Category Archives: Uncategorized

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due


So often people feel as tho someone else received the credit they rightly deserve. If they speak up it seems as if they are glory hounds. If they don’t, they are allowing themselves to be walked on. I know that there have been times I felt a twinge of jealousy when I felt I did not receive the same credit as someone else. As a result, I do try to give it when deserved. And that time is now.

For the last 2 months my family has been going through a very rough time. It does not matter what it is, we all go through tough times. This one has knocked me over and I did not feel like crawling out of bed in the mornings. And I felt as though I were alone, totally alone. Oh in my head I knew better, but my heart felt that way. I prayed, rad my Bible and called on friends, but it was not getting any better.

Worst of all, I knew I needed help, but could not bring myself to ask for it, much less take it. Then one friend after another basically told me in polite terms, “Suck it up Kristine and accept the help.” Yes, I am great at giving to others, I try to help those I can and I try to help in ways that people need, not just what is comfortable for me. I have taught my kids the same thing, But accepting help from others, why that was an entirely different matter.

First, I asked a friend to talk and she reminded me of a book she gave me that year called Jesus Calling. I had read it here and there, but not as a daily thing. She turned to that days reading November 29th. This is what she read.


Well I may be a bit slow, but I get there eventually. I read this book every day now, and the Bible verses that go along with it. But i keep going back to November 29th.


Yeah, thanking God DURING the hard times is imply not my strong point I can promise you. But the blessings that have been poured out onto me the last few weeks are changing that. I realized I have more friends that I thought, that more people are willing to help without judging, and that I can be joyful in this time. Don’t get me wrong, I am not skipping around sprinkling daisies on everyone, I know I am still going to worry. But this week a light bulb went off in my head that I can never turn off. God is there for me, every single time and no matter what else happens in my life, that will never change. I don’t know why my family is going through this, and I still ask God that question every day, but I know that I am not alone. I give God the credit for everything, He deserves it.




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.



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.



We all have pet peeves,things that really just bug the tar out of us. Perhaps it is because I was born on the holiday, but I get so frustrated about Columbus Day. It seems that anymore I hear that we should stop honoring the man and his crew who discovered the Americas (alright, it was really the Bahamas) that led to white settlers coming and founding colonies. The excuses I hear are because he took the natives as slaves, or that those who followed stole the land from the natives. Americans have come to view this man as someone we should be ashamed of and to be quite frank, I am sick of it. He did the same things that were being done around the world at that and accepted as common practice. If we are going to stop recognizing those who did things that today are no longer acceptable, we may as well stop teaching history altogether.

I am proud to live in this country, even with its flaws. I am thankful for the freedoms we have, even when I don’t agree with what some do with that freedom. I praise God that we have the freedom to practice our faith without fear of reprisal. The United States was The Great Experiment that led to not only our great republic, but other countries following suit in an attempt to provide their own citizens with a form of democracy not seen since ancient Greece. If it were not for Columbus where would I be now? What kind of world would this be?

Why Americans have suddenly become ashamed of this holiday I don’t understand, many other countries continue to honor that voyage. The Bahamas, Spain, Argentina and Uruguay differ on their naming of the day but they too honor a man with vision. Yes, I know his vision did not include 2 continents getting in the way of a quick passage to China, but often our greatest discoveries have been the result of a mistake. (When was the last time you needed penicillin?)

Why is okay to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the schools and yet teachers won’t even acknowledge that Columbus Day exists? I have sat in the classrooms where I said “Happy Columbus Day” and the teacher blows me off and won’t tell the kids what I am talking about. I say fly your flag on Monday, be proud of how we came to be. The only things that Christopher Columbus symbolizes are men and women who desired to try something new. To explore new ideas and determine if old beliefs were accurate. To have the opportunity to become successful and well-known in his chosen field. Isn’t that what all democracies strive for today? Teach the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and that includes honoring what Columbus and his crew did in 1492.



How was your summer? Mine was wonderfully busy.

In the last month we did fair where we lived in a tent for a week. Much easier than constantly driving home. I have lots of pictures to share on what the girls did.

After that we went camping for another week. We went hiking and had some good camping food. Will share some of that soon.

Today was the first day of school. (sigh) I once again have a high schooler and my youngest is now in middle school. It is hard to believe the years have gone by so fast.

I hope you are settling back into a routine and come back in a couple of days for a few ideas I hope you might find helping. Thanks for coming by!

Children Clinics


Sometimes we just want to get the little ones out of the house to have some fun, but not spend a lot of money. Look for the businesses in your area to see what is available at a low cost and often, FREE.

Bass Pro Classes on the outdoors are offered year around and during the summer you have the opportunity for family camp.

Field Trip Factory
– Connects you to local opportunities of business that are open to field trips.

Home Depot One Saturday a month kids can receive a kit and put it together. They learn how to use wood glue, a hammer and nail and sometimes even a screw. The website updates what is coming so you can plan ahead if your child wants to do the kit. The store usually has the next several months displayed. Kids can receive an apron and with the completion of each kit, a pin to place on it. No reservation is required.

Joann Fabrics From demonstrations to birthday parties to classes, Joann’s offers a variety of ways to have fun sewing and crafting. Contact your local store for specific scheduals.

Lowes Twice a month kits are given to the children to put together. Kids also receive an apron but are awarded a patch and certificate with the completion of a kit. Reservations are taken online to ensure a kit is waiting for you.

Lakeshore Learning Every Saturday from 11 – 3 kids can make a free craft.

Michaels With a calendar full of events for kids to adults, there is always something to do at Micheals.

PGA TOUR Superstore If your child thinks they want to learn tennis or golf, this is a good place to start. They get starter lessons and you find out before puchasing all the equipment if they still want to learn the sport.

Don’t forget to contact locally owned craft stores, scrapbooking stores as well as stamping stores. Museums and aquariums often hold events just for kids as well. My local paper has a community calender on the second page that details events coming for the next 3 days. If you are on facebook, “like” the local businesses you shop at and frequently they will post when their store is doing something special. Enjoy your summer and if you know of any more great places to visit, please share.

National Parks VBS


Monday is only 2 days away and this year’s Vacation Bible School will be traveling to the National Parks. I get to work with the preschool aged kids this year and my room is the Bear Cave. I take absolutely no credit for the creative ideas, I just put up what I am given. Once again, Suzanne has outdone herself.


Can’t have anyone getting lost, now can we?

Welcome to the lodge, the home base for the 2s and 3s.

I taught them the Crazy Moose Song….

Snuggle up to the fire.

Have some juice with Fred the Moose.

Step outside the lodge and come on over to the Bear Cave. When the lights are out a blacklight will show the stars and bugs scattered around this cozy den.

ssshhhhhhh The bears are cozied up for a nap.

The little cave was a cardboard box and we covered it in brown paper that had been crumpled up. We set the whole thing no 2 chairs.

They really loved learning Going on a Bear Hunt.

Look carefully and you might see a bird or two perched high up on the rocks.

Even the caribou like to watch the cubs as they play.

Here are the main sites that the kids get to see, a different one each day.

Next is the Wilderness Survival room.

Here is the auditorium where we have opening and closing every day.

This year’s mission project is to build a hanger for a new church and purchase donkeys and carts for local pastors in Africa.

For the Volunteers

A staff room was available for everyone to take a short break.

The teen volunteers had their own room to relax if they wanted to go.

Here is the Glacier Expedition.

We learned about Paul and Silas in jail.

Come see the kindergarten rooms.

Someone in town found the moose at Costco and word quickly spread, that is why you it in several rooms.

This is the Pre K room.

Little Bear Country

Follow the tracks to the Wildlife Refuge.

And finally the Trail Challenge.