The girls met at my house at 3pm on a Saturday in the spring. We carpooled to Woodland Mound the first year, and to the Cincinnati Nature Center this year. We began the afternoon with a hike. At the CNC, we chose the Edge Trail that circles Powel Crosley Lake. It took us about 45 minutes to complete this hike. There are so many different ways to make a hike with the troop more than another walk through the woods. Here are some ideas:
1. Nature Scavenger Hunt --have the girls create a list, make up your own list, or save yourself some valuable time by finding a list online that will meet the needs of your troop.
2. Alphabet Hike--find objects that begin with or resemble each letter of the alphabet from A to Z. Another option is to give the girls a word, like "DAISY" or "GIRL SCOUTS" and have them find items with these letters. The older girls went on a "BROWNIES" hike at camp this fall (see this post).
After finishing the hike, we found a picnic table where we spent the next 30-45 minutes doing crafts and singing songs. The year the older girls were at camp, they made God's eyes and decorated their own memory books. For the books, I precut pieces of cardstock into 5x7" rectangles, allowing for each girl to have four sheets. I punched 3 holes along the edge of one side. The girls used crayons, markers, and stickers to draw and write about their Daisy experiences. We used leftover yarn from the God's Eyes to tie the pages together for each girl. They also spent some time working together to complete a compass activity. (We used two compasses my daughters received as the prize with their Chick-fil-A Kid's Meal). We divided the troop into two teams and asked the girls to follow a series of directions we had written on an index card. For example, "take 4 steps to the North, turn East and go 6 steps."
We skipped the compass activity this year, so the younger troop had more time to devote to crafts. They made God's Eyes, using 8" lollipop sticks that had been cut in half. Learning from the past, I tied the yarn onto the sticks and started each God's eye prior to arriving at camp. This was easier and quicker for the girls than having to help them get started on site. This picture is from the first year we tried the craft. They are using cookie sticks instead of the lollipop sticks cut in half.
They also completed a campfire craft from the Girl Scout foam craft kit that is available at Michael's. I already had the yellow cardstock. I brought some tacky glue and Elmer's Glue-All--both worked well on the foam. The girls followed the picture provided in the kit. Most of them added a personal touch to the scene.
The girls each made a Daisy bracelet with some alphabet beads and pony beads that had been donated to the older troop a couple of years ago. I had some elastic cord on hand from a previous craft. Thankfully there happened to be enough beads to spell "Daisy" for each girl, so I didn't have an additional expense.
We had enough time to sing some songs that remind me of my days at camp like "The Other Day," "Boom Chicka Boom," "Make New Friends," "Down by the Bay." My mom spent her summers in college working at a Girl Scout Camp. She taught me "Sarasponda" and "Flea", and I was excited to get to share these songs with the girls.
My mom also told me about the Hoot Bird that would make an appearance at camp when she was a Camp Counselor. I just HAD to try it! A couple of days before camp, I bought a cantaloupe (I used a small watermelon the first time). I created the Hoot Bird by decorating the melon with feathers from the craft store. I adhered the feathers, cardstock triangle nose, and large googly eyes with hot glue. Once at camp, I conveniently hid the bird. Much later I pretended to get a call from my husband on my cell phone. I explained to the girls that he was calling to let us know that a Hoot Bird had escaped from the Cincinnati Zoo and was seen flying over the Cincinnati Nature Center. I warned the girls that this was a gentle bird that would not hurt them but would most likely be afraid of us. I described the bird as having brightly colored feathers and huge eyes. Of course, the girls were interested in trying to help locate the missing bird. After a short walk, they located the Hoot Bird and erupted into giggles. The best part is that the Hoot Bird can double as a snack. So fun!
After making sure we were leaving the park cleaner than it was when we arrived, we headed back to my house for Part 2 of Daisy "Camp." Please check back to see how we spent the rest of our time together. Thanks for reading!