Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Junior Girl Scouts badge: Flowers

Our Junior Girl Scouts completed the Flowers badge by attending a two-hour program at the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati.  In this post, I will describe the activities they completed to earn this badge.  I will admit I'm probably not the best person to lead a lesson about flowers, so I was excited to discover this program.  And for just $5 per girl, the Garden Center program was the perfect choice for our troop.  When I called to schedule a date, I learned there was an opportunity for our girls to join another Girl Scout troop that is also comprised of Brownies and Juniors.  While the Juniors worked on the Flowers badge, the Brownies earned their Bugs badge. The girls worked well together, and it was fun to spend time with a troop from another school.

STEP 1:  UNCOVER THE SCIENCE OF ONE FLOWER.  The girls began the program by touring the grounds of the garden, and we found many of the flowers were labeled.  The program leader is a botanist, so the girls were able to ask her questions throughout our time together.

The Juniors identified their favorite flower in the garden, and they created an acrostic poem in which each line begins with a letter of the plant's name.  As an example, here is my daughter's acrostic poem:

Pretty pinks and whites
Every bugs favorite hiding spot
One beautiful flower
Not smelling good
Your favorite pink color 

STEP 2:  LOOK UNDER PETALS.  Our program leader had several books and note cards for different flower families (Roses, Orchids, Asteraceae, and Lilies).  The Juniors were divided into small groups, and they worked together to first choose the flower family they wanted to research.  They found at least three fun facts about the flower family, and they created a poster that was later presented to the other groups.

STEP 3:  FIND OUT HOW FLOWERS HELP PEOPLE.  The girls learned that flowers are fruits in disguise.  They enjoyed a delicious snack of watermelon, pineapple, strawberry, blueberry, and grapes.  Each girl had a chance to pass out part of the snack to the rest of the group.

STEP 4:  HAVE FUN WITH FLOWERS. The girls were given a 3"x12" piece of clear contact paper to use to make a bookmark. They were asked to gather leaves and flower petals from the ground.  They peeled back one end of the contact paper film and arranged the items as desired.  They continued to remove the rest of the film before folding the top half of the contact paper over the materials to cover them completely, making sure to match up the edges before pressing the contact paper together.

UPDATE:   Here is one of the bookmarks the girls made as described in Step 4 above.

STEP 5:  SEND A MESSAGE IN FLOWER CODE.  The badge booklet says, "Many flowers are symbols that send a specific message when you give them."  Here is a link to a website that defines these different meanings.  We have made large tissue paper flowers for bridging ceremony decorations.  We have also made smaller ones to brighten someone's day.  A friend shared this tissue paper carnations tutorial with me, and I decided to post it here since it is easy to follow.  Tissue paper and pipe cleaners are inexpensive, so the girls can easily make tissue paper flower bouquets, corsages, and arrangements to share with others.  They could take the flowers to residents of a nursing home or to veterans at the local VA hospital.  What a great way to combine a badge and a service project!

Thank you for reading.  

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