Yummy Cake, Balcony Girls, and 13!

What do you do when you need to plan a party, you don't have an oven, and your house is turned upside down?

Go to Yummy Cakes! Mmm, delicious and I love their little cakes that you can buy with many flavors.

With the start of a new Balcony Girls group this Fall, my daughter and I decided we'd be on a 2-part mission: A quick introductory to Balcony Girls and a combined 13th party for Abby - at the mall - where I didn't have to worry about space or cooking!

Put the treats on a tray, cut into thirds. Bring a bag of water bottles, plates, napkins and paper towels ...

Have fun with my helper-Mom-friend, Cindy ...

And break into some fun with all of the girls!

Balcony Girls
I am in the process of putting my Balcony Girls' lessons together to make it easier for so many readers who've inquired about this group that I started 4 years ago. This year I actually have 2 groups going, and it's exciting that new lessons are in store! 

The motto as before, is very simple. A Balcony Girl knows how to build up and not tear down. To applaud her friend's accomplishments and to be cheering them on!

2 Easy Rules
I came up with 2 easy rules this season. 
1. To talk about a certain scenario that happened in school, we will work very hard to leave specific names out of the discussion. 
2. Don't talk about BG at school or places where other kids might feel left out.

Moms who are interested in my material are free to start positive groups of fun for their daughters! I'm all for sharing and growing mature and happy girls. I limit the group to a certain number because I feel this number allows for the maximum participation by each girl. 

Power of a Circle
I had all the girls link arms and stand in a circle (in the mall!) but had one girl stand out - and try to break into the group. It was impossible to get in. We then talked about the power of a circle, how it feels to be on the outside. Then we pulled another girl out, and the "circle" talked, whispered, and didn't let the girl on the outside hear. 

We discussed:
1. How it feels when the circle is so tight you can't break in.
2. How it feels to be on the outside when you don't know what's going on inside!

What you do with the Circle
The "Power" of a circle is not bad, I told the girls. It's very normal for all girls to have some kind of circle of friends. It's what you do with the power that can be bad, or it can be good.

Make it a positive Circle
-Take a good look around you, find someone new to include
-Invite that person back a 2nd time
-Be intentional about talking to other girls
-Watch for mean girls (insecure) or unhealthy dynamics in a group
-Observe the group's reputation, what others think about them

Stop and evaluate
We all have to stop and evaluate at times regarding whether our friends are healthy. Are they the kind that God wants us to have? Do they build up and not tear down?

Keep the circle of friends open, fun, loving, happy, and include a lot of friends! It's really the best way to stay happy and not get sucked into girl drama - cliques and meanness (insecurity).

Abby's 13th - Scavenger Hunt
So the fun continued with a planned hunt in the mall as the girls broke in to 3 teams. Again rules were enforced - no running or loudness, and respectfulness at all time. The girls pulled it off! And just in time to come back for Yummy Cakes and treats.

Again, hospitality doesn't have to only happen in our homes. 

We can reach out and give out in many ways--little ways to make a difference in the lives of young ladies is essential!

I'd love to hear your ideas of sharing with young girls--or if you desire to, maybe you already do--and what activities you do to make a positive difference?


Kathy said...

I'm very interested in your Balcony girls lessons! My daughters are 8 and almost 7 and I know that they will soon be entering those 'tween' years. At what age did you start this group with these girls? I look forward to hearing more and seeing your lesson ideas ...
Thanks! Kathy K.

southerninspiration said...

I always love reading about your BG girls!! Since mine is 18 now, I wish I had known about this about 6 years ago!! She is a delightful young woman now, but HATES girl drama, and I hope one day maybe she can do something like this with young girls!

thanks for sharing,

GrannySmithGreen said...

When I was a little girl, we had a small group of girls--we called ourselves the "Sensational Six". Many years have past, and we've all gone our separate ways. The lessons were learned, though. I could call any one of them today and they'd be here in a second. I LOVE the Balcony Girls!

(Super post from yesterday too! I enjoyed reading the other blog as well. Yeah, a new one on my blog roll!)

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

What a fab idea Sandy! As a former junior high and high school teacher (before kiddies), I applaud your efforts with the girls! This sounds like such an affirming group for girls. Just what they need!

BTW- thanks for all of the encouragement. I gave you an award on my blog!:)

Betsy said...

I love these Balcony Girl lessons! Girl drama....how much better off we adults would be if we had learned how to prevent it, rise above it and stop it in it's tracks! It's deadly! (even at the adult level!) ha!

Alicia said...

I am so intrigued by your BG group and I love reading about the way you teach and encourage them. My oldest two girls are 8 and 9 and I really want to do something like this with them. Can't wait to read more. . .

Tegan and Tage said...

What a great concept-- very inspiring to see such involved parenting. Thank you for sharing!

Lisa said...

I really enjoy having them help me in the kitchen, we have the BEST conversations and they are learning new skills. I have also had young girls over to help me with baking. They love it and I enjoy their excitement!

Linda C said...

This ministry is just priceless for young girls --what great lessons to learn and apply at this age.

Our daughter (now a freshman in college) had a very rough time with "friends" in middle school and being left out- but came through it with empathy and understanding to enjoy a great circle of Christian friends in high school who worked at inviting others to join them.

Anyway, thanks for sharing the fun times here:)

Linda C

Carla said...

You've inspired me!!!
We now have a group, they named themselves "Tee cups" the spelling has to do with teir initials.
Thanks so very much we are having a blast! Today we learned caligraphy and my daughters 14 birthday celebration.
Love you

Kirstin said...

Sounds like so much fun!!!

Nancy said...

I read about your Balcony Girls last year and LOVED it. Especially as a mother of 2 girls. what a great program and premise. Yes, please put the lesson plans up. I would love to get this going for my girls and her friends.what a way to teach God's love and values. give them some spiritual armor for what is around them in the real world. what a gift!

Suzann @ The Olive Cottage said...

This sounds like such a great group. Happy Birthday - 13 - such an important birthday.

Pat said...

What a wonderful idea! I'd love to know more...my granddaughter is 12 now and I remember those days. I don't know how you do all that you do but thank you for sharing!

Hopefull said...

I so want to get my Balcony Girls officially going! Can't wait for your info to be posted~ also, that mall scavenger hunt looks so great - anyway you can send over a copy?
Thanks Sandy!

Anonymous said...

Is this the bakery you used for the mini cakes? http://www.yummykake.com/MiniCup.html

The link in your post was in Miami!!! I was so disappointed that they don't deliver! LOL

Maureen Labanowski said...

I love this idea. I have a junior/cadet level girl scout troop as well as a brownie troop and I would love to include the ideas from your BC girls in my troop work. Please keep letting us know about the things you do. I also love the idea of the mall scavenger hunt. My 11 year old loves this idea and wants to do this for her birthday. Would you please send me a copy of the scavenger list you used to use as a base for my list? my email is moheron@msn.com Thank you so much!