Some of the Flat Juliette's we sent out are starting to "come home"which is really neat to see. Some of them flew on planes, visited gardens and ate some really delicious foods - all around the world! Thank you to all the hosts!
We also sent a Flat Juliette to the Midwest, and exchanged with another Daisy troop there. Here's our letter explaining why we haven't kept up with our pen-pal letters (or this blog) in the last couple of months: We've been busy!!
Dear Daisy Troop,
Sorry we haven't been in touch. You won't believe the adventures we've been having:
In January, we visited the Re-Dress Exhibit at The Reading Public Museum, where an artist used recycled materials to make fashionable items. There was even a dress made out of Target Shopping Bags, but we posed with our favorite - this green ballgown, with notes about caring for the earth looped around the skirt! The museum also had a traveling exhibit about Dora the Explorer where we could sail a pirate ship, help animals in the veterinary hospital, and even try the climbing wall! Flat Juliette posed in this picture with us.
In February, our Service Unit celebrated World Thinking Day. We had an international fair where each troop picked a country, and made a booth about it. Ours was Italy and we created a pasta-shape-matching game. Did you know that "bow-tie" pasta is called "farfalle" (far-FALL-eh) in Italian...it actually means "butterfly!" Plus we made up a song about saying hello in Italian, maybe we can send it to you! This picture is the 1st Graders. The Kindergarteners did Russia, and learned about the Olympics. About 80 girls came that day. Flat Juliette must have been visiting the other booths, maybe the castle (England) or learning about the pyramids (Egypt). Our favorite was the tiny tacos made by some Brownies at the booth about Mexico.
So, how has your winter been? Ours has gone on FOREVER! In fact, some of the snow that was on the ground for our January trip to the museum was STILL part of the two feet of snow on the ground when we drove to Kennett Square, PA to visit the DuPont estate: Longwood Gardens. We didn't visit the bush-shape gardens or any of the outdoor grounds, but we spent several hours in the Conservatory: it's like a gigantic green house with rooms for every climate: dessert, jungle, and there's even a children's garden where you are ALLOWED to play in the fountains. We had a lot of fun...and we made sure to keep your Flat Juliette dry! If you ever take a trip to Philadelphia, you should definitely visit here! This weekend we're camping in a cabin at a Girl Scout camp in the neighboring county. It's supposed to rain. The whole time. But we're Girl Scouts, so we'll make it work (right?) One of our scouts made a video about how to pack backpacks for a campout. At our meeting tonight, we'll be learning how to make a bedroll, and making an Edible Fire (since we might not get to make one at camp!)
We hope your spring is going well! Are you planning any outdoor activities for when winter finally ends? What about traditions at the end of the year? We'll try to send Flat Juliette back to you for your End of Year Ceremony - our 1st Graders will be bridging in May. it sure has been fun having her visit!
This week, the girls learned about Mari the Marigold, who teaches us to be "Responsible for what I say and do." We talked about what that means to them: following through, making promises you can keep, and being proud of keeping your word!
For this week, it was the leader who had to be responsible. Since we ran out of time at our last meeting, we started out by making our Origami butterflies! It was appropriate, though, since 1st Grade Daisies added "Itterasshai!"to their luggage tag bookmarks as part of the Journey: It means "Have a good time!" in Japanese!
Skating Swaps (Okay, these aren't ours, but I need to take a picture of them!)
Kindergarten Daisies continued their discovery about Russia, making Ice-Skate Swaps for Thinking Day next month. And just like them, no two were alike!
They'll present these as part of their booth at our Service Unit Thinking Day, at the end of February. This year's Olympics in Sochi give the girls a chance to connect with Russia's hosting of the Winter Games...and the cold!
Arrival Pebble Beach
First Grade daisies enjoyed choosing their favorite pebble from the examples the leader brought in, to match the part of their Journey story where the Flower Friends arrived on pebble beach. They observed their stones while they were dry, and then again when they were wet. The girls agreed that they were surprised at all the colors! If they thought rocks were all gray, these specimen illustrated a contradiction! However, these particular pebbles were props, not from Maine. I guess they were expecting more authenticity after they were presented with shells from a Mexican beach at our last meeting. "Where did you get these pebbles?!" "Uh, Dollar Tree!"
In their Journey book, Between Earth & Sky, the flower friends arrive in Maine and note that the "coastline" makes the jagged border of their state. Reflecting on our own region, we found lines made by ocean coasts, lakeshores and rivers.
Looking at a topography map, the girls were asked to guess what made the jagged border between Montana and Idaho...is it a river? No, it's a mountain top! Just another way these girls are using their thinking skills to learn about their world!
First graders expanded their Italian Investigation by testing their pasta knowledge! The girls each chose a buddy, then separated two kinds of pasta from a cup. Then, they tried to guess what shape it was supposed to be. Some were obvious, like "shells" or "wagon wheels" but did you know what we call "bow ties" the Italians call "farfalle"...it means butterflies!
But for some of the shapes, not even the Italians can decide. What do you think these twirly noodle shape is? Are they irises (gigli) or tiny bells (campanelle)...? You choose!
Or, if you want to try at home - you can gather your own noodles for this Pasta Shape Quiz!
That's right folks! We're participating in the age-old tradition of the Girl Scout Cookie Sale! While their leader remembers using the sturdy corrugated cardboard Girl Scout Cookie boxes to pack up her belongings for college, a few things have changed since then!
For starters, that's when cookies were about $1.75 a box, and MAN was it tricky to add up that change! Now, cookies are $4.00 a box (in our Council) except for the *new* gluten free chocolate chip, which are $5.
One of the really neat things is that we are one of only 20 Girl Scout councils, nationwide, participating in a pilot program for these gluten-free cookies. Just another way that Girl Scouts is (still) trying to follow the law and Make the World A Better Place! Learn more at http://www.abcsmartcookies.com/gf-cookie-councils
A staple of the Girl Scout Cookie Sale in our area are the cookie booths. Girls are still encouraged to go door-to-door, but research shows that customers are more likely to buy when they can get the product right in their hands...(or their mouths, in the case of Thin Mints.) :)
This year, the girls kicked off the cookie sale with a booth outside a local pizzaria..."dessert, anyone?"
Working together, each girl had a role: bagger, stocker, and the cashier team!
It was really exciting when people actually pulled over their cars to buy our cookies.
Was it the twinkling lights that caught your attention? No! It was your great big Girl Scout smiles!!
For Thinking Day, the 1st Grade girls chose to study Italy. (I think they were inspired by the pictures of the Trevi Fountain. Little did they know their leader once spent a year abroad, in Rome!)
At our last meeting, we made up a greeting song: "Buongiorno! Buongiorno! Come va?
Bennissimo, grazie. Ciao Bella!"
Basically, "Good day, how are you?" "I'm great, thanks. See ya!"
But for a more "autentico" experience, a local Italian-style restaurant agreed to host the troop for a make-your-own pizza night!
For the price of a kids meal, each girl got a tour of the kitchen and restaurant's "Italianate" decor - she also got to decorate her own pizza box, make her own pizza (on pre-flattened dough), and EAT IT!
The girls enjoyed reading the Italian words printed on the sides of their kids-meal cups and did a great job using their manners. "Grazie!" means Thank you!
This week the girls talked about Tula the Tulip and her part of the law, being Courageous and Strong! The girls acknowledged that sometimes it isn't about being able to do the heavy lifting (physically) but the heavy helping - like sticking up for a friend in the face of unkindness.
Each troop did work on their Journeys this week, the 1st Graders focusing on SEEDS.
We talked about which seeds we could EAT, which seeds travel, which seeds we recognize, and which seeds really need to stay put! The page in our Journey Books about dandelions certainly made us nostalgic for summer in this cold North Atlantic winter!
Anyway, as the Flower Friends in Between Earth & Sky arrived at Pebble Beach - in Maine - it was a perfect time to share the bag of shells that a Flat Juliette host had sent us from Mexico. Each girl took three, one for each part of the Girl Scout Law!
Speaking of Flat Juliette - the girls looked over a print-version of her photo album. This fall we sent several of our Flat Juliettes around the world to host families, so it has been fun to see what they've been up to. We also picked up a Midwestern pen pal - another Daisy troop sent us THEIR flat Juliette!
If you look closely in this picture, you can see the shells covering the beach.
But it's not all fun in the sun! Flat Juliette has been playing in the snow, shopping at a European flower market, and even visiting The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville! Check out her page to learn more about her travels and see more photos.
One of the highlights of the winter is our annual Girl Scout Service Unit Christmas Caroling Party where we join 50 or so other scouts from our area to spread Holliday Cheer.
Sure, we freeze our daisy petals off, but the greatest part, the girls agree, is the giving. It's a real thrill to be able to put a smile on someone else's face, especially in the dark, cold of a winter night. But that's what these girls do best!
A Scout is Friendly and Helpful
The Cadette Troop in our Service Unit that organizes the event "papers" the neighborhood the night before, placing flyers in the doors of the surrounding homes, inviting them to leave their porch light on if they would like carolers the following night.
Then we gather for pizza, bundle up, and hit the road.
This year, our outfits were complete with Santa hats, headlamps, song books and candles from our Investiture ceremony to add to the ambiance. We little Daisies buddied up with Cadette Scouts for our trek around the snowy, icy neighborhood.
Don't worry, the aforementioned cocoa is there to greet us at the end of the night.
Another significant part of this event is the girls' participation in the Food Pantry program. Sure, we pay a couple bucks for a slice of hot pizza, but the real contributions to this event come in the form of pre-packaged Christmas Dinners for the families that are served by the local Food Bank.
This year, our little troop was able to put together the fixings for three holiday meals. The girls signed a card to go with each one.
There is no better place to look for the truest holiday spirit, than in the hearts of these girls. Happy Holidays everyone!
Just like at all our meetings, we begin with a Girl-led mini Flag Ceremony. Kindergarteners hold our tiny flag, and 1st Graders lead the pledge and the Girl Scout Promise. Tonight, however, they practiced using their big, brave voices since they ALSO led our Girl Scout families in the Pledge and Promise at our Daisy Investiture.
But we're not always so serious. We sang through some traditional Girl Scout Songs, but I think their favorite was "Mama Lama
" a singing dance where one girl, (Brave and Courageous like Tula the Tulip) leads the others in an 8 count dance that the rest of the group then copies. Oh, and it's in a circle, so when they copy it, everyone crashes into each other in the middle of the circle.
I'm sure you can't tell by the snapshots from our meeting that we think FUN is an important part of Girl Scouts. At least the poor little Flat Juliette visiting us from a Daisy Troop in Wisconsin couldn't get flattened any more!
This week the girls worked on their Zinni petal, and talked about ways to be caring and considerate, the third line of The Girl Scout Law
. I have to congratulate them for being excellent share-ers with the art supplies at our meetings. This week with so many girls packed in our Daisy circle, they really demonstrated how a scout is considerate and caring when they made room for each other!
The girls will be having their first candle-lighting ceremony as part of our Daisy Investiture at next month's meeting. They'll get their Daisy Pin, or an Investiture Patch, if it's their second year in scouts. But what would a Girl Scout Ceremony be like without singing!
We use traditional songs like "Girl Scouts Together," "Make New Friends" and "When E'er You Make a Promise" for transitions during our meetings, and we even sing Girl Scouts "Taps
" before we pass around the friendship squeeze!
This week we reviewed these familiar tunes, and learned a special song just for Daisies
(to the tune of I'm a Little Teapot). I think the biggest hit was this peppy spelling song "She Wears a G for Generosity
!" It's perfect for Kindergarten and 1st Grade Daisies!
Blue Bucket Award
Zinnia the Zinnia (Considerate and Caring petal) showed up in this week's Journey story, the rest of Chapter 2.
First graders worked diligently on this Blue Bucket puzzle, but it turns out that it being kind and considerate can be difficult when you face a challenge!
The girls did a great job of de-briefing, and really talking about their feelings, and each other's feelings - part of what the Blue Bucket Award is all about!
Since the Girl Scout motto is "Be Prepared" we also took a look at the activities on page 20 of their Journey Book "Between Earth And Sky
." Each girl shared the things that they would take if we were going on a trip...and what would be different if you were going in the car, or if you were hiking.
"How do you spell 'binoculars'?" :)
For their Road Trip, the flower friends make plans to meet and visit Maine, California and Alaska. Using the It's a Big, Big World book, the girls located all three - and our home state - and then enlisted the help of our Kindergarten friends to put together one more puzzle - the USA!
Last weekend, we were fortunate enough to have a warm spell accompany our trip to the farm. A local farmer gave us a tour of the local Community Supported Agriculture vegetable gardens that he tends in a neighboring county.
We saw leafy greens that will stay in high tunnels over the winter, curly tops of sturdy cold-weather kale, spinach under netting, and even dug the last of the carrots! The farmer also showed us garlic that will wait until spring to creep out of its warm straw bed. So cool! Or, warm, rather!
Between Earth & Sky and The Daisy Flower Garden
The girls are working on two Journeys, but both of them are related to environmental awareness. The girls enjoyed smelling the "sweet soil" of several potted herbs, and definitely noticed the difference between the "dirt" and compost that we examined.