Friday, March 7, 2014

Special Event: Lady Baden-Powell Award Workshop

This workshop has evolved over the years. A number of years ago, some leaders would hold a 2 night camp for girls working on their LBP award. Our first year doing this, there was a one-night Spark camp on a Saturday, so we took the Friday night for our LBP girls. The next year, we booked a grocery store community room for a Saturday, and we really liked how that worked out. There's a kitchen, so we can have lunch, and we get about the same amount of time as the overnight, but it's much easier. And the Community Room is free!

We use the workshop to do a Major Community Project (#4) and Learn about Lady Baden-Powell (#2). It's also when we can talk to them about what they have left to do and give them ideas about how they can complete it.

We have 8 third-years so we opened it up to them (whether they were planning to do LBP or not), plus the one third year in the other Guide unit in our District. We only had 4 confirm, so then we opened it up to our 9 2nd years as well. We ended up with 8 girls attending, which is a nice number.

As leaders, we came up with the idea for the project, which the other Guide unit had done in previous years. It's an activity kit for the emergency waiting room. In the Guide unit's case, they had a grant for doing community projects, so they bought all of the supplies and the girls just assembled them. We were concerned about the rule that you can't buy things to donate (but you can buy things to make something to donate), so we thought if we booked a Community Room that was next to a dollar store and had the girls bring money from home to buy the supplies, that would cover it. Though most of the supplies we did "transform" in some way. :)

We started the morning by explaining the project to the girls, showing them a couple of examples, and then we had them brainstorm what they wanted to put in them. Then we went through the list and determined how much each thing would cost and how many bags each thing would make (i.e. a 24-pack of crayons cost $1.25, and if we were putting 3 crayons in each bag, we could make 8 bags from each package).

Then we found a common multiple (in our case it was 48) and figured out how many of each thing we would need to buy. We added that up and rethought some of the things (do we need crayons and coloured pencils and markers?) so that the cost per bag was about $1. We determined we could probably make 96 bags. Then we divided up the items between the girls, knowing they each had $10 to spend and factoring in tax--each girl could buy $8.50 worth of supplies. 

I really had fun teaching the girls this part--how to budget and plan. They complained a little (math on a Saturday?!) but they definitely felt ownership of the project.

Now everyone took their list and we walked over to the dollar store and they had a lot of fun shopping and picking out the right stickers and colouring books and pencils.
Back in our meeting space, they got to work dividing everything up--crayons dumped into a bowl, colouring books separated into sheets, construction paper cut in half, pencils sharpened. We had Girl Guide stickers from Guide House (our Provincial office)  and we made stickers that said "Get well soon from Hammonds Plains Girl Guides" (or something like that), so some girls put those onto the ziploc bags. 
Then they got busy filling the bags! We put a list on the board to remind everyone what to put in each bag. I forgot to take a picture, but it was great to see the 90 activity kits they made to donate.

Once the bags were completed, we took a break for lunch. The shopping plaza we were at had a pizza place in it, so we ordered pizzas. Yum! Plus we bought some carrots and cucumbers at the grocery store. 

After lunch, we worked on some Lady Baden-Powell information. We have a folder of information that we photocopy for them each year which has some worksheets and LBP information. There is also a skit that requires props. We divided the 8 girls into 2 groups, and each group worked on creating a set of props for the skit. They will present the skits to the unit in the coming weeks.

We also talked to them about the other parts of the Award that they need to complete and how to complete it. Since it was Thinking Day, we finished our workshop with cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday, and then Taps. Then it was time to go. They did a great job and worked diligently for the 6 hours we were together. 

For our third-year girls who couldn't attend but still want to earn their LBP, we gave them information on how to complete the service project and gave them 3 weeks to return 10 bags to us before we donate everything to the hospital. We gave them the folders of LBP information, and asked them to create posters about LBP for our Thinking Day skating party instead of doing the skit.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Meeting #19: Fitness Fun badge

Fitness Fun badge (FF)
Discovering You: Stay Fit and Healthy (DY3)
Beyond You: Try New Things (BY3)

Ever have one of those meetings where things you expect to happen don't happen? We had one of those nights. We'd invited a fitness instructor to come teach the girls yoga and work on the Fitness Fun badge. When she didn't show up, we had to improvise! Luckily, we are active leaders and could muddle our way through the badge--it's just always nicer when you can have someone knowledgeable come and teach the girls!

We asked the girls to come to the meeting dressed to work out, and to bring a water bottle and a yoga mat or beach towel. I brought extra beach towels for the girls who would inevitably forget.

6:30-7:00--While waiting for our non-existent guest to arrive, we moved the tables out of the way to give us a big space for working out and the girls enjoyed having some "unstructured" time.

We started with a warm-up--neck circles, shoulder shrugs, arm circles, ankle circles. (FF#3)

Then we moved on to stretching. Biceps, triceps, quads, glutes. (FF#4)

I've taken kickboxing classes, so we went through some of the moves for that--jabs, hooks, upper cuts, front kicks, back kicks, side kicks, speed bag. (FF#7, BY3#3)

Then another leader knew some yoga, so she took them through some of the easier yoga poses. Some girls knew some moves so they tried those as well. (FF#7, BY3#3)

Then we did squats, lunges, push-ups, planks, crunches and sit-ups. There was a lot of complaining for this one! We tried to walk around and make sure they could do the exercises properly, but if they were having lots of trouble, we didn't insist. (FF#6)

Then as they were lying on their mats/towels, we brainstormed with them how they could increase the physical activity in their daily lives. Ideas they came up with--doing exercises during commercial breaks while watching tv, playing running games at recess instead of just walking around, asking parents to park farther away from the door when shopping, walking or biking to school. (FF#1)

That covered 5 topics from the badge. (DY3#6)

Their exercise journals are due back the next week, and that will cover the sixth topic, which means they won't get the badge until they bring pack their journals! (FF#2)

8:15-8:30--Clean-up and closing

Meeting #18: Screen Printing

Beyond You: Try New Things (BY3)
Discovering You: Discover Your Creativity (DY2)

Double Dare greeting cards
We wanted to complete the Try New Things square, so I was trying to think of things we could do. Then I thought of my cousin-in-law, who recently opened up a print studio with her twin sister, called Double Dare Print Studio, where they make really cute greeting cards, post cards, etc. I wasn't sure what their space was like, so I contacted her to see if they could accommodate showing 20 girls what they did.

Unfortunately, their space was smaller than I thought, but I also knew they did a demo at an art gallery one weekend, so I asked her if their equipment was portable and if they could come to us. She thought that was a wonderful idea!

She figured they'd need about 45 minutes to explain to the girls what screen printing is and how it's done and then they'd have a project that the girls could complete and take home. And since it was coming up to Valentine's Day, we'd finish the night with a small Valentine's Day party, with some games and treats.

We didn't give them a task for Patrol Time, but just gave Bryanna and Alyssa time to set up their equipment.


6:55-7:45--Screen Printing
They explained to the girls their background in art--they both have fine arts degrees--and then the basics of how screen printing works. (DY2#4)

Bryanna created a design especially for us. They wanted to use two colours, so they preprinted the first colour for everyone so there would be time for them to dry. They explained how they got the design from Bryanna's drawing to becoming something that was capable of being printed many times.

It was really interesting to see how it's done! They showed us how to place the design where you want it and how to make sure each subsequent print would be placed similarly, so they turn out mostly the same.

Then each girl got a chance to put the blue trefoil design onto the gold maple leaf. Once all the set-up is done (the hard part), the printing part is very straight-forward and the girls did a great job making their prints. Then the all wanted Bryanna and Alyssa to sign their prints! It was really cute. (BY3#6)

7:45-8:15 Valentine's Party
Once we finished the screen printing, we got to have treats! I made heart-shaped cinnamon cookies, and we brought icing and sprinkles so the girls (and leaders and guests) could decorate their cookies.

Then we played some games that I found on the internet--Valentine's Minute-to-Win-It. We bought lots of candy hearts and gave them plates and chopsticks.

The first game, they had to see how many candy hearts they could transfer from the middle plate to their own plate in a minute, using only chopsticks. They had fun with this!

The second game, they had a minute to stack the candy hearts as high as they could. Again, lots of laughs and some concentrating for this game. They liked the games quite a bit and we played each one twice. We had some little prizes (pencils, erasers, etc) to give to the winners.

8:15-8:30--We had time for a couple of songs and then we did closing.

Thanks so much to Double Dare Print Studio for coming to see us and teaching us all about screen printing. The girls learned a new thing, and then I realized that this also covers bringing a local artist to your meeting to learn about their craft!

Double Dare Print Studio's handmade design for us

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Meeting #17: Discover Your Community

You in Guiding: Learn about WAGGGS (YiG3)
Beyond You: Discover Your Community (BY1)

6:30-7:00: We don't have any meetings set aside just for WAGGGS this year, but we're still trying to include some information for the girls. Girl Guides of Southwest Texas has some interesting worksheets about Thinking Day/WAGGGS that we printed off for the girls to work on during Patrol Time. I included the following sheets:
World Thinking Day Calendar: This has some trivia questions that are American leaning, but there were some interesting questions that our girls could answer too.
Fun Facts about the Four World Centers
World Thinking Day Friendship Circle Activity
WAGGGS Dot to Dot Activity

7:00-7:10 Horseshoe

7:10-8:10 Round Robins
Activity #1: We printed off a large map of our community. (Luckily, I work in an engineering firm with large plotters, so every once in a while, I get my co-worker to print things off for me). Each girl would mark on the map where she lived, and then as a group they figured out where all the important places were in our community--schools, stores, fire station, etc. (BY1#2)

Activity #2: We borrowed a wheelchair and a walker from a pharmacy and used them to determine how accessible our meeting place is. Now we're in a school, so it is very accessible, with wide doors, automatic doors, an elevator, and accessible bathrooms. But we talked about each of these features and what would make a building inaccessible. And they were all excited to be pushed in the wheelchair. :) (BY1#4)

Activity #3 & #4: They spend two sessions continuing to work on their WAGGGS sheets. We directed them to work on the Friendship Circle Activity, which was pretty neat. I printed off some pages from Owl and Toadstool of what uniforms look like around the world and told the girls to colour each girl in the cutout a different uniform colour. (YiG3#5)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Meeting #16: Thinking Day Hat Crafts

Discovering You: Stay Fit and Healthy (DY3)
Fitness Fun (FF)
Fit for Life (FfL)

For Thinking Day, our District is having a skating and pizza party. After skating, we are doing a hat craft swap, so each person is required to bring 3 hat crafts to trade. We had voted on the hat craft we would make at a previous meeting.

We set everything they needed out for them to make the backpack and book.
We told them they didn't have to make one complete one themselves--that they could divide up who made the pencils and who made the books and who made the backpacks, especially since we didn't have enough glue guns for everyone to use them at the same time.

And they turned out quite nice, if I do say so myself!

This took up most of the meeting. They needed to make 4 each--one to keep for themselves and 3 to trade. We gathered up the traders to keep o make sure everything will show up on Thinking Day.

Then we handed out a month calendar and asked them to keep track of how much exercise they did for the month. We asked them to get 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week, which isn't really much, especially since they should be having gym twice a week. They'll need to bring it back filled out and we told them that we'd rather they bring it back with less than the required amount than for them to falsely fill it out. This calendar will used for three pieces of programming! (DY3#4, FF#2, FfL:A)

And we finished the night with campfire songs and closing.