Wednesday, February 22, 2012

SU 4 Celebrates World Thinking Day

Thanks to Chelsea Morton and Laura White who wrote about Service Unit 4's multi-Troop event focusing on World Thinking Day!

  Thinking Day. One day each year where Girl Scouts celebrate international friendships and ideas. This year Service Unit 4 reduced, recycled, and reused at their Thinking Day on February 4, where girls learned about ways to better their environment.
            The event was started off by Troop 40485 with an informative skit about recycling. “Every bottle counts!” Then it was off to the stations. Some stations were dedicated to teaching girls ways to use old materials to make something new. One station, put on by Troop 41358, transformed one-gallon milk jugs into beautiful bird feeders. Another, this one ran by Troop 42136, turned old t-shirts into stylish handbags using only scissors and a sewing machine. Regular everyday magnets were renovated into cute little refrigerator magnets by Troop 40310.  Christmas cards were turned into gift boxes by Troop 40485 and fun games were made out of common household items by Troop 40151.
            Two stations were dedicated to teaching Girl Scouts about individual countries. One, ran by Troop 42406, was committed to showing girls the wonders of India through cuisine and stunning bracelets. The second was prepared by Troop 45567, who devoted their station to displaying the wonders of Japan and the outstanding art of origami. Girls had their choice of making a box, heart, or fish out of squares of old magazines.
The cycles of nature also played a key role at this year’s Thinking Day. The wonders of worm composting were explained through pictures and models of the process by Troop 41358. Girls were able to plant their own tomato seeds and sample some locally grown vegetables such as carrots and beets at a stations put on by Troop 40151.
            Lastly, a station called Destiny’s Closet, presented by Troop 45551, offered a unique way to exchange clothes. For every two items of gently used clothing girls brought in they could receive one item of their choice. All items not chosen will be used by the nonprofit organization Angels Making A Difference at their garage sale.
            All in all, Service Unit 4’s Thinking Day was a great success. Girls walked away with smiles on their faces and many memories, not to mention a ton of crafts and plenty of new recycling ideas.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Troop 42227 Focuses on Cookie Sale Safety Skills

Lucy Fulton and Raechel Cowell, leaders of Troop 42227, focused on cookie sale safety at the SU 2 Cookie Rally:

Note: the above slideshow contains photos from both the event for older Girl Scouts and for the Safety Skills event for the younger girls.
Because our troop consists of first and second year Juniors, we wanted to find a meaningful way for them to participate in Service Unit 2's annual Cookie Kick-off/Rally. Given that our girls were very familiar with the younger girl program from years of attending it, and since they were too young to attend the older girl program, we fully supported our girls in helping to plan and run this year's event, along with the sponsoring troop(s).

After our girls decided to tackle the Safety and 100th Anniversary booths, we met twice outside our troop meeting time to plan out our ideas and gather the necessary supplies. One of the highlights was recording the "Safety Song" to the tune of "You Are My Sunshine."

At the event, our booths had two activities each. At our "Safety" booth, girls could practice door-to-door sales and safety rules. Through this simulation, attending girls learned to handle common and not-so-common scenarios. The other activity taught five important safety rules (represented each by a colored bead placed in a cup). Once wax paper was secured to the cup, the girls now had their own "instrument" to play with and remind them of what they learned. To further embed the principles, every girl received a popscicle stick "flag" that had the five safety rules and the lyrics to the "Safety Song" that they heard looping in the background and had a chance to sing themselves.

The "100th Anniversary" booth was both meaningful and eye-opening. One activity included telling the story of Juliette Gordon Low selling her pearl necklace to keep Girl Scouts alive. The overall message was about giving back. At this booth, girls received a paper "pearl" on which to write one community service activity they have done or wished to do individually or with a troop. The paper pearls were then placed on the wall behind the booth in the shape of a giant multi-strand necklace representing the many ways girls, who are part of this legacy, are giving back. For their participation, girls were given a plastic pearl swap to help them remember Juliette's sacrifice for Girl Scouts. The other activity for this booth included brainstorming on butcher paper the activities girls have done through their troop, Service Unit, and/or council. Then we asked girls to share what events they would like to do and we posted those as well. As a culminating activity, girls "voted" on three activities, sharing with us those they like and didn't like on specially made ballots. 

Overall, it was a very busy cookie rally. Our girls worked hard to plan and execute their ideas. And, they had fun! For them, it was very motivating because they worked together to present their vision, combining their previous experiences with the cookie rally and their desire to demonstrate Girl Scout ideals through leadership. As for the troop leaders involved, we are very proud of our girls in their ability to discover a needful role they could uniquely fulfill, connect with other adults for supplies and guidance, and take action for our part in this event.

Monday, February 6, 2012

100th Anniversary Patch revealed! Along with a word from the artist who created it.

Congratulations to Kate Weeks, the winner of the design contest for our Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington 100th Anniversary Patch! Kate is a Cadette in Troop 40168 of Portland.

Kate writes: When I discovered that there was a contest for the Girl Scouts OSW 100th Anniversary Patch, I immediately knew that I was going to enter. I love drawing, and I love Girl Scouts. So this opportunity was too good to pass up.
            As I was sitting at my desk brainstorming for the patch, an idea popped into my head: Fireworks! They meant a serious celebration, and I felt that the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts OSW was something to celebrate. I carefully drew my vision and sent it in.
            When I found out I had won, my troop was at the Moonstruck Chocolate CafĂ©. We were there to celebrate that we had just donated twenty-seven turkeys to the Salvation Army Veteran Center. One of my amazing troop leaders, Tambra, said she had a special announcement. She said that the winner of the Girl Scouts OSW 100th anniversary patch contest was in this troop. Then she said, “Congratulations, Kate!” I was so surprised! All my friends congratulated me, and one of them made little fireworks with her cup of water. That night was the best night of my life.