One of my favorite things about Girl Scouts is planning big events. Last fall, one of the Girl Scout staff members mentioned hosting an event in conjunction with the new Beauty & the Beast movie. I jumped on it, of course, because I thought it would be a lot of fun and a good excuse to have some grey stuff!
For this event, I reached out to the Dietetics department at SDSU. I wanted an event the older girls could participate in and not just lead. The girls who volunteered were fantastic. We had a few planning meetings which lead us to a day that allowed girls at the Junior, Cadette, and Ambassador level earn their cooking related badge. I also wanted the day to be as girl lead as possible. So we decided to give them a MasterChef style Mystery Box. The girls loved it.
Our day started with meeting our teams (Red Blue & Yellow) and then jumping into making their assigned bread. We had banana, Irish Soda and Focaccia. The girls then had the opportunity to learn some knife skills (practicing on some potatoes!), talk about how you read a recipe and put together a meal with the women from the dietetics department. We also learned about composting and gave 3 ice cream buckets full of compost material to Lacher Vegetable Farm.
The girls then got their mystery box (which to their disappointment did not actually come in a box – I gave them a list of what was available in the fridge!). It was then time for them to start planning their meals. I was so impressed with how quickly the teams came together to decide what to make. We provided internet links and cook books for them to look through. Each mystery box contained ground beef, bacon, and a variety of vegetables. We had a pantry with tomato sauce, russet potatoes, spices, etc. We did have Stacie as our runner who ran to Hy-Vee for a few extras to round out a couple of meals.
Yellow team’s meal included: bacon wrapped meatballs & roasted veggies. Red team had ground beef stir fry with a bacon wave. Blue team had beef stroganoff with mashed potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts with bacon.
At lunch, we took a long break and watched “Beauty & the Beast” (the animated version) and then with the words from “Be Our Guest” still in our head, the girls learned how to make souffle! We did cheese, cheese & spinach and chocolate. And of course, we also made grey stuff for dessert. The girls seemed to have a lot of fun plating the dessert.
I loved watching the girls work together. Most of the girls were in 4th & 5th grade; we also had 2 Juniors and 3 3rd graders to round out our numbers. Each of the girls participated (the dietetics team did a great job of making sure each girl got a chance to try part of whatever they were making). When I asked Maggie about her favorite part, she said she couldn’t decide.
Girl Scouts is very much about helping the girls to make decisions about where they want to take their troop. As adults, we are there to guide them, but we have to be willing to take a step back & let the girls decide. Giving them a mystery box without any ideas, recipes, was a leap of faith. But one well worth it. I had allotted over an hour for them to choose what to make and decide how to divide the work. They completed that in less than 20 minutes! We need to give our children credit for what they can do.
Our families came for supper and the girls did a great job of presenting their food & sharing what they had learned. You could see how proud they were of their meals. They all also tried the other meals. We all had very very full plates!
And I had a very full heart at the end of the night. I was proud of all of the girls and proud to be a Girl Scout leader.