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!