Exciting Changes & Announcements!

I've been as busy as a holiday elf working on changes and additions to iamstrawjenberry (formerly iamgirlscouts). After a year of trying to navigate the Teachers Pay Teachers site, I'm still finding it counter-intuitive and not super user-friendly. Plenty of people love it, it just wasn't working for little old me. As a result I've decided to open a store on Etsy.  In doing so I've added custom items as well as brand new items to both shops. Some of the items are the same, some are a bit different.  TpT removed the ability to customize items and email them, so I'm mainly doing customized orders through Etsy now. You can also email me.

*OK I'm going to get real for a minute* so skip this paragraph if you are just too excited and want to see what's to come.  Here goes:  I'm in the middle of an amicable divorce, but it is a divorce nonetheless and after 25 years it's a huge adjustment to uncouple. Add to that three kids and a dog and you can probably imagine how uprooted our life feels at the moment.  This has sidelined a lot of the plans I had for my site last spring.  I feel the most regret about not getting the leader planner done.  Prior to us separating, I took a promotion at my job and went back to school for graphic design.  These are all good things!  I had to step back from the blog a bit for in-real-life stuff.  Now that things are settling down, I'm hoping to add new resources monthly.  If you've read this far, thank you for reading :)

Now for the good stuff! The leader planner is almost done and it's my intention to release it in early December.  I've created Ambassador and Senior web graphics and both are now available.  I've also added custom logo and t-shirt design options.  So if you've been wanting a custom item, now is the time to ask!

I hope you all find the transition to be seamless and smooth.  I'm so excited that all the work I've put in on the back end is now coming to fruition.  I hope you'll visit my new store and take a look around! And don't forget that all the freebies are now available right here on the blog or on Teachers Pay Teachers.


GSUSA Announces the New Outdoor Badges!

Excerpt from GSUSA Email News:

Girl Scouts cast more than 80,000 votes throughout the "Girls' Choice" process—which marked the first time ever that girls across our Movement were invited to vote directly on a Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) badge series. After choosing "Outdoor Explorer" from a range of outdoor themes, they voted on the type of activities to be linked with each badge, followed by the physical designs.

The winning badges are:

Brownie - Outdoor Adventurer. Girls have a choice of outdoor activities, including wading in a creek, bike riding, and developing a camping skill.

Junior - Horseback Riding

Cadette - Archery

Senior - Paddling. Girls can canoe, kayak, or paddle board.

Ambassador - Ultimate Recreation Challenge. Girls have a choice of five outdoor challenges, including rock climbing, ziplining, and waterskiing.

Here's a link to the announcement: Blog post

That's all the information I can find right now! If you have any info to pass along, please contact me.

Freebies: 2015 Tags and a Trefoil Line!

I love my iamstrawjenberry (formerly iamgirlscouts) peeps!  I'm working on all of your suggestions for resources, so keep them coming.  First, I updated the gift tag for 2015.  To make it fancy, simply mount it on a couple of layers of scrapbook paper and punch a hole in the top.  Voila!  You can add it to bridging gifts, cookie incentives or end of the year treats. To see how I used them in 2014, go here. The tags are updated yearly!

Download the tags for the current year here.

Another suggestion, from another awesome reader, was to create a horizontal line or divider that can be used on the web and in printable materials.  You an download the line here, or simply right click the graphic above and save to your computer.

I hope these items help you create lovely and cute tools for your troops!

It's Here! The aMUSE in a Day Journey Guide

I created this guide after completing the aMUSE Journey in a Day with my 4th grade juniors.  It is designed to assist your efforts to complete this journey in a day, weekend or sleepover. You will want to personalize it based on what products and resources you have on hand or that you can find in your area, as well as what your girls core interests are, logistics, etc.

I started out with completely different ideas. Once I went shopping and did the foot work, some ideas changed.  With others I used the original idea but executed it differently. There were also times when I changed the order of tasks, especially when the girls needed a break. If you get stuck or have any questions, feel free to reach out to me and I will do my best to help you. Good luck!  You can download the ebook here.

aMUSE in a Day Outline & Photo Album

The iamgirlscouts "Comprehensive Guide to Completing the aMUSE Journey in a Day" has been completed.  Whoop! This post is the accompanying photo album. My photography skills are not so great (next on my list of skill building tasks!) are mediocre at best.  For that reason I didn't want to include photos in the e-book.  Hopefully they will give you a visual of the day and help you come up with ideas.

Journey Outline

A. Reach Out
  1.   A Flurry of Roles
  2.   Team Prop Box
  3.   Take the Stage
  4.   Role Models
  5.   Logs and Leaders
  6.   Breaking the Mold
  7.   Role Play Switcharoo
  8.   Planning the Team "Callbacks"
  9.   Ads Assume

B. Speak Out
  1.   First, the Stereotype
  2.   Next, the Storyline
  3.   Our Muse, Your Project
  4.   aMUSE-ing Snack & Motion
  5.   What's My Role?
  6.   Sharing Our Accessories
C. Try Out
  1.   Mirror, Mirror
  2.   The "Callback"
  3.   Showtime!
  4.   Awards Presentation & Closing

Photo Gallery

A. Reach Out

i.  A Flurry of Roles

ii.  Team Prop Box

iii.  Take the Stage 

iv.  Role Models

v.  Logs & Leaders

vi.  Breaking the Mold


vii.  Role-Play Switcheroo 

viii.  Planning the Team "Callback" 

ix.  Ads Assume... 

B.  Speak Out

i.  First, the Stereotype

ii. Next, the Storyline

iii.  Your Art, Your Part

iv.  aMUSE-ing Snack & Motion

v.  The Role of a Lifetime

vi.  Sharing our Accessorie

C.  Try Out

i.  Mirror, Mirror

ii.  The "Callback"

iii.  Showtime!

iv.  Awards Presentation & Closing


Don't feel like you need to create the journey activities from scratch!  So many resources are out there to help you lead the journey.  You can do it!  Take on this role :)

Mirror Game [pdf], Character cards, Power Word Pennants [pdf], Play Scene Spinner [pdf] can be found here: https://iamgirlscouts.blogspot.com/p/resources.html

GSUSA Pinterest site:  http://www.pinterest.com/gsusa/

Color emotion guide:  http://visual.ly/color-emotion-guide

Looking for Camps you Attended as a Girl Scout?

Here is by far the latest and greatest of websites I've found for Girl Scout nostalgia.  We are so lucky to have the internet.  We have access to a vast array of OPP (Other People's Photos) from before many of us were even born.  Since I have very few photographs from my year's in Girl Scouts (two, to be exact) I often reference online sites to "tickle" my memory. 

The website proved to be a huge Gold Mine:  Vintage Girl Scouts, www.vintagegirlscout.com. My favorite section of the site is their Girl Scout camp resource. The camp pages, www.vintagegirlscouts.com/camp.html, organized by state, have vintage photos, news clippings and statistics on Girl Scout camps all over the United States. Even those that are closed or gone. So take a walk down memory lane!

Courage, Confidence & Character...80's Style!

Anyone who knows me, knows how nostalgic I am about my three years as a Girl Scout.  I was a Junior from 1980-1983, back when 4th, 5th and 6th graders were Juniors and Daisies hadn't been created yet.

In 1982, my troop took a weekend trip to Skyland Ranch near Banning, California. Sitting in the lodge one night at Skyland, eating chocolate pudding out of ice cream cones, the leaders gave us an activity:  design a badge for the upcoming skate party.  This was a big deal!  Not only was the party going to be held at Skate Depot, our beloved local skating rink, but it was a contest!  I loved to draw and I loved contests.

The Lodge at Skyland Ranch

With great zeal, I got to work.  My original badge design looked something like this:

Notice the trefoil.  I didn't know it at the time but council's could not use the trefoil on council's own patches.  The rest of the weekend we did crafts, sang songs and hiked up to the top of Timber Peak (below) where we signed our names in a book that was in a box at the peak.  

Weeks, maybe even months later, the night of the Tagoma Skating Party was upon us. Arriving at Skate Depot, I began to notice posters hung up with a drawing of a badge and the caption "Winner! Jennifer Lane." Looking at the poster, I found myself thinking it was odd that someone else with my name had won. Since the patch didn't look exactly like mine, and at the time I couldn't really remember exactly what I had drawn, I dismissed the idea that I was the winner.

It wasn't too long before my troop friends, leaders and parents wondered why I wasn't reacting to the news.  It WAS me!  I had won.  My leaders told me my patch was chosen because of its unique shape.  It was a shape that hadn't been used before.  Below is the actual patch:
Minus the trefoil :)

To say that night had a great impact on me would be an understatement.  It was a night where I felt important, talented and proud.  Winning also had a lasting impact on my confidence in my creative abilities. Moments like this, true moments of pride in oneself, is so important for girls--moments not based on physical appearance, material possessions or popularity.

My three years in Girl Scouts coincided with years of extreme financial hardship in my family.  My dad had lost his job due to health issues and we were on the verge of losing our home.  My mother worked two jobs: a day job processing credit applications for dairy farms and a night job at Hallmark.  My older sister also worked at Hallmark and contributed her earnings to our family.  My little sister, who is six years younger than me, was born with lung problems and was very susceptible to pneumonia in her first five years of life.  When our house's heater caught on fire in the winter of 1981, my parents were unable to have it repaired. The cold house exacerbated my sister's lung issues and contributed to her chronic pneumonia. Ultimately we lost our home in 1983.

Winning the contest didn't "fix" my life, or take away my worries.  But it meant so much to the insecure, scared little girl in hand-me-down clothes. The same little girl who worried about her family and her home was just trying to be a normal 9, 10 and 11 year old. That night, skating around with my hands in my pockets and a smile on my face, all of my problems fell away. It was a brief reprieve but an important one. At the 1982 Tagoma Skating Party, I was a Girl Scout first and foremost.  But more than that, I was a Girl Scout with courage, confidence and character.


Other 80's Nostalgia!

If you were a Girl Scout in the 1980's, you probably remember that we had red hoodies that held our participation patches. Remember when Girl Scouts sold calendars? Official insignia was placed on the sash as it is today.  There weren't vests back then.  I have a hoodie now that I use for my leader patches.  I get so many compliments when I wear it. #gspride

My vintage red hoodie

Technical Difficulties Solved!

Blog was down for a few days! Yikes! So happy it's back up and running so I can post my latest and greatest :)

It's 2015: Guest blogging, Creating and Still Spinning from Convention!

Happy New Year, lovelies!

I'm excited for 2015, are you?  It may seem like I've been a bit scarce, but behind the scenes there is so much going on! Current happenings:

  • Working on a leader planner!
  • Doing lots of custom work on logos for troops
  • Starting my troop up again after a six-month hiatus due to my National Delegate duties
  • Performing my National Delegate and Service Unit Representative duties!
  • Guest blogging for Girl Scouts Heart of Central California
I'm looking forward to creating more and more resources this year.  In fact, it's one of my resolutions.  Check out this sneak peek of the strawjenberry leader planner coming out this month!

After returning from National Convention in October, I was full of Girl Scout spirit.  I highly recommend attending one of the triennial conferences if you can.  I didn't think it was possible to love Girl Scouts more than I already did, but I came home with fulfilled purpose and a greater appreciation for the movement.

Girl Scouts Heart of Central California asked me to write a guest blog for them about my experience.  I was more than happy to!  My post, Five Things I'm Still Thinking about from Convention, can be found here.

Here are just a few of the custom logos I created in 2014:

To order a customized troop logo, visit my store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

This is the first year in four that my girls are not selling cookies. We are reconvening our troop this month (instead of starting in September) to allow time for me to fulfill my delegate duties.  It was a nice break going through fall and the holidays without meetings, outings and the holiday boutique. I committed the time to other worthy ventures, but I'm looking forward to getting back in the swing of things.

Feel free to email me if you have any suggestions for resources! Bye for now.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...