Monthly Archives: October 2012



The Safety Award pins are a fun way for girls to learn issues of safety at various levels. I don’t take WHOLE meetings to focus on them, instead I make them a part of our year. Being safe is a constant concern of every leader so if you use each opportunity to touch on some aspect of it, the girls should easily be able to earn the pin over the course of the year.

Since all the requirements are in the Guide Books, I did not type out the entire statement. Instead I have suggested activities that will be easy to incorporate into your regular activities and meetings. I divide them by the areas they touch on, as you will see below. This might help you to think of ways and opportunities to bring up the subject. Badges where the subject can be connected are underlined. These are only suggestions and will depend on how you approach the badges themselves.


1. How to be safe at school? This most likely was covered the first week of school but you can extend it to include how to be safe at your meeting place.

2 Map of town. This is done during the Quest Journey and can be done when the girls are deciding what kind of things they want to do this year. Use a map to see what opportunities are available for your Troop. When going camping and hiking, the girls should also know where to get help. It can be applied to the Celebrating Community and Letterboxer Badges depending on how extensive the map and how it is used. .

4 Plan a trip. I do this anytime we have a trip outside the meeting place. They can start learning about the Activity Checkpoints that all Troops must abide by.

3 How does a smoke alarm work? Visiting a fire department, have an evacuation drill at your meeting place, talk about the emergency signal on tv and radio.

5 Natural disasters. What is typical of the area you live in and what should the girls do? I highly suggest this be a small discussion in the Troop and that they talk it over with their parents. Their family may have a plan in place and you don’t want to say something different. A simple form sent home with the girl that can be returned signed by the parent would tell you they have discussed it. Could be a part of their First Aid or my Family Story Badges.


1 Common injuries. This is easily covered in First Aid and could also be covered in Practice with a Purpose, Staying Fit, and Camper.

2 Emergency evacuation drill. The girls will do these at their school quite frequently and will even participate in a bus evacuation drill every year. However, do they know what to do at your meeting place or home? The Independence Badge could fit here.

3 Weather Signs. Weather is an important outdoor skill the girls should be learning if they intend to hike and camp. Start with a simple field trip and discuss how the weather will impact your plans. Progress to emergency situations and what the girls need to be prepared to do. This can be connected to Practice with a Purpose, Gardner, Camper and Geocascher.

4 Bicycle Safety. Some schools have bicycle programs at the elementary level and a simple call to the district will let you know if yours does. This could fit in with Practice with a Purpose, Staying Fit and Independence. Also show them the current standards from the Activity Checkpoint.

5 Hazard identification. Walk around your meeting place and see if they can spot potential hazards indoors and out. What hazards should they watch out for if your area were to have a major emergency such as a wind storm, earthquake or tornado? Whatever issues are typical of your area. Detective and Independence badges are opportunities to do this activity.


1 Make a rooms safe.
a.. If you life in areas that are prone to tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes, you could focus on those emergency situations.
b. Otherwise they can do it as part of their Babysitter Badge. Or learning First Aid as the prevention side of it.

2 Water Safety. If you are going in anywhere near the water this should be discussed with the girls before you go. Activity Checkpoints should be shown to the girls so they can understand more of the planning process. As a badge, if the girls participate in a water sport such as swimming, diving, water polo or crew, the Good Sportsmanship Badge would fit in nicely.

3. Teach a younger girl about being lost can be applied to Girl Scout Way, Babysitter, or their LIA. & Service to Girl Scouting Bars

4 Emergency kit. This may not be something families are willing to actually create with their daughter. The Red Cross provides a great course on emergency preparedness that the Troop can take.

5 Bullying. This may or may not be a topic in your school, just ask the girls. If you are doing the aMaze Journey it will be covered there.


High schools offer so many classes and activities that you need to really be aware of what the options are in the school so that you are not repeating things the girls have already done. Every district is different and if you ever have a question I suggest contacting the school counselor.

1 Learn self defense. Many police departments offer a course for free or a small fee. Another option is to contact a martial arts studio and see if they will do a course for free for not only your Troop, but others in the area. This can be applied to Women’s Health and Cross Training.

2. Teach younger girls about safety. Girl Scout Way , Service to Girl Scouting Bars and VIT are good options here.

3 Distracted driving. If you can find a computer simulator, it teaches the effects of distracted driving far more than anything you will ever say. Drivers Ed may already deal with this subject. Car Care , Traveler, Website Designer, Behind the Ballot, and Women’s Health are Badges this subject can be discussed with.

4 Help resolve disagreements. This is a subject some health classes touch on, and certain activates that are leadership based may as well. If done correctly you could apply to Website Designer or Truth Seeker. Or they could work with a Cadette group on their aMaze Journey.

5 Drugs and alcohol. Drivers Ed and a health class will most likely deal with this subject in depth. Car Care, Traveler, Behind the Ballot ( political discussions of legalization could be touchy so tread lightly), Women’s Health, Website Designer, Truth Seeker and Voice for Animals (again, testing on animals could be a touchy subject) are the many options that fit well here.


High schools offer so many classes and activities that you need to really be aware of what the options are in the school so that you are not repeating things the girls have already done. Every district is different and if you ever have a question I suggest contacting the school counselor.

1. Pick a safety issue important to you and organize a forum where other teens can discuss the issue. Public Policy is a badge this activity can be applied with.

2. Talk to younger Girl Scouts about Internet safety and the safe use of social media.VIT and CIT awards would apply here.

3. List your duties as a counselor-in-training, volunteer-in-training, or in other leadership roles you hold. Carry the list with you and use it to make sure you’ve covered all your bases when making a safety plan for trips and events.

4. Talk to a counselor, social worker or someone who works at a local women’s shelter to find out more about how to stay safe while dating. Not just while dating, but at all times and that includes when selling cookies. This is why I might use it with On My Own.

5. Pick a sport or activity you enjoy. Find out how rules, training and safety equipment are designed to protect players. This could fall under Coaching

If you have a multilevel Troop I have COLOR DODEDactivities so it will be easier to plan when learning about safety issues.




Sometimes we just need a quick craft that is fun and cheap. Something we already have everything we need to pull off. This Halloween tree does that.

Brown lunch sack
Craft Glue
Pebbles or Rice or Dried Beans
Yellow paper (optional)
Cobwebs (optional)

Begin by tearing from the top of the bag while it is still folded, creating 3 strips. If you are not sure the child can tear straight then draw a line and let them use scissors. Open the bag and place in the pebbles, this will weigh the bag down. You don’t need much, just enough to keep it from tipping over. If you want a fluffier base than shown here, stuff it with kleenex as well.

Twist the 3 sections together to form the trunk of the tree, going up about 1/3 of the way. Now twist the remaining portion into 3 separate limbs. You may have to put a little big of glue on the trunk pieces to keep them together. Hold in place for a minute till it has time to start drying.

Form a ghost from the kleenex by cutting off 1/3 of the end and use that piece to stuff a head. Use the sting to tie a knot around the base of the head and then hang the ghost from the tree branch. This is a good time to practice those knot tying skills.

Attach the leaves with glue to the branches. Or, you can staple them on.

Glue the moss to the bottom of the bag. If you don’t have any moss (I bought it at the Dollar Store) you can also color some grass in before you open the bag up.

If you like the cobweb affect it only took a 2 inch square piece to stretch behind the branches. The moon was cut from yellow construction paper and glued on last.

This could also be a tree in the spring with green leaves and flowers in bloom. Maybe use some Easter Grass instead of the boss.
Happy Halloween!



Girls learn about different animals, how caring for animals links with caring for themselves, make a lot of crafts inspired by nature but showing diversity among individuals, and do a take-action project that educates the community about an animal related issue.

Speaking purely for my girls, I found that i have to change an awful lot of the Journeys to make them something my girls enjoy doing. Add in that we are a multilevel Troop and I have to tweak them even more. I find that doing activities the other levels can use for badges make sit even out pretty smoothly. If you too have a more than 1 level, at the bottom I will make notes of the badges that go well with this Journey.

I condensed the entire idea of the Journey into a 3 step process. LEARN-SEE-DO The first step is to learn about animals. The second step is to see what is going on with animals in your local area. The final step is to do something for or with animals in your area. This is your take Action project.

LEARNBirdbath Award – Daisies learn to care for animals and for themselves

Movies can be a fun family night and still be working towards your Journey awards. For example, Black Beauty can deal with animal treatment, while Dreamer connects people to animals. Madagascar 3 can lead into a discussion of zoos versus a circus and wildlife preserves.

Animal masks are a great way to play out a story or things the girls have learned about animals. If the girls create or find a skit they enjoy, let them play it for their parents at the next award ceremony. You can use paper plates and simply offer a bunch of items such as yarn, paper and glue and let the girls go crazy. or if your girls prefer an organized craft there are a few sites that offer some great ideas. A dancing bee mask ANIMAL MASKS

Maybe the girls would prefer to make puppets. You can do the classic style of putting images on a paper bag, using an old sock or even coloring a picture and glue it to a paint stir stick.

The AUDUBON SOCIETYy might have a local chapter that could come speak to the Troop.

Nothing beats visiting with real animals. There are lots of places to see them no matter where you live, you just have to plan ahead. Farms, shelters, circus, preserves and vet clinics are all obvious choices. But do you have an animal that passes through your area at a certain time of year? For example, the Monarch Butterfly has an established migrating route, as do whales and eagles. Visiting the local fair the girls can learn a lot from the 4H and FFA kids who are showing their animals. If it is too late for that, contact your local FFA or 4H office and see if a local member will invite them to their farm. Speaking of farms, don’t get bogged down with the idea of a simple dairy farm. Ask about cattle ranchers, sheep ranches and even a llama farm. The local aquarium can not only office a lot of information, many offer overnight programs where the girls sleep with the fish. Find out if someone who trains or uses a service animal will come to a meeting.

Local Library – National Geographic Explorer or Zoobooks and Micawber or Cat Rules and Dogs Drool flip book

SEERed Robin Award – Daisies use their new knowledge and creativity to teach others how to care for animals

Some of your girls probably already have pets of their own. Do a show and tell and have them describe their animal and what they do to take care of it. If your meeting place allows, bring the actual pet. If not, photographs can suffice.

After visiting the local dairy, try your hand at making butter or homemade ice cream.

What kind of injuries might you get from these animals and how would you treat them? How would you treat an injured animal?

How do we take care of ourselves in the same ways we take care of animals? horses need shoes, hair needs to be brushed, skin needs to be washed and doctors must be visited. The Crocodile and the Dentist deals with the fears the girls may have of visiting a dentist themselves. What would happen if the girls don’t take care of their teeth? What happens when they don’t take care of their pet’s basic needs?

Bees are absolutely needed for us to survive, are there any local bee keepers they can talk with? What about a local honey plant? Make a snack using honey.Use the opportunity to talk about first aid for bee stings and bug bites. Make a bee from a mustard bottle and coat hanger.

Garden Bee

What kind of wild animals might you see in your area, on a hike or camping? How should you react to them? How would you treat an injury from one? Teach the girls how to identify various animal tracks.

DOTula Award – Daisies gain courage and confidence in teaching others about animal care

At this age it is hard for girls to see what service they can do for animals in their area. As you go through the first 2 steps, be talking to the girls about things they see wrong, would like to change or simply to help with. Then when you are ready to discuss a project, they have something familiar to discuss rather than it suddenly being thrust upon them.

Volunteer at the local animals shelter. Or collect donations of food for them. Hold a pet adoption fair. Arrange for a local 4H dog club to hold a training lesson for the Service Unit. February is dental month for pets, create posters to place around town reminding them to take care of their cat or dog. Volunteer to walk dogs for local senior citizens. Bring in an approved service animal to the local nursing home and plan a day for the residents. Put on a petting zoo at the nearest animal store like PetCo. What kind of seeds can they plant to attract butterflies?

If you have done ay great TAPs for this Journey, please share and inspire others.

Keep in mind that many of your activities can be centered around animals and games are no exception. For example, play freeze tag but you must freeze as an animal. Charades are fun, again making the girls act out an animal. the classic game of memory has an animal version. or play BINGO using animal pictures.

Create a bird feeder. or make an edible nest. Save the netted apple bags and stuff them with items birds can use to build a nest in the string and hang them for a tree in your backyard. Participate in THE GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT.

POSSIBLE BADGE OPPORTUNITIES – Depending on activities you do and how.

Friendly & Helpful Petal
Responsible for What I say and Do Petal
Respect Myself and Others Petal
Use Resources Wisely Petal
Make the World a Better Place Petal

First Aid

First Aid
Animal Habitats

First Aid
Animal Helpers

First Aid
Voice for Animals

First Aid



If you are going to work on outdoor skills, knots are a great place to start. You can do them any time of the year, or use them when you have to fill in 10 minutes of a meeting. Girls at any level can begin learning knots, and the more they do outdoors, the more they will use them. For our knot program, I purchased cheap rope at the Dollar Store and cut it into lengths 2 to 3 feet long. Burning the ends with a lighter to prevent unraveling. I wanted something that was not going to be rough on the girls’ hands and did not want to spend a lot of rope that was just going to be cut into bits. Because it is so cheap I will let girls take a length home to practice. I also keep chopsticks to use for lashing practice.

There are so many resources online to learn how to tie knots. A google search can find loads of examples, just keep looking till one makes sense to you.

This site also offers apps for your phone so you can download and actually show the girls at a meeting, or they can download onto their own phones.

At meetings the girls work in pairs, allowing them to help each other I find makes it go much faster. I also think 1 night at a time is best so they don’t become confused. It also ensures that they really know it. We do talk about how each knot is used and specifically which ones we will use when camping. I use a CHECKLIST of the knots my girls learn. Once a girl has mastered the knots at her level, she receives a rocker for her vest. I purchase them through Joycrest.

Once the girls have some basic knots down, have a little fun with it. Plus you can use them for various badge requirements

Learn how to make a PARACORD BRACELET for emergencies.

Make a KNOT PERSON, there are differing versions depending on the knots you know how to make.

Make swaps from the different knots you have learned.

Make a knot board with all the knots they learned and give it to the Service Unit so other Troops can learn them as well.

Everyone should know how to TIE A NECKTIE and here are a few videos for various ones.

HANDKERCHIEF DOLLS are an easy, old-fashioned toy.

If you are going to fish, knots are needed for TYING THE LURES.

If you are feeling really industrious try MACRAME.


Supplies: 15 feet of rope for each team

Everyone is holding onto the rope and at no time can it touch the ground. Only 1 person may let go of the rope at a time. On the signal, the first person ties an overhand knot i the rope by where she is standing. This continues for every player in line. The first team to tie all their knots wins.

Supplies: Each player must have 1 yard of rope.

Girls forma circle. Form more than 1 for a competition. On the signal, each player in each circle will hold the rope behind her back. She will tie the RIGHT end of her rope to the LEFT end of the rope being held by the person next to her, using a SQUARE KNOT. When all the ropes are joined forming a complete circle, each person leans her weight on the knot she tied. If it is tied correctly the knot will. If not the girl will fall and they must repair the rope.

Supplies:2 or more pieces of rope 14″ long. 2 or more bowls/bags with the names of the knots the girls have learned.

The girls form a line and the first person will run up and grab a slip of paper and proceeds to try and tie that knot. If successful according to the judge the paper is thrown away. If unsuccessful it goes back in the bowl for another person. Make sure the knots are not tight or they will be difficult to untie.

Supplies: A 12″ piece of rope for each girl.

Place lengths of rope in front of each girl, and they must put their hands behind their back. Call out a knot and the girls see who can do the knot the fastest and correctly.

Ultimately the goal is to have learned useful sills and have fun at the same time. So progress at the speed your girls are ready for and have fun.



While the vast majority of American students recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning in school, that is as far as their understanding and appreciation for the American Flag goes. Preparing for a flag ceremony educates children and the actual ceremony itself connects what they have learned to their own life. When planning a ceremony, don’t feel you have to stick to just your Troop and their families. Invite veterans as well as current military members to join you. Ask your local city Council if they would like you to hold one at a meeting. If their school has an assembly, offer the services of the girls who attend. Once the girls become familiar with the process it can be a take action project to collect and properly dispose of worn out flags.










Girls love to put songs into just about any ceremony.

COLORING PAGES are a good introduction of the subject for younger girls.

The VFW has an educational website.

The Betsy Ross house is interesting.

For even more details visit this site dedicated to the US Flag.

The ceremony outlines above are just a place to get started. After you have the basic idea down, ask the girls what they would like to do and go for it.

MAKERS OF THE FLAG by Franklin Klane

I am what you make me, nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself. My stars and my stripes are your dreams and your labors. they are bright with cheer, brilliant with courage, firm with faith, because you have made them so out of your hearts. For you are the makers of the flag and its well that you glory in the making.



If you are on Pintrest you have probably seen a few versions of a scarf made form an old t-shirt. They are all pretty simple and I decided to give it a go at a Girl Scout meeting.

Cotton T-shirt
Sharp scissors

Each girl was asked to bring an old t-shirts. They needed to be plain (no patterns) as the stretching process would mess that up. The larger the shirt, the better as it would just make a longer scarf. I brought several pairs of sewing scissors. You absolutely MUST have sharp scissors to properly cut through the fabric. It is good to have a pair that nobody uses on paper around the house. I hide mine so that they will stay that way. 🙂

Using the ruler, a pencil made a line under the armpits straight across the shirt. This left a tube. The hem was cut right above the seam. Leaving the hem would mess up how well the shirt stretches. Once all the girls were done cutting, they paired up for some fun.


Pull on the shirt to stretch it as much as you can. If you do not have a buddy, hold it to the floor with your foot and pull upwards.

It was funny when the smaller girls were pulled all around the floor by their partner.

OPTION 2: A second option is to make fringes. Once you have the tube, cut up on one end (front and back of the shirt) but do NOT stretch it. You do not have to cut off the hem this time as the shirt will not be stretched.

OPTION 3: After you have cut the fringes, pull each one down to stretch them. Once you have stretched all the fringes you can stretch the scarf itself. If doing this option and you have left the hem on, the fringes MUST be cut on the end with the hem.

My girls all brought white but any color works.

You can certainly use a new shirt, but an old one makes this a free craft. If there is a small stain on the shirt it can easily be hidden when wearing the scarf by being careful how it is worn or by placing a pin on it.



Earning this financial literacy badge is very simple and can be completed in one to two meetings. It is a nice way to start them down the road of managing Troop finances.


All girls know what it means to trade. What child has not gone trick-or-treating and said “I’ll trade you my 2 Tootsie Pops for your Butterfinger”?

Hands on activity:

1. Chooses a craft or snack, it really does not matter what as long as it requires a lot of items or skill sets. Explain to the girls what they are going to make and be sure to show all the items or skills they need. Then sit them down in front of “their” supplies. Each girl will have something they need, but missing something else. Tell them they must trade with each other until they have what they each need and everyone is happy. Someone may have all the glue, while another girl may be the only one who knows how to write yet. Once everyone has what they need, they have learned the ancient system of bartering.

2. The story of Jack and the Beanstalk deals with bartering, money, wants versus needs, as well as stealing and might be fun to read with your girls. Older girls could even act out the story for younger ones.

3 The girls might enjoy looking at library books showing ancient coins that have been discovered.

The Wampanoag Indian word for beads mad from whelk or clam shells was wampumpeag, from which the word wampum derived from. These rare shells were ground iNTO cylinder shaped beads and then drilled with a hole to allow them to be strung as a necklace or woven into clothing. In 1637 the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared it was legal tender. Purple beads were worth twice as much as the white ones.

4. This is an opportunity to have the girls make their own necklaces. Younger girls might use simple pony beads. Older girls can use thin wire to thread stones or wrap stones or shells and use as a pendant.


1. Supplies Needed: Pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars, Susan B Anthony, gold dollar, $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, magnifying glass, blindfold.

Spread the money on the table and discuss how they are similar and what makes them each different. For the coins you can show the name of various aspects.

Field – the blank background
Portrait – the face on the coin
Date – when the coin was produced
Mint Mark – under the date, identifies where the coin was produced.
Edge – the flat circumference of the coin. When coins were still made from precious metals, smooth-edged coins were less valuable as they allowed people to shave off metal. The ridges were designed to prevent that as it would become obvious when someone has attempted to do that. Today, different coins have smooth or ridged edges to assist the visually impaired to easily identify one coin from another.
Rim – the place where the field and edge meet.

Use the magnifying glass to closely examine the money. Hold bills up to the light and find which one has a bar in the paper and discuss why it is there. This is important for the girls to learn so that they accept only authentic currency. The blindfold is to see how many girls can recognize one coin or bill from another.

2. If you live in the right area you could get a tour of a mint. The rest of us can view a cartoon that shows the process.


I often hear “I need a coffee this morning” or “I need a new pair of shoes” As Christmas draws near it becomes “I want that!” SO what is the difference between a need and a want? We all NEED clothes, but do we need 3 winter coats? Do we NEED the $80 pair of jeans or would a $40 pair work just as well?

Hands on activity:
1.Have a place on the wall girls can come tape pictures. Give them magazines and newspaper ads to cut out pictures. Let them tape the picture to the side labeled NEED or WANT according to what they think it is. Discuss how they did. Now discuss what does the Troop NEED to do this year, versus what does it WANT to do this year.


I had just told my son I did not have the money for something and his first response was “well, write a check!” Now his younger sisters would say “Use your debit card” but the problem is the same. They did not understand that money does not just magically appear to be handed over to the cashier.

Because every Troop is different, this will be a unique discussion for your group. Are you just starting out and have nothing in the bank account, or do you have a lot of money left over from cookie sales last spring. Do you charge dues, or does your Troop have a sponsor? Once the girls earn the money, where does it go?

Hands on activity:
1.Visit a local bank. The girls especially love the vault. You could ask which girls have a savings account and try to go to the bank most use. Another option is to see if parents would all be willing to allow their child to open a savings account on your visit.

If the girls are considering a fund RAISERS, this can help them decide what they want to do.

Hands on activity:

2.A producer make an a good or service for the consumer. For example, Girl Scouts make cookies for friends and family to buy. Use the attached sheet to see if they can draw a line from the producer, to the good or service they provide and finally, link that to the consumer who needs it.


3.If the girls are the producer, what good or service can they provide that people would be willing to pay for?


Now comes the fun part, spending the money you just learned about. As a Troop the girls need to learn early that everything they do costs money. While they may not grasp the entire concept, they can understand having enough or not.

Hands on activity:

1 Bring in various items the girls can “purchase” Depending on your girls, this can be real or pretend. Tag everything with a price and give each girl the same amount of money. Allow them to peruse the store and decide what they can afford to buy. A real store might have fun pencils purchased at the Dollar Store, or even candy. A fake store could have a can of spinach, stuffed animals or even clothing. Girls can decide to pool their money for a big-ticket item they can share, such as a pizza, or cake. The point is to get them thinking about what they have to spend and the cost of items

2 Pull these concepts together, and decide what the Troop can afford to do this year. If you have already done a money earning activity, discuss what you have for funds and what the girls want to do. If you have not yet earned your money for the year, discuss how important it is to set personal goals as well as a Troop goal. You can also decide if you need/want to do another fund-raiser to make up the difference.

3. Make a piggy bank.


Now the girls have the chance to provide service to others. Depending on what they want to do, it may or may not cost money. The important thing is to connect their skill and knowledge to someone who needs help. This can be a simple act of service or a larger Take Action Project. If they have done a Journey this is a good time to connect what funds the girls have to the service project they want to do. Make sure they remember to save money for that project when they plan their fun activities.