We started off by playing a game called, “Shoe Shod.” The girls took off their right shoes, putting them in one pile. Then we formed two lines and played a relay race where you find the person’s shoe behind you by running up to the pile, then go back to put it on the person’s foot. The girls had to work together so their team could win. It was fun and we played the game several times.
Then we gathered in the kitchen for a hands-on lesson. I handed each girl one ingredient to help make a cake (ie, flour, bottle of vanilla, box of cocoa, baking soda). After I told them what we were doing, I then instructed them to, “go ahead and eat the ingredient in your hand.” The girls looked at me, confused.
Eat the vanilla?
Eat the flour?
Eat the baking soda?
Maybe the sugar wouldn’t be that bad.
Wouldn’t it taste the same or did it need to be mixed together? I asked. The girls immediately said, “Yuck!”
I explained how the ingredients by themselves can seem bad, but when they are placed together the correct way, in a bowl and then combined, the end product is a wonderfully delicious cake! We talked about how combing efforts can really pay off! (And the girls were thrilled when they each got to eat one, large spoonful of cake batter!)
We role-played how if one girl was left out of the cake-making experiment, or even ran off with a friend (with their ingredient in hand), how they could really mess up the end result. We did a few other relays to get the “working together” concept across.
1 1/2 c. flour
3 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. cooking oil
1 c. cold water
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. vinegar
Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt directly into 8 inch square cake pan. Make 3 holes in the dry ingredients. In first hole, pour vanilla. Into another, pour cooking oil. In the last, pour vinegar. Pour 1 cup cold water over all and beat with a fork until smooth. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream!
Children like this cake and Mom will too, because it is quick and easy with little preparation which means fewer items to wash. They also think the name is appropriate because it seems "crazy" to put oil and vinegar into a cake. This cake was popular during the depression, and does not have eggs in it.
The lesson was simple today.
Balcony Girls are not exclusive. They are great team players. They don’t wander off or isolate themselves with another when in a group. They stick together – they create unity.
The challenge came when I told the girls it might be tempting to run off with one friend who you really love to be with. Thinking about a group setting, maybe a birthday party with a lot of girls, or even a church group, we should practice self-control by staying with the group and participating with everyone.
Reaching out and stretching yourself with a new challenge is a way to grow!
I was very sentimental this week, thinking about this unique group of girls. It’s our 4th year of being together, and it seems like every time we are together we spend more time talking about friendships. Each girl is growing in a way that should make their Mamas proud. As I always say, I’m not trying to teach these girls anything new. I’ve just opened my home, and have agreed to be the leader to help reinforce the things that their parents have already taught them.
This year is different as a couple of the girls are going to a different school. And some of the girls that go to school together aren’t what you’d call “best friends.” They are all friends, but they are not a clique. I appreciate that about the group. My mission and purpose for Balcony Girls, which began 3 years ago, seems to be working. The girls are learning about relationships. With hands-on lessons I continue to pray that I’m getting my point across. Only time will tell.