Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Brownie Badge: Bugs

When our older girls were Brownies, they completed the Bugs badge during one of our regular meetings.  Our younger girls earned this badge by attending a two-hour program at the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati.  We used troop funds to cover the cost of the program ($5/girl).  In this post, I will describe how both troops completed the five steps to earn this Brownie Bugs badge.

STEP 1:  DRAW A BUG POSTER.  The older girls were asked to complete a poster at home.  They chose a bug and then found some fun facts about that bug to write on a poster.  If using the internet to do their research, they were instructed to have adult supervision.  They were also asked to add a picture of the bug and label its parts.  At the Civic Garden Center, we joined another Brownie troop for the program.  The Brownies were divided into groups of four.  They also chose a bug, drew it, and worked together to find information about it before presenting their posters to the other groups.

STEP 2:  TRY A BUG CRAFT.  The older girls made egg-carton caterpillars, using paint, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners.  The younger girls made coffee filter butterflies.  The decorated the coffee filters with markers and then sprinkled them with water from the rain tank at the Civic Garden Center.  When the coffee filters were dry, they clipped a clothes pin in the middle of the coffee filter and added half of a pipe cleaner for antennae.  For more fun, the badge booklet suggests hanging this butterfly above  tissue-paper flowers for a pretend butterfly garden.  

STEP 3:  SEE BUGS IN ACTION.  Both groups of girls watched three bugs.  The younger girls were given a handout to complete during their program.  This paper provided a space for the girls to write the name of the bug, what it is doing, and why?  They were also given a clipboard and a magnifying glass to use while they were exploring the gardens. 

Another choice of activity for this step is to make a bug box, and there are instructions for making a bug box out of a cardboard shoe box.  My younger daughter loves digging in the dirt and making homes for worms and bugs.  She received this bug box as a gift a couple of years ago.  She loved that she got to build AND paint the bug box to make it her own, and she continues to use it today.  Being able to have little bug "pets" has brought her a great deal of joy.

STEP 4:  EXPLORE BUG HOMES.  When our older girls were earning this badge, I ordered the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden.  We actually ended up with two of them because my older daughter received one for Christmas that same year.  The live caterpillars arrived in the mail, and we followed the directions provided.  About a week later, the caterpillars had formed their chrysalides and began their transformation into butterflies.  This was a great way for the girls to observe the metamorphosis.  

The younger girls were asked to collect items from around the Gardens that they could use to make a model of a bug house.  They were given a worksheet that asked them to list the bugs that live in the home and to sketch the bug home.

STEP 5:  TAKE A BUG FIELD TRIP.  Our visit to the Civic Garden Center fulfilled this badge requirement for our younger girls.  We will most likely return for the Juniors Gardener badge program they offer.  We took our older girls to the Butterfly Show at Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati.  This event has been an annual family activity for us for years, and we loved sharing the experience with friends.  If you happen to be in Cincinnati in the spring, we recommend you check it out!  Thank you for reading.

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