"We had a combination of live and Zoom meetings depending on the 'color' of the county but still met every other week! When we met via Zoom, we would always play 'Would You Rather.' The girls loved it and I enjoyed their silly answers.
We had a challenge for every Zoom meeting. Sometimes it was a surprise scavenger hunt (for example, find something red in the fridge) and sometimes it was planned (create art from recycled things). Afterward, I would mail each girl a prize – for example, scented stickers or silly mustaches I found at the dollar store – little things to keep everyone engaged. We only accomplished one badge during March-September 2020 but almost every girl logged into every Zoom meeting, so I counted it as a win.
When we got back face to face, even temporarily, we took advantage of having Pokagon State Park in our backyard and visited a couple of times. We learned about the park’s topography with one of the naturalists.
We focused on STEM and suffrage this year. We held mock elections - Hershey bars beat out Twizzlers.
For Halloween we held a carnival of sorts because trick-or-treating was canceled. Our Thanksgiving STEM/baking meeting was canceled at the last minute because of a surge, so the leaders met and baked 30 pumpkin pies, then drove over 150 miles in three counties to deliver them to the girls.
We made Christmas cards and ornaments for nursing homes, like usual, but we could not sing for residents and deliver them in person so I dropped them off to be distributed.
The girls had fun making trebuchets and launching Peeps for Easter. During the Zoom meetings, Sarah (one of our leaders) soaked an egg in vinegar and we got to see it bounce after a couple of weeks. We made pop rockets (Sarah again) and launched them in the church basement. (I promise, we did not damage anything...the pastor was there that day!)
Over the summer several girls and adults attended camp Lon-I-Daw and we participated in three parades.
It was definitely NOT a normal year, but we are great at Plan B so we learned to roll with it. We did not lose any girls, other than to graduation, and actually gained a couple!
I am super proud of my co-leaders and the girls. We have such a great time together!"