Back-log 5: Our Garden Party – from June 28

To celebrate the completion of the “Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden” journey and the girls having earned all their petals, we had a garden party at a local play park. The girls got to play for a little bit while we set up and chatted (at this point is was just us leaders and one other couple), and then we called to the table. One girl finished her last picture to earn the “respect myself” petal, and another made her paper chain links. Once everyone was truly all caught up and done, we had a short little ceremony that was little more than me telling them I was proud of them. It wasn’t near as organized as our investiture and should have been a bit more than it was. Two girls had their petals already ironed on their vests and I presented them that way, the third received the petal patch packet. Only one of the girls had the daisy petal added to the journey patch already, and I had left my daughter’s at home, so it wasn’t a fancy or elaborate deal at all, but the girls liked it and they got to snack on a fruit tray we’d brought and play on a playground, so they were happy.

I also sent home their completed daisy flower garden murals. Just a reminder, I found the idea and most of the instructions for that wonderful project over at the OCD Girl Scout Leaders blog.

amazing garden mock up 2

my amazing daisy flower garden mock up

my daughter's amazing daisy garden mural

my daughter’s amazing daisy flower garden mural

Sorry for all the back logs, but summer is a busy time, and, frankly, I’m fortunate enough to get everything else done. This blogging thing really is so much easier to do on a regular basis than it is to catch up with…

Back-log 4: Zinni and Clover – from June 24

We had one week left before our garden party to cover both Zinni and Clover, but that works out ok because Zinni can compliment just about any of the other flowers, being kind and considerate. So we read the stories, talked about them, discussed the lines of the law, and then we made toilet paper roll bird feeders. We were using resources wisely by reusing the paper tubes, and we were being considerate of our bird friends by making feeders for them. I didn’t manage to get pictures of it, because it’s a fairly messy process, and then I forgot to get pictures of the completed result. Sorry.

You take empty toilet paper rolls, smear them with peanut butter, and then cover the peanut butter with bird seed. Then you string a piece of yarn through the tube and tie it off to hang it up by. It works really well and the girls had a lot of fun, all of them snacking on the peanut butter while they worked, too. Just be sure to have some large baggies on hand to send them home in. I found the idea HERE

Here’s a picture from that wonderful blog:

we didn’t use cheerios for ours, though, just the seed

Then, they finally finished their murals. (But I held on to them for just a little bit longer, sending them home at the garden party.)

Zinni took a full episode of Gilmore Girls just for the flower heads.

For Zinni, I used a bright yellow-green card stock and used my scrapbook cropping templates to cut three different size circles which I then clipped petals into, 8 into the smaller two discs, 16 into the largest. I found I could make the cuts for two discs at a time without too much slipping, three and the scissors moved them too much as I cut. The time consuming part for Zinni was trimming the corners off of each petal to give them an almost rounded look without having to actually round them off. I had to do them one at a time, but I did every corner on one side going around the disc before flipping it and doing the others, so I didn’t have alter the angle of the scissors every other cut. It made it quicker, easier. Then I cut the stem and two flowers for each from green card stock.

prepped materials

prepped materials

my mock up

my mock up

The girls curled each petal around a finger before layering them on the mural where they wanted them and placing the stem and leaves.

my daughter's zinni

my daughter’s zinni

Clover took nearly as long as Sunny to prep, requiring over 2 episodes of Gilmore Girls (she shared the third with Rosie, who was easy).

I cut lengths of white ribbon, the ridged kind of gift wrap ribbon you find everywhere at Christmas, and folded it several times, clipped open the folds at one end, carefully fanned it out, and folded a piece of tape across the point to keep it all together. Then I went through, trimming every other length just a tiny bit shorter. Then I went through and clipped the right corners of each length, flipped it over, and did so again. My daughter wanted to help with all my “crafting,” so I let her use a craft punch I have to make me 6 small discs of green card stock for each flower, and I cut a short length of green ribbon for the stems.

prepped materials

prepped materials

my mock up

my mock up

The girls glued the stems down, then the heads, and then bunch the discs in clover-leaf formation along stems.

my daughter's clover

my daughter’s clover

Before they went home, we talked a little bit about the daisies they had planted several weeks earlier and how it was time to give them away for our take action project and all the little ways doing something small and thoughtful like that could make someone world a little bit better.

Back-log 3: Vi – from June 10

Vi was one I had a bit of trouble with because I didn’t have the opportunity to engage another troop. One of the problems of holding troop activity over the summer is that most of the other troops are on hiatus. Anyway, I finally came up with an idea for which I honestly cannot remember the genesis. I decided we would make a troop paper chain. Each girl would write their name on a number of paper slips and then everyone would get one slip with each name and staple them into a paper chain.

By this time, though, we had lost one girl to a move, another just didn’t want to come anymore, and a third simply never showed up, so our troop was down to three girls and one of them was absent. I had the two who were there make their slips of paper, though, and the third caught up at the garden party. My co-leader and I also made slips since we’re part of the troop as well.

It turned out something like this:

our troop paper chain

our troop paper chain

For the mural, Vi took less than 1 episode of Gilmore Girls to prep.

I used my scrapbook cropping templates to cut out small ovals of light purple tissue paper, 10 per flower, which didn’t take very long given how many layers of tissue paper I can cut at once. I just had to be careful the top couple layers weren’t pulled as I completed the circuit. Then I cut 2 leaves per flower from green felt.

prepped materials

prepped materials

my mock up

my mock up

The girls used glue sticks (you can also put the white glue on a plate or piece of scrap paper and dab on with a finger if you don’t have glue sticks) and grouped the petals, 2 deep (the light purple was thin it needed to be 2 deep to keep the color) in a tight, slightly overlapping, closed circle. Then they used white glue to place to the leaves next to the flower.

my daughter's vi

my daughter’s vi

Back-log 2: Lupe – from June 3

My daughter and I were out of town this week, we had a family vacation at Disney World, so my Co-Leader led the group while I was gone and I covered Lupe with my daughter on our own time.

I don’t know how to the lesson worked, but the plan was to read the story and talk about it, and then do an activity for two different types of fairness. The first activity was the common Hershey Kiss lesson that you’ll find examples of all over Girl Scout blogs. You had each girl a random number of Hershey Kisses and then discuss whether it’s fair that some girls have more and what they can do to make it more fair. I thought that was great, but it’s only fair in one type of situation. In most situations in life, not everyone gets the same and not everyone should. So I suggested they also play a few rounds of musical chairs and discuss whether or not it was fair that one person was out first and one person got to win. Fair in a game is following the rules and being a good sport when you don’t come in first.

I also made sure they had the materials to add Lupe to the mural, and my daughter caught up when we got back.

Lupe took less than 1 episode of Gilmore Girls, fitting in nicely with the stems and leaves from Zinni.

I used my scrapbook cropping templates to cut small circles of blue tissue paper (16 per flower), getting several circles per cut given how thin tissue paper is; I just had to be careful it didn’t pull the top couple layers as I got close to completely the circle. I then trimmed the top of each stack, careful to keep them from looking too pointy. For the stem, I cut 7 lengths of green ribbon, the smooth, shiny version of gift wrap ribbon you find everywhere around Christmas.

prepped materials

prepped materials

lupe mock up

lupe mock up

The girls placed the ribbon where they wanted it and then used a glue stick to group the petals along the stem. Using a glue stick is important with tissue paper, otherwise you see dark swirlies through the paper when it’s dry. (You can also put the white glue on a plate or piece of scrap paper and dab on with a finger if you don’t have glue sticks.)

my daughter's lupe

my daughter’s lupe

Back-log 1: Gloria and Gerri – from May 21

At this meeting we covered Gloria and Gerri together. In order to fit our schedule, we had to double up on some flowers, and these work well together as they are both about respect. I didn’t get too fancy with this lesson considering all we had to get done, and we read the stories and talked about them, as well as what the lines of the law meant. In order to actually earn their petals, the girls had to draw, at home, a picture of themselves in a position of authority and a picture of them “respecting” themselves and bring them back to me. It took several weeks for them all to bring their pictures in, and I even had a girl drawing one at our garden party.

The girls still seemed to be enjoying the mural project as well.

Gloria took less than an episode of Gilmore Girls to prep. (Tula and Gloria together took 2)

This I got straight from OCD Mom. I used my scrapbook cropping template to cut circles of purple tissue paper. I only needed to cut once given how thin tissue paper is; I just had to be careful that the top couple of layers weren’t pulled as I completed the circle. Then I used another template to cut large ovals of a light green tissue paper, 2 for each flower, and small circles of plain white printer paper.

gloria prep

my cat decided to help with my prepped materials photo shoot

gloria mock up

my mock up of gloria

The girls made glue trails across their murals and then laid down yarn, trimming it to length, and gluing their white disc at the “up” end. Then they folded the purple discs in half three times to make a triangle, then trimmed the point from both sides and clipped off the bottom corners, unfolded it to reveal a pointed hole in the center and notched around the outside edge, and used a glue stick to center it over the white disc (you can also put the white glue on a plate or piece of scrap paper and dab on with a finger if you don’t have glue sticks). The folded the green ovals in half and cut out shapes for the leaves, using a glue stick for them as well.

gloria kaley's mural (11)

my daughter’s gloria

Gerri took 1 episode of Gilmore Girls to prep.

I couldn’t get a bright enough color with food coloring, so I used a marker to color enough coffee filters to cut out 5 petals for each flower (I used my scrapbook cropping template for small ovals). I don’t really recommend this, because it just about bled my marker dry. You could, instead, use acrylic paint mixed with water. The internet assures me this will work. I cut the stems and leaves out of a light green card stock. For the leaves, I used my scrapbook cropping templates to cut out 2 large ovals and 4 smaller ovals per flower before trimming them into the leaf shapes. I once again used my “cut all the cuts in one direction and flip it over and cut the other way” method to save time, and I was able to cut all four small ovals for each flower at once, and both large at once. I suppose I could have cut the large for 2 flowers at once to save even more cutting, but that only just occurred to me now. Oh well.

gerri prep

the prepped pieces

gerri mock up

my mock up

The girls grouped their petals together in a slightly overlapping, tight, closed circle and used a glue stick to place them, because coffee filters are only slightly thicker than tissue paper and also reveals the glue swirl of white glue. (You can also put the white glue on a plate or piece of scrap paper and dab on with a finger if you don’t have glue sticks.) They then added the stems and placed the leaves in a fan formation: a large leaf with a small leaf on either side to make one three section leaf, leaving off sections as crowding in the mural required.

my daughter's gerri

my daughter’s gerri

Making the World a Better Place, one Daisy at a time

This week, we didn’t work on any new petals, but we began our Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden take-action project. Given our troop’s limited resources, crunched time frame, and generally overwhelmed leaders, we decided to keep it simple. The girls decided last week to plant daisies, care for them until they begin to grow, and then gift them to people who could use something to brighten their world.

We got some bio-degradable pots from the Dollar Tree, some potting soil, and a pack of Shasta Daisy seeds. Since our pots don’t have holes in the bottom to drain excess water, we layered some rocks under the soil to help keep the girls from overwatering the plants, and after planting, I did my best to demonstrate how much water they need, what the soil should look/feel like. Fortunately, I think our girls have parents who can help keep an eye on them. They’ll care for the flowers for five weeks, until we’re done with the rest of the petals, and then they’ll find someone to give them to before our end of journey garden party in order to earn their honey bee badge.

After planting our seeds, we went inside and added Rosie to our garden mural.

Rosie was easy to prep, taking less than 1 episode of Gilmore Girls (sharing with the last bit of Clover prep.)

I took a break from my Gilmore Girls marathon long enough to dip 7 coffee filters in about a cup of water, in which I had mixed a few drops of pink food coloring, and wring them out. I then turned on closed captions so I could restart the show while blow drying the filters. Once they were dry, I cut them in half, folded each half in half, and cut large scallops into the folded edges. Then I cut lengths of green ribbon, the kind with loops on the edge because (as my daughter noticed very quickly) they look like thorns, and three smallish leaves from green card stock.

rosie prep

The girls bunched/pleated two lengths of folded coffee filter along a piece of tape, leaving half of it exposed, and then rolled them tightly to make the flower. They then squished the flower as flattish as it would go and glued it in place before adding the ribbon and placing the leaves. They had a harder time gathering the coffee filters than I thought they would, but with only a few girls, helping them out wasn’t a big deal. Glueing the roses to the poster board proved to be more of a problem and messier than I foresaw from my mock-up, so keep that in mind if you use my idea. Maybe not use something so 3D for a mural, but securing the tape to the top of a drinking straw would make this a good Mother’s-day craft.

rosie mock upOnce their roses were in their gardens, we cleaned up and they received their Rosie petals for their flower charts before we closed.

Tula the courageous and strong tulip and Rosie, the rose who makes the world a better place

Because we had girls who needed to catch up, earn the yellow petal and begin their garden murals, I decided to divide Tula into two sessions. In the first session, we reviewed Sunny and the Kapers, showing them the completed chart, added Tula to the mural after catching up the girls who had been absent and worked on our murals, adding Tula, and read Tula’s story. For homework, I told the girls to ask someone to tell them about a real life courageous and strong women that they could share with us in the next session.

IMG_4943

I added the Kaper chart to the Rule chart, and it is now hung on our cubby door in the girl scout house where we meet. I came up with the idea for the form at the same time that I planned out the rule chart, but I did use a pin by Sarah Zahrobsky (which links to her blog) as a sort of model, particularly her comment about writing the names on both sides of the clothespins so that they never have to be upside down. Again, the daisy is made out of a paper plate and card stock. I wrote the names with glitter glue tubes.IMG_4940

 

My leader really liked the “it” and “other” jars idea, I made them as well, but I used little flower pots from the dollar tree (they came in a four pack) and green craft sticks. A scrapbooking crop template gave me the yellow flower centers and a circle punch gave me the petals, cardstock and printer paper, glued together and then to the top of the sticks. The idea is that everyone’s stick starts in the “it” jar, (or flower in the “it” pot), and then, as jobs not prepared on the kaper chart come up, one time jobs, you draw a flower for a helper, and then her flower goes in the “other” pot until everyone’s helped out and they all move back.

tula mock up

Tula took a little over an episode of Gilmore Girls to prep. (Tula and Gloria together took 2)
tula prep

I bought a pack of foam sheets from the dollar tree, used one sheet of red, two of green, and the rest went into the troop craft supplies for later projects.

I drew a tulip shape on white paper, cut it out, traced it seven times onto the red foam, then divided them into three petals each. I learned when doing the mock-up that I needed to mark the bottom of each piece to make reassembling them easier, and, since each one would be cut out individually and therefore unique, I marked them all 1a, 2a, 3a, 1b, 2b, etc. Then I did the same for the stem and leaves on the green foam.

The girls assembled them like a puzzle before flipping them over piece by piece and gluing them down. They had a lot more difficulty with this concept than I thought, half of them gluing the marked side up and/or gluing the pieces down more or less randomly even after having help assembling them first. I should probably have just handed them one piece for the flower and one piece for the stem/leaves.

In the second session, we had five out six girls, and the four who were there last week helped me tell the fifth about Tula. Then my daughter told them all about Esther, and, because she was the only one who had a story, our leader told each of the others one to share. Caught up on Tula, we passed out snacks and I read the Rosie’s story. After talking about it, I tied it in to the “Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden” journey. We talked about how for the journey we were supposed to work on a garden “take-action” project, and to earn the Rosie petal we needed to make the world a better place, so we could do them at the same time.

After discussing different ideas, we decided to plant individual flowers, care for them for a while, then find someone to give them to, and teach people about composting. I went prepared with two ideas: growing individual flowers to give away and finding a stretch of city property to seed with wildflowers. One of the girls suggested planting flowers somewhere, and the others mostly said things like water flowers and sunshine, thinking more about how to care for a garden than what sort of project they could do, and then one suggested teaching people about composting. Once it became evident that the brainstorm session was drifting, I pointed out that most of the ideas were about caring for flowers once they’d been planted, so it was basically all one idea, and there were two ways we could do it. Two girls liked the individual flowers idea and two liked the wildflowers idea, and no one complained even once when the tie was broken in favor of individual flowers, then we agreed to teach people about composting as well because that’s just a good idea.

We didn’t work on murals because, between catch-up, connecting the journey to the petals, and brainstorming, we ran out of time, but it shouldn’t be too hard to add two flowers next time. They completed Tula, earning the red petal, and they’ll have earned the pink once the flowers are planted next time and the honey bee once the flowers have been given away.

On the way out, they each received a photocopy of step 3 from Tula’s story in the guidebook and the Tula take home I had made up. 

We still have one girl who’s behind, three weeks now, and there’s yet another new girl who’s supposed be joining us in a couple weeks. I’m no longer planning on how to catch them up as I go, but we’ll figure that out if they show.