Thursday, April 17, 2014

Meeting #25: BAA Challenge

BAA Challenge
In the UK, many units create challenges and sell the crests to raise money for trips and such. There is a Guiders Forum where they advertise these challenges, and most are willing to ship overseas if you pay through PayPal. My Pathfinder helps out in our unit and loves sheep, so I suggested that they lead out this challenge as a meeting for our Guides. And it seemed fitting to do a meeting about sheep the week before Easter!

Brownies in the UK are aged 7-10, which covers most of the ages of a Guide unit (9-11), so when using Challenges from overseas, I usually do the Brownie requirements.

Patrol Time: We gave the Guides outlines of sheep and had them decorate them and then create a field on a large sheet of paper for their flock of sheep. (Sheep Template)

7:10-7:30: Shaun the Sheep videos
We watched two Shaun the Sheep videos. I have a projector that we connected to my laptop and pulled up the videos on YouTube. The girls found the videos funny--we were only going to watch one, but everyone liked it so much and the girls were all sitting quietly, so we watched a second one. They're only about 8 minutes long.

7:30-7:50: Wool
We talked to the girls about wool and why it keeps you cool when it's hot and warm when it's cold, and dry when it's wet. (Info from How Stuff Works)

Then we made a craft. I bought a skein of wool yarn that we could pull apart into the wool fibers. Then we glued that onto a sheep body template and used clothespins for legs and the sheep turned out really cute! (Sheep Template)

7:50-8:10 Snack!
We made sugar cookies shaped like lambs. We gave them icing, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips so they could decorate their cookies, which they all love to do!

To close out the night, we sang the Humpty Dumpty Rap and asked the girls to start with Nursery Rhymes about sheep. We came up with Baa Baa Black Sheep, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Little Bo Beep, and Little Boy Blue. Then we did other nursery rhymes, though it's surprising how few nursery rhymes the girls actually know. Luckily, I know lots of words to lots of nursery rhymes, so even if they can only start them, I can usually finish them!
Hump-ty Dump.
Hump Hump De Dump-ty Dump-ty
Hump-ty Dump.
Hump Hump De Dump-ty Dump-ty

Verse 1:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king's horses and all the king's men said


Verse 2:
Little Jack Horner sat in a corner
Eating his pudding pie
He stuck in his thumb,
and pulled out a plumb and said:


Verse 3:
Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet
Eating her curds and whey
Along came a spider, who sat down beside her
and said:

8:20-8:30 Closing

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Meeting #20 & #21: Healthy Eating Badge

Discovering You: Stay Fit and Healthy (DY3)

Healthy Eating (HE)
Fit for Life challenge (FfL)

6:30-7:00--We asked the girls to come up with ideas for a healthy snack for next week. They came up with lots of good ideas. We had sort of already thought about smoothies, so when they mentioned that, we grabbed onto and they all thought it was a great idea. So we let them "plan" it, even though we steered them towards what we had already planned. :)


7:10-8:00 Canada's Food Guide (DY3#3)
I ordered copies ahead of time of Canada's Food Guide. It was free and it was nice to have a copy for each girl that we could talk about together.

This webpage ( explains why the body needs proteins, carbs, and fats (HE#6)

We picked up flyers from the local grocery store for each girl. They cut pictures out of the flyers of foods they like that they could eat in a day to make up the right number of servings in each food group and glued them onto construction paper to make a collage.  (HE#2)

We handed out a journal sheet for them to record their diet for a week (HE#1, FfL#B)

8:00-8:30 Enrollment--we had 2 girls who missed enrollment in the fall and another girl who joined our unit in January who needed to be enrolled. It was just a simple ceremony--we did horseshoe for the parents, said our promise, enrolled the new girls, and then everyone got presented with badges.

Meeting #2
6:30-7:00 Patrol Time
Each Guide designed an ad for healthy food/healthy living (HE#3, DY3:#2)

7:00-7:30 Horseshoe
Discuss their food journals and see who achieved their food intake. They had to have returned their food journals in order to earn the badge. (and can return it at any time in the future)
Display their ads for other patrols to see.
Talk about why smoking is bad for you. (FfL#C)--this discussion actually lasted quite a while and the girls all had interesting thoughts on the subject.

7:30-7:50 Food Labels
Health Canada has a PowerPoint that explains food labels, so we went over this with the girls. (HE#4)

We were discussing the ingredient list on labels, our Junior Leader remembered a fun video to watch, so we found it on YouTube and showed the unit. Animaniacs--Be Careful What You Eat

7:50-8:20 Smoothies--we had frozen fruit and frozen yogurt (FfL:E#1)

8:20-8:30 Closing

Meeting #24: NS Membership Challenge

I Am Growing Guiding in Nova Scotia Membership Challenge

You in Guiding: Learn About Guiding (YiG2)

Nova Scotia created a Membership Challenge to help with their goals of retaining and increasing membership. The pink part is earned through doing activities and the blue part is earned by increasing membership in your unit.

As Guides, we needed to do 8 activities to earn the pink crest. We had done a number of activities as a unit through the year to complete this--just through our normal unit activities--and we used this meeting to reinforce what we did to earn this challenge and then do a couple of activities specifically for the challenge.

5 Activities from I Am Growing Guiding Challenge:
  1. Participate in a bridging activity with at least TWO different levels of Guiding.--our Halloween parade with Sparks and Brownies
  2. Do a service project in your community while wearing your uniform. --Feed NS
  3. Participate in a large Guiding activity such as a District or Area camp, or day camp. --Thinking Day skate
  4. Participate in a community event such as Remembrance Day, a community parade or fair -- we attended Remembrance Day as a District
3 Activities from I Am Keeping Guiding Strong Challenge
  1. Share your Unit activities: send a photo (make sure everyone has a photo release), a poem, or an article describing one of your Unit activities to your District, Area or Provincial PR person.--my fellow Guider and I have tweeted a number of our activities to . Camp, Feed NS, Screen Printing, Thinking Day--whenever we do something fun, we try to remember to tweet it. We learned well from our session on Social Media at the NS Guider Conference!
  2. Plan a joint activity with another Unit. -- Campfire with the Sparks
So that left us with one activity from each section to work on.

6:30-7:00 Patrol Time--we asked the girls to think of things they can do as they grow with Guiding, in Pathfinders, Rangers, and as an adult. (Make a list of Guiding things you want to do when you are older. Share the list with your Unit.)

7:00-7:15: We discussed what they came up with. International trips--both as independent groups and on National sponsored trips; Canada Cord, which counts as a high school credit (and then we had to explain what a high school credit was and why you would want one!); Chief Commissioners' award; Junior Leaders in younger units; scholarships; camps. (YiG2#3)

One group misinterpreted the instructions and came with things that they've already learned and how these skills will transfer into every day use, which was also interesting to hear!

7:15-8:00 Write a song about Guiding. 
We asked them to break up into groups of 2-4 and make up a song about Guiding. They were all very creative and wonderful. One of our other Guiders recorded them, and when she sends them to me, I'll put them up here. 

8:00-8:20 Games
We played Fruit Basket, which we had planned to play when we were doing the Healthy Eating badge, but ran out of time. They had a lot of fun with this game. After they played with fruit for a while, we changed it up to be animals.

8:20-8:30 Closing

#22 Cookies Rising

Discovering You: Understand How to Be Responsible (DY4)


6:30-7:00 Patrol Time: One of our Guiders is also our District Commissioner. Her term is up in June and it was recently announced that she will become our new Area Commissioner. For Patrol Time, I gave the girls construction paper and stickers and asked them each to make a Congratulations card for her. We kept the activity a secret from her and presented the cards at Horseshoe.

7:00-7:10 Horseshoe: I love how creative our girls are! They made some beautiful cards for Guider Wendy and she was surprised that we pulled it off without her knowing about it. 

7:10-7:30 Taking the Temperature Activity (memberzone login)--We did this a few years ago and it was the last piece of programming that we needed to do for our third years! (DY4#4)

7:30-8:15 Cookie Rising activities:
Business/GGC--We used the Taking the Temperature thermometers and then used them to discuss cookie selling. I used the cookie selling tips from the book (You and Others: Learn How to Plan #2), changing some from positive to negative, and the girls ran from one side of the room to another in various ways--hopping, jumping, crab walk, etc--to say if it was a good thing to do (Cold) or a bad thing to do (Hot).

Financial--We talked to the girls about how much money our unit will earn this campaign and then talked about all the ways that we as a unit use the money. We also talked about the portion that goes to District and what District spends money on.

Social--We played the Alphabet game from the badge activities.

8:15-8:20 Songs and closing

Friday, March 7, 2014

Special Event: Lady Baden-Powell Award Workshop

This workshop has evolved over the years. A number of years ago, some leaders would hold a 2 night camp for girls working on their LBP award. Our first year doing this, there was a one-night Spark camp on a Saturday, so we took the Friday night for our LBP girls. The next year, we booked a grocery store community room for a Saturday, and we really liked how that worked out. There's a kitchen, so we can have lunch, and we get about the same amount of time as the overnight, but it's much easier. And the Community Room is free!

We use the workshop to do a Major Community Project (#4) and Learn about Lady Baden-Powell (#2). It's also when we can talk to them about what they have left to do and give them ideas about how they can complete it.

We have 8 third-years so we opened it up to them (whether they were planning to do LBP or not), plus the one third year in the other Guide unit in our District. We only had 4 confirm, so then we opened it up to our 9 2nd years as well. We ended up with 8 girls attending, which is a nice number.

As leaders, we came up with the idea for the project, which the other Guide unit had done in previous years. It's an activity kit for the emergency waiting room. In the Guide unit's case, they had a grant for doing community projects, so they bought all of the supplies and the girls just assembled them. We were concerned about the rule that you can't buy things to donate (but you can buy things to make something to donate), so we thought if we booked a Community Room that was next to a dollar store and had the girls bring money from home to buy the supplies, that would cover it. Though most of the supplies we did "transform" in some way. :)

We started the morning by explaining the project to the girls, showing them a couple of examples, and then we had them brainstorm what they wanted to put in them. Then we went through the list and determined how much each thing would cost and how many bags each thing would make (i.e. a 24-pack of crayons cost $1.25, and if we were putting 3 crayons in each bag, we could make 8 bags from each package).

Then we found a common multiple (in our case it was 48) and figured out how many of each thing we would need to buy. We added that up and rethought some of the things (do we need crayons and coloured pencils and markers?) so that the cost per bag was about $1. We determined we could probably make 96 bags. Then we divided up the items between the girls, knowing they each had $10 to spend and factoring in tax--each girl could buy $8.50 worth of supplies. 

I really had fun teaching the girls this part--how to budget and plan. They complained a little (math on a Saturday?!) but they definitely felt ownership of the project.

Now everyone took their list and we walked over to the dollar store and they had a lot of fun shopping and picking out the right stickers and colouring books and pencils.
Back in our meeting space, they got to work dividing everything up--crayons dumped into a bowl, colouring books separated into sheets, construction paper cut in half, pencils sharpened. We had Girl Guide stickers from Guide House (our Provincial office)  and we made stickers that said "Get well soon from Hammonds Plains Girl Guides" (or something like that), so some girls put those onto the ziploc bags. 
Then they got busy filling the bags! We put a list on the board to remind everyone what to put in each bag. I forgot to take a picture, but it was great to see the 90 activity kits they made to donate.

Once the bags were completed, we took a break for lunch. The shopping plaza we were at had a pizza place in it, so we ordered pizzas. Yum! Plus we bought some carrots and cucumbers at the grocery store. 

After lunch, we worked on some Lady Baden-Powell information. We have a folder of information that we photocopy for them each year which has some worksheets and LBP information. There is also a skit that requires props. We divided the 8 girls into 2 groups, and each group worked on creating a set of props for the skit. They will present the skits to the unit in the coming weeks.

We also talked to them about the other parts of the Award that they need to complete and how to complete it. Since it was Thinking Day, we finished our workshop with cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday, and then Taps. Then it was time to go. They did a great job and worked diligently for the 6 hours we were together. 

For our third-year girls who couldn't attend but still want to earn their LBP, we gave them information on how to complete the service project and gave them 3 weeks to return 10 bags to us before we donate everything to the hospital. We gave them the folders of LBP information, and asked them to create posters about LBP for our Thinking Day skating party instead of doing the skit.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Meeting #19: Fitness Fun badge

Fitness Fun badge (FF)
Discovering You: Stay Fit and Healthy (DY3)
Beyond You: Try New Things (BY3)

Ever have one of those meetings where things you expect to happen don't happen? We had one of those nights. We'd invited a fitness instructor to come teach the girls yoga and work on the Fitness Fun badge. When she didn't show up, we had to improvise! Luckily, we are active leaders and could muddle our way through the badge--it's just always nicer when you can have someone knowledgeable come and teach the girls!

We asked the girls to come to the meeting dressed to work out, and to bring a water bottle and a yoga mat or beach towel. I brought extra beach towels for the girls who would inevitably forget.

6:30-7:00--While waiting for our non-existent guest to arrive, we moved the tables out of the way to give us a big space for working out and the girls enjoyed having some "unstructured" time.

We started with a warm-up--neck circles, shoulder shrugs, arm circles, ankle circles. (FF#3)

Then we moved on to stretching. Biceps, triceps, quads, glutes. (FF#4)

I've taken kickboxing classes, so we went through some of the moves for that--jabs, hooks, upper cuts, front kicks, back kicks, side kicks, speed bag. (FF#7, BY3#3)

Then another leader knew some yoga, so she took them through some of the easier yoga poses. Some girls knew some moves so they tried those as well. (FF#7, BY3#3)

Then we did squats, lunges, push-ups, planks, crunches and sit-ups. There was a lot of complaining for this one! We tried to walk around and make sure they could do the exercises properly, but if they were having lots of trouble, we didn't insist. (FF#6)

Then as they were lying on their mats/towels, we brainstormed with them how they could increase the physical activity in their daily lives. Ideas they came up with--doing exercises during commercial breaks while watching tv, playing running games at recess instead of just walking around, asking parents to park farther away from the door when shopping, walking or biking to school. (FF#1)

That covered 5 topics from the badge. (DY3#6)

Their exercise journals are due back the next week, and that will cover the sixth topic, which means they won't get the badge until they bring pack their journals! (FF#2)

8:15-8:30--Clean-up and closing

Meeting #18: Screen Printing

Beyond You: Try New Things (BY3)
Discovering You: Discover Your Creativity (DY2)

Double Dare greeting cards
We wanted to complete the Try New Things square, so I was trying to think of things we could do. Then I thought of my cousin-in-law, who recently opened up a print studio with her twin sister, called Double Dare Print Studio, where they make really cute greeting cards, post cards, etc. I wasn't sure what their space was like, so I contacted her to see if they could accommodate showing 20 girls what they did.

Unfortunately, their space was smaller than I thought, but I also knew they did a demo at an art gallery one weekend, so I asked her if their equipment was portable and if they could come to us. She thought that was a wonderful idea!

She figured they'd need about 45 minutes to explain to the girls what screen printing is and how it's done and then they'd have a project that the girls could complete and take home. And since it was coming up to Valentine's Day, we'd finish the night with a small Valentine's Day party, with some games and treats.

We didn't give them a task for Patrol Time, but just gave Bryanna and Alyssa time to set up their equipment.


6:55-7:45--Screen Printing
They explained to the girls their background in art--they both have fine arts degrees--and then the basics of how screen printing works. (DY2#4)

Bryanna created a design especially for us. They wanted to use two colours, so they preprinted the first colour for everyone so there would be time for them to dry. They explained how they got the design from Bryanna's drawing to becoming something that was capable of being printed many times.

It was really interesting to see how it's done! They showed us how to place the design where you want it and how to make sure each subsequent print would be placed similarly, so they turn out mostly the same.

Then each girl got a chance to put the blue trefoil design onto the gold maple leaf. Once all the set-up is done (the hard part), the printing part is very straight-forward and the girls did a great job making their prints. Then the all wanted Bryanna and Alyssa to sign their prints! It was really cute. (BY3#6)

7:45-8:15 Valentine's Party
Once we finished the screen printing, we got to have treats! I made heart-shaped cinnamon cookies, and we brought icing and sprinkles so the girls (and leaders and guests) could decorate their cookies.

Then we played some games that I found on the internet--Valentine's Minute-to-Win-It. We bought lots of candy hearts and gave them plates and chopsticks.

The first game, they had to see how many candy hearts they could transfer from the middle plate to their own plate in a minute, using only chopsticks. They had fun with this!

The second game, they had a minute to stack the candy hearts as high as they could. Again, lots of laughs and some concentrating for this game. They liked the games quite a bit and we played each one twice. We had some little prizes (pencils, erasers, etc) to give to the winners.

8:15-8:30--We had time for a couple of songs and then we did closing.

Thanks so much to Double Dare Print Studio for coming to see us and teaching us all about screen printing. The girls learned a new thing, and then I realized that this also covers bringing a local artist to your meeting to learn about their craft!

Double Dare Print Studio's handmade design for us