Image

We DO still exist…and we ARE active

You’d think since it has been FOREVER that we’ve fluttered apart as a troop but that is definitely not the case.  Life DOES get super busy for Middle School girls AND their parents so the blog has gone by the wayside even though our troop has not!  Due to their crazy schedules, we’ve only met about once (sometimes twice) a month this year but have managed to do quite a bit!

So, below is some RAPID FIRE to catch us up!  Our girl led badge work started a little while back, and each team of girl leaders is supposed to write a blog as one of their leadership steps, so the hope is we will have a post for EACH of those and our year will be sufficiently documented for all to enjoy!!  The couple of badges below were planned and led by adult leaders.

BADGES (so far) –
For our Finding Common Ground badge we had a local, female, counselor (who specializes in drug and alcohol addictions GROUP therapy) come and talk to the girls about how important it is to find common ground when working with groups.  We used this information, including how to be respectful when speaking AND listening to vote on our troop trip.  The girls almost unanimously voted on BELIZE!

 

One of the BEST ideas our leadership team has come up with in a LONG time was what to do for our Comparision Shopping Badge.  We wracked our brains on ways to make this fun without spending a ton of money.  So, during the holiday season, we had each girl meet us at the mall with $10 of her own money.  We didn’t tell them what the money was for just that they had to bring it and meet us.  When we got together, they were broken into 4 teams, each with the same amount of money to spend (since they all brought exact CASH that was then divided amongst the groups).  Each group was givin $40 total to spend.  Then, they were told to go over to the Giving Tree, where tags are hung with the names of children and adults who are less fortunate and their “wish list” for holiday gifts.  They had to decide, amongst their group, which ONE person from the tree they would pick and then use their pooled money to COMPARISON SHOP for the best way to get some of the stuff on the lists…having just the $40 to spend!  Then, as groups, they were sent off through the mall to SHOP!!!  We met back at a pre-determined location, at a pre-determined time and shared what they were able to get on their chosen wish list, by making sure they were getting the best deals to be had in the mall. The girls all had different reasons for picking who they picked.  Some picked little kids because they couldn’t imagine waking up Christmas morning without something from Santa and they wanted to make sure they could help make that happen for another child.  One group specifically picked a girl their own age because they could relate.  It was amazing, fun and inspiring to watch these girls want to make sure none of their recipients would miss out on a single WISH on their list AND the girls said they wanted to make that an activity every holiday season!!  We call that a WIN!

We do an annual troop sleepover where we earn the My Promise – My Faith Special Opportunity Award.  This year we chose the theme Responsible for What I Say and Do and tied this into the Financing My Dreams financial literacy badge.  We spent the evening talking about how being financially literate is being responsible for your own actions and a good way to do that is have plans for the things you want to do, buy and become!  They did budget plans based on the median income potential for the “dream job”, where they wanted to live, where they wanted to vacation, etc.  Then they created a Goal Setting Dream Book (guided journaling basically) so they can have a tool to help them plan out a year at a time their goals in a fun, creative way.

And sometimes they just had fun and were goofballs!!

COMMUNITY –
There are a few things we do each year to make sure we are staying involved within our communities, including a couple of parades, including Veteran’s Day and our city’s annual Parade of Lights in December.  We always build a float and bundle up for this super fun event.  This year we also took 2nd place, in our division, for our float!!

We also create an item to donate to our school’s silent auction that happens each year at a Gala.  This year we created a multi-media painting of angel wings, made with paint, bits of yarn, glitter, marker and pages from an old book of children’s poetry, that sold for over $100.  The proceeds go directly to our school.

This year, our troop was also asked to do the flag ceremony for the annual GSCO Women of Distinction event held in our town.  This event is held each year to honor 3 women of distinction who are making the world a better place by contributing in amazing ways to our community.

 

FUNDRAISING –
The troop is saving for a, international trip and every penny helps!   We’ve done a few different fundraising activities, INCLUDING COOKIES, this school year to help get us on our way.

16387207_10212204188046146_2783534958530450649_n

One of our troop leader’s family owns a winery and asked us to make some crafts to sell in their tasting room.  So we made a couple of different items from old corks.  We gave to them and they gave us the profit.  It’s a win-win!

img_4251

Our school holds an annual craft fair that is one of the most attended events in our area.  We decided to capitalize on this event by having a booth with product to sell.  We used this opportunity to make ecofriendly crafts to tie into the journey we’d done earlier in the year.  We made napkins with recycled button down shirts and napkin rings.  One style was made with hand-made paper beads (from old magazines) and another with pop can tabs and ribbon.  Amazingly, we SOLD OUT….earning more than $700 towards our trip!

 

 

 

We were also given a pretty fun opportunity to help our local WalMart celebrate their Grand re-Opening after a remodel.  They asked local troops if they would be interested in manning a concession stand outside the store during their celebratory weekend.  The store supplied everything, we got to keep the money made.  Another win-win!

 

The girls also did gift wrapping during their first week of Winter Break, leading up to Christmas.  This was great because we had all our wrapping paper donated.  Patrons dropped off their items, the girls packaged, wrapped, labeled and beribboned to their hearts’ content!  This is an event we WILL be holding again!  We even got on the local news!

In addition to ALL this and their crazy school, sports and music schedules…our 7th and 8th grade girls’ almost all participated on their school’s basketball teams which both made semi-finals and our 8th graders almost all participated on their school’s volleyball team which won district championships in addition to 90% of this troop having earned HONOR ROLL every quarter of this school year!  AMAZING young women!  Keep on the look out for more from them!!

My Promise – My Faith: Courageous & Strong

faith4

For starters, if you aren’t a follower of our sister troop’s blog, be sure to check it out.  They’ve posted more about this event and a ton more amazing photos.

According to The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting, “Earning this award helps you explore how Girl Scouting and your faith offer similar ideas about how to act – and how Girl Scouting can tie into your faith.  You can earn this pin once a year, every year you are in Girl Scouts.  Just choose a different line of the Law each year!”

We as a troop (technically 2 troops as we do this event with our younger sisters in troop 2214), of Catholic School students, have worked on this Special Opportunity Award for several years.  The My Promise – My Faith pin has five requirements, the first being to pick a line from the Girl Scout Law and think about how this shows a connection between your faith and Girl Scouting.  This year we focused on being COURAGEOUS and STRONG.

photo 1q

The second step is to interview a woman in your faith or another faith community.  We invited a teacher from the girls’ school to come and talk about her mission to Liberia.  She talked about how her faith gave her constant courage and strength as the country was in the uprising of Civil War.  She remembers hearing gun shots while she was on a beach and the home she lived in was bombed within days of her family being emergency evacuated back to the United States. Our speaker was most certainly a true testament to faith, courage and strength!!

SONY DSC

IMG_9447

We then put the girls to the courage and strength test by reenacting FEAR FACTOR (like the TV show) with a series of challenges.

We had PIG GUTS KEY SEARCH where the girls had to dig through slop (random Dollar Store canned goods, such as Spaghetti-Os, jam, applesauce, canned veggies) to find keys to unlock a pair of padlocks.  This station was really smelly and really gross!  It definitely required courage to stick one’s hands into that grossness!

IMG_1697

IMG_1704 IMG_1699

Outside we set up the ROTTEN EGG CHALLENGE.  Girls had a relay where they had to carry cracked eggs in their hands from one point to another.

IMG_9451

photo 2

Another station was WORM PIE.  They had to find a worm (candy….but they weren’t told that) in a pile of whipped cream.  The catch – NO HANDS or utensils!!

SONY DSC

The last challenge was CAN YOU GUESS.  At this station the girls had to identify several flavors of baby food from containers with no labels.  The girls were certainly grossed out by this and were SHOCKED when we informed them that everything they tried was just pureed versions of foods they love to eat now….such as Mac-n-Cheese and Chicken pot pie!

SONY DSC SONY DSC

SONY DSC

After some group discussion surrounding three chosen quotes, by women, illustrating our chosen line of the Law the girls were able to use the quotes to make a canvas collage to take home with them.  This fulfilled steps 3 and 4 of the pin requirements.

Our chosen inspirational quotes were:

“It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.” – (Professor Dumbledore) aka J.K Rowling

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin

“Courage is like a muscle, we strengthen it by use.” – Ruth Gordo

IMG_1720

IMG_9468

SONY DSC SONY DSC
BIG girls helping their younger 2214 sisters…LOVE IT!!

SONY DSC

We then wind down the evening with a movie.  This year we watched the GSUSA training videos for Cookie Season as cookie sales started in our state during this same weekend.  Then, it’s time to sleep! (yea right!!)

IMG_9475

photo 4e
Sisterhood!!

IMG_9483

After breakfast,  we had some discussion about how we all plan to live what we learned about being COURAGEOUS and STRONG.  We made a commitment to live it every day!  This fulfilled the final requirement of the award.

IMG_9495 IMG_9500
LOVE these girls!!

 

A few weeks after our event, the girls received their pins which were blessed by Father Jaochim during Mass.  Both troops were honored in front of their entire school and parish community.

GS1

The key to this event is some hours of preparation and a great support system.  We are extremely fortunate for the support of our school, church and parents!

SPECIAL thanks to Mrs. Hurt, Fathers Don and Jaochim and all the staff at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.