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.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Embers: Judgments

Need: Slips of paper (3 per camper), pens/pencils, campfire (trashcan can be substituted).
Directions: GIve each camper 3 slips of paper. On each have them write down something they consider to be a judgement, tell them to write 2 negative and 1 positive (e.g., selfish, ugly, friendly). When they are done have them put them face down in a pile. Shuffle all slips together and turn them over for all to see.
Ask campers to pick 2 judgments they think describe them. Have them explain their reasons. It is likely that the nicest and worst judgments are left. Ask each camper to pick 1 more, 1 at a time. As they pick it up they can explain how they feel to be labeled as such.
Talk about how judgments affect people and how we don't always have a choice over how we are judged.
Burn judgments all at once in the campfire and let them go. Discuss symbolism of releasing the fear of judgment and moving on.

WARNING: (There is potential in this embers for a large can of worms to open. For instance, if the way the word "judgments" is presented is left open for the writing exercises, then it is not uncommon for what is written to have personal tweaks to it that can leave burns. If your group is ready for that and you feel you can facilitate their journey, bring them there. If not, consider control features such as limiting judgments to one-word generalizations such as those suggested in parentheses above.)


(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, May 7, 2014

Summer Constellations

I've always loved viewing the constellations at night at summer camp.  It was always the best place to view them without as much light pollution as you see in towns or the city.  Through the years I've used many different charts, some harder to read than others.  I decided that I needed an easy to read one that can help me out at camp in the evenings.  This chart is set for the northern hemisphere at about 10 o'clock (daylight savings time) for the summer months of June and July (but can be used a little before and a little after).

In my printable I've also included the (short) Greek mythology stories about the different constellations seen here which include: Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Bootes, Hercules, Draco, Corona Borealis, Lyra, Cygnus, Serpens, Ophiuchus, Aquila, Scorpius, Libra, Virgo, Hydra, Corvus, Crater, Coma Berenices, Leo, Leo Minor, Canes Venatici, Cancer, Lynx, Camelopardalis, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Lacerta, Sagitta, Delphinus, Scutum, Lupus, and Centaurus.

Other night sky activities:

  • Want to find satellites in the sky too? is a great website to use to find satellites in the sky and even the International Space Station.
  • NASA has taken beautiful images through the years and you can find them here. Enjoy the view!
  • Have campers create their own star chart and legend.  Have campers draw stars (or use stickers) onto a piece of paper randomly. Have them connect the stars how they want (not all stars have to be used) and write their own legend about the new constellation they made.
  • You can find online when to watch meteor showers.
  • Create a Scouts Own to do at night about the night sky. Include songs, poems, stories, and drawings about stars and other things in the night sky.
  • Put on a play about life on a space station.
  • Find other stories about the night sky from different cultures including Asian, Native American, or Middle Eastern.
  • Read books based on Native American legends. This one or this one.
  • Learn how to use a telescope.
  • Wish upon a star.
  • Star Letters - Address an envelope to yourself or a friend including your solar system and galaxy address. Draw a stamp on your envelope in a space theme. Write a letter and include a map to your favorite planet.
  • Find stars of different colors. A stars color depends on its temperature. Blue-white is the hottest, followed by, in descending order, white, yellow (like the sun), orange, and red. You won't see a strong color difference.
  • Read a star themed book to the campers and follow up with a star themed craft.
Star crafts:
  • Salt Dough stars are easy to make, last a long time, and are cute decorations.
  • How about an astronaut paper doll?
  • Make a star stuffie with felt. Add ribbon to make a shooting star.
  • Five popsicle sticks make a star. Decorate with paint, glitter, and gems.
  • Five sticks also make a star, use wire, string, or grass to tie together for a nature craft.
  • Star shaped melted bead sun catchers are great anytime and can even be patriotic in the summer.
  • Grant wishes with your own wand complete with a star at the end.
  • See stars in the day with star sun catchers made with contact paper and tissue paper.
  • Use up scrap paper by making origami paper stars.
  • Wish bracelets are an adorable memory keepsake.

  • Make some star themed swaps. These can be made from colored paper, fun foam, glitter, glitter glue, or sequins.

Want a printable of these activity ideas? You can find them here.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Camp Name Necklaces

This is the second name necklace I ever received.  A camper made it for me when I was a CIT and if you notice, the 'I' isn't really an 'I' but instead a broken 'J'. It's in my favorite color, orange, and the beads in between are glow in the dark. This is a simple necklace but I do have to watch out, it can easily get tangled!

I hope these inspire you to make your own awesome name necklaces.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Embers: The Rainbow Fish

Lesson: Sharing
Need: The book 'The Rainbow Fish', fish coloring pictures (one for each camper), glue, color items (tissue paper, sequins, colored paper, etc. but enough that they can share with everyone else).
Prep: Print the coloring pages ahead of time.
Directions: Read the book 'The Rainbow Fish' to the campers. Discuss how sharing makes us feel good. Pass out fish pictures and color items giving each camper only one color (such as 15 blue sequins for one, red for another). Have them share so everyone has one of all the colors. Create a rainbow fish using the colored items they have shared.


(More Embers ideas here)

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