Saturday, October 29, 2016

Brownie My Best Self Badge

There are 5 steps to complete the Brownie "My Best Self" badge.  They are:

1.  Get to know your body.
2.  Eat and play in a healthy way.
3.  Find out how your body works.
4.  Know what to do if something bugs you.
5.  Meet a health helper.

Maya completed this badge as part of the GSEP "Halloween Yoga Adventure" program.

From the description:
Come celebrate the magic of Halloween through yoga! Use your imagination as you take a yoga adventure full of harvest essentials. Learn fun yoga poses, make a fun craft, and enjoy some serious relaxation. Costumes are encouraged but optional!

(unfortunately, my photos failed to upload and I had already deleted them from my phone :( )

Additionally, Maya completed Step 1: Get to know your body: Color in your hair, eyes, and favorite clothes.  In the Brownie handbook packet for "My Best Self", there is a My Elf Self project, where girls create their "elf" self.
Maya decided to do this activity as part of her homeschool art lesson.  We measured her limbs and height, and she learned how to do so.  She enjoyed looking at her Brownie sash to color in the sash she put on her elf self.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Brownie Fair Play Badge

There are 5 requirements to earning the Brownie "Fair Play" badge.

1. Follow the rules.
2. Include everyone.
3. Be part of a team
4. Keep score.
5. Have a field day.

Maya completed this badge as part of the GSEP "Fit Fun" program.  She had a great time, and even learned some Zumba moves!

From the description:
Do you like sports and recess? Get creative and work within small groups to create new rules for your favorite games. You’ll discover how much fun changing things up can be! We are going to have a field day full of friends, fitness, and festivities. Playing games is exercise, and exercise is fun!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Brownie Explorer Program and the Brownie Archery Try-It

Maya participated in the Brownie Explorer program run by our Council.  Although no badges were earned, girls could have used the activities (archery, nature hike, nature art) to fulfill other requirements.  Because Maya loves archery, we've decided to complete the requirements of the Girl Scouts of Southern NJ's Brownie Archery Try-It.  (You can find the requirements here and purchase the badge here.)  Maya completed the following steps of the requirements:
4. Demonstrate the correct way of pulling an arrow from the target, and picking it up from the ground.
5. Demonstrate the correct stance used for shooting
6. Know the safety zone.
7. Know and follow the archery range whistle commands.

Here is a video of her at SR and SR, and here is today at MH.

She completed most of these at the Courageous Campers program at the Shelly Ridge camp, but then repeated and expanded upon them at the Brownie Explorer program today at Mountain House camp.   Funny enough, she completed the requirements of the Cadette Archery badge.  I have a feeling that will be her first Cadette badge in a few years!

Here are some pics from the program.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Brownie My Family Story Badge

There are five steps to earning the Brownie "My Family Story" badge.

They are:
1. Explore family stories.
2. Know where your family is from.
3. Make a story tree.
4. Find an object that means something to your family.
5. Share your family story.

Step 1. Explore family stories: Read 2 stories staring families.
Maya handled story time for her two younger brothers.  She selected 2 books from the library that she felt talked about families. "Mad and Mommy" and "Lola Reads to Leo", then she read to her brothers during our homeschool time.  Afterwards, she and I discussed the families in the story and how they are similar/different to our family.

Step 2. Know where your family is from: Ask about a family recipe.
For her youngest brother's birthday party, Maya helped to make "Mimi's Party Punch", a punch that her maternal grandmother has been making for family parties since the 1970s (and a recipe she learned from her aunt).  It's something we make for every party.  (I have no pictures because I was too busy getting the party ready).  It's a simple punch, but one that we enjoy because of all the memories.
Mimi's Party Punch
-1 large can of pineapple juice
-1 bottle of 100% juice fruit punch
-1 liter of ginger ale
-1 cup of orange juice
-2 pints of different sorbet (we like lemon and mango) (originally, this was sherbet, but I have a child allergic to food dye, so we use natural sorbet instead)
To keep it cold, I also like to add frozen fruit.
Mix and serve!  It's that easy!

Step 3. Make a story tree: Use the story tree.
Because we have more family than the tree allowed, I copied and pasted over the book tree.  This allowed Maya to make sure her siblings were all included.  While she colored the pictures, she asked me to write down the fun facts that she chose.  Here were her selections:
MAYA- Favorite color is blue
ROBERT- Nickname is Bobby
NICHOLAS- Favorite food was pork chops*
SOPHIA- Favorite food was kielbasa and pierogi*
ALEXANDER-Nickname is Alex*
MICHAEL- Loves to eat superhero cheese
LUCAS- Favorite food is milkies
NEW BABY- Will be born around Mother's Day 2017**
DADDY- Likes "knock knock" jokes
MOMMY- Favorite thing to do is write

Step 4. Find an object that means something to your family: Talk about an object that has been handed down.
Maya learned about a ring that is special to our family.  Her great-grandmother, known as Yaya (Greek yaiyai for Grandmother), gave me a pearl ring before she died that, one day, I'll pass on to Maya.  The ring was made by Maya's great-grandfather's brother, who made jewelry, as a gift for her great-grandfather to give to her great-grandmother.  The filigree was all done by hand  and the large pearl is real.  The ring itself is invaluable, both for the pearl and for the history.  Maya was so excited to be able to put the ring on and talk about Yaya and how the ring came to be mine.

Step 5. Share your family story: Make a family crest.
Maya created a coat of arms using the webpage  It was free and I recommend it for this step of the badge.  She had a lot of fun selecting the color, motto, and values.  She chose "Friendship and Honor" as our family motto, and selected the following 4 values: animal loving, brave, creative, and fair.

Brownie Pets Badge

There are 5 requirements to earning the Brownie "Pets" badge. 

They are:

1. Find out what care different pets need.
2. Keep a pet comfy.
3. Help a pet stay healthy and safe.
4. Make a pet feel loved.
5. Feed a pet.

1. Find out what care different pets need: Play bingo at a pet store.
We went to our local pet store, where Maya chatted with staff (including a former Girl Scout!) and learned about the animals the store had, how to take care of them, what they eat, and what animal would be a good fit for our family.  Maya found out about dogs, hamsters, bunnies, fish, cats, and birds.  (And now, she is desperate to add a dog to our family!)

2. Keep a pet comfy: make a cozy sleeping space for a pet.
Maya read through her pet book and then using our pretend (stuffed animal) dog, she made a doggie bed using towels, blankets, and a box, and then made a chew/play toy out of one of her dad's old shirts.

3. Help a pet stay healthy and safe: all three (adapted).
Maya created a pamphlet on how to keep dogs healthy (choice 1), how dogs get exercise (choice 2), and how to keep dogs looking good (step 3).  She had to go to the library to get information about the options and then, over the course of a week, read about dog care and needs, and worked on her trifold brochure.

4. Make a pet feel loved: Learn about how three different kinds of pets communicate their feelings.
We did a take on this.  Instead of finding out about three different pets, Maya was really interested in learning about PPD in dogs.  The dog she fell in love with at the pet store had postpartum depression.  Maya had heard this phrase before, because I've suffered with PPD, mildly with her younger brother and to a greater extent with her youngest brother, and she wanted to know all about it in dogs.  (This dog had even another check mark because she and I share birthdays.)

So, we came home from the store and researched PPD in dogs and we found out several things.  Like humans, dogs lose interest in food, may sleep excessively, and may not bond with their puppies (which may be a precursor or promote PPD since the puppies may be taken away).  Some dogs may completely ignore their puppies or "overmother" them.  As we read this, Maya was sad; she wanted to bring home Arcadia even more.  But she was happy to hear that there is treatment for PPD in dogs.  (Of course, part of how Maya wants to treat her, is to adopt her!)

5. Feed a pet: Make a pet budget for two pets for a month.
We decided to make a monthly pet budget for a fish and a dog.   Maya was blown away by how expensive it is.  This was her list of needs for the month.

Dog: water, food, dog biscuits, vitamins, one toy per month, shampoo/soap, flea/tick collar
Dog: Water: Free (from the tap at home)
Dog Food: $48 for 30lb bag times 1 bag/month = $48
Dog Biscuits: $8 for 20oz times 1 bag/month = $8
Dog Treats: $6 for 10oz times 2 bags/month = $12
Dog Vitamins:$9 for a bottle times 1 bottle/month = $9
Dog Toy: $8
Dog Soap/Shampoo: $17/ bottle times 1 bottle/month =  $17
Dog Flea/Tick Collar: $40 (but lasts for 8 months so 2 per year $80 divided by 12 months) = $7
Total: $109

Beta Fish: water, food
Beta Fish Water: $4/gal times 4 gal/month = $16
Beta Food: $2/ bottle times 1 bottle/month = $2
Total: $18/month

We explored animals that are wild but can be domesticated, such as chickens, goats, sheep, ponies, reptiles, and birds at the Elmwood Park Zoo.  The kids talked about different ways that life in the wild would differ from life in a home.

Note:  By far, this was the most difficult badge for us thus far.  We don't have pets and, at this point, don't foresee having any in the near future.  Nor do we have regular access to pets.  This badge required a bit of adaptation and some thinking outside of the box.