With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, it’s more important than ever to give back to the community. Here are a few easy ways Girl Scouts and troops can give back to their communities this month.
1. Blanket Donation
Troop 7133 decided to host a Blanket Drive after they heard their local shelter had completely run out of twin-sized blankets. The troop sponsored donation bins and collected new and gently used blankets for the shelter. Reach out to your local shelter to see what their needs are and coordinate donations from family and friends to donate. Make sure to stay safe and practice social distancing through curbside pick-ups or other distanced collection methods.
2. Food Pantry Donation
Another way to give back is to donate to a food pantry. Purchase items on our local pantry’s wish-list, or simply donate canned goods for your own pantry. Double check with your local pantry to see what they need and what they have too much of.
3. Donate to Healthcare Workers
Healthcare workers are working harder than ever! Some ways Badgerland troops have given back is by donating Girl Scouts cookies or sending thank you cards. You can do something similar, or come up with your own creative way to say thanks.
4. Send Holiday Cards
The Holidays can be a lonely time for some, and a simple way to raise someones spirits is to send a card. Create a variety of holiday cards and send them to an assisted care facility or veterans hospital to spread some holiday cheer.
5. Shovel Driveways and Sidewalks
An easy way to help others in the winter is to shovel sidewalks and driveways that neighbors may not be able to do on their own. This is especially a great way to help high-risk or elderly individuals who may have been isolation by the pandemic. Make sure to practice social distancing guidelines to keep yourself and others safe.
6. Donate Toys
Donating toys to those in need is a great way to help others this month, especially with the upcoming holiday season. You can raise money and purchase toys, or donate gently used toys (if accepted). Donate the toys to a community center, family shelter, Toys for Tots, or a similar organization.
How have you/your troop given back to your community? Share your ideas in the comments below!
Do you have a favorite STEAM subject, badge, or activity? If you don’t have a favorite yet, we have put together a list of easy, at-home STEAM inspired activities to try out.
Materials: A clear jar, water, shaving cream and blue food coloring.
Be sure to make a prediction of what will happen before doing the experiment!
Fill the cup with water (air)
Add a thin layer of shaving cream (clouds – water vapor)
Place drops of blue food coloring on the top of the shaving cream (water droplets)
Wait for the “rain” to fall
Make your conclusion – let us know how it goes!
For this experiment it is important to recognize that this activity shows how the water gets heavier on the top of the cloud and gravity makes it fall as rain. The shaving cream and food coloring represent the different forms of water we can easily see.
Materials: Paper towel, water, washable markers and two cups.
Fold a piece of paper towel in half (so you have 2 halves on top of each other). Trim the length to be 7.5 inches- any longer and the rainbow may not connect fully.
TIP: The shorter your piece of paper towel, the better it will connect. Also make sure you are using an absorbent paper towel. Recommended brand is Bounty.
2. Draw rectangles of the rainbow colors on each end. You want to make sure to fill these colors in well so there is enough dye to travel across the paper towel.
TIP: Add lots of marker to the ends, you want a good amount of dye to travel up the paper towel.
3. Place 2 cups with water filled 3/4 full. You only want the bottom of the paper towel in so leave some space from the top of the cup. Then place one end of the paper towel into each cup.
TIP: Do not place the ends too deep in the water or the dye may dissolve into the water instead of moving up the paper towel.
4. Leave the paper towel for 10-15 minutes and it will eventually connect the colors together.
This science experiment shows chromatography. Chromatography is a way of separating out a mixture of chemicals. If you ever got a paper with ink wet you would have seen the ink move across the page in streaks.
Capillary action makes the marker dye move up the paper towel. The water moves upward through the paper towel, lifting the washable dye molecules with it. Because the washable markers are water based, they disperse in water.
Set up a few different scenarios and hypotheses. For example, if you were to try this experiment without any dye, you would still see the water rising upwards towards the center of the paper towel.
If you were to try this experiment with permanent markers it would not work. This is because the markers are not water based (they are alcohol based) so the dye in the marker does not travel with the water. You can try this with permanent markers because the ink will disperse with rubbing alcohol but not with water.
Pinhole cameras are one of the earliest types of cameras, using the principle of “camera obscura” in which light travels through a small hole in a dark box to form a picture. This is the basis of the technology modern cameras use today! Follow these instructions to make your own pinhole camera.
Empty shoe box with a lid
X-Acto knife (Ask an adult for help with this item!)
Use the point of a sharp pencil to punch a hole in one of the shorter ends of the shoe box.
Ask an adult to use an X-Acto knife to cut a square in the opposite end of the box, directly across from the hole. The square should measure 2 inches on each side.
Use scissors to cut a square of wax paper that measures 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) on each side.
Place the wax paper directly over the square you cut in the box. Tape the edges of the wax paper to the box.
Take the camera box to a dimly lit room and turn on a lamp. Stand about 5 feet from the lamp.
Cover your head and pinhole camera with a blanket. Be sure that the end with the wax paper is facing you and the end with the pinhole is facing the lamp.
Hold your pinhole camera at arm’s length from your face and aim it at the lamp. Keep it steady until you see an upside-down image of the lamp.
In a real camera, the lens is like the tiny hole you made in the box and creates a backward, upside-down image. Like the little hole, the lens lets in light. The wax paper is like film in a real camera, which has special chemicals on it. When the light hits the film, the chemicals start changing and turn the image into a photograph.
Chromatography is a laboratory technique for the separation of a mixture. Learn more about chromatography in this science experiment meets art project.
Non permanent markers (Over the years I’ve found Mr. Sketch markers work the best in this experiment.)
White coffee filters
Cups of water
Black pipe cleaners
Choose one marker to experiment with first. (Hint~ black and brown are the most exciting!)
Take one coffee filter. Put it on a newspaper or some kind of material to protect your table. Draw a thick circle around the center of the coffee filter where the ridged part meets the flat center. Use a pencil to write the color of the marker being used right in the center. (You’ll want to know what the original color was being used, and the pencil won’t smear and will remain intact after the experiment.)
Fold the coffee filter in half and then in half again, resulting in a cone shape.
Get a short glass of water. Pull apart the cone shaped coffee filter so it balances right on the glass with the tip of the cone just touching the water. (Be sure NOT to let the marker circle go in the water, just the uncolored tip of the coffee filter cone.)
Let it sit and watch what happens as the water begins to flow up the paper.
Repeat with different colored markers.
After the water has reached the outer edge of the coffee filter, place it on a newspaper to dry.
Once the coffee filters are dry you can observe the results.
Leave about 8 inches of wire loose at one end and wrap most of the rest of the wire around the nail. Try not to overlap the wires.
Cut the wire (if needed) so that there is about another 8 inches loose at the other end too.
Now remove about an inch of the plastic coating from both ends of the wire and attach the one wire to one end of a battery and the other wire to the other end of the battery. See picture below. (It is best to tape the wires to the battery – be careful though, the wire could get very hot!)
Now you have an ELECTROMAGNET! Put the point of the nail near a few paper clips and it should pick them up!
NOTE: Making an electromagnet uses up the battery somewhat quickly which is why the battery may get warm, so disconnect the wires when you are done exploring.
Go outside and hunt for the perfect Fall leaf to save! The easiest method is to place leaves between sheets of newspaper and press with heavy books for about 2 weeks, checking after one week to insure the leaves are drying properly.
Another method is to sandwich the leaves between wax paper and old cloth/towels, and iron on high (no steam). The wax will melt onto the leaves (and not onto the iron or ironing board thanks to the cloth) and preserve them for several months. Cut the leaves out from the wax paper making sure not to break the wax seal and use them in collages and other art projects.
You can see more methods and more info on these methodshere.
Take a hike!
Hiking can be a safe way to get outside, and a great way to celebrate Outdoors month! Below is a list of some of our favorite lesser known hiking spots around Badgerland. Don’t forget to practice social distancing and follow safety guidelines when visiting public hiking spots.
Gear up for Girl Scout Founder Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthday (Oct. 31) with our (virtual) Founder’s Day camp out! Practice outdoor skills while learning about Girl Scout traditions and history. The event will be a mixture of recorded and live sessions that cover basic outdoor skills like building fires, tying knots, setting up tents, and cooking over the campfire with sticks and pudgie pie irons. Older girls will cover dutch oven cooking, jackknife safety, and how to light fires without matches. We’ll end the camp out with a Girl Scout history lesson and fun trivia! Girls will earn parts of the following badges:
There’s still time to join our Sloth Shuffle! Walk, run or shuffle your way through October and get outside to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and help adopt a sloth for a year. Track your daily steps and see if you can finish a 5K (3.1 miles) or go all the way for a 10K (6.2 miles) by the end of October. Participants will get a Sloth Shuffle patch, pedometer, sports towel and tracking sheet mailed to them. One dollar for every participant will be donated to the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison to help care for their sloths.
In her life enriched by the power of Girl Scouts, my mom, Claire Kircher, consistently showed gratitude for the organization which had given her so much.
A sister, an explorer, a risk-taker, a nurse, a mother, and a loving friend, Claire Kircher led her life with confidence and compassion. An energetic problem solver, she approached challenges head-on. While many daughters would provide similarly impassioned descriptions of their mothers, I am by no means alone amongst the multitudes of people who became enamored with Claire’s spirited light. Her light, which shone through every stage of her life, was fueled and sustained by Girl Scouts.
Growing up in West Bend, WI in the 1960s and early 1970s as the eldest of six children in a conservative Catholic household, my mom often recounted the lack of opportunities and activities for girls in their formative years. As different family pressures and responsibilities emerged throughout her childhood and adolescence, Girl Scouts remained a sacred refuge for Claire: a place of infinite possibilities to explore, a place full of loving female friendships and bonds. Claire fully embraced Girl Scouts’ outdoors and leadership experiences, to which her large and hectic family would not have exposed her. Cherishing her earliest memories of independence she made at Camp Tiwaushara outside Wild Rose, WI, she embraced the camping, canoeing, and hiking trips her beloved troop leader, Ms. Azelle, made possible for her troop. She realized she thrived in leadership positions, enjoying the decision making process and logistical planning of different endeavors. To raise funds for her troop to travel to Europe and to the International Girl Scout Chalet in Switzerland in the summer of 1973, Claire helped collaborate with local businesses so her troop members could sell tickets to silly fashion shows they put on for the community. Above any individual experience, my mom most deeply treasured the powerful female friendships and the strong female energy she gained and embodied through Girl Scouts. Her appreciation for the collective strength and wisdom of womxn and girls seeped into every subsequent aspect of her existence.
Girl Scouts ingrained in my mom that women can rise to any challenge. She learned to never underestimate the radical, healing, transformative power of womxn as a collective. As a nurse, she enjoyed thinking through and tackling challenges, taking great responsibility in her work as a professional. She became trained in Reiki and body work therapy, using these alternative skills to enhance her healing ability. Outraged at the injustices her coworkers and her often faced in this female-dominated profession, she played ongoing leadership roles in organizing her comrades to demand respect and fair treatment for nurses. Enchanted by the power of music and song she first experienced in Girl Scouts, she sought community in the Madison feminist choir, Womonsong. Many Womonsong members had their own Girl Scouting backgrounds, and my mom formed instant connections. Throughout her adulthood, no matter what life events or obstacles she faced, she never ceased to honor, support, and seek refuge in her multitudes of female friends.
Becoming the co-leader of my troop, she manifested her gratitude for Girl Scouts by imparting her love of the program to me and my fellow troop members. Her co-leader, Mary Clare Murphy, ensured that our troop explored and served our community, sang songs, and learned to love and trust each other. However, they ultimately provided an environment in which we, as girls, could organize our own activities and directives. We exercised our own leadership muscles, most memorably, orchestrating the activities for the annual Regent Community Girl Scout Encampment. Our group of Girl Scout sisters remained strong, from kindergarten until our senior year of high school, supporting each other through the trials and tribulations of early adolescence through the start of college. My mom made sure that our troop remained a strong, interdependent female community that any girl could turn to for support.
And this love of Girl Scouting lives through me. Most importantly, the value of honoring female friendships and community. In my time running on the women’s cross country team at Macalester College, I utilized many Girl Scout team building and planning skills that had been impressed upon me since youth. Now, I am a teacher in south Minneapolis, and the co-leader of a remarkable troop of Brownie Girl Scouts. Cultivating a troop at my school is my way of showing gratitude, not only for the Girl Scout organization, but also for my mom, who gave so much of herself to provide an excellent Girl Scouting experience.
One of my co-leaders is none other than my lifelong friend and Girl Scout sister, Anna Ahrens, the daughter of my mom’s dear friend and co-leader of our troop, Mary Clare. After attending college in different states, Anna and I found our way back to each other in Minneapolis, proving, just as my mom did, that Girl Scout sisterhood lasts a lifetime. Together, we channel our moms’ energy in every meeting, always ensuring that our girls sing plenty of songs. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our troop met every Wednesday. After the meetings on my drive home, I always called my mom to debrief and ask for her advice. As her body weakened from the effects of chemotherapy and the spreading cancer, connecting with my next generation of Girl Scouts gave her hope and joy.
Claire utilized her Girl Scout skills to march her way through four years of ovarian cancer. She was scrappy and tough. She pragmatically looked at the challenges from all angles, adapted to her changing physical abilities, and most of all, called upon her community of Girl Scout sisters and other female friends to carry her through. My mom’s light shone bright through every obstacle cancer launched her way. On my mom’s last day on this earth, as Hospice nurses attended to her at our home, dozens of people – Girl Scout connections, Womonsong connections, neighbors, and other friends and family – gathered below her window, social distancing on the street outside. Together, they joined in song, singing a selection of my mom’s favorite Girl Scout and Womonsong songs I had printed out and left in a pile below. The magical vibrations of their united voices sent a wave through our home, flooding into my mom’s open window, surrounding her with love. Hours later, her spirit left her body, soaring to join with the lingering energy of friendship and sisterhood. Her light shines on through me, and through the dozens of people she’s impacted through Girl Scouts and other communities. What she leaves behind is the value, and perpetual trust in the power of Girl Scouts Together.
To make a donation in honor of Claire Kircher, visit Badgerland’s donation page and type ‘Claire Rose Kircher Legacy Fund’ in the designation section.
A happy ending for a happy-making place. The former Girl Scout property known as Camp Oakwood Knoll has a new identity and new owners while holding on to some old cherished traditions. Badgerland Girl Scouts closed and sold the camp in March 2019, per our long-range property plan. And wow has the place been spruced up! The new owners are calling it Camp Kettlewood and it’s open to the public where campers can sleep in tents (Girl Scout preference!) or vintage trailers (awesome!).
But here’s what we are moved by; the keeping of Girl Scout touches including the groomed nature trails and original campsite names such as Mushroom Gulch and Sunset Ridge. According to the new owners, “That was purposeful… because we wanted to show respect to what was here before us. If you keep an eye out, you’ll be able to see more subtle nods to the (Girl) Scouts program incorporated into our decorations at the campsites!”
After being a Girl Scout camp for more than 50 years, it is heartening to know this beautiful part of Wisconsin is again accessible to families seeking a connection to the natural world. Talk about using resources wisely. Now that’s the Girl Scouts way.
In this badge you will learn how to have a great day from the moment you wake up to when you tuck yourself into bed at night. Here are five activities and things you can make that will help you have a great day, every day.
Activity #1 Make Your Bed
First, think of what you can do after you get up and take a nice long stretch to the ceiling. You can make your bed! That’s right! Straighten out your covers, place your pillows where they belong, and just like that you’re done. Now doesn’t that look great? Your room already looks tidy. You’ve completed the first task of the day, and you feel accomplished. You are well on your way to having a productive day. Plus, it brings a smile upon your face and brightens your mood setting you up to have a great day!
Activity #2 Sort Your Stuff (Craft Project)
Sort Your stuff is a way to keep your items in one place so when you need something you know right where to go to get that item. You can use aluminum cans and use them to store pens, pencils, markers, etc.
Clean aluminum can
Use Modge Podge glue on fabric pieces.
Glue embellishments on them with craft glue.
Activity #3 Making Homework a Breeze
You can create a calm and relaxing area in your room or home by making an area suitable with everything that you need to concentrate. You already have all your supplies ready to go with your newly decorated aluminum cans. Now you are ready to hit the books!
Activity #4 Plan Ahead (Craft Project)
Having a list of what you need to do helps you to keep organized and also helps you feel accomplished by checking off your TO DO list. By making a checklist every day you can change your list as often as you see fit. So, one day you might not have homework to do, or maybe you don’t have chores to do.
I like to have a list template that I am able to change without having to waste paper. In this photo I used a page protectant sleeve and I put my paper inside it. I then wrote on the front of it with permanent marker, my to do list and if I need to change or add to the list I use the dry erase marker to do so as a dry erase marker you can wipe off.
Page Protectant sleeves
Dry erase marker
Activity #5 Helping Other’s get Organized
Organize your family’s spaces that could use help. Ask your parents if you can help organize a drawer or cabinet in the kitchen. For example, you can make a snack station in your refrigerator or pantry. Then when you come home from school you can see all your options in one place.
You can also ask your parents to reach out to your local food pantry and ask if you can help organize and sort food with them. This would be a wonderful way to help out in your community. Remember to wear your Girl Scout uniform when you go!
Start making checklists with your family. Do you have sports or activities that you go to? You can help by making a check list of the things you need to take with you to your events.
To me art allows us to share how we see the world around us, and express how we feel and see through the art we create. It is especially good when we don’t know what words to use to express how we feel.
Art also allows me to go into a place in my mind to think and see things differently. It’s a place of memories, and imagination. A place where I can be me and think quietly about things. People often ask where do I come up with my ideas? The answer is, I don’t know. It’s o.k. to not know. It’s o.k. to say, the idea just floated in my mind like a butterfly and smile. Most good ideas are like that. They sneak up on you when you least expect it. The trick is catching that idea and writing, or drawing it down.
So, this week we are going to be art catchers. And how are we going to do that? By being inspired by certain art prompts that I will be giving you in the next seven days. The art prompts are meant to get you inspired and to think creatively.
Materials needed: Well anything really! That is the great thing about art! You can use paper and pencil, crayons or paint. Do you want to create a piece of artwork using found objects? Of course you can! (But, before using found objects you will want to get permission first!)
Don’t forget to share your art with us! Simply post it online with #badgerlandartchallenge
Now for the Art Prompts: (drum roll please…)
What is your super power? Everyone one has one. Be it friendly, helpful, creative, strong, smart, funny, clever or tidy. The list goes on and on. It also makes up who we are. And we are all unique and special. Today’s Art Prompt is:
It’s always great to get outside whether in your backyard, around your neighborhood, city park, or on a hiking trail. And if you can’t get outside there is always a view out your window, or you can use your imagination to create an outdoor world of your own. So grab your art supplies and get sketching. There is a whole world out there to explore! Today’s Art Prompt:
Now, I don’t know about you, but I think robots are pretty awesome. Some mimic the human movements, and some mimic animal movements. But all are great helpers just like Girl Scouts! So todays art prompt is:
Cookie Season is done. But now is a great time to start planning for next year! Grab your creative thinking cap get a piece of paper and let’s start creating the most draw dropping cookie booth ever seen! Today’s Art Prompt:
MY DREAM COOKIE BOOTH
In honor of the Brownie Snack Badge today’s art prompt is:
When you look up at the night sky it has many stars and a moon. What would it be like to be an astronaut up there? What would Earth look like from space? What would you like to do in space? Grow plants on Mars? Sure! Study the rings of Saturn? Of course! The possibilities are endless.
Today’s Art Prompt:
SWAPS are known far and wide in Girl Scouts. SWAPS stand for “Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere.” They are little tokens of friendship with the Girl Scouts they meet while traveling. Whether made your received what is your favorite?
Do you ever see issues in our society that you want to change? Do you want to get your voice out there and be heard? Do you want to show the world some of your Girl Scout power? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you should consider becoming an advocate and joining us for Girl Scouts 2021 Advocacy Day next year. Girl Scout Advocacy Day is a program where girls get to hear and gain inspiration from adults that have advocated for what they believe in. Then Girl Scouts get to take the reins and talk to lawmakers themselves and advocate for issues that they are passionate about. On Wednesday, March 4th 70 girls went to the state capital in Madison and spoke about issues they believe in, and how to make the world a better place one girl at a time.
The morning started with a welcome from Marci Henderson, the CEO of Girl Scouts of Wisconsin – Badgerland. Then we heard some inspiring words from Senator Kathy Bernier and Representative Greta Neubauer about how girls can do anything when they are true to themselves. But there were not only lawmakers and adult representatives for Girl Scouts speaking. There were also girls representing three different councils. Morgan, Jayda, and Cassandra gave speeches about their amazing Girl Scout experiences. The girl’s speeches featured several different topics, ranging from bullying, Girl Scout events, and even what their future holds. Wow! I, as the representative for Badgerland council, talked about my Girl Scout experience and how it has led to many opportunities, including being on the TV, radio, and even joining the Global Girl Scout Round Table at the 2020 National Girl Scout Convention being held in Orlando, Florida in October. At the very end the lawmakers participated in a Girl Scout Investiture Ceremony where they were made honorary Girl Scouts and they received a pin over their heart.
After the welcoming ceremony the Girl Scouts gathered for a group photo in the rotunda, took some fun photos and videos, and then headed to the Overture Center for lunch. There the girls got to hear from two amazing role models. The first speaker was Laura Downer, the University of Wisconsin Madison Student Body President. Ms. Downer saw issues on her campus in regards to how budget cuts affected the student population and decided she needed to take action to improve not only her school, but also improve things for people learning and teaching there. Then the girls got the amazing opportunity to meet and hear a speech from the Mayor of Madison, Satya Rhodes-Conway. She talked to the girls about her experience in politics, and to not give up in campaigns or anything you believe in. Way to show girl power Satya! Mayor Rhodes -Conway and Ms. Downer also took the time to take photos with any Girl Scout that wanted to. Then as if things could not get any better, it was announced that Governor Evers had made a proclamation that March 12, 2020 is Girl Scouts Day in Wisconsin to honor the 108th anniversary of Girl Scouts. What an empowering thing for Wisconsin Girl Scouts!
Now that the girls had been inspired, it was time for them to go meet with Senators and Representatives to advocate and share their voice!
Going into this event the girls not only had their own ideas to advocate for, they also got to advocate for the five Girl Scout public policy goals of 2020 which are,
Promote Economic Opportunities for Girls in STEM
Strengthen financial literacy skills for girls
Expand our access to the outdoors and develop anti-bullying initiatives
Promote education about global issues that impact girls and women
And uphold a strong nonprofit community that supports Girl Scouts
Wow, what an ambitious but amazing list that Girl Scouts hope to accomplish together!
After splitting into small groups, the Girl Scouts got busy delivering a folder of information about the Girl Scouts initiatives for 2020 and what they advocate for, along with a complimentary box of yummy Girl Scout cookies. The girls also had scheduled meetings where time was set aside to meet with lawmakers and talk to them about issues that they are concerned about and what was important to them. Wow! You don’t get to do that every day! One group met with many different lawmakers including Senator Jennifer Shilling, the Minority Leader, who by no surprise was a Girl Scout herself and continues to advocate for them. Then when the group was dropping off a folder to Representative Jill Billings she took time to sit down and talk with the girls. The girls talked about many different issues, Aubrey a 12-year-old Cadette talked about water pollution in the Wisconsin River near her home and how it was affecting not only the fish, but the Eagles. She discussed how we can work to stop this through stricter laws involving disposal of chemicals. Way to go Aubrey! I talked about vaping and the issues it is causing in not only my school, but other schools as well, and how there are many ways we can help the vaping crisis.
Advocacy day is a day where girls can start their journey to find their voice and learn that their voice matters. As Girl Scouts continues to make an impact on girls, in turn those girls will make an impact in our cities, our state, and our country. Girl Scouts creates an everlasting circle of impact and everyday improvements. Let’s continue the growth to empower every girl and promote that she has a voice and change can start with her.
By Media Girls Eloise Czerwonka, Brea Flint, and Megan Scholz
January 25-26, 2020
Don’t you love to camp at Ehawee? The adventure, the wildlife, the trees? What if Ehawee was buried in nearly a foot of snow? Would you still dare to stay the weekend? That’s what 35 of Girl Scouts challenged themselves to do this weekend, along with parents, troop leaders, and super-awesome camp counselors! At 35°F and no wind, Saturday was a GREAT day to play in the snow. Megan Scholz, Brea Flint, and Eloise Czerwonka wanted to report the adventures that they encountered this weekend.
Arriving at camp was interesting. There was snow everywhere. Normally, you show up at Ehawee surrounded by a green landscape. Well, not this time. We had nearly a foot of white, fluffy, pack-y snow, topped off just that morning. WILD!
After everyone moved into Bertha and Nakomis Lodges, they arranged themselves into groups and started an adventure. Eloise, Brea, and Megan navigated from constructing snow shelters to tracking animals, building fires in the snow, creating wildlife habitats, studying winter first aid, and making a blizzard in Hope Lodge.
On their hike to find signs of wildlife, they didn’t see many tracks to begin with, so they made a few of our own.Megan playfully drew a large bird print in the snow when the others weren’t looking. “Look what I found!” she shouted to the group. The girls debated about what it could possibly be. A gigantic prehistoric bird perhaps? Later in the day, when the girls returned to Hope Lodge, they saw the Hippogriff nest and came to the unanimous conclusion that the huge prints must have been from a Hippogriff.
By the end of their 30 minute hike through the snow (it went almost all the way to their knees!), they had identified dog, raccoon, deer, and rabbit tracks. Interestingly, the rabbit tracks were pretty shallow while the deer prints were deeper into the snow.
Next they made a snow shelter in the Minihaha Unit. They had to start with a stick no larger than their wrist, add more sticks to it, then add vines or more sticks and packed snow on top (pancake style, not too heavy). The bottom was lined with big branches to anchor the wall. When they finished, all four of them could fit into the shelter (well, sort of). It was surprisingly warm and comfortable inside even though it was made of icy cold snow. When they climbed out, their leaders said it looked like they were climbing out of a clown car!
After lunch, the girls wanted nothing more than to just play outside. They hiked to Marinuka Unit where they had thought about fire building, but instead found a world of untouched snow. They rolled a snowball that got bigger and bigger and took 10 girls to roll. Working together, they constructed a snow mom that was bigger than all of the girls building it and turned it into their own personal climbing and play structure.
Eventually, the girls did get to build campfires with camp counselor Cypher. The fires were build in the parking lot on top of cardboard. Cypher put them out with her boot before they got very big. Did you know that air flow is important for getting fires started and keeping them going? Since fires need oxygen, it’s important to make sure to build the base with space for the air to go. The girls used a mixture of small twigs and pine needles (kindling) and bigger twigs and sticks to keep it going. They all worked as a team to create a fire that lit well. It was super exciting to see that they could start a fire in the snow.
The last big Saturday activity was a snow creation competition. Eloise, Brea, and Megan decided to make a friendship circle of snow girls and used snow paint made with food coloring and water to add different colored sashes/vests for each of the snow girls. Snow painting was new to them and since the colored water was warmer than the snow it melted into the snow people leaving indentations. There were all sorts of creative snow engineering going on. There were castles, forts, Ms.snow-punzel, a hippopotamus, and even a snow woman in a bikini. The winning structure was a snowman with a kitty because it had stick structures in it for support. Although Eloise, Brea, and Megan didn’t win, but they sure had fun working as a team and creating 12 unique snow girls and their fearless leader.
Eloise can’t wait to come back next year, and hopefully the abominable snowman appears this time so we can see it! The skits the counselors put on were amazing and funny — cool! The best one was the skit about camping and trolls. A special thanks to Panara bread for donating bagels and other kinds of bread for breakfast before our journey back home. She’ll just need to remember to bring a backup set of mittens next year!
Brea had just moved to Badgerland Council this September, she was born and raised in Southern California, so this was her first winter with real snow (and her 1st time at Ehawee). She loved seeing the snow covered trees and paths—and loved that the weather conditions were just perfect—plenty of packing snow for building creative creations—such as spontaneous snow cats complete with twig whiskers. She also is beginning to grasp the difference between packing snow and a nice dusting of powder—and can now understand why Eskimos have over 50 words for snow. She was also glad she learned about frostbite — and hypothermia (something she didn’t have to worry about much in Southern California where temperatures rarely dipped below 60 degrees. She learned about many of the summer traditions (creek hopping, swimming, and getting TeePeed) at Ehawee and can’t wait to see what camp is like in warmer weather. Brea, only ever having tried Little Brownie Baker cookies, really loved the thanks-a-lot S’mores—they had the perfect amount of chocolate and cookie—making the most delicious S’mores she’s had yet! She’s definitely going to ask mom to stick up on these cookies this cookie season—as they won’t be available next year.
Megan’s favorite part of camp was hanging out with new friends. Like when a group of girls spontaneously built a gigantic snowman that was so big, they used it as a slide. She also discovered her new favorite tea! Celestial Green tea with White Tea for smooth taste. Who knew? Megan can’t wait to go back and make even more magical memories.
Eloise, Brea, and Megan want to wish everyone a spectacular day and hope that you have the opportunity to join them at the next Ehawee Expedition. Until then, adventure on!