Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Service Unit Event: Teddy Bear Sleepover

This post is a little different, as it isn't something we do as a troop meeting. It's a Service Unit level event. I am adding it because I love the idea of collaboration and sharing things that work with others. I don't see it as stealing the idea, but rather a compliment that someone else feels our idea is good enough to use.

I coordinated the Teddy Bear Sleepover event this year for our Service Unit. This event is for 3rd grade Brownies bridging to Juniors. It helps them complete most of the requirements for Bridging AND they earn the Junior level Junior Girl Scout Ways.

Juniors and up volunteer to help at the event. My girls attended as Brownies last year and were quick to jump at the chance to help run the event this year.

I'll give you a breakdown of stations and how they tie in to Bridging Brownies and the Junior Girl Scouts Ways badge. Both Brownies and Juniors earn this badge.

Pre-Start Station (Fulfills Junior GS Ways: Spread the friendship of GS): 

Each girl brought Teddy Bear for donation. They were disbursed to the police department, Ronald McDonald House, Rainbow House, and True North. To make it more personal, the girl named their bear and wrote it on a bookmark tag that had a poem about teddy bears. They then tied on a patch from a previous year and tied it around the teddy bears neck.

The girls also made SWAPs to keep out of puzzle pieces and googly eyes. They were super cute. The SWAPs are a tradition from the past, too, for Junior GS Ways.
Poem on tags: 
A teddy bear is a furry friendwhose love and support never end;keeps your secrets, never liesfriendly, fuzzy, cozy, wise.Tell it your secretsit'll keep them wellyou don't have to worry,it won't ever tell.Whenever you need oneit will always be therethe same old teddy bearwith the same old stareready to listen, ready to care.Hello, my name is
 _______________________May I be your teddy bear?

Photo Station: 

After they got their bears done, they headed to the photo booth for groups photos with all sort of props. I made mustaches out of felt, bought over sized glasses and leis, etc. at the $ Tree. For a backdrop, I used plastic tablecloths and folded them over rope to hang on the wall.. much prettier than a plain white wall. My amazing husband came to take photos of the groups and I'm so glad he did, as there is no way I could have done that and checked people in and all the other running around I did. 

Songs Station: (Pick Songs for an Occasion for Junior GS Ways)

The girls were quizzed on what was appropriate and what wasn't for the event. They then chose 3 songs to sing together. We did this all together right after Opening Ceremony in a large circle. It was fun and we even coaxed the Leaders to join in. I love my adults, but sometimes they are the hardest to convince to set a great example and "just join in."

Craft Station: 

For Teddy Bear Sleepover (TBS) I ordered pillowcases from They have alot of great designs. They were a little pricey and I probably won't do that next year, because of the budget. But, the girls loves them. Caution: The markers they sell are AMAZING, but stinky. The girls and adults helping in that area needed more ventilation. 

Skits & Power Posters: (Read the GS Story for Junior GS Ways)

My girls actually led this station. They read the story to the Brownies and then quizzed them, because the first group wasn't paying attention and they had to come up with a skit to act out based on the story... so, they took it upon themselves to quiz the Brownies after that. HA!

They also made Power Posters with words that describe the powers you gain as Girl Scouts. My favorite was "So much better than Boy Scouts!" Ha! Gotta have that Girl Scout pride. 

Each group presented their posters and acted out their skits later in the evening for the rest of the group. 

Games: (Learn a Tradition from the Past for Junior GS Ways)

The girls were told "back in the day" there weren't electronics to entertain, so kids played outside games with whatever they could find. One of the games they played was Washcloth Toss. They also did a Relay Race to put together a Junior uniform on a bear and a Bronze Award puzzle. If they had time, they also did a Hula Hoop Relay around a circle. 

To finish up the Junior GS Ways badge, everyone did something to help clean up either at night or in the morning. Everyone was assigned a kaper and we did leave the place cleaner than we found it. 

In order to do some of the Bridging requirements, Brownies were able to interview a Junior Troop about what they like the most and what being a Junior Girl Scout is all about. The same troop had just finished up their Bronze, so they were  interviewed about that, too. It was impressive to hear the questions the girls had for the older girls. 

As far the schedule for the night, this is what worked for us. I had three Junior and Cadette Troops that led the three stations (Crafts, Games, Skits) and the Brownies rotated through them. I had 40 Brownies, so it was a small event for our Service Unit, but if you have more girls then you could make the Songs, Interview, and Opening Craft a station or double up stations to make your groups smaller to rotate through.  

For the most past, we stayed "on time". We had some issues with the music for the dance party (because I couldn't find the speaker on my laptop.... ), so that went a little longer than planned. Tangled was over about 12:30am. 

5:45-6:15pm: Volunteers arrive to get set up
6:15-6:30pm: Check In & Bear drop-off
6:30-7pm: Settling; Photo Booth and Bookmarks
7-7:15pm: Opening Ceremony and Overview
7:15-7:30pm: Singing
7:30-8:00pm: Station 1
8:00-8:30pm: Station 2
8:30-9:00pm: Station 3
9:00-9:15pm: Interview a Junior troop
9:15-9:35pm: Pizza snack
9:35-10:00pm: Group Skit & Poster Presentation
10-10:15pm: Dance Party
10:15-10:30pm : Night Routine
10:30-Midnight : Tangled
Midnight: Lights out
12:00-6:00am: Sleep
6:00-6:30am: Older girls wake up to prepare for breakfast
6:30-7:00am: Wake up/Morning Routine
7-7:30am: Breakfast
7:30-8am: Clean up and Troops Leave

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