Monday, March 31, 2014

Junior Badge: Entertainment Technology

I'm a computer progammer, web developer, project manager by day... for those that were unaware of my nerdy geeky techie-ness. So, I will admit that I embrace technology and welcome it into my world and life. I don't try to live in a bubble and pretend my girls aren't living in the virtual world either.

This badge focuses on that and really helped the girls see what all entertainment technology could do for them. There are so many great careers that could be obtained. If any of them go into game design or engineering roller coasters, I'm totally taking the credit because of this badge!

We split the girls up into two groups for most of the badge. My assistant leaders ran one station and I ran one. 

Entertainment Technology 1: Animate your own artwork: Play around with stop-action
I brought in a lump of Sculpey clay, the camera, and several pieces of white cardstock. The girls were instructed they needed to build a "light box", come up with something to animate, sculpt it out of clay and take at least 10 photos of their item "moving". They did great. After they were done, I put the photos together into an animated gif and showed them the result. We talked about what to do differently to make it better next time and the importance of having the camera in the same spot for each location. They suggested the use of a tabletop tri-pod would have helped. I agree and thought of that after the fact. 

Entertainment Technology 2: Talk to a developer!
This is sort of hard to do sometimes... to find someone to come in and talk. So, I followed the lead of wiser and experienced Leaders and thought... why not use Entertainment Technology to fulfill this! I found an interview of the guy that built MineCraft and had the girls review it. They were into MineCraft (I'm so hip!), so I knew it would be interesting to them. Plus, it showed the unexpected growth of what the developer didn't think would be such a huge gamer base. Proving the point you just never know when an idea is going to hit big!

This is the interview I used, ( because it talked about how he got into programming and such, too. There are several different interviews, including video, that he has done. So, if you want to go the Minecraft route, just Google Minecraft interview with Notch (that's his nickname).

Entertainment Technology 3: Catapult some stuff
Who doesn't love launching something across the room with encouragement and permission from the adults!!! I found this great plan at the link below and gave the supplies and instructions to the girls. We didn't help them much. They had to build it and work together to make it better, etc. They had races and contests and took them outside. It was a great time and one of their favorite activities done at a troop meeting.

We also built rollercoasters online:

Entertainment Technology 4: Create your own Special effects 
I tweaked this one a bit. The girls LOVE taking "selfies" with their iPods and phones and such. So, I downloaded the Lab app, paid the $1.99 for the "Pro" version to get rid of ads and let them take selfies with my phone, play with the app, create special effects, etc. I was actually surprised how wide of a range we had with our group when it came to technology experience. I had a couple girls that had never used an app like this and others that were showing me things after seeing it for the first time! It was fun and an easy way to bring technology into something they liked doing to begin with.

Entertainment Technology 5: Experiment with acoustics 
We took a stroll for this. I had the girls choose the song, the places around our meeting place, and keep track of their findings. We were in the bathroom, the hall, a vestibule with high ceilings, against a concrete wall, between cars, etc.They cupped their ears and listened again. Just taking the time to think about sound and how different places react to the sound waves helped them understand why certain activities are better inside or outside.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What have you done lately?

I have received a few emails lately asking if I'm still doing Girl Scouts and just checking in to see if I'm okay. That's what I love about Girl Scouts. No matter where we are from or if we've ever met, we are sisters. I have met so many wonderful friends through Girl Scouts. It really is my "smile" spot in my life.

Yes! I'm still around. Just very busy with a Junior troop that isn't always a bed of roses. We have some "drama" with a Bronze project right now that I've really been avoiding, to be honest. I have had to think about how to work it out and deal with it for a while now. I'm still not sure the best route and I don't think there really is one. There is only the path you choose to take and you hope for the best.

Yes! I'm okay. This is a very busy time of year with cookies, events, and troop activities. So, I'm trying to manage my time and unfortunately the blog isn't the highest on the list. Then add in some health concerns with my Dad and you have the makings of one very tired person.

So... I will start back soon, I promise. In the meantime, I'll let you know what we've done this semester:
January - cancelled the cookie kick off and both troop meetings because of snow!!! BUT, we had a sleepover and did the Get Moving journey (yes, check that out.. i added that post a couple days ago!).

February - cookies... enough said... no, we had a cookie booth, cancelled a meeting for snow, tearfully said goodbye to a girl that I've had from the beginning because she moved to another state, and earned the Global Action and Cookie Activity pin

March - one meeting with drama Bronze discussion; 2nd cancelled because I was sick.

BUT... this is the plan for the rest of the year

  • Snooze at the Zoo this weekend
  • Social Butterfly
  • Inside Government
  • Independence?
  • Safety Award
  • Customer Insights
  • Junior Aide/Bridge to Cadette at an overnight event with our Service Unit (which I'm coordinating....)
The first semester this year, we earned:
  • First Aid
  • Gardener
  • Entertainment Technology
  • Musician
  • Product Designer
We don't do meetings during the Summer and to be honest... at this point in the year, I'm more than ready for a break. Next year... we'll be Cadettes... crazy!!!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Get Moving Journey as a Sleepover

UPDATE 10/26/15: 
I have had several people request a link to my spider video... I would skip to 2:20 for better focus, though the first part shows her spinning her web around the wasp.

Our troop has now officially had the opportunity to complete all three Junior Level Journeys... yes, we are that crazy. No, really, the girls are motivated. They really wanted the Journey Summit pin and there were a couple girls that needed to do a Journey in order to do their Bronze. 

So... I sat and looked through the Journey book and read the overview and went over it again and again. I couldn't find a plan like I found for aMuse, so I decided to come up with my own. How hard could it be, right? Ha! It did take a bit of time. Not going to lie... but, it was worth it. 

This is how we broke down our days. We did an overnight. Before the times you see, we did drive to the program center, unpack, get our stuff situated, etc. But, as far the Journey, this is how it went down. 


Sunday:6:30-9:30PM Complete Session 1 - 3
9:30PM Night Routine
9:30-11:00PM Movie and Finish up any unfinished crafts
11:00PM Lights Out

Monday: 8:00-8:30AM Morning Routine
8:30-9:30AM Breakfast (cereal, fruit)
9:30-12Noon Session 4 & 5/6
12-1PM Lunch (soup and sandwich, fruit/cookies)
1PM-4:00PM Session 7-11
4:00-4:30PM Pack up and Clean

I want to stress that I had FOUR girls and THREE adults doing this. The PDF  (link below) will show that we set it up as three stations and had the girls rotate through. As they did one activity, the other two stations were cleaned up and set up for the next activity. It worked well. Some of the activities took more time and others less. The times reflected are estimates. Don't think you are going to go to the minute... you won't. But, it gives you a basic idea of how to get it done.

No tricks, no joke, no triple clicking to who knows where... just a link to the PDF at Google Docs. 
It's a public link, so it should be a simple click and get operation. 
Let me know if you use it and if it works for your group.