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Posts Tagged ‘name tags’

We’re gearing up for our first meeting of the year on Tuesday and I’m excited (I can’t wait to see everyone again – and to meet our new girls) and a little nervous (oh I hope it goes well and that everyone loves Brownies as much as I do).  We have one last minute project … name tags.

We usually pre-make our own (written neatly by an adult).  Tonight Snowy Owl and I are going to try Toadstool shapes – from an old GGC toadstool shaped cookie cutter.

Toadstool2  name tags

Last year we made rainbow shaped ones (because Snowy Owl had a rainbow shape available).  Note for next time… while the sticky letters looked good, they mostly fell off after the second meeting.

name tags

What do you do in your unit?  Happy First Night!

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Our first night this year went surprisingly well and we’re pretty impressed.  Snowy Owl and I were talking about it afterwards and we decided that we should have got it right by now – it is our seventh first night, after all.  In addition, we took fewer girls – and I think that’ll help.

Here’s what we did (there’s not much different from last year - except that it had a better flow for some reason).

6:00 – Guider Arrival

6:20 – Girls start arriving – we began meeting the girls and getting to know everyone.

  • Snowy Owl handed out the prepared name tags – we had the list because of online registration and while it sounds like a good idea to have the girls write  the names, a legible name tag is important.  And why green rainbows?  We had green fun foam and a rainbow shape to trace.  The stick on letters look good, but they were falling off some of them – we may go back with the hot glue gun next week.
  • Our new Pathfinder Unit Assistant is Megan (aka  Screech Owl).  She and Starry Owl took over leading a game of tag.
  • When a Brownie wants Mum to stay: we had one girl (D) who had been really excited about being at Brownies, but who, when she arrived, had a bit of a panic.  She, her mum, and the owls decided that she had to stay, but that she didn’t need to join right away, and that she could sit on the side and watch.  I’m really proud of both D for being brave (she stayed and she let Mum leave) and of her mum for sticking to her plan and requiring D to stay without her.

6:45 ish – And we’re off…

  • We start each meeting with “Brownies, Brownies, where are you?”  The girls are meant to run to whoever calls that and reply “Here we are, here we are, how do you do?” but it turns out that our returning second years are the shy ones and there are a LOT of new girls so it took a few tries to get it.
  • Opening Song (repeat a few times to teach it) “We’re the Brownies”
  • Name Game – we went with an oldie again – “My name is Cara and I like Carrots… this is my friend Megan and she likes Mangos”.  To note, this takes FOREVER, and it could be sped up by omitting the “this is my friend” bit… but we kind of think that it is a good filler for the girls who are trying to remember along the way.  You can have the girls repeat all the way back to the beginning (we think it is worth it so that the names get learned quickly), or just the one to the right or left.
  • D sat off to the side and watched.  We interacted with her as if she was in circle.  But we wondered how this was going to go.

7:15 The Girls played Octopus - an oldie but a goodie – and a running game is a good reward for sitting for so long.  (And yes, the name game took THAT long!). First appearance of the It Sticks.

7:25 Craft time

  • Beaded friendship bracelet.
  • When D broke the ice: At this point, I had to go back to where our shy Brownie was sitting to prepare the craft … I gave D the option of picking a set of coloured beads, then I kind of invited everyone over to where I was standing (and “coincidentally” where D was sitting) to start the craft.  We gave D a bit of a nudge and suggested that if she would just stand up, she could make a craft too.  And the ice was broken and she was fine.  (Mum… who was hiding in the hall… was relieved to know that she was fine – me too, actually).

7:40 Learning the Rules with Brown Owl’s Coming (this went over a lot better this year – and I think we’ll repeat it next Tuesday).  It was really funny when Snowy Owl called Brownies Brownies Where are you, and then she took off running – the girls were running after her calling their part.  Just awesome.  Very funny.

7:50 – Campfire – we meant to read the Toadstool story – but we didn’t for some reason.  We announced that we’re going to do a sleepover at the Canadian Aviation and Science Museum in November – great excitement.

And then we handed out our newsletters.

That was it.  Next week we’ll do Promise and Law and will split the group into new girls and 2nd year girls.

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Last year’s girls confirmed that crafts are one of the things that they come to Brownies for.   Honestly, it is one of the reasons I come to Brownies too.  But you’ve got to be able to pick your moment – and the first night is a tricky one to introduce crafts.

As I’ve said before, your first meeting  is all about crowd control and getting to know your girls.  And that’s a little tough to plan for as far as crafts go.  At your first meeting, you don’t know if your girls are really keen on them (it is a good bet, but you can’t be sure), you have no idea about their abilities (scissors!), or how fast they’re going to plow through it (“I’m done, what’s next?!”).     And you may not have a firm number of people you’re expecting (although, with online registration we’re pretty good with that too!).  Here are some crafts that we and other groups have done on their first night.

Name Tags – this is a necessary first night thing anyway, so why not make it fancy?  Some units  have name tags they hand out as girls arrive and then take them back as they head home  - and some pin it on the badge sash forever (that’s us!).

  • Basic Indestructible Name tag: Fun foam cut up into shapes (or basic rectangles).  I suggest that a Guider writes the name.  Option 1:  Fancy – use puffy paint for the name.  Option 2: Basic – write the name with a sharpie.  Decorate: maybe stick some feathers or something on it.  Safety pin the name to the badge sash.  If you have sticky letters, maybe put the first initial in a fun foam letter.

Beaded Friendship Bracelet - (thanks to Guider Janice for this idea!).

  • Supplies: Pipecleaners and Pony Beads.
  • Opening Activity – make beaded friendship bracelet.    (25 different colours of pony beads on pipecleaners).   Each girl will receive a different bead on a pipecleaner and an empty pipecleaner.  The girls need to collect one of each of the different 25 beads and put them on her pipe cleaner.  When she asks for the bead she must introduce herself and find out what her new friend’s name is.

Make “IT” Sticks (another Guider Janice gem)

  • Supplies: popsicle sticks, markers, it stick bag.
  • Each girl gets one it stick to decorate with a marker.  Suggest that Guider write out girl’s name on one side and the girl can decorate the other.
  • What’s an “It Stick”?  They are nifty no fighting, let’s be fair when we pick someone sticks.  If you need someone to be it, pull a name from the bag.  If you need someone to do something, pull the name from a bag.  Easy peasy.

Brownie Promise Door Hanger – this one hasn’t been updated for the new promise, but it is a good template.  (I typed the text of the new promise, printed it, cut it out and re-photocopied it – and it worked).  I prefer to do this on the second night when we talk about Promise and Law, but it would do for first night too.

Those are some ideas for now.  What have you used that worked well?

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