The Girl Scout Way

The good news? Troop communication issues have been resolved. One leader quit, and the only reason I hadn’t heard from the other was that she had been out of town on a trip that had been planned well in advanced. She had trusted her coleader to take over for the week. A meeting was cancelled; a leader walked away. I’m now officially the coleader.

The bad news? There isn’t any! At least, not for the troop. I was in a car wreck last night, but that’s not a troop matter.

Before the wreck, we had a very good troop meeting and earned the Girl Scout Way badge for all the girls. It’s an easy badge to earn across multiple levels as the requirements are all the same.

Our first, get to know you meeting was a Girl Scout birthday party, so there was one step right there, step two, I think.

We started the meeting by learning the Girl Scout salute and making the Girl Scout Promise. It’s a very important tradition, part of the final step.

The we moved on to silly songs. We all shared the titles of our favorites, then one of the girls, the only one brave enough to go first, sang hers. After that, I taught them make new friends, and they had completed the first step.

Enough talking, really, for our girls, even if some of the talking was singing. I’d been standing in front of them quite long enough, so it was time for a craft.

The plan was to make bracelets. I bought pony beads and baker’s twine from the dollar tree. While leaders were cutting length of twine and was tying off a loop in the middle, I had girls passing out ten beads to every girl. I used the daisy petal colors to represent the law. The packs I bought only had a lavender, no dark purple, so I subbed a dark blue for that one.

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To start, you fold the twine in half and tie off a loop large enough to fit over a bead. Slipping the loop over a pencil helps keep the bracelet steady as you string the beads, especially if you held the pencil between your knees. As you string the beads, this is what it will look like.

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Separate the two strings hanging from the pencil and slide one end through the bead.

Fold the string around the bead and pinch the two ends together so that the opening is clear.

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Feed the other string end through the bead going in the opposite direction as the first so that if you pull both ends, the bead slides up the bracelet into place, against the loop or the last bead.

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Then tie half of a knot to hold the bead in place while you string the next one.

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String the first nine beads in order. Once you have the pink bead in place, for make the world a better place, measure the left over string around you write. Slide both strings through the loop you know where to tie off the light purple bead. Keeping the string pinched just below the loop, pull it off your wrist and tie a single knot, like you did to make the loop, so that it lands where you have it pinched, just pull the ends all the way through. String the light purple bead up against this knot the same way you strung all the other, except instead of tying half a knot next to it, tie it off securely and trim the excess.

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Now you have a bracelet. The purple bead, sister to every girl scout, slips through the loop to keep the bracelet on. Just like your girl scout sisters help you keep the law.

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I prefer this to other traditional camp style friendship bracelets because you can take it off and wear it when you want, rather than wearing it once until it breaks or you cut it off.

That was the plan. Our strings were cut a little short, so the girls put the purple bead up against the pink one, tied it off, and called it a key chain. It worked, and they all said they could hang them from their backpacks.

This not only reviewed the law for the girls, but it satisfied the third badge requirement, celebrate sisterhood. So that’s one, sing; two, celebrate the birthday; three, celebrate sisterhood; and five, enjoy traditions.

I had some girls pass out the snack, and while they did that, we moved on to the next activity. To take traditions a step further and organize meetings a little better, we set up a caper chart.

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I glued the ribbon from the bunting to the depth of the pan, starting halfway up one side, all the way around, and halfway back up the other so that there is plenty of glue and string to hold the weight of the pan and chart.

I had prepared a chart before the meeting by gluing bunting to a pizza pan, both from the dollar store, and just left the spots empty, and reviewed what  I had girls help me with throughout the meeting. I also mentioned that we would need to start taking attendance and collecting dues. Together, we made a list of capers to fill in the blanks. They came up with:

  1. take attendance
  2. collect dues
  3. lead the opening promise
  4. pass out art supplies
  5. pass out snacks
  6. lead the closing
  7. odd jobs
  8. clean up

Once we had the list, I passed out foam gift tags, also from the dollar store, and cut them in half so they’d fit the chart better. They all wrote their names on their tags and affixed a piece of magnetic strip to the back.

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It’s a little crunched from the accident, but it’ll be ok.

I had planned to rotate the name each meeting, but they have opted to randomly pull from a bag each week, so we’ll see how that goes. Girl led, right?

We closed with a friendship, singing the second verse of make new friends before spinning out of the circle.

It was a good meeting and we all had fun. It’s going to be a good year.

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