Friday, October 2, 2015

Cadette: Eating For Beauty

There are so many things you could do with this and so many options. Just think about healthy eating for healthy skin, the Dove initiative for seeing what you really look like and anything to build self-esteem about image. My girls were in 6th grade when we did this badge and believe me... it's an age when they need to start thinking seriously about how to eat right to prevent acne and ways to reduce stress. 

Know How Good Nutrition Helps Your Body Stay Healthy

Remembering Healthy Foods 
Have girls get into a circle, Leader starts with ball or beanbag says “Fruits are a great healthy food. A Fruit I like is…”  Then pass to next girl she must say what you just said plus add another fruit.  So the 2nd girl says "Fruits are a great healthy food. Fruits I like are apples and bananas", if girl can not think of one or forgets order have her sit down, continue around circle til last person standing. Start with a different type of healthy food. 

Types of food to use are: green leafy vegetables, colorful vegetables, grains, proteins (meat, nuts and beans)  fruit and dairy products.

Explore How your Diet Affects Your Stress Level

Play a game of How High Is the Sugar Content? (Price is Right)
Give each girl a pile of sugar cubes, we will line up a number of products, the girls all have to guess how much sugar they think is in that item using the sugar cubes. Once they all have guessed reveal the answer (have answers hidden under a cardboard piece that has how many grams wrote on it.)

We used the Cookie Order Form and talked about each Girl Scout cookie and the sugar content it has. We also discussed that Girl Scout cookies aren't "bad", but they are just like other sweet treats.. moderation is a best practice.

Fact for the girls: The American Heart Association recommends women only have 26 grams of sugar a day. So, make that comparison with some of the items.

Look at How Your Diet Affects Your Energy

Glow Sticks Yoga/Relaxation Workouts in the Dark

Give each girl two glow sticks and do the below moves and exercises:
  1. This partner stretch will allow the girls to be mindful of each other while they relax. Have the girls find a partner and sit on the floor. Say slowly and calmly to the girls “Face your partner, open your legs comfortably and touch your feet with your partner’s feet. Tell girls lean forward and grasp each other’s hands. One partner leans back, slowly pulling your partner forward. Now the second partner will lean back and pull their partner slowly forward.
  2. This exercise helps girls focus on breathing, helping them achieve rest and balance. Have the girls sit comfortably on the floor or mat. Slowly and calmly tell the girls “In the winter, bears hibernate in caves, sleeping peacefully. Sit up tall, close your eyes, and go inside. Through your nose, breathe in for a count of five, and then hold for a count of three. Breathe out for a count of five, then hold for a count of three.” Repeat this instruction 5 times. Then say, “Open your eyes and notice how you feel.” Be sure to allow girls time to finish each step after you say it.
  3. Have girl spread out so they can make big movements without hitting anyone. Explain that you are going to call out natural phenomenons. As each word is called out, the girls should use their body and their voices to act out the word however they choose. They should continue making the movements until you call out the next word. You can call out the words as slowly or quickly as you like.
    • Natural phenomena:
      • storm
      • cloud
      • tree
      • rainbow
      • tornado
      • waves
      • fire
      • river

Find out how what you eat affects your Skin

Set a timer for 1 minute and make a list of all the healthy foods you can think of; then do the same for unhealthy. Compare and think about the accuracy of your lists.

What promotes healthy skin:
The basic diet for healthy skin is as follows:

  • Avoid processed foods, choose natural foods
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Choose low fat sources of protein such as chicken and fish not steak and hamburger
  • Eat complex carbohydrates are like vegetables, skim milk, and whole grain cereals
  • Drink fresh, clean (bottled if necessary) water
  • Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates which are things like candy, chocolate, biscuits, whole milk

Investigate How What You Eat Affects Your Sleep

Create a Poster where one side shows you sleeping perfectly. Use pictures, magazines, and words, whatever you need to show around you what it means to sleep soundly. On other side show yourself not sleeping well and all the reasons why that may be happening around that picture.

Fact for the girls:
Eating right and at the right time is necessary for the good sleep. Our body has its own internal clock, which sets our sleeping, and getting up times. Hormones of the body control and regulate this clock. The secretion of these hormones is effected by the way we eat and think.

Helpful tips to get a better night sleep:

  • Never go to sleep with full stomach, as it will cause heartburn and keep you awake.
  • Eat three or four hours before going to sleep.
  • Don’t go to bed with empty stomach, as it will trigger the glycogen to stimulate the brain to produce sleepless hormones.

  • Tryptophan rich food: Tryptophan is the sleep inducing hormone and found in milk, banana, poultry products, oats, and in honey.
  • Snack: boiled eggs or vegetables:
  • Yogurt: It is one of the greatest sleep-inducing product and help for sleep if taken a bowl of yogurt before going to sleep.


  • High fats: foods with high fat content not only cause the increase in weight but also cause sleepless nights.
  • Spicy foods: Cause of heartburn or if you have acid reflux the digestive system get disturb and causes sleepless.
  • Chocolate and caffeinated foods: The caffeine and other stimulants present in coffee and chocolates activate the brain cells and keep the person awakened.
  • High protein foods: source of increasing brain activity and cause the sleepless nights. Before going to bed avoid the proteins snacks and protein foods.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


YES! I'm going to talk about "that" topic. I will have to tell you first and foremost, I am (are you sitting down?) NOT opposed to the Journey's. But, I think it's all in the way you approach them and how you decide to carry it out. We've done Journey's in troop meetings, as overnights, and as day events. Each approach has it's advantages and disadvantages. So, I'm going to take a little time to share my pros and cons list of each... and... (don't skip ahead! STAY PUT!) I'll share some resources I have found that will help you out. 

My older troop has completed 1 Brownie journey, 3 Junior Journey's, and 2 Cadette Journey's. We've "been there, done that" and survived. We had fun, too!!

It's quite possible that my outlook on the journey's is because I came into the Troop Leadership role the same year the first of the Journey's appeared on the scene. The other piece of my perspective is that I want my girls to be able to get their Shiny Awards, if they want them, and to do that... you gotta do a Journey. You have to take a written test before getting your driving permit and you gotta do a Journey if you want to prepare to take on a bigger project for a Shiny Award. It's a stepping stone. Life is full of them and you can throw a fit if you want, but it's better to accept it and decide how to accomplish it. Plus, don't let YOUR distaste of change affect your girls. I've seen that too much... put on your big girl panties and a smile and encourage your girls to take it on!! You CAN do this. 

So... 3 different approaches.

In Troop Meetings:

I spent about a semester each time I have done this and I have done it 3 times. Once as Brownies with World of Girls. Once as Juniors with Agent of Change. Once as Cadettes with Amaze. 


  • You can make it MUCH more girl led
  • You break it down and can add in extra things along the way to break it up a bit
  • When you reach the Cadette level and you need something to do because there aren't THAT many badges, it gives you something to do.


  • The girls really need to be there for every meeting or else it's hard to catch up and get all the badges associated with the journey
  • It takes a whole semester (or maybe that was just me and how detailed I was with it)
  • If it isn't a topic that is interesting to the girls, it gets hard to face each meeting... but it can be done and it teaches the value of getting it done and completing something even when it isn't your favorite. Dedication is a good value. 

As An Overnight:

This is probably the girls favorite way to do a journey. We rent the campground and sleep in the lodge and cook out and have a great girl's night.


  • It's done in one sleepover
  • Girls are excited because it's a sleepover!
  • Great way to get one done if you have girls that want to do a Shiny Award
  • In my experience, the message sticks because you focus on one this one topic for 2 days and they remember and share thoughts. 


  • Takes a LOT of planning
  • Not as girl-led, because they really don't know what all is involved until you are partially through the journey, so it's hard for them to make decisions on what to do. But, there are ways to make it happen... give choices... do high overviews... etc.

In a Day event:

We did one of these with our Council for the MEdia journey. It was great fo rme, because all I did was show up and sit and listen. But, I'll take the "we did it ourself" approach for the pros/cons list.


  • Short amount of time and completed journey
  • Great for Shiny Award girls that need it completed
  • Perfect for the Journey no one wants to do but want the Journey Summit pin


  • Takes a LOT of planning
  • Again, not as girl-led
  • Gotta stay on task in order to get it all done
  • Peresonally, I'm not sure the message sticks as well, because you are flying through it
  • Take Action isn't as involved if you try to do this the same day, too. 

Now, let me impart some advice to anyone starting a Journey. 

  • Don't street out about it!
  • Don't discourage your girls out with phrases like "we HAVE to do this" or "well, here we go" or "I know this isn't fun, but...." (yes, I've heard leaders say this!)
  • Don't think you Take Action HAS to be life-changing. It's a service project that fits the theme of the Journey... That's it. I'm sure you have done service projects with your girls before. Don't freak out over a simple name change. 
  • Think outside the box. The ideas and activities in the book are suggestions. You don't have do them verbatim. Come up with your own thing if you don't like what they have suggested. 
  • Don't give up or quit. Find ways to make it enjoyable for the girls and don't just give up and teach the girls it's okay to quit something half way through just because you don't like it. Yes, there are times that quitting is the best decision, but it's a better value to impart to stick it out and finish something you have started. They can learn the quitting thing on their own. 
  • Have fun!

So... as promised I have some resources to share with you.. I have scoured the internet and found TurnKeys and Journey in a Day and all kinds of information for just about ALL the journeys and have them divided up into folder on my SHARED Google Drive. I also have blog posts that break down each journey I have done in troop meetings. 

Google Drive Explained: You need to know how my mind works... it works by level... so the Journey plans are separated by level on the drive and they are in folders that say "Journeys".

I haven't done any, because we haven't finished our petals. But, it's on the agenda for 2018. Are you that patient? HA!
Direct Link to folder with Journey Plans:

World of Girls in troop meetings... all links on this page:
Direct Link to folder with Journey Plans:

Agent of Change in troop meetings.. all links on this page:
Also links there for the other 2
Direct Link to folder with Journey Plans:

Amaze in troop meetings... all links on this page:
Direct Link to folder with Journey Plans:

We aren't there, yet, but I have a resource.
Direct Link to folder with Journey Plans:

We aren't there, yet, but I have a resource.
Direct Link to folder with Journey Plans:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Ever Think About That?

Ever Think About That? has become a catch phrase at my house. It all happened one day when the girl and I were discussing/debating... I don't even remember... and I was trying to explain why things are the way they are and she questioned it once again and added some sort of great reason in her mind to disbunk my philosophy and ended with "Ever think about that?" It caught me so off guard that I burst into laughter and said "No. I haven't. But, I see your point."

As I sit here with a cold on a sunny Missouri day in preparation to spend the weekend listening to music and hanging with my two favorite people in the world, I'm thinking. I'm always thinking. I'm thinking about "that". Seriously, sometimes I wish I could just turn it off. I envy those that can sit for hours and stare at nothing and think of nothing and just... sit. How do they do that? I've never been able to do that. 

So, what am I thinking of... I'm thinking how as a young woman I was told "You get what you give." "Life is a two way street." and "You're only as good as your word." Well... I'm sure in some realm those are always accurate and true, but life and Girl Scouts has taught me they aren't and there are many gray areas between black and white. 

Now before you think "oh, great... " about this post... I implore you to read on... read on... 

Let's start with "You get what you give."
As a Leader of two troops and a Volunteer Service Coordinator, I can say when it comes to Girl Scouts I give. I give of my time, energy, money, space in my home, and in every way possible. I do this freely and happily. I'm not complaining. But, I look at the Leaders in my Service Unit and the other Leaders I have met along the way and these women (and men) give a LOT more than they get. The get side is lacking in comparison of the giving. We give young girls the chance to soar and reach dreams. To explode with passion of learning into a world that will be better because of the time we have spent preparing them. I don't give to Girl Scouts thinking it's going to even out on the scales. I give with my whole heart because it's a movement I believe in. Young women pursuing careers and families and life and using their many talents to change the world.That's what we will eventually get... maybe not in my lifetime, but hopefully in theirs. 

"Life is a two way street". 

(Don't do this on an actual highway! That's just stupid.) I picture a freshly paved highway when I think of this phrase. I wonder how many times I have swerved into the metaphorical oncoming traffic and dared my competitor to try me. Sometimes as a Leader, you have to get tough... not with the girls (though, that happens too) but with other adults who doubt them. You have to stand up for what you believe in. You have to fight for the girls when they don't feel they can. They need to see they mean the world to you and they are worth fighting for. It's all well and fine to stay in your lane and get the job done and get to the destination that was set before you. But, I challenge you to think outside that paved highway. Take the scenic route every once in a while... slow down and take it all in. Swerve into oncoming traffic and watch your opponent take the shoulder. Go off roading and feel the bumps in the terrain. This may seem ridiculous to you... but in my mind today I'm thinking of a challenge faced by many... "we've always done it that way". It's so easy to back down from this phrase and not step up to make a change. Sometimes, you have to swerve and face it head on and simply respond "the way it has always been done means nothing to today's young girl". SHE needs the opportunity to succeed and change and lead. You can't lead in the past. You can only lead in the present and build for the future. Remember when I said Girl Scouts is a movement... movements don't stand still and they aren't a straight line. Don't forget sometimes you'll be the opposition and taking the shoulder doesn't mean you lost or that you're weak. It means you are strong enough to leave the pavement and still survive. Do so with dignity and consider turning around and joining forces and just see what happens. 

"You're only as good as your word". 
This is so true for so many things, but I like to think that I am more than just my word. Words without actions are nothing. My husband and I both are in the IT field. He does the hardware and networking side, I do the programming side of the spectrum. He likes to tease me when I'm frustrated with a job that "It's only words on the page." He is teasing. He knows there is more to it. But, if it were only words on the page, how easy would that be? How boring would that be, too? It's great to have ideas and it's great to put words out there... but if you don't do anything with it, you are wasting your talent. What good is a speaker if they never speak to uplift, encourage, and kindle the passion for dreams in others? What good is the outline of a magnificent event if it never comes to fruition? What good is a plan if there is no one to carry it out? What good is a movement if there is no one to continue the flow?

Lastly, I want to remind you of this... a wise woman said this in a meeting I was honored to attend and I refer to it many a time. We were discussing how it's hard to get support and that we needed to make it easier for families. She sat back and simply said "It's Girl Scouts. Not Family Scouts. Not Business Scouts. Not Leader Scouts. GIRL Scouts!" We are building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. You are going to ruffle some feathers. You are going to have disagreements. It isn't going to be easy. Keep your composure and keep your focus. We need to remember our focus is right there in the name. If it's for the girls, then you are on the right page. If it isn't, then you need to refocus your energy.