Junior Drawing Badge – Mandalas

Want to try something new for the Junior Drawing Badge?  How about teaching your girls how to draw mandalas?  These have become very popular lately with the advent of those “adult coloring books” that are in every craft and book store.

In fact, you can even download a Girl Scout version from the Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania Council!  I also like this butterfly one from Dover publications, since the butterfly is one of the symbols of Juniors.

As far as badge work goes, creating a mandala would fulfill Step 4, “Use your imagination like a graphic artist”, because it talks about creating logos and symbols, IMHO.  And of  course, if you choose to color pre-made mandalas (or other “adult coloring book” style images), have the girls play with different coloring mediums – colored pencils, crayons, markers.  You could even try watercolor pencils, and then wash the images with water to see the colors blend into each other.  This would satisfy Step 1, “Experiment with different materials”. To really bring Step 1 home, talk with them about how it is different to color with one material versus another.

And once your troop has created their mandalas? Before they color them, make copies.  Bind, or staple, or hole punch and make into a Troop coloring book!  Then they have not just their own mandala to color, but also one from each of their friends, as well.

Not sure about how to create a mandala, or how to teach 4th and 5th graders how to do it?  Here’s a few great tutorials I found, from most complex to least complex:

What cool idea did YOU use for the Drawing Badge?


Cadette Safety Award Meeting

Last night was my Cadette/Senior Troop’s first meeting of the year.  One of the awards that the Cadettes voted on earning this year was the Cadette Safety Award, and I thought that would be a great way to start the year.  We had a couple of girls sign up to run the meeting, and the emails were flying fast and furiously over the past two weeks as they prepped.  I made a point of thanking them for their wonderful communication with me, and how they used me as a resource, like Wikipedia, rather than as the person who tells them how to do it.


The girls were so excited to get started, they almost forgot to do the Pledge, Promise, and Law. 🙂 But one of the audience girls reminded us, and after the appropriate amount of facepalming, we did our normal opening.

img_7002Main Activity – Cadette Safety Award

  1. Babyproofing a room – the girls went around the table discussing ideas for making a room safe for younger children.  There was much groaning about the door handle locks their parents used to have.
  2. Water safety – they went around the table again, this time reading out safety guidelines from this handout and explaining why they thought that was an important guideline.  Then they talked about reaching assists and what could be used as an object to help with one.  No one opted to get on the floor to role-play. *grins*
  3. Teaching younger girls about being lost and stranger danger – since this troop is not as multi-level as the other troop, instead of actually teaching younger girls, they talked about how they would teach younger children, and specifically mentioned that this could be something they talk about with younger siblings, or with younger Troops they work with while earning their LiA’s and Service to Girl Scouting bars, or at camp, when we usually share a space with a younger troop.
  4. Emergency Prep – the girls talk about what a 72 hour kit is, why we need one, what kind of emergencies we should prepare for in our area, and why a deck of playing cards is important.  Many of the girls barely remember Hurricane Ike, which rocked our area 8 years ago and had our neighborhood without power for nearly a week. We talked about sheltering in place, and the girls then made deluxe sit-upons, what my Co-Leader and I are calling Version 3.0 (look for a tutorial later this week).  These can be used at camp, but can also be used as a shelter in place style 72 hour kit.  The girls were each given a card with items to be placed the kit listed on it, which was then laminated to the inside of the bucket lid with packing tape.
  5. Bullying – while the girls were crafting their buckets, they also talked about bullying, and created their anti-bullying pledge.

Troop Business

I kind of snuck in and spoke to the girls for 10 minutes while they were crafting to do Troop Business: updating them on our money earning efforts, discussing whether they would use a Google Hangout for outside of meeting discussion, voting on whether we should celebrate our Silver Award recipients on our own or with the whole Community, and reminding them that they will need to sign up to run 2 meetings, if they haven’t already.


After the duct tape free for all (OMG – have you seen the GALAXY DUCT TAPE?!?!  This is apparently the coolest duct tape to my girls at the moment.  And they did not like me bringing the s’mores duct tape because it made them hungry.*grins* Good thing I didn’t buy that mac and cheese duct tape.), we closed the way we always do: friendship circle, “Make New Friends”, and a friendship squeeze, started by the two girls who ran the meeting.

Trying to earn this award?  Here’s the 72-hour kit handout I created using ideas from the ready.gov website:


Fantastic Resource for Leaders

Okay, so I found this via Pinterest, and all I can say is that I wish MY Council had something like this!! The Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys offer their leaders Meeting Plans geared towards finishing a Journey in two meetings plus a Take Action Project – and they have lots of suggestions for those, too! They also have Meeting Plans for other badges, although from what I have noticed, these are less fully fleshed than the Journeys. I have only explored the Juniors and Cadettes levels, and can say that most of the Junior badges have 1 sample Meeting Plan, but most Cadette badges do not. I imagine, they started with Daisies and worked their way up, so the older girls’ plans are coming. And of course, many of these plans come from their volunteers.

I am definitely looking at using the sample plans when my girls become Cadettes to plan a Journey in a weekend.