I have found with the older girls (Cadette and up), you have to become creative with activities for them in order to maintain their enthusiasm for Girl Scouts. The badges in their Girl's Guide can get a little boring. I'm not saying they aren't important... but, to the girls... they seem more like school and less like the fun memories they have formed with Girl Scouts over the year. My group of girls also would rather do something hands on than pencils up.
SO... I look around and join groups on Facebook and I'm constantly on the lookout for "fun stuff". I have found many fun activities through Artistry to Stitch About (A Facebook group who is remaking some old IPs and coming up with new ones to tie in with the latest/greatest movies and books the girls are reading).
We recently worked on the Cake Decorating IP (btw: IP means Interest Project. It's part of an old badge system Girl Scouts had for CSAs (Cadette, Senior, Ambassador)).
In order to earn an IP, you complete 8 requirements. There were more than that to choose from, but this is what we did. Our Council is cool with the girls wearing this badge on the front of their vest, but other Councils may insist they wear it on the back. I leave that to you. I would also say, you don't necessarily have to have the IP/badge/patch to have the fun. I know, I know... badges are bling and bling is everything... but, seriously... sometimes having fun to keep girls interested with or without the patch to prove it can be just as great.
Our meetings are basically 2 1/2 hours long. Keep that in mind. We are also blessed to meet in the FACS room at their Middle School, so we have access to a kitchen.
To save a little time, my co-leader baked a batch of cupcakes prior to the meeting and brought those in with her. That way, while the girls were baking the other batch of cupcakes, we could decorate the first.
Learn how to make designs with tips
This one was the most fun for me. My Mom sold wedding cakes for over 30 years. i grew up in a house where if you wanted to play with icing, that was easy. She showed me so much and I loved being able to pass that along to the girls.
We used an applicator, not a pastry bag. But, pastry bags are good for large groups. Ziplocs work, but I tend to shove my fingernail through it. Anyway, we used a star tip, piping tip, and border tip. I showed the girls how to make easy flowers ,the traditional cupcake swirl, and a basket weave. I hope they enjoyed it half as much as I did.
Use two different toppings to decorateSupplies: sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, store bought icing, buttercream icing recipe and ingredients
This was fun. The girls had sprinkles, colored sugar, and crushed shortbreads to choose from. They loved the "trick" I showed them on how to get a lot of sprinkles on your cupcake, too. Frost the cupcake, invert it into a bowl of sprinkles and lightly press..voila. TONS OF SPRINKLES!
Decorate a cupcake using GS cookiesSupplies: Shortbreads
We crushed the shortbreads and used them as a "sprinkle". Easy peasy.
Decorate Cupcakes using a theme or holiday design (Valentine’s)Supplies: Valentine paper, red food coloring
It was close to Valentine's Day, so that was the holiday we went with. Obviously, choose a holiday close to the time you are doing this...or not. The girls tinted some of the frosting pink and used Valentine themed paper to work on their cupcake picks.
Decorate cupcake wrapper, holder, or pickSupplies: cardstock, glue, toothpicks, punches
I took in punches and Valentine paper. The girls punched out shapes and made the cutest little toppers ever. I was quite impressed.
Decorate cake on paperSupplies: paper, pencils, colored pencils
This is self-explanatory, right? Give the girls paper and pencils and something to color with. Let them design their own cake on paper.
Try two different flavors of cakeSupplies: Cherry Chip and Vanilla (liners, mix, read box for needs)
My co-leader baked the vanilla cupcakes and brought them with her. The girls baked the cherry chip. It was a struggle, but we muddled through and ate 2 cupcakes. Okay, okay... I know we could have cut them apart and taken little bites of each, but that doesn't make as great of a memory. It's okay to eat 2 cupcakes sometimes.
Make or decorate cupcakes for bake sale, scouting event, bake offSupplies: foil pans for putting cupcakes in to deliver cupcakes to play practice or teacher’s lounge
We tweaked this slightly. We decided the teacher's at the school could use a cupcake. So, we left them in the lounge for them to find the next day. Hopefully they still looked okay overnight. I'm sure they tasted delightful.