Archive for the ‘Programs’ Category

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Girl Scouts are Un-BEE-lievable!

May 16, 2016

Daisy _ Take Action Tuesday

By Tara Rappleye, Program Director

Across the United States the Honeybee population is declining. According to CNN, in the 1940’s there were around 5 million hives in the United States, we now only have around 2.5 million. Researchers are unsure of the exact reason for the decline in Honeybees. There has been increased awareness of this issue as more people realize the importance of Honeybees as they are the foundation to our crop supply. Without these creatures to pollinate specific crops, we may start to see a loss of certain foods we love.

Daisy Tree Cheer For AnimalInspired by the decreasing Honeybee population 20 Daisies, 2 Juniors, 1 Ambassador, and 1 GS-NCCP Staff Member planted a Honeybee-friendly garden at the Raleigh Service Center as part of the Take Action Tuesday: 3 Cheers to Animals program on April 26th.

The Girl Scouts met at the Raleigh Service Center to learn more about how to care for animals and themselves. During the program, the Daisies went from station to station answering questions on how to care for animals such as fish, cats, and puppies and doing physical challenges to stay fit. The activity the girls enjoyed most was lifting weights. All the Daisies proved their strength as they did dumbbell curls and military press with water bottles.

The program ended with the Take Action Project lead by Olivia Loyack, Girl Scout Ambassador. Olivia is currently working on her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. Her project is centered on the decline of Honey Bee hives, spreading awareness of this issue, and creating Honeybee-friendly gardens in the community. The program went from just Council Sponsored to girl-led as Olivia shared her knowledge of Honeybees and gardening with the younger girls.

Olivia led the Daises in the planting of the Zinnias in front of the Raleigh Service Center entrance. She showed them how to properly hold and transplant the flowers into the soil. The Junior Girl Scouts in attendance took on the task of planting the larger Salvia plants in pots that are also at the entrance of the Service Center. The Daisies LOVED getting their hands dirty and planting the flowers. The Girl Scouts also created “bee baths” out of terracotta trays filled with stones and water.

After hands were washed and flowers were watered, it was time to end the day with the Friendship Circle and share what everyone learned. Many of the Daisies were inspired by this girl-led Take Action project to plant their own Honeybee-friendly garden at home.

3 Easy Ways Your Troop Can Help Save the Honeybees

1. Plant a Honeybee Friendly Garden

Grow a small garden with a few good pollinator flowers. Here are a few pollinator flowers: Zinnias, Salvia, Lavender, mint, and Daisies. Honeybees are most attracted blue and purple hued flowers.

2. Add a Honeybee bath to your garden or yard

Honeybees need water, just like people do. Take the tray of a flower pot and add a pile of small stones or a few big rocks. Then fill with water. Having the stones or rocks will help prevent the Honeybees from drowning when they land in the bath because they are crash-landers.

3. Support local bee-keepers

Buy local honey instead of honey from the store. Head to the Farmer’s Market to pick up other local produce. Supporting local farmers is supporting local Honeybees!

You can easily do a Take Action project around saving local Honeybees in your community through these three simple projects. Learning and sharing knowledge about flowers, gardens, animals, and bugs, can be tied to many GSUSA curriculum including the Naturalist Badges, Animal Badges, Daisy Flower Garden Journey, and Daisy 3 Cheers Journey.

Want to learn more about the decline of Honeybees- watch this video for more information and details!

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Celebrating Girl Scout Bridging and Amazing Achievements

May 2, 2016

EndYearBridging

By Tara Rappleye, Program Director

I have few memories of being a Brownie in Troop #14 of the former Irish Hill Council in Michigan. I remember riding horses at a nearby camp. I also recall one meeting where we practiced selling cookies over the phone with a plastic, toy phone. My most distinct memory of Girl Scouts though was my Bridging ceremony.

Our ceremony was for all the troops that were associated with the Catholic school I attended. The Daisies were the first to Bridge from one level to the next. I vaguely recall being on stage and reading something about being a Brownie as part of the “Pass It On” section. I do remember being excited for the Daisies I knew who were Bridging to Brownies. Next, it was Troop #14’s turn to Bridge from Brownies to Juniors.

It sounds crazy, but I can recollect the exact moment I walked over the bridge and became a Junior Girl Scout. I was extremely nervous to be up onstage, even as an 8 year old I had a fear of tripping as I walked across the bridge. When I walked across the bridge I was a ball of nervous, but the minute I crossed I smiled and felt nothing but joy. I was looking forward to the new adventures as a Girl Scout Junior. I was also proud of how I’d grown and everything I’d learned in those two years. I don’t recall the rest of the ceremony much, I do recall running around with my troop that evening, laughing, having fun, and celebrating our accomplishments.

The summer after I bridged from a Brownie to a Junior, I moved schools and wasn’t able to connect with a new troop. Even though my time in Girl Scouts was short, it was an impactful time, especially the Bridging ceremony. Only a year ago I walked across the stage and received my college degree. I can remember a lot about that day, but not the exact moment I was handed my diploma. However, I can recall the exact moment I Bridged from a Girl Scout Brownie to a Girl Scout Junior and the feeling of accomplishment that came along with it.

Bridging is a defining moment for a Girl Scout. It celebrates over a year of Friday evenings spent as a troop working on badges, chilly Saturday mornings selling cookies, trips to camp, adventures as a troop, and many other incredible experiences. It gives girls the chance to reflect and share their knowledge and also get ready for the upcoming year of adventures, Badges, challenges, learning, and fun.

Pinterest is full of wonderful ideas to help you plan a beautiful Bridging reception, but remember that the core of the tradition, is the ceremony; the passing on of knowledge and looking forward to the future. Here are some great way you can make your troop’s Bridging ceremony something they remember years from now.

Make New Friends Scavenger Hunt

A great way to meet girls from other troops at multi-level Bridging Ceremonies. Here is the Make New Friends Scavenger Hunt.

Picture Slideshow

Put all the photos you took to good use. Make a slideshow and share it at the reception. Girls and parents will be able to look back at the memories your troop has made over the past year.

Achievement Cards

Fill out the attached achievement card for each Girl Scout in your troop. Plan a special moment in your ceremony to share an achievement card for each girl.

Web of Affirmations

Grab a ball of yarn, it’s time to share words of affirmation. One girl will start with the ball of yarn and toss it to another troop member, while holding onto the end of the yarn. When the girl tosses the yarn to her troop member she will affirm something the other girl is good at. The yarn will continue to get passed around until there is a web of affirmations.

Goal Time Capsule

Time to look forward. Have your troop look at level they are Bridging too. Tell your girls to write down 3 goals, they can be things they want to get better at or Badges they want to earn. Let the girls know you will work towards these goals as a troop and every few months you will revisit their goals to make sure they are on track to reaching their goals. Keep their goals, so when they complete the next Girl Scout level, they can look back at their achievements.

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