Feb 22, 2011

Brownie craft mother and a gaggle of girls

Pigtails' a Brownie Scout, her troop houses 17 hyper-pups.  Each month, a parent volunteers for treats, while another leads the craft.  The treat sheet was full by the time it made the rounds, so I signed up for craft duties.

It would eventually be my turn to be the Brownie craft mother.  No big deal, it was a ways off.  I'd worry about it later.

Troop leader Jen e-mailed a few weeks ago to remind me I was on deck to create some handmade wonder for the February meeting.  

Oh crap!

She recommended making something with a Valentine theme or perhaps friendship bracelets, since the next pow-wow would focus on friends. 

My e-mail response to her read:  "Dear Jen, I agree friendship bracelets are the way to go.  Now I need to Google friendship bracelets to learn what exactly they are."

I like cars and steam engines, not Shrinky Dinks and Silly Bandz and all the other spoils that ponied yappers embrace in second grade.  My neck got sweaty picturing a room full of beady eyes staring me down as I stumbled through a craft catastrophe. 

Beard would be the laughing stock of the second grade! 
Pigtails would be humiliated!
Disgruntled Brownies would form a human chain of rage and pinch my back fat! 

I enlisted my friend, Curls, to help.  She fondly recalls braiding friendship bracelets in grade school and was happy to assist.  She downloaded simple assembly instructions and measure-cut hundreds of strands to make it easier on the girls.  How to:
  1. Twist six strands of string together and tie a knot on one end.
  2. Have a friend hold the knotted end, the other person continues twisting.  Twist the dickens outta the strands.
  3. Fold the cord against itself, the strands will self-braid.
  4. Loop through and tie a couple knots.  
  5. Kabam!  Out pops a perfectly braided bracelet. 
A couple practice runs at home, Pigtails carefully learned the steps and offered to lead the project for her troop.  Our first bracelet turned out decent, although it was barely big enough to fit a finger.


Judgement Brownie day arrived, I was the only boy in the room and uneasy.  The girls didn't seem to mind me there once they learned what they'd be making later on.  They couldn't wait.

I should have brought a tape recorder to the conclave, I'd pay money to sit through again and watch.  Haven't laughed like that for ages. 

Troop leader Mrs. C. explained to the girls what a penpal is and how their troop would be writing letters to another Brownie pack cross country.  In the middle of that teaching moment, Frannie politely raised her hand and asked:

"How many pancakes does it take to shingle a doghouse?"

Mrs. C's mouth just sorta locked up, before she could respond Frannie continued:

"25 pancakes.  Plus one giant pancake right in the center of the roof."  

Mrs. C. was using the ignore it and she'll stop tactic and continued on with her penpal conversation as if nothing happened.  I covered my mouth and desperately tried not to laugh loudly.  A little of my chuckle leaked out.

Mrs. C. asked them to name states in the U.S. where the girls know relatives we could mail letters to.  Some said California and South Carolina, others said Germany and China.  Jen clarified that Asia is not a state in America.

The girls were done with penpal talk, they demanded treats and craft, stat!  Pigtails engaged, demonstrating how to magically transform multicolored strands into woven jewelery.  The Brownies were mesmerized and clapped with approval when I suggested they make two bracelets:  one for a friend, another to keep.

The project went well, not a single girl snipped off an index finger with scissors or knitted their hands together.

Frannie hung the tassels of her winter hat over her lip, raised her hand and shouted, "Hey everybody, look at me, I've got a black mustache!"  It was astonishing how polite they were at being ornery, never failed to raise a hand before saying something outlandish.

Craft completed, they formed a circle and exchanged 3x5 cards on which they'd written something they liked about each friend in the troop.  They went around the circle and read one card each.  Sweet kids, all of them.

Finally, the Brownie secret handshake.  Cross arms, chant the motto:


Spin around and unwind while giggling:

And that's a wrap!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for the note, check back for my response!