Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Swaps 2014

Recently I participated in a mail-in swap exchange. Anything Christmas/Winter/Holiday themed was the requirement.  I had some air dry clay leftover from Halloween and I came up with these cuties:

I rolled the clay into a ball and flattened it a bit into a thick disc. Then I took a stamp, stamped it in blueish ink, and stamped it onto the clay to flatten it out.  They took a day to dry and then I glued a pin on the back and added the tags.  I chose snowflakes because I love them, but any images will work although some will look better than others.

I received a lot of unique and great swaps from all over the country.

My favorites would be the wreath, mug with marshmallows and a candy cane, a snowman key, snowballs for a snowball fight, and a stick of candy!

Swaps are great for any time of year!


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sticker Giveaway! NOW CLOSED

I am giving away to one lucky winner one sheet of Girl Scout stickers!
This is a sheet of 8 3D stickers that you can use on your crafts, scrap booking, or for your troop.

The stickers:

How to enter: Leave a comment telling us about why you love Girl Scouts!
Don't forget to include your email address and name.

Who can enter: Limited to US participants 18 and over only.
Double entries will be deleted.

Giveaway ends: December 5th at Midnight Central time.

Want a second chance to win? Like us on Facebook and someone will be picked
to win a second set of stickers! (The same type of stickers, same rules apply.)

Winner will be picked with a Random Number Generator
and the winner will be announced in a new post.

Good luck!

And using a random number generator, our winner is:

Sandi Little!
Hope you enjoy your stickers!

Stay turned for more giveaways in the future.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Embers: Personal Flaws

Lesson: Personal flaws.
Need: Pens or washable markers, wet paper towels.
Prep: None.
Directions: Have everyone write a flaw about themselves on their hand. Everyone picks someone else to wipe a flaw off (make sure nobody is left out here and having their own flaw to wipe off. This can be achieved by everyone wiping the flaw of the person on their left (or right) in a circle.)
Discuss how we all have flaws and how we help each other in overcoming them.


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

Monday, October 27, 2014

Guide to Troop Crests

Troop crests can be such a personal decision for a troop. Knowing about the crests and finding the best way for your troop to pick one can lead to a great decision made by a happy troop.

Troop crests were originally patrol crests. Each patrol in a troop would decide what they wanted to represent themselves.
The first four troop crests were the white rose, carnation, red rose, and poppy. These first crests were round with a black background and red embroidered border.
1914 - Troop crests were changed to an oval design with a khaki background and black border.
1918 - Troops could make their own crests and this became widely popular.
1928 - Troop crests were changed to a grey-green background.
1930 and on - Troop crests were changed variously to match the choices in the colors chosen for uniforms.
2010 - A new set of 16 troop crests were released with the oval shape changed to a shield.

To view a collection of troop crests you can go here: http://www.vintagegirlscout.com/trpcrests.html

These are our current troop crests:

And the meanings:

Arrow - Action and moving forward.
Bee - Hard work.
Bluebird - Happiness and good fortune.
Carnation - Health and energy.
Crane - Strength, grace, and honor.
Eagle - Sees important details. (Bring focus to the group.)
Lei - Friendship, love and peace.
Lightning - Good ideas and creative power.
Nautilus Shell - Growing on the inside and outside. (Loving and accepting change.)
Pansy - Loving thoughts and special friendships. (Great Girl Scout bonds.)
Shooting Star - Rare, unexpected, and beautiful!
Sun - Warmth and life. (Helping yourselves and other grow.)
Trumpet - Ready for action.
Unicorn - Courage and beauty.
Waterfall - Always in motion steadily moving toward the goal. (Stay true to what you believe even though the world is always changing.)
White Rose - New beginnings. (New adventures.)

Frequently asked questions:

Who wears the troop crests?
Until recently, troop crests were for juniors and up but with the ciricculum change in 2010, brownies are now able to choose and wear a troop crest.

Where is it worn?
Troop crests are worn below the council ID strip and above the troop number.

When can you change a troop crest?
Girls choose a troop crest at the beginning of a troop (usually at the beginning of the troop year). Troop crests are not supposed to be changed for the life of the troop. However a troop should be allowed to change their troop crest when they gain or loose a fair number of members, girls change troops when bridging to a new level, or if they feel the troop crest no longer represents them (the troop crest decided as brownies may no longer represent the troop as cadettes).

What is the best way to choose a troop crest?
When given the choice with pictures or a list of the symbols, most troops (especially younger ones) will choose the unicorn. Reading off the list above (which are shortened versions) can help not tell them what exact image they are choosing so they are focusing more on the meanings.

What else are troop crests used for?
Troop crests can be used to identify troop equipment or put on a troop flag. This, of course, is not your limit!

This is my favorite crest that definitely represents me!
The lightning bolt!

I think that's awesome since the two troop crests we used when
I was a girl scout were the shooting star and the lightening bolt.

I hope your troop has picked a great one for them!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Made w/ Code 2

A few weeks ago I posted about bracelets you could make with code 
and have 3d printed thanks to Google.

Here is what I made:

And here it is in all it's awesomeness:

Did you get one too?


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Swaps

While pinterest has lots of halloween swaps, I was looking for something a bit different to pass out to Girl Scouts this Halloween.  With my love of zombies mixed with the Girl Scout love of marshmallows, I found an awesome blog that made zombies out of real marshmallows.  I took this idea and spun it to where it wasn't edible and would last a long time!

My marshmallow zombie swaps:

Materials needed:
Air dry clay, black and red acrylic paint, thin tipped paint brush.
Don't forget the all important pins, hot glue, and papers with your troop info.

Roll out small balls of clay all about the same size. Shape each into the shape of a marshmallow! Wait 24 hours to dry before painting on zombie faces. Let paint dry 30 min before hot gluing on pins. Attach papers onto pins.

Pass out to other zombie lovers!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Made w/ Code by: Google

In an effort to encourage girls in STEM, Google has created a website showing girls how much fun coding can be.

Visitors can create their own avatar, have fun with music beats, make a .gif image, and even create their own bracelet to be 3D printed and mailed to them... for free!

Here you can see what I made:
Yep, it's a bracelet with the name of my blog and it's in Girl Scout green.
I'll show you what it looks like in person when it arrives.

Have you made something cool?


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Awesome summer of camp!

I finish yet another great summer at Girl Scout camp. This
summer was one of my favorites with lots of neat things done and great friends made.
This was my 15th summer at a Girl Scout camp and definitely won't be my last!

I enjoy going to different camps (this was my 9th!) because I always learn new things and have new adventures. I have new ideas and plans for Girl Scouts and my blog and I believe they will turn out great!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Embers: Bear Scares

Lesson: Camp memories.
Need: Cord, different colored pony beads.
Prep: None.
Directions: Bear scares are a great embers activity for the last night/day of camp.


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

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Embers: Bucket Filler

Lesson: Kindness and bullying.
Need: The book 'Have you filled a bucket today?', paper, pens/markers/crayons.
Prep: Cut a few sheets of paper into about 3 inch strips.
Directions: Read the book to the campers. Discuss ways to fill each others buckets and to NOT be a bucket dipper. Create a 'bucket filling' system with buckets/bags/envelopes/paper cups made from a sheet of paper and put in a central location. Encourage campers to write compliments on slips of paper to each other through the session, and place in buckets. Make sure they write something to everyone and not just their favorite people. Talk about what happens if our bucket is empty (sometimes this happens, but we just keep filling others buckets), and this doesn't mean that our inner buckets aren't full.
Rules: Cannot look in other buckets. Empty buckets once a day.


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

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Embers: Magic Moments

Lesson: Camp memories.
Need: A small bag of M&M's.
Prep: None.
Directions: Pass out 2-3 M&M's to each camper. Tell them not to eat it yet! Go around the group telling one 'magic moment' from the day. Eat one M&M after each 'magic moment'. Go around the circle until all have been eaten.


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

Friday, July 11, 2014

Embers: I'm a Star

Lesson: Self.
Need: Thick colored paper, star cutouts, markers, string, hole punch.
Prep: None.
Directions: Cut out star shapes to use as templates. Trace onto colored paper and cut out. On one side write "I'm a Star" and on the other side have the cameprs write what they are proud of themselves about. Add their name on some point of the star. Punch hole in top and hang around.


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

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Embers: Competition

Lesson: Competition.
Need: A competitive card game (such as spoons, that has many rounds quickly). Tokens (pennies, pencils, paper, etc).
Prep: None.
Directions: Introduce the card game to the group. Give each camper a token when they win a round. Tell them there is a prize for whoever has the most tokens at the end. Give out the tokens unevenly (such as 1 for first winner, 4 for second, etc). At the end announce that there is no prize and let that settle for a moment.
Initiate a discussion about winning vs. losing and ask whether prizes make winning more important. Is it more intriguing to win 'something' than it is to know a prize ahead of time? How would the game have been different if the prize was announced up front as a bag of dried pickles rather than 'something'? How would it have been different if everyone had been shown a 'good' prize like candy or a toy, and THEN had it withheld? How does the winner feel about what happened given that they do not get what they thought they would? Are there any new thoughts that you have about competition in other areas of life? School? Sports? Scouts?


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

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Embers: Time Capsule

Lesson: Self discovery.
Need: Paper, pens, envelopes (if wanted).
Prep: None.
Directions: Have campers write letters to themselves in the future about their resolutions for the year/summer/week. Seal them in an envelope or fold and tape closed. They can open and review later.


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

Friday, June 20, 2014

Embers: Growth Zones

Lesson: Comfort Zones.
Need: Paper in three different colors (green, yellow, and red are best), pens.
Prep: None.
Directions: Label the green paper Comfort in big letters in the middle. Talk about what is a comfort zone. Have each girl write something about camp that is in their comfort zone. When finished, pass to the next person and tell the group what they wrote and why.
Repeat with Challenge (yellow) and Panic (red).
Post them in a central area as a reminder. Revisit later in the week to compare how things have changed.


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

Friday, June 13, 2014

Embers: Challenge Bracelet

Lesson: Self challenge.
Need: String for bracelet, different colored beads (one color for each day, enough for all campers).
Prep: None.
Directions: This is a daily activitiy. The first night have the campers think about challenges they may face at camp. Have each of them decide on one challenge that they will face the next day (such as being nice to a certain camper, no cuss words, swimming in the deep end, trotting on a horse). They do not have to share their challenges with the group but remind them that this is on the honor system. Pass out one bead of one color to represent the start of the challenges. Every night after, have the campers tell if they met their challenges or not. If so, give a bead to that camper representing the overcame challenge. 


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

Monday, June 9, 2014

National Get Outdoors Day

This Saturday, June 14th, is National Get Outdoors Day and June is National Get Outdoors Month. Girl Scouts have made a patch to celebrate this day and you can find it in their shop online.

There is a website dedicated to this day with news, locations (not required), and ways to get involved (host an event!) or find them on facebook.

Need ideas on ways to get outside? Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Read in a hammock or floating on a raft.
  • Take photos of yourself, your friends, your family, and your environment.
  • Create something for your yard.
  • Bury a time capsule.
  • Go for a nature walk/scavenger hunt.
  • Learn a new game
  • Have a water Olympics.
  • Go Geocaching.
  • Go Letterboxing.
  • Have a picnic at a local park.
  • Make a treasure hunt for your friends.
  • Camp!
  • Cloud watch.
  • Work on outdoor badges.
  • Build a sandcastle.
  • Do something for your community.
  • Get down and dirty with a magnifying glass.
What things will you do?


Friday, June 6, 2014

Embers: Roses and Thorns

Lesson: Sharing.
Need: Nothing.
Prep: None.
Directions: Go around and have everyone tell their 'roses and thorns' for the day. Roses being the good things, thorns being the bad. This can be left open for any amount or limited to one of each per camper.


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

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


I do love Build-a-Bear.  I didn't ever have a Build-a-Bear bear growing up, but before you think I was denied something so awesome, I'm not even sure they were around then! I only keep stuffed animals that are special to me and through the years I've only seen one Build-a-Bear that I would have loved to have had (it was candy corn) until the Girl Scout bears came out.

My bears!

I was never a fan of the 'scout' costumes they had out before these official ones, and the themed bears are just adorable! I did have to order mine online because the closest Build-a-bear location is over two hours away from where I live.

Caramel bear.

A couple of the bears I bought in a set, where you get the bear and the uniform, shirt, and shoes for one price. The latest bear wanted to some with the same shoes the first bear came with so instead of buying the set, I purchased it all separate and picked out a super cute pair of hiking boots. I thought they were super Girl Scouty!

Thin mint bear.

Although I found out later that I could have purchased a scented item to be put into the thin mint bear's paw that would have made him smell like thin minty goodness.

100th Anniversary bear. 

The only thing I'm missing, is the latest Girl Scout clothing set with the green hoodie and denim skirt. They have been out of stock for a couple months now, but I'm ever hopeful and constantly watching for it!
I also hope to find one of the Build-a-Bear patches to add to my patch blanket.

Did you get some of these too?

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Embers: Secret Compliments

Lesson: Compliments.
Need: Trefoil outline (one per camper), markers/crayons (one per camper).
Prep: Print outlines.
Directions: Write each campers name, big, in the middle of the paper (one for each camper). Pass these around and have everyone write one nice compliment about everyone. Discuss what they see when they read them. (Optional: cut out the trefoil).


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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Barbie I Can Be Patch

I first saw the Barbie I Can Be Patch featured on a councils blog and I thought it was really neat.
At first it was hard to find anything about it, the requirements or the patch.

There IS a printed book that certain councils have recieved, but if yours hasn't,
you can find a digital version here.

The front has a patch that you can print and iron/glue/sew/staple onto the uniform, or you can go here to order a patch to be mailed to you. It's sent to you from a council in California. 

The end of the book has paper dolls that can be printed/cut out with 2 dolls and 4 sets of clothes. If you go here, you can find 13 more sets of printable clothes (although these need to be colored in).

This program is basically for Daisys and Brownies, but I asked my Juniors if they wanted to do it,
and they said yes (and were quite excited about it)! I also brought my personal Barbie I Can B
 doll to a meeting. As you can see it's a Computer Engineer doll (since I love Computer Science)
and this helped the girls see how a woman can be interested in a STEM career field.

This program was great timing because we were working on our aMUSE journey and were
currently talking about the different roles people can play in their lives.

Have fun with this one!

(Last updated 05/26/2020)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


As you can see in my blog picture, that's me with my favorite special teddy bear, Zeph.
He has traveled the world, visiting many countries including Latvia, Australia, South America,
Oman, the UAE, and Sri Lanka. He's also visited many states such as Alaska, Maine, Oklahoma,
Virginia, DC, Oregon, and Washington. He no longer goes on adventures without me, and as such
he has been to four different Girl Scout camps! Here are a few pictures from those camps:

Camp Bette Perot

Camp Texlake

Camp Kachina

Camp La Jita

Even though Zeph is a boy, he has no problem being around so many
girls. Through the years we have also hosted many different friends
with us from other places, or made new ones at the places we visit.

Zeph also has his own blog where he posts all of his adventures if you want to follow it.

Did I mention that he also LOVES Girl Scout cookies?


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Embers: Ribbon Awards

Lesson: Camp awards.
Need: 8-10 inch ribbons. enough for one for each girl. Fabric paint.
Prep: Prepare in advance writing a descriptive word for each camper on the ribbon. These are 'awards' at the end of the session for something great about themselves that week.
(One words are best but doesn't matter as long as it fits on the ribbon).
Examples: Crafty, Creative, Energized, Camp Spirit.
Can get creative with them: Best swimmer - Mermaid: Best at Archery - Bullseye/Katniss: Nature lover - Grasshopper; MVC (Most Valuable Camper); QBC (Quiet but Cool); Loves sports - Olympian; Social butterfly - Butterfly; Good at drama/skits - Star.
Directions: Give these out as 'awards' at the end of the session at campfire, the last night at camp, or before they leave to go home.


(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 23, 2014

Embers: Compliment Beads

Lesson: Compliments.
Need: Lots of beads of different colors, string for bracelets.
Prep: Create a chard attributing different positive qualities to certain colors. (Examples: Exciting, Thoughtful, Leader, Outgoing, Patient, Kind, Cheerful, Generous, Creative, Understanding, Courageous, Enthusiastic, Sense of Humor, Helpful, Responsible, Good listener, Imaginative, Honest, Joyful, Friendly).
Directions: Each night have girls vote on what bead each person gets (several campers can get the same color) but only one bead per person. At the end of the session everyone will have a bracelet full of positive compliments from the entire unit.
Great to do it quickly before a different embers activity or at another time in the day.


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

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Embers: Vision

Lesson: Judging.
Need: Dark room/dark outside, paper, unwrapped crayons.
Prep: Unwrap the crayons ahead of time.
Directions: Pass out crayons and paper. Have each camper guess what color they are holding (without using light) and have them write the name of the color, and then draw a matching picture. (Green grass, red apple, blue water, etc.). Turn on lights/flashlights. The darkness is a metaphore for the concept of vision not always giving us the full picture even when we can see what is in front of us. Discuss (judging other, ourselves).


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

Monday, May 12, 2014

Bear Scares

I first learned about bear scares at an out of state camp I worked at.  I have yet to see them at another camp, but I love sharing them with the girls I have when working at a camp.  I was taught that the bracelets were beaded bracelets with plastic pony beads of different colors on a black cord with a knot at each end.  Each bead represented something special done at camp during the session.  Some you automatically earned, such as a level or type of camp, and others you had to do special things for. Of course you can change what each color represents to reflect your own camp and the activities offered. I bought a set of beads at my locally last year and set the colors and requirements as follows:

Black - One week

White - Longer than one week
Brown - Brownie's
Green - Junior's
Tan - Cadette/Senior/Ambassador's
Dark Pink - Craft specialty camp
Dark Brown - Horse specialty camp
Pink - Water specialty camp
Maroon - Fishing
Red - Archery
Orange - Slept in tent (platform or pop-up)
Dark Blue - Slept under stars
Blue - Lake/river activities (swim, canoe, sail, kayak)
Light Blue - Went swimming
Olive Green - Service Project
Yellow - Cookout
Purple - Embers
Grey - Scouts Own
Glow in the Dark - Helped build a ceremonial campfire
Star shaped (any color) - CIT
Heart shaped (any color) - Staff

Certain ones I've never had to change, such as black, brown, green, dark brown, red, orange, yellow, blue, light blue, glow in the dark.

Personally, this is my favorite type of bear scare bracelet as it reflects the campers and the specific session they participated in.

I originally searched for more information on these on the internet but have never found anything like mine. I have, however, come across several other neat explanations.  Like many things at camp, they like to vary from one camp to the next.

One version explains that a bear scare is a bracelet with 3 knots.  Each knot is a wish and you don't take the bracelet off for a year:

Another version actually has a story that goes along with the bracelet. Here is the story:

Two campers were walking in the woods. They became separated and one camper comes across a bear.  She is scared and doesn't know what to do.  The other camper, realizing they have been separated, goes to find her friend and scares away the bear. The bracelet represents this tale with knots.  There are three knots, the middle one is the 'bear' and the knots on either side are your 'friends'. When you tie the bracelet on your wrist the knot made is 'you'. This is a reminder that whatever your 'bear' is (homework, parents, challenges, etc.), your friends are always there between you and the bear.

Some versions of this bracelet also have beads showing how many years you have attended camp. The beads are divided equally on each side of the center knot and as such, a first year camper will always have two beads (of the same color) so they always have a buddy:

This next version uses the same story as above, but without the beads. Usually made out of leather, as the bracelet is worn the leather stretches and the knots 'travel' around the bracelet running away from the 'bear' in the middle.

One version uses a variation of the same story but with a different bracelet.  This one has three loops, tied with friendship knots, the first loop representing 'you', the third the 'bear', and the middle your 'friends' who are always there for you:

For those like me who have searched the internet for information about these, hopefully this post will help you.  For those who have never heard of it, I hope it inspires you to use this with your girls on your next camping adventure.