o On September 13, we had our first meeting for the school year and our parents meeting. While Mrs. Reedy and Mrs. Reach talked to our parents about this year's activities and goals, Ms. Kim worked a few exercises with us. We played a few games we remembered from last year, talked about patrols and learned who will be assigned to each patrol for the first part of this year. We voted on a leader for each patrol and choose names for our patrols; our patrols are named the Tootie-Fruities, the Chocolate Raindrops, and the Sour Patch Dragonflies. We talked about our upcoming encampment and about the scarecrow making contest that we will be entering; we need to come up with a great idea to win! We began working on the requirements for the Wildlife and Sky Search badges, which we will continue to work on at the encampment. We also talked about troop dues that will be brought to each meeting and got to meet Ashley's new baby sister, Kayla Elizabeth, who is only two months old! At the end of the meeting we were presented with our Honor Troop patches earned last year and our cookie sale incentives from last year. On September 20, we worked on swaps for the fall encampment, grasshoppers and marshmallows on a stick. We talked about the 50 skills a Junior Girl Scout should know and about the upcoming encampment. We worked with our Brownie scout, Carrie, to teach her the Girl Scout promise and the words to Make New Friends and Taps. Our Service Unit Fall Encampment was held September 25-26 at Camp Winona in Hughesville, Maryland. Camp Winona is a beautiful camp! Our scouts slept "outside" for the first time, in glen shelters, and it was quite an experience for them. We took a hike, attended a campfire circle and swap meet, and had a scouts own ceremony. We worked on our two badges and explored Trefoil Lake, then had lunch at McDonalds before returning home Sunday afternoon. Everyone had a great time. At our meeting on September 27, we continued working on our badges, and talked about what we did and didn't like about the encampment, so we can make plans for our next camp out.
o On October 4, Alina's dad came and talked to our troop about his job with the Smithsonian Institute as an ecologist, as part of our Wildlife badge. We learned all about what he does at work and got to ask a lot of questions. We learned that he travels all the time and gets to visit rainforests all over the world to study plants and animals and learn how to better protect our environment. We were introduced to our new visiting mascot, Terraset Teddy, who is from a Brownie Troop in Reston, Virginia. On October 18, we drew suggestions for a new troop flag; Mrs. Reedy will take something from each of our suggestions to make our new flag. We also drew suggestions for a Service Unit T-Shirt, which is being done as a Silver Project by one of the scouts in our Service Unit. We completed our requirements for the Wildlife badge. On October 25, we had our annual Halloween party, hosted this year by Mrs. Reach. We all came to the party dressed in our costumes. We played games such as bobbing for apples, a mummy race, and musical tombstones; we snacked on ghost sandwiches, cupcakes, candy, and made graveyard pudding. It was a great party!
o On November 1, we celebrated Juliette Gordon Low's Birthday (actually birthday on October 31) by sharing some fun facts about her life; we learned much about her by reading these interesting facts that are not available in any book. We spent some time working on letters to our new pen pals from Brownie Troop 136 in Anchorage, Alaska. At our November 8 meeting, we talked about safety for our trip this week to earn our Horse Lover's Badge; we thought of some rules to follow for acting safely around horses such as speak quietly, don't make sudden moves, and never walk behind the horse. We finished our letters to the Brownie troop in Alaska, signed up to bring donations for our Thanksgiving food box, and began our Girl Scout calendar sale. The calendars we are selling for 2000 contain pictures of scouts from our council, GSCNC. On November 12, we traveled to Catharpin, Virginia, to Lawnvale Farm, to earn our Horse Lover's badge. We had a great time at the farm learning all about horses; how to groom them, how to saddle them, what they eat, how they live, and how to care for them properly. Lawnvale Farm is a great place to visit! On November 15, we kept busy making table decorations for our Thanksgiving food box to be given to a needy family. We made pumpkin centerpieces (out of pantyhose), cornucopia napkin rings (using Bugle chips and Runts candy), and fabric placemats. Mrs. Reedy comes up with the greatest craft ideas for us; we are so lucky to have such wonderful leaders! At our November 22 meeting, we finished our pumpkin table centerpieces for Thanksgiving, talked about behavior during Girl Scout meetings, learned about Scout's Own Ceremonies and conducted a quiet ceremony about giving thanks, and played two Girl Scout games called Pass the Quarter and the Girl Scout Law game. Ms. Kim delivered our Thanksgiving food box and table decorations to our needy family on November 22, also. On November 29, we drew cards for a scout that used to belong to our service unit; her name is Megan and she has recently had surgery to remove ovarian cancer and will be going through chemotherapy in the next several months. We talked about planning ceremonies and began planning for our Court of Awards and Holiday Tea, which will take place on December 13.
o On December 6, we made invitations for our Court of Awards and finalized plans for the ceremony. On December 13, we held our first Court of Awards for the year. The scouts were presented with their Wildlife and Horse Lovers badges, and their calendar sale patches and camping patches (from the Fall Service Unit Encampment). The girls performed skits for our invited guests and we had a candle ceremony in which they each got to say why they loved Girl Scouts, then we had refreshments. On December 20, we talked about the upcoming cookie sale, made cards for our Christmas service project, and also made a card for Julie's brother Reed, who recently had kidney surgery. For our Christmas service project this year, we made a food basket and purchased gifts for a needy family in the area.
o On January 3, we had a planning meeting to discuss what badges we want to work on and what activities we want to do for the remainder of the school year. We made suggestions, then took a vote on the country we wanted to study for our Thinking Day activities in February and the winner was: JAPAN. The scouts are to work this week to learn as much about Japan as they can and bring their ideas to present at next week's meeting. We began planning for our Valentine's Day party. The Girl Scout cookie sale started on January 3 also. On January 10, we had a discussion about Japan and the scouts presented their ideas and brought things to share on Japan. Lizzy R. did some research on Japan and put together a book to use in our display. Clara and Alix each brought souvenirs that they had from Japan, such as Japanese dolls, kimonos, and pictures. We talked about what swaps we wanted to make to sell at our Service Unit Thinking Day event and decided on origami doves and dogs, and Japanese fans. The scouts also want to make some kind of rice for the others to sample at the event. The scouts who carry the Japanese flag in the parade will dress in kimonos. Mrs. Reedy made sushi for us to sample (she used smoked salmon instead of raw fish); most of us were not too fond of it! Ms. Kim got in touch with a Japanese Girl Guide leader on the internet, and we will exchange troop pictures, information, and patches with this troop from Japan. On January 22, we attended a cheerleading camp sponsored by the George Mason University cheerleaders. At the camp we learned a routine which we performed at halftime of the GMU women's basketball game (against East Carolina) on January 23. The GMU cheerleaders were very nice and taught us lots of different cheerleading moves and jumps. At our January 24 meeting, we worked on our swaps for Thinking Day.
o On February 7, we completed work on our swaps for Thinking Day. Ms. Kim traded patches with a Girl Scout Troop from Japan and their troop sent us some cool stuff back. We received photos, a patch, a 25th anniversary souvenir book, some candy, and some little seashell ornaments. We will use the stuff they sent us in our Thinking Day display. A special thank you to Tokyo Girl Scout Troop 108! We are also hosting the Alaska We Care box this month from Brownie Troop 136 in Anchorage. The box contains all kinds of special stuff to help us learn about the state of Alaska, such as animal fur samples, books, games, photos, newspaper articles, and much more. Our scouts decided to earn the Dog Sledding Junior Badge that is sponsored by their council; we will work on this badge in conjunction with the Iditarod dog sled race during the month of March. We will probably be the only scouts in Virginia to earn such a unique badge! A special THANK YOU to Patricia Beasley and Brownie Troop 136. On February 14, we held our annual Valentine's Day party. The scouts brought a treat to share and a special gift for their Secret Valentine. We have a new Junior in our troop and her name is Kimmy. She is new to Girl Scouts and we are very happy to have her in our troop! At our party, Mrs. Reach taught the scouts the basics in cake decorating. Each scout got to decorate their own heart-shaped cake to take home and share with their family. They did a wonderful job on the cakes. A very special thank you to Mrs. Reach for all the work she put into making the cakes and preparing for this project. At the end of the meeting, a friend of Mrs. Reedy's, Miss Sally, taught us a Japanese folk song called Haru Ga Kita (Spring has Come) and read us a Japanese story; we are studying Japan for our Thinking Day preparation this month. On February 24, our Service Unit held its annual Thinking Day event at Woodson High School. First there is a flag parade in which each troop has representatives carrying the flag of their chosen country; Lizzy R. and Alix carried the Japanese flag for our troop and they were dressed in kimonos with their faces done up with white makeup. Then each troop had a display for their chosen country and sold items to contribute to the WAGGGS Thinking Day Fund. Our troop had a wonderful display on Japan that included information and gifts that we received from Girl Scout Troop 108 from Tokyo and the Japanese Embassy in Washington, DC, plus items made by our scouts. We sold origami doves, dogs, and fans, as well as fortune cookies and rice cakes. Each scout takes around a passport that they get stamped at each display. A great time was had by all.
o On March 6, we held a planning meeting to decide what we will do for the next two months. We decided to work on the Theater, Sports, and Folk Arts Junior badges, as well as begin preparation for our Service Unit Encampment at the end of April. Also at this meeting, we switched patrols and voted on new patrol names and patrol leaders. We assisted Mrs. Reedy in making our new troop flag; our flag shows the earth in the shape of a heart with wings, hands holding the heart, and includes the words We Can Change the World, our troop number, and each of our names. Each scout in the troop contributed to the design of our flag and it will be displayed at our Association Annual Meeting in May. We completed the first requirement for earning our Dog Sledding badge; we had a discussion about the Iditarod Dog Sled Race in Alaska, which started this past Saturday. On March 13, we began preparation for our Service Unit Encampment in April. Mrs. Reach took the campout/cookout training and she has lots of things to teach us. This campout will be the first time our troop has camped in tents and cooked our own food. We learned how to make "fire starter kisses" by wrapping candle shavings in waxed paper. Mrs. Reach also taught us how to start fires (using candies and pretzels as supplies - then we got to eat our fires!). Mrs. Reedy helped us sew dunk bags which we will use to wash our dishes at camp. On March 20, our leaders set up stations at which they each taught us a craft. Mrs. Reach sewed together pot holders for each of the scouts, taught them how to piece together a quilt and how to hand quilt their pot holder. Mrs. Reedy taught crocheting; we are going to make an afghan to donate to a homeless shelter. Ms. Kim taught us the basics in cross stitching. On March 26, our scouts attended a Babysitting Workshop sponsored by Shoshanna and Amelia of a Cadette troop in our service unit. They did the workshop for their Silver Project. It was an informative workshop that taught our girls many things to prepare them for babysitting small children and they earned their Caring for Children junior badge. They learned what to charge for babysitting and how to advertise, first aid and safety, games and snacks for kids, and much more. There was even a registered nurse there to talk about first aid. Thank you Shoshanna and Amelia for a great workshop! On March 27, we began work on our Theater junior badge. The scouts worked in their patrols to choose a play, select who would portrait which characters in the play, draw background scenary and talk about props, and choose costumes. They will perform their plays at our Court of Awards in June. We also wrote back to our Alaska pen pals from Brownie Troop 136 at this week's meeting.
o On April 3, we worked again on our Theater badge. The scouts practiced their plays, learning their parts and memorizing their lines. On April 10, we began our planning for the spring Service Unit Encampment at the end of this month. Mrs. Reach talked to the scouts about cooking over an open fire, sleeping in tents, and they thought about what activities they wanted to do during the encampment. We also decided what meals we will be preparing at the encampment. The scouts did a Girl Scout Badge scavenger hunt from their Badges and Signs books. On April 24, we made swaps for our spring encampment (spiders, flashlights, and ladybugs on leaves), talked about menus and the cookoff contest, and Mrs. Reach had a meeting with our parents to discuss the encampment. On April 29 and 30, we attended our Service Unit Spring Encampment at Little Bennett Regional Park in Maryland. We had a great time cooking our own food over a fire (and making s'mores!); we set up and took down our own tents, and participated in a hayride, outdoor cook contest, campfire circle, and swap meet. The scouts really enjoyed their first camping experience where they got to do all the work themselves!
o On May 8, we completed our work on the Theater junior badge. We talked about what we liked and disliked about our encampment last week, and worked on our scenary for our plays, which we will perform at the Court of Awards in June. On May 15, we worked on the Historically Speaking-Virginia patch program. We did activities and had a discussion on the history of the state, famous Virginia citizens, and state landmarks. On May 22, Erin Rose's Dad, Rick Taylor, came to our meeting and helped us earn the Sports Junior badge. Mr. Taylor is a soccer coach with the Braddock Road Youth Club. He taught us about equipment, safety, first aid, injuries, rules of the game, and helped us practice our passing and kicking techniques. He also taught us soccer "do's and dont's" and how to be a team player. We even had a soccer scrimmage with our Girl Scout troop. Thank you Mr. Taylor!
o On June 5, we continued work on our Theater badge. Mrs. Reedy gave us demonstrations on how to put on stage makeup and gave each of us the opportunity to be made up in some way. On June 9, we had our end of the year party. We swam at Wakefield Chapel pool, had pizza, and had a slumber party at Mrs. Reach's house. We made rootbeer floats and watched movies. On June 19, we had our final Court of Awards for the year. We received all our patches and badges we earned since December, and presented our leaders and adult helpers with gifts. We are looking forward to a great summer and a wonderful Girl Scout year in 2000-2001. Most of our troop signed up for early bird registration and will be returning for next year, and Ms. Kim put in our paperwork for Honor Troop this month.
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