Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Entry for March 30, 2006

Well my last few entries have been about my basement finishing project so it's time for another needlework entry!

I've been a Girl Scout Leader for the past 10 years. One of the activities that goes on in this area, is a Mall Lock-In. We go into one of the local malls after 10:00pm as the public is leaving and the mall is closing on a Saturday night. Since the mall is on two levels, the Juniors (girls in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade) are admitted to the upper level where they setup their troop stations. The older scouts who are Cadettes and Seniors (girls in 7th - 12th grades) then start setting up activity stations on the lower level. At apx. 11:00pm the Juniors are permitted to come downstairs.

This is a unique opportunity for the Juniors as they are still to young to go to the mall on their own and there are lot's of fun things for them to do. The food court vendors are invited to stay open and many do until 3:45am. Since the mall is in a lock down situation the Juniors are turned loose on their own as long as they stay in buddy pairs. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to order a pizza and a drink on their own and for them to try out many activities. They also at this age think it's really awesome to stay up all night! For those of us who are older, this is not as fun!

The older scouts have a grand time also and they are also earning service hours and fulfilling requirements for older scout awards.

Adult volunteers are manning security posts, command central, and are running various activity stations that are not run by the older scouts.

We offer many activities such as finger nail painting, Karaoke, representatives from a Woman's Engineering club are onsite, line dancing, origami, balloon animals, aluminum tooling, gimp, quilting, embroidery, and several different badges are also offered.

The activities continue until 5:00am. The Juniors move back upstairs and start getting ready to leave and the older scouts start shutting down the activities. We are out of there by 6:30am and the mall is cleaner than when we arrived!

Why is this needlework related? Well two of the activities are Cross Stitch and Needlepoint! Several years ago I volunteered to take over the kits for both of these activities.

I was able to quickly revamp the Needlepoint Magnet kit. Since the activities do take place in the middle of the night when we are more tired than normal we keep the needlepoint activity fairly simple. The intent is to introduce them to the technique not to make them experts. The kit contains 7 count plastic canvas cut into 1" squares and many different colors of yarn. The younger girls love the variegated yarn! We have two display sheets with directions and samples of stitched needlepoint magnets. The girls then pick out which stitch they would like to do. We have adult volunteers who teach the stitches and help each girl complete her needlepoint magnet. Since the girls range in age from 9 years old to 18, their fine motor and concentration skills vary widely! Once the stitch is completed, the scouts then whipstitch around the outside of the square. A small piece of magnet tape is then placed on the back of the completed needlepoint magnet. The girls can then take their completed project with them or donate it to Meals on Wheels. We then give them an instruction sheet which has information on several stitches, how to make a needlepoint magnet and online references such as the American Needlepoint Guild.

Every year we get approximately 20 magnets donated as tray favors to Meals on Wheels which were made by the girls and the adult volunteers at this station. I usually make up enough later on so that we can make a donation of needlepoint magnets in multiples of 20. In other words, I'll make whatever we need so that our donation bags contain 20 needlepoint magnets.

I'm also thrilled to hear how many girls have not only tried Cross Stitch but are also familiar with needlepoint!

More on the Cross Stitch kit tomorrow!

Windy Meadow

Originally Posted: March 30, 2006

1 comment:

Danny Riddell said...

I used to drive and pick up my sister when she was younger to bring to her "Troop's Day." But the difference is they are only allowed to sell cookies outside the supermarket until 3:00 in the afternoon. After their "sales inventory," I would bring her to the nearby mall for a treat. Oh, how I miss that little bunny…and now she is about to get married. Time flies surprisingly fast!