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.


  1. Hi! I'm a new volunteer with guides and so is the woman I'll be working with. We are unsure of the exact details of running a horseshoe. I've seen the resources you've posted on this and it is helpful. But I'm wondering if you can post more detail. I seem to remember putting up a flag or something during this time. I can find lots of resources on actual programming for guides, but very little on the structure. Anything you direct me to would be helpful.


    1. I was trying to think how best to explain it. First I thought I could diagram it, then I thought I could make a video of our girls doing it. Then I thought to search to see if someone else had already made a video!

      I searched on YouTube (girl guide horseshoe) and found a couple. The first one is closest to how we do it, though our girls line up in front if the Guiders.

      The second one, they line up like our girls but do the formation completely differently. I remember doing the crisscross formation when I was a Guide.

      We sing the Guide Marching Song during Horseshoe, but I sang the Guide Law song when I was a Guide.

  2. Thank you very much! What about closing the meeting?

    1. For closing we either do taps or Jamaican tsps, depending on how much time we have.

      For Taps, we crisscross arms to hold hands and "The squeeze is going around, the squeeze is going around, think of a good deed to do each day, the squeeze is going around" (Farmer in the Dell tune) and repeat as necessary until it's gone all the way around. Keeping hands held, we then sing Taps.

      We also do a fast version which we call Jamaican taps but I can't find a resource for it online anywhere. If we're running late, we sing this quickly.
      "Day is done, day is done, day is done,
      Gone the sun, gone the sun, gone the sun,
      From the seeeeas
      From the hiiiiiills
      From the skyyyyyy
      Allis well, allis well, all is well,
      Safely rest, safely rest, safely rest,
      God is nigh, God is nigh, God is nigh."

      You shuffle your hands in front of you as you sing (low, middle, high for seas, hills, sky) then for God is nigh you place one hand on your opposite shoulder, the other hand on top, and then rest your head to the side to finish the song.

  3. What about the structure of the meeting? What do the girls do first as they arrive? Do you gather into horseshoe right away? I think I remember doing something in my patrol-- which I guess was attendance and uniform inspection. We had little booklets for attendance, dues, and uniform. Is there such a thing now? Also, at the horseshoe we raised the flag. Do you do this?

    1. We have a 2 hour meeting, so the first half hour we call Patrol Time. The girls arrive, use the washroom, the Patrol Leader tskes attendance, they can present badge work to their Patrol (with a leader present), and they have table work that has to do with the meeting topic or decisions/planning to do. This is also when we collect paperwork/money from the girls (we have the parents give to the girls to hand in).

      Then we do Horseshoe where we discuss attendance, report on who earned badges, and discuss what they worked on during Patrol Time.

      We don't raise a flag during Horseshoe. Guider Cara's Brownie Meeting blog has a couple of good posts on how to do a Colour Party.