Exploring New Skills at Ehawee Expedition

MediaGIRL Avery Lentz and mom LaShell Lentz recap their experience at Ehawee Expedition

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Daisy Girl Scout and MediaGIRL Avery Lentz attended last weekend’s Ehawee Expedition with five members of her troop. This was their first time visiting Camp Ehawee and were eager to try all the new and exciting activities being offered at the event. They immediately ran down the trail to the archery range, excited to give it a try. They loved shooting arrows at the targets (and would’ve done so longer) but there was so much more to explore.

archery

In less than six hours, the girls tried archery, learned how to build a fire, played giant Jenga and tic tac toe, conquered a partner-guided obstacle course, played giant Hungry Hippo, learned how to tie knots, played Gaga ball, made bird feeders, and even had an impromptu dance party! Avery’s favorite parts? “Archery and playing Hungry Hippo.”

bird feeders

Despite all the scheduled activities, there was no shortage of creativity that afternoon. Avery and her troop mates made each game their own, even turning the game of Jenga into a chance to build their own creations and make the game their own.

giant jenga

Overall it was an action packed afternoon with plenty of opportunities to learn something new, and become close as a troop. Avery’s mom, LaShell, said after her afternoon with the girls, “I want to go back and stay!  The property is beautiful and has so much to offer the curious girl!”

Couldn’t make it to this month’s Ehawee Expedition? Attend our winter session January 25-26! See all the details at gsbadgerland.org

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.

 

Looking Back: One Girl’s 13-year Girl Scout Journey

From the Fall 2019 issue of Focus

Peyton Barber is a Girl Scout through and through. She joined as a kindergarten Daisy…13 years ago! Over the years she’s gained best friends in her troop, been on outdoor adventures, traveled across the country, shared her Girl Scout story on TV and radio, provided valuable input on Badgerland’s Youth Leadership Council, earned her Bronze and Silver Award (and working on her Gold Award), managed her own Cookie business, and now, she’s a Lifetime Member of Girl Scouts.

Peyton says, “Girl Scouts has definitely helped shape the person I am today. Without Girl Scouts I feel I would have definitely missed out on all of the awesome opportunities I have been provided. I also feel I would not have grown up to be the passionate leader I am today if it weren’t for Girl Scouts and all the amazing leaders I’ve had throughout the years.”

After all these years, here’s her advice to current Girl Scouts:

“Take advantage of suggesting ideas of things you want to learn to your leaders. Want to learn how to fence – ask! Want to learn how to decorate a cake? Ask! Want to go camping in someone’s backyard – ask! The worst think your leader can say is no. The best thing is they might just say yes!”

Peyton Grad

Q. Where are you headed next?
I am going to attend Stetson University in Deland, Florida (it is halfway between Orlando and Daytona Beach). I was recruited for their D1 Rowing team (yeah! Full year rowing no winter!). I will be studying communications and pre-law.

Q. What does your future with Girl Scouts look like?
I plan to volunteer with the local council after I am settled in Florida. When I have a daughter, she will for certain go into Girl Scouts and I will be her leader. I am third generation Girl Scout – we can’t stop now.

Troop Life

My troop really did a lot of fun things, as our leaders had the logic to provide us opportunities we may not otherwise have. My troop learned how to row with the Camp Randall Rowing Club (and I joined the team!), we slept overnight on a baseball field, we learned to fence, we learned to scuba dive, we recorded songs at a recording studio, we learned how to make sushi, how to do DIY screen-printing, we met K9 dogs and so much more. We also took the opportunity to volunteer as group. My troop’s Bronze Award project provided the Dane County Humane Society the most items donated by a youth group! But my favorites were the trips we took as a troop to Chicago, the Mall of America, and New York City for a week.

Peyton Today Show

Q. What do your troop mates mean to you?
Ohana. They are family. My troop just graduated from high school and we are already planning a post freshman year of college trip together.

Peyton Cookies Starbucks

Being an Older Girl Scout

The Youth Leadership Council (YLC)
Being on the YLC with girls I didn’t know gave me a chance to work on my social skills, raising my point of view, and (obviously) leadership. I’m going to miss the friends I’ve made.

My Role Models
My mom has been one of my leaders for all 13 years of Girl Scouts. She and our other co-leaders Lauren Cunningham Laura Jirsa have been amazing. And a thanks to all of the troop parents who volunteered. I would also love to thank my mom and dad for putting me in Girl Scouts my kindergarten year.

Peyton Mom

My Gold Award
I have been working on my Gold Award since my freshman year. I am on my third project. My first project was to get feminine hygiene products into schools for free (and this was co-opted by another organization), my second project was an outdoor education area (my main contact in the school district had MUCH bigger fish to fry) and I am finalizing my third go at this. An Adulting 101 class that will be beta tested in my alma mater this fall and hopefully spread to the other Madison high schools the following year. I have learned a lot of tenacity with trying to get this done!

Peyton Group Strong

Q. Do you consider yourself a Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, or Leader?
I am a Leader and Risk-Taker. I’m not afraid to step up and suggest things, or take charge if no one else steps up.

Meet: Kaitlyn Hollman, Gold Award Class of 2013

Girl Scout experiences launch Gold Award Girl Scout into success!

If you ask Kaitlyn Hollman what Girl Scouts has done for her, she’ll tell you it’s the new experiences, dedicated role models and the resulting scholarship opportunities that have gotten her where she is today. And where exactly is that?

Kaitlyn graduated from Fort Atkinson High School in 2013 and is on track to earn her doctorate degree in physical therapy from the University of Evansville in Southern Indiana in 2020. Despite a rigorous schedule, Kaitlyn still finds time to give back as a volunteer on the Gold Award Committee for Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana Council.
Kaitlyn joined Girl Scouts in first grade, at the same time her twin brother joined Boy Scouts. Though he chose not to continue on, Kaitlyn’s Girl Scouting years would prove to be full of valuable opportunities, friendship and growth. “We were a pretty adventurous troop,” she said, recalling the time Troop 2854 spent cliff repelling, down-hill skiing, dog sledding, whitewater rafting and taking home multiple Contiki Regatta titles. “What made me stick with it was the fun and new experiences I got to do had I not experienced it in Girl Scouts.”

Gold Award

Though troop travel and adventure is fun, the girls were also passionate about getting other kids in their community active. For their Bronze Award, the girls created an obstacle course, and expanded on it with a video series for their Silver Award. When it came time to think about her Gold Award project, Kaitlyn set out to find an impactful project that combined her love of sports and her community in a different way; she developed a plan to bring gently-used sports equipment to unserved children so that everyone had a chance to stay active and make friends.

Kaitlyn says that although her troop mates were from different social circles, she came to realize how great it was to experience these adventures with other girls her age – and that none of it would have been possible without an open-minded troop leader.
“I have to give a shout-out to my mom,” Kaitlyn said. “She was our leader, and she helped us plan some really, really fun activities. I honestly believe that a dedicated leader is what’s important to get girls to stay involved. They should be dedicated, patient, willing to step out of their comfort zone and have the best interest of the girls in mind.”

Because of Girl Scouts, Kaitlyn says she feels she’s more confident and self-sufficient than a lot of her peers. “I have some tools in my toolbelt that have helped me,” she said. “But one of the biggest things it’s done for me, is that I got a lot of scholarships through my volunteer work and community outreach that I experienced through Girl Scouts.”
Kaitlyn has earned 11 scholarships throughout her college years totally more than $145,000. In her applications she often attributes her character and determination to Girl Scouts. After earning her doctorate degree, Kaitlyn plans to return to the Midwest and become a sports-specialized physical therapist. “My advice for any Girl Scout is to just stick with it,” Kaitlyn says. “It’s such a great opportunity to make friends, try new things and stay involved in the community. You won’t regret it.”

 

What Issues Do Girl Scouts Care About?

Last Sunday Girl Scouts from all over the state joined the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin in celebrating the centennial of the 19th amendment at “First to Ratify”. This event focused on the importance of suffrage and the impact the amendment has had over the past 100 years. Girl Scouts had the opportunity to give speeches, lead the march around Capitol Square, make their own suffragette sash, and pick out their own ‘future voter’ sticker. Beyond this, Girl Scouts also got to have a taste of what’s it’s like to be an active civilian and vote on the issues they care about. These are the issues Girl Scouts said are nearest to their hearts.

Issues chart

From Gender Equality to the Environment, Girl Scouts have a wide range of interests and consistently work towards making the world a better place.

What issues do you care about? Visit our poll here or let us know in the comments below!

 

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 Top 5 Best Things about Being a Daisy

  1. That feeling when she earns her first Petal.

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Nothing can compare to the feeling of pride and delight earning your first petal! Whether it’s from learning a new skill or sharing a new experience, this is a memory she’ll never forget.

  1. She meets leaders in her community.

Sheriff's Dept 2

Daisies get to meet so many amazing people! Non-profit leaders, police officers, and more. Daisies get to speak with and learn from the best and brightest in their communities.

  1. She makes a difference in her community.

Troop 8079_Sun Prairie_Park Clean Up 2

Daisies don’t just interact with their communities, they leave an impact on their communities too! Cleaning up parks… donating cookies… there is no limit to the difference a Girl Scout Daisy can make.

  1. She gets to start her first business.

2019 02 11_Dunkin Daisy

Maybe one of the coolest things a Daisy gets to do is start her own business- selling cookies! She’ll learn how to set goals, speak with others, market a product, and much more. By the end of her first cookie season, she’ll be an expert entrepreneur.

  1. She makes new friends

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When a Daisy joins a troop, she doesn’t just get a group of troop mates, she gets a group of new best friends! These are fellow Girl Scouts she’ll bond and make memories with and often, these are friendships she’ll have for a lifetime.

BONUS… Being a Daisy is just plain fun!

Day Camping Trip 3

There’s no doubt that Daisies both do and learn amazing things, but one of the best things about being a Daisy is that it’s endlessly fun. Parties, camping, songs, games… being a Daisy is an experience that she’ll remember forever.

 

Is your daughter starting Kindergarten soon? Get a head start on her Daisy experience through our Daisy Launch program! She’ll get her first patch, early access to her Girl Scout Daisy troop, and her very first Girl Scout activity booklet. Plus, get access to our Girl Scout Walkabout and Daisies in the Garden day camps that are the perfect introduction to her Girl Scout experience. Learn more at gsbadgerland.org/daisy

Ready. Set. Daisy Launch!