Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Brownies - 1st Badge Testing and Exploring our Individuality

After the craziness of camp and getting the girls ready for enrolment it was nice to spend some time working on their Key to Me badge. My second year girls were especially happy to get started on this badge as we had been spending so much time doing our Key to Brownies. Don't get me wrong, they really like having all the answers to Brownie Lore and showing the new girls what to do but I think they were ready to earn some more things for their own sashes.

We decided to pair our first meeting to work on the Key to me with our first badge testing night. Its taken me a few years to work out individual interest badge earning/testing but i think we've finally gotten into a good rhythm. Each time we do badge testing (about once a month) we have some wonderful parent volunteers come in. They help the the girls one by one with their badge testing while the bulk of the group works on Programming. We like this format because it doesn't single out any girls who didn't complete any badge work for that day. If you want to learn more about how we do badge testing click here!

We started off our meeting in our fairy circle groups. These groups have really come together and now feature the circles colour mat, sign, dues treasure chest and the fairy circle flag that the girls made at camp.

Following our group opening we had a discussion about what it means to be Proud. Girls had all sorts of good answers such as:

- It's when i'm doing something i'm good at 
- I'm proud when i did something i couldn't do before, and now i can
- It's when I feel good about myself

In our unit we really emphasize the idea that we are all a team and that we all belong. In order to explore this idea a little further we brought out a blank puzzle. Our puzzle was made up of 20 pieces. Enough for each girl and leader to design a piece to represent them. We talked about what kinds of things the girls could add to their piece. Many drew their families, hobbies and pets. Others used their favourite colours and favourite toys!

Once we were all done we assembled the puzzle and this masterpiece was born! Unfortunately 2 girls were away sick from our unit this week and Silly Brown Owl left the piece that says "401st Toronto Brownies" at home on her craft table but I think the message rang out clear. We are all unique but we are all part of the same puzzle.

While the puzzle piece making was happening the girls pulled themselves away to do some badge testing. We had a total of 11/16 girls prepare badges to be tested on and had over 25 badges earned in total!

They were so proud of their hard work and were pleased to take home their badges that night. One girl named Antonia did such a nice job on her "Terrific Trash" badge that we asked if she would share with the group. All of the girls listened very carefully and applauded her efforts.

We had some time left at the end of the meeting so we decided to play a few group games. We tried out the game African Drums which is a circle game you play lying down in a circle. Once your group is in place you cross your hand over the people on either side of you and then try to pass around a hand slap on the ground, in order all around the circle. First we tried to pass the beat around, then tried to break our record!

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