Monday, December 23, 2013

Meeting #10: Planetarium

Astronomy badge

Easy night! An outing to the Planetarium.

Dalhousie University has a program that promotes STEM with children called Supernova. They have a program where they will help Guide units earn science badges. We chose to do the Astronomy badge and it's a great experience.

The facilitator is a Dalhousie student and she showed us the stars and covered 6 pieces of the Astronomy badge. The program lasts a little over an hour and the girls seemed to really enjoy it. And then we got to hand out badges!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Special Event: Heritage Home Skills Sleepover

Heritage Home Skills badge (HHS)

On the kit list, we asked the girls to bring 2 large tomato cans (empty), a soup can (empty) and a shoebox sized container  to take their crafts home in.



8:00-8:30—Half make freezer raspberry jam (HHS#1), half make butter (HHS#2)

Biscuits with homemade jam and butter
Freezer raspberry jam: we used the instructions in the pectin packaging, but it was basically just raspberries (we used frozen), sugar, and pectin. The girl mashed the raspberries with the sugar, stirred in the pectin, and then poured into jars.

Butter: whipping cream and salt in a Tupperware snack size container. The girls shook the butter in pairs. It took about 10-15 minutes, depending on the vigor of the shaking.  Once it separated into curds and whey, we poured off the liquid and then it only took a few more shakes to get it into smooth butter.

8:30-9:00—Switch on the jam and butter making

9:00-10:00—Campfire and mug-up.  Mug-up was biscuits with homemade jam and butter, plus cheese and hot chocolate.

10:00-10:30—Get ready for bed

11:00—Lights out


7:00-8:00—Wake up and pack up gear. Let me say, our girls are well-trained. They rolled out of bed and started packing up immediately. So proud!

8:00-9:00—Breakfast (Continental—muffins, boiled eggs, fruit, yogurt)

Bottle cap candles
9:00-10:30—Three group round robin—bottle cap candles, straw weaving, stained glass

Activity 1: Bottle cap candles 
Melt crayons in tin can double boiler. Place wick in bottle cap. Pour crayon wax into bottle cap. (HHS#4)

Activity 2: Straw weaving  
Straw weaving
Tape three straws together. Run yarn through each straw. Tie in overhand knot at one end. Tie another piece of yarn to an outside straw. Weave the yarn over and under to the desired length and then tie off onto the straw. Gently push weaving off of straws and then tie off the bottom yarn. Voila! Bookmark. (HHS#3)

Equipment: 3 straws for each girl, variegated yarn, tape, scissors

Note: this activity may take more the 30 minutes to complete. The girls can come back to this if they finish another activity early or complete it at home.

Activity 3: Stained Glass: It was supposed to be contact paper, black yarn, and glitter, but the glitter was way too messy. We experimented and ended up using small pieces of tissue paper instead of glitter. The person leading this should discuss how to make actual stained glass. (HHS#6)
Hippo in progress
Completed project!


10:45-12:15—Three group Round Robin—Hat craft, glitter balls, tin can stilts

Activity 4: Hat craft

Equipment: Precut yarn, precut toilet paper rolls, scissors

Activity 5: Glitter ball: Pour Pledge into plastic ornament ball. Swish around gently (try not to create bubbles) to coat the inside. Pour excess out. Pour glitter into ball and swirl around until ornament is coated with glitter on the inside. Put top back onto ornament. Equipment: Pledge, ornament balls, glitter

Activity 6: Tin can stilts—punch holes in cans with can opener; tie string through cans—should come up to mid thigh. Learn to walk on stilts. Option: decorate paper to go on outside of can to personalize. Equipment required: cans, string, can openers (HHS#7)

The girls had so much fun on the stilts. They even choreographed a small routine together. We forget that sometimes it's the simple things that give them pleasure.

12:15-1:15—Lunch—pizza on English muffins, vegetables


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Meeting #8 & #9: Sparks Campfire

Meeting #8
You and Others: Learn How to Plan (YaO3)
6:30-7:00--Patrol Time: We gave them evaluation sheets to evaluate the Halloween party last week. (YaO3#1)

7:00-7:30--Horseshoe: We talked about each activity from the Halloween party and what went well and what didn't. Each activity had some positives and negatives. We had a couple of girls who took the constructive criticism poorly, but we explained that no one did a bad job--we were just discussing what could be done differently next time to improve things. The main takeaways this year were that they would prefer a craft to a spooky story, and the spooky story wasn't very spooky.

7:30-8:00--A Sparks group meets at the same time as us down the hall. They have all new leaders (plus an experienced Junior Leader), so we offered to come teach them some Guiding songs. We spent time this meeting getting ready.

I gave the patrols the table of contents from my songbook that I've put together of songs that I know. I have them organized by campfire order, and asked them to pick 3 or 4 from each section that we could teach the Sparks. Becky's Guiding Resource has a great visual on how to organize a campfire.

Once each Patrol had a list, we went through them as a group to see what they came up with and then whittled them down into a small program for next week. We asked them to keep in mind that Sparks can't read well, so they have to be songs that Sparks can  learn fairly easily. This is what they came up with:

8:00-8:30--We sang some of the songs, to make sure we all knew them.

Meeting #9

You and Others: Learn about Leadership in a Group (YaO1)

6:30-7:30--We went straight to the Sparks meeting room. They had their opening, and then we joined them in a campfire circle. We had an indoor campfire, made from wood and Christmas lights.

We went around the circle and everyone introduced themselves and then we had some fun singing! We overplanned and had more songs than could fit in 30 minutes. We skipped the yells and chants and some of the silly songs. We finished with On My Honour and Taps.

After Taps, the Sparks group served everyone Smores. They toasted marshmallows in a toaster oven, and then put them between two chocolate chip cookies. Delicious!

7:30-8:30--We went back to our meeting room and played some games. We started with one we had prepared last year and never got around to using. It's from the Cookie Rising section under Teamwork. You put the letters of the alphabet on cards and spread them out in a defined area. Then the girls have to touch them in order and each girl has to touch at least one letter. They need to figure out how to do it on their own. They started by going in order around the circle, which resulted in girls having to reach far across the circle to touch a letter. It took them 56 seconds. Then we helped them think up ways they could improve their time. It took some effort and some prompting but eventually they figured out if they each took letters that were close to them, they could do it faster. Then we had to remind them that every girl had to touch one. We have some competitive girls, so when some girls were slower to touch their letter, others touched it for them and then not everyone touched a letter. But eventually, they all touched a letter and could do it in 23 seconds! (YaO1#2)

Then we tried another "teamwork" game, which is really hard. The girls sit in a circle and can't discuss strategy. Then they have to count, but only one girl can talk at a time. There are some that insist on always saying a number or trying to say it faster than anyone else (again, the competitive ones) and some who never said a word, waiting for others to go first. I think the highest they got to was 8. (YaO1#2)

Then we tried "What Are You Doing?" again, but it seems to work better with 10-12. With 19 girls, the ones who are waiting get too disinterested. We tried splitting them into 2 groups for it, but by then they weren't interested so we regrouped.

Since they were lined up opposite each other, we tried doing Caimarusa. We could sing the song and mostly remembered the movements, but I think we had one step missing. It was still fun though!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Meeting #7: Volunteering at the Food Bank

We couldn't have the school for our meeting tonight so it was a perfect night to go to the food bank. Every day they get more leftover bread from the grocery stores than they can use so our job was to dump the old stuff. And the girls had a blast! We dumped 115 bread flats in about an hour.

We ran out of dumpster space and we had some time before the parents came so I taught them a game I learned at conference. 

What Are You Doing?--the girls line up in two single file lines, with the girls at the head of each line facing each other. One girl starts doing an action, say tying her shoe the other girl asks, "What are you doing?"  The first girl names an action she isn't doing, say eating an ice cream cone. The second girl starts doing that action while the first girl goes to the end of her line. Then they just keep doing this. 

I thought they'd ask to stop, but they seemed to really like it and played for about 20 minutes. It was a great leaving (or coming) game because the number of girls didn't affect game play. They could pop in and out line easily!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nova Scotia Guider Conference

This past weekend, I attended the biannual Nova Scotia Guider Conference. Every two years, Province puts on a learning weekend for all provincial Guiders (and Rangers this year). It's a great time with lots of learning and laughing.

On Friday, once we found the hotel (Truro is not that big!), it started with the Opening Ceremonies. Our Chief Commissioner Sharon Callahan was a surprise guest and said some words, along with our Provincial Commissioner Holly Thompson. The MC and Conference Chair Debbie Mellish was hilarious the whole weekend and did a great job keep things moving. Then we sang Make New Friends in a round and it sounded great.

Make new friends and keep the old
One is silver and the other gold.

A circle is round and has no end
That's how long I want to be your friend.

Then we invited all of District Guiders who were there (6, plus our Area Commissioner) back to our room to hang out and we had lots of fun.

Climbing Jacob's ladder
In the morning after breakfast, we had a joint session on Social Media, let by @talya_talks, who moderates GGC's social media sites like @girlguidesofcan and the GGC Facebook page. Nova Scotia has just started their Twitter feed @GGCNovaScotia and Facebook page and Talya talked about how we can help build that up and why it's important. I don't tweet often--I use my Twitter for reading mostly--but I then spent the day tweeting all about conference #nsguiderconference.

My morning was a double session, which was a hike and geocaching. Victoria Park is a 400-acre woodland park and trail system right in Truro--we could walk there from the hotel. We stopped to try to find a geocache at a small park on the way, but it was hidden too well! We were all around it but just couldn't figure out where it was.

At the falls
There are two main features at Victoria Park. The first is Jacob's Ladder, a 175-step climb! There is a break about halfway up, which most people took advantage of. The picture is from the halfway point, so we still had a ways to go!

The second are the falls--Waddell Falls and Joseph Howe Falls. We'd had a wet week leading up to the weekend, so the falls were flowing beautifully. We were hiking for 3 hours and it was great to get out of the hotel and in the fresh air. Brenda Harvey was our facilitator and since she is local to the area, had lots of great information and tidbits about the park and Truro.

Girl Guide tree carving
The streets of Truro have tree carvings that were commissioned when a lot of the old elm trees had to be cut down due to Dutch Elm disease. On the way back from Victoria Park, we went down the street that had the one that the Colchester Area Girl Guides commissioned.

My first session after lunch was called Trendy Crafts for Guides and Pathfinders. Jennifer Trott-Zisserson is a Guider who is also a Grade 5 teacher and she loves to craft purposeful crafts--more than just colouring and fun foam, which is good for the younger levels but the older girls do want more. She explained Pinterest to those who didn't know what it was and talked about some great craft ideas, like screen printing. Then we got to do some crafts of our own. She had three quick crafts for us to try.

Glitter balls--these are really easy and really pretty. You take a clear plastic or glass ornament ball that you can find at Michael's. You pour clear Pledge cleaner into the ball and swish it around to coat the inside and then pour the excess back into the bottle. Then you pour glitter into the ball and it sticks to the Pledge. It takes more glitter than you expect! And that's it!

Morse Code necklaces/bracelets: This was tedious, though smaller finger might do better with it, and I do like how it turned out. You think up a message in Morse code and write it out (mine says "4th HP Guides"). You add the clasp with crimping beads, then add your message, using long beads for dashes and round beads for dots. You can put crimping beads at each end of your message if you want to keep the message from sliding on the necklace.

Duct Tape Roses: I really liked these and they were quite easy to make too. Cut strips of colourful duct tape into 1" or 1.5" inch strips. You need about 20 (mine had about 10 on it). You fold one corner down not all the way to edge and then fold the other corner down to make a point in the middle. You can either roll it up on itself or around a pencil (like I did). Repeat this for all the other pieces, wrapping them around the first one and staggering the points.

My last session was Drama Queens--Using Drama with Guides and Pathfinders. I signed up for this because I'm not always imaginative and I don't enjoy drama so I wanted some new ideas. As a result, I was dreading it because I knew I'd be out of my comfort zone, but it ended up being my favourite session! There were 15 of us in the session and it was led by Charlotee Dornadic and Darlene Duggan. Charlotte is a drama teacher and has been a Girl Guide member for over 55 years. We learned lots of games and there were a number of outgoing, drama-types in the session, so we laughed a lot too.

We had a bit of time after our last session before supper so we worked on the Scavenger Hunt. With our registration package, we got a list of about 40 questions, and the answers were posted around the hotel. We were proudest of the fact that the largest Pathfinder unit in the province is found in our District!

Dinner was a sit-down turkey dinner. Though we did mix and mingle throughout the day, we had a lovely meal with all of the Guiders from our District. We were joined by some Guiders who had just come for the day, as well as some who we hadn't connected with the night before.

After dinner we had a short group session on the changes to Safe Guide, including the importance of everyone reading the SG4 and knowing what to do in case of an emergency. After that we had campfire, which is always fun. We learned some new songs and sang some old favourites. I finally liked the song "Three Sharp-Toothed Buzzards"! I never understood it before. And Ain't No Flies on Us brought out the competitive side in everyone involved!

We had another evening of fun and good times in our hotel room. We were all very thankful that the clocks went back an hour and we got an extra hour of sleep!

Sunday started after breakfast with an Ideas Market. People bring hat crafts and crafts and crests to sell to raise money for various things like CWFF or international trips. There were camps promoting their facilities and an Area promoting their challenge. 

And we ended the weekend with a closing, giving out door prizes and Scavenger Hunt winners. We ended with Go Well and Safely, one of my favourites, and Daytime Taps.

Conference is always a fun weekend. There are lots of sessions available. Commissioners did COGS, there were the Program Stream sessions, people skills, crafts, drama, outdoor skills. The Conference Team did an amazing job putting everything together and I can't wait until it's time to do it again in two years time!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Meeting #6: Halloween Party

You and Others: Learn How to Plan (YaO3)

The Guides planned the party, so we didn't have to do anything! I love these kinds of nights!

6:30-7:00: They arrived and had fun looking at each other's costumes. When they got to rowdy, we corralled them into their patrol tables and told them to go over the activity they were leading that night.

7:00-7:10: We went down to the lobby and paraded around with the Sparks and Brownies units to see everyone costumes.

7:10-7:30: The Red Roses read the ghost story that they wrote the week before and then the Scarlet Tanagers led everyone in some Halloween songs.

7:30-7:50: Let the games begin! The Forget-Me-Nots brought in a drawing of a witch and made paper wands for everyone to play Pin the Wand on the Witch. Then they split the unit into two teams and they gave them five minutes to wrap the tallest girl in toilet paper to make a mummy. The girls had a lot of fun with both games.

7:50-8:20: Snacks! They brought in lots of good food and it was all delicious. There were cupcakes, brownies, cookies, fruit, and chips.

8:20-8:30: Cleanup and closing

They all did a great job with their assigned activities and they had lots of fun at the party that they created! (YaO3#1)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Meeting #5: Party Planning and Enrollment

You and Others: Learn How to Plan
You in Guiding: Understand the Promise and Law and Motto

The Guides requested that they could plan their Halloween party so we spent the first part of the meeting letting them do that.

6:30-7:15: Since we would be doing Horseshoe for Enrollment, we just got started with the planning right away. Each patrol drew an activity to plan: Games, Food, Ghost Story, Campfire Songs.

7:15-7:45: After planning, we rehearsed Enrollment. We used the Enrollment Ceremony from Hollah Guiding. We practiced putting together the puzzle pieces the Guides had made last week. We set it up on the floor in the middle of the Horseshoe and just went in order from #1 to #24. (We have 22 girls, so as Leaders, we just cut two pieces in half to get four pieces for us.)

7:45-8:15: We only have 4 first years this year, and 2 of them weren't there, so it was a small ceremony! We handed out everyone's Patrol Emblems and Year pins, and the first years earned their first little square. We did the Law with our actions and I'm impressed at how quickly they've learned the Law when before they always stumbled over it.

Then we served cake and juice. I made the cake into a puzzle piece, using a jelly roll sized cake pan and then cutting out jigsaw pieces and attaching them to the sides.

8:15-8:30: We started to learn Swinging Along in parts, and then repeated Magalina Hagalina and Tony Chestnut, then did closing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Meeting #4: Understand the Promise and Law and Motto

Understand the Promise and Law and Motto (YiG1)
Discovering You: Discover What's Important to You (DY1)

Patrol Time: Another idea stolen from Hollah Guiding! We printed off pages with a picture of a bag and had the girls "fill them" with things they'd need to Be Prepared for that activity. Each Patrol had Guide Meeting, Choose a Sport, and Camp. (Be Prepared Template, Word Doc) (YiG1#3)

Horseshoe: With only 4 new Guides out of 23, we didn't need to teach horseshoe this year! We just did it and they followed along. Then we did the Promise and the Law with our new actions, which definitely helped us remember them without looking!

Once in Horseshoe, we talked about what we were doing that night, and then sat down and each group shared what they put in their Be Prepared bags for each activity. They did a great job and remembered a lot of good things!

Skits: The Patrols presented their puppet skits, using the puppets and skits they created last week. After they presented their skits, we guessed which Law they had chosen. (YiG#1)

Puzzle Pieces: I took their interest lists from last week and found clipart for everything. I printed them off, and gave them stickers and they had markers and they decorated their puzzle pieces that we had prepared from two pieces of Bristol board (explained at Hollah Guiding). They all turned out really well! (DY1#2)

Handshake Dance: We played a few rounds of Handshake Dance, where you dance to music and then when the music stops, find someone and shake left hands to remember how Girl Guides around the world shake hands. (YiG1#4)

Reef Knot race: Everyone had a scarf and each patrol had to tie them together using reef knots. (YiG1#5)

Songs: I've been looking at the Sing Ontario Sing 2013 challenge and wanting to learn some new songs. I compiled all the lyrics of the songs I didn't know and researched them on either YouTube or got the mp3 from  I'll put the playlist on in the car to help engrain the tunes into my head. And since we had some time, we learned Magalina Hagalina and Tony Chestnut. The Guides actually knew some of these from in school. (Sing Ontario Sing Word doc).

Closing: The Guides asked about a Halloween party and want to plan it like they did last year. So next week, before we have Enrollment, we'll let them plan the party.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Nostaglia: Guiding Gear

A rare non-programming post. :)

At my parents' house this weekend, I found my Guiding gear from the early 80s.  I'm surprised to see the number of badges that haven't changed in 30 years!

Beside my Brownie enrollment pin is a pin that has a trefoil with a trillium flower that says GGC Ontario. I think I got it when we did an exchange trip with a group of Pathfinders in Ottawa. They came to see us one summer and we went up there the next one. My billet's name was Virginia. :)

I also found a tin full of my swimming badges and Canada Fitness test badges. So I have a lot of work to do on my camp blanket now!

I also found my camp hat. The best one (most representative of PEI) was this bag of potatoes:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Meeting #3: Law and Elections

You in Guiding: Understanding the Promise and Law and Motto (YiG1)
Since we don't have Patrols (yet), we let the girls just fill up four tables, with 6 girls at each table.

We gave them two activities to do:
1. Pick activities from the sections of the Fit for Life Challenge that they'd like to do so we can help plan how to do them.
2. Tell us 5 things that interest them. This is in preparation of our enrollment ceremony, which we are borrowing from Hollah Guiding.

We started the night by asking who wanted to be Patrol Leaders and who wanted to be Seconders. We have five 3rd years who wanted to run for PL, and we had seven 2nd years at first, but then 3 decided they didn't want to give speeches. So we ended up with 9 girls running for 8 positions, which is always sad for someone. (YiG1#2)

The girls gave great speeches--the third years were all prepared with speeches written down. We did the votes--each girl voted for 4 PL and 4 S, and had to write 8 different names down. The voting was really close and came within 1 vote for the girl who didn't get in. But she'll have another chance next year. The fifth place PL automatically became a Seconder, since it's her last year.

While the votes were being counted, we did another activity from Hollah Guiding. We made up actions for the Law. I generally got 2 or 3 suggestions (weeding out the silly ones) and then voted on each law for the favourite. Here's what we came up with. (YiG1#1)

The Guiding Law Challenges me to:
Be honest and trustworthy (make a unicorn horn with your finger, since unicorns are honest and trustworthy)
Use my resources wisely (spread arms out to show all our resources)
Respect myself and others (one hand on your heart and then sweep it around the circle)
Recognize and use my talents and abilities (dance action)
Protect our common environment (hold out hands like you're holding up the earth)
Live with courage and strength (flex one arm)
Share in the sisterhood of Guiding (make a heart shape with your hands in front of your chest)

Once we finished this, we named the PLs, and then the Seconders got to choose which PL she wanted to work with. Then we drew names and girls could pick their patrols. Once a Patrol had 6 girls, it was full and the Patrol sat down. The Patrol Leaders picked their Emblems (we have Red Roses, Forget-Me-Nots, Scarlet Tanagers, and Sparrows).

Law Puppet Skits (YiG1#1)
I found this idea on GuideyDiary and thought it would be nice to focus on the Law. Each Patrol picked a Law and we gave them 10 minutes to come up with their skit ideas.

Then we gave them 30 minutes to make the Paint Stick Puppets. Basically, it's a paint stick, with material to make a dress, yarn for the hair, pipecleaner for arms and then ribbons and such to decorate. They turned out really well!

Next week, we'll have time to show the skits. So we gathered in the puppets so they'd have them next week.

Then we cleaned up and had closing and handed out cookie cases!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Meeting #1: Welcome to 2013-2014

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

We're back for another year!

We didn't break much new ground for the first meeting.

The girls arrived and assembled at the tables. We didn't take any paperwork from the parents. We had them give it to the Guides so we could gather it in an organized fashioned. While we were gathering paperwork, they had a Guiding History puzzle to work on. They found it difficult, but all of the answers are in their books. I had them put them in their binders to work on at a later time, when they have free time. (YiG2#2)

Then we gathered in a circle and did introductions. We only have 4 new girls out of 23, so that makes it easy for the leaders! We played the Yay You! game that we played at our Self-Esteem Camp last year.

Then we split up by level. The first years learned about the program book and what Guides is all about. The second years came up with rules for the meeting space. The third years discussed the LBP award and what was required and who wanted to complete it. (6 out of 7 are interested.)

Then we split them into three groups. I used the tried-and-true: get into groups of 2, get into groups of 3, get into groups of 5, get into groups of 7--to mix them up. We had three stations that they rotated through and all were activities we've done on the first night before.

Activity 1: Unscramble words that have to do with Guiding. (OUTDOORS, CAMPING, ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNITY, INDEPENDENCE)

Activity 2: Hangman for words that have to do with Guiding (OUTDOORS AND CAMPING, ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS, COMMUNITY SERVICE).

Activity 3: Promise Relays The promise is broken up and the girls have to run up to get a piece of the promise and then assemble the promise. (YiG1#1)

We all got back together and we went over the rules that the 2nd years came up with. We ended the night with a few songs (Ging Gang Gooli, Bubbles) and Taps.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Meeting #31: Games night

We had one week left at the school and nothing planned. So we thought we'd have a games night. If the weather was good, we could go outside onto the field to play, or we could stay inside in our meeting room or go to the gym.

Patrol Time: We asked each Patrol to come up with an indoor game and an outdoor game. Then we used some of their suggestions to fill out the night. The weather was good, so we went outside to play!

Rattlesnake: Everyone joins hands and one person stands with her free hand against a wall. The other end leads everyone under the arm of the first person, who then ends up turned with her arms crossed across her body. The end loops around and goes under the next person's arm, who ends up turned with her arms crossed and so on, until you've gone under each person's arm and everyone ends up with arms crossed. Then the two end people join hands to make a circle of people with their arms crossed. As this is going on, everyone is chanting over and over again:

Chant: R-A-T and a T-L-E and an S and an N and an A-K-E
That's how you spell RATTLESNAKE

Buddy Tag: (from Becky's Guiding Resource): Girls are in pairs scattered around the playing area, and you have a chaser and a chasee. When the chasee becomes tired, she can grab the hand of the one of the pairs and the other girl in the pair must start running. We also have the rule that the chaser can switch off when tired too. We also have a 10 second rule--i.e., the new person must run for at least 10 seconds before she can trade off with another pair.

Stormy Sea: Everyone is lined up on two lines facing each other about 15 yards apart. They are all assigned a category (tonight we used colours, so we had Pink, Orange, Blue, and Green). There are two free moving chasers in the middle. They call out a category and those girls have to run from one line to another. If they are tagged, they have to stay where they are in the middle and can't move their feet (we allowed a pivot foot). When more girls are running past, they can try to tag them without moving their feet as well. You can also get everyone running by calling a catch-all phrase (we used Rainbow). It goes until there is no one left running.

Mousetrap: We start with 4 people in the center, holding raised hands to make a circle, which is the mousetrap. Everyone else has to run through the trap. A leader is standing with her back turned and yells out "Spring the trap!" and the mousetrap people drop their arms. Whoever is caught inside becomes part of the mousetrap. This is continued until there is only one mouse left.

The blackflies were getting bad, so we went back inside.

Telephone: Everyone knows Telephone, right? One person thinks up a short phrase or sentence and whispers it to the person next to them. It goes around the circle and then the last person says what she heard out loud. This ends up with lots of giggles as the sentence changes repeatedly on its way around!

Poor Kitty: I played this as a Brownie and Guide many years ago. One person is It and is the poor kitty. She goes up to someone else sitting in the circle and meows and purrs. The girl in the circle has to pet her on the head and say three times "Poor Kitty!" without laughing or smiling. If she laughs, then she becomes the Poor Kitty. Lots of giggles for this game too!

It was a fun night!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Meeting #30: Camp Planning

Camp-Out (CO)

Basic Camper (BC)

 I found this great activity idea on a site called GuidingWorks. It's called Program in a Plastic bag. The program we used was called "Start of Year Challenge 2007", though we used it for camp planning at the end of the year. We left out some activities and changed or added some others.

We didn't start with Horseshoe. We gave the Patrols their Patrol papers and they just had to start!

The girls seemed to have a lot of fun, and they had active activities mixed in with sitting and writing activities. They worked for about 90 minutes, and each patrol ended up completing about 8 of the activities we gave them.

These are the activities we did:
Activity #1: Technology

INSTRUCTIONS: Using one piece of 8 ½” x 11” paper, create a bridge between two chairs spaced 18cm apart that is strong enough to hold a book.
Equipment: Two chairs, Piece of 8 ½” x 11” paper, 18 cm piece of cardboard, Program book
Activity #2: Camp Planning
INSTRUCTIONS: Help plan camp!
Pick a theme for camp.
Plan camp activities—crafts, games—to go with the theme

Activity #3: Camp Menu (BC#1)
INSTRUCTIONS: Plan what we will eat at camp!
Methods of cooking: Camp fire, box oven, camp stove

Required meals: Friday night mug-up, Saturday Breakfast, Saturday morning snack, Saturday lunch, Sturday afternoon snack, Saturday supper, Saturday night mug-up, Sunday breakfast, Sunday morning snack

We gave them printouts of food ideas.

Activity #4: Knotting
INSTRUCTIONS: Learn one new knot from a book. Everyone must be able to demonstrate it.
1. Find out when it is used.
2. Know its name.
3. Ask for help to learn it only if you can’t figure it out.
Equipment: Rope per person, Knot book

Activity #5: Camp Skills (BC#2)
INSTRUCTIONS: Make up a personal kit list for a camp under canvas for two days and two nights.

Activity #6: Dexterity
INSTRUCTIONS: Complete a jigsaw upside down without peeking. When you are finished, turn it over to see the picture.
Equipment: Puzzle

Activity #7: Partying
INSTRUCTIONS: Make a list of activities we can do for our End of Year party!

Activity #8: Gadgets
INSTRUCTIONS: Make a camp gadget.
Equipment: Sticks, Rope, Program book

Activity #9: Thinking
INSTRUCTIONS: Each person has a chair. There is one extra chair. Get your Patrol from one end of the hall to the other without touching the floor. One of your members is blindfolded.

Equipment: Chairs, Blindfold (uniform scarf)

Activity #10: Lifeline
INSTRUCTIONS: Every member of the Patrol must throw a lifeline to a drowning person 6 metres away.
Equipment: Rope

Activity #11: Teamwork
INSTRUCTIONS: Keep a balloon off the floor by teamwork for three minutes.
Equipment: Balloon

Activity #12: Minutes
1. Stand in a circle. Every Guide closes her eyes. At the word “Go”, each Guide must estimate the length of a minute, and sit down when she thinks the minute is up. Ask a Leader to tell you who was closest.
2. How many times can each Guide touch all four walls in a minute? Write down your score.
3. Every Guide must balance on one foot for one minute. Ask a Leader to time you.
Equipment: Leader, Stopwatch

Activity #13: Candles
INSTRUCTIONS: Tie your hair back. Light a match, then a candle, blow out the candle, light the candle etc. Keep score of how many times you can light one candle with one match.
Equipment: Candle per person, Box of matches

Activity #14: Bedrolls (CO#3)
INSTRUCTIONS: Tie a proper bed roll.
Equipment: Tarp, sleeping bag, blanket, pillow, stuffed animal, bungee cords/rope

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Meeting #27: Learn About Guiding

You in Guiding: Learn About Guiding (YiG2)

6:30-7:00 Patrol Time: Read program book and come up with trivia questions. I wanted them to read the sections of the book on Lord and Lady Baden-Powell and Guiding in Canada, but I knew if I just told them to read, they wouldn't want to. So I tasked them with coming up with trivia questions that we could use later in the meeting! How Guiding Began pages 34-36 and About Guiding pages 291-293 (YiG2#2)

7:00-7:15 Horseshoe and read Participation Stories I found two participation stories on Becky's Guiding Resource and we did both to reinforce the story the guiding. (YiG2#1)
The Crystal Palace Rally
How Guiding Began

7:15-8:00 Lapbook cutting and pasting--We finished off our Lapbooks! They each got a page with pictures of Lady B-P and the story of Guiding that they could colour and use to decorate their books. I got them from Lee-Anne of the Owl and Toadstool blog. Comment on her lapbook post and she'll send you all the files you need for your lapbook! (YiG2#1)

8:00-8:30 Trivia game: We played Grab the Flag trivia, though our space was small so we removed the "tag back" rule--whoever grapped the stuffed owl first got to answer. The trivia questions the girls came up with were hard--they were all "What year was..." I had taken some back up ones from this History Game, and they were more doable for the girls. I still feel the initial task of having them write the trivia questions was worthwhile. (YiG2#2)

Meeting #29: Community Heritage outing

Beyond You: Discover Your Community

We were looking for a way to cover off another piece of the Discover Your Community square. We live in a rural suburb, with a number of subdivisions that have been around for less then 20 years, with a lot of older houses on the main road through our community.

We got in contact with Blue Barn Farms through a community heritage society and it was a really interesting night. When we first arrived, the girls got to into the chicken barns and see the baby chicks under the heat lamps.

Then we went into the barn, which was over 100 years old. The owner's father-in-law was there, and his great-grandfather had first bought the land in 1849. So it was a family farm and was still in the family. He told us all about how the farm used to be, before there was electricity and what our community was like all those years ago. (BY1#1 or #6)

Then we got to into the cow section and see the calves with their mothers and watch them drink their milk, and there were also more chickens in the barn, which were a few weeks older than the other ones we saw and didn't need heat lamps any more.

All of the animals on the farm are grain- or grass-fed and they are free range, which also ties in nicely with the work we did with Operation Earth Action and buying locally produced food.

Then we went back outside and played Stella-Ella-Ola while we waited for the parents to come pick them up.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Meeting #26: Famous Women

You and Others: Learn about Leadership (YaO1)

Famous Five Challenge
We scheduled the same activity we did a few years ago, with some tweaks to the format.

6:30-7:00: Patrol Time--The girls worked on the Word Search from the Famous Five Challenge. I transferred it to Excel, so it would print out individually. (Famous Five Word Search (Excel))

7:00-7:10 Horseshoe

7:10-7:45: Wall of Fame--Each Patrol had a laptop with access to the internet. We sent them to the Famous Canadian Women site, where they could look up a famous Canadian woman who shared their birthday. They read the short bio outloud to their patrol and then wrote down on construction paper that they cut into a shape, the woman's name, thing she's famous for, and birthday/year and death (if applicable). Then they had to make one for themselves and come up with a short description of themselves.

When everyone made their placards, we got back into Horseshoe and each person said their famous woman's name and description and their own, and then taped them up onto a blank poster to create our Wall of Fame. (YaO1#4)

7:45-8:20--Then the girls took the scripts from the Famous Five challenge and performed them for everyone else so we could learn all about the Famous Five and other Canadian women trailblazers. After the skits, we discussed what we learned about how it was to be a woman in Canada in the 1800s and 1900s, compared to the opportunities they have now.


Meeting #25: Chocolate Challenge

We had 16 second year Brownies coming to visit, so we decided they should come on the day we planned to do the chocolate challenge!

6:30-6:45--When the Brownies arrived, we divided them up between our 5 patrols.

6:45-7:00--We did Horseshoe and let the Brownies watch. Normally, I'd let them take part, but we barely have enough space for our 24 girls to march into formation, without adding another 16! Once the horseshoe was formed, the Brownies came up and joined us and we discussed the Guide program a little bit.

7:00-8:00--We set up 5 stations for the girls to go through, to earn the Chocolate Challenge

Station #1: Smore craft--Our crafty leader came up with another great idea! Cork for graham crackers, socks for chocolate, makeup cotton pads (pre-singed) for the marshmallow.

Station #2: Kim's game with chocolate bars. Our Guider did a great job finding 10 chocolate bars that were peanut free! I could guess 8 out of 10 correctly. After each group guessed, they got to sample one piece each. (Nut free bars we used: KitKat, Skor, Coffee Crisp, Twix, Big Turk, Cookies n Cream, Aero, Bounty, Mars)

Station #3: Pudding Painting. They helped shake up the pudding, and then they each got about 2 T of pudding to finger paint with and then they could eat what was leftover. They were also responsible for cleaning out the dishes for the next group.

Station #4: Chocolate taste testing.  They got little shot glasses full of different types of chocolate chips--milk, semi-sweet, white, bitter--and then decided which one they liked best.

Station #5: History of chocolate. We found a video on the making and production of chocolate. I think they started watching the video partway through. Chocolate video (YouTube)

8:00-8:25--We divided them into 8 groups and then split into 2 groups of 4 groups. We gave them topics to create skits. They are also so imaginative!

8:25-8:30--Closing. We gave out the Chocolate Crests and thanked the Brownies for coming. After a night like that, how can they not want to come to Guides next year?!