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!