WoW: Brownies SAVE water on the Wonders of Water Journey

Ok, so, not only was I late to this meeting, no particular reason, just forgot we started at 6:15, thought it was 6:30, but I forgot the key ingredients to the snack. I’m blaming pregnancy brain. That’s the only explanation I’m willing to go with, but hey, feel better about yourself, ok?

Anyway, after taking a break for World Thinking day, we got back to the WoW journey. It was a rough night. Two of my girls (including my own daughter) had trouble containing their boundless energy and I do not believe the managed to be still for thirty seconds together for the entire evening or use their inside voices once. For once in my short span as leader, I was actually relieved I only had 3 of my 7 girls present. That sort of behavior is contagious, and I know at least one of those absent would have contributed rather than mitigated the effect. We persevered, though. We had a conversation about respecting others (as per the girl scout law!), and lost helping privileges, but we made it through the material. Again, feel better about your troop, (and your kid, if necessary) ok?

When we got there, I gathered my supplies (for an activity I came across several times on Pinterest, but primarily from this useful blog post):

2015-3-2 brownie troop 10462 - wow journey - water polution (1)

There was much guessing as to what we were going to do. I refused to tell, because I had a plan. I started going through my supplies like I was getting organized, and anything I didn’t need for the snack went into the water, to much exclamation, I can assure you. “Why are you putting it in the water?!” and the like. This included the banana peels (and the bag they were in) from the pre-peeled bananas I had frozen for the snack, an empty vanilla bottle I had added a bit of canola oil to, a coffee cup with with coffee filter and used grounds, along with the rubber band and paper towels I’d used as a make-shift lid, the pudding cup from my pre-meeting snack, and a random candy wrapper. 2015-3-2 brownie troop 10462 - wow journey - water polution (2)

“Ok, girls, we’re ready to make our snack. We have our peanut butter and cocoa, and, oh dear, I seem to have put the trash into our water instead of the trash can. Well, I guess you’ll have to clean it out before we make our snack. We need that water.”

Let me tell you that there were some rather dramatic reactions to this. There were “ew!”s and “we can’t do that!”s and “do we really have to use that water?”s.  One of the girls in particular was rather concerned that they would actually have drink it.

2015-3-2 brownie troop 10462 - wow journey - water polution (4)They did a pretty good job, though, I must say. Once they were done, we talked about water pollution and how undoing it is sooooooooooooooo much more difficult (if not impossible) than just keeping it clean. We talked about how in a lot of places, the only water people have access to is yucky water, and they have to figure out ways to filter and clean it themselves or just drink it anyway. This did not go over well at all, and that one girl was still concerned we were really going to use this water. I assured her we weren’t, and we all agreed that it was great to live in a country where we could just dump out the dirty water and get some clean water to use. We also discussed ways to go natural and reduce waste to begin with, (thereby addressing step 2 of the household elf badge.)

It was then time to move on to actually making the snack, which didn’t actually use water at all. We slurped our snacks to move forward with the snacks badge, making a really simple smoothie I found here (the image is a link):

As I mentioned at the beginning, only one of my girls got to help, which was too bad, especially since my daughter loves to help and was really sorry about not paying attention and being too hyper, but, as we’ve learned before, apologizing does not remove consequences. Not sure if the lecture and missing out on participation contributed to the other girl’s sulky mood for the rest of the evening, or if it was just because she didn’t particularly enjoy the smoothie and therefore “didn’t get a snack,” but that happens as well, I suppose. Anyway, the smoothie is really easy to make, (especially if you peel your bananas before freezing them. Have you ever tried to peel a frozen banana? I have, and I’m glad I’d already learned that lesson, let me tell you.) One recipe was enough for all three girls to have a small cup, which was plenty, so that worked out even better than expected.

While they sipped their smoothies (or sulked), we discussed our project for the SHARE Water award. I had made up a set of note-cards with problems related to water pollution, use, and conservation in one color and a set of solutions or good practices in another color. We went through them, placing the solutions over the problems, kind-almost aligning them appropriately. After that we started talking about what we could do and whether it could actually make a difference. Fortunately, none of my girls have a hard believing they can impact the larger world, but their ideas were all still home/self-centric, so I introduced World Water Day (which happens to be March 22! Happy timing, since I didn’t even know World Water Day was a thing until I was planning out this journey). I explained it is a day all about getting the whole world thinking about the importance of water, and yes, even boys, as difficult as you might believe that to be.

One of the ideas I found on the World Water Day website is creating art for the world. You submit your art and they share it.

The girls also really really got excited about the idea of making signs to display in the library, so much so that we didn’t even get around to any other ideas, except maybe hanging signs somewhere else like their schools. I liked the WWD idea so much, though, I pointed out they could do both. I’d just take a picture of them holding their signs/posters and submit those, and they could find somewhere to display them around town. I was particularly happy that, when I told them to collect found objects and reusable trash to use in their projects, one of them got really excited about “getting” to do that. We also discussed how they each get to choose the point about water conservation that they feel most strongly about and make their own sign. One can do reduce, reuse, recycle, while another can focus on how girls collecting water often miss school to do so and that isn’t right, or how it’s easier to keep water clean than it is to clean dirty water. With these thoughts in mind, we dismissed, instructed to return in two weeks with an idea and materials for water-saving art.

There will be reminders (and sharing of instructions with the absent girls).

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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