Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thinking Day Postcard Exchage

International Thinking Day Postcard Exchange 2013 Patch

I've heard about the Thinking Day Postcard Exchange for a few years but had never signed up because they used Yahoo Groups and you had to create a Yahoo ID and that seemed like an extra step that I wasn't quite prepared to do. (Yes, I can be lazy). 

Then Hollah Guiding did a meeting on the Postal badge and they used the Postcard Exchange and it seemed like a fun idea. The idea is that you send one postcard to each group to tell them about Guiding in your corner of the world, and you will receive one back from them. 

I signed up around the end of September and the database went live the second week of October. Bonus: they weren't using Yahoo Groups this year!

I got the email with the link to the database on a Wednesday evening. I didn't have time to check it out that night and by the next morning, I'd had 4 requests to exchange!

We're planning to send 2 postcards per girl, to ensure everyone gets at least one. The thought is to do one domestic and one international, and we've got lots of great exchanges set up. Countries include England, Scotland, Germany, Jspan, Singapore, Australia, plus lots of US states and Canadian provinces. 

We're planning to do the Postal badge in early January, as a lot of groups want a 2015 postmark. 

I'm having lots of fun getting requests and making requests. Having to turn down requests isn't fun (for example, not wanting to double up on states), but I have also been denied and I completely understand why, and it's just part of being at least slightly unique. The more unique, the more you'd have to turn away. 

After a week we have almost reached our quota, but sign-ups are on-going and there are lots of groups willing to trade. It seems like a great program and has been going for years. There is even a crest that goes with it!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Meeting #4: International Day of the Girl

You and Others: Learn About Leadership in a Group (YaO1)
Discovering You: Discover What's Important to You (DY1)

International Day of the Girl Challenge (IDotG)

6:30-7:00 Patrol Time--I made up a worksheet for them to create their Superhero. While they were working on this, we collected dues and cookie money and health forms. (Superhero Worksheet Word Doc)

7:00-7:15 Horseshoe--We talked about what International Day of the Girl is. I tried reading the information from the Challenge, but it uses a lot of big words that we had to rephrase to help them understand. Then each girl shared her Superhero that she created. (DY1#6)

7:15-7:40 Literary Heroes--Before the meeting, as leaders we brainstormed books that we had at our houses that we could bring in. We had Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, Dear Canada Diaries, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Trixie Belden, Sheree Fitch. Before we showed the girls what we had brought, we asked them to name books that were written by women or had girls/women as main characters. Well, our girls are great readers! They came up with most of what we brought and then so much more. (DY1#6)

As I wrote them down on the white board, another leader wrote each one on a slip of paper. Then we had the girls draw a slip of paper and describe the book/author without using the title or character names. They seemed to have a lot of fun with this.

7:40-8:010 Real life heroes: I knew our girls wouldn't sit still to have us read them stories about the real life heroes in the challenge (Roya Shams and Danika Bax). Malala Yousafzai had just won the Nobel Peace Prize, and so I looked for a story about her and found a good one on Time for Kids. So we gave each Patrol one person to read about and then present it to the rest of the group. They all wanted to do skits, of course! They did a pretty good job of conveying the message for each girl, with a little summary at the end.  (YaO1#4 or YaO1#6)

8:10-8:20: How Are You a Hero?--We didn't have time for each girl to create a sheet on her own, but we worked together to come up with ideas about how we are Every Day Heroes in our Guiding and non-Guiding lives.

8:20-8:30 Closing--We cleaned up the room and then sang Taps.

The meeting came together really well and I think the girls had lots of fun.

Meeting #3: Understand the Promise, Law, and Motto

You in Guiding: Understand the Promise, Law, and Motto (YiG1)
Patrol Time: Promise Crossword (from Ontario Leader Ladder p76) (YiG1#1)


Patrol Leader Speeches and Elections: We will have three patrols this year, so we needed 6 girls to run, which included 2nd years. We only had 3 girls who wanted to be Patrol Leaders, and 4 who wanted to be Seconders, which meant 1 girl was going to miss out. Only the girls who were running for Patrol Leader had to give a speech. (YiG1#3)

While the votes are counted, we played the reef knot game.

Reef Knot Game (Ontario Leader Ladder p45): We hid the rope as the girls arrived, around the room and down the hallway. We had about 35 pieces of rope for 11 girls. They were in 3 groups, and they could go out and look one girl at a time, and had to tie the knot before the next girl could go look. Once all the rope was found, they measured their ropes against each other to see whose was longest. (YiG1#5)

Handshake Dance--this is the activity from the Program Book. Since we have a small number of girls, we played like musical chairs and had eliminations and a winner. Our Junior Leader picked "All About That Base" for the song for them to dance to. (YiG1#4)

Election Results: We named the Patrol leaders. As we named the Seconders, they got to pick the Patrol Leader to work with. Then we drew names and filled out the Patrols. Our 2 first years picked different Patrols, which I was happy about.

For Patrol Emblems, we went through our existing badges to try to use them up. We had 4 Poppies, 4 Forget-Me-Nots, and 3 Bluebells. We explained to the girls that we were "Using our Resources Wisely" and they didn't seem to mind. One girl was missing, so we let the group of 4 pick first. Then we let the next group pick and whichever picked Forget-Me-Nots would be the group that the missing girl would be in.

Be Prepared activity: We set up three stations around the room. The girls would go to each location and write down what they'd need to Be Prepared at each location. When they were done, we discussed their lists. They came up with some creative ideas, like an air-conditioned RV for the desert! (Supplies: Signs for around the room and papers for the girls Word Document) (YiG1#2)

Promise, Law, Motto game from the Guide Active Living Toolbox (other levels can be found on the NB Active Living page). We'd say the first part of a line of the Promise and Law and they'd have to find it around the room and do the activity that was with it, like hop on one foot, etc. All of this is in the Toolbox. (YiG1#1)


It was a lot of little activities, but it went nicely from talking to active and back again.

First Meeting: Begin Again!

I can't believe I'm starting my third cycle through the Guiding program--Year Seven of being a Guide leader!

6:30-7 Arrival and paperwork--we let the girls arrive and choose their tables to sit at. We only have 11 girls this year, and they split into two tables, which ended up being all the girls from one school at one table (2nd and 3rd years) and all the girls from another school at the other table (1st and 2nd years). I gave them the same puzzle to do this year as we did last year, and a couple of them actually finished it this year!

7:-7:15: Ice breaker games: They wanted to play the Yay! You! game, where everyone says their name and then something they're good at, and then everyone else says, "Yay! (insert name)". 

Then we played a game called Zip/Zap. The person in the middle would point at someone. If she said "Zip" they had to name the person on their left, and if she said "Zap" they had to name the person on their right, and if she said "Zip Zap" everyone had to change places in the circle. We only have 2 new girls this year, but they're twins so that makes it more difficult to figure out their names! We also have a new leader this year, so it was helpful for her to learn everyone's names.

7:15-7:30: Talk about Guide Program and LBP: We spent a few minutes explaining the Guide program to the new girls, and then discussing the Lady Baden-Powell Challenge and what needs to be done for the third years to complete the program.

7:30-7:50: Guide Uniform—Beetle game. We thought we play a game to emphasize what was expected for uniforms. We gave each girl a paper doll and the instructions. You had to roll a 1 to start, and you could draw/colour a shirt on your girl. Each person could roll once and then pass to the next girl at her table. The die went around the table until a girl rolled all her numbers (2-pants, 3-scarf, 4-sash, 5-program book, 6-indoor shoes). The first girl to dress her girl won! (Supplies: die for each table, Paper doll, instructions)

7:50-8:10: Activities for the year—We discussed with the girls what we had planned and what they wanted to do.

8:10-8:30: Campfire and closing--we sang some songs and then sang Taps.