Thursday, December 27, 2012

Meeting #11: Christmas Party

6:30-7:15: Gingerbread man craft--Last year, we decorated gingerbread men, but this year we had a Guide who doesn't eat grains, so we wanted to find something she could do. This was a really cute craft. Trace two gingerbread man on sandpaper (I pretraced them before the meeting). Rub a cinnamon stick over the sandpaper and then cut out the gingerbread man. Glue the two pieces together. Decorate with wiggle eyes, buttons, pom poms, fabric paint, rick- rack, etc. (We had glue guns for the girls to use to help the decorations stick). Then punch a hole in the head and add a ribbon to hang from the tree. 

7:15-7:40 Presents--A few weeks prior, the girls asked if they could do a Secret Santa. We tried to talk to them about how it might be nice to do something for others instead--bringing food for the food bank, donating toys--but no matter how we tried to direct them, they wanted a Secret Santa. And since the program is girl-led and we gave them all their options, we went with the Secret Santa. But we added a caveat--they had make something themselves.

We didn't draw names beforehand. Everyone brought a present and set it under a small tree we had set up. Then each girl drew a number. Then we had a second draw, so it didn't matter which number the girl drew in the first place. When her number was called, the Guide got to choose a present from under the tree, but not open it. Once everyone had a present, then they all opened them at the same time. 

We had a couple of girls who forgot to bring a present, so they couldn't participate in the present opening. We told the girls and sent an email to the parents in advance of the party.  It's tough, but we feel part of being a Girl Guide is learning responsibility. 

7:40-8:00: Treasure hunt (Scroll way down to Social Studies section) -- We drew a map of the school area we could wander through - our room, the hallways, and the cafeteria - and marked off where we hid the foam snowmen. The snowmen treasures were hidden while the girls were working on their craft. Each patrol got a map with a spot marked for each girl. They shared the map and each girl got a turn leading their group to the next hiding spot. This was a great activity--the girls had fun and they got to practice reading a map! (Exploring badge #4)

After they found their snowmen, we let them decorate them with markers.

8:00-8:30 Food--We supplied the food for the party. Cheese, crackers, juice, and cupcakes. It's not a party without food!

And that finished out the term. We're planning to spend the month of January working on the Twinning Challenge, using it to earn the Travel badge and the Cultural Awareness badge too! A great way to lead into Thinking Day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Meeting #10: Enrollment

You in Guiding: Understand the Promise and Law and Motto

Last week, we gave the girls a choice of Enrollment themes: World, Campfire, or Hogwarts. Each theme got votes, but Hogwarts was the winner.

We found the outline for the Hogwarts Enrollment in two places: NB Girl Guide site and AB Girl Guides Bright Ideas.

We gave the girls chopsticks to use as wands.

We didn't make hats or capes for the girls. The leaders wore capes (we have a leader who works at a university who got them for us).

We had a sorting hat with walkie talkies and it worked really cool. (We had 18 girls being enrolled).

The 2nd and 3rd years lit candles as they recited the promise.

We had the cauldron with Dragon Spit (vinegar) and Ground Unicorn Horn.

We used the first hour to set up the room and rehearse the ceremony. Then the parents arrived at 7:30 and we did the ceremony. The whole thing worked really well and was a lot of fun!

Meeting #9: Communication

You and Others: Build Skills in Communication (YaO2)
Event Planning (EP)

6:30-7:00: Patrol Time--We let them work on their Friendship Bracelets. They have lots of fun doing this--we have a hard time getting them to put them away!

7:00-7:15: Horseshoe

7:15-7:35: Enrollment invitations--We gave the girls cards and supplies and they each designed an invitation to bring to their parents, inviting them to enrollment the following week. They do love gluing and creating! (EP#2)

7:35-8:15: We played a written game of Telephone. My daughter has a game called Scribblish that I used to set this up. You start with a sentence and then draw a picture of it. You fold down the sentence, pass the picture to the person beside you, and they have to write a sentence that goes with the picture. Fold down the picture, and the next person has to draw a picture that goes with the sentence. It's a lot of fun and the girls loved it! We played this within patrols. (Word File with Scribblish papers: Scribblish) (YaO2#6)

8:15-8:30: Some songs and Taps

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Special Event #2: Self-Esteem Camp (Residential)

Discovering You: Stay Fit and Healthy (DY3)

Brownie Health Promotion Badge
Irish Girl Guides Health Promotion Challenge for Brownies (IGHP)
  For our Fall camp, we decided to focus on the Stay Fit and Healthy square of Discovering You. We found a Health Promotion booklet from the Irish Girl Guides website. We chose the Brownie level, since their Brownies are aged 7-10, which the majority of our girls fall into. This booklet has lots of great activity ideas!

We stayed well on schedule for this camp, which isn't always the case! We had great weather too! We had two options for the camp--either come for both nights and stay the whole weekend, or come for the day on Saturday (9 am to 7 pm). We had 2 day campers and 21 full campers.




I print out the participant instructions from Safe Guide so that I remember everything we need to tell them. We have a "No Running" rule at camp, and if you're caught running inside, you have to sit on the floor where we caught you until we let you up. And you'd better hope we don't forget about you!

7:30-8:30—Icebreaker Yay You! Game (IGHP#1)--This game was simple but very rewarding. Just say your name and something you're good at, and then everyone claps and says, "Yay, (your name)". It really makes you feel good to have a room of 25 people cheering for you!

Throwing ball game with 4-5 stuffed animals--Start with one beanie baby sized stuff animal. You say a person's name and then toss the toy at the them. Keep going until everyone has caught the toy and it is back at the first person. (We have the girls duck down once they've had the toy, to make sure everyone gets it once and no one gets it twice.) Then you have to throw to the same person you threw to the first time, and then more and more stuffies get added to the game until 5 of them are going at once. Then slowly remove them until one is left. There are lots of giggles with this game.

Draw for Secret Buddies (DY1#5)--We do this every Residential camp and the girls love it! Everyone draws a name and for the weekend, secretly do nice things for your buddy. This year we had a stack of notepaper for them to use, and they burned through it, writing secret messages to their buddies!


9:15: Mug-up—granola bars and hot chocolate--We don't have nut allergies this year, so we made homemade granola bars (so good!). Here's the recipe:
Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

1 C brown sugar
2/3 C peanut butter
1/2 C light corn syrup
1/2 C butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla

3 C oats
1/2 C sunflower seeds
1/2 C coconut
1/2 C raisins (I didn't use these)
1/3 C wheat germ
2 T sesame seeds
1 C chocolate chips

Stir together first 5 ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Press firmly into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Let cool for an hour (or until completely cooled) and then cut into 24 bars.

10:00-11:00—Get ready for bed

11:00—Lights out


7:00 Wake up

8:30-9:30 Breakfast—Eggs (scrambled or boiled), mini bagels, fresh fruit. Milk, juice, ketchup, jam, butter.

9:30—10:30 two activities (20 minute activities)

AM1 Box Oven—The girls lined the cardboard boxes with tin foil and got them ready to be used for lunch. One charcoal briquette gives off about 35°F of heat, so use 10-12 briquettes to get an oven heated to 350°F.(OC#3)

AM2 T-shirts (DY3#5) We had the girls each bring a plain, light coloured T-shirt. They used fabric pens to decorate the front, and then wrote positive messages on the back of each other's shirts, but didn't sign their messages. We left the shirts in the activity room for them to write on all weekend.
AM3 Hygiene activity—After a brief explanation of what hygiene is, the girls brainstormed lists of good hygiene and bad hygiene and then drew a picture of one or the other. (DY3#1, IGHP#4)

AM4 Create a commercial. We gave each group one of the following topics--fitness, healthy eating, sleep, anti-bullying--and had them create a commercial promoting the topic. We took a videocamera and after they rehearsed their skits, we filmed them. (DY3#2)

10:30-10:45: Snack—hummus, pita, cheese, baby carrots, water

1045-11:30: Two morning activities

11:30-12:00: Go outside--We had finished earlier than we planned, so they girls had free time to play outside. We'd brought rope for skipping, and frisbees, and they had a lot of fun.

12:00-12:30—Charcoal--We brought the box ovens outside and lit the charcoal. While we waited for the boxes to heat up, we played one more game.

Food Mail game--We used 4 empty cookie boxes and labeled them for Canada's Food Guide: Fruits and Vegetables, Meat and Alternatives, Grain Products, and Milk and Alternatives. Then I had taken flyers and cut out pictures of food and put them on index cards to create "post cards". I distributed the boxes around the campsite. Each group had a pen and had to put a "datemark" on the postcard before they delivered it to prove it was theirs. They had to travel as a group and deliver the mail to the right boxes.

12:30-1:30—Lunch and clean up—Pizza on thin buns, vegetables and dip, pepperoni, cheese, mushrooms, green peppers, pizza sauce (OC#3)

1:30-2:30— (20 min each)

PM1 Bullying—Follow the leader, Snap Crackle Pop--We played both of these games from the Health Promotion challenge. It didn't take as long as the Drug activity, so we also played some Wink Murder. (IGHP#7)

PM2 Drug activity—Krista (IGHP#2)

2:30-3:00 Skipping—(IGHP#5)

3:00—Snack Trail mix

3:00-3:30—Our two oldest girls asked if they could create a scavenger hunt for the rest of the girls, so they ran that activity. They tried to make it too complicated to start, but with a bit of guidance, the girls did a great job leading the activity and the other girls had fun.

3:30-5:00—Relaxation followed by free time (IGHP#8, FG#5)

5:00-5:30—Relationship activity (YaO1#2, IGHP#6) This was an interesting activity and the girls seemed to have fun with it too. My favourite compromise--one girl wanted to nap and the other wanted to go swimming, so they decided they would nap on a waterbed!

5:30-6:30—Supper—breaded chicken strips, cooked frozen corn, salad, rice (brown/white), milk, water, applesauce for dessert

7:15-9:30 Spa night! This girls had a blast with this. We had areas set up around the room and the girls could choose an activity as long as there was space for them. (FG#6)

Foot basins--hot water to soak their feet. I did this and it felt so good after a day of running around at camp!

Manicures/pedicures--We had nail polish (and asked the girls to bring some if they had it). Some did their own and some did each others. One of our third years did fancy designs on a number of nails and had a blast doing it!

Personal Fondues—8 oz soup can with holes punched in over top of a tea light, with a tin foil cup on top filled with chocolate chips. We had strawberries, bananas, and marshmallows for them to dip.

Crafts—lip balm, body glitter, body lotion, foot scrub. The kitchen didn't have a microwave, which changed the plans a little. (recipes will be added soon hopefully!)

10:30—Lights out. The girls were exhausted and went to bed early and easily!


7:30 Wake up and Pack up

8:30-9:30: Breakfast Yogurt, applesauce, cereal, fruit and juice—Cheerios, Rice Krispies

10:00 Guides’ Own—During Guides Own we did our Two Apples and an Onion, revealed our Secret Buddies, showed the commercials they'd made (YiG4#2), and sang "Say Why" and "Daytime Taps".

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Meeting #8: Remembrance Day

You and Others: Learn How to Plan (YaO3)

You in Guiding: Learn About Guiding (YiG2)

Event Planning

6:30-7:00: Patrol time--We gave the girls evaluation forms so they could evaluate the planning and execution of the Halloween party we had. Party Evaluation form (Word doc) (YaO3#1, EP#4)

7:00-7:15: Horseshoe and discuss Halloween evaluation--We had the Patrol Leaders give us the comments and suggestions from their Patrols. With the size of our unit this year, we're trying to give the Patrol Leaders more responsibility and reduce the number of other girls who are talking. They had some good comments about the party--more than just sweets for food, games were fun, not enough supplies for the craft.

7:15-7:30: Guides in Wartime minibooks--I got this idea from Owl and Toadstool. Guider Lee Anne sent me the files that had the little pictures and the posters with all the information. She'll willingly share the files with other Guiders if you comment on her post or send her an email.

She also sent me a video on how to make the layered book we used. I got coloured  cardstock from the Dollar Store and they turned out really pretty! When they finished the books, they glued them into their lapbooks. (YiG2#6)

7:45-7:55--Discussion of Guides in wartime--Once they finished their books, we talked about what they learned.

7:55-8:15--Valentines for Vets (Guider Cara on the Brownies Meet blog has a great write-up on Valentines for Vets)--We gave them lots of supplies so each could make a Valentine that we could send to Valentine's for Vets. Since Valentines need to be sent early in January, this seemed like a good time to do Valentine's for Vets, with the war time/Remembrance Day theme.

We gave them preprinted verses that they could glue in the cards (we took them from the Valentines for Vets site), and a preprinted label that said "4th Hammonds Plains Guides" to glue on the back, and lots of stamps and stickers and pretty paper that they could use to decorate the cards with.

As we were starting to explain what we were doing, one girl asked, "Why do veterinarians need Valentine's?" Oops! We should have explained that first. :)

8:15-8:30--We had time to sing a few songs before we did our closing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Meeting #7: Fire Station

Fire Safety
We found out that we didn't have the school for this night, which was supposed to be our Remembrance Day meeting. We'll have to do Remembrance Day next week, after the fact. But one of our Guiders stepped up and booked the fire station for us.

We sent them the requirements for the badge before we got there, but the fire fighter who had planned to lead the session wasn't going to be there, so when I arrived first, they had just found out we were coming! But I gave them my book and they did an awesome job!

We started upstairs in a classroom where the two fire fighters who were leading discussed most of the aspects of the badge that they needed to learn. They spent about an hour going over the badge requirements, interrupted numerous times by questions! We have a couple of girls who, I swear, had their hands raised almost the whole time. As soon as a question was answered, they raised their hands to ask another.

(Funny side note--before we started, I told them to make sure they had questions and no stories. A few minutes in, one girl raised her hand and started to tell a story. Before the leaders could say anything, the girls sitting behind her gave her a little poke and said, "That's a story." Hee!)

Then we went down to the station bay where the trucks are. The fire fighters put on their gear and masks, then they turned out the lights and got down to crawl around, to show the girls what they would look like if they were in a fire and coming to rescue them. It is a strange sight and a good thing for girls to see if they were ever in a bad situation.

Finally, they got to go on the trucks. They went in five at a time and I don't know what he was telling them, but he explained a bunch of things about the truck. When they came out, they had water fire extinguishers set up and the girls got to try to spray the extinguishers, which they really enjoyed.

We had an activity planned, in case they finished early, but the fire fighters really seemed to enjoy talking to the girls and telling them all about what they do, that they used the whole 2 hours!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Special Event #1: Wildlife Park Night Walk

My fellow Guiders are shocked--I planned something for fun only. There's no programming that this counts toward!

We booked a night walk at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park and it was really cool. We had a guide who took us through the locked park and she told us lots of interesting things about all the animals. It was fun seeing the animals in the dark--the raccoons and porcupines were up and active. The beavers were quite busy and running around. The moose were up close--when we usually go in the day time, it's always hard to see the moose!

The wolves (grey and arctic) were howling while we were farther away, but they were just running around when we got to their cages.

If you're in Nova Scotia, this is an outing that I would recommend!

(The only programming we covered is #6 of the the Endangered Species badge.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Meeting #6: Halloween Party!

You and Others: Learn How to Plan (YaO3)
Event Planning (EP)
This meeting was completely planned and run by the girls. It's hard for us controlling Guiders to step back and let them make mistakes, but that's how they learn and we did our best. (YaO3#1, EP#4, EP#6, EP#7)

6:30-6:40--We just let them mill and look at each other's costumes as everyone arrived.

6:40-7:10--Craft: Juice Box Mummy. Each girl in the Patrol was responsible to bring the supplies for this. They all remembered the supplies, though not everyone remembered to bring a juice box. Some girls brought extra, but I think not everyone had a juice box to make the craft. We felt bad for them, but as part of a Girl-Led activity, we left them to be responsible. We will discuss this at the Party Evaluation and see if they can come up with ideas of how this can be avoided.

We made the Craft Patrol clean up the mess the girls left behind when picking up their craft supplies (mostly rice spilled everywhere). One of the girls said to me, "We told them to be careful and not make a mess, but they didn't seem to listen!" Ha! Now they know how we feel!

7:10-7:15: The Sparks from down the hall came to parade their costumes for us, and then our girls paraded for them.

We told the group when they were planning to come up with two games and that they'd have about 20 minutes for games. They planned three games and were then disappointed that they didn't have time to play the third game.

The games they picked were quite fun. The first one was a Candy Corn relay. There were two teams, and each team had two buckets. The one farthest away was empty and the one closest had candy corn in it. The girls used a spoon to transfer the candy corn from one bucket to another. This took longer than they thought so after everyone had had at least one turn, they ended the game and determined the winner by who had the most in their bucket.

Their second game was Pin the Mouth on the Jack-o-Lantern. They had two Jack-o-Lanterns so groups could go at the same time. They had two mouths, and they left the one closest taped on while the next girl went.

7:40-8:05 Snacks
The Snack Patrol were in charge of setting out the snacks and cleaning up afterward. Their hardest task was waiting for the other patrols to get their food before they took theirs! There was lots of food, so no one was in danger of not getting any, but some were hovering, desperate to be able to get a cupcake! Everyone remembered to bring what they needed (Brownies, Cupcakes, Cookies, Punch, Fruit, napkins, plates, cups) and they did a great job.

8:05-8:30 Campfire and Ghost Story
The Campfire Patrol found a website with a number of cute Halloween songs set to well-known songs. (This is a similar page--Halloween songs--but it's not the exact one because it has some they didn't sing.

Halfway through the songs, the Ghost Story patrol read the story that they wrote last week. I had helped them type it, but no one else had heard it and they did a really good job with it. In the end, a witch turned one of our Guiders (and the mother of one of the girls who wrote the story) into a toad!

I think the girls had a lot of fun, and they did a great job leading the activities. Some girls were more proactive than others, but they all participated in their own way.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Meeting #5: Halloween Party Planning

You and Others: Learn How to Plan (YaO3)

You and Guiding: Understand the Promise and Law and Motto (YiG1)

Event Planning (EP)

6:30-6:50: We gave the Law Mini-Book (comment or email Guider Lee Ann from the Owl and Toadstool blog for the file) to work on for their lapbooks. We have a number of old envelopes donated by someone who works in a card store, so we cut those in half to make pockets for the lapbooks. We put the Guide Law mini-books into the pockets, since the back page is used and can't be glued in.

6:50-7:00: Horseshoe and Discussion

7:00-7:30: Be Prepared for Camp-we led a discussion about what the girls need to Be Prepared for camp. They created a kit list, with each girl contributing something to the list that they need to take with them to camp. (YiG1#3)

7:30-8:00: Halloween Party Planning
The Patrols drew from a bowl to determine which aspect of the party they would plan. Topics were:
Ghost Stories

We gave them laptops to do their research (the school has WiFi this year!) Each Patrol will have about 20 minutes for their portion of the party, with the Ghost Story part of Campfire. (YaO3#1, EP#1, EP#3)

8:00-8:30: Friendship Bracelets
As the Patrols finished planning, we taught them how to make friendship bracelets, an method I found from Pinterest. The idea is that they will have their bracelets in their Patrol boxes and can work on them when they first arrive. We are planning to send the finished bracelets to Sangam. Every Patrol didn't get a chance to start the bracelets as they didn't finish their planning in time, but we assured them that everyone would get an opportunity to make the bracelets through the year. (YiG4#5)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Meeting #4: Patrol Elections/Code of Conduct

You in Guiding: Understand the Promise and Law and Motto (YiG1)
You in Guiding: Learn about Guiding (YiG2)

We're still getting used to such a big unit and how much time it takes to do things and move girls around.

(20 min) Patrol Elections: We had asked the previous week who wanted to be Patrol Leaders and Seconders. We let 2nd and 3rd Years run and we had 8 who wanted to run. We were going to have 5 Patrols and we needed 10 girls to run, so we let 1st years who had been Brownies also run.

We started  by having the girls give short speeches and it was amazing to hear what the girls had to say. Most had written down their speeches. One 1st year hadn't been at the meeting the week before and wanted to run for Seconder and she gave a great speech considering she was unprepared!

After the speeches, they each got a piece of paper and wrote down 5 names for Patrol Leader and 5 names for  Seconder and they had to be 10 different names. (YiG1#2)

(5 min) We adapted the Code of Conduct (MemberZone login) activity we did last year. We have the first five items (Respect, Safe Space, Privacy, Set an Example, and Care) written on a large piece of paper and had the girls read off the each item and we discussed what each meant. (YiG2#4)

(5 min) Reef Knots: We gave them rope that they could keep in their Patrol boxes (one for each girl) and had them practice making reef knots. (YiG1#5)

(10 min) We announced the girls who would be Patrol Leaders and they lined up along the front. Then as we announced the Seconders, they got to choose which Patrol they were with. Then we drew the remaining girls out of a hat and that's the order they chose their Patrols. It worked quite well and there weren't any complaints, which is always a good thing. (YiG1#2)

(20 min) Horseshoe Practice: Since they were already lined up, we started Horseshoe Practice. We let the new girls get their songbooks they had velcroed into their lapbooks last week. The first time through, we just sang the song while standing still. Then we had them march in place as they sang it a second time. Finally, they got to march and sing and move all at the same time! We have so many girls, they have to sing it through twice to get everyone in place--I think we'll learn the Guide Law song to sing too so they don't need to go through it twice--or maybe we'll learn the second verse to the Guide Marching Song!

(20 min)  Code of Conduct: We had the girls make up skits based on the five topics we'd discussed.  As always, some were really good, and some could be better. We have one girl who is new to Guiding and when we said we were going to do skits, we had to explain what a skit was! Being in Guiding for so many years, sometimes I forget that not everyone knows the basics of Guiding! (YiG2#4)

(20 min) CWFF Banks: Shift Mama issued a great challenge to her fellow Girl Guide friends to collect pennies in decorated water bottles and I thought it was a great idea! We asked the girls to bring empty bottles in, and we had extra for those that forgot (especially since we planned to do this last week and ran out of time). We touched on what CWFF is (we'll go into more depth after Christmas). The girls had lots of fun decorating and as always, some girls could have used another 30 minutes, though they all turned out nicely.

And we made it through another meeting! We still want to teach them how to make Friendship Bracelets that they can work on when they first arrive, but we still haven't found time. We're getting most of our stuff done and eventually, we'll catch up. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Meeting #3: Promise, Law and Handshake

You in Guiding: Understand the Promise and Law and Motto (YiG1)
(30 min) We gave them a Promise and Law word search to work on, created by Guider Lee Ann**. This kept them busy while we took in uniform order forms, cookie money, and dues from the parents. With 28 girls, that's a lot of parents to meet with and take in money from. The girls should really be responsible for handing in their money. I would probably change this, so that the girls come in and sit at their tables and we call them up to deliver whatever money and forms need to be delivered.

(Uniform Order Sheet, created by another Guider in our District)

(25 min) Get To Know You/Learn the Handshake--I took this idea from Brownies Meet and she explains the prep required quite well. Each girl got a container of unique beads and an empty pipe cleaner and had to meet all of the other girls. They had to use the Guide sign and the Guide handshake and introduce herself to the other girl, and then they exchange beads for their pipecleaner. When they were done, they could make the pipecleaner into a bracelet (though with 28 girls and 5 leaders, the bracelets were quite big!) This was lots of fun and the girls really enjoyed it. (YiG1#4)

(15 min) We did the Promise/Law/Motto game from the Guide Toolbox I found on the NB Girl Guide site. It's an old Active Living guide, which links to the old program, but has lots of good ideas that adapt to the current program. The Guider reads half of a phrase from the Promise/Law/Motto, and the girls need to find the matching phrase around the room and do the activity that goes with it. (YiG1#1)

(30 min) We spent the rest of the time working on our You in Guiding lapbooks, an idea I got from Guider Lee Ann of the Owl and Toadstool blog.  We put 4 things into our lapbooks and will be adding to them throughout the year, until we complete the You in Guiding square. To make the lapbook, you basically take two file folders and overlap them, so you end up with a half flap that folds in on the right side, under the whole flap that folds from the left. Last year at work, one of our Admins was throwing out a huge pile of file dividers, and gave me a large stack to use for Girl Guides. I used four of these to create the lapbooks for the girls. (YiG1#1)

(phote taken from  Owl and Toadstool blog)

1) We folded up the Promise and Law word search and glued it into the lapbook, and then put a label on the outside of the folded paper. The girls are to complete the word search on their own.** (YiG1#1)

2) We glued in the Promise craft we did the first week.

3) I created a folded minibook of songs they need to know for Guides, like the Guide Marching Song, Taps, etc. We used velcro to add this to the book, so they can take it out when we practice horseshoe the first few times. (Guiding Songbook) This site has a good quick explanation of how to fold a minibook.

Pinned Image4) Another Promise craft I saw on Pinterest. We printed out the promise on white paper. We drew a hand on fun foam that they had to cut out and we gave them the square of coloured paper. To secure the thumb and finger down, we used double sided sticky circles and then glued the whole thing together and put it into the lap book.

We had a few more activities planned for the night but we spent too much time at the first of the night dealing with parents and paperwork! We'll do more next time.

The girls really liked doing the lapbooks and it's a great way to do little crafts and activities and keep them all together.

**I have linked to the files and ideas that I created for the lapbook. Guider Lee Ann has provided me with a number of files that we'll be using. If you'd like to use files from Guider Lee Ann, she's willing to share if you contact her at her website.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meeting #1: Welcome to Guides!

Another year of Guiding is starting again. And we have 28 girls this year! Oh my.

 Arrival (15 min): We just let the girls mill about and talk to each other as they arrived and we collected dues and health forms from the parents.

 Introductions (5 min): We had all the girls introduce themselves and tell us how many years they've been in Guiding. We handed out nametags that we'd pre-made.

 Ice breaker games (10 min): We didn't do anything new this year. We played the toe-basher game from last year and the girls had lots of fun with it again. We also did the line up in alphabetical order without talking game. They were a lot better at it this year!

 Guide Programming (5 min): We discussed the Guide program book, the Program squares, the badges, the girl-led concept and how they can help us make decisions.

 Guide Key Words (10 min): We played a scramble game with them. For each word, we printed them out in colour and then glued them to the same colour construction paper and cut the letters up individually.

Each group had a colour assigned, and they had to look for the different letters strewn around the room. Once they unscrambled the words, we talked about each word and how they apply to the Guide Program. CAMPING

  Word doc with Coloured Words (from dropbox)

 Theme Planning (10 min): We gave each group a sheet of paper with the letters of the alphabet and asked them to come up ideas/themes/activities that we could do throughout the year.

 Science badge planning (5 min): Again, we had the girls plan which science badge we would do through the Supernova program at Dalhousie University. We voted and the Astronomy badge won, so we'll go to the Planetarium. Yay!

Bookmark Craft: We did this one from the Castlegar Guides page. We`re going to make lap books, an idea I got from Owl and Toadstool and this will be the first thing we`ll put into it.  (More on the lap books in a couple of weeks.) So we gathered up the crafts at the end.  We realized we should have done these earlier in the meeting to give the glitter glue time to dry.

We used fun foam for the background, and used a globe instead of HELP, to represent the new promise.

After they cleaned up after the craft, we had a few minutes left, so we sang some songs--Sixties Party, Yogi Bear, and When Bubbles Was A...-- and then we did the squeeze and sang Taps.

All in all, we had a great night. We seem to have a good group of girls so far. We have two more girls asking to join our group and at this point, what's the difference between 28 & 30? No more than 30--5 Patrols of 6 is probably the most we'd want. It's just hard to say  no to girls who want to be Guides! (We have 5 leaders, so we should be okay.)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Special Event: Tent Camping

After the permission slips and kit list went out, @Jenn_Boot posted this picture showing dishes in mesh bags drying on a line, and I thought it was a perfect illustration to our parents as to why we ask for dishes in mesh bags at camp. So I sent an email to them, showing them this picture and giving them a link to the 64th Guides blog post on How to Pack for Camp. We have a number of first year Guides who have never been tent camping and I wanted to ensure the parents knew that there were reasons for everything we put on the kit list.
I kept a close eye on the weather all week, and no matter how many times I looked at it, there was going to be rain on Saturday, and we most likely wouldn't be putting the tents away dry. But there's no point cancelling because the food and supplies are already bought, and as long as you're dressed properly, the rain shouldn't be a problem.

Our Quartermaster had a great idea for packing her van with supplies--cookies boxes! Each box was filled with supplies for each activity and marked on the outside so it could be found easily. They stacked up neatly for transport and we could use them for the campfire when we were done! I need supplies for box ovens? Pull out the box and inside is wide, heavy duty tin foil, duct tape and scissors, empty pop cans, foil pie plates, and grills! It was very handy and organized.

6:30 Arrival--Most years, we scramble to get the tents up as everyone is arriving and it's total chaos, because that's the way it's been done in the past. This year, I thought it through and it's not like it's getting dark soon after we arrive. We have time to have orientation, get the girls organized into tent patrols, and then have them set up their own individual tents.

I wanted to get my tent set up first though. I arrived early, and started peacefully setting up my tent by myself. It was going well at first, but then I put one of the wrong poles in. I pulled it out, and then another Guider arrived and I was talking to her as I put the pole back in, and didn't I put the exact same wrong one in! So frustrating! But I did eventually get the tent put up properly.
As the girls were arriving, the parents weren't leaving, so one of the Guiders gathered all the girls and took them to the far end of the campsite and played Stella Ella Ola with them, trying to give the parents the hint!

7:15 Orientation (BC#4, BC#5, BC#9)--I can never remember everything, so I printed out the Safe Guide Tenting in Established Campground
Participants should be instructed on:
 Location layout and out of bounds areas
 Emergency procedures and what to do if lost
 Campfire safety (hair tied back, no loose clothing, no reaching across fire, no rambunctious play near the fire)
 What to do if clothing catches fire
 Proper hygiene
 Cooking, stove, fire and food safety guidelines
 “Leave no trace” guidelines
 Disposal of waste (garbage, food, grey water)
 Night time trips to toilet
 Wildlife sightings or encounters
 Expectations for behaviour
 Any facility specific rules

We also discussed what program we'd be working on, which included the following:

Beyond You: Explore the Outdoors and Nature (BY2)

Basic Camper (BC)

Campfire Leading (CL)
Exploring (E)
Outdoor Cooking (OC)

We handed out Camp Challenge Booklets, which I found on the Canadian Guider blog. For each activity that they completed, they could earn a bead. We thought about giving them strings to tie the beads to, but we ended up giving them little mesh bags to store them in that they could pin to their hats if they wanted.

We also gave them little pouches from the Dollar Store that hung around the neck, and in the pouch was a pencil, a pen, a notebook, and their mesh bag for beads. This way, they would have all the tools they needed to work on their challenge books when they wanted.

8:00 Set up Tents--Once all the administration was out of the way, it was time to start camping! We let the girls divide themselves up into four groups of four and a group of five. We had five tents and five leaders, so each leader guided the girls on setting up their tents, letting them do it all and offering advice when needed. It was much smoother and less chaotic than usual--this was definitely the way to go! There were no parents jumping in to help them--they did it all themselves and gave them a sense of accomplishment. (BY2#4, BC#3)

8:45 Campfire! I love campfire. I learned some new songs to teach the girls. I found Sierra's Song Book when I was looking for the lyrics to D-I-S-C-O. I looked for some songs that I didn't know and downloaded the mp3s, figured out which ones I liked and put them on my iPod and listened to them a few times each morning on the way to work so that I could learn them. I taught them Moose Song and Sixties Party. The girls from the other unit knew Hippo Song so I had them lead that for us too. Another good site for lyrics (and campfires in general) is Guiding with Guider Dusk. (CL#1, BC#3)
Sixties Party is one of those songs that's really fun to sing and teach, but be careful, because the girls loved it and if we heard it once, we must have heard it 60 times over the course of the weekend!

For mug-up we made nachos in the fire. We had small tin foil pans (one per girl) and put tortilla chips and cheese in them and covered them in foil and threw them on the hot coals to melt the cheese. Then our Quartermaster passed out salsa and sour cream to go with it, and everyone loved the snack!

10:30 After campfire, we dug a spit pit for teeth brushing and then got the girls ready for bed. We reminded them to change EVERYTHING, head to toe, before bed. There's no way to guarantee that they listen to us, but we stress it every year!

Within 5 minutes of everyone being in the tents, we heard our racoon friend banging into the garbage can, looking through tin foil scraps for food. One of these years, we'll remember to weigh down the garbage can lid on the first night!

7:00 Wake up! The girls were to get dressed and roll up their sleeping bags before coming out to get breakfast ready. Though it wasn't raining yet, we were expecting rain for the day so we strung up a tarp and poles to extend our dining shelter/kitchen, to give the girls somewhere to cook and stay dry. 
 8:00 Breakfast--We had four campstoves for the girls to divide up into 4 cooking patrols. We made the patrols in the order they arrived, so whoever was ready to cook formed a patrol. There were 5-6 girls in each cooking patrol, and we had three meals we'd be cooking on stoves, so for each meal, two girls were responsible for setting up and lighting the stoves, and then taking them apart when the meal was over. Even if both burners weren't needed at each meal, each girl got a chance to light a burner and figure out how to get the stove working. (BY2#2, OC#1, OC#5, BC#3)

The girls made pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Each stove only had one frying pan, so they cooked the bacon first, and then each girl cooked her own pancake.

In the Challenge Booklet, the girls could eat with chopsticks (found at the Dollar Store) or blindfolded (we brought scarves for them). Of course, some girls went with both options!
9:00 Clean-up After breakfast was clean-up. We told each patrol that they were responsible for their pots and pans as well, and that they had to make sure that everyone took a turn on clean-up within their Patrols. (OC#7, BC#3)

(At this point, we were already behind schedule. I don't know what we were thinking, only allowing 1 hour for breakfast and clean-up, when it always takes 1.5-2 hours!)

Program--We had planned to have four stations that they could rotate through, but with the rain, we realized we really only had 2 good dry spots for teaching and learning. It made the groups bigger for teaching, which isn't always ideal, but we seemed to manage okay. One group went under the tarp on one side of the dining shelter and the other group went under the alcove of trees on the other side of the dining shelter.

Station 1: Compasses--I wasn't involved in this station so I don't know everything they did. We had enough compasses for everyone to use. The Guider made a demonstration compass out of cardboard, which was great for showing them how to use a compass so everyone could see. Once they learned how to use the compass, she got them to turn and face a certain direction, to see who could find it on their own. Then they started wandering, though I'm not sure what their activity for that was. (BY2#3)
Station 2: Knots--Again, this wasn't my station, so I don't know the ins and outs and which knots were taught. I do know that she printed out the Knot Quick Reference from e-patches and crests. One of the Challenges in the booklet was to tie as many reef knots in a minute as you can, and they did this. They learned how to tie a noose. We gave them each about 1 m of rope--again, the Dollar Store has some good soft rope for $1.50 for 15 m. (BY2#4)

Station 3: Camp clothing--at OAL Training, one of our Guiders got a set of "mittens" made out of various materials--denim, fleece, microfleece, polyester, flannel, wool, nylon, cotton--that you dip in water and hang up, and then check back on to see how quickly they dry. The girls all got small squares of material on a safety pin to make a hat craft to remember this by. The nylon and wool dried fairly quickly, and the denim was still wet on Sunday morning. (BY2#2, E#8)

She also showed them how to make and use fire starters, though they didn't make them themselves. One that was new to me was a cotton make-up remover pad dipped in paraffin wax. To use it, you rip it and then light it on fire. She gave one to each of them to put in their Be Prepared kits.

Station 4: Box Ovens--I taught the girls how to make their box ovens that we would be using later that day. Basically, we lined bankers boxes/paper ream boxes with tin foil, and used duct tape on the outside of them to hold the tin foil in place (we didn't put duct tape on the inside). Both lid and base needed tin foil and make sure that no cardboard is showing. Poke holes through the tin foil where handles to box are. Inside, we used two pie plates, one upside down and the other right side up on top of it to hold the charcoal. We used four empty pop cans (you can put water or rocks in them for weight) and a small grill (from the Dollar Store!) (OC#3)

10:00: Two Stations--Knots and Compasses

11:00: One Station--either Clothing or Box Ovens. While we were doing these stations, the compass Guiders were setting up 5 compass courses for the girls to do later.

11:30: Snack: Smores to go--Baggies with Golden Grahams cereal, Teddy Grahams, chocolate chips, and marshmallows. Since it was raining and cool, they also got hot chocolate to go with it. Some of the girls had the idea to put their marshmallows into their hot chocolate--good idea! Then they put their chocolate chips in too--bad idea! We wanted a quick clean-up of the mugs, but the chocolate chips stuck to the bottom.

11:45: One station--Clothing or Box Ovens

12:15: Compass Trails--the girls followed their compass trails in groups--using directions and steps, i.e. take 20 steps NW. They had 5 or 6 directions to follow, and at the end of the trail, they found a baggie with beads in it for each of them. (E#5, BC#6)

12:45: First Aid and Fire Safety--I had the girls line up across the field. I used the same game we used last year, because we're doing the same badge (Outdoor Cooking). I would read the statement and if they agreed, they took two steps forward and if they disagreed, they stayed still. They couldn't move until I had read the full statement and then said Go so they all moved at the same time. If they went early, they went back to the beginning to restart. If they were wrong, they had to take two steps back. If they made to me, I gave them a candy and they went back to the beginning to try again. They each got two candies by the end, either way. Most girls made to me at least once. (OC#6, OC#8, BC#4) First Aid and Fire Safety Facts (Word doc)

1:00 Lunch Time--They made hot dogs and Kraft Dinner on the camp stoves. Some girls had never seen fried hot dogs before and one girl got concerned when there was a "red line on my hot dog!" It was just where it was cooking. They also had veggies (cucumbers and carrots) and dip to go with lunch. The rain had stopped by lunch, though it was still cloudy at this point. (BY2#2, OC#1, OC#5, BC#3)
2:30: Free time after lunch clean up. I also handed out folders to them, which contained information on how to plan a campfire, and a list of songs that we've sung (the index and table of contents to my personal song book that I created of songs I know and love). They had a planning sheet and they could plan their campfires during free time and we would give them a warning when they had 15 minutes left and had to plan.

3:15: Campfire planning time And the sun came out! The girls all changed into shorts and t-shirts during free time. (CL#6)

3:30: Make cupcakes--They used a mix, and each group made 8 cupcakes in their box ovens. (OC#3)

While they were cooking, we let them go play in the river. They were supposed to keep the water to midpoint of their rubber boots. We kept a close eye on them and spent most of the time yelling at them. :) When they came out, if both of their feet were still dry, they got a bead for behaving. We gave out very few beads. :)

4:15: Mini campfires--We split the girls up into 5 groups and each group went with a leader, and got to lead a 15-minute campfire program (no actual fire was involved). We told them they didn't have to do it (but then they wouldn't earn the badge). Four or five girls indicated that they didn't want to do it, but once we got into the smaller groups, everyone lead their campfire and everyone earned the badge! (CL#6, CL#7, BC#7)

5:15: Free time The girls could come to us during free time to get credit for their Challenge Booklets and collect their beads.

6:00 Supper--We had tacos in a bag. The girls cooked up the hamburger and added taco seasoning to it, and then put it in a baggie with lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, and salsa and ate right out of the bag. (BY2#2, OC#1, OC#5, BC#3)

While we ate supper, I asked each girl what her favourite hike we'd been on this year was and why. It was hard to choose, because we'd done a lot of fun hikes! (E#6)

After supper, they got to decorate and eat their cupcakes. There was vanilla icing, and chocolate icing, and sprinkles!

8:00 Campfire--By the time everyone had eaten and gotten all the dishes cleaned up, it was time for campfire again! We sang our international folk songs (My Aunt Grete--Netherlands, Tongo--Africa) and historical folk songs (Land of the Silver Birch, Happy Wanderer), plus lots of other favourites. (CL#2, CL#3, BC#7)

Campfire snacks was campfire cones! We had seen them on Pinterest and thought they looked delicious. Unfortunately, some of them were in the coals for too long and got burnt--we think they didn't have enough marshmallows in them and the chocolate burned too quickly. The girls liked them, but I think they actually prefer Smores! I liked my campfire cone. :)

10:30 Get ready for bed


7:00 Wake up time again! We woke up to rain again, but it stopped fairly soon after we got up. Not enough that we were going to be able to get the tents dry before we packed up though. The girls had to get dressed and packed up and move their gear out of the tents before they could come to breakfast.

8:00 Breakfast--easy breakfast for Sunday morning. Cereal cups with milk, strawberry pop tarts, and fruit. When they finished eating, they were to take their dishes and pack them away too.

9:30: Strike camp--Each patrol took their tent down and packed it away, with the guidance of a leader. There were five Guiders and 5 girl tents, so we were each responsible to take one home to dry out. (BY2#4, BC#3)

10:30 Guide's Own--We started off by singing If All the Raindrops, using the first verse, plus the one about mosquitos and the one about Black Flies. Then we did our Two Apples and an Onion, with everyone saying two good things and one bad thing about camp. The most common bad thing was the outhouse, and I don't think anyone complained about the rain we had. Then we gave out badges and crests that were earned at camp, plus our Cookie All Star crests which had arrived the week before. Then we moved around the campfire and sang Linger and Daytime Taps (which can be found in the Guide Handbook). (BC#7, BC#10)

Parents started arriving around 11, though pick up wasn't until 11:30.

It was a great camp, and the girls were awesome. We didn't have any complaints about being wet, almost all of the girls came properly dressed in rain boots and coats. As Guiders, we boggled at the parents who would send their daughters for a weekend of outdoor camping with no indoor shelter, and still not provide them with the proper gear.

We covered a lot of program, though we probably scheduled a bit too much into the weekend. We didn't have a lot of down time, but then again, the girls didn't complain about that either. We didn't get a lot of requests for "When's Free Time?", which I guess is a good indication that they were enjoying what we were doing with them.