Reaching a Summit

Summit pin

Brownie Journey Summit Award

It’s a good thing that Anna is bridging to Juniors in August, because her Brownie vest is almost full! Together with the other brownies in her troop, Anna completed the World of Girls Journey in April. And in doing so, she also earned the Journey Summit Award for completing all three journeys.

world of girls badges

World of Girls Badges

We organized a condensed version of the World of Girls Journey, completing a badge each week, and finishing the whole journey in a month.

Week One: Hear a Story. We assigned a single story in the World of Girls book to each girl the week before, and they told the stories to their fellow Brownies during our first World of Girls Journey meeting. Then we “flew” around the room, traveling to where each story took place (Jordan, Thailand, and Nunavut, Canada) and talked about the ways people in each country shared stories. We created a story of our own using “Tell Me a Story” cards, and we finished with an “All About Me Limbo,” where each girl said something unique about herself while walking under a foam pool noodle.

Week Two: Change a Story (Part One). We talked about the stories from Week One, this time focusing on how each story could be changed. We then talked about stories in our own community and ways in which we could change them. Together, we decided to take some of the money we raised through cookie sales, and give it back to the community by going to a nearby St. Vincent de Paul and buying children’s books for kids staying at a local domestic abuse shelter.

Week Three: Change a Story (Part Two) and Tell a Story (Part One). We met at St. Vincent’s and spent about a half hour shopping for books. Each girl picked out five picture books and five chapter books at $0.50 each ($5 per girl charged to the troop account). Then each girl selected one of the books she chose, and agreed to write a short paragraph about why she selected it.

Week Four: Tell a Story (Part Two) and World of Girls. The girls each completed the “Tell a Story” step by recording their paragraph on their favorite book on video. Then we got out white poster sheets and colored pencils, and each girl made a bright and happy picture to cheer up the families living at the shelter. This last activity brought the journey to a close.

Two weeks later, we held our Cookie Celebration and handed out all the awards that the girls earned during Cookie Season. First, we called up all the Brownies and awarded them the two Cookie Business badges and the two Financial Literacy badges. As you can see, she went from two full rows of badges to almost three in one night!

Brownie badges

Four new cookie badges!

Then after the Juniors received their badges, each girl came up individually and received her patches and prizes based on the number of cookies sold. Everyone who sold cookies earned at least one patch, a certificate, and a prize. Anna, as top seller, got the most awards, the most prizes (tied with the top selling Junior), and a special certificate.

Cookie fun patches

Check out all the patches!

Ten fun patches total, just from cookie season, and as I said before her vest is almost full.

We're running out of room!

Just a little space left in the corner.

For being in Brownies only a year, and talking half that time to find a stable troop, she’s done a fantastic job. We’re so proud of her.


At the Fair, Part Two

I posted several of Anna’s photo galleries here over the last year. Well, this week she entered the photography competition at the Lane County Fair for the first time and two of the three photos she submitted won awards.

Photo of a balloon with second prize ribbon.

Checkmate (Third Place in Junior Division, Travel outside Lane County)

Anna octopus photo with second place ribbon

Fluffy the Octopus (Second Place in Junior Division, Animals)

Two prizes in her first contest. I think she has a future as a photographer.

Check out some of her photos in these galleries.

And the Winner is . . .

Anna as the Cat in the Hat

Anna. She brought home a prize bag from school yesterday, but it took us a few guesses to figure out what she got the bag for.

“What’s this, Anna?” I asked.

“It’s for Peru,” she replied.

“Peru?” Julia asked. “You mean Read-to-feed?” The funds for the school’s Read-to-feed program goes to Heifer International to raise money to buy animals for subsistence farmers in Peru.


“Is her Read-to-feed over already?” Julia asked me.

“No,” I said, checking her backpack. “She has another book.”

“Anna, is this for the Read-a-thon?” Julia asked. Anna had read a total of 810 minutes over seventeen days in her school’s Read-a-thon last February. Given that she more than doubled the goal of 340 minutes, we figured she’d finish at or near the top.

“Yes, the Read-a-thon.” An easy mistake for a six-year-old to make: confusing two reading projects.

We each congratulated her and gave her a big hug, and then Julia took a look through the bag: A t-shirt with her school logo on it, $5 gift card to a popular chain bookstore, a pass to a local athletic club, and . . .

“Free child’s lunch or dinner buffet.” Julia said pulling the last card out of the bag.

“Well I don’t have anything out for dinner.” I said.

Anna smiled. “Problem solved!”

Smart girl, but there was one small problem: we don’t do buffets anymore. With the exception of a local Mongolian grill with a takeout option, we haven’t been to a buffet in over a year and a half. “All you can eat” doesn’t fit with our new healthier lifestyle.

“They have salad and pizza bar,” Julia said. “We don’t have to get the full buffet.”

And we didn’t. A couple of slices of pizza for her, a caesar salad for me, salad and a breadstick for Anna, and we spilt dessert. We kept the price down and the calories too.

So the new rule: we don’t do buffets anymore, unless at least one of us is eating for free.