Thursday, November 7, 2013

Embers: Draw Your Hand

Lesson: Sharing yourself.
Need: Paper, pens/crayons/markers.
Prep: None.
Directions: Have each camper outline their hand on the paper.  Write in each finger, answers to the following (make sure they are about camp or the Girl Scout year):
  •  Thumb - Something they love.
  •  Index finger - Goals for the session/year.
  •  Middle finger - What they are worried about.
  •  Ring finger - What is most important to them.
  •  Pinky finger - Something they need to work on.
Share and discuss. Keep or post in a common location.


(More Embers ideas here)

Want a printable version of all embers ideas I've featured on my blog? Click here to see and print!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fall products

Fall products are here (in my council), and while I get them sorted and ready for the girls to pick up and deliver, I snapped this adorable picture to share with you all.

Meeko loves Girl Scout sales!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Camp to Troop

With another summer of camp finished, it's time to start getting prepared for Troops.
This year I will have my own troop, which I haven't done in awhile.
A troop full of 'Jumpy Juniors'. How excited am I? Very. 

Everything in Girl Scouts is awesome.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Embers: Poem Embers

Lesson: Opinions.
Need: A poem.
Prep: None.
Directions: Read a favorite poem and discuss what it means to everyone. Post the poem in a central area or give copies to everyone.

Here you can find my favorite poem. Other popular ones you can use are poems from Shel Silverstein's Where The Sidewalk Ends or Falling Up.

So why do we do it?
What good is it?
Does it teach you anything?
Like determination? Invention? Improvisation?
Foresight? Hindsight? Love? Art? Music? Religion?
Strength or patience or accuracy or quickness or tolerance or
which wood will burn and how long is a day and how far is a mile
And how delicious is water and smoky green pea soup?
And how to rely
On your
-Terry & Renny Russell

Have another great poem? Feel free to share below.


(More Embers ideas here)

Want a printable version of all embers ideas I've featured on my blog? Click here to see and print!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Postcard Exchange 2012 & 2013

I've participated in the Postcard Exchange the last two years as a single swapper (instead of a Troop) and have greatly enjoyed it.

Remember that the exchange starts in October and sign ups start a few months before!  If you haven't participated before, it's basically a Thinking Day swap for troops/groups all over the world to exchange information and celebrate Thinking Day.  You can participate by actually trading postcards or by trading e-cards. There's even a different patch each year you can order for participating (and who doesn't love patches?)

Every group seems to have different goals in their trading as some groups want one postcard from every state, some want to find another girl with the same first name as each of their girls, and last year some wanted 100 cards for the Girl Scout 100th anniversary.  I personally want only Girl Scout themed cards and I send Girl Scout themed ones in return.

Here are the card's I've receive the last couple years:

The Patch:

The card I sent (I'm from Texas so I put a picture of our flag, cacti, a sunset in west Texas, me helping a girl at camp, and the last troop I volunteered with.):

All the cards I received:

And my favorite is this postcard from Savannah:

The Patch:

The card I sent:
Hmm, I can't seem to find it right now...

All the cards I received:

 It seems a few didn't understand what I meant when I said "Girl Scout/Girl Guide themed cards". I think I'll have to explain myself better next year:

Hope to see you there next year!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Embers: The Warm Fuzzy Story

I remember my counselors telling me The Warm Fuzzy Story at camp when I was little. I didn't remember anything about it until I was going through trying to find different activities for camp and embers.  My favorite part was getting to make something to keep and take home.  I've since found the story and adapted it to a Girl Scout theme in hopes to not only educate, but to entertain.

Here you can find my version of The Warm Fuzzy Story.

Lesson: Sharing, Bullying
Need: Yarn, The Warm Fuzzy Story, scissors.
Prep: Cut yarn into 2-yard pieces enough for one for each camper. (I also created warm fuzzies from a different yarn to give to each girl after they have made one for themselves. This is optional.)
Directions: Read The Warm Fuzzy Story to the campers. When finished pass out the yarn and teach them to make their own warm fuzzies. As they are making them, discuss how this is just a representation of what warm fuzzies are and talk about how they can give warm fuzzies to others (such as hugs, encouragement, helping out). Optional, give out warm fuzzies that you have made.

Here is a great video to teach you how to make the warm fuzzies.

My tips:
  • Instead of using the ends to tie around, you can use 5 inch pieces to tie.
  • She uses a lot of yarn in the video, when you have 15 campers that would be a LOT of yarn! Limit to 2-yard pieces per camper and the warm fuzzy will still be fluffy enough.


(More Embers ideas here)

Want a printable version of all embers ideas I've featured on my blog? Click here to see and print!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Friendship Bracelet: Trefoil

I love friendship bracelets and am pretty good at making them. The largest I've ever done is a 30 string bracelet that I'm still working on, but should be finished soon.  Today I decided to try my hand at making a pattern.  I love the many many different patterns on and decided to use their pattern generator.  After several trials and errors I finally came up with this:

It's still pending and hasn't been accepted to the site yet, but once it is you can find it here to add to your favorites! (Looks like they rejected it. Oh well, I can still use it and so can you!)

As you can see it's a trefoil. It's the best I could do and I'm quite proud of it.  I should have one finished this summer so that I can show what it looks like in bracelet form.

Happy bracelet making.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Here is my favorite poem. I think it reflects how I've always felt about camp and Girl Scouts.

So why do we do it?
What good is it?
Does it teach you anything?
Like determination?  Invention? Improvisation?
Foresight?  Hindsight?
Art? Music?  Religion?
Strength or patience or accuracy or
quickness or tolerance or
Which wood will burn and how long
is a day and how far is a mile
And how delicious is water and smoky
green pea soup?
And how to rely
On your


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Embers: Getting Started

What are Embers? Embers is a program usually done at night, before bed, with counselors and their unit or cabin.  Embers helps the unit bond together and make closer friendships, have lessons on important topics, and give the campers something to think about before going to bed at night.

Embers can be done at any time of the day but normal daytime activities are busy and the calmness of Embers make it a great before bed activity. Another great time is after challenge course/low ropes/high ropes/team building activities.
 (For troops, these are great to do about once or twice a month.)

(Campfire not required.)

Helpful ideas for having a great Embers activity:
  • Everyone sits in a circle.
  • Everyone has an equal chance to speak.
  • LISTEN to your campers and make sure they listen to each other.
  • Don't be too serious, everything at camp should have some element of fun.
  • Don't lie. If they ask something inappropriate, tell them it is inappropriate and you will not answer.
  • Certain topics are off limits. These include drugs, sex, suicide, death, and divorce. If campers want to talk about these, have them talk to you privately and escalate to the Camp Director if necessary.
  • Don't single out campers. (It's ok to have everyone answer a question, but don't force it if they are uncomfortable.)
  • Make sure the Embers is appropriate for your girls (ages, personality, problems within the group). 

Quick embers questions to help get you started:
  • What expectations do you have of camp?
  • What do you want to achieve this week/summer?
  • What will you miss about camp?
  • If you could take a photo of any one thing at camp today, what would it be and why?
  • What makes a great counselor?
  • Would you say that you are lucky or unlucky? Why?
  • If you could be any living famous person for a week, who would you be and why?
  • What is the greatest joy in your life?
  • What part of a S'more would you be and why?
  • What is a dream you have had more than once?
  • What emotion do you experience the most?
  • What are your favorite guilty pleasures?
  • What defines a friend?
  • What places bring out your creative spirit?

I'll be adding more great embers ideas as we go on, I've had a lot of success with them at camp this year, the campers loved them!


(More Embers ideas here)

Want a printable version of all embers ideas I've featured on my blog? Click here to see and print!

Friday, May 31, 2013

World Thinking Day - United Arab Emirates

This year I participated in World Thinking Day on the Postcard Exchange. I traded a few postcards and made an e-card about the United Arab Emirates.  I visited the UAE last fall for 3 months and volunteered with Girl Scouts in the area.

Here you can find a link to a pdf of what I'm posting below that you can save or print or share. (©)
 (It's also much prettier.)


Above, you can see our new patch! This is earned by doing and learning things around our city, Al Ain.
We are a Girl Scout group consisting of several troops including Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, and Ambassadors.
The UAE is a small country that borders Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the Persian Gulf. It is made up of seven emirates (which are like states or provinces) and is just over 40 years old.
Being part of the GSUSAO, we are not Girl Guides and not local girls, but girls from all over the world that have moved here and get together to enjoy typical Girl Scouting activities.
(Every year we have a ‘Desert Day’ where girls and their families come to the desert to enjoy typical GS activities and learn about other things in the Middle East. Here you can see we are learning about the falcons that are part of the Middle Eastern culture.)

Although Islam is the main religion of the UAE, other religions are tolerated and the UAE is one of few Middle Eastern countries with a tolerance to different religions.
Every day here can easily be a learning experience. Just going to the mall you can see men dressed in the traditional attire of white robes called kandura and a headdress called Guthra. The women traditionally wear a head covering called a Shela and an abaya which is a black body covering that may have different embroidered patterns. Some abayas can be very expensive if they are made by highly sought after designers!

If you come visit, you can wear whatever you like as long as it is modest. The UAE is a wonderful place to visit and is rich with culture and awesome sight seeing. From beaches to beautiful water parks, from the world’s fastest roller coaster to the tallest building in the world and from the desert to one of the world’s largest malls, we have many things to choose from!

We hope you enjoyed learning about us and our country and happy future Thinking Days for you and your troop!
~USAGSO Al Ain troops

Muslim Paper Doll Friends - Girls love paper dolls.
Hamsa Craft - A traditional piece to ward off the evil eye.
Camel Hand Print - Make your hand print into a camel.
Camel Mask - Look like a camel.
How to wear a hijab - The traditional Shela is at 2:15
Watch A Traditional UAE Dance
Watch A Traditional UAE Dance 2
Traditional Games - Mancala is a popular one.
Recipe: Hummus - Delicious Hummus.
Recipe: Pickles - Pickles are my favorite thing to eat in the Middle East!
Recipe: Pita Bread - Yummy pita bread.
Create swaps using camels, sand, mini paper dolls, or a mini Hamsa craft.

Hope you learned something new here!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Indoor game: Pass the Present

As I was looking for rainy day ideas, I came upon one called 'Pass the Present'.
The idea of this game is to pass around a wrapped present and have one person open one layer at a time and do what that layer says.  This game does have to be set up in advance, and I originally thought that it wouldn't be very practical at camp when it rains because we never know when it will rain!  After thinking about it for awhile I realized that I can make this in advance and keep it ready if I make it small. So here is my version of the 'Pass the Present' game.

Rules: Have everyone sit in a circle to pass the present around. You can do it one of two ways: 1) Everyone takes turns around the circle in order to open the present; or 2) use music or songs or singing and pass the present around until the music stops, once it stops that girl opens the present, repeat.

Tips: If you do option 2, make sure you have the boxed wrapped in about one and a half times the amount of players you have, e.g., 20 girls should have 30 pieces of paper.) Step in to make sure everyone gets to open the present at least once if you need to.

Materials: One 32 count matchbox (empty) or other similar small box (cardboard jewelry boxes for example); 1" strips of paper, pen, a prize.

To prepare:
  • On the strips of paper write down something for the unwrapper to do. These can be as simple or crazy as you want them to be.  I have a list of what I put at the bottom of this post.
  • Put one prize in the box. I didn't want one girl to get an 'item' and have everyone else left out, so I put a slip of paper in that says "Everyone give me a big group hug!". You can also put something that will be given to the entire group such as "Enjoy the cookies!", but make sure you have the prize ready for them.
  • Wrap the box one strip of paper at a time taking care not to tape any pieces to other pieces so it is easy to remove without destroying the next layer.
 Here is my present ready. Colored paper works too and can make it quite pretty!

Here is the list of things I wrote:
Play air guitar
Spin in circles three times
Do four pushups
Give your counselor a high five
Sing a camp song
Borrow a bracelet from someone
Lend something to the person on your right
Whisper the name of your favorite color
Say something nice about the group
Say two nice things about yourself
Nudge the person beside you
Untie and retie your shoes
Make the noise of an animal and have everyone guess
March around the room
Cover your left ear for 2 turns
Kiss your elbow
Pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time
Reach to the sky as high as you can
Walk like an Egyptian
Waddle like a penguin
Pretend to drive a car
Pop like popcorn
Melt like ice
Howl like a wolf
Do six jumping jacks
Run in slow motion
Tell a joke
Spell your favorite counselors name
Count backwards from 20 to 7

I mixed them up and don't know what order I put them in. Some are silly and I may need to step in to help. "Kiss your elbow" can't be done, but it's fun to watch them try! After they try, they should be instructed to move on. Others may need to be eliminated depending on the age. "Untie and retie your shoes" may not be the best for all young dasies!

Do you have any more ideas? Please share!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Quick Cards

Girl Scout camp is almost among us!  I've been spending the last week getting things, ideas, and programs ready for this coming summer.  This summer I'm going to be a Unit Leader, and I need a way to take my program binder with me, in a much smaller form.  I heard about Quick Cards on a chat board and thought I'd make me some.  They came out better than I had expected and I'm excited to use them this summer!

Quick Cards are basically index cards on a ring that you can store in your day pack or back pack for quick ideas and reminders when you are out and about with your group.

Materials needed: Chipboard or cardboard, scrapbook paper to decorate with, stickers or other embellishments, a binder ring, and index cards.

  • To start, cut two pieces of the chipboard (or cardboard) to the size of the index cards.  (Don't use thick cardboard or thin cardstock.)
  • Glue or mod podge scrapbooking paper to one side of each piece of chipboard. (I also mod podged white paper to the inside, but this is optional.)
  • After it is dry, punch a hole in the top left corner of one piece (this will be your front) and the top right corner of the other piece (this will be your back). Your boards may be too thick for a hole puncher, I used a crop-a-dile, but you can use the end of pointy scissors or a nail or screw).
  • Now it's time to decorate the cards with the embellishments you choose! I used scrapbooking letters to write "Quick Cards" and decorated with some Girl Scout stickers.
  • Optional: Here I sprayed with an acrylic sealer, but is not required. It will make your cards not be sticky from the mod podge.
  • Punch holes into the index cards and put on the ring as shown:
  • Fill in the index cards!

I outlined the edge of the cards with colors that correspond with certain categories to help me find what I need.
Here are the categories I currently use:
Songs (orange), Skits (blue), Games (pink), Time Fillers (purple), Crafts (red), Food (green).
I also wrote this list on the first card in case I forget!

This project is great for new and experienced counselors, CIT's, and anyone who likes to keep program ideas with them!

Have you made some yet? Comment with your links so we can see!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bluebonnets at Camp

Last spring I was what is called a 'site sitter' for my local Girl Scout camp.  I worked a few weekends being the 'go to' person for any problems, opening the pool, and teaching archery.  This was a new and awesome experience for me.  I was able to meet troops from different areas of the council.

We had a lot of rain in March which resulted in beautiful Bluebonnets all over the camp.  
I was able to take a few great shots with my phone (I forgot my camera!) 
and wanted to share their beauty with you.

Bluebonnets surround the benches near the campfire.

Lots of them!

The field looking towards the lake.


Hope you enjoyed them!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sandy Hook Trefoil

After the Sandy Hook tragedy, Girl Scouts all across the nation and world were contacting their councils looking for ways they could help the school, Girl Scouts, and families.  The local council asked that those who wanted to help, "Send thoughts and prayers written in the shape of a Girl Scout trefoil, or art that incorporates the trefoil, and we will present them to the Newtown Service Unit during a memorial service in mid-January. "
Along with sending some that I wrote special notes on, I wanted to create one for me to keep as a memory.  Here I embossed the Girl Scout faces logo, '2012', 'SHE', and a small daisy. I'm very proud of these!
I happen to have 3 extras of these and will send them to anyone who emails me.
Anyone can claim until they are gone!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Girl Scout Crunch Bars

My 24 hours off from camp one weekend last summer I was able to find some Girl Scout Crunch Bars!  I only saw full boxes of two of the three flavors, but since I wanted to try them all I bought a single bar of each.  They were a little over a dollar each and the only place I found them was at a local CVS pharmacy.

The Caramel and Coconut is my favorite!
A few months later I found a TON of them on clearance at Walmart.  My fiance and I stocked up! They were super cheap and sold individually. Too bad they were sold for just a short time.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Girl Appropriate Music

Last summer I was Program Director and I was been given the
task to find some popular girl appropriate songs in a mix of different genre's and decades. Since we
are an all girls Girl Scout camp I tried to put some girl power songs on as well. We will be using
these for the older girls dance and at the pool. Here's what I've come up that fills two cd's:
Kelly Clarkson - Stronger
Martina McBride - This One's For The Girls
Rihanna - Umbrella
Taio Cruz - Dynamite
Cupid - Cupid Shuffle
Corey Hard - I Wear My Sunglasses At Night
N'Sync - Pop
Aqua - Cartoon Heros
Ashlee Simpson - La la
Britney Spears - Stronger
Drew Seeley - Just That Girl
Fall Out Boy - Dance, Dance
Katy Perry - Firework
Ke$ha - Blow
Lawrence Welk - The Chicken dance
Michael Jackson - Thriller
Miley Cyrus - Best of Both Worlds
Rob Thomas - This Is How A Heart Breaks
Smash Mouth - All Star
Vengaboys - We Like To Party!
Lynard Skynard - Sweet Home Alabama
Beyonce - Single Ladies
Cobra Starship - You Make Me Feel
Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger
Train - Hey, Soul Sister
Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe
Charlotte Hatherley - Kids In America
Kenny Loggins - Footloose
Snap - Rhythm Is A Dancer
Rascal Flatts - Life Is A Highway
Shania Twain - Man! I Feel Like A Woman
Taylor Swift - Mean
Tim McGraw - God Blessed Texas
Rednex - Cotton Eye Joe
High School Musical - We're All In This Together
B5 - Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf
If you feel that some songs may have an inappropriate word for girls of certain ages, there are 'radio edited' versions, or those that are sung by kids (usually Kids Bop and such). Most people, kids expecially, don't understand the meanings of all songs, so it's up to you to make the ultimate decision for you and your girls.
Do you or your kids have some favorites that are not on here?  Feel free to share them with us!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Friendship Bracelets - For Sangam!

A couple months ago I found Sangam's Friendship Bracelet Project on the WAGGGS website and just had to make some to send along in hopes other sister guides and scouts purchase them. They are selling
these to local kids and visitors to help fund their projects. If you visit Sangam in the next year, be
sure to pick up a few! Here are the 10 I made and sent, in all sorts of colors:
They also have the option to put tags on the bracelets with your email in case someone wants
to get in touch with those who made the bracelets. (I have yet to hear from anyone.)
Surprisingly, they sent back a postcard saying their thanks. It was awesome to get a postcard from India!

If you send some friendship bracelets, be sure and post a link here to show off what you made!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Happy 101st Birthday Girl Scouts!

Image credit: Ingredients of a 20 something edited by Dresden on babble

Ahh Girl Scouts, what a wonderful 100th, year long birthday you have had!  Today marks the 101th birthday of this wonderful organization.

For my New Years resolution, I decided upon making this year more crafty than ever! I have many things on my 'to do' list and always end up back on my computer trying to get more ideas!  This blog is one of my 'crafty' things this year and I am creating it today, on such a special day.

I have been a Girl Scout for over 20 years, starting as a Brownie in the first grade and finally becoming a leader, volunteer, and camp program director.  In this blog I hope to inspire you with the same passion I have for Girl Scouting and to make your journey easier, more fun, and with tons of wonderful memories.