Friday, October 31, 2014

Celebrating Juliette Gordon Low's Birthday

Juliette Gordon Low is a common name in the world of Girl Scouts.  For those readers who may not be familiar with her, "Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, was born Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon on October 31, 1860, in Savannah, Georgia."  Girl Scouts are encouraged to recognize and celebrate our founder's birthday each year.  Since our troop had a meeting scheduled on October 29th, and we did not have plans for a Halloween event this year, I thought this meeting would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate and to work on a few steps toward various badges.  Here is the agenda for that meeting:

4:15pm  Girls arrive.  Take yogurt snack orders.
4:30pm  Promise and Girl Scout Law Song 
              Learn 2 new Girl Scout songs
              Juliette Gordon Low Skit
5:00pm  Yogurt Snack
5:20pm.  Macrame Bracelets
6:00pm  Closing

Our girls learned a valuable lesson during this meeting:  Sometimes the best plans and intentions don't go as expected, and that is okay.  Here is what actually happened during that meeting.

4:15pm  Girls arrive.  Take yogurt snack orders.  Kapers assigned.
4:30pm  Girl Scout Promise and Girl Scout Law song.  We were SO excited the girls were able to sing the entire song without referring to this YouTube video or the Girl Scout Law poster we display at our meetings.  

As I mentioned in a previous post, we have a blended troop this year.  Our Brownies are working on the Girl Scout Way badge.  To satisfy Step 1, they learned three new Girl Scout songs.  In addition to the Girl Scout Law song, the girls sang The Banana Song and Princess Pat.  Many of the Juniors enjoy singing, and they had a good time joining the Brownies as they learned these songs.

The Brownies could celebrate Juliette Low's birthday to satisfy the second step for the Girl Scout Way badge.  The girls agreed to wear their Halloween costumes to the meeting, and I offered to make a special treat for them to take home after the meeting.  I found a directions for a Spooky and Sweet Halloween Treat on pages 14 to 17 in the September/October 2014 issue of the American Girl Magazine.  Since I was making this candy for Girl Scouts, I chose dark cocoa mint and green Wilton candy melts.  I melted the candy melts individually and in separate bowls in the microwave according to the directions on the package.  I quickly poured the melted candy onto wax paper I had previously placed on the kitchen counter.  I used a wooden spoon to spread the candy out until it was about 1/4" thick, and I swirled the brown and green candy together.  I sprinkled crushed Oreos over the top of the candy.  I carefully placed candy eyes, knowing I would be cutting the candy into pieces once the candy had hardened.  

 To recognize Juliette Gordon Low, the girls performed a skit I found online.  Conveniently, the skit had eight parts, and we have eight girls.  For troops with more than eight members, the girls are divided into groups, and parts can be assigned to each group.  Prior to the meeting, I printed out The Juliette Low Interactive Story.  I also wrote the parts on index cards.  The cards were randomly passed out to the girls.  I read the story, and when her character was mentioned, she stepped forward and said her line along with the action written on the card.  It was super cute...and really easy for me!

5:00pm  We served a yogurt snack to the girls to satisfy Step 5 Slurp a Snack (Brownies Snacks Badge) and Step 2 Whip up a Great Breakfast (Juniors Simple Meals Badge).  The Brownies had smoothies made with yogurt, frozen fruit, and orange juice.  The Juniors had a yogurt-granola parfait.  Up to this point, the meeting was running smoothly, and the girls were having a lot of fun together.

5:20pm  Macrame Bracelets.  By learning to macrame, the Brownies would satisfy Step 5 Enjoy Girl Scout Traditions (Girl Scout Way Badge).  At the same time, the Juniors would complete Step 4 Create Jewelry Inspired by Another Culture (Jeweler Badge).  I had purchased packages of parachute cord (4 different colors, 25 yards each) and clips from a craft store.  There were directions for two-toned bracelets next to the supplies, so I grabbed a flyer.  Prior to the meeting, I reviewed the directions and cut 16 lengths of cord, each 2 yards long, as directed.  I cut four of each color, knowing we could cut additional pieces during the meeting if needed.  When the other leaders arrived, they burned both ends of each cord, again as directed.  

Once the snacks had been cleaned up, we had the girls choose their cord colors and get settled.  As we began to instruct how to start the bracelets, there was some confusion.  Suddenly the directions weren't as clear as I initially thought they were.  After several minutes without success, we referred to a couple different videos on YouTube.  Minutes passed, and I began to panic.  In four years, this had never happened--our meetings and projects generally run rather smoothly.  After 30 minutes of scrambling, we bailed.  The girls were perfectly content playing a game together until their parents arrived.  Of course, I couldn't let this project go.  I continued to fiddle with the bracelet.  A couple minutes later, the directions clicked for me.  I am determined to get the bracelets started for the girls, and we will revisit this project during our Christmas party.  

Through this experience I have learned there may be occasions that require I get together with the other leaders prior to a meeting to make sure we're on the same page.  Next week our girls will begin knitting hats and scarves on a round loom.  We will be prepared this time!  I hope you check back with us.  Thank you for reading!

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