02 April 2008

Theater Badge

I ended up being in charge of the Theater Badge for Thalia's Junior Girl Scout troop this spring.

I looked into taking the troop on a field trip to a theater department in a high school or at the YMCA in west county, but the trips didn't really sound all that exciting for the amount of time, trouble, and money to get the kids to the place. Also, Thalia pointed out that this crowd really likes to do crafts, and thought we should make sure we had a chance to make masks (option 1 in the badge book).

So we ended up doing the badge at our usual meeting site, which meant that I actually had to be in charge of everything. Me, leading theater exercises? Actually, it turned out fine -- this is a great group of girls.

We used the theater exercises in the badge book -- Mirror Mimic, Character Charades, Belt it Out, and How You Say It (I modified this to be a Sentence Game). I mixed in some other theater games like Zip Zap Zop and Human Orchestra. I got a lot of ideas from the book On Stage: Theatre Games and Activities for Kids.

Next up we worked on the Mix It Up, Make It Up activity of the badge. This is a costuming activity. I had brought a couple of big bags of cloth -- sheets, capes, old curtains, fabric remnants -- as well as belts, a huge bag of safety pins, and other costume-y odds and ends. I announced that we were going to play Project Runway -- working in pairs, they were to design a costume for a fairy tale, then have one person of the pair walk it down the "runway" while the other described what the character was. I assigned the pairs (on advice from Thalia), and the girls got to work. There was much giggling, and some very creative outfits were produced. The teams switched roles, then, for another go at the runway.

Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for -- I passed out the paper plates and announced that we were making masks. Aside from the usual markers, glue sticks, construction paper, tape and yarn, I had raided our home craft supplies to come up with feathers, crepe paper streamers, sequins, pipe cleaners, and random shapes cut from foam sheets (I really don't know why we own some of this stuff, which represents several years of accumulation).

The girls cut holes in the masks for their eyes, I tied yarn on the sides so they could tie the masks onto their heads, and they all started creating.

These are just the ones from Thalia and AnnaBeth (who had tagged along). The group had an amazing assortment -- they showed fantastic creativity. We had a bird, a Yeti, a Greek mask representing Dionysius. Some girls worked the entire time on one mask; others finished quickly, and I suggested they make another.

Once all of the masks were finished we sat in a circle and they introduced their masks -- they put them on, and acted like the character of the mask.

Overall I thought it was a pretty successful meeting.


Weaver said...

Sounds like a spectacular event!!! :) Of course, it also makes me remember my old camp days where they would tell us that the Juniors should earn a badge for each day they were there (6) but there was no way to take field trips or go to the library for the "read 12 books about__x___" for every badge :) You did way better than we ever did! Be expecting the phone call to be the badge coordinator :)

km said...

Sounds fun. Thanks for the zip zap zop link. I've never heard of that one before.

Tara said...

Wow! That sounds like a success all the way around. And like a great way to use up some of those crazy craft items that find their way into our cupboards!

kitten said...

Sounds really fun. That's some of the things I miss about scouts.
We have a place in Tupelo that does live Theater. We were able to go on a field trip and look around during the day. It was a lot of fun. THe kids really seemed to enjoy. More than I thought thay would.