This meeting was our last before holiday break, so it worked out really well to work on being Considerate & Caring.
Here's what I told the girls:
Now, you might think there's not a lot of difference between being considerate & caring, and being friendly & helpful. But there is!
There are many things you can do to be helpful – you can help at home, or help your friends, but when you are being considerate, you are putting someone else's feelings in front of your own. You are considering – thinking of – their feelings. And when you are being caring, you are showing someone that their feelings matter to you, and if they are sad or hurting or in need, you can help.
And it's not just about your family and friends. It's not just showing your mom or dad or grandma or brother or sister that you think their feelings are important. It's also helping to care for others, people you don't even know who may need help, or who may not have anyone to care for them.
A lot of times during the holidays you might see Toys for Tots boxes, or Salvation Army people with their red buckets and ringing bells. You might see people bringing groceries to school to help give to other people who may need help.
And the holidays are a wonderful time for people to be considerate and caring. They are a wonderful time to remind us that we should always try to help others, but Girl Scouts don't stop at the holidays. We do this all the time! We should always be willing to help out someone in need, and to think of other people's feelings.
So if there are ways for you to be considerate, to be caring, you should do it. And it doesn't have to be with just people, even! It can be with the environment, like not littering, and trying to always recycle when we can, and caring for animals, as well. We can help care for the animals in our world like Juliette Low said to do. . . .
Then we talked some more about being caring, and how Juliette Low said that all Girl Scouts are friends to animals, even (and especially) wild ones. And one way we can be caring is to help make birdfeeders for the birds. This is a great craft (though a bit messy), and works well with the Journey Birdbath patch.
Here is an easy set of directions on how to do it: http://crafts.kaboose.com/pine-cone-bird-feeder.html
What you'll need (this was for our troop of 18; adjust as needed):
1. Decent-sized pinecone per child
2. Two large jars of peanut butter (natural is best!)
3. Paper plates for each child
4. Plastic spoons or dull knives for spreading
5. Paper towels for cleanup
6. Sturdy paper bags or gallon Ziplocs (we had two)
7. Roll of twine
9. Paper bag each to take home
10. Birdseed (check the ingredients; you'd be surprised to find some birdseeds have artificial ingredients, blech!)
Spread peanut butter on the pinecones, then pour some birdseed in a Ziploc. Drop pinecone in, seal, and shake. Tie twine around pinecone and make a loop to hang. Ta-da! Instant birdfeeder! (Image from the wonderful internet. Our pinecone was eaten up too fast to get a good picture!)
Next up I'd planned to have the girls make holiday cards for us to take caroling with us to a local retirement home. But the weather was just so nice, I opted to take them outdoors for a scavenger hunt instead. Yes, the card-making would've been a better fit for the petal we were working on, but the weather's getting colder and I wanted to take advantage of it while we could! See? Flexible. It's a good thing.
I'd made up the supplies beforehand as a backup just in case. I'm so glad I did!
I got the idea from this site: http://howtonestforless.com/2012/07/24/nature-scavenger-hunt-for-the-kids-free-printable/
The author has free printables! I did alter the check-off list slightly though, to add "keep it or leave it," etc.
Here's the nametag printable:
The girls had a great time! I printed out the check-off sheets and name tags (used Chalkduster font; I am not a fan of Comic Sans, but like this one), glued the names to paper bags, put a marker in each, and off we went to the playground!
There was no reward, and while I'd planned on them working in teams, we ended up just letting them do what they wanted. It was easy and fun. :)
I'd also made holiday goody bags ahead of time. Not all the girls celebrate Christmas (some are Jewish, etc.), so I made the bags very generic. I used snowflake cellophane bags, and filled them with mini-snowflake bubbles, small butterfly rings (Target party favor aisle), snowflake ruler/bookmarks, various candies, Girl Scout recycled pencils, GS holiday pencils, and two patches -- this one:
Also, while it's nice that patches from online sites like Patch Sales are inexpensive, keep in mind they may not be iron-ons.
Check your local Council store, too, for clearance items! Sometimes ours has fun patches on clearance.
The girls loved goody bags, had a great meeting, and the next week we went caroling at the retirement home.
Next up? Cookies! My, oh my, what a time that will be! More to come. . . .