Brownies Connect and Take Action

All right, so I didn’t get around to blogging our second meeting for the Brownie Quest. Sorry about that, but here’s what we did on our second and third:

For the connect key, we used the activity from the leader’s guide. I know! Right? I used the leader guide! They are actually extremely useful in acquainting you with the journeys and giving you ideas whether you follow them or not, making them worth it, really, (though I do recommend passing them on to other troops in your service unit or community…)

Anyway, we talked about who we’re connected to and how, and then the girls made circle maps of the connection. I used a Martha Stewart circle cutter, scrapbook paper, and a hole punch to get everything ready for them so all they had to do was write their connections and tie them all together with their choice of ribbon from my stash.

my model project

my model project

my daughter's circle map

my daughter’s circle map

my daughter's map spread out so you can see it. she chose to illustrated each group.

my daughter’s map spread out so you can see it. she chose to illustrated each group.

I let them define each of their circles themselves (with the help of their junior partners who were still helping us out), and one girl had “animals” as her yellow circle. That girl’s gonna make a great veterinarian some day.

For our final meeting on the journey, I had hoped to take the girls to our local mission, but they were only available for educational visits during weekdays, and we aren’t out of school yet, so that wasn’t going to work as I didn’t have time to speak to the man in charge and arrange special treatment. I know, that’s what I get for waiting so long to set things up.

Anyway, I decided that what my girls needed from this journey was to really understand what a take action project is. Most of them weren’t really sure during our WoW journey. They enjoyed the activity, but I think the bigger meaning was kind of lost on them. So, dirty little secret, shhhhhh, but I made a leader’s call for my troop: since the Brownie Quest journey is all about learning what being a girl scout is about (discover, connect, take action), learning what taking action means satisfies the purpose well enough.

I found a great site about teaching girls advocacy.

UntitledI requested the advocacy cards they offer, but again, due to my tardiness, they did not arrive on time.

Anyway, we talked about the differences between the very important things we can do to meet immediate needs, service projects, and the ways that we can research and address the problems that create those needs. We talked about how even little girls can make a big difference, something none of my girls had any trouble believing. They’d already learned that much, yay!

To help them understand the concept of advocacy, one of the easiest ways to make a big difference and address deeper problems, I once again took advantage of my junior aids. Now, this was the fourth week they were with us. Only one of them needed to make up for a missed meeting, but they all showed up anyway. Pretty awesome girls, really. What I did was pass out cookies, two to each of my Brownies, but none to the juniors. Most of my brownies didn’t like this, one didn’t really care. Two of them were about to share their own. We talked about why it wasn’t fair, and what they could do about it. It took a little guidance, but eventually I got them past sharing their own to attempting to change the rules by talking to the rule maker (me.) With a little more guidance, my two most vocal got their two supporters to speak up and convinced one of the two quiet ones to speak up as well. The one that didn’t really care from the beginning declined to say anything, which I personally think was a nice illustration of the outside world. We then gave the juniors cookies.

It was a mostly talk/discussion oriented meeting, but the cookie advocacy activity broke things up nicely and kept them interested. I think it went well and satisfied the spirit of the journey. Next week we have our awards ceremony and end of year party.

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Junior Aids and a New Quest

So I’m behind in posting. Not surprising, and I’m sure anyone who actually reads this will understand when I say this is the final week of my final semester for my Master’s degree.

Anyway, I thought having one Cadette around was an unmitigated blessing (it is, by the way), so I was actually a little nervous when I agreed to let a Junior troop earn their Junior Aid badge with us. I had nothing to worry about. It’s been amazing. First, three weeks ago, they led their badge activity and my girls earned their Brownie First Aid badge. Here’s what made it so amazing:

  • Their troop supplied the materials for the first aid kits
  • They have a troop dad who’s a cop
  • They have a troop mom who’s an EMT
  • I didn’t have to prepare a thing or arrange a visit from anyone
  • My girls had a blast (the most important factor, really)

They role-played 911 calls, built first aid kits (learning what everything that went into it was for and how to use it), learned basic first aid treatments, got to interview an EMT, and got to interview a police officer. It was an exciting meeting.

Last week we started our Brownie Quest journey. I’m modifying this journey even more than the last one, but I think it’ll work well. I did start with the Girl Scout Law scavenger hunt suggested in the leader guide. I used large gift tags, wrote a line of the law on each tag, and hid them around our meeting place. Our Junior Aids were back, so I had each Junior partner with a Brownie and, since we were missing two of our seven girls, it worked out for each group to find two tags.

We then read them off in order and talked about values. I went straight to the “Discover Me” star in the girl’s book, and had the Juniors help the girls talk through their answers or, at the very least, keep them on task. It was simply amazing how productive this was.

Look at them! Their on task!

Look at them! Their on task!

We then went around the table and each girl shared her favorite question on the star and how she answered it. They each chose a different question and really seemed to enjoy sharing.

Finally, we came to the really fun part. I came across this amazing project on Pinterest from the Brave Girls Club. The project is making an “I am…” self-portrait. I printed out the figures, faces, and words provided in a pdf and raided my personal stash of “I’ll use this someday” art supplies. I had a selection of 8.5×11 scrapbook paper in pretty designs that they used as a base, and then they had all sorts of ribbons, stickers, embellishments, glitter glue, and rhinestones to decorate their “portraits.” I absolutely LOVED the creativity the girls showed. I had decided against bringing paint, figuring that would complicate things just a bit too much, but then I forgot to bring markers, so they didn’t have any obvious solutions for hair. One of my girls didn’t worry about at all, a couple used ribbon, one used glitter glue. They all chose different words to add and different things to focus on.

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everyone working so nicely!

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my daughter working on her very expressive self-portrait

What’s more, the Juniors were fantastic. They helped guide the creativity without taking over; they helped cut things out, figure out how to glue things down…all in all, I seriously doubt this would have gone near as well without them and certainly would have been a lot more hectic with limited adults trying to help everyone at once. Just look at these beautiful portraits!

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The girls took their journey books home to look through and complete the family star before next meeting. I’ll send out a reminder later this week, and we’ll talk about their stars and complete the Discover Key at the beginning of the next meeting.