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:

2012:
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:

2013:
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!

~Zigg

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.

Enjoy!
~Zigg

(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 friendship-bracelets.net 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.
~Zigg

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Poem

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?
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
Self?


~Zigg

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!

~Zigg

(More Embers ideas here)

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

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Camp Names

Ahh, It's that time of year again when camps are preparing for their staff training (or currently in the middle of it) to get ready for an awesome summer with girls!

One fun part about camp for the counselors is

Ever wonder why the counselors have such fun names? The relationship between counselors and campers is a special one. Calling the counselors 'Mrs.' is too formal for the camp setting, and counselors are advisors/teachers/helpers/guardians and so  calling counselors by their first names is too familiar.

Many camps I've been too have have a few counselors that have a hard time picking names, so here is an entire list of ideas you can pick or to help get you started thinking.

(Did you know, campers and Girl Scout leaders can have camp names too? Just pick one and enjoy!)

Chips, Ranch, Fries, Berry, Simba, Nemo, Nala, Abu, Dalmation, Pongo, Mufasa, Baloo, Ursula, iPod, 8track, Kindle, Nintendo, Nook, USB, Knicks, Nets, Hoops, Tennis, Racket, Basket, Bat, Bicycle, Stick, Puck, Oar, Arrow, Bow, Balance, Chalk, Hoops, Goggles, Flutter, Archer, Tackle, Swish, Tether, Bowler, Sail, Rookie, Birdie, Rain, Wendy, Storm, Snow, Sky, Shine, Ashes, Smoke, Poplar, Pine, Cedar, Leaf, Mud, Kindling, Tinder, Waves, Matches, Sun, Cloud, Green, Spring, Buzzard, Moon, Gandalf, Frodo, Hedwig, Quaffle, Cricket, Meow, Giraffe, Pony, Philly, Moo, Oink, Blackbird, Eagle, Frog, Goat, Fly, Hawk, Flamingo, Newt, Zebra, Paws, Turtle, Possum, Bearcat, Wildcat, Kiwi, Donkey, Roo, Piglet, Mouse, Dino, Shark, Parrot, Hedgehog, Squirrel, Groundhog, Whale, Butterfly, Pony, Fox, Chicken, Chipmunk, Elk, Sloth, Skunk, Rabbit, Popcorn, Red, Hot, Twix, Film, Preview, Spotlight, Hollywood, Star, Glam, Oscar, Silence, Award, Celeb, Superstar, Jacks, Boing, Astric, Trump, Spork, Spark, Bobble, Wham, Pow, Splat, Kerplunk, Bellow, Bounce, Taffy, Paper, Stencil, Google, Dunkin, Splash, Fin, Fish, Sand, Coral, Submarine, Atlantis, Reef, Manata, Ray, Manatee, Seal, Starfish, Sky, Rain, Sleet, Sun, Rainbow, Thunder, Cloudy, Shower, Chopper, Rocket, Mist, Ray, Bird, Aurora, Cirus, Minbus, Blizzard, Starlight, Stargazer, Apollo, Dipper, Sunset, Sunrise, Snowflake, Drizzle, Breezy, Fog, Cyclone, Pickle, Strawberry, Cheese, Shortcake, Cantaloupe, Marshmallow, Peanut, Pecan, Nacho, Cornflake, Kix, Chocolate, Watermelon, Gummi Bear, Fruit Loops, Dessert, Apple Jacks, Cookie, Coffee, Peachy, Peaches, Pudding, Soy, Remix, Pie, Tea, Noodle, Oreo, Honey, Apple, Mars, Starburst, Egg, Salmon, Kipper, Thin Mint, Bacon, Chips, PBJ, Jelly, Sugar, Cereal, Bean, Dorito, Frito, Ruffles, Chopstick, Chicken, Salso, Squash, Melon, Sweet, Sour, Truffle, Pecan, Nessie, Crocket, Irish, Sari, Cactus, Llama, Rio, Pixie, Spice, Silk, China, Passport, Roadie, Spiderman, Pink, Rocky, Bugs, Care Bear, Road Runner, Doug, Skeeter, Daffy, Elmer, Taz, Dora, Homer, Alvin, Goofy, Scooby, Archie, Yogi, BooBoo, Lanyard, Rexlace, Scissors, Foam, Beads, Pearler, Wax, Sticker, Screen, Frame, Popsicle, Fimo, Clay, Weaver, Paint, Chisel, Copper, Silver, Kiln, Bell, Button, Loopy, Mini, Wire, Sculpy, Stamps, Innk, Mold, Create, Reuse, Tractor, Oink, Caattle, Crops, Lamb, Barlety, Wheat, Corn, 4H, Barn, Pasture, Cow, Horse, Neigh, Rope, Corral, Saddle, Reign, Whisperer, Horseshoe, Hay, Trough, Pitchforks, Roost, Bunny, Goat, Seed, straw, Tools, Fence, Bits, Bridle, Stirrup, Whinny, Mustang, Atlantic, Pacific, Fiji, Dakota, Berlin, Loch, Vista, Frisco, Yosemite, Diego, Orleans, Tex, Mex, Dixie, Sight, Vocal, Alto, Soprano, Bass, Treble, Kettle, Stick, Chorus, Fiddler, Rock, Pop, Tap, Beat, Glee, Band, DJ, Scratch, Keys, Crescendo, Strings, Harmony, Band-Aid, Q-tip, splinter, Ace, Healer, Ice, Twist, Sprain, Bruise, Pinch, Pressure, Madame Pomfry, Crayon, Fingers, Palm, Cards, Sticky, Snail, Slug, Tootsie Roll, Muffin, Hershey Kiss, Money, Stone, Coin, Camera, Chip, Kernel, Staple, Eraser, Magnet, Potato, Olive, Pecan, ALmond, Chapstick, Bean, Hinge, Pin, Dice, Lego, Watch, Kids, Giggles, Change, Marbles, Firework, Whistle, Kazoo, Alert, Clock, Timer, Crisps, Hail, Puppy

Some camp names sound too much like real names. Although these aren't necessarily off limits, they can cause some confusions, and hey, lets admit it, they aren't nearly as fun! Some examples would be Melody, Amber, Summer, Jasmine, Candy, and Sandy.

Do you have awesome camp names that you love? Feel free to tell us about them below!

~Zigg