Sunday, January 29, 2012

Meeting #15: WAGGGS Square and World Guiding Badge Part 2

World Guiding badge (WG)

You in Guiding: Learn About Guiding (YiG2)
You in Guiding: Learn About WAGGGS (YiG3)
You and Others: Learn About Leadership in a Group (YaO1)

Patrol Time (30 min): We gave the girls a Connect the Dots Guide History activity sheet to work on that I found on this page: 1st Castlegar Girl Guides (PDF printout) Almost all of the answers are in their program books, so I thought they'd be able to do it, but they really struggled with it. We left it with them to take home and finish if they wanted, but now I'm thinking we should have had them hand them in and give them back to them again until they figured it out!

Horseshoe (20 min): At Horseshoe, the girls presented the facts that they researched about their WAGGGS country that we had given them at the previous WAGGGS meeting. Most girls came with a fact, which was nice to see! (WG5)

Story of Guiding (10 min): We have one third-year Guide who is working on her Lady Baden Powell Award. We assigned her to lead the participation story about Guiding, from Becky's Guiding Resource. (YiG2#1, WG1)

World Centers Fact Game (20 min): This is a combination of an activity from the World Guiding Goes Tartan challenge and a co-operative game we learned at NS Guide Conference. We posted signs in four corners of our meeting space, one for each of the World Centers (Our Chalet, PAX Lodge, Sangam, and Our Cabana). We read off a fact about one of the Centers, and the girls would have to choose which Center they thought it belonged to and go to that corner and hop up and down. The trick was that they all had to agree on the answer as a group before we would tell them they were right and could stop hopping.

This was a fascinating game to watch, to see the dynamics of the girls. We didn't quite get through half of the facts, because it took the girls so long to agree on each one. I've said that we don't really have any leaders in the group, but it's also that there's no one that everyone will follow and listen to. There's no one voice that will direct the group, so they all have their own opinions. Some of the girls were contrary just for the sake of contrariness. We nudged them along in learning to compromise ("If you come to this corner and it's wrong, we'll go to your choice next"). There was also a sense of not wanting to be wrong, even if it would help the group. (World Center Fact Sheet, taken from the World Guiding Goes Tartan challenge). ( YiG3#2, WG6, YaO1#2)

Snacks (20 min): Finally, we got the what the girls had been waiting for all night! Each girl was assigned to bring food from a World Center country to feed her patrol. We said to bring enough food for 6-7 people, but most brought enough to feed the whole unit! It was an international feast! So they each ate from their patrol, and then shared with everyone else. I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the food, because it was fabulous. (WG4)
Britain: packaged imported British cookies, scones, chocolate tarts
India: butter chicken, rice, and naan bread; pita bread and hummus
Mexico: homemade sopapillas, nachos, cheese/chicken tortilla roll-up
Switzerland: homemade Swiss chocolate cake, Swiss chocolate, homemade spitzbuben cookies (jam sandwich cookies), homemade basler leckerli cookies

Each girl who was at both of the WAGGGS meetings and remembered to bring her fact and food, earned the WAGGGS square and the World Guiding badge. Girls who missed the first meeting were told which countries they were to bring food and the fact from. We also gave them handouts (WAGGGS uniform word search (YiG3#5, WG2) and World Flag coloring sheet (YiG3#4)) to complete and bring back.

We had one more activity (CWFF) that we didn't get to but will hopefully do at our meeting before Thinking Day. If they bring back the completed handouts, this will complete the WAGGGS square for these girls. I have to figure out one more activity for them to do for the World Guiding badge yet.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hike #4: Milk Carton Hot Dogs

We're still working on our Hiking Challenge, and we're about a third of the way there! We went back to Jerry Lawrence Park, where we had our first hike, so we can take a picture in the same spot for each of the seasons (Beyond You: Learn About Our Environment#1).

The girls were all instructed to wear appropriate clothing: hats, mitts/gloves, warm boots, snow pants/long underwear, warm coats. We had no idea what the weather was going to be when we planned this--it's been fluctuating between +10C and -10C for the past couple of weeks, with not much snow around. We had a snow storm on Friday, turning the park beautiful and just perfect for a winter hike! The temperature was a little cold (-11C) but it was sunny and there wasn't a whole lot of wind.

We planned to do milk carton hot dogs (and put our Yellow Activity paperwork in to cook with fire). We had some difficulty getting the lighters to work in the cold, but one of our leaders had the special touch and we did get them all lit.

Milk Carton Hot Dog Instructions: Put your hot dog in the bun and wrap them up in heavy duty tin foil. Place two hot dogs in a 2L milk carton (the milk cartons burned better than the Tropicana OJ cartons). We found it helped to tear the corners in strips and bend them down to help them catch on fire and burn better. Once the milk carton has burned away, your hot dogs are ready with a toasted bun and a heated hot dog.

Lessons learned:
1. Hot dogs don't heat up enough if they are frozen to start.
2. Propane lighters don't work well in cold weather. Remember to bring matches. Tip from another Guider if using matches--use the long, fireplace matches, because it can take a few seconds for the milk carton to catch.

Most of them cooked perfectly, but then, everything tastes better when you're cooking outside. We also gave them a granola bar and an apple to round out their lunches.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Meeting #14: Tai Kwon Do Self Defence

Beyond You: Try New Things (BY3)

You and Others: Safety (YaO4)
I have a friend who's a leader in another District, and their group was working on their Streetwise badge. They wanted to bring in a Tai Kwon Do instructor to learn self-defence, but their meeting space wasn't big enough for it. So she contacted me, and we switched our Family Studies room with the Scouts who usually have the gym and we had a great night!

The girls learned how to punch and kick, and poke someone in the eye (don't use one finger--use all four and you'll have a better chance of hurting them), and how to avoid someone pushing you, and how to scream really loudly if someone grabs your arm. The Sparks, who meet in the cafeteria right next to the gym, said they wondered what was going on with all the screaming! (YaO4#6)

But the best part of the night was the board breaking! Each girl had a 1/2" board that they had to try to break with a kick. Almost all of the girls broke the board, and they were all very pleased with themselves! For girls who had never done Tai Kwon Do before, this was another New Thing they got to try. (BY3#6).

Without even planning it, most girls have now completed Beyond You: Try New Things and so have earned another little square.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Meeting #13: WAGGGS square/World Guiding Badge Pt 1

World Guiding Badge (WG)
You in Guiding: Learn About WAGGGS (YiG3)
We do the You in Guiding Square every year, so we  also do the World Guiding badge every year, because it ties in quite closely with the WAGGGS square. We try to change it up each year, so we're not doing the same thing over and over again. This year, I found the World Guiding Goes Tartan challenge (WGGT) from Scotland, which had some great ideas for WAGGGS activities. I contacted them about getting the crests, but they were only available until October, which I hadn't seen as a stipulation.

WAGGGS Activities document, with Countries, Uniforms, and Flag Elements

6:30-6:50: Patrol Time: Food planning (WG4): each girl needs to pick a World Center country to bring a snack from. Bringing food for your Patrol only (6-7 people);  each country must be represented; leaders will also eat from Patrols

6:50-7:00: Horseshoe  

7:00-7:20: How WAGGGS Began from WGGT p4 (YiG3#1) (20 min)
The activity asked for a Globe ball, which we didn't have, so we used a globe stress ball for catching and we had a large world map the girls could use to find the countries.
1)Throw the ball and the girl who catches it has to find a country drawn from a hat.
2) Each girl must bring back a fact the following week on the country; give the girls the 100 in 100 website ( (WG5)

7:20-7:40: World Badge from WGGT p6  (YiG3#4) 
I adapted this activity in incorporate the World Flag, instead of just the World Badge. I made puzzles a few years ago out of construction paper. The girls rolled dice to complete the puzzles and the first Patrol that finished won. I gave them an Element key that told them which told them which pieces to place on their flags. They had to roll a 6 to start.
World Flag Elements
1 – the needle
1 – the flame
2 – a star
3 – white blaze
3 – golden blocks
4 – the trefoil
5 – the outer ring
6 – the blue background

7:40-8:00 WAGGGS Today from WGGT p5  (YiG3#5, WG2)
Pair countries with branches and uniforms.
I found pictures of the uniforms on this site (Edit: Site no longer exists)  I learned how to use Snipping Tool to get the pictures into Word. I glued each piece onto old business cards.

Half the girls get a card with country name; other half get card with branch & uniform. Have to guess which ones go together by pairing up.  If they’re wrong, they have to keep trying until they’re all right. We played this through a couple of times, and they learned the answers fairly quickly. Now I have the cards and can do this game over again easily.

8:00-8:20 Cable Car activity from WGGT p12 (WG7) (15 min)
Materials required: cardboard, hole punch, string
The girls made cable cars out of 8"x11" pieces of cardboard. They punch holes in the corners and strung the string through it and then relayed through it, sending the cable cars up and down, to see who could do it the fastest. We did this a couple of times as well, and the girls had fun both decorating the cable cars (they all put people inside the windows!) and playing the relay.

The WAGGGS module can be dry, but most of these activities had the girls moving and thinking and they seemed to enjoy themselves. We get a week off from it for a week before we complete the badge and square. The girls have two items for homework (snack and fact) that they have to bring back in two weeks and we stressed to them that these activities are required to earn the badge and square and they won't get the bling if they don't bring meet the requirements.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Meeting #12

Discovering You: Discover What's Important to You (DY1)

You and Others: Build Skills in Communication (YaO2)

You in Guiding: Be Involved in Your Community

First meeting of the new year!

6:30-6:55--Patrol Time The usual deal--they started by taking attendance and presenting badges. 

Their activity to work on this week was DY1#1 Understanding Values. We gave them the written instructions, though it was a little complicated for them to do just from written instructions, so we did explain it to them out loud as well.

1. Give the girls a chance to talk about Christmas. Since it was our first meeting back, we gave them a chance to tell us the best thing about their Christmas break.  
2. Discuss the results of their Patrol Time. We talked about what five values each patrol picked and which ones were their tops. Respect, Honesty, and Kindness came out on top, and we pointed out to them that if those are they values that they rated as tops, that's how other people want to be treated too. (DY1#1)

7:15-7:35--Lego activity
We brainstormed a communication activity, and ended up combining a number of ideas, and we were very pleased with how this turned out! The girls got into groups of two, and each group got a bag of Lego that had two of every piece (around 10 pieces each). They each got a set of Lego, and had to sit back to back. One girl built something with her Lego and had to explain to the other girl how to do it. The second girl couldn't talk or ask clarifying questions. When they were done, they compared their creations, to see how well they communicated. Then they switched and the other girl got to build and describe. (YaO2#6)

7:35-8:00--CWFF Banks and calendars. I had found the bank template here: Jewel's Guiding Site and I had to update it for 2012 (template, Word). The girls cut them out and glued them together.

Then we gave them calendars (Examples can be found here and here), updated to reflect the days our girls would have the banks. At the end of the month, the girls will bring back their banks full of coins and we will roll them for CWFF and our Thinking Day party. (YiG4#5)

We also handed out forms for our District Crest Design contest and explained the rules to them. They have 2 weeks to bring them back. Every unit in our District is participating, and then we will pick the design that will be our District Crest!

8:00-8:20--Campfire. At our planning meeting in November, one of the patrols planned a campfire and they got to lead it at the end of our meeting tonight.

It was sort of a mishmash of activities tonight with no theme that tied them together, but they were activities we needed to do and it was a fun night--table work, activity, craft, and songs!