Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Meeting #11: Senior Center Visit

Support Community service badge
You in Guiding: Understanding the Promise and Law (YiG1)
You in Guiding: Be Involved in Your Community (YiG4)

This was our last meeting before Christmas. We met at a local Senior Center. The girls wanted to sing Christmas carols, and we prepared some to sing that everyone knew. The previous time we'd been to this center, the girl played board games with the seniors, but this was a different group who weren't really able to do that. We hadn't prepared enough Christmas songs to fill the time, so we sang a bunch of our Girl Guide songs too! (SC, YiG4#3)

We spent about an hour with them, and then they let us have a room so we could have a little Christmas wrap up party.

The first thing we did was finish up our Understanding the Promise and Law section. We had shoestring licorice and the girls practiced their reef knots. Each time they successfully completed the knot, they got to eat it! (YiG1#5)

Now they've completed everything they need to earn their first little square--You in Guiding: Understanding the Promise and Law.

Once programming was out of the way, we gave them gingerbread men, icing, and candy to decorate with and let them decorate cookies. A craft and a snack all in one!

After they ate their cookies, we gave them some blank Christmas cards to sign that one of our leaders is going to send to soldiers overseas.

And now we're done until after Christmas! Well, except for the planning, and I've already started thinking about the new year...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Meeting #10: Food Bank Volunteering

Support Community service badge (SC)

You in Guiding: Be Involved in Your Community (YiG4)

We took the girls to Feed NS, to help sort food at the Christmas warehouse. They are getting their Christmas hampers ready, so we bagged potatoes, apples, and onions. The girls worked hard for over an hour and we bagged and boxed lots of vegetables and fruit for families in our community and province. (SC, YiG4#3)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Special Event: Olympic Sleepover

Olympia Badge

We couldn't get a camp booked for the fall, so instead we rented a fire hall so we could have a sleepover. We chose the Olympia Badge from the WAGGGS website, since we had some Bronze level ones leftover from a few years ago.

7:00-7:30: Arrival

7:30-8:00: Orientation and Rules: We had twelve girls. To split them up into their groups in the following manner--first, they got into six groups of two and then two groups of six. Then they got into four groups of three and they were all very pleased with themselves until we counted each group off--1, 2, 3--and all the 1s were a group, etc. Surprisingly, there wasn't much grumbling, even though they didn't get to choose who was in their groups.

8:00-8:45: Make up your country. Design a flag and nametags. Create an anthem.--We gave them large pieces of paper and they could make up their country name and design their flag and make up an anthem or cheer. They also made their nametags to go with their countries. They also had to choose a flag bearer and a torch runner. 

8:45-9:00: Opening Ceremonies: We had them parade in and do a horseshoe formation, while we played the Olympic Hymn. Then the torch bearers fell out and ran the torch  around the room and up the middle. Each country did their anthem/cheer, and then we had one girl read the Olympic Athlete Oath and a Guider read the Olympic Judge Oath.

9:00-9:15: Mug up--Since it was a sleepover, we had chips and cheesies and Fruitopia.

9:15-10:00: Campfire: We sang some fun songs, old favourites and I taught them some new ones.

10:00-10:30: PJs
11:00: Lights out

7:00 Wake up

7:00-8:00: Dressed and packed up--since we were sleeping in our play area, they had to get their sleeping bags and gear packed up and stowed in the corner before breakfast.

8:00-8:30: Breakfast--Our quartermaster always treats us well! She made Cinnamon French Toast Bake and Monkey Bread Minis, along with oranges and kiwi slices and juice.

We had a scoreboard on the wall, with each team country and each activity that we filled out after each activity was completed (3 points for first, 2 points for second, 1 point for third), and the winning team got to do their anthem/chant after each activity.

8:30-9:00: Tangrams activity--One of the activities in the challenge was to create an Olympic figure out of a tangram puzzle. Then we had them switch tables and they had to race to recreate another team's tangram without talking. (YaO2#2)

9:00-9:15: Food Pyramid activity--the next challenge activity was to compare the Asian Food pyramid to a Western Food pyramid. The first team to find 5 differences won. It was interesting, because their differences weren't what we were expecting, but they were all valid differences!

9:15-10:45: Olympic Games--Now we got into the active games:
Hopscotch--we used green painter's tape to make three small hopscotch's on the floor (1-4, plus a home at the top). Each girl had to do each number.
Leap Frog--they did these as  a race--lots of fun to watch!
Skipping Relay--they had to each skip forwards and backwards twice up the course. When the teams finished, they had to all sit down before they could earn their placement.
Balloon Pop Hop--We tied balloons to their legs with string, marked out a square with pylons, and they had to pop the other countries' balloons. The last balloons not popped won. One girl didn't like the sound of the balloons popping, but this was a fun game all around.
Three-legged race
Wheelbarrow race--they had to switch at the turnaround so everyone got a chance to be the wheelbarrow.
Musical Chairs
Hula hooping--We timed each girl from each team and the aggregate time was what we used for each country.

10:45-11:00: Snack--Goldfish crackers and apple slices

11:00-11:15: Closing Ceremonies--They paraded into horseshoe formation and ran the torch out of the stadium. Then we awarded them gold, silver and bronze "medals"--we found jingle bells at Michael's that were gold, silver, and bronze and we put them on ribbons. The girls loved them!

11:15-12:00 Create commemorative coins and make up a sport--The last challenge activity. Everyone made a commemorative coin out of shrinky dinks and they all turned out fantastic. Then we laid out an assortment of sports equipment--balls, skipping ropes, hula hoops, pylons, paddles, inflatable bat--and had them each invent a game to play. 

12:00-1:00: Present new sports--We played all the games that the girls invented.

1:00-1:30: Lunch--Ham and cheese croissants, heated in an oven, with veggies and dip, and two-bite brownies for dessert.

1:30-2:00: Guides Own--We did our Two Apples and an Onion, read an Olympic Poem, sang Aka Taka Nuva (this is the closest version I found to the one I know), and handed out their crests.

The girls all went home with smiles on their faces and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Meeting #9: First Aid badge

First Aid

You and Others: Learn About Safety
Another easy night--we had a guest speaker from St John's Ambulance come to help the girls earn their First Aid badges.

6:30-6:45: Patrol Time--We asked the girls to list the Christmas songs that they know and like to sing, for when we visit a Senior's Center in two weeks.

6:45-6:55: Horseshoe

6:55-8:15: St John's Ambulance led the girls in learning about first aid and helped them put together personal first aid kits that they can take with them on our hikes. We purchased most of the supplies: Lock and Lock containers, bandaids, tape, gauze, alcohol wipes, safety pins, pencil, notepaper. Our presenter supplied them with gloves and a triangular bandage. (FA#1-10, YaO4#1, YaO4#2).

8:15-8:30: Updated Program books and closing

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Meeting #8: Fitness Fun badge

Fitness Fun badge (FF)
Discovering You: Stay Fit and Healthy (DY3)

Beyond You: Try New Things
We had a guest presenter at our meeting--she's a Ranger leader, our Area Active Living advisor, and a fitness instructor. She worked on the Fitness Fun badge with the girls (DY3#6)

6:30-6:45: Patrol Time. We didn't have a lot of time, but we have a sleepover coming up so we asked the girls to choose from three Challenges we're thinking about doing.

6:45-6:55: Horseshoe. We found out the results of the sleepover planning, which was that they liked the idea of all the challenges and there was no one challenge that won out over the others, so we're no farther ahead and we still have to make a decision!

7:00-8:20: Our guest took over. We did yoga for half an hour. (FF#3 & #7, BY3#3)

Then she discussed with the girls ways to change their daily routines to add more fitness (walking more, taking stairs when you can, playing outside instead of watching tv). (FF#1)

Then we went over different ways to stretch various muscles--some we had done during the yoga session. (FF#4)

Finally, we learned the proper ways to do squat, lunges, push-ups, and crunches. She stressed to the girls that there is no such thing as "girl push-ups" and "boy push-ups", but rather beginner and advanced. I thought this was a great point to make. (FF#6)

She was a great presenter and I think the girls really enjoyed it. I know they enjoyed getting their badges!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Special Event: Remembrance Day

Lining up to parade in; Placing the District wreath; Remembrance Day Tableau

On Friday, our District took part in our community Remembrance Day ceremony. This was the first year we've had a service in our community and the whole thing was spearheaded by a fabulous Scouter who did an amazing job organizing everything.

The weather didn't cooperate, unfortunately. The ceremony was supposed to be outside on the ballfield behind the Community Hall, but 100 mm of rain and 50 km/hr winds  forced us to move inside, which really wasn't suited for everyone who showed up! We had over 100 Girl Guide members, Scouts were probably equivalent, plus the Cadet regiment and band and all of the parents and members of the community.

All of the youth did really well through the whole thing, especially during the two minutes of silence. The ceremony was beautiful, and Scouter Jim did a great job, keeping things moving. It was so moving when the whole place sang O Canada and God Save the Queen.

You in Guiding: Be Involved in Your Community (YiG4)
Beyond You: Discover Your Community (BY1)
And I always tell the girls that there is very little that we do that doesn't relate to programming in some way. Participating in the ceremony is an activity of our choice that helps us be involved in the community (YiG4#6) and as a Unit, we participated in a community event (BY1#3).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meeting #7: Planning

You and Others: Learn about Leadership in a Group
It's a lot of work, letting the girls do the planning!

6:30-7:00: Patrol Time After attendance and badge presentations, the girls worked on deciding which badges we were going to work on when, and which pieces of programming we would work on for the hiking challenge. They are still getting to used to this responsibility, and we had to do a lot of checking up with them and keeping them on task. Hopefully, as the year goes on, they will get better at it! Badge Planning (Word doc)

7:00-7:15: Horseshoe. The patrol leaders gave attendance, and the names of who presented badges and which badges, then we talked about upcoming meetings. Then we discussed the results of their badge planning. No patrol planned the Fitness Fun badge, so we will decide that. They all chose the First Aid badge to work on next.

For the Hiking badge activities, we counted which patrols picked each activity and majority ruled. They agreed on 5 of the 6 activities.

For the Hiking Challenge, they all chose the same activity, which was create a journal out of recycled materials, and only one other group picked a second activity, so that will be our second activity. I would have chosen the two activities that coincided with the Hiking badge. One thing I like about letting the girls choose is that it takes *me* out of my comfort zone and plan things I wouldn't normally plan!

7:15-7:30: Our Guide Store order came in a few weeks ago, and this was our first meeting where everyone (theoretically) had a program book. So we went over the programming that we've already accomplished, so they could check off their books, and see what we've done so far. For the girls who forgot to bring their books, it was a good opportunity for them to see why they should bring their books.

7:30-7:45: We did some more planning. One group planned a campfire for that night, one group planned a game or two for that night, and one group planned a campfire for another night. For the campfire planning, I gave the girls the Table of Contents from my own personal songbook that I compiled of songs that I know and like. For the game planning, I picked 10-12 games from Becky's Guiding Resource for them to choose from.

7:45-8:00: They chose two games to try: Back to Back and the Dutch Shoe Game. The girls did a lot of giggling while trying the Back to Back game. And we learned which girls could stay on rhythm for the Dutch Shoe Game. Girls from the patrol that did the game planning were in charge of teaching the games too. Two of the girls really stepped up and did a great job. They are getting credit for You and Others: Learn About Leadership in a Group #2. (YaO1#1)

8:00-8:20: We had a chance to have campfire at the end of the meeting! With our new time (an extra half an hour added to the meeting), we have time to include a campfire at the end of some meetings. One girl did most of the leading, though there were songs she wasn't sure of but knew they wanted to do, so she asked me to lead them. She is getting credit for You and Others: Learn About Leadership in a Group #6.  (YaO1#6)

I'm surprised there's no credit in the Program Squares for Campfire Leading (though I know there is a badge for it). Interestingly though, when I look it up in the Guide Cross Reference (Excel doc), it gives YaO1#5, Taking Responsibility. I don't always remember to look at that file to see how it correlates the programming.

8:20-8:30: Taps and clean-up

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Meeting #6: Science Badge

Science Badge (S)

Beyond You: Try New Things (BY3)

My favourite kind of meeting--one where the leaders don't have to do anything! Supernova through Dalhousie university promotes Science, Engineering, and Technology to youth across Nova Scotia, and have developed a program for Guides where they offer 6 different badges to choose from. We did the Chemistry badge last year, and the Astronomy one a few years ago, and this meeting we did the Science badge, as voted on by the girls earlier in the year.

Supernova offers its programs at the university, or they will come to your meeting place. It's nice to go on an outing and have a change of scenery, so we went to Dal (S6, BY3#4).

The instructor, a biology student at Dal, was terrific, as they always are through Supernova. She started by talking about the three kinds of sciences (S1) and then had the girls brainstorm way they use science and technology in their every day lives (S3).

Then they got into the fun stuff. The study of DNA has changed, thanks to technology, so the girls learned about DNA and did an experiment to extract DNA from a banana. They mushed up a banana, added a solution to it, and filtered it into a test tube. Then added another chemical and let them sit. In the end, two of the test tubes were able to extract the DNA. (S2)

Next they made Goop--basically cornstarch and water--which is a non-Newtonian fluid. If you squeeze it (get it moving fast), it solidifies, but then will turn back to liquid. When deciding on a colour to add to it, the girls chose blue for Girl Guides! (S4)

Then they made a pickle flashlight! (video on Facebook--may have to like the page to see) Nails in boards, attached to a power source, acted as a battery. The brine solution from the pickles make them quite conductive. The pickle is speared on one nail, and then when the second nail touches it, it lights up. We turned out the lights and it was very cool to see! (S5)

Finally, the favourite Supernova trick, is elephant toothpaste (video on Facebook). It's a great chemical reaction that occurs quickly and makes a great mess!

The girls had a fabulous time, and got to do some hands-activities and watch and learn about some other science activities.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hike #1

We went on our first hike of the year today! We had great weather for it--it was a beautiful sunny morning, a bit on the cool side. Everyone dressed in layers (like they were told!) and peeled the layers off as they got warmed up from the hike and as the sun warmed the day.

Before the hike, we sent an email suggesting the following:

  • Dress in layers. It'll be cool starting out, but hopefully, we'll warm up once we get walking and it's nice to be able to take some layers off.
  • Wear sturdy shoes--sneakers or hiking shoes/boots.
  • Wear a hat and mitts/gloves.
  • Bring a small backpack/day pack--to carry things you need and to hold clothing you may take off.
  • Bring a water bottle filled with water.
  • We'll provide a snack (the GORP we made on Tuesday night). You might want to augment it with an apple or banana.

We're planning to earn the Hike Nova Scotia hiking challenge crest this year, so this was our first hike of many. We brought the GORP we made at enrollment, and also gave them baggies containing their hike log book and a pencil, a small notepad in case they want to take notes on anything, and some supplies to make a small hat craft at home after the hike.

We knew there were lots of oak trees at this park and we'd be able to find acorns. So we gave the girls googly eyes and a safety pin, to create a little acorn man. It was almost too late in the year to find the acorns--most were buried under all the leaves--but on our way out, we found a good spot and everyone ended up with an acorn to take home.

While on the hike, we took a picture of the girls and talked to them about how the woods look in the fall. We will come back to this park in the winter and in the spring to do the same things. (Beyond You: Learn About Our Environment #1)

The girls had a great time on the hike. We had time at the end, so we stopped in a field and played Blob Tag and Stormy Seas.

On the way out, we tried to get the girls to sing. We tried Sippin' CiderGreat Green Globs (everyone has a different version of this song!), and some other silly ones, but the girls wouldn't join in until we did Everywhere We Go. This really piqued their interest and we sang it over again about four times!

Then we all filled in our log books and it was time for the parents to pick them up! We were out for about two hours and it was such a fun time. It's always nice to get out of the meeting place and do fun things and give the girls a chance to just socialize with each other.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Meeting #5: Halloween Party! And Enrollment!

You in Guiding: Understanding the Promise and Law (YiG1)

Beyond You: Try New Things (BY3)

We had our Halloween party with the Sparks unit down the hall, and then had our enrollment after the Sparks left. Unfortunately, that meant the girls got enrolled in their costumes!

Arrival (10 min): The girls oohed and aahed over their costumes as everyone arrived.

Icebreaker (15 min): We played Circle to Square, a cooperative game the Guiders learned at conference a few weeks ago. First, the girls had to line up in alphabetical order. With older girls, you ask them to do this without talking, but since they were helping the Sparks get organized, we allowed it. Again, I'm getting used to working with quiet, reserved unit this year, and it took some work to get them all lined up in order. We're starting to see some leaders emerge though.

Once they're in order, form them into a circle, and then find four corners and make the circle a square (hence the name). Then the leader stands in the center and tells them to remember who they're standing beside and which part of you they are facing--front, back, left, or right. I held a pumpkin in one hand and a black cat in the other, to help them remember left and right. Then they all spread out, walk around, and get generally mixed up. The leader then yells "Circle to Square" and the girls have to line themselves back up again. The trick is that the leader can rotate 90° and the girls need to realize that they have to get back to facing the proper side of the leader's body, not to the exact spot they were standing originally.

The game went okay. There were 35 girls to organize and without a strong leader emerging from the Guides, a number of them were sort of lost at sea when they were alphabetizing themselves. It confused them when I rotated, but they eventually figured it out. This would probably work better with a smaller group, but it did help everyone get to introduce themselves and get the names out.

Grim Reaper game (5 min): A Guide and a Spark were picked to be It. Everyone else was to lie down on the floor and pretend to be dead, which meant no moving. The Its walked around and if they saw someone moving, they touched them and were out and then helped look for girls who were moving. Some of the girls were really good at lying still!

Crafts (15 min): We had three crafts set up. We paired each Guide up with a Spark, and the Guides were tasked with helping the Sparks make their crafts and providing any assistance that was needed. (BY3 #5)

Craft #1: Ghost Lollipops These were really cute. The Guides had to help the Sparks tie the string around the neck.

Craft #2: Halloween Witches Hat
Ingredients: 1 chocolate mint cookie, icing (a tube of gel icing works well and is quick and easy), Hershey Chocolate Kiss – unwrapped
The Process: Stick the Hershey Chocolate Kiss on top of the cookie with a small dab of icing to make the peak of the hat.

Again, very easy, and a great way to use up any Chocolatey Mint Cookies you have left!

Craft #3: Foam Halloween shapes (bats & pumpkins), googly eyes, sticky magnet strips. The Guides used a glue gun to help the Spark glue the eyes on and they drew the rest of the face on and put a magnet on the back.

Snack (10 min): We had a veggie tray (carrots and cucumber with dip), a bag of Halloween sized chips, and cupcakes for the girls. The Guides stayed with their Sparks and helped them get their snack and sat with them at the tables. They all  did a really good job of helping the Sparks all night.

Enrollment (YiG1#6)
After the Sparks left, we began our enrollment. As we're planning to do a lot of hiking this year to complete the Hiking Challenge, we thought this Girl Scout Gorp Ceremony would be fitting.

We assembled all of the ingredients. Kix aren't available in Canada, so we used Corn Pops and my fellow Guider printed off the Kix box from the internet so it looked like we had Kix! I rewrote the ceremony to make it work for Girl Guides. GORP Enrollment (Word doc)

We started with Horseshoe and the Promise, and then we moved on to the ceremony. We have three returning girls and 13 new girls, so the returning girls took turns reading each paragraph and then each new girl got to dump an ingredient into the bowl and then receive her enrollment pin and patrol badge. 

When we finished, we mixed it all and bagged it up for our hike on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meeting #4: Be Prepared and Sock Puppets

You in Guiding: Understanding the Promise and Law (YiG1)

Discovering You: Discover Your Creativity (DY2)
Discovering You: Understand How to Be Responsible (DY4)

Our Guiders just went to a Guider conference and learned some new things to incorporate into our meetings. It works out well, as this was our first week with the Patrols. We're also planning to expand our meetings from 90 minutes to 2 hours, and we got permission from our meeting place that we can do this!

Patrol Time (20 min): This was new for us. When the girls arrived, they found papers on the table, telling them what to do. Patrol Time instructions (Word doc). The Patrol Leaders take attendance, the girls can present their badges to their patrols (with a Guider overseeing this) and then they spend time either working on Program work, planning upcoming meetings, or planning for campfire, depending on what we task them with.

This week, they were required to make a Be Prepared plan for a trip to the moon--Trip to the Moon (Word doc) (YiG1#3)

Horseshoe (20 min): Then we do Horseshoe after they've completed Patrol Time. This gives us as Guiders a chance to get organized while they are still accomplishing work. At Horseshoe, the Patrol Leaders told us who was absent from their groups and what badges had been presented and by whom. Then we discussed what we were doing that night and then the girls went back to their tables and we discussed their answers to the trip to the moon. (YiG1#3)

Sock Puppets (40 min): We bought fuzzy socks from the dollar store, and then had a ton of things for accessories--feathers, fun foam, buttons, needles, thread, glue guns, yarn, pom poms, felt--and the girls went town making their sock puppets. (DY2#2)

We also gave them take home work to do. They are to be responsible for their sock puppets and look after them for the week. They need to bring the sock puppet and their responsibility chart back with them next week, to show how they looked after them. Responsibility Chart (Word doc) (DY4#5)

Clean-up (5 min): After crafts, the girls cleaned up the floor and tables where they were working--they always end up with little pieces of fluff everywhere!

Closing (5 min): We gave them the choice of the Squeeze and Slow Taps, or Jamaican Taps. I never let them do the Squeeze with Jamaican taps, or we'd never do Slow Taps!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Meeting #3: Patrol Elections and Code of Conduct

You in Guiding: Understanding the Promise and Law (YiG1)
You in Guiding: Learn About Guiding (YiG2)

We're still working on the You in Guiding square!

10 min: We spent arrival time collecting dues, cookie money, health forms, and uniform orders. We're putting in a unit order for everyone, to help defray shipping costs.

15 min: Practice Horseshoe--It's always amazing how quickly they pick up the horseshoe. They love doing it (so far!) so we went through it twice.

15 min: Patrol Leader speeches and voting--This is the first year we've done Patrols like this. We used to assign the Patrols and Leaders and let the patrols vote on their Seconds. This year, we opened it up and let every girl have a chance to be Patrol Leader, if they gave a short speech on why they wanted to be a Patrol Leader. The Patrol Leader also got to pick the Patrol Emblem. After the speeches they voted for three patrol leaders on one ballot, and three seconds on a second ballot, and they had to have 6 different names in total. Two leaders counted up the names while we moved on to the next activity. (YiG1#2)

30 min: Code of Conduct activity (Member Zone Log in): We decided to do the Code of Conduct activity for Guides. Last year's group was a really chatty group, so I thought this, with the talk amongst yourselves, would go over well, except our dynamic is quite different this year. They seemed to enjoy reading everything out and answering some questions about what the scenarios meant, but they didn't have a lot to add to the conversation. It's not a super exciting or active activity for them, but I think it's important.

After the activity, we discussed a Code of Conduct for our meeting space, trying to find something for each of the five concepts we covered (Respect, Safe Space, Privacy, Set an Example, and Care). (YiG2#4)

10 min: Once we finished the Code of Conduct, we announced who got to be Patrol Leaders and Seconds. The Seconds got to pick which Patrol Leader they wanted to work with. Then the girls got to pick which Patrol they were in. We told them from the start that if there were too many girls in one patrol, we would ask some to move, and if that didn't settle it, we would have to draw names to see who would move patrols. We did end up with one patrol that had one extra girl it in. At first, I was worried that we'd have to draw names, but then one girl stepped up and switched to another patrol. Disaster averted!

We ended with a couple of songs. I chose On My Honour, as it seemed to tie in with the program work of the evening. Then we let the girls choose and they picked Alice the Camel (always a fun one, and we start at 10) and Baby Shark (this is the closest I could find to the version we do--it's the same up to Verse 11 and then we just say "I'm alive" and dance around, and there are actions that go along with it). Then we did the squeeze and slow taps.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Meeting #2: Promise and Law

You in Guiding: Understanding the Promise and Law (YiG1)
You in Guiding: Learn About Guiding (YiG2)

Learn Horseshoe (20 minutes): We started the meeting by teaching the girls how to do horseshoe (Horseshoe formation, taken from GGC Member Zone). The first thing we did was teach the song we sing while marching: the Guide Marching Song lyrics and music. We haven't voted on Patrol Leaders yet, but we used the older girls as patrol leaders. We have 17 girls this year, so we're only going to have 3 patrols.

We started with "Company Fall In", "Left Wheel", and "Company March". We had them march in a circle and then did the split to make the horseshoe. We practiced marching it twice without the words and then we added the song, which confused the girls a little but eventually they'll get it. (20 minutes)

Learn the Promise and Law (15 min): Once they were in the horseshoe shape, we did the promise and law and motto. We have them written up on 11x17 paper that we can hold up for them to read, at least for the first few meetings. We talked about how we hold up three fingers to represent the three parts of the promise. (YiG1#1)

When I was in Guides (30 years ago!), we sang the Guide Law when we did horseshoe, and I can still remember it today. So I found the new song for the new law (lyrics and music) and played it for the girls and we tried singing along. We're going to do this at every meeting, to see if we can remember the law better when it's set to music. (YiG1#1)

I took the returning girls aside to talk to them about Lady Baden Powell Award while the rest of the girls played a Promise Relay. They were in three groups, so we had three sets of promises, broken into small pieces, written in different colours, on strips of bristol board. The first time they played, each colour was in separate piles and the girls had to run, one by one, up to get a piece of the promise and put them in  order. The second time through, the colours were scattered together and they did the relay again. (YiG#1)

Scavenger Hunt (30 min): Next, we did a scavenger hunt in the Program Book, to find out things about Guiding (Word doc). This is a great opportunity for the girls to learn things about Guiding and discover all the information that could be found in the book. We went over all the answers, so all the girls could hear the answers. (YiG2#2)

Handshake Dance (10 min): Finally, we did the activity suggested in the Program book. We played music while the girls danced, and then when the music stop, each girl had to find someone to shake left hands and make the Guide sign. If we had more time, we would have played lots of rounds like musical chairs and eliminated the girls one by one (every other round, a leader would need to play so there would be an odd number of people).

We closed with Jamaican taps.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Women's History Month Activity

You and Others: Learn About Leadership in a Group (YaO1)
This is a meeting we did a couple of years ago during Women's History Month as part of the Famous Five Challenge (Member Zone log-in) and Women's History Challenge (pdf file), which is no longer available.

Option 1 of the Women's History Challenge was to create a Women's History Wall of Fame. I found a website called Famous Canadian Women, which has the birthdates of a lot of Canadian women. I matched the birthdates of my Guides to the birthdate of a famous Canadian woman. I made myself a master copy (Word doc) of the information about the woman, and I made a document (Word doc) that listed the women, birthdates and accomplishments.

I cut out the short descriptions and cut them into shapes (circles, triangles, rectangles) and backed them with colourful construction paper in the same shape, but slightly larger.

At the meeting, I hung up a large piece of Bristol board on wall. Then I read out a birthdate and had the girls identify themselves if it matched theirs. We handed them the name to attach to the poster, and then they had to write their year of birth and something about themselves that they were good at or liked about themselves. While they were doing this, I read the short bio of the famous woman they were connected to.  As it was Women's History month, when we finished, we left the poster on the wall of the school cafeteria where we meet, so the other students could see what we accomplished. (YaO1#4)

The other activity was to do a skit, so I tied this to the Famous Five Challenge (pdf file), which provided some skits. I handed out the three skits to the girls to practice and learn and present. The skits provided the information they would need to answer the questions required in the challenge.

I also had the Word Search from the Famous Five Challenge on the tables for them to work on when they arrived.

I really enjoyed doing our Wall of Fame poster--it was one of those cases where I learn just as much as (or more than!) the girls who were doing the activity.

(this post was inspired by a conversation I had with @girlguidesofcanada today on Twitter, which also contributed to their blogpost Women's History Month)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Meeting #1 2011-2012

We had our first meeting last night! I love a new year. We have about 15 girls (still waiting for the dust to settle on some of them) and only 3 returning from last year. Ten first years, two second years, three third years. Three are totally new to Guiding.

We started with introductions, going around the room so everyone could say their names and how long they'd been in Guiding. (5 min)

Then we played icebreaker games. The first one we tried seemed like a good idea, but fell dead to the ground! They were supposed to make up a sentence about themselves and then the Guiders would have to rhyme it, but they weren't feeling creative and no one could come up with a sentence! So we scrapped this one and moved on to another one.

We did a toe-basher game. Everyone stood in a circle and there was one girl in the middle. A Guider (or the last girl in the middle) would start off by calling a name. The person whose name was called had to crouch down and shout out another name before the girl in the middle could "bash" her toes with a soft object (we used an oven mitt--we meet in the Family Studies room of a school!). This was a fun game and the girls enjoyed it and had fun with it. The biggest danger with this game is that it's hard to get every girl's name called, because it's easier to do names that have been used already than to remember other names. I might modify the rules if we do this again some time that once you crouch, you stay down and no one can say that name again until all the names are called. (15 min)

Then we sat down and discussed the Guide Program and how it's different from the Brownie Program, i.e. we do a lot of program work but don't get badges as often to show for our work as they did in Brownies. We talked about challenges and how we can use those to earn crests and have them count for Program work too. We also talked about being Patrol Leaders and the upcoming elections and told them to think about if they wanted to run and to let us know next week. We also handed out crests from last year: Cookie All-Star crests and the NS PR crest. It's nice to start the year with some girls earning things right away! We took that opportunity to talk about cookie selling and Cookie All-Stars in preparation of our cookie selling on Saturday. (10 min)

We wanted to explain the different aspects of Guides, so we played hangman to figure out what Guides is about. We used CAMPING AND OUTDOORS, ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS, and COMMUNITY SERVICE. We talked about camping opportunites (tent camping in the spring, residential in the winter) and the new Girl Guide Hiking Challenge we're going to try to complete; we talked about how Guides try to "take action for a better world" and then we discussed community services opportunities. (15 min)

We had the returning girls think about what service projects they had done in Brownies and Guides and categorize them into Community, Environmental, and International. Then I handed out the Girl Guide page of service ideas from the BC Girl Guides. Some were very intrigued by them and wanted to do everything! We narrowed it down to things we know can do and can plan right away (Feed NS, senior center visitations, school clean-up in the spring, CWFF) and things they wanted to do but we have to figure out if they're possible (boo-boo bunnies for hospitals, school supplies for Afghanistan). (10 min)

Finally, we gave them a choice of science badges offered by Supernova at Dalhousie University. We had done the Chemistry badge last year, so that was off the table. By a vote, the Science Badge one, so we're booking that for November. (5 min)

We played a few games, did some planning of fun things we'd be doing through the year. Helping to plan our service project ideas and our STEM badge, I count this towards Discovering You: Understand How to Be Responsible: Setting Patrol goals. The first few meetings are a lot of planning and not a lot of doing. Next week should have a bit more action!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

You in Guiding Games

You in Guiding: Understand the Promise and Law (YiG1)
You in Guiding: Learn About Guiding (YiG2)
You in Guiding: Learn About WaGGGS (YiG3)

I received two games that another Guider created (Michelle Blanchard, 70th Guides) to help the girls learn about Guiding and I'm passing it along!

Amazing Race Game
Create envelopes filled with challenges for the girls to complete one by one. Just like on the show, when they finish one challenge, they get their next envelope. (Amazing Race Word doc)

Envelope 1: Girls must match the black and white uniforms with the branch names and colors associated with the uniforms (YiG2#3)

Envelope 2: Girls put together the world flag puzzle (YiG3#4)

Envelope 3: Girls must put together the two word pieces to complete the promise. As an extra challenge, change the word 'beliefs' to 'faith' to see if the girls notice. (YiG1#1)

Envelope 4: Using string licorice, the girls must each properly tie the reef knot (YiG1#5)

To make things more interesting, you can hide the first envelopes around the room for the teams to find to start their challenge! Prizes can be given to the girls when they complete it, e.g. mugs to the first team to win and bookmarks (promise ones) and girl guide pencils to the rest for completing their challenges.

Be Prepared Stations (YiG1#3)
Be Prepared Stations are quite simple, but you can make them as hard as you'd like!!  Start by talking about why it's important to be prepared for various situations in our lives, both as kids and adults.  Around the room, set up "stations" with various situations where girls would have to be prepared. An example of a way to set up the station is to write down the situation and hung up the paper at different spots around the room.

Situation examples:
Seasons (winter, summer, fall, spring)
Being a good citizen

The girls take their booklets (Be Prepared Stations Word doc) and go around to each station and write down a minimum of items for each situation. Give them a time limit at each station and see how many they can think of in their time limit. When they're done,discuss their answers in a group and how they were similar or different.  If you think your girls woudln't be able to come up with items on their own, you can always make a list of items the girls would have to choose from for each station (ex: for season you can write down different types of clothing and get the girls to pick the ones they think would be right for that particular season) This would also work if you have a multi-age group to make it accessible for Sparks all the way to Rangers!

Friday, August 26, 2011

You in Guiding Program

World Guiding badge
You in Guiding: Learn About Guiding (YiG2)
You in Guiding: Learn About WAGGGS (YiG3)
You in Guiding: Be Involved in Your Community (YiG4)
We took two meetings to work on the World Guiding badge (WG), which also tied into You in Guiding (YiG2=Learn About Guiding, YiG3=Learn About WAGGGS, YiG4=Be Involved in Your Community) and the NS 100 Challenge.

Meeting #1
Vote on fun activity: After these two meetings, we'd have spent four meetings in our meeting room, working on programming. We gave the girls a chance to pick a fun activity (swimming, bowling, pottery) as a reward for working so hard for four weeks straight.

Third-years perform LBP skit with props (10 min): Our third years had been working on their Lady Baden Powell Award, so they presented a skit they'd worked on to learn about Lady Baden Powell and teach the other girls too. (YiG2#1, WG#1)
Slide show on World Centers (Power Point doc) (15 min): This presentation was passed on to me from another Guider, but I'm not sure who created it in the first place. There is a lot of writing on the slides--I just give a general overview of what each says. (YiG3#2, WG#6)

Discuss CWFF and tell girls to bring at least 100 pennies next week (5 min). (YiG3#3, NS100)

World Center Countries Promise and Law sheet (15 min): We had a sheet that had the promises and laws from the World Center Countries (but I'm not sure where we got it from). We read them out loud and then noted how they were different from our promise and law. This activity could be improved upon--made into more of a game somehow. (YiG3#5, WG#2)

World Centers snack (10 min): Snacks again! We had Swiss cheese and chocolate (Our Chalet), hummus and pita (Sangam), salsa and tortilla chips (Our Cabana), shortbread cookies (PAX Lodge).  (WG#4)

Meeting #2
World Flag puzzle (15 min): I made puzzles for the patrols a few years ago and we reuse them every year. We discuss what each of the parts mean, and then they have to assemble the puzzles. This year, after explaining what each piece meant, they had to assemble them in the order that as I called out the meanings.  (YiG3#4)

Facts about Japan (10 min): We held this meeting after the tsunami in Japan. We talked about the information that was on the Japan page from the 100 in 100 Challenge (which we had done the previous year. Unfortunately, this page no longer exists. It had lots of great info!). We used the pennies we were collecting and rolling to send to CWFF for Japan. (WG#5)

Collect pennies and roll them (10 min): We had pennies that had been collected all year and a lot of penny rollers. The girls do this quite quickly--it's much easier than having a leader roll all the change we collect! (YiG4#5)

World Center fortune tellers/cootie catchers/origami:  (15 min) The girls always love a chance to do some crafting/coloring/folding (WG#7)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tent Camping--Back to Basics

Outdoor Cooking

Outdoor Adventures

ordered from E-Patches and Crests

Basic Camper

For spring camp, we tented at a local provincial campground. We didn't want to plan anything "extra" to do, other than camping activities. We planned for the girls to earn the Outdoor Adventure (OA) and Outdoor Cooking (OC) badges, along with the Basic Camper (BC) badge and a Spring Camping crest.

We arrived at camp on Friday evening and all the girls helped to set up the tents. (BC#3)  We invited the other Guide unit and the Pathfinder unit from our district, so we had 23 girls and 5 leaders. 

Once all the tents were up and organized, we had our group orientation meeting. We talked about the boundaries of the camp and where they were allowed to go. The campground wasn't open to the public yet, so we were the only group there, which was nice. (BC#4, BC#5)

Then we played an icebreaker game I found on Becky's Guiding Resource Center called Part-to-Part. The leaders played too. I'm not sure we did the "move down and go the other line" part of the game quite right, but it was fun and there's nothing like getting into someone else's personal space to get to know them!

We tasked each tent with coming up with two to three songs for campfire that night. The girls helped to start the fire and we had a great sing-a-long.  After mug up, we went to an open field and looked ath constellations, using star charts that we had printed off from the internet before we left. (OA#6, BC#7)

The girls were doing all of their own cooking for the weekend. We had four camp stoves for them to use, so they made themselves eggs (scrambled or boiled) and toast for breakfast. They were all responsible for their own dishes and clean-up. (OC#1, OC#5, OC#7, OA#3, BC#3)

Then we split up into two groups to play some games. Half went with one Guider to play a Red Light/Green Light game to help them learn what they need to know for their badges. I got the idea from Becky's site, but I adapted it to what we needed (and realized it is very close to the game I made up for the Endangered Species Wide Game I did a couple of years earlier.) (OA#7, OC#6, OC#7, OC#8, BC#4)

The other half played the Smells of Camp Kim's Game, again from Becky's site. We found small vials at the dollar store and covered them with electrical tape, since film cannisters aren't as prevalent. I filled them with lots of different things from my kitchen. (OC#6, OC#7)

After a snack, the girls got into groups again and they were each given a topic and they made up skits on how to Be Prepared in the following situations:

  • If you’re lost, stay in one place because this helps people find you.
  • Wear clothing appropriate to the weather, including footwear that will protect your feet and a hat to help prevent heat loss or protect you from the sun.
  • The buddy system helps keep track of where people are during camp.
  • Know the camp’s address, emergency phone numbers, and how to give directions to the camp. (BC#9)
For lunch, the girls cooked Kraft Dinner and hot dogs on the camp stoves again. (OC#1, OC#5, OC#7, OA#3, BC#3)

After the dishes were done and camp was cleaned, they spent some time playing in and near the river. The river was shallow and they were allowed in up to their knees. Some found tadpoles, one girl found a snake in the long grass, some skipped rocks. (BC#8)

Then we split them into two groups and they used trail signs (rocks, sticks, grass) to lay a trail that the other group then followed. (OA#4, OA#8, BC#6, BC#8)

Next, we made box ovens that we were going to use to cook our supper. We lined file boxes/paper boxes and lids with tin foil, poking a hole through the handle part for ventilation. We had found some small grills at the dollar store that we propped up on empty pop cans filled with water. We started the charcoal in tin foil pie plates. We cooked pizza on English muffins and they were delicious! It was our first time trying box ovens, but we will be doing them again and again, I'm sure! (OA#5, OC#3, BC#3)

During down times throughout the day, we played some Logic Games and Minute Mysteries. The girls loved these!

The next morning we broke down camp. The girls had to have their gear packed before they were allowed to come for breakfast. After breakfast and the tents were put away, we had our closing. We always do "Two Apples and an Onion", where everyone says two things they liked about camp (apples) and one thing they didn't like (onion). We also handed out their badges and crests and sang a few songs. (BC#10)

We had great weather for the weekend, and I would say it was a successful camp!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Residential Camp--Water Badge

Water for Life Challenge
(edged in blue for Guides)
Water badge
Beyond You: Learn About Our Environment (BY3)

For fall camp, we did the Water for Life Challenge (no longer active as of 2016), the Water Badge, and this also tied into Beyond You Square: Learn About Our Environment #3.

The following is our camp schedule, with programming parts expanded out.

Every residential camp, we do secret pals--the girls and leaders all pick a name, and have to do acts of kindness throughout the weekend. They can make a craft, wash her dishes, any sort of thing, and try to keep it secret. We use this for the Discovering You: Discover What's Important to You #5.

We know the girls like to craft, so we have four or five hat craft examples, but let them make whatever they want at craft time. Some of them do the hat crafts, but most like to do their own thing (and then copy what the other girls are doing!) The craft table is available at all times, though sometimes it is hard to keep them away from it! There are a lot of crafts made for their secret pals.

6:30 Arrival
7:30 Camp rules and Ice breaker game
WfL #4: Discussion of the Water for Life Logo and why Girl Guides are promoting Decade for Action

The Water for Life Decade Logo depicts a fountain of water painted in dark blue. The fountain consists of two cupped hands rising out from an ocean of water represented by two horizontal broad wavy lines. In a point-line style the water streams out of the fountain in both directions, portraying water that is harnessed 'for Life'.

The words "Water for Life 2005-2015" appear below the artwork.
The Water for life decade logo will be available in the six official United Nations languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Girl Guides is promoting it because it’s a United Nations initiative, and Girl Guides/WAGGGS helps promote UN initiatives that affect children/girls/women around the world.
8:30 Campfire and Mug Up
10:00 PJs
11:00 Lights out

8:00 Breakfast and cleanup
9:00 Discussion of: source of water in community: WfL #1/WB #2 (We had to do some research about our local watershed)
uses of water: WfL #2
ways to conserve water: WfL #2/WfL #5/WfL #14/WB #3
          Skits about conserving water: WfL #3 (After our brainstorming session on how to conserve water, the girls split up into groups and created skits about conserving water. They always love creating skits!)
10:00 Snack and make buddy burners
10:30 Relay races: WfL #10 We had the girls carry large bowls on their heads, but not with water in them—it was too messy inside and too cold outside (we camped in November). We did this as a relay race, to have the girls learn to balance them on their heads
          Hike to lake
          Cloud discussion while on hike: WfL #29
11:15 Craft/free time
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Duties
1:30 We split up into four stations and spent 20 minutes at each one:

1. water cycle experiment: WfL #50 Water Cycle in a bag (updated link to a similar activity)
2. Tsunami experiment: WfL #38 Tsunami Experiment (updated link to a similar activity)
3. Rain dance: WfL #48 (how to do a rain dance)
4. Plants, animals, insects that live in water: WfL #24/WB #6 (I didn't plan this part. They made water habitats with materials from outside and used coloured clay to make animals that live in and around the water, and tin foil to represent the water)
3:00 Aquifier snack and discussion about aquifiers: WfL #20/ WfL #15/WfL #23/WB#1

Discussion of leisure activities and how they can be harmful to environment: WfL #25/WfL #26/WB#5 We did this while they were eating their aquifier.
3:30 Trivia: A review of everything we’ve discussed over the weekend, plus WfL #36
4:00 Free Time
5:30 Supper
6:30 Duties
7:00 Impromptu talent show
8:00 campfire and mug up
10:00 PJs
11:00 Lights out

8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Pack up
9:30 Guides Own: WB#8  We’ll sing Barges, reveal our secret buddies, sing Swimming Swimming in a Swimming Pool, discuss our apples and onions (2 things you liked about camp/1 thing you didn’t like), give out badges, sing Go Well and Safely

All together, we did 18 things from the Water for Life Challenge to earn 3 crests (the blue Guide crest, the orange Brownie crest, and the pink Spark crest).

We did 6 things from the Water Badge (page 160 of the Guide Book).

Everything we did over the weekend counted for Beyond You: Learn About Our Environment #3.