GSCNC Troop #4467 - Service Unit 60-4

Troop #4467 banner with pictures
ownie Troop
SWAPS Preview
 | June 2015

The troop leaders are busy getting ready for a 2015-2016 program with leader planning meetings, an unofficial parents meeting to get feedback, an August playdate with the troop to work on the painting legacy badge, September Encampment with our service unit 60-4, and a court of honor / pinning ceremony to award badges in October ceremony already in the works. Here is a little preview of the new SWAPS for the 2015 Fall Encampment (which repeats the core artwork from our tshirts -- see design of the orange 2015 Fall Encampment shirt for our troop a few stories below).
GS VA Safari themed license plate

A reminder of how SWAPS began: The tradition of Girl Scouts exchanging keepsakes, started long ago when Girl Scouts and Girl Guides first gathered for fun, song, and making new friends. Swaps were widely exchanged at national Girl Scout Senior Roundups in the 1950's and 1960's. In more recent years, some Girl Scouts describe the types of objects now preferred as swaps by calling them: Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere (SWAPS). We will also work on getting these finished at the August 9 playdate and will have enough for all of the girls to trade at Encampment.

"Take Action" with SharePlay
 | June 2015

At the year end meeting in June, the girls voted to use a significant portion of their pooled cookie sale proceeds to continue the mission of their Brownie Quest about healthy living and doing good for other children and their greater community. The troop considered options for a donation and debated the amount and merits of each. In the final tally, the troop overwhelmingly voted to give $100 to SharePlay. This program was started by Glebe Elementary teacher Sra. Yanira Umana. Shareplay is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise funds to donate playgrounds to schools in impoverished countries. The certificate below was presented to Ms. Umana along with a check from our troop in June.
SharePlay donation certificate

Summer Independent Earning and Learning
 | June 2015

Summer is upon us. With our end of the year badges being awarded, our new bandannas broken in many ways, and a joyous send-off for our departing scouts, you begin to wonder what to do with your long summer days. We have put together a list of five activities that the Girl Scouts can complete over the summer to earn badges -- not just fun patches. We do not set these requirements and must follow their stipulations (rules) in order to award them to the Scouts. Most require an adult to accomplish a portion of the requirements. 

2015 Summer Activity Packet badges
We passed out the "2015 Summer Activity Packet" and have cross linked the individuals files as PDFs on the "2015 Summer Packet" page linked here and listed in the menu to the left.

There is link to (1) an activity tracker; (2) an Internet Safety sheet that we are asking all girls to read, discuss, and sign along with their family; and, the requirements for five badges: bugs, beach awareness, painting, senses, and my family tree. 

None of this work is required, however we want to encourage the scouts to become independent earners (of badges) by becoming independent learners (of skills). However these badges will not be covered in meetings or as homework. All must be completed by the first meeting (Sept. 22 -- after encampment) to earn these badges. (We will place the order after the meeting and will award them at the October meeting.)

To note, we will participate in the mural painting requirement at the August 9 event, so please do that on your own if you will not be present. We will also work on some sort of SWAP for the Encampment. (It may be possible for anyone unable to attend to receive some supplies to make some at home.) Contact a leader in early August regarding SWAPS.

Preview of Encampment T-Shirt
 | June 2015

So here we are unveiling the new design for the Troop #4467 2015 Fall Encampment t-shirt. All of the girls in the 2015-2016 Troop will sign their names and will be added to the final design.  (The signatures now are just placeholders.) 
2015 Encampment T-Shirt Safari

We have their awards and badges ready for the end-of-the-year party next week -- along with their bandannas (orange this year) for the ever-growing Girl Scout collection.

End of the Year Action Item Housekeeping
 | June 2015

NEXT MEETING - AWARDS CEREMONY  - TROOP ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES

a)      A Luckypotluck signup requested for our LAST MONTHLY MEETING ON TUESDAY, JUNE 9 meeting AT 7:00 PM -- our last monthly meeting of the year.  We wanted to have an end of the year party and a special farewell party to celebrate Lily B. who is moving overseas.  We are asking that  families sign up for party items on the LUCKYPOTLUCK as they are able: http://www.luckypotluck.com/potluck/2015BrownieBlowOut

b)      At about 8 PM, we will have a brief awards ceremony at which time the girls will be receiving their annual membership pin (a star and disk) along with the earned badges for the completed 2nd Journey (It’s Your World – Change It! Brownie Quest). Parents are welcome to attend, but that it entirely up to you. This end of the year is very informal and very much a party for the girls.

c)       We have two scouts leaving our troop at the end of this year (Lily and Savannah). We want to celebrate our time together and the accomplishments of the girls this year. Three new girls (Margaret and her sister Josephine, and Samantha) will be joining our Troop officially this fall. We have invited the new scouts to the last meeting as our special guests.

d)      A summer activity packet will be handed out at the meeting and will be available electronically on the website should you misplace yours over the busy summer or forget to take it while traveling -- a great time to complete some of them!  Scouts will need a parent or trusted adult to supervise portions of these badges.

These are not fun patches, but rather earned badges -- so the requirements are the requirements. All work must be completed by the first meeting (September 22). We will collect the packets and order the badges after that first meeting so that they can be awarded to the scouts.

* INFORMAL PARENTS MEETING - EVENING OF JULY 14

We three leaders will be having an informal "Parents of Brownie Scouts social hour" on Tuesday, July 14th in the evening after work to do some of the planning for the 2015-2016 program year.  Colleen graciously offered to host at her house.  Parents are welcome to attend for fun, for social, and for planning. We'll send out an exact time soon, but save the date now if you are interested in a little adults only time and have some ideas to share and/or are willing to give us a little feedback on our ideas.

SUMMER SPARTAN RACE - A LITTLE DIRT NEVER HURT

Again, here is a link to the August 1 Spartan Kids race if anyone is interested.  This is not an official Brownie Troop event, but one that dovetails with our recent Journey / Brownie Quest -- and it also looks like a lot of fun.  The girls already registered at in the 10 AM race slots.  (http://www.spartan.com/events/?event_id=497/washington-dc-sprint?section=kidsrace#

CAMPFIRE AT THE CROUCHES - S'MORES AHEAD

The date for the August get together will be set at the July 14 leader and parents meeting. Once the details are set, we will let everyone know.  We know that many people travel during August, so we hope whomever is in town can attend. We will work on the "mural" requirement in the "painting" badge.

ENCAMPMENT SEPT. 9-11 - GET READY TO GET WILD

When the Service Unit volunteer organizers get us an itinerary for the Fall 2015 "Girl Scout Safari" Encampment, we will forward it to you to share with your daughter.  There will be a camping theme and the girls will earn the "Girl Scout Way" legacy badge.  (Many of the activities planned for this encampment are a direct reflection of the feedback received from the attendees last year that requested a camping skills focus.)

2015-2016 MONTHLY MEETING DATES SET - MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW

Although the dates are always available on our Troop Calendar, here is a quick list of the monthly meeting dates for next school year.  Please note that GO-SEES (various parties, service opportunities, educational events, outdoor experiences) are not yet on the list.  The leaders will work over the summer to fill in the calendar so that families have maximum amounts of time to make arrangements.

September 22, 2015 | October 20, 2015 | November 17, 2015 | December 15, 2015 | January 19, 2016 | February 16, 2016 | March 15, 2016 | April 19, 2016 | May 17, 2016 | June 14, 2016

Mansion on O Street Flashback
 | Spring 2015

Here are a few snapshots of our fancy tea and masquerade at the Mansion on O Street this spring. Hope you enjoy.
Mansion on O Street 1 of 2
Mansion on O Street 2 of 2

End of Journey Homework Assignment for June Meeting
 | May 2015

Troop #4467 is at the end of our Healthy Living Unit  / Journey and we need to vote on how to put our thoughts into actions.  Please have a discussion with your scout before the June meeting so she is ready to debate the merits of her choice and to consider the opinions of the rest of the troop before voting on our next community service project.

Below are some ideas the troop brainstormed at the May meeting. Please pick one of these ideas – or a new one of your own – and be prepared to share why you think this is a good service project for our troop to do this fall. We will vote at the June meeting. 

Service project ideas:
  • Help fix up a playground 
  • Teach Zumba to teachers, students, or a Daisy troop at Glebe 
  • Offer a free Zumba class at a park or another school in Arlington 
  • Host a field day/Olympics for other troops in Arlington and sponsor a canned-food drive as part of the event 
  • Collect healthy food to give to a local shelter 
  • Raise money for a local shelter, Doctors without Borders, or Cancer Society 
  • Another great service project idea of your own!
The next and last formal troop meeting of the year will be Tuesday, June 9.

We're Going on Safari AND We Played άγαλμα or Statues | May 2015

We are also in the process of renewing the scouts membership for 2015-2016 and collecting paperwork for the 2015 Fall Encampment by our service unit the second weekend of September 2015. The theme for the Encampment is "Girl Scout Safari." We sign up as an entire troop, not as individuals, and the papers are due in May to the coordinator. If you have not renewed and signed up for the camping, please speak to leader Colleen right away.

We had not said the Girl Scout promise or law in a while and began our meeting reciting the words -- just as a good reminder! In circle time, they shared their homework assignment (to plan and cooking a healthy meal for their families). We had salads, a lot of oven baked chicken, and even a very ambitious shrimp risotto prepared. What great girls and lucky families.
2015 May Mtg

We also praised all of the scouts who have already completed the assignment of participating or supporting a healthy living community event such as the Glebe 5K, roller skating family night, or the Glebe-Tuckahoe charity basketball game.

We also asked them to suggest ideas for our next Healthy Living Journey step where the scouts team up to identify a community place where the scouts can thinkup and implement a Take Action Project to improve their world.The leaders kept a list of the girls' ideas and will present them for a vote at the June meeting. The girls will have to eigh the pros and cons of each idea and vote on how they can best accomplish this portion of the Journey. This task will be picked up next fall, but the brainstorming will happen now so that plans can be laid over the summer (and necessary logistics and permissions can be sought). This still includes the girls deciding if and how much money from their collective cookie proceeds to donate to SharePlay or something similar.

The scouts played the game "Statues," or ágalma, after looking at 15 of the world's most famous statues, such as the Statue of Liberty, Rodin's Thinker, Degas' Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, as well as some notable local statues: the Olmec colossal head at the SI Natural history Museum, Freedom atop the US Capitol, The Einstein Memorial at the national Academy of Sciences.
2015 May Statues
We also looked at several artists' versions of Lady Liberty (ranging from art made by children their age to professional artists like Peter Max to Lego) to see how each interpreted the project differently. The scouts were asked to make their own drawing of the statue at the end of the meeting and to complete the drawing as homework.

Meeting Dates for 2015-2016 Announced

Although the dates are always available on our Troop Calendar, here is a quick list of the monthly meeting dates for next school year.  Please note that GO-SEES (various parties, service opportunities, educational events, outdoor experiences) are not yet on the list.  The leaders will work over the summer to fill in the calendar so that families have maximum amounts of time to make arrangements.
  • September 22, 2015
  • October 20, 2015
  • November 17, 2015
  • December 15, 2015
  • January 19, 2016
  • February 16, 2016
  • March 15, 2016
  • April 19, 2016
  • May 17, 2016
  • June 14, 2016
And, a special reminder that our Service Unit Encampment  will be held BEFORE the first meeting of the year: September 11-13, 2015 at Camp Merrick (the same location as last year). We must sign up for that event in May 2015. Our troop will be attending for both nights and will be in a cabin again this year.

Fancy Tea at Mansion on O Street |
 April 2015

The Mansion on O Street with half masks
On April 11, nearly all of the girls attended our long-awaited "fancy Tea" at the Mansion on O Street in Washington, DC.  This was an opportunity to use the manners we learned in our etiquette fun badge that we earned in a previous year.


In our own private parlor, the scouts had a feast of treats, including fruit-flavored herbal tea and hot chocolate served in elegant china cups; towers of petits fours, cheesecake bites, and freshly-baked homemade oatmeal cookies; and heaping bowls of fresh fruit.

The Mansion is a sprawling series of five interconnected town houses that includes over 100 rooms and over 70 secret doors. It was originally designed in 1892 by Edward Clark, architect for the US Capitol two centuries ago. Today, the property consists of more than 100 rooms of varying architectural, artistic and design periods, from the Victorian age to art deco/avant garde. Building highlights include hand painted ceilings (so you look up, and out of your self), original Tiffany stained glass windows, a two-story log cabin and the secluded art deco penthouse with private elevator. The girls enjoyed exploring the building and seeking hidden doors on a little treasure hunt before leaving.

Spring Break Sightings |
 April 2015

We had one of the scouts, Lily B., visit Savannah over spring break -- and guess where she went? She went to the birthplace of 
Juliette Gordon Low (the founder of Girl Scouts). The Savannah’s first National Historic Landmark, the setting for a remarkable family story woven through the history of the city, state and nation.

A National Historic Landmark, the Wayne-Gordon House, completed in 1821, is an outstanding example of Regency architecture. Saved from demolition by the Girl Scouts, the house has been returned to its 1886 glory. Authentically furnished with family pieces and 19th-century decorative art, the room arrangements and collections interpret the lifestyle of a fascinating Savannah family.The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is owned and operated by Girls Scouts of the USA as a National Girl Scout Program Center and an historic house museum for the general public to perpetuate the spirit and vision of the founder, Juliette Gordon Low, in an inspiring environment and to provide unique learning opportunities and to further the values of Girl Scouting. Read about her life and the house here: http://www.juliettegordonlowbirthplace.org/
 
Early Bird Membership Renewal |
 April 1-June 30 2015

Renew Membership Now button with red bird
Very soon it will be time once again to complete the early bird renewal for the next school year in Girl Scouting. By completing this administrative task early, the leaders can assist and do the task online for each girl already in the troop. This makes the entire process much easier and for the leaders. (Paperwork, you know, isn't our favorite part of leading a Girl Scout troop.). 

Please think about your family schedule and decide if your daughter will be continuing with our troop for the upcoming school year. We plan to continue with the Brownie program and will focus on completing the current Journey ("It’s Your World – Change It!
 Brownie Quest") 
and will finish the third and final Journey ("It's Your Story - Tell It! A World of Girls"). Cost to the national organization will again be $15 per year. The supply fee to our troop will be announced soon, but is likely to stay about the same as in previous years. Please privately let a leader know if these costs are a hardship as we will work with families to make sure that cost is not a barrier to participation in Girl Scouting. More information soon...

Rollerama @ TJ |
 March 2015

4467 roller skating at TJ
Girl Scouts hit the roller rink as a healthy start to spring break. We hope that encouraging a family to spend time together doing active things will encourage the scout and their whole family to choose an active, healthy lifestyle now and in the future.  This is the first of many initiatives that we will be encouraging the girls to participate in as we begin the
next Girl Scout Journey called "It’s Your World – Change It!
 Brownie Quest" this spring, summer, and fall.

Upcoming Family Roller Skating Night |
 March 2015

Girl Scouts and their families are encouraged to meet-up on
Saturday, March 28, 2015 for an evening of Family Skating from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the 
Thomas Jefferson Community Center (
3501 2nd Street South, Arlington, VA 22204 - click here for map). 

Troop #4467 Family Skate Night
Please note this is not a drop off event. Scouts must have a responsible adult accompany them during the skating.

Entry admission is $2.00 per person. Skate rental is $3.00 per person.

A live D.J., $1.00 moon bounces, and the TJ Café will be open.  We strongly suggest you bring your own bottle of water.

We are encouraging the girls to participate if possible. The next Girl Scout Journey called "It’s Your World – Change It!
 Brownie Quest" will focus on healthy living, fair trade, food education, and exercise as a lifestyle -- not just for the scout but for the whole family.

Please RSVP to a leader so we know who will be there!  

156% of Cookie Goal  |
 March 2015

Thanks to all of the girls and parent volunteers who made our first cookie season a success!

cookie collage of booth shifts
The girls did a great job being assertive and approaching potential customers with a smile to ask for their business. We saw some great math skills in action as they calculated the cost, counted money and made change.

Our goal was to sell 300 boxes of cookies (based on the sales data at our two booth locations last year). We had to get 168 more boxes from a cookie cupboard early Saturday morning to sell a grand total of 468 boxes sold! A huge thank you to the Safeway store (2500 Harrison Street, Arlington - Store Manager Mr. Rivera Williams) and WMATA's Ballston Metro for granting permission of the Girl Scouts to set up cookie booths. 

Thirteen of the boxes that we sold will go to the Troop 4 Troops program. In addition to the $336.96 we generated in proceeds from the sale of the cookies, we also received $80 in donations for a total of $416.98 earned for the troop.

Excellent work, girls! We hope you had as much fun as we did at the booth!

2014-2015 Cookie Parents Kim & Kerry

Cookie Booth Bling | March 2015
cookie bling collage March 2015
A huge thank you our cookie parents, Kim and Kerry, for organizing a crafting day for cookie booth decorations. The poster art is really girl-led! They also bought pizza for the whole crew.  Also, a happy shout out to the girl scouts and their families who braved the ice storm to make cookie booth bling and earn cookie booth nicknames: Special J, Spunky, Glamorpuss, Amberstare, Razy, 2-2, Hummingbird, and Queenie.

Egypt Table at Multi-Cultural Night for 2015 Thinking Day  |
 February 2015

2015 Thinking Day patch
We had great participation in our troop at the school's Multi-Cultural Night event on Feb. 20. Though activities at our monthly meeting where we talked about trade, through the game "Bunnies and Hawks" trading game, in last month's independent homework assignment, the girls learned a lot about Egypt. They learned about their exports, what the country needed to import, how boys and girls get educated, if there are Girl Scouts in Egypt, famous landmarks, and individual rights of citizens (voting). Their homework work was placed onto posters so that each girl who completed the assignment had their work on display. They passed out information on the ancient game MEHEN (link here) as well as a Sphinx-themed maze (link here). One scout went above and beyond offering to make a pyramid diorama for the display. We also had a hieroglyphics display that students could use to write using the pictographs of the ancient kingdoms. (A link to a similar hieroglyphics document here.) And, we had an interactive app running on a MacBook made by the University of Chicago that showed kids the steps required for mummification. 
The 
, but it requires flash and does not work well on tablets. The scouts will be given their patch for 2015 Thinking Day at the next meeting. Now, on to our troop's first cookie adventure...

Egyto Table for 2015 Thinking Day

The Next Journey: Brownie Quest Begins |
 February 2015

Brownie Quest award column
Next month, the troop will begin our efforts to earn the next Girl Scout Journey. This one is called "
It’s Your World – Change It!
 Brownie Quest." We will focus on healthy living, fair trade, food education, and exercise as a lifestyle.

The program requires that we pursue the Brownie Quest agenda from several different angles:
  • The Discover Key – To earn this award, each Girl Scout Brownie will discover herself and her values—as a Girl Scout and a member of her family. We will have the family member health living interview homework, the Frolicking Food Plate games (I am broccoli, hear me roar), fair trade food discussion, balanced diets and meal planning, and food choices as a part of this. We will challenge them to understand if/how selling cookies fits into a healthy lifestyle.

  • The Connect Key – To earn this award, each Girl Scout Brownie will connect as a member of a Brownie Team, with her family on a healthy-living activity, and, as a group with their community to increase healthy-living opportunities. We will make signs to support participants at the Glebe 5K and the annual Glebe-Tuckahoe basketball tournament, encourage the girls to participate in the 1 mile fun run or the 5 K Glebe race on May 2, and to attend the Glebe-Tuckahoe basketball game and participate in the colr guard as well as watch  the game. They will also help plan and prepare a healthy meal with their family. We will also ask them to participate in the Girl Scout Family Roller Skating on March 28. 

  • The Take Action Key – To earn this award, Girl Scout Brownies will team up to identify a community place where the team can Take Action. Then they join together SharePlay logoto make a plan to Take Action and carry out their Take Action Project to improve their world. The girls will have the opportunity to discuss and vote on how they can best accomplish this portion of the Journey. One suggestion was to participate in the SharePlay.org effort to have students raise funds to sponsor equipment and supplies for children. This program was started by Glebe Elementary teacher Sra. Yanira Umana. More on this soon.

  • The Brownie Quest Award – At the end of the Quest, the girls also earn the journey's culminating award, the master lock that needs all three of their keys in order to open. Through this award, the Brownies will see that, together, their three keys—Discover, Connect, and Take Action—unlock the meaning of leadership. We hope to have them complete this entire Journey by the end of the school year (June 2015).
Bunnies and Hawks |
 February 2015

We are introducing the concept of "Fair Trade" to the girls as part of the requirements for 2015 World Thinking Day. To that end, the scouts will play the "Bunnies and Hawks" game.

This year the theme for Thinking Day is girls worldwide say "we can create peace through partnerships." 

This theme is based on the United Nations' Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 8: to develop a global partnership for development. This goal is about all countries, rich and poor, working with one another to support the MDGs — and the MDGs are themselves a global partnership. In order for poorer countries to reach the other seven goals, more-prosperous countries must provide more effective aid, sustainable debt relief, and fair trade rules.

The instructions for "Bunnies and Hawks" are simple. Have the troop break up into two groups. One group will represent the richer countries (the hawks) and the other is going to represent the poorer countries (the bunnies). Give the bunnies their products and 6 beads. Give each of the hawks their products and 15 beads. Now it's time to trade! Remember bunnies need to hop and hawks fly! Each group will need to buy what they need from the other group, and each product is marked with the price. After 5–10 minutes, we come back together and talk through the following questions: Did you get everything you needed? Was trading hard or easy? What do you think would have made it easier for the bunnies? 

We hope to explain the concept of debt relief and fair trade  and share a few facts with them. Did you know…?
  • In 1970, 22 of the world's richest countries pledged to spend 0.7 percent of their national income on aid. Thirty-eight years later, just five countries have kept that promise. (Millennium Campaign)
  • Seven million children die each year as a result of the debt crisis. (Millennium Campaign)
  • The United Nations estimates that unfair trade rules deny poor countries $700 billion every year. (Millennium Campaign)
  • More than 4 billion people do not use the Internet, and 90 per cent of them are from the developing world. (UN)
  • The UN reports that in 2011, only Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden met the 0.7 percent target for aid flows. (Global Partnership for Development)
  • A total of 83 per cent of exports from the least developed countries enter developed countries duty-free. (UN)
More information on 2015 World Thinking Day can be found here: http://www.girlscouts.org/who_we_are/global/world_thinking_day/brownies_wtd.asp

Museum of African Art and the FS Galleries |
 February 2015

This month our troop had the pleasure of a Sunday afternoon field trip to the Museum of African Art and the Freer and Sackler Galleries (Museum of Asian Art) -- all parts of the wonderful Smithsonian Museum system. We emphasized looking at art from Africa as our troop will be sponsoring a booth on Egypt at the local school "Multi-Cultural Night" that will also serve as our "2015 Thinking Day" project.
African Art, Freer and Sackler Galleries Go SEE Feb 2015

An overcast sky won't damped their spirits. The Museum of African Art just celebrated its 50th anniversary and the girls enjoyed seeing the collection.  We also toured the special collection of 20th century African-American art (and briefly seeing a part of the Freer and Sackler galleries). We looked at 12th century Tibetan deities; primitive dolls made of bone, beads, and wood; handmade jewelry of gold; painted gourds; traditional African clothing updated with a modern soccer ball print; watched a short documentary on a desert fortress under siege during a civil war; and much more.  More museum info available here: http://africa.si.edu/ and http://www.asia.si.edu/.

It's Cookie Booth Time!!! | Winter
 2015

Please sign up your scout and a responsible adult for our troop's cookie booth slots. This will be our first time participating in the Girl Scout cookie booth arena. We are not having our scouts go door-to-door doing individual sales. If this year goes well and we have good participation by the troop and their families, maybe next year we will.

The purpose is to help the girls develop self-confidence by working on sales pitches, talking with the public, running the booth, doing the math transactions for purchases, and representing Girl Scouts.

A link to the cookie booth signup is here. A huge thanks to our Cookie Parents Kim and Kerry for assisting with this herculean task. 

Camp Registration and Open House Dates
 Summer 2015

Make this her best summer ever! Camp brochures were mailed to all members with listings of our sleep-away, day and evening camp programs. More information is available on the GSCNC.org website.

This year, Girl Scout camp sessions will run from June 14 to August 14. Registration dates are as follows:

Camp Winona & Camp Coles Trip: January 28

Camp May Flather & Camp Potomac Woods: January 30

Day & Evening Camps: February 11



For first time campers, consider attending a Parent Information Session. Questions? Contact Gustavo Martinez, gmartinez@gscnc.org

Monthly Meeting Recap|
 January 2015

This month's meeting was joyous and could be heard bouncing off the halls of the school.  We had a moment to talk about our December/January homework in circle time -- the project was to complete one or more random act of kindness with no expectation of a reward. The seemed to like the idea of putting the ideal into action.


We also presented the girls with four choices for a country to sponsor at the school's Multi-Cultural Night. Our troop will also do activities to make the event apply Girl Scout Thinking Day also celebrated annually in February. All present were presented with four countries in Africa as choices: South Africa, Madagascar, Morocco, and Egypt. After three rounds of voting, Egypt was the clear and convincing winner with the great majority of votes. مرحبا بكم في مصر -- or Welcome to Egypt!

We also listened to music from all four areas of Africa and did a little map reading to talk about what the countries had in common. Several questions came up about the globe, latitudes, and plate tectonics. We have a curious group of students in this troop. We also looked at examples of masks were from each of the countries and gave the girls opportunities to guess origins. They also then made African-inspired masks after looking at several examples.
lock-in collage Jan 2015

At the end of the meeting, we awarded the first Brownie Journey, "It's Your Planet: Love it! - Wonders of Water (WOW!)," along with a fun patch to all scouts that participated in the Lock-In.  A link to the homework for the month is here in case the sheets sent home are lost.  We will need them to make the display for Multi-Cultural Night/ Girl Scout Thinking Day.

Freedom Aquatic Center Lock-In | January 2015

So the troop had 15 of 16 scouts attend the overnight lock-in with swi
mming, minute-to-win-it games, crafts, and free time in the gymnasium on January 10-11. It was the first overnight away from family for some of our girls and the leaders were really proud of everyone. They were up until the wee hours of the night closing out the evening by singing songs and telling stories in their sleeping bags on the racquet ball court that served as our campsite. A huge thank you to T
roop 6406 from a neighboring service unit for allowing us to attend.  We had a ball.

lock-in


Freedom Lock-In Around the Corner| January 2015

At the last meeting, the Troop worked on swaps for the January overnight. We are glad to report that more than 100 are ready to trade with the other Girl Scout Troops at the Lock-In. We made aquarium fish swimming with rocks and a note on the back reminding recipients to conserve water because only 1% of the water on Earth is drinkable.

swaps aquarium fish


Bottled Water Drive Nets 100 Gallons| December 2014

As a way of putting the words of the Girl Scout law into action and working on a service project concerning water, the girls collected bottles of water for the A-SPAN Emergency Winter Shelter by asking our neighbors and their families for help.  The collection for bottled of water ended on Dec. 19 with nearly 100 gallons of water donated by the scouts and our community. Thank you for being so supportive of their service project.



Water Conservation Poster | December 2014

water use reminder sign

Monthly Meeting Recap| December 2014

Nutcracker 2014
This month, we have been busy -- and putting our Journey learning into action. The Scouts were granted permission to use the school and a leader's house as collection points. We have a considerable pile of donations from our community that the girls are excited to see grow larger each day.

We had Circle Time and talked about selling cookies for the first time in 2015, about their water conservation homework, and about our next overnight, the Lock-In at Freedom Aquatic Center right after the new year.

Because we had just seen the Nutcracker as a Troop over the weekend, we listened to music from the Nutcracker and played musical chairs before making little aquariums (complete with glittery fish) as SWAPS for the January overnight. We are excited! It looks as though nearly everyone is planning to come. The troop leaders continued with our annual holiday tradition of giving a small token to all of the girls and this year we selected batik bandannas to add to their growing collection -- a collection they need for camping and for when we attend events in public. 

We also want to make sure we note our appreciation for the month's parent volunteers, Sarah and Kim, and our special guest volunteer Melissa, aunt of Natasha (and sister of leader Colleen) for helping us with our SWAPS creation and assembly.

Water Bottles Piling Up| December 2014

The Scouts want to thank our Glebe School Community and the neighborhood at large for supporting our Bottled Water Collection drive as part of our "It's Your Planet: Love it! - 
Wonders of Water (WOW!) Journey" service project.

bottled water collection spot at Glebe
Wanted: Water| December 2014

The Girl Scouts have begun their water service project with the launch of their water bottle collection for the A-SPAN Emergency Winter Shelter.  Thank you to Glebe Principal Jamie Borg for allowing us to have the Glebe lobby as one of the collection sites.  See the flyer below.  We are collecting until Dec. 19. for the EWS.
Bottled Water Collection 2014

Monthly Meeting Recap| November 2014

After collecting permission slips and materials for the Nutcracker GO SEE event, we jumped into the Pledge of Allegiance and Circle Time. We revisited our conversation from last month about why animals and people need water (drinking, bathing, etc.,). We also had a vibrant discussion about how some people in our community (and world) don’t have access to clean water and what challenges that might present. After considering several options, the girls voted to have a bottled water drive for the A-SPAN (Arlington Street People's Network) Emergency WinterShelter that opened Nov.1. The EWS opened every day at 4:00 pm and provides a warm place to stay, a hot dinner meal, access to laundry facilities, and a place to receive mail. We will explore options to collect water bottles between now and the end of January to aid those in our community in need. We also played a great (and slightly frustrating game) in which the girls played the roles of water in our environment. They had to roll special dice cubes to move through the water cycle.  the game, and the grid that we made about water on Earth reminded them that 97% of the planet's water is salt water, 2% is fresh water but frozen in icebergs and glaciers, and only 1% is available for all other needs (including agriculture, human consumption, and domestic animals and wildlife). Their homework this month is listed below. We are asking the girls to create a sign with ways that they can save water by reducing the water they use each week.

November Homework for Next Meeting

As part of the troop’s unit on water, we’re exploring how scouts and their families can conserve water in daily life.

November Homework Assignment:

  1. Brainstorm ideas of how you can save water in one room of the house.
  2. Create a sign to remind yourself and family members of these tips.
  3. Bring the sign (or a photo of the sign) to our next meeting and be ready to talk about how it went (did your family learn something and save water? Was your family already conserving water? Etc.). What are other ways we can conserve water in daily life?

Example: Save water in the bathroom

Ideas for sign: turn off water when brushing teeth, hang up towels (to create less laundry), take shorter showers (10 minutes or less), turn off water when not in use for washing hands and face, etc.


Nutcracker Go SEE Event | Coming in December 2014

BalletNova Nutcracker 2014

We are planning to go to see the Ballet Nova production of "The Nutcracker" on December 7, 2014.  Contact leaders for details.

Movie Night Highlight | November 2014

A huge thank you to the Cabalu family for their hospitality and hosting of movie night!

GS movie night - Cabalu


Movie Night Under the Stars Announced | November 10, 2014

Movie Night - November 2014

Brownies Salute Veterans at Honor Flight
 | November 1, 2014

Honor Flight DCA
On Saturday morning, our Troop gave a Brownie salute to 90 men and women on the Honor Flight at Reagan National Airport. The DCA fire trucks honored the flight with a water cannon salute over the airplane as it taxied to the gate. Veterans from WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam were all represented on the flight. One particular gentleman was 100 and left quite an impression on the girls. 

The Girl Scouts gave out their handmade cards to each vet, shook hands with many, and waved American flags. (That etiquette badge paid off!)  

It was a great experience, even for the shy ones, to practice their interpersonal skills. The vets were very welcoming and appreciative, and the airport staff and Honor Flight network made the logistics easy. The scouts and vets heard live jazz standards by a quintet from Rockville, Maryland called BlueJazzGroup. They even met four pageant queens (who let them try on their tiaras) who were also there to honor the veterans. We met a 3rd grade Brownie Troop from Woodbridge who joined in the fun. A huge thanks to the parents who got scouts to the event -- even though many had other places they needed to be that am with sports and other competing extracurricular. We appreciate your time and commitment to our scouting program for the girls.


Monthly Meeting Recap | October 2014

We began work on our "It's Your Planet: Love it! - Wonders of Water (WOW!) Journey" with an exploration of how we LOVE Water -- and use water (for life, for recreation, for play, and for industry).  We did a hands-on science experiment that allowed each of the girls to form a hypothesis and make a prediction about eggs floating in regular tap water vs. salt water.  We made edible rainbow necklaces and talked about the role that rain and the water cycle plays in our everyday life that we take for granted.

The fun badges that were earned over the summer were passed out and each girl was congratulated on her accomplishments.

We also reminded the girls that our next GO SEE would be the morning of November 1 to greet an Honor Flight of veterans arriving at DCA (Reagan National Airport). This is a really great opportunity for our scouts to honor veterans for their service -- just before Veterans' Day! We'll send out more information closer to this date - we hope your scout can join us. Here’s a link if you’d like to learn more about this program in the meantime: http://honorflightdca.com/first-time-here/

October Homework: Scouts should use their super brains and grownups to find out the answer to the following four questions about water.  Links to answers are included.

Q: What percentage of water makes up the human body?; 

A: The percentage varies, but the following are good examples: babies about 78%; kids about 65%; adult men about 60% and adult women about 55%

http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html

Q: What are the three states that water can be found in at normal temperatures on Earth? List examples

A: Solid, liquid and gas; ice cube, glass of water, and steam

http://www.fcwa.org/story_of_water/html/3forms.htm

Q: What is the source of the local drinking water supply from the tap?

A: Washington Aqueduct and our partners at DC Water and the City of Falls Church.

http://water.arlingtonva.us/water/drink-tap-water/

Q: Do we have more salt water or fresh water on Earth?

A: There is more salt water.  Interesting fact: How is water distributed on our planet? Salt water 97%; fresh water in the form of ice 2.4%; fresh water in liquid form 0.6% (but humans can actually only use 0.003%).

Thanks and we'll see you in November!

Early October 2014 Update

September Homework: With all the excitement at our first monthly meeting, we forgot to pass out the homework. Please ask your girls to think about something new they want to learn or do in Brownies (go camping, meet a new friend, learn more about XX, etc.) and be prepared to share at the next meeting!

Volunteer Activities: Please see the link, Brownies 2014-2015 Potluck,  for volunteer opportunities this school year. We'd still love to have at least one parent volunteer at each meeting.  December, February, March and May meetings are still open.

Honor Flight Go See: Please remember to save-the-date for our first go-see on Saturday, November 1 from approximately 8:30am - 11am to greet Honor Flight veterans arriving at DCA. This is a really great opportunity for our scouts to honor veterans for their service - just before Veterans' Day! We'll send out more information closer to this date - we hope your scout can join us. Click here to learn more about the program in the meantime.

Thanks to Cookie Parents: Thanks to Kim Peretti and Kerry MacKay for volunteering to help out with cookie sales this year.  We have space if another parent would like to lighten the load.  Please remember that much of the cookie parent task is to help organize the troop's sale efforts - collecting money, entering orders, signing up for booth sales (from a list the service unit provides) -- and is largely computer based. Moms, Dads, grandparents, and other scout relatives are all eligible to help.  Click here to sign up!

Thanks and we'll see you in October!

Monthly Meeting Recap | September 2014: 
Summer Activity Packet and New Year Kick-Off
2014 Summer Fun patches
A huge congratulations to our Troop for tackling the Summer Activity packet.  We have a huge number of girls that completed all of the activities and have earned a pile of fun patches that they can proudly display on their new Brownie sash or vest.  14 of our 16 Scouts turned in their materials.

A thanks to Colleen for being our parent volunteer at the meeting!

We will award the fun patches at the next scout meeting. Here is a preview to the right.

voting by bean bag
The girls played a game of "Would you rather" and tossed bean bags into buckets to signal their choice.  

We also talked about the power of their voice and voting -- that although a "squeeky wheel" gets attention during a rousing debate, our troop aspired to a collaborative dialogue where the opinions and thoughts of quieter scouts has just as much weight as the more outwardly vocal girls.

Brownie Journeys
To that end and in an effort to be "girl led", the leaders facilitated a dialogue about the troop's options in what we pursue over the next two years and discussed the three Brownie Journeys that we could begin.  After conversation, discussion, a few questions, and a vote, it was decided that we will begin our Journey with the Brownie program called 
WOW! Wonders of Water - part of the "It's Your Planet—Love It!" series at multiple Girl Scouting levels.

The leaders will put our heads together and will work to incorporate the program into our monthly meetings and have our GO SEEs be meaningful reinforcement of things we have already done or contribute expanding their understanding of the program underway.

The WOW! journey presents Brownies the opportunity to earn four awards. Girls begin with small, personal acts and then move out to purposeful teamwork that engages the larger community and influences its members in significant ways.

LOVE Water - This first award encourages girls to become aware of the many ways they use and enjoy water. As they begin to understand the science of water and its importance in the world, they will also make a personal commitment to protect it.

SAVE Water - The second award is earned when the Brownies team up and speak up as advocates to protect water or keep it clean in their community. Girls start thinking as a team about what they will do for water. By making an effort that moves beyond themselves, the girls begin to realize the impact that group efforts can produce.

SHARE Water - Girls earn the third award as they create an even bigger ripple by sharing their efforts for water with others, educating and inspiring them to join in, and asking them to commit to a water promise.

WOW! - Girls culminate their journey by earning the WOW! Award, a grand finale that symbolizes the powerful change they've brought to their community. They earn the award by showing proof of their SHARE Water efforts, and by describing how their efforts relate to the Girl Scout Law and how they have had an impact as leaders.

September 2014 Event: Fall Encampment
A huge thanks to the adult volunteers from Service Unit 60-04 for putting together such a great 2014 Fall Encampment for the Girl Scouts of this service unit.  Our troop is part of this service unit and it also includes Girl Scout Troops from the upper northwest portion of Arlington, including East Falls Church.

encampment campfire    encampment flag pole
encampment yoga    engineering an igloo and fall encampment

13 of 16 scouts participated a 2 day and night during which they in a flag retirement ceremony, learned new campfire songs, had a scavenger hunt, took a yoga class lead by older Girl Scouts, sang a school song at the Saturday night talent show, painted troll rocks, participated in field games, took nature walks, and engineered building an igloo out of recycled materials.

August 2014 Event: Creeking at Long Branch Nature Center
We met at Long Branch Nature Center (
625 S Carlin Springs Rd, Arlington, VA 22204) on August 2 to go creeking, work on SWAPS (Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere) for the Fall Encampment, and do a little stream clean up -- to leave our shared public park in better shape than before we came.  it was the first introduction of the "Leave No Trace" form of camping.  Event details and supplies here.

What is Creeking?

Arlington - Four Mile RunLet's go Creeking!  What is "creeking" you say? Creeking is an in-the-stream hike where we take a look at our natural world from a different perspective than hiking along the paths in one of our many amazing Arlington parks. 


We'll search for fish, frogs, birds, animal tracks, and other wee beasties as we wade in the waters. If the scouts still have their nets from last year's Potomac Overlook event, this would be a great time to use them. The water is not deep in areas that we will explore, but we expect the scouts to get more than a little wet. A change of clothes for the bottom half and an old towel are a great idea. Bring old sneakers or other suitable stream shoes for walking in water and climbing on moss covered rocks. Please, no flip-flops or crocs. Details for meeting place and exact time are forthcoming. Bug spray and sun screen are also a good idea. All scouts should bring a snack and a water bottle. See you at the water soon!  Watch for dates to be announced.
    • appropriate footwear (no flip-flops or crocs) for creeking
    • change of shoes
    • sunscreen
    • water bottle
    • snack
    • old towel
    • change of clothes for bottom half
    • animal net
    • hat
    • bug spray
May 2014 Recap: And So It Ends, And So It Begins...
Bridging to Brownies: The girl scouts bridged from Daisy Scouts to Brownie Scouts on June 9 in a ceremony held in the Glebe Courtyard.
  
2014 Daisy to Brownie Bridging

The girls talked about each petal they earned over the last two years and were reminded of the actions and activities they completed to earn each award.

We also tracked down Principal Jamie Borg to give her the friendship bracelets we made in May.

Jamie Borg

The girls were very excited to swarm them. Here they are with 
Vice Principal Ingrid Clarke-Marshall.

Ingrid Clark-Marshall

All 15 girls are returning to the troop next fall and we are adding a new scout: welcome Lily Grace to 4467!

More pictures of the 2014 Bridging ceremony taken by Sarah C. are featured on the 2013-2014 archive here.  Thanks to her for snapping the event.

Tips for getting ready for fall and having your uniform ready are here.

We will have an informal get together this summer sometime.  Details will be forthcoming.

A Note to Girl Scout Families: 
A hearty and heartfelt thank you to our scout parents and families for your support of our program.  Our efforts to run this Girl Scout Troop for our daughters and yours could not be done without your willing spirits and busy hands.
Upcoming Events
    • Unofficial GS Parent Wine & Cheese social (adults only) = July 14

    • Painting and Campfire at the Crouches = Sunday, August 9

      smores in backyard fire pit

    • Fall 2015 Encampment Announced - Sept, 11-13, 2015!

    • 2015-2016 Meeting Dates Added to Calendar 
      (listed to the left and on the google calendar)
      - In 2015-2016, the meetings will will be held generally on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Please always check the Google Calendar.

Parent Volunteers @ Monthly Meetings, GO SEEs, and Cookie Parent Duties
We'd still love to have at least one parent volunteer at each meeting. Also, when we schedule GO SEEs, this is where we will ask for volunteers.

Sign up here: http://www.luckypotluck.com/potluck/Brownies20142015