Ways to Celebrate STEAM Month at Badgerland

It’s STEAM month at Girl Scouts Badgerland! 

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.

Make Rain

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!

Experiment Procedure:

  1. Fill the cup with water (air)
  2. Add a thin layer of shaving cream (clouds – water vapor)
  3. Place drops of blue food coloring on the top of the shaving cream (water droplets)
  4. Wait for the “rain” to fall
  5. 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.

Make Rain Experiment via https://www.mrsjonescreationstation.com/simple-science-how-clouds-make-rain/

Watch a Rainbow Grow

Materials: Paper towel, water, washable markers and two cups.

Experiment Procedure:

  1. 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.

Watch a Rainbow Grow experiment via https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/grow-a-rainbow-experiment/

Make a Pinhole Camera

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.

Materials:

  • Sharp pencil
  • Empty shoe box with a lid
  • X-Acto knife (Ask an adult for help with this item!)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Wax paper
  • Tape
  • Blanket

Instructions:

  1. Use the point of a sharp pencil to punch a hole in one of the shorter ends of the shoe box.
  2. 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.
  3. Use scissors to cut a square of wax paper that measures 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) on each side.
  4. Place the wax paper directly over the square you cut in the box. Tape the edges of the wax paper to the box.
  5. Take the camera box to a dimly lit room and turn on a lamp. Stand about 5 feet from the lamp.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

What’s Happening?

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.

Via https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/books/pinhole-camera/

Chromatography Butterflies

Chromatography is a laboratory technique for the separation of a mixture. Learn more about chromatography in this science experiment meets art project.

Materials:

  • Non permanent markers (Over the years I’ve found Mr. Sketch markers work the best in this experiment.)
  • White coffee filters
  • Pencil
  • Cups of water
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • String
  • Scissors

Procedure:

  1. Choose one marker to experiment with first. (Hint~ black and brown are the most exciting!)
  2. 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.)
  3. Fold the coffee filter in half and then in half again, resulting in a cone shape.
  4. 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.)
  5. Let it sit and watch what happens as the water begins to flow up the paper.
  6. Repeat with different colored markers.
  7. After the water has reached the outer edge of the coffee filter, place it on a newspaper to dry.
  8. Once the coffee filters are dry you can observe the results.

Butterfly craft instructions:

  1. Cut your black pipe cleaners in half.
  2. Take one coffee filter and scrunch it up in the middle. 
  3. Wrap a black pipe cleaner around the center.
  4. Shape the ends to form antennae.
  5. Tie a string to the center and hang!

Via https://buggyandbuddy.com/chromatography-butterflies-separating-colors-in-markers/

Make an Electromagnet

Materials:

  • A large iron nail (about 3 inches)
  • About 3 feet of THIN COATED copper wire
  • A fresh D size battery
  • Some paper clips or other small magnetic objects

Procedure:

  1. 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.
  2. Cut the wire (if needed) so that there is about another 8 inches loose at the other end too.
  3. 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!)
  4. 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.

Continue the experiment at https://sciencebob.com/make-an-electromagnet/

Do you know another fun experiment or activity perfect for STEAM month? Leave a comment below!

Ways to Celebrate Outdoors Month at Badgerland

Leaf Pressing

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 methods here.

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.

Monches Segment of Ice Age Trail- Hartland

Owen Conservation Park- Madison

Sand Cave Trail & Little Sand Cave Loop- Wyalusing State Park, Bagley

Old Settlers Trail- Wildcat Mtn. State Park, Ontario

Perrot Ridge Trail- Perrot State Park, Trempealeau

Black River State Forest- Black River Falls

Go camping… virtually!

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:

Brownie: Outdoor Adventurer

Junior: Eco Camper

Cadette: Primitive Camper

Senior: Sky

Ambassador: Survival Camper

Registration closes October 13!

Join the Sloth Shuffle

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.

Register by October 13!

Can’t get outside? Take a virtual nature walk!

We found a bunch of virtual nature walks to help you experience the Outdoors, even when you can’t get outside. Find the videos on our Sloth Shuffle page here.

How are you enjoying Outdoors month? Let us know in the comments below!

Celebrate STEM/STEAM Month at Badgerland

November is STEM month at Badgerland! Looking for a new STEM badge to work on? Check out these resources for inspiration and ways to kick-off earning your next badge.

Coding

There are endless resources online to learn computer code. Here are a few sites to start off your coding journey.

For Daisies, Brownies, or Juniors… Kids Ruby. Kids Ruby teaches programming in a way that’s fun and easy for kids. Check it out at kidsruby.com

For Cadettes, Seniors, or Ambassadors… freeCodeCamp. freeCodeCamp teaches a variety of code through lessons that are challenging, but easy to understand PLUS allows the user to apply that knowledge by assigning coding tasks for non-profit websites. Visit freecodecamp.org to learn more.

For all ages… Made w/ Code. Made w/ Code is an initiative launched by Google to combat the gender gap in STEM and empower girls with knowledge in computer programming through offering fun games that teach the logic behind programming, Made w/ Code is a unique and entertaining way to learn about computer coding. Check it out at madewithcode.com.

Digital Game Design

For Daisies… Toca Builders. Toca Builders is a mobile game that allows younger kids to build interactive worlds, a great introduction to game development. Find the game on the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

For Brownies and older… Scratch. Created by MIT Media Lab, With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations while learning about coding and creative thinking. Try it out at scratch.mit.edu.

For Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors… Game Dev Tycoon. Game Dev Tycoon explores the beginning of the video game industry and places you in the role of the game developer and having you develop best-selling games. You can find the game on Steam.

Animals

For all ages… visit a local zoo or wildlife sanctuary to learn how animal habitats. See a list of area zoos below:

Henry Vilas Zoo, Madison WI https://www.henryvilaszoo.gov/

Ochsner Park Zoo, Baraboo WI

Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue, Rock Springs WI

Heartland Farm Sanctuary, Verona WI

DCHS’s Wildlife Center, Madison WI

For all ages… visit your local Humane Society shelter. Learn about animal care and give back by volunteering your time or giving needed items. See a few area shelters below:

Dane County Humane Society, Madison WI

Coulee Region Humane Society, Onalaska WI

Grant County Humane Society, Lancaster WI

Iowa County Humane Society, Dodgeville WI

Green County Humane Society, Monroe WI

Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin, Janesville WI

Space Science

For all ages… the Space Place. An extension of the UW Madison Astronomy Dept, this outreach center offers interactive exhibits, workshops, and guest speakers. Learn more at http://www.spaceplace.wisc.edu/

For all ages… the Sky Guide app (Fifth Star Labs LLC). This inexpensive app allows you to identify and learn about stars, constellations, planets, and more by simple pointing your phone towards the sky. Learn all about the night sky, no telescope required. Find the app on the Apple App Store.

Movie-making

For all ages…  learn editing with iMovie and Filmora. iMovie is included on all Apple computers and is an easy starting point for learning how to edit. Filmora is another option for inexpensive/free editing software and is simple to use for beginners. Find tutorials on Youtube, and look at your favorite movies to learn about common editing techniques.

For all ages… don’t have a camera? Use your phone to make short films. Work together to write a short script and film it like a film crew would. BONUS: Check out the “The Movie Making Book”. Available at most libraries and retailers, this book provides hands-on activities and exercises to turn phone and tablet videos into films.

Badgerland Check-out resources

Did you know Badgerland has a library of STEM-related resources and kits for your troop to use? From Galileoscopes to Ozobots, see what’s available on the Activity Resources page of our website.

 

What badges is your troop working on this month? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy Fall- 10 Ideas for Fall Troop Activities

Fall is an exciting time in Girl Scouts; a new year, new troop mates, and new experiences! But with all the excitement, it can be overwhelming planning outings and activities for your troop. Here are 10 simple and fun activity ideas to kick off the new Girl Scout year.

  1. Leaf pressing– a classic, and easy, activity for troops of any level!

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 methods here.

leaf

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash
  1. Fall Hike– October is Outdoors month at Badgerland, celebrate with a Fall Hike and get started earning your Trail Adventure badge! Here are some great hiking locations around Badgerland. Know of a great location not mentioned here? Leave it in the comments below! You can see a full list of hiking locations around Wisconsin on TravelWisconsin.com.

Monches Segment of Ice Age Traill- Hartland

Sand Cave Trail & Little Sand Cave Loop- Wyalusing State Park, Bagley

Old Settlers Trail- Wildcat Mtn. State Park, Ontario

East Bluff Trail- Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo

Perrot Ridge Trail- Perrot State Park, Trempealeau

Black River State Forest- Black River Falls

Interested in a guided hike? Attend our Full Moon Hike with the Ice Age Trail Alliance on October 13th. Learn more here

hiking

  1. Go camping… at a Badgerland Camp! Continue celebrating Outdoors month and work towards a Troop Camping Badge by reserving a spot at one of our camping properties. First time camping with your troop? Camp overnight at our Fall Ehawee Expedition event and have all the activities, and s’mores, provided for you.

Rent a Property (Sumac and Ehawee Properties have weekend availability in October and November)

Sign up for Ehawee Expedition

camping

  1. Visit a corn maze– put your troop’s strategy skills to the test and try to find your way through a corn maze this Fall. Large troop? Divide into teams and see who can find their way out the fastest. Check out these corn mazes around Badgerland:

Hidden Trails Corn Maze, Salem

Treinen Farm Corn Maze, Lodi

Enchanted Vally Acres, Cross Plains

Alpine Ridge Orchard, Brooklyn

Vesperman Farms, Lancaster

Busy Barns Adventure Farm, Fort Atkinson

  1. Create Halloween SWAPs– create some fun Halloween SWAPs and hand them out to Trick or Treaters. Visit our Pinterest page for inspiration.

halloween swap

  1. Organize a food drive for Second Harvest or your local Food Bank– reach out to see what items are needed the most and ask friends and family to make donations, or see if you can set up a donation bin at a school or local business.
  2. Visit a pumpkin patch– learn about ecology and agriculture picking pumpkins, then get creative decorating them for Halloween. Bonus: turn the trip into a service project and donate the decorated pumpkins to a community space such as a nursing home or shelter. Check out these pumpkin patches around Badgerland:

Treinen Farm, Lodi

Sutter’s Ridge Farm, Mt. Horeb

Enchanted Valley Acres, Cross Plains

Mayr Family Farm, DeForest

Vesperman Farms, Lancaster

Busy Barns Adventure Farm, Fort Atkinson

pumpkins

Photo by Maddy Baker on Unsplash
  1. Bake a pie… with no recipe! Learn the science behind baking and attempt to bake a pie with no recipe. Work together to hypothesize what will make a flaky crust and perfect filling, and then test it out to see if your hypothesis was right!
  2. Explore your Spooky Senses– earn the Brownie Senses Badge by creating a haunted house of things you can touch, smell, taste, and hear. Check out this blog post for more ideas.

brownie badge

10. Celebrate Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthday– Founder’s Day is October 31st! Celebrate by holding a JGL Birthday Party. Dress up in period clothing (or just like Juliette Gordon Low), celebrate Girl Scout traditions like making s’mores, make edible campfires, and trade Halloween SWAPs!

 

We hope these ideas give you inspiration for some Fall Fun this season. What is your troop doing this Fall? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Let’s Go Connect: What to expect

We’re well into summertime here at Badgerland and that means it’s almost time for our annual Let’s Go Expo! What’s Let’s Go? Let’s Go is our yearly volunteer conference, aimed at providing our hardworking volunteers with the resources they need, as well as the opportunity to connect with other volunteers and celebrate their accomplishments.

This year’s expo focuses on the “connection” element Let’s Go offers. We’re giving you more opportunities to connect with one another, as well as information on how to better connect with your community. Here’s a quick look at what the day will look like and what to expect.

Intro/keynote: The day will open with a “State of the Council” address as well as an address on Badgerland’s key priorities. Then our keynote speaker, Meghan Skrepenski (CEO of Raising Strong Girls Boot Camps), will deliver an interactive presentation tailored for Girl Scout volunteers entitled “STRONG Training… your past does not define you!”.

Sessions: There will be 3 training sessions during the day, one before the included lunch and two after. During these sessions, you will be able to choose from a variety of workshops that include new leader training, fall product sale information, parent involvement how-tos, community connection workshops, and more. You can find full descriptions of the workshops on gsbagderland.org/letsgo but here is a quick list of the workshops offered.

New Daisy/Brownie Leader Training

Jumpstart Your Fall Product Sale

Money-Earning Activities: Get Ready!

Communication and Connection Skills

Finding Great Activites: Field Trip!

Get More Parent Involvement in Your Troop

Great Group Work for Your Troop

How to Make Community Connections

Money-Earning Activities: Community Connections

*Note: Several select events will also be live-streamed to our Facebook page

In addition to these workshops, there are also two other unique options offered during the training sessions.

During the second and third sessions, you will also have the option to attend Connection Cafe where you’ll connect with other volunteers in a relaxed drop-in environment.

Additionally, during the third session, a panel discussion is being hosted this year. The discussion will offer an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas with Girl Scout volunteers as well as community leaders on a variety of topics. This year’s panelists are Katherine Schuknecht (Badgerland Delegate and Madison area troop leader), Rikki Conwell (Badgerland Council Delegate), Susan Czerniak (Lake Mills troop leader), and Erica Nowicki (Badgerland Director of Membership) with moderation by Sarah Rodgers.

Reception: After the training sessions, the event will conclude with a happy hour style reception (complete with a s’more bar) where you’ll have more opportunities to meet with other volunteers.

FAQ

“I am a brand new leader/volunteer who hasn’t started working with a troop. Will I benefit from attending Let’s Go: Connect?

Absolutely! No experience is necessary to attend and the event is a great introduction to all that Badgerland has to offer our adult volunteers. If you are a brand new Daisy or Brownie leader, you can get your new leader training requirements completed at the New Daisy/Brownie Leader Training workshop. Plus, Let’s Go is a great place to connect with new and experienced volunteers as well as Badgerland staff to get your Girl Scout year off to a great start.

I don’t want to miss Let’s Go, but I can’t stay for the whole event. Can I still attend?

Yes! Come for as much of Let’s Go: Connect as you can. You can come or leave at any time throughout the day. Also, keep an eye on our Facebook page as several workshops will be live-streamed throughout the day.

 

We hope you’re as excited for Let’s Go as we are! Not registered yet? Visit gsbadgerland.org/letsgo to learn more and register for the event. We’ll see you at UW Baraboo August 10th for our most exciting volunteer expo yet.

 

 

 

5 Creative Ways to Decorate a Bridge for your Next Bridging Event

With spring comes warmer weather and brighter days, but also recitals, softball games, graduations, award ceremonies, and of course bridging. When in the midst of one of the busiest times of the year, planning a bridging ceremony can seem close to impossible. Here are a few simple but creative ideas that’ll make the process feel simpler and keep the planning fun.

Wrap faux floral garland around the handrail for an ethereal feel

flowers and bridge-2

Faux floral garland can be found easily at most dollar and craft stores for a low cost. Wrap it around the railing and secure with twine for a bridge that’ll look straight out of a fairy-tale.

Tie balloons to the ends for a whimsical touch

ballons and bridge cropped

Easy to find at any dollar or party store, balloons will add a fun and celebratory look to your event. Tie to the ends of the bridge or use weights and place on the ground near the ends. At the end of your event, send each girl home with a balloon as a fun souvenir.

Use fresh flowers for a fresh look

flowers-2

Spring is (finally) here! Take advantage of any nearby garden center sales and buy a few inexpensive flowering plants (we always recommend daisies) to place near the ends of the bridge. When you’re done, reuse as an addition to your own garden or give away as a gift to a loved one or friend.

Make your own garland chain using colorful construction paper

paper chains

Both a decorating and troop activity idea, this tip is not only a great inexpensive way to spruce up a bridge but also a way to bring your troop together as you prepare to bridge to the next level. Simply cut pieces of construction paper into strips and work together taping the ends together to form a chain. When you’re done, wrap the chain around the bridge railing to add a little color to your event.

Create a fake stream for fanciful appeal

water under bridge

This tip is easy but will no doubt create a bold and bright look. Take a blue tarp or plastic table cloth (you can find this in the party or camping sections at most retailers) and bunch it under to bridge to mimic a flowing stream. Create a border using rocks, floral garland, real plants, or a combination of 3.

Thanks for reading, we hope you find these ideas helpful and inspiring! Have your own idea that begs to be shared? Leave it in the comments below! Happy Bridging!

The G.I.R.L. Bucket List

CampHERO CarBy Eliza Zimmerman, Program Manager – Girl Leadership

Have you ever gotten tired of doing the same thing over and over? I’ve talked to lots of troops and I know that you do. Maybe it’s doing community service at the same place all the time, or always going to the waterpark as your end of the year party. While it’s nice to have yearly traditions, sometime we need help coming up with new ideas.

Enter the G.I.R.L. Bucket List – 175 ideas of things you can do in Girl Scouts!
Browse the list to spark some new, adventurous, and unique ideas for you and your troop.

Girls can try new activities and be a Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker and Leader (G.I.R.L.) at the same time. Be a bold and learn about being a published author. Get innovative by inventing something. Be gutsy and try indoor sky diving, or take the lead and help coach a sports team. See these ideas and so much more on the bucket list. No matter what you choose to explore, have fun with it! Share this list with the girls and see what sort of adventures and new ideas they can come up with.

If you have a new idea or something exciting that you’ve done with your troop, we would love to hear about it. We are also always looking for more ideas to add to the list, and we love seeing photos of your exciting adventures. You can contact us at 800.236.2710 or send us stories and photos by email.

What is the Let’s Go Expo?

Lets Go Expo

By Katie Ravich, Adult Learning Specialist

The Let’s Go Expo is an exciting day of training, enrichment and inspiration for Badgerland’s troop leaders, volunteers and Cadette through Ambassador Girl Scouts. The day will begin with an inspirational opening from a community leader who represents the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) values of Girl Scouting today. The rest of the morning is devoted to an array of interactive trainings requested by current Girl Scout leaders, like ways to use the Girl Scout curriculum, learning Girl Scout songs and games, and how to incorporate STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) into troop meetings.

After lunch, it is time for the Expo! Explore Girl Scout community organizations, which offer a wide array of exciting services to Girl Scouts. Find amazing idea for your troop and get ready for the fun goodies and giveaways these organizations will be offering. The Expo will also have “stages” to drop in on. Learn about Girl Scout history at the Girl Scout Traditions stage, or view demos, practice new skills, and test your knowledge at the Outdoor Skills stage.

Leaders can drop into the Leader Lounge to network, make new connections and share ideas with other leaders and Badgerland staff throughout the day.

Come to the Let’s Go Expo for an hour, a morning or a day. You choose. Session information, presenter bios and a list of community organizations will be added to the website. Registration is required and opens on August 1. Mark your calendars and we’ll see you there!

Madison Area
Saturday, October 14 | 9am-3:30pm
American Family Insurance Training Center

La Crosse Area
Saturday, October 21 | 9am-2:30pm
Onalaska High School

End of the Year Wrap-Up

The school year is coming to an end and your Girl Scouts will be gearing up for summer. This transition involves troop and girl decisions, but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Here is a quick checklist to help you slide through the next few months.

  1. Pat yourself on the back – you accomplished a lot this year. Take a minute to appreciate what you and the girls have achieved. Way to go!
  2. 2018 Renewal – if your girls are going to continue next year, register them before May 24 to receive the fantastic membership incentives for your troop.
  3. TFAR – the Troop Finance and Activity Report should be sent in by June 30. This financial feedback reflects your troop’s ability to self-sustain.
  4. Summer activities – if your troop is interested in getting together this summer, check out the camp opportunities through Badgerland. Outdoor activities help girls grow.
  5. Bridging – If your troop is bridging, check out the requirements in the Girls Guide, rent a bridge and plan a simple ceremony or join others in a Membership Area Bridging event.
  6. Take time for you – Did you know adults can go to camp too? Without girls?! Women’s Week is a fun way to recharge and connect with other leaders in the Council.

Remember, you are a fantastic leader and your girls appreciate everything you have do. Keep it up and reach out if you have any support needs. We’re here for you!

Not Sure About this Whole Troop Camping Thing? We’ve got you covered!

Girls camping

By: Katie Ravich, Adult Learning Specialist

There’s nothing that bonds a group of Girls Scouts  more than a camping trip. These are the memories you and your girls will remember the most.

Not sure how to even get started with a troop overnighter? We can help.

Badgerland offers two outdoor training certifications.

Troop Overnight Certification 1 (TOC 1) is a home study course that’s completed online. This training is for adult volunteers who want to take their girls on an overnight to a place with full indoor facilities  – in other words to a destination where the cooking, sleeping and bathrooms are inside. A great starter place for troops with a TOC 1 certified adult is Hawk’s Nest at Camp Brandenburg. If you’re looking at other destination for Hawk’s Nest is booked up, here are some other ideas for a TOC 1 overnight experience:

  • Campgrounds with cabins. Many public and private campgrounds have cabins for rental.
  • Community Centers with an overnight space.
  • Nature Centers. Many nature centers offer an overnight space.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs.
  • YMCAs.
  • Churches. Tons of churches around Badgerland offer overnight space.
  • School Forests: Does your school district have a forest? Check to see if you can rent the site!

Troop Overnight Certification 2 (TOC 2) can be done as a home study course, but we also offer a fun one-day in-person training at a Badgerland property in spring and early summer. Adult volunteers who want to take their girls on an overnight to a place without full indoor facilities (cooking outside, sleeping in tents, bathrooms outside) needs to complete TOC 2.

Want to take TOC 2 in person? Badgerland has three TOC 2 in-person trainings lined up for the 2017 camping season. Space is limited, so get registered early.

Once you’ve completed TOC 2 you can take your troop on an outdoor camping adventure.  Badgerland properties are popular and fill up fast, so here are some other ideas for a TOC 2 overnight experience:

  • State Park CampgroundsFind a State Park your troop wants to visit and check for camping accommodations.
  • County Park Campgrounds. Many counties maintain campgrounds. For instance, Dane County has five Dane County Camp Grounds.
  • County Fair Grounds
  • City Park Campground
  • School Forests: Does your School District have a forest? Check to see if you can rent the site.
  • Private Campgrounds. If the state, county or city parks are full consider checking in with r private campgrounds in the area you want to camp.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure your Girl Scouts get outside this year and explore the great outdoors the Girl Scout way!