PAN-CRC Troop Meeting No. 1

Let’s Get This Party Started!

Here’s a wonderful welcome back to everyone for this year of the PAN-CRC Girl Scouts Troop! Cass did a lovely job starting up the blog for the troop last year, and has since graduated from Kansas State University. My name is Madi and am a current dietetics student at KSU, and I have the extreme pleasure of filling you all in on the happenings of the troop for the year! I think the night made for a very strong start with a firm, and fun, foundation. Here’s a peek . . .

Pre-Meeting Activity – The chore of setting up the activity station was turned into a dance session thanks to music!

Opening – Since this was the first meeting of the year, all the girls introduced their lovely selves, and passed around a yoga ball while talking about the most exciting and favorite parts of the year prior to this fall. The Girl Scouts Promise & Law were also recited . . .

Girl Scout Promise:

On my honor, I will try:

To serve God and my Country,

To help people at all times,

And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

 

Girl Scout Law:

I will do my best to be

Honest and fair,

Friendly and helpful,

Considerate and caring,

Courageous and strong, and

Responsible for what I say and do,

And to

Respect myself and others,

Respect authority,

Use resources wisely,

Make the world a better place, and

Be a sister to every Girl Scout.

Troop Initiation – Two of the great things the Girl Scouts teach is self-advocacy and participation. To instill these principles early in the year, the girls wrote on a dry-erase board to set troop rules and respect guidelines.

aMAZE! Journey & Appreciation Cards – This meeting, the girls took turns “popcorn” reading through the introduction of this book on the twists and turns of relationships and getting along. While working through this book, the girls started working towards earning the Interact Award by making appreciation cards.

Steps:

1.     Each girl should create and decorate 3 notecards to describe how they feel when someone expresses their appreciation for something the girl has done. The girls then share what thoughts they had and what they wrote.

2.     Once the cards are decorated and written, instruct the girls to think of 3 people they should give 1 of their cards to. They will then write a message to the people they selected, expressing why they value their friendship.

3.     Tell the girls to deliver the cards to the 3 people they chose after the meeting.

Here’s a close-up of the lovely ladies and their handiwork!

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Physical Activity – Time to head outdoors for some bonding time and get that body moving! All the girls paired up and walked while talking about what they value in their friendships and how they try to be a good friend. After the walk, we did came back together as a group to do a stretching circle, and the girls shared ideas on how to incorporate positivity into friendships and other relationships during the coming week.

Healthy Snack – After all the fun chats and physical activity, it was time to re-fuel by tasting the rainbow! The girls made fruit kabobs with chopped fruit and wooden skewers.

Ready to assemble with kiwi slices, banana slices, mandarin oranges, grapes, strawberries, and blueberries . . .

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They could make a fun pattern, or slide on their favorites!

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Nutritious and delicious!

Troop Closing – To round out this lovely evening of friendship and fruit, the girls sang the “Make New Friends” song. You can find the link to this song here for lyrics and the sheet music! The troop also geared up for the next meeting in 2 weeks by deciding that the next snack would involve cucumbers and would enjoy some relay races for the next physical activity!

Thanks again to all the readers joining us for this first blog post of the year! I look forward to checking in with you all next time, and keeping you posted on all the “aMAZE” activities and opportunities the girls get in to!

Stay Friendly!

- Madi

PAN-CRC Troop Meeting No. 9

Flowers & Fruit!

Well, I am sad to say that last night was our final GS troop meeting of the school year. I cannot believe how fast this spring flew by... Given that it was our last meeting before summer months, Brooke & I really wanted to make the meeting both fun and interactive. We decided on several hands-on activities for the girls. Here is what we did last night...

- Pre-Meeting Activity (~5-10 minutes): We met the girls outside and went for a short walk and talk. This activity is a great way to incorporate physical activity into meetings, without cutting into the actual meeting time.

- Opening (~2 minutes): We walked upstairs to the PAN-CRC meeting room and recited the GS Law & Promise one last time. Next, we discussed all the activities we would be doing in our meeting. 

- GS Craft (~25 minutes): Now for the fun part! For one of our main activities of the evening, we decorated pots and planted individual flowers in them. That way, the girls can watch them grow all summer! For the crafts, we purchased small mason jars and had the girls decorate their own jar using permanent markers. Next, we placed a small amount of soil in the jars. Then, the girls selected their flower and placed more soil around the flower. Finally, they added a little bit of water to their jars. Here is a picture of them hard at work...

AND, here is how they turned out...

Beautiful, am I right!?

- Healthy Snack (~20 minutes): After having the girls thoroughly wash their hands from our craft, we moved on to preparing our final snack. We decided to make a special treat, but we made sure to incorporate either fruits or vegetables. Thus, Fruit Pizza!

Here is how we made the fruit pizza... First, bake a store bought sugar cookie mix according to the box instructions. You'll want to bake this on a round cookie sheet (like a pizza crust!). Next, spread an even layer of cream cheese frosting (8 oz cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla) onto the cooled cookie. Then, have the girls slice some kiwis and strawberries. Next, start decorating your cookie with kiwis, strawberries, and blueberries (or whatever kind of fruit you prefer). Finally, slice the cookie as though you would a pizza. Here is a picture of the final product...

They did a great job and it was absolutely wonderful! Perhaps, one of my favorite snacks all year! While the girls enjoyed their snack, we talked about their plans for the summer. The meeting went by so fast, before we knew it - it was time to send them all on their way! 

 

 

It feels like such a short time ago when Brooke & I thought of the idea to start our own GS troop - but I know we are both very pleased with how our meetings went this year. The girls had numerous opportunities to learn new physical activities, as well as learn how to prepare (and enjoy) healthy snacks - all while participating in the usual scouting activities. And we as leaders, got the opportunity to teach and interact with a very FUN group of young ladies. All in all, a successful scouting year!

This summer we will all begin new chapters of our lives... The girls will enter a new grade or even a new school, Colby is moving to Florida to attend school, Emily is getting married, Brooke & Charley are welcoming a new addition to their family, and I will be graduating and (fingers crossed) starting my career. But, the PAN-CRC Troop will be back at it come next school year! So, check back in with our blog soon... I know I look forward to reading all about their adventures! 

One final thanks to all who have helped with our troop meetings this year!

- Cass

PAN-CRC Troop Meeting No. 8

Geocaching!

Can you believe this was our second-to-last GS meeting of the year!? It's gone by way too fast. At our last meeting, we had the girls do a scavenger hunt in preparation for our main activity last night: Geocaching! (For those of you who unaware of what geocaching is, check out this helpful link).  The girls did VERY well working together to find all six geocaches that Brooke created. Here is the schedule of our meeting...

- Pre-Meeting Activity (~5 minutes): It was absolutely beautiful in Manhattan last night! We met the girls outside the lab where we snapped a few pictures before beginning our meeting. 

- Opening (~5 minutes): Started our meeting by discussing how our geocaching adventure would go. We also taught them how to control the app on Brooke's phone and told them they must all work together to find the items. Also, for every geocache, a different person must act as the main navigator. 

- Geocaching (~30 minutes): And... they were off! It took a few minutes for them to get the hang of it, but after finding the first couple - they did a wonderful job! Here is a few pictures of them in action...

- Physical Activity (~15 minutes): Last meeting, the girls decided they would like to learn how to do Zumba! Unfortunately, neither Brooke nor I are Zumba enthusiasts. So naturally, we consulted the fitness expert of the PAN-CRC, Steph! She started by walking the girls through various dance steps so that they could learn them before adding any music. Next, they combined the dance moves with some fun music, and the rest is history. For now, here is a picture of them getting ready to start dancing. Stay tuned for a video!

- Healthy Snack (~10 minutes): While the girls were dancing away, the other leaders prepared the healthy snack of the night. Last meeting, the girls mentioned they would like to incorporate pineapple for the snack. So, we decided on creating 'pineapple-whip'. Here is the basic recipe for pineapple whip: First, start by adding 2 cups of frozen pineapple to a blender. Next, add 1 cup of pineapple juice. Blend until smooth. Then, add a couple cups of thawed cool-whip and a tablespoon of honey to the mixture. Blend until well combined and the consistency resembles frozen yogurt. Enjoy!

While the girls enjoyed their snack, we recited the Girl Scout Law & Promise. Next, we discussed our last meeting in two weeks, and then sent the girls on their way...

This was definitely one of our most fun meetings of the semester! The girls really enjoyed all the activities, and as an added bonus - they were up and moving the entire time! Also, a special thanks to Stephanie again for helping us out with the physical activity! 

Check back in with our blog again in two weeks!

- Cass

PAN-CRC Troop Meeting No. 7

Scavenger Hunt!

The seventh PAN-CRC Troop meeting was last night at Lafene! It was another great meeting, and we all had a lot of fun! We decided to have a very active meeting last night to get the girls up and moving - as well as get them excited about outdoor adventures! Here is the schedule of what we did in our meeting...

- Pre-Meeting Activity (~5 minutes): We met the girls outside the lab again this week. To pass time waiting for others to arrive, the girls mostly played and talked about various topics. Everyone was right on time, so we were able to start our meeting promptly at 7:00. 

- Opening (~5 minutes): Together we recited the Girl Scout Promise to open our meeting. Next, we discussed all the activities we would be doing together that evening. 

- Outdoor Scavenger Hunt (~25-30 minutes): Next, we began our main activity of the night - a scavenger hunt! First, we had the girls get into pairs. Then, each of the adults joined a group. The girls were given the rules of the scavenger hunt, along with this guide of items to look for on the hunt: 

Each pair set out to find the items and for every item they found from the list - Emily, Brooke, Colby, or I took a picture for reference. Whichever team found the most items at the end of the time limit, won! The winners would then get to pick our snacks for the next meeting.

I must say, some groups were very creative in their finds. Here's an awesome picture of 'a really big leaf' from one of the groups: 

After we finished the scavenger hunt outside, we all walked upstairs to the lab to share our photos and decide on a winning group. Actually, two groups found all the items. Thus, we had a tie! So, we had each group find their favorite and most creative photo of the night to be the tie-breaker. The picture above won! 

- Physical Activity (~10 minutes): Last week the girls decided on doing weightlifting for their activity. So, we got in a large circle and taught the girls some basic weightlifting moves. I think they were surprised how much weight they could handle for some exercises (i.e. bicep curls and squats), and how much they could not handle for others (i.e. front and lateral raises). It was a lot of fun though! It's very neat to see them all have the opportunity to learn and enjoy so many new exercises and physical activities. 

- Healthy Snack Preparation & Eating (~15 minutes): To close out our meeting this week, we prepared and enjoyed our healthy snack! After all the activity, the girls (and leaders too) were quite hungry! For our snack this week, we had a fruit dip paired with both apples and bananas. Here's how you can make the dip for your troop... Mix to combine 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter, approximately 3/4 cup of vanilla yogurt, and a few teaspoons of cinnamon. Serve with fruit! It is that easy! Here are some pictures of our snack: 

After cleaning up, we had the winning group from the scavenger hunt select our next snack. With a little input from Brooke, they chose to incorporate pineapple for our snack. The second place team got to select the activity, and they chose Zumba. Then, we sent the girls home and told them all to have a good rest of the week. 

It was another fun-filled meeting last night - as you can see! We thoroughly enjoy having the girls for the hour that we do every two weeks. Just think of how many new healthy snacks and fun physical activities they have already experienced in just seven meetings!

Also, a special thanks to Emily, Colby, and even Zaw - who joined in on the fun last night.

Thanks for reading, check back again soon!

- Cass

PAN-CRC Troop Meeting No. 6

Food for Fuel!

Troop meeting number six has come and gone. The meetings seem to fly by, but I suppose it's because we are having so much fun as a troop! Last night our meeting activities were based on the 'Eating for Beauty' badge again. We focused on the fifth and final requirement to earn the badge: "How Nutrition and What We Eat Affects Our Energy". To teach all the information, Brooke and I really tried to incorporate interactive activities. Here is what we did in our meeting...

- Pre-Meeting Activity (~5-10 minutes before our meeting began): We met the girls outside again this week to take advantage of the warm weather. The 30-40 mph winds on the other hand was not very fun... Despite that, the girls had a nice time chatting with each other before the meeting officially began. 

- Physical Activity Interactive Learning Game (~15 minutes): For our physical activity of the night, we started by playing a game called, "Go, Slow, Whoa". I first started by discussing how certain foods affect our energy levels after we eat them. For example, french fries and other fatty foods may make us feel tired and sluggish - and fresh fruit may make us feel energized and ready to go! Then, we discussed classifying foods as either "Go, Slow, or Whoa". Go = high energy, good for us foods! Slow = middle of the line, consume these moderately. Whoa = pretty bad for us, consume these minimally. Next, came explaining how to play the game... First, I would shout out both an activity (i.e. jogging) and a food (i.e. bananas). Their job was to think about what kind of food this is (Go, Slow, or Whoa) - and then perform the associated activity. Here is how the previous example would look... Bananas and Jogging! If the girls thought it was Go, they would jog a long distance. If they thought it was Slow, maybe they performed a very slow jog for a short distance. Finally, if they thought it was Whoa, they didn't move at all.

Here is a picture, I think this activity was jumping jacks!

- Opening (~2 minutes): After our activity, we walked upstairs to the lab and recited the Girl Scout Law & Promise. 

- Girl Scout Activity (~15 minutes): Next, we discussed how sugar in the foods we eat can affect our energy levels. Also, we talked about what their daily recommendation for sugar consumption is. We used sugar cubes so that the girls could visualize the actual amount. After that, we played a game called "Guess the Sugar Content". First, we formed two groups of girls. Then, Brooke would show a picture of a food, or beverage, to both groups, and they would discuss in their groups how much sugar is in each item. Next, they had to represent how much sugar their group thought was in the food with sugar cubes. The group that was closest to the actual amount won the round! Here is a couple pictures of them hard at work...

Following the game, we talked about how much sugar they think they actually consume in a day and how they could improve upon their sugar consumption. I also asked them what the most surprising food or beverage was. They could not believe there is approximately 21-22 teaspoons of sugar in a Medium DQ Blizzard! That's practically double the amount of sugar that is recommended for girls their age!

Here is a picture of 28 teaspoons of sugar for reference:

- Healthy Snack Preparation & Eating (~15 minutes): Last week the girls decided on incorporating either sweet potatoes or sweet corn into their snack for this meeting. Brooke and I decided to try and use sweet corn, so we came up with having the girls make corn and black bean salsa. Here's how the girls made the snack: Pour 2 cans of canned tomatoes with green chiles into a bowl. Next, drain and rinse 1/2 of a can of black beans and add it to the tomatoes. Drain 1 can of sweet corn and add it to the mixture. Next, chop 1/2 of a medium white onion and add to the bowl. Finally, add 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and stir to combine. Serve with tortilla chips. Here is the final product...

The girls absolutely loved the snack! It was definitely one of their favorites. 

- 'Team Building' Activity (~10 minutes): To close out our meeting this week, we decided to do a fun group building/bonding activity. The activity is based on improving non-verbal communication within the group. I must say, it was so much fun! 

- Closing (~2 minutes): We closed out our meeting by singing the friendship song and deciding on our snacks and activities for our next meeting. The girls chose: weightlifting and apples with a fruit dip. 

It was another great meeting! The girls were excited that we finished all the requirements for our first badge, and we look forward to our next activities. Stay tuned for more updates from the PAN-CRC Troop!

- Cass