World Thinking Day ▪ Peacebuilding

Look out world, Badgerland Girl Scouts are coming!

We will be celebrating World Thinking Day at Badgerland on February 20 with the Dare2Dash Global Edition activity for grades K-12. We will race around the globe and explore life in other countries. During the trek, girls will discover the art of negotiation, debate and compromise while learning about different ways to make lasting peace in their communities and beyond. The world awaits! Dare2Dash attendees will earn their 2021 World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) World Thinking Day patch!

Stand strong, stand up, and stand together for peacebuilding! Peacebuilding is at the heart of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting and is the theme for the upcoming 2021 World Thinking Day. It’s as important and relevant today as it has been for the last 100 years.

World Thinking Day is on February 22, 2021, it’s a day of international friendship celebrated across 150 countries by Girl Scouts and Girl Guides. Ten million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts observe this special day and speak out on issues we care most about.

We want you to be part of this!

  • Celebrate World Thinking Day and be one in ten million!
  • Be inspired by the history and impact of the global movement!
  • Connect with the worldwide sisterhood of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting!
  • Take action and speak out on issues you care most about!

Take a minute to think about something in your community that you love and want to protect. Whether it’s your local library, the park down the street, or the litter on the bike path, these are examples of a cause or issue that you care about.

Now, think about how you feel about that cause. What is good about it? Is there a way it could be even better? Is there something not so good about it that you’d like to change? Your answers to those questions are called your opinions or beliefs. People like you who take the time to think about how to make their communities the best they can be, and then share those ideas with others, are known as advocates. As an advocate, you’re helping improve our world!

Here’s how you can take a stand:

Make a statement! Pick an issue you care about and make a poster to let other people know how you feel.

Get noticed! Share your poster/message with others or give a presentation in class. Try to get people thinking and talking.

Use your words! Write a letter to your local newspaper about your issue and how it makes you feel and what you think should happen. Get help from an older sibling or parent.

World Thinking Day Activities

Dare2Dash Global Edition (Badgerland led activity)
February 20, 2021 at 12:00pm. Grades K-12

Look out world, the Girl Scouts are coming! Race around the globe as you explore life in other countries. During your trek, discover the art of negotiation, debate and compromise while learning about different ways to make lasting peace in your community and beyond. Create a cultural memory, surprise your taste buds and dance the day away all while connecting with people who are different than you. The world awaits! Attendees will earn their 2021 World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) World Thinking Day patch.

2021 World Thinking Day Activities & Resources:

Activity Guide for Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors (PDF)
Activity Guide for Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (PDF)

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!

Claire Kircher, Forever a Girl Scout

By Hallie Kircher-Henning

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.

From Camp Oakwood Knoll to Camp Kettlewood, but always a Girl Scout Camp at Heart

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!).

camp kettlewood tents

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!”Camp Kettlewood

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.

oakwood knoll

Advocacy Day 2020

By Cassandra Riese

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.

investiture ceremony

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.

presentation

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!

proclamation

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!

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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.

IMG_4255

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.

Camp Ehawee Winter Expedition

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.

image 1

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.

image 2On 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.

 

image 3

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!

image 4

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.

image 5

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.

image 6

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.

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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!

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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.

image 9Megan’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!

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Exploring New Skills at Ehawee Expedition

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

group photo

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.”