Girl Scout SWAPS Ideas, Tips, How-To

My girls are progressing on through Girl Scouting and are finishing their first year as Juniors. We have camped a few times, and girls are always encouraged to trade SWAPS with other Scouts. What are SWAPS?

Special Whatchamacallit Affectionately Pinned Somewhere

When I was a girl we called it a potlatch. It is the same basic thing – a doo dad you trade with another scout. It can be simple or elaborate. It can represent your troop or the event you are attending. SWAPS need not be difficult to make and they do not need to last forever. Some girls collect their SWAPS on a jacket, hat or banner. There are museums with tremendous collections of SWAPS that include items from all over the world. It is a little reminder of the fun event they attended, in addition to any patches or other keepsakes, and they are completely optional. The younger your girls are, the easier to make the SWAPS should be.

For a recent trip, the girls could not decide on one SWAP idea, so we gave them the option to make up to three different ones. Can I just recommend for all leaders out there considering this, it can create drama so think carefully about your group before making this an option for your troop. If Suzie wants to make 10 rainbow clouds but there’s only enough supplies to make 5 per girl, there may need to be some negotiation and conflict management happening.

There is a thriving industry out there of Etsy shops and the like selling kits for making SWAPS. You can do what works for your troop. We just decided to brainstorm and create our own – parents donated the materials. What have we made, you ask? Rainbow Clouds, Troop Crests, S’mores and Unicorns. Following are some quick How-to’s on these. Click any picture for a larger image. I’m not an artist, but I was able to free hand all of these shapes because I like easy SWAPS. Each item should be around 2″ diameter or smaller when finished, for ease of portability and collection.

All supplies were purchased at a chain craft store. Patterns to trace were made out of a manila folder.

Rainbow Clouds

Supplies

8.5×11 sheets of white felt or fun foam

1/4″ ribbon in rainbow colors, cut into 1″ snips

Craft glue

Safety pins

Marker

These were cute and very easy to make, except for the cutting out part. I ended up cutting out all the clouds and rainbow snips. Depending on your Scouts’ ages, they may be able to do that part. Trace the pattern onto white felt or fun foam. You can get 20 on an 8.5×11 sheet. Cut the ribbon into 1″ snips. I used little cups to catch them so they didn’t scatter everywhere.

Use craft glue to attach the rainbow ribbon snips to the back of the cloud. Allow to dry, turn over. Then using a Sharpie marker or similar, write in your troop number and/or whatever else you want. Attach safety pin. Total assembly time is about 10 minutes including glue drying time.

PS these would be cute for a bridging activity!

Troop Crests

Supplies

Green fun foam

Craft paper in red and light yellow

Flower punch

Craft glue

Safety pins

Marker

These took about the same amount of time to assemble but much longer to prep. This particular crest is the Hawaiian Lei. You will need a paper punch to make the flowers, they are about $5 at your local craft store. Again, I did all the cutting and punching but you can adapt to your troop.

Trace the crest shape onto the fun foam. You can get more than 20 per 8.5×11 sheet if you space them well. Punch the flowers from the red and yellow papers. I punched them into a little cup to keep them from scattering. Also, you can space the punches so as to maximize the number of flowers you get per sheet of paper. I worked it out so I could get 17 flowers on the 11″ side of the paper and was able to make 7 rows.

Using craft glue, glue alternating flowers in a circle. You will need 3 of each color. Once dry, write your troop number above the lei, and add the safety pin. Maximum assembly time was 10 minutes, but really closer to 5 for the faster girls.

S’mores

Supplies

Fun foam or felt in light brown, dark brown and white

Craft glue

Safety pins

Markers

These are a popular one and super easy! Plus the cutting is mostly in straight lines so might be easier for younger girls. Cut out the light brown squares as 2″ squares. Cut out the dark brown squares as 1.5″ squares. Cut out the white circles as 1.5″ or so circles.

Glue two light brown squares, one dark brown and one white circle. Use a marker to draw on the little dots you see on graham crackers. On one side, write on your troop number and whatever else. Add the safety pin. We found that glue on fun foam took much longer to dry than on felt, so use it sparingly.

Unicorns

Supplies

White felt or fun foam

1/4″ ribbon in rainbow colors, cut into 1″ snips

Sequins/crystals/googly eyes

Markers

Safety pins

Craft glue

Did you notice that the Rainbow Clouds and Unicorns have almost the same supply list? Haha that’s because I had enough left from the Rainbow Clouds to make another SWAP! Use resources wisely, right?

Trace the unicorn shape onto the felt. You can get 20 on a sheet of 8.5×11 when they are spaced tightly. These ones are a pain to cut so if YOU are doing the cutting, give yourself a few days to make a lot. I ended up procrastinating and trying to cut out 100 before the meeting and the hand cramp was wicked.

Glue the ribbon snips on one side of the unicorn shape and let dry. Turn over, then draw on the “twist” of the horn and a mouth. Our girls also filled in the ears with pink, some added bows, smiling mouths, etc. Write the troop name at the bottom of the neck. Next, glue on the eye. My coleader found a ton of crystals at a garage sale, but you can use pretty much anything cute here and don’t have to break the bank. Add the safety pin and you are done. Total assembly time was longer, maybe 15 minutes because of the ribbons being on the back of the shape and needing the glue to dry before turning over for the rest of the face.

Girl Scouts: Money Management Game

Our troop has grown a little this year and we have several new members who have not sold Girl Scout Cookies before. They are excited and so enthusiastic! It has really inspired some of our continuing members to step up their game and try harder to achieve their goals.

As a leader, it isn’t always easy to teach or lead the girls to cookie sales success. Especially for Brownies, they are still in the realm of needing to be lead to their goals to some degree. They are not always good at math. They don’t always grasp what Cookie Share is or does. They sometimes forget that we raise money for fun AND to give back to others. For our first meeting covering cookies, I made them a poster to help with some of the information they need to remember. We plan to use this at our booth sales and show a bar chart of our troop goal achievement.

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For our second meeting, I wanted to be sure they knew their math and money management. It’s easy to get confused when giving out change or having to count money, so while a parent would be helping during individual or booth sales, it is important for the girls to know this information. Fortunately for us, cookies are priced at a good multiplication factor – $5 per package. I found a game online that I adapted for the girls.

Money DiceCookie Game 1

Each of these images was printed on card stock paper, then cut out and taped together to make a 2″ square die. For our troop we focused on the cookie die. I also provided play money for each girl consisting of 2 5s, 2 10s, and 1 20. Here’s how the game worked:

  • Each girl gets an envelope of play money with $50 in it
  • Girls pair up by two and each pair gets one die
  • One girl plays a customer, the other girl plays a Girl Scout, and they switch back and forth
  • The customer rolls the die which will tell her how many of which variety of cookies she will purchase. The Girl Scout will tell the customer how much she owes. The customer pays the Girl Scout
  • Switch sides and the second girl plays the customer while the first girl plays the Girl Scout. Repeat the rolling of the die as above
  • Continue until one of the girls has earned all the money, or one girl does not have enough money to pay for the cookies on her roll. Money can be intermingled in the girl’s envelopes
  • The girl with the most money wins

We played this as a tournament – we had five pairs of girls, then the winners played each other. The girls loved the dice and so they were given out as prizes at the end of the meeting along with the play money. The girls learned visual recognition of the cookie varieties as well as reinforced their knowledge of common pricing in a selling situation.

The game can be expanded for older girls to use more money and to keep track of the number and type of cookies “sold” during the game. I feel really good about this game! Feel free to download the images and use them yourself. I didn’t make up the game, but I did adapt what I found online into something my girls could work with, you can too!

Brownie Court of Awards Ceremony

Once again, I am sharing the script of our troop’s ceremony because although I found many work plans on how to create a Court of Awards ceremony, I didn’t find an exact script or agenda, and I need a agenda. Remembering these are Brownies, their idea of planning an awards ceremony is to determine whether they have chocolate or vanilla cupcakes, what song they want to sing and whether they will do the hand motions during the song. While girl led, there is still a lot of leader planning. We wanted to make them feel proud of their participation and accomplishments during the year. Also, due to the late arrival of cookie awards, we decided to hold them for the awards ceremony.

Please feel free to use the script below as you like for your Court of Awards. Inspiration has been found in many places but ultimately, busy leaders might need something simple they can plop down into their own setting. We happen to have three leaders, but this can be adapted to any number of leaders. The portion on the Law can also be adapted to your needs – we decided to work on each girl fully memorizing the Law and when they were able to recite it during a meeting, they were awarded with the cute ELF doll available from Council. Our final two girls earned their doll during the awards ceremony.

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Explore, take Action and Fly!

Once our awards and patches were organized by girl, we laid them out on the table to make it easier for the leader making that portion of the presentation. Each item is stapled to the 2″ wide grosgrain ribbon and the girl’s name is written at the top. The girls loved these and they looked great holding them up in photos too!

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Look at all the awards!

 

Brownie Troop 345 Awards Ceremony

Girls form up in a horseshoe in the front of the room.

[Leader #1] Today, we will be presenting the girls with awards they have earned this year through their hard work and dedication to Girl Scouts. But before we get to the awards, we will begin with our Pledge of Allegience and Promise.

Pledge

Promise

Song – The more we get together

[Leader #2] During the year, the girls have been working on memorizing the Girl Scout Law and reciting it on their own for a prize. Tonight, two girls will recite the Law so that they can receive their special ELF doll. Girl Name and Girl Name, please come forward.

Law

Learning the Law is a great accomplishment, and we are very proud of all the girls for learning it and being able to recite it in front of their peers! Congratulations!

[Leader #1] During the year we brought in a new member, Girl Name, who we would like to recognize tonight. Girl Name has been looking for a Girl Scout troop for a long time, and we are so proud to have her as one of our Girl Scout sisters. She is excited and energized to learn all about Scouts and the fun activities we will take on together! Welcome!

[Leader #3] As you all know, some of the fun results in patches, awards and prizes! So, without making you wait any longer, we will now present the girls with their awards. As I call your name, please come forward.

Girl Name

Girl Scout Handshake

Girl Name, although you are new to our troop, you bring with you enthusiasm and friendship, and although you joined after our cookie sales, you have earned your membership star, arts and crafts fun patch, end of year fun patch and a special friendship patch.   Congratulations!

Girl returns to her spot

Girl Name

Girl Scout Handshake

Go in order of who has the lowest to the highest sales of cookies.

Girl Name, with your participation this year, you have earned your membership star, the Cookie Sales pin, the [list out the names] badges, and [list out names] fun patches. Your cookie sales were outstanding, selling _____ packages of cookies. You have earned the patches for your vest as well as [whatever cookie bling]. Congratulations on an amazing year!

Girl returns to her spot, continue until all awards have been distributed.

Song – When’ere you make a promise

[Leader #2] We will close our Awards Ceremony now, but the celebration will continue. We have refreshments for the girls [and any parents who stayed]. Congratulations, Troop 345! You have had an awesome year!

Girl Scout Week!

As I was casting around to find something for our Girl Scouts to do this evening as we prepare for Girl Scout Week (March 8-13), I came across a really nice graphic – from last year! I recreated it for this year and wanted to share. I have made this so it will print on 8.5 x 11 paper landscape, and can be folded in half. I’ll be having the girls glue it to a tongue depressor for a cute sign to remind them of each day’s theme next week.

GS Week Small 1

Click for a 300 dpi version

 

Click the image for a 300 dpi version that you can download and use for free. Have fun with your Girl Scout Week activities!

Daisy Girl Scouts: Rededication Ceremony

We are in our second year of Daisy Girl Scouts, and discovered over the summer that our first year was, shall we say, informal. We had a lot of fun with the girls, went on some fun field trips, and made great friendships, which is most of what scouting is about! But, having become a co-leader of our troop, I was invited with the other leaders to attend a Girl Scout kick off meeting this past August, and we learned that Daisy Scouts can do even more than what we already did! So, the three co-leaders have decided to start some new fun things for our Daisies for their second year.

Last year, we didn’t do a Dedication Ceremony or even an Invocation, we just made sure the girls knew their stuff and they earned their petals. This year, we wanted to do a Rededication Ceremony for them, so they would start learning some of the pageantry that future levels of Girl Scouting all seem to utilize. Ceremonies are a great way to place importance on something — “putting a point on it” so to speak. Dedication to Girl Scouting is one way to welcome the girls back to Scouts after a great summer. Since I searched the web and drew different bits and pieces from many resources, I figured I would go ahead and share with others. Since we did not pick up any new Daisies this year, this ceremony is specific to a Rededication, rather than an Invocation and/or Dedication. We kept it simple, but if anyone can use any bits or pieces of this for their ceremony, please help yourself!

Daisy Troop #345 2013 Rededication Ceremony 

Cut out sections and paste to notecards. Number the cards so they don’t get out of order. 

All stand in a circle with Leaders at the front, a small table will be needed to hold the pins.

Leader: Where are the Daisy Girl Scouts of Troop 345?

Girls: Here we are!

Leader: Tonight we are confirming our continuing dedication to be the very best Daisy Scouts we can be.  Each of you is an important part of our troop, our families, and our community.  As Girl Scouts, we promise to be the very best person we can be. Let’s make that promise together, now, by saying the Girl Scout Promise.  Everyone raise your hand in the Girl Scout salute.

All recite Girl Scout Promise  “On my honor…”

Leader: Last year, we learned about the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law.  These are valuable tools to help us each as we grow and learn about the world.  In Girl Scouts, each girl is special and recognized as a valuable member of the community by older people – parents, leaders, neighbors, and community members.  This year, we will learn about our individual strengths and also how we can work together as a team toward mutual goals.

Leader: Troop 345’s Daisy meetings will be a place where each girl’s individuality is valued.  It will be a place where the importance of caring for ourselves and others will be emphasized.  We will learn about our world and ways to care for nature.  We will have fun!  This will be a place for each girl to live the Girl Scout mission statement: “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.”  Now, it is time for each girl to be called up and be rededicated to Daisy Scouts.

_____________________(naming girl), please come forward

 Leader: Welcome back, ______________________.  Do you promise to try to be the best Daisy Girl Scout you can be?  (Girl responds yes) Here is your Membership Star, and your cookie sales pin, your safety pin, and your first Journey book, which you earned through your hard work last year.  We are proud to have you in Daisy Troop #345!  She pins girl, shakes her left hand and makes the Girl Scout sign with her right hand. Directs girl to return to her place.

Repeats through all girls.

Leader: Daisy Girl Scouts are named after the founder of Girl Scouting in the United States, Juliette Gordon Low, whose nickname was Daisy. She brought Girl Scouting to the United States from England. For over 100 years, Girl Scouts have been teaching girls about their world and how to be a good citizen.  Last year we earned the ten petals of the daisy, with each petal representing a line of the Girl Scout Law.  This year we will take three journeys, each one focused on a  different aspect of the world we live in, and preparing you, the Daisy Girl Scouts of Troop 345, to bridge up to Brownies next year.

Leader: We are excited to see all your lovely faces, eager and ready to continue the Daisy Girl Scout fun!  Now let’s sing the first verse of Make New Friends.

 

Daisy Scout Field Trip: CPK

Our Daisy Scout troop went on a field trip last week to California Pizza Kitchen. And what fun for little girls! Who doesn’t like pizza and being with their friends?

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They showed the girls all through the kitchen, explaining all the different equipment and food safety features, and then the girls were invited to make their very own pizza! Someone suggested making a heart shaped pizza, and it was over…there were a dozen heart shaped pizzas, lol. And, perfect timing for Melody’s birthday, they gave us a CPK Kids VIP pass for a free ice cream. We will be going there for her birthday on Wednesday. Nice!

California Pizza Kitchen offers this at no charge for scout troops, and birthdays have a nominal fee. It was a great experience for girls and adults too. Bonus for CPK? They gave the parents a cup of wonderful coffee. Ahhhh. :-)