Thursday, June 27, 2013

Life Lessons From Paula Deen

Five years ago, my tiny daughter made a discovery with her dad: Paula Deen on the Food Network. She instantly fell in love with her food and Southern charm, and a strong resemblance to her grandmother didn't hurt, either. Hence, a longtime love of the "Grandma Cooking Show" was born.

Now, my third-grader learned this week that Grandma has been knocked off her pedestal, and the days of snuggling on the couch to watch her show are over.At nearly 8, 

At nearly 8, my daughter is in that tenuous middle ground where you want to fiercely protect her from the world but realize at some point you need to let her know what's going on. And the Paula Deen fiasco was one that made a difference. 

For the first time, we talked with our daughter - who thankfully knows nothing about the color of the skin other than it's like the color of your eyes or hair - about racism. How people in 2013 do sometimes treat others different based on how they look. How words can destroy. And how your choices can affect you for years to come.

It was a far cry from the talk we had with our 5 year old - how Paula Deen was in trouble for calling others a bad word. But it was effective for his stage in life, his personal challenges as he too grows.

On Wednesday, after breakfast, I let my daughter watch the end of the interview with Matt Lauer. Was she sorry? Absolutely, I believe. But still, it's hard to undo what's been done. And words are tough to take back.

I know my daughter has learned a lot from Paula Deen over the years around her stove. Now I hope she can learn from her recent life lessons - and the importance of repentance and forgiveness as well.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Beating Sunburn Naturally

Photo from Google Image
A sunburn was not what I counted on during a cloudy, cool week at summer camp. But yes, my little guy came home with red, sore shoulders one afternoon.

I was blessed to find a quick home remedy within my "medicine cabinet:" a blend of coconut oil and melaleuca essential oil (otherwise known as tea tree oil). After rubbing it into my son's shoulders a few times a day, his redness was quickly relieved.

The good news is it wasn't a fluke. The bad news is I got to test it out a few weeks later.

After a day at the lake with a friend, my daughter noticed what she called a "rash" on the back of her legs and any other area she neglected to put sunscreen. After nearly eight years, she had her first sunburn. And it was a painful one at that. As we were at home rather than at camp, we had a larger arsenal of essential oils to tap into (good because it gave a break from the complaints about the smell of melaleuca oil!) We primarily used melaleuca and lavender essential oils and coconut oil to help spread it. I went quite liberally with the essential oils, and the redness was gone by morning. The soreness in a day or two.

Needless to say, I have a bottle of "sunburn blend" mixed up and ready for our next outdoor adventure!

What is your favorite natural home remedy for sunburn and other summer maladies?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Brownie Senses Badge - Earn It At Camp

brownie senses badge requirements activitiesEarning the Brownie Senses badge is a great activity for day camp or troop campouts - very easy to fill in on those dead spots, like when it's too cold to swim!

Here's how we met the Brownie Senses badge requirements during our camp week:

We held a nature scavenger hunt throughout the campground. There are many nature scavenger hunt lists available online or on Pinterest if you are looking for ideas.

We did a listening hike for our early morning hike to breakfast. The goal was to listen for 10 different sounds. It was great for those sleepyheads who weren't quite up to singing yet! :-)

We played the "smelly game." We lined the girls up while one of the leaders was in the leader meeting and asked the girls to pull their bandanas over their eyes.  Then we walked a small bottle of various essential oils down the line and asked the girls to guess the smell. Some of the essential oils we used included lemon , grapefruit, cinnamon, lavender, oregano, and peppermint .

I have to say, the faces were priceless on some of the girls. What I thought would be pleasant - like the evergreen trees in a holiday blend - created some of the most unusual reactions!

We used the magnifying glasses from our bug kit to look at the taste buds on friends' tongues. We also talked about the different types of taste - salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami.

We adapted the "feel wheel" idea from the requirements by reusing some of the lunch bags and putting small items, some found at camp, some from home, inside each one. The girls had to go to each bag and guess what was inside.

Note to leaders: The Senses Badge requirements are not included in the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. You do have to purchase the Wonders of Water badge insert to get the full sheet of requirements if you would like alternatives to these activities.
Follow Robbie @'s board Girl Scout Projects on Pinterest.

Looking for more Girl Scout ideas? Visit my new scout leader resource site, Use Resources Wisely. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bug Day: Earning the Brownie Bugs Badge

Girl Scout camp is a natural place for your Brownies to earn their Bugs badge. Last week at day camp, we celebrated mid-week with "Bug Day" in our unit.

brownies bugs badge requirementsWe started our day with a Bug Hike. Each girl had a small container for a bug box and magnifying glass for collecting bugs along the way. "Bugs" wound up being loosely defined. We wound up with a vast collection of everything from mosquitoes and ants to spiders and slugs. But the girls loved exploring what's down below and slowing down for a bit. They truly didn't want to end their hike!

The girls also took time to observe and learn about the bugs they collected. I found this great bug observation worksheet on Pinterest. Even the girls who admitted at the beginning of the day that bugs freaked them out loved studying their insects and other creatures!

We also did a couple of bug-related crafts. A very quick one to do is the coffee-filter butterfly, which I think is a Girl Scout camp standard. The girls decorate their coffee filters with markers, then get the filters wet to spread the colors. When the coffee filters are dry, they use a pipe cleaner to create the body and the antennae.

How to earn Brownie Bugs BadgeWe also gave each girl a small container of clay to make their own bug creations. They were allowed to use any crafts supplies or found items, including rocks, leaves and sticks, to make their insects. I was impressed with some of their creative interpretations - from bugs sitting on sticks to carving designs of snail shells to entire scenes!

Rounding out our bug badge day were a discussion about what we know and want to learn about bugs, creation of a team bugs poster that hung in our unit house all week and learning the "Wings of a Butterfly" song for our camp skit.

If I had the wings of a butterfly
If I had the wings of a butterfly (butterfly). 
Up to the hills I would fly. (I'd fly)
There I would remain as a butterfly
There to remain till I die.

Chorus! (pronounced ch-or-us) 
Oo la, Oo la, Oo la, Oo la. Repeat.
Oo la, Oo la, Oo la, Oo la. Once More.
Oo la, Oo la la la, Oo la. Last Time.
Oo la, Oo la la la, Oo la la.

Second verse....

(Replace butterfly with skeeter, airplane, dragon fly, fairy, chicken, etc., ending last verse with "If I had the wings of a Girl Scout.)
Follow Robbie @'s board Girl Scout Projects on Pinterest.

Looking for more Girl Scout ideas? Visit my new scout leader resource site, Use Resources Wisely.