Monday, December 14, 2015

Junior Girl Scouts badge: Drawing

This past August, my younger daughter attended an art camp at a local civic centerThe program was hosted by Young Rembrandts, a network of franchise business owners across the United States and around the world who teach children to draw.  Their preschool program is appropriate for children ages 3 ½ to 5, while the Elementary program is suitable for students 6 to 12 years old.  According to camp class descriptions, there are a variety of themes available.  Several examples include:  Animal Cartooning, Horses, Science Fiction, Superhero Cartooning, and Under the Sea. My daughter was registered for two classes, so she was at camp for a total of three hours a day for three consecutive days.  The classes were taught by the same instructor and were held in the same room.  There was a fifteen minute break between the classes.  Students learned to draw cartoons in the first class, and they practiced using pastels in the second class.  She absolutely loved it!

Knowing that our Junior Girl Scouts wanted to earn their Drawing badge this year, I looked beyond the Young Rembrandt summer camps and discovered we could set up a class on our own.  A minimum of 6 students is required to schedule your own class. The cost is $120 for a two-hour Scout program, and this covers up to 20 students.  CORRECTION:  The two-hour class is $12 per Girl Scout with a minimum of 10 girls and a maximum of 20 girls.  There is also a one-hour class option for $6 per Girl Scout.  Classes are often held at a school or community center, and the troop leader is responsible for finding the location.  We were able to reserve a room at the Civic Center free of charge since we are part of a nonprofit organization.  Young Rembrandts requested the room have a dry-erase board, and they provided all of the supplies needed for the program. This specific two-hour program has been designed to meet the Girl Scout badge requirements.  Young Rembrandts has six years worth of curriculum, so it is possible that the drawings could change from what is published in this postDuring the two-hour program, our girls did complete all five steps for the Drawing badge.

STEP 1:  Experiment with different shading materials.
The girls drew three drawings during our two-hour program.  One they left in pencil, one they outlined in Sharpie and colored with markers, and one they colored with colored pencils. 

STEP 2:  Learn how to add shading.
Our instructor gave the girls a quick coloring lesson.  She outlined an area on her drawing before shading the area in, moving in only one direction.  She demonstrated how to shade the area with a colored pencil.  She provided many tips throughout the class, but one was especially helpful--If you are going to use an orange marker, for example, color everything on the paper you want to be orange before you switch to a different color.  This is a great suggestion for a group of kids who are sharing the same resources.

STEP 3:  Get some perspective.

We had a discussion about drawing from different perspectives, and the girls practiced perspective while drawing a planet landscape.

STEP 4:  Use your imagination like a graphic artist.
The girls drew three cartoon aliens and had the opportunity to add details to make them their own.  
STEP 5:  Make your masterpiece--and show it off!
At the end of the program, the girls made a portfolio.  They folded half a piece of poster board in half and secured the two sides with patterned duct tape.  They punched a hole in the center of the top edge and tied a ribbon through the hole.  They used markers to decorate their portfolios.

I highly recommend booking a class with Young Rembrandts.  They were prompt when returning phone calls and answering emails.  They were flexible when we had to reschedule our original date.  The instructor kept the girls on task, and they were busy from the minute the class began to the minute it was time to leave.  Well worth every penny!  Since this was our only event for December, the girls had a cookie exchange at the end of the evening.  Our Brownies will earn the Family Story badge in January.  I hope you check back with us.  Happy Holidays!  Hope you all have a fun and safe New Year!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Inexpensive Leader Appreciation Gifts

Need a gift idea to show your co-leaders your appreciation for their help during the year?  I have published posts describing gifts we have made to give some of the special adults in our daughters' lives, but I have never shared how we thank our co-leaders for supporting our Girl Scout family.

For the past six years, I have purchased Christmas ornaments from Michaels for the co-leaders of our troop.  There is a large assortment of designs available, and the ornaments are always on sale this time of year ($2.50 each).  The troop picture was printed at Walgreens this year, and I received four wallet-sized photos in the order.  This was the first time I've printed a picture straight from my smartphone.  Super quick and easy!

We don't purchase Christmas gifts for the girls in our troop.  Instead, they decided to have a Cookie Exchange.  They seem to really enjoy baking at home and bringing their treats to the meeting to share with each other.   

For those troop leaders who do give their girls gifts, consider these ornaments.  They are relatively inexpensive, and each girl's ornament could feature a troop photo or include individual pictures of the girls in their Girl Scout uniforms.  For troops with larger budgets, this ornament could also serve as a cute embellishment for a larger present.  

Our Juniors will earn their Drawing badge next week, so I hope you'll check back.  Thank you for reading.