When do adults stop believing in their creativity?

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Take a look at this sweet video from the folks at Brit+Co.  They inspire creativity for women with tutorials, projects and an online store.  If you work with a troop of girls, then you know that they are all amazing artists and always believe that their art should receive top billing on the refrigerator art gallery.  When do we stop thinking of ourselves as creative?  Maybe you still do think you are creative (a lot of scout leaders are), but when was the last time you did something creative just for YOU?

I spend easily spend a lot of time on Pinterest.  I love looking at ideas, and can get easily sucked in to spending an hour just browsing and pinning.  I even have a board named “Stuff I want to make”.  What I don’t have is a board called “Stuff I made”.  That’s sad.  I need to stop pinning and start doing!  In case you need some additional inspiration for your own creativity (well OK, you can look for ideas for your troop too), here’s some fun sites that I like to visit:

Instructables:  DIY How to Make Instructions

Craftsy: Learn it. Make It.

Craftster:  No Tea Cozies without irony.  Amazing community of crafters willing to share their ideas.

CraftGawker:  Curated photo gallery of handmade arts & crafts.

Brit & Co:  Educating, Inspiring and Supporting Makers.

MakeZine:  If your taste runs more towards robotics, electronics, rocketry, woodworking, this site is for you.

Have fun exploring, but don’t forget to take time for yourself and just create.  And next time the girls are working with paint and glue, get in there with them.  Girl Led does not mean that the girls get to have all the fun!  Be a fun example for the girls to always think of themselves as an artist.   Leave a comment if there are any other fun sites that you visit for creative inspiration.

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World Thinking Day Mexico Booth

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This year our troop decided to showcase Mexico for our World Thinking Day Country.  The hardest part was coming up with the food that we were going to serve.  We tried horchata (sweetened rice milk), Aqua Fresca (diluted pineapple pulp drink on ice), Mexican Hot Chocolate, Chips & Salsa, Taquitos (not really mexican, I know), and Mexican wedding cookies.  We ultimately decided on the Chips and Salsa.  Simple and everyone loved it.

The fun part was our “milagros” craft.  Milagros means miracle and is usually a charm pinned on a saint from someone who experiences a miracle and is thankful.  For example, if you had a heart transplant and survived, you might pin a heart charm on your favorite saint as a thank you. (this is such a simplistic explanation, check out the wikipedia definition for more info).  We toned that down a bit and just had the girls make a milagro about something they were thankful for.

We took the cheap tin pans that you can buy at the dollar store and flattened them out.  Cut off the tall edges first, then flatten out the inside (where the indents and embossed wording might be) with a rolling pin, or other smooth object.  Do this on a hard smooth surface to get the best results.  We traced a heart shape on the tin and cut these out.  The girls used dull pencils or the ends of paint brushes to “draw” their design on the heart, then we hot-glued a pin on the back.  The girls were very creative with their designs.  It was tricky trying to show the girls how to write a word “backwards” so it would show up embossed on the other side.  The older girls got it, but not so much for the younger ones.

Their costume was the tricky part.  I had visions of making colorful circle skirts for each of the girls, but that was so unrealistic with my time.  My friend found striped fleece blankets (with fringe) at Walmart on sale for like $3.50 each!  We were able to make TWO ponchos out of each blanket.  Add a sombrero and the girls looked great!  So the colors may not be traditional Mexican colors, but they were cute.

The girls made some tissue paper flowers to cover the poles of our shade pop up tent and then posters with the Mexican flag, a map, and some info about Girl Scouts in Mexico.  Overall a great success.

ThinkingDay2013_Mexico

Homemade Bird Feeders

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A super easy craft for camp or in your troop is to have the girls make Bird Feeders.  You probably already know about the simple peanut butter, pine cone and birdseed one that can easily be made by all ages, but here are links to some interesting ideas for your next project:

Bird feeder made from an orange peel. Courtesy of SheKnows.com

SheKnows.com has a great article about how to make this bird feeder from an orange peel.  Would be a perfect project for your next campout.  Bring oranges for a snack, then have the girls use the peels the next day to make their feeder.

Upcycled Bird Feeder made from a plastic bottle.  From PermacultureIdeas.com

Upcycled Bird Feeder made from a plastic bottle. From FamilyFun.com

This bird feeder from FamilyFun.com is perfect when you are showing the girls how to keep materials out of the landfill and find other uses.  Purchase the spoons at the Dollar Store.

Adorable molded bird feeder from DesignSponge.com

Yes, this birdseed is molded because it was combined with a little bit of gelatin, placed inside a plastic bottle top, then removed and hung with the wooden bowl.  Read the full instructions here.  I’m not sure if the birds will be able to reach the birdseed without having something to perch on? What do you think?

I had to include this one just because it is so darn cute!  Would make a very cute Mother’s Day gift too.  Read the full how-to here.

What type of seed is best for the birds in your area?  Who better than the folks at Cornell Labs to provide that answer.  Click here for a line-up of delicious treats for your birds.  Some food is not good for the birds, so be sure to read up on the best feed before purchasing.

And finally, because you should probably know a bit about the birds you might find in your area, follow these links for more info to supplement your meeting:

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Backyard Bird Identifier – by National Geographic

National Audubon Society

Be sure to check your local Audubon Group, Ecology Center or Educational Centers at your local state or national park for more info about groups near you that can help teach the girls about birds and bird habitats.