Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kapers? What are they?

Kapers Kapers Kapers... 

We are not talking about pickled flower buds. Those are Capers, not Kapers. See the difference?

I think this is one of the terms that as a new leader I was baffled and perplexed. Then, when I figured out what they were I was baffled and perplexed as to how to use them. I will also tell you that it took me a little while to figure out what worked for our troop. The good thing is, they are customizable. What I do, may not work for you; and what you decide upon, may not work for me.

A kaper is a nice way of saying chores around camp. 

They are a job that needs to be accomplished during a meeting, event, or trip. It's also a temporary job or responsibility. Not too much fun if the same girl has to clean up the trash at the end of every single meeting. But, when you rotate them out everyone gets a turn to do the "fun" ones and the "not so fun" ones. Now, from a leader perspective you never ever ever tell them which ones you think are not so fun. AND... make sure you build in some "fun" ones. 


How you set them up is really up to you and your meeting structure. 

This means you are going to have to think about it a little. 

  • What do you do? 
  • What needs to be done? 
  • Where could you use an extra set of hands? 
  • What could those precious little scouts be doing that would teach them responsibility and give them a sense of ownership in their meetings? 


Now if you have Daisys, your kapers are going to be different than if you have Seniors. But, even little Daisys can do things to help during their meetings (and they should!). 


Let's go through a few "regulars" and then I'll share our troops Kaper Chart and definitions, so you can see how you can customize it up. 

Pass Out Snack: This is self-explanatory... snack time... they pass it out. If the girls are older, have them prepare, divvy, and pass it out. If you have Daisy level, you prepare and divvy and allow them to walk the plate and cup to each girl. 
Attendance: This kaper is for tracking who is at your meeting and who isn't. They take role, just like teachers in a classroom. If you have Daisy's that may not be able to read, make your attendance sheet with a photo of each girl's face. They can call the girls name by sight recognition and place a check mark in the box or maybe use a smiley face sticker. 
Supplies: Have one of the girls responsible for passing out supplies for activities. She can pass around the sheets of paper for coloring or the cross word puzzle or she can be the one to make sure everyone has a pencil and know where the supplies stash is in case someone needs something. This kaper will save you SO many steps.
Flag: If your troop does a flag ceremony or says the pledge of allegiance at the beginning of your meeting, you can have one of the girls in charge of holding, carrying, and caring for the flag. Be sure you discuss how to properly hold, carry, and care for the flag before you turn them loose. They should understand the respect and reason for such tradition. Don't assume they know. 
Clean Up: After snack, after crafts, at the end of the meeting... this girl is in charge of cleaning up. Make sure they know where the broom and extra trash bags are.
Leader Helper: We all need a sidekick to help us out. So, set up a kaper for a helper. This is the girl you can turn to and have grab your phone from across the room or help keep the group quiet when you are explaining something. They could also be the one leading the Girl Scout Promise and Law. 
Squeeze Starter: A Girl Scout tradition... Friendship Squeezes and "turn-outs". This is a great kaper, because it keeps down the "Who is going to start today?" question. Rotate through the girls and everyone will get a chance to start the Squeeze. 
Dues: Do you collect dues? If you do, then put one of the girls in charge of going around the collecting the quarter or dollar or whatever you collect at every meeting. 
Songs: When you sing songs, allow the girl in charge of Songs to select the song and lead it for the group. Again, it helps cut down discussion time of who and what. 

Note: The above only represent some suggested/regular kapers. We all have kapers we do that others don't. I'm sure we could sit and talk about some which aren't on the list and "should be". The debate could go on forever. This article is not about which ones are right or wrong or must haves. It's for YOU to think about, discuss with your girls (even though you should not allow them to veto clean up help!), and determine what is best for your troop. It's truly a personal troop thing. There is no right or wrong (unless you have cleaning toilets with a toothbrush... that would be wrong). It's what works for YOUR troop. Remember that. 


Troop 70258 Kapers (that's my troop)

I do give each of the girls a sheet that has the responsibilities of each role on it. I also gave the kapers official titles, because it makes them sound more important. 


Business Assistant: During the Opening Circle, this Girl Scout will take attendance and lead the troop in the Girl Scout Promise and Girl Scout Law. During the Closing Circle, she serves as the Circle Leader starting the “Good Turn” statements. She also starts the Friendship Squeeze.
Song Bird: During Opening and Closing Circle, this Girl Scout is always prepared and ready to lead the troop in singing our songs. If she chooses to learn a new song, the Troop Leaders will help her in leading.
Digital Photographer: At each meeting, this Girl Scout will have a digital camera. Her job is to capture our meeting in photos. She is to get a wide variety of activities and troop members in these photos. She should not cause disruption or delay with the meeting. If she chooses to have some posed photos, those should be done between activities and discussion. 
Happy Hostess: This Girl Scout helps pass out the snacks, napkins, and makes sure everyone gets a snack before she begins eating hers. After everyone is done or when snack time is over, this Girl Scout brings the trash can over and makes sure everyone throws away their trash. She may also need to wipe off the table top, if it is messy.
Activity Assistant: This Girl Scout hands out all activity materials to the troop. She makes sure everyone has what they need to complete the activity. She also helps clear the table between activities and makes sure everyone throws away any trash.
Clean- Up Captain: These Girl Scouts are responsible to help clean up the room after the Closing Circle. Any trash that was overlooked should be thrown away. The chairs need to be stacked and table moved back to how they were before the meeting took place. The floors may need to be swept, as well.  These Girl Scouts make sure we leave the room in clean, tidy order.

Hints/Tips: 


  • Obviously, if you have four girls in your troop you don't want 20 kapers. You need to make it work for the size of your troop.
  • Make it fun! Take a "whistle while you work" mentality. Be sure you aren't complaining about what you have to do or say "ooooo... Cindy Loo got stuck with cleaning up!".
  • Explain the importance of working together as a team and how dividing up responsibilities help everyone.
  • One thing I tell my girls is that their Kaper for the meeting means they are in charge of that duty. If they need help or choose to ask another girl to help them, that is fine. They learn delegation like this. If we had a messy meeting, cleaning up is going to be a huge job. So, make sure they know it's okay to ask for help. But, they still need to be the one doing most of the work and coordinating the effort.
  • A Kaper Chart does not need to be a "chart". Write the jobs on popsicle sticks and have each girl draw one or rotate through.
  • Make sure the same girl isn't always in charge of the same thing.

Examples:

The photo of this first chart was sent to me by a wonderful Service Team Member, who noticed I was going to talk about Kapers. Thank you, Katie!! 

This is a great chart because it is in the design of the new Daisy petal uniform. It looks like each girl's name is attached with velcro and they rotate through the jobs. It's bright, cheery, and I'm sure it helps the girls realize their job is helping their troop grow. If this is your chart, please contact me. I'd love to know more about it.
Update 10/1/2013: Imagine my delight this morning when I received an email from Ashley B. Troop 6323 - Marshfield, Wisconsin. This is her chart! Some info from Ashley:
"We did use laminated name badges attached with velcro and we rotated them each meeting.  The petals were made with adhesive fabric so that we didn't have to worry about ripping paper when we moved the badges.  The girls LOVED this chart as Daisies and now I have to step it up each year - tonight we have our first meeting as Brownies!"



Below is a photo of the "chart" I use for my meetings. You'll notice I have six jobs and seven girls. The 7th girl gets the meeting off. Whomever is Clean-Up Captain will get the next meeting "off". The chart is on a cookie sheet and the names are magnetic. I simply move them around before each meeting. Now that the girls are Juniors, I display the board and they are responsible for finding their job and remembering it. When it comes to that point in the meeting, they just get up and do what they are to do.


Don't think you have to have a posterboard or cookie sheet, though. You can divvy out your kapers anyway you choose. Don't be overwhelmed by the task, rather find something that works. Maybe you start with popsicle sticks in a can and make it a troop activity to make a "pretty kaper chart". 


If you want more ideas about types of kapers and ways to divvy them out, this is a great resource: http://www.leaderlobby.net/tools/kaper_charts.php#

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

1960s Windows to the Past

August 2012 is the 1960s decade for Windows to the Past. Here is a link to all the packets, including the one for 1960.

I tweaked what we will do a little from the packet, because well... that's how I roll and you have to remember to build in flexibility with any badge or patch you are working on. Make sure they get something from it, but make sure they like what they are doing so they get something from it!

For 1960s... here are our activities



1960s snack: Individual Pizzas
Ingredients:
4 English Muffins
pizza sauce
pepperoni
1 cup grated American cheese

Preheat broiler about 5 minutes. Split muffins, toast cut sides and spread with combined chili sauce and seasonings. Sprinkle sausage over tops; then sprinkle cheese. Place under broiler and broil until cheese is bubbly. 4 Servings.
  • Name Game
  • Uniform Design
    • I gave the girls a piece of cardstock and asked them to draw a GS uniform that they like. It could represent the 60s or it could represent what they would like to have now. After they completed these, I had them tell me 3 features of their outfit and why they chose to incorporate those. 
  • Sharpie Tie-dye bandanas - We did 3 cups at a time, then let the first set dry while we learned
  • The Twist: Yep... that would be the crazy girls dancing to The Twist
  • 3 more Sharpie bandana circles
  • The Mashed Potato
  • SWAP: Peace sign out pipe cleaner and ribbon (so it's not a "true" peace sign and more of a mercedes emblem. Ha!)
Supplies: 2 green pipe cleaners cut to about 4" long, 6" ribbons, coiless safety pin
    • Instructions for SWAP:
      • Using one of the pipe cleaners, form a circle and twist the ends around to secure.
      • Fold the other pipe cleaner in 1/2 and place over the circle. Twist 2-3 times and then spread the legs to form the bottom "v". 
      • Twist the ends around the circle to secure. 
      • Open safety pin and thread on the ribbon in a ribbon candy motion. When it's all the way on, push it around to the opposite side of the pin (the one that doesn't open)
      • Slip on the peace sign and close your pin.
  • The girls chose to either do the SWAP or another round of the bandanas while I spoke with parents about the year. 





Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chill Out: Neck Coolers

It seems like a lifetime ago, but really it was 3 weeks... I help with our Service Unit Twilight Camp, along with about 50 other wonderful, amazing volunteers. The lady that coordinates the event just really has it down to a science. I stand in awe of her organizational skills. Anyway.... we have a day camp the first week of August each year for the girls and it is normally.... well.... hot. The event is spectacular and I love helping with it. I do songs.. la la la la... and have been given the title Song Lady by many girls.

Last year, it was hot. This year, it was going to be hot and I decided to take action and discover a way to connect with my inner coolness. I also decided we were not going to be marching and acting out 10 verses to the Ants go Marching. Ha. So, I did what any leader of 2012 would do... I hopped on Pinterest. I have great pinners that I follow and one amazing pinner pinned an item to solve my heated situation. A neck cooler... with water beads... that ties and is adorable...


It just so happened that I have been collecting Girl Scout fabric for a quilt for the girl's room and these take so little fabric, that we decided to use it for our neck coolers. Notice I said "we". Yep. This is a very simple sewing project and the girl (age 9) is the one that did a majority of the sewing. I did cut the strips, because I used the rotary cutter for a fast cut and I did fill the pockets with the water beads for her. But, the stitching was all her.

I used this blogger's tutorial: http://littlebirdiesecrets.blogspot.com/2010/07/how-to-sew-neck-cooler.html She has pictures and stuff. I will give you the basic rundown, but if you want pictures, please click.

Supplies

  • fabric measuring 4'x36" for adults 3 1/2"x36" for kids (I used 4" for all... my "kid" is almost 10 and 5'2")
  • DRY water beads (don't get the ones already plumped up and try to get them in there... h.e.a.d.a.c.h.e!)
  • coordinating thread (or contrasting if that's how you roll)
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • scissors
  • ruler

Directions:

  1. Cut fabric to appropriate length and width based on measurements given above. 
  2. Fold in half with right sides of material together, so you have a long strip 2"x 36" (1 3/4"x36" for kids). Pin in place.
  3. Sew 1/4" seam the length of strip and turn out. (This is the fun part...)
  4. Fold your tube in half widthwise to find the middle. Mark it and sew across width-wise.
  5. At this point, I measured and marked with a chalk pencil where my other sewing lines would be. Measure out from the middle 4" and mark on each side of the seam. Measure out 8" from the middle seam and mark in both directions. You will end up with 4 more lines for sewing and 4 pockets that will contain the water beads. 
  6. Measure and dump into the tube on one side of the middle seam 1/4" teaspoon water beads (you are going both ways, so it doesn't matter which you do first, just not both or you'll spill them! and DON'T decide to toss in an extra amount of beads unless you adjust the length of your pocket. Really 1/4" teaspoon is ALL you need.). Work the beads all the way down and then sew the seam you marked in step 5 to seal them in. No one wants beads going wild... keep them under control.
  7. Repeat 6 for the remaining 3 pocket areas. 
  8. Turn in the ends of the tube on each end and stitch shut for a finished look. 

The day or night before you want to use them:

  1. Soak in a bowl of room temperature water for about 20 minutes. Cold water is slow. 
  2. Squish the beads around to disperse evenly in pockets. 
  3. Soak for another 20 minutes.
  4. Dump the water out and store in the refrigerator to chill. DO NOT FREEZE!
  5. Tie on your neck and you will be chillin'. 


Here are a few tricks we did that helped us out, too.

  • I purchased my dry water beads at Wal-Mart for about $4 and one bag did 7 neck coolers. I didn't shop around, because I just wanted to get them and do the project. 
  • I did soak them in the water until plump. Then, I stored them in the refrigerator in a large bowl (no lid). She said a plate, but I wanted them contained. 
  • For camp, we each had two. I used a gallon ziploc and tossed in a coolie pack (you know those frozen ice packs for lunches) and stored the one that wasn't on my neck in the ziploc bag in my backpack. Then, throughout each day at camp I would just switch when the one on my neck was no longer cool enough for me. You do NOT want to freeze them, but the ice pack wasn't powerful enough to do any damage, yet it was great to keep the extra cool for me when I wanted it. 
  • The girl discovered that placing it on your forehead really helps cool you down, as well. 
  • They take about 2 weeks to totally dry out and then can be stored flat until the next time you need them. 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Windows To The Past

If you didn't know, 2012 is the 100th birthday of Girl Scouts (and Oreos). There are lots of things going on to celebrate this amazing Year of the Girl!

Our Council worked with another (Heart of Michigan, I believe) to allow us to participate in a program they started, Windows to the Past Program. It's pretty cool and something that is more significant this year than it will be in any other. But, there are a lot of ideas in these packets for filler activities and extra things to do with your girls. 

The idea behind Windows to the Past is that each month during the 100th birthday of Girl Scouts, you can do activities from that decade. The girls earn their decade bar by completing the activities. So far, our troop has earned 1910-1940 and three of the girls earning 1950 at Twilight Camp. 

I have been trying to figure out what to do at our first meeting this year and it just hit me... I'll do the 1960s! Aterall... that's what decade we are in for August 2012. 

If you'd like to check out the program, I have links to all the packets below. If you need ideas... I will be posting what we have done for each decade. 



Here are the links to the packets and the months they were (or will be) released.

March 2012: 1910s
April 2012: 1920s
May 2012: 1930s
June 2012: 1940s
July 2012: 1950s
August 2012: 1960s
September 2012: 1970s
October 2012: 1980s
November 2012: 1990s
December 2012: 2000s
January 2013: 2010s


Friday, August 17, 2012

Game: Washcloth Toss

It's nice to always have a game that you can change up in your bag of tricks (or tote of treasures, as in my case). This is a rather simple game and you could switch up the washcloths with Nerf balls or beach balls or whatever you like... just something light that won't hurt if you get hit with it!

Prep Work: Find 3 washcloths. Fold them in half and then roll them up. You can tie with a ribbon or string. I didn't sew mine and that has come in handy a couple times when we needed a washcloth at a troop meeting for cleaning something up. Multi-purpose item there! You could also use bandanas.

The Game:

  1. Have the girls stand in a circle. Make sure there is space between them. I usually have them put their arms out straight and say "If you can touch the person next to you, you are too close." Adjust spacing, if needed.
  2. Start by tossing a rolled up washcloth to the girl across the circle. Tell the girls they must remember who they are catching from and  tossing to. 
  3. She tosses to the someone different across the circle from her and repeat until all the girls have thrown and caught. 
  4. The last person to catch tosses back to the starting person. 
  5. Repeat the tossing/catching pattern around the circle, getting a little faster each time.
  6. When you have one washcloth tossing pattern down, add in a 2nd. You use the same pattern for tossing and catching (unless you really want to get complicated and have 2 different patterns going). 
  7. When you get 2 washcloths going well... toss in a 3rd. We haven't went past 3, because at that point it gets a little hectic. You use the same pattern, but stagger them so no one gets two at the same time. 
Notes: 
This game normally ends up in all my girls giggling. It's a great team building activity. Bonding through play is always a good thing. It's also a great hand-eye coordination game.

This game will work for odd or even number of girls, which is very helpful when you have a troop and need a game everyone can play no matter what. You may have to adjust a little with an odd number, but you can play and it works. Been there, done that. 

Rules:
We had to establish a few rules, because well... girls are girls... 
  1. The object of the game is to make sure the person you are tossing to is able to catch it. So, no overhead throws or throwing out to the side where they have to run and get it. It messes up the whole pattern. 
  2. You can only have one washcloth in your hands at a time, so catch and release quickly. 
  3. Make sure everyone gets to catch and toss or else it's no fun!
Variations:
  • Use a beach ball or nerf balls
  • Do the alphabet game with it. Pick a theme and go through. Ex. Theme: Foods. The girl tossing has to say "A apple;", then tosses. The next girl "B banana". and so on. This will slow it down and I would only do one washcloth. 
  • Name Game... say the name of the person you are tossing to
  • Share a favorite... say something you like when tossing (ties in with Agent of Change Journey)
  • whatever you come up with... or even better... let the girls think of a way to change it. 
Note: I keep three rolled up washcloths in my tote that are tied with ribbon. They are three different colors, because that is what I had. This way anytime we need to get the jitters out or need something to fill some time, I have something for them to do. The girls love the game. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back To School and Back To Scouts!!

I know that there are amazing leaders out there that continue having events and troop meetings throughout the Summer months. I am not one of those leaders. I need a break, too. If you are in the same boat as me don't feel guilty about it. You are entitled to a few months off.

But, It's BACK TO SCHOOL week in Columbia, MO this week. It's also Back To Scouts month in my world. Our first troop meeting is August 28th. I thought I would share what I try to do with our first meeting of the year.

Get the paperwork out of the way!
I email my parents the blank forms to fill out. I require they complete the following:

  1. Health History Form
  2. Girl/Parent Information Sheet (this has address, contact, family information)
  3. School Permission slip (this is for the school office. I deliver it with a copy of our schedule for the year)

They get from me:

  1. Meeting schedule for the year
  2. Sheet of level badges (Girl Scouts has this on their website. It's very helpful!)
  3. Sheet outlining basic goals for the year (journey book information, badges, service projects, etc.) 
  4. I try to do a little gift of some sort, too. Stay tuned... I hope to post this year's version soon.
First meeting stuff to do
There is some preparing you need to do before the first meeting of the year. Try to set aside a day or two to look over everything and get things together. 

  1. Take Inventory & Stock Up: If this isn't your first year, you most likely have a craft supply area from leftovers from the past year. Go through it and determine what you can use and when. If not, think about the basics you will need and take advantage of back to school sales! I picked up crayons, paints, rulers, glue, glue sticks, markers, colored pencils, pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. on back to school days and saved a ton. Plus, I had a lot of stuff to start with and could grab and pull from the stash.
  2. Review the materials you are starting with. I had my girls tell me last year what they wanted to start with and our first meeting will launch us into the Agent of Change journey. Wish me luck!
  3. Kaper chart (I have a basic chart done, but then discuss with the girls what they think should be the jobs to rotate)
  4. Song books (I print copies of each song, put them in page protectors and into cheap plastic folders for each meeting)
  5. Meeting plan (Don't EVER go to a meeting without some sort of a plan. You will forever regret it! I'm sure with older girls you could have a more relaxed schedule, but my experience with the younger girls is that no plan = chaos.)
  6. Filler Activities (Just in case your first meeting isn't full enough, you can always play Twister, do a drawing, play washcloth toss, jump rope, or something. Be sure you have some stuff with you to fill in the dead space)
  7. Have fun!!!!! The one piece of advice I will pass along that we tend to forget is this... when you run out of ideas, talk to the girls. Ask them what they want to do. Find out what they are interested in. Flip through the badges with them and see if one stands out as something they want to do. Don't schedule so strictly that you can't decide to just paint for the entire meeting if the girls are in to it. Remember to do the activities with them. If they see you are willing to do it, then they will too.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Recycled CD Tops

If you are just starting out or a long time veteran Girl Scout leader, you know that having little extra projects for the girls to fill in some time is a good thing... no matter how you spin it (pun intended!). 

This is a little craft a representative from our Council brought to one of our Service Team meetings. I had actually made one with her at a Learn 2 Lead event (also held by our Council) the Fall before. 

Our troop made these at one of our troop sleepovers and the girls had a great time with racing and discussing what made them spin longer and faster. 


All you need is:
* CD (old, recycled)
* marble
* paper for labeling (optional) (template)
* markers for the label
* elmer's glue for the label

* soda bottle cap
* hot glue gun

Steps:

  1. Print out the template and color as desired. This is optional. You don't HAVE to put pretty colors on there, but having the girls trying the different patterns and seeing what happens when the colors spin is a great discussion, too. 
  2. Glue the label to the CD
  3. Using hot glue (adult supervision or just do it for the younger girls, please!), glue a marble to the bottom of the CD in the center hole. Make sure there is enough glue to hold it. Allow to dry. Hot glue is fast... I'd say 30 seconds will suffice.
  4. Using hot glue (same as above, be smart not burnt!), glue the bottle cap to the top of the CD. This is your spinner. Allow to dry (30 seconds, maybe)
  5. Give it a spin!
Here is a little video I did of the top spinning, so you can see it really works! My surface wasn't really level, but it still works well and goes for quite a while. 



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Brownie Badge: Letterboxing

My stepdaughter fell in love with letterboxing after a Council event she attended. They were able to make their own stamps, find a couple letterboxes, and learn all about this amazing grown up hide-n-seek game played all over the world!

Our troop did the "World of Girls" Journey and Letterboxing was one of the additional activities badges you can earn. I explained the basics to the girls and they unanimously decided they wanted to earn this badge.

For the activities, I used the same stamp carving procedure they did at the Council event. It may sound scary, but after reminding the girls about 500 times to always cut AWAY from your fingers I'm happy to report no injuries in the making of this letterboxing adventure.



Letterboxing #1 - Get started with letterboxing
I went online and found some basic Letterboxing terms and had the girls match them up. They also had an extra copy to put in their log book. We used 2 pieces of chipboard for the front and back covers and lots of blank cardstock cut to size for the interior pages. I had the books together for the most part and the girls simply decorated the front covers, inserted their dictionary terms, and made sure to put their name on the book. I kept the journals until after our field trip, because otherwise they would be sure to forget them.

I really lucked out, because Michael's had chipboard albums in their $1 bins at 60% off, so I ended up getting the chipboard for the albums for very cheap. There were 5 pieces in each, so 2 packs for a grand total of 80 cents made 5 journals, plus cardstock. I watch the sales and grab packs of cardstock at JoAnn's when it's $1.99 for 50 sheets. Very economical that way.


Letterboxing #2 - Practice solving clues - fill in the blank clue
The second activity we did was solving and making clues. I had come up with a few things the girls had to solve. Some were just logic and others they had to find something to get the clue. After they solved a few clues I had put together, they came up with their own and took turns sharing and allowing the other girls to solve it. They learned about how hard it is to write clues for others to interpret and depending on how precise you are it will make it harder or easier.



Letterboxing #3: Find your own stamp - Make stamps with rubber erasers
This is how the lady coordinating the Council event introduced the group to stamp carving. She was gracious enough to loan our troop her tools and we did the same thing.

You buy the pink erasers and use a linocutter to carve the design. I reminded the girls to cut away from themselves. A couple other things to keep in mind

  • Draw the design FIRST with a pencil. If you mess up, simply turn the eraser over and rub the pencil off. A couple of the girls were amazed by this and redid their design a few times, because they liked rubbing the pencil markings off. Ha!
  • The design will be reversed when stamping, so letters have to be backwards. Start at the right with backwards letters. This was a little confusing to the girls, so I had a couple samples to explain by showing.
  • Linocutters are SHARP. Always cut away from your hands/fingers/etc.
  • Depending on the depth of the carving, you can add texture and such to your design. 


Letterboxing #4: Search for a letterbox 
We are fortunate enough to have several letterboxes close in our area. So, one of our troop meetings was a field trip to the local park. We followed clues and found a letterbox. We learned that sometimes it's harder than you think. In hindsight, I would suggest going before your troop and finding it, so you don't spend 30 minutes searching an area with kids looking for a letterbox.

To find letterboxes in your area, check out this site: http://www.letterboxing.org/



Letterboxing #5: Make a letterbox
This was the final step in earning our badge. The girls voted on our stamp design and voted I should find it. Ha! I actually ended up making a lightning bolt stamp to symbolize our troop crest.

We got a container, log book, stamp, ziploc baggie, and information on gaining permission from the city to hide the letterbox. We have not placed our letterbox, yet, because my Summer got away from me. As soon as we place it, I'll update you and you can search for it.

Hope this helps. It wasn't too bad of a badge to earn and the girls loved the activities.