Thursday, October 02, 2014

Brownie Quest - Discover Key

It's Your World - Change It!: A Leadership Journey
Girl Scout Brownies

As mentioned in a previous post, I am serving as co-leader for Brownies for the first time this year. We are a multi-level troop, so other leaders and parent helpers are working with the older girls.

Our Brownies will focus on the Brownie Quest Journey and associated badge work this time around. The troop meets every other week for about an hour and a half, which includes some introductory time with the entire troop and snack time. We will lose a handful of meetings to parties, prep work for World Thinking Day, inclement weather, etc. So, that's not a whole lot of time to get things done. My goal is to creatively cram as much fun and badge work into those days as humanly possible. Every now and again, I will squeeze in bits and pieces from Legacy badge work as well. If all goes as planned, the troop should be able to earn their Brownie Quest Journey, My Family Story, My Best Self, Home Scientist and Bugs badges this year. Hopefully, we'll find time for Money Manager and Meet My Customers too. Eek, that's a lot! We'll see how it goes.

Quick note related to the Discover Key, which is what this post is really all about. I made an executive decision to switch the order of Steps 1 and 2 in case we ran over into snack time a bit. Our chosen activities just fit better in my mind that way. Also, I typed out and adapted various parts of the script in the Brownie Quest How To Guide, which I read as we progressed through our meeting. Although Tessa and I will likely read the story from the Brownie Quest girls' book at home, we will not read it as a troop due to time constraints. I may use a piece from it here and there, but I have opted not to purchase copies of the book for the girls.

My apologies for not posting any photos from our actual meeting. There just wasn't any way for me to snap any while conducting the meeting. I took our camera and meant to have my husband take some, but I totally forgot to have him do so. Maybe next time...




Brownie Quest - Discover Key

To find the Discover Key, Brownies discover their special qualities and talents, the values of the Girl Scout Law, and the special qualities and values of their families.

Meeting 1
  • Sang the Brownie Smile Song.
We will begin the Brownie portion of each meeting with the Brownie Smile Song during the first half of the year. After that, we will switch to the Brownie Hiking Song. Doing so will nearly fulfill Girl Scout Way, Step 1.

I downloaded the Brownie Smile Song audio file from Girl Scouts University Song Leading Mini-Workshop and then played it during the meeting as the girls and I sang along. I also created my own lyrics sheet to match the audio file, which uses a slightly different version of the Brownie Smile Song than the lyrics sheet provided by the workshop. I posted the lyrics sheet on a portable magnetic dry erase board at the meeting as a visual aid to help the girls follow along and learn the song.

  • Searched to discover the values of the Girl Scout Law with a scavenger hunt. - Discover Key, Step 2 completed!
Our scavenger hunt was very similar to what is suggested in the Brownie Quest How To Guide. I took the activity one step further by having the girls assemble a set of paper keys with the lines of the Girl Scout Law printed on them. The completed key ring doubles as a set of flash cards to help the girls learn the Girl Scout Law at home. I promised a I Know the Scout Law Fun Patch to any girl who can memorize and recite the Law to me without mistakes.

For the discover the values of the Girl Scout Law scavenger hunt, I created bright orange packets of paper keys with lines of the Girl Scout Law printed on them that I hid in plain sight around our meeting space. After going ELF, each pair of girls brought back two packets...one for each girl. At my command, they dumped them onto the floor and guessed what the clues added up to. After correctly guessing the Girl Scout Law, we stacked the keys in the correct order. Finally, the girls added paper "Girl Scout Law" key fobs and fashioned key rings out of pipe cleaners (that I previously had cut in half).

Completed Girl Scout Law key rings double as flashcards to help the girls learn the Law at home. These must be printed on heavyweight card stock for durability. I used Staples® Brights, 65lb. Colored Paper in assorted colors. Leaders, please note that this activity is not for the faint of heart or cutting challenged. You must cut out eleven keys, plus the heart for each girl!

  • Discovered the girls' special talents and qualities by creating personalized I Spy jars. - Discover Key, Step 1 completed! (This also fulfills Senses, Step 1.)
I actually designed Find Out About... Cootie Catcher, which I based on the "Discovering Me" star from the Brownie Quest girls' book, over the summer to fulfill this step of the Journey. While I still think it's a good activity, one my daughter was excited about, the amount of writing it requires nagged at me. Our troop is primarily composed of new second graders who are still learning to spell and develop their writing stamina. I ended up changing my mind a couple of weeks ago. Instead, we made personalized I Spy jars!

I had long planned I Spy bottles for the first part of the Senses badge, so I was thrilled when the little light bulb in my head finally clicked on to show me that I could combine both the Senses and Discover Key steps. After a couple of brainstorming sessions with my friends at Pinterest, I decided to design a card with a checklist to make this idea work.

The I Spy jars took a lot of preparation on my part, but the girls absolutely loved them. Most of the what-nots I already had in my craft closet, so the jars were cost-efficient for us. If everything had to be purchased new, it could get pretty pricey. Luckily, I've been saving recyclables for over a year and had just enough empty Peter Pan Peanut Butter jars for the troop.

Note: The I Spy checklist must be printed on heavyweight cardstock. It also must be sent through your printer twice for front-to-back printing. (I have a duplex printer, but I couldn't get the cards to print correctly no matter what I did. Hopefully, others will have better luck.) Make sure you do some testing on scrap paper, as printers can be finicky. Be sure your paper is stacked neatly after every page or you may end up cutting the margins a little close on some of cards. I actually printed extra and picked the best ones for the girls to use with their jars.

The girls in our troop had a blast making personalized I Spy jars to discover their special talents and qualities. I prepared a couple of batches of colored rice and pre-measured it into zipper bags ahead of time. I also cut a funnel from an empty half-gallon milk jug that worked perfectly for pouring rice into the jars. A parent helper hot glued the jars shut during the meeting. Rubber bands were used to attach the removable checklist to the jar.

  • Handed out Discovering Family bag to be completed at home and returned at the next troop meeting.
I felt Discover Key, Step 3 a good place to transition to My Family Story associated badgework, so that's what we will mostly be working on during the next two meetings. I also handed out family recipe cards to be brought back the same day. The Discovering Family bag activity will fulfill the final Discover Key step as well as My Family Story, Step 1. The family recipes cards will fulfill My Family Story, Step 2.

Quick note: I realized when cutting out the aforementioned completed recipe cards that I messed up when designing them. Some are not correctly sized. And, they are just a funky size, in general. You might be better off searching for free recipe card printables on Pinterest. I'll try to fix this as soon as I can.

I created a sample Discovering Family bag for Brownie Elf to give the girls and their parents an idea of what a completed bag should look like. The girls will have fun guessing what Girl Scout Law value their fellow troopmate's families chose at the next meeting. Brownie Elf's family picked "be a sister to every Girl Scout," so she put a paper doll chain, a trefoil and a Girl Scout fun patch in her bag as clues. Her family considers friends to be family. Brownie Elf wants the girls in her troop to feel like family.

Meeting 2 (Scheduled for mid-October, 2014.)

31 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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  2. Just starting as a Brownie leader - you are a life saver!

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  3. Your ideas are great! Thank you, and for explaining so simply. I like the Quest book but I like one quick reference page during the meetings--not fumbling through the book.

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  4. Thank you for creating the Brownie law keys. I plan to use them with my multilevel group of scouts(brownies, juniors and cadettes) who have seemed to have "forgotten" the law. You've made my job so much easier!

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  5. Great job! This was very helpful in planning m meetings! I am new to being a leader for m daughter!

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  6. This is wonderful!

    In the past I have found that using a 4" x 6" note card works great for recipe cards. A template can be made in a Word document or PDF.

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing this... life saver, time saver, AWESOME!!

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  8. Hello there, is there any way you can send me an editable copy of the keys? I just need to print out certain ones and I would like to print the same law/key on same page....thank you

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    1. Hi! Thanks for your interest in my Girl Scout Law keys!

      I think the file may already be in the format you need, as I have all of the lines of the Law grouped together in order on the first couple of pages and then each line separate (five of the same key to a page) on subsequent pages.

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  9. Thank you very much! Do you have how you finished the remainder of the journey? Is this just the first "badge" of the 4 badges in the Journey?

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    1. Yes, this is only the first badge of the Journey...the Discover Key. This particular key was more or less completed in one meeting. The Discovering Family bags were only passed out at the end of the meeting to be completed at home and returned the following meeting. Only after sharing the bags was the Discover Key officially earned and awarded. So, one meeting, plus a teeny bit of another meeting. I shoot for an hour for our meetings, not including snack time. In order to pull it off, I have to have everything organized and sorted ahead of time. I do a lot of prep work at home and then get to the meetings about thirty minute early to set up tables, etc., just so.

      While the girls did complete Brownie Quest last year, I got behind on my blog posts. I'm going to attempt to add the rest of our Journey in the next couple of weeks. I finished the Connect Key post this evening...http://bluehouseschool.blogspot.com/2015/09/brownie-quest-connect-key.html.

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  10. Also, was all this done in one meeting? How long are your meetings? Thanks!

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  11. Thank you so much for documenting your meeting! I appreciate you helping other leaders with your ideas!

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  12. Thank you so much for this! I am a leader for a 2nd year brownie troop, and this year we are adding some first year brownies to our troop. This step by step will make this so easy to do! I appreciate that you shared all of your hard work, and the printables to go with it!

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  13. What size jars did you use for the I SPY craft? It's awesome but wondering what size jar I need to look for

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    1. Hi, Jennifer! The jars are recycled Peter Pan peanut butter jars...regular-sized ones. I also made one with a JIF jar for my sample to show the girls.

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  14. I'm just curious what type of items did you have for the girls to put inside the I Spy jars and also was there a link for the printables that I missed somewhere?

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    1. Thanks for your interest in our I Spy jars. If you scroll up to the pic of the jar, there's a link in the caption to a printable checklist, which includes the items I used for the jars. There's also a link at the beginning of the paragraph just above that pic. Enjoy!

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  15. I love the keys and am going to use them this week for our meeting. I am filling in for our leaders who are both out this week. Do you have a pattern for the envelopes? I may have missed it, you have so much great information. Thanks!

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    1. I don't, sorry. I was afraid of copyright infringement with the Brownie Elf graphic. I just folded and glued orange paper to make the envelopes. Manila envelopes or similar would likely work too. Maybe draw polka dots or a bold border around the edges with a marker to make them stand out a little more.

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    2. Thanks. I completely understand, but I had to ask! I have been looking to download the clipart, I would think I would be able to get it from our local council, but have not had success. I will think of another way to decorate them.

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  16. LOVE what you are doing here! Do you have a PDF of the Brownie Quest Map you are using? Or did you just create it yourself?

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    1. The poster-size map came with the Brownie Quest leader book packet. (It folds.) I think there might be a much smaller version in the girls' book as well.

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  17. The links for the I spy checklist, Discovery bag, and recipe cards is no longer available. Are you able to re-post a link in another format?
    ~ Jenn B.

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    1. My apologies. I have uploaded the files to Dropbox and have updated the links on this page. Please, let me know whether they work for you. I haven't used Dropbox before. Enjoy!

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  18. Thanks for sharing! My troop loved your ideas!

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    1. You're quite welcome. Thank you for the warm comments. I'm so glad your troop enjoyed these projects.

      Happy scouting!

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  19. Thank you for the ideas! Our troop loved the keys. I had them printed out on cardstock and had the girls cut them out themselves. They loved searching the room for the envelopes. I had them numbered and let them figure out to put them in order and what was the meaning behind the keys. It is fun to watch them as a group and how they problem solve.

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    1. Wow, I'm not sure what happened, but I'm just now seeing this post. Thank you for your warm comments. I'm so glad you and your girls enjoyed the keys. It was such a fun meeting for my troop.

      Happy scouting!

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