  In order to learn these things, she came up with the following options: talk with a yoga instructor, practice yoga at home, read books or websites on yoga, or attend a yoga class.  Maya decided that she would do several of these, including practicing yoga at home, researching yoga in books and online, and talking to a yoga instructor.  In addition to chatting with me about yoga, she talked with a fellow teacher friend of mine and kept her interview with her badge work.

Part 3.  Do.
Maya wanted to learn something that she could do on a regular basis, and we decided that the basic foundation of most yoga classes is the Sun Salutation.  She learned a simple version, and decided that, in order to earn the badge, she would practice it 7 times for 7 days.  She made a video of doing a Sun Salutation.

Part 4.  Share.
Maya came up with the following ways to share her knowledge about yoga.  Some possibilities are: teach the sun salutation to other kids, attend a yoga class and participate, or do a presentation about yoga to friends and family.  Maya decided to help teach her brothers yoga.  She took time out of our daily gym to teach the kids how to do yoga with her (and she did well with it!).

Part 5.  Make your own badge.
We played around with the Make Your Own Badge software and Maya came up with a badge that encompassed yoga (a hand that she says represents doing a headstand) and a world (because yoga is practiced all over the world).
When she completed her Yoga Elf, requirements, she added this neat certificate to her badge book!

Beyond the Badge: Maya had so much fun doing this that she signed up for a Brownie yoga workshop through our GS Council.

Did you decide to become a Yoga Elf?  Great job!!  You can print out the requirements and a certificate for your badge book!