Happy New Year!

This is just a short note to say Happy New Year. I see from the stats that you, like me, are gearing up for the second part of the Guiding year.  Our team is a little behind in the planning but will be doing our Communications meeting on Tuesday with Morse Code activities (I am always stunned by how much the girls like this meeting). After that, we’ll do Key to the Arts but haven’t pinned down the specifics.

Ahead for us?

  • Key to the Arts
  • Key to Active Living – new this year, we’ve got a Guider with contacts to the Paralympic organization so we’re going to try to focus on accessible and adaptable games and activities. A new twist on our regular program that I’m looking forward to.
  • Key to Camping – with Camp in March
  • I’m looking forward to Guiding Mosaic in the summer.

I wish you well with your 2016 plans. Happy New Year.

Game: Romeo and Juliet

When I first became a Guider, we had a leader named Barn Owl who often led a game called Romeo and Juliet. She left us after about a year, and I realized almost immediately that I didn’t know how to play it. And Google was frustratingly unhelpful. Tonight we had some Guide visitors who suggested Romeo and Juliet! Pirate Owl took notes while they played and we finally have it.

Romeo and Juliet

  • Needs a big space – girls in pairs (If you have an odd number, promote one girl to leader).
  • Girls line up opposite each other, prepared to run and meet in the middle to perform the call. Once judged,they run back to their original spots to do the next action.
  • Leaders – You need one caller.

Leader calls:

  • Romeo and Juliet!” – girls run to each other. One kneels in the “Marry Me” position (one knee on floor – one knee up). The other girl sits on the knee.
  • Horse and Rider” – one girl on hands and knees. One girl straddles her back as if riding.
  • Fountain” – Standing – one girl makes a circle with her hands and the other sticks her hands up through the loop as if hands are fountain water.
  • Spoons” – Pair stands back to back, elbows linked and rock forwards and back.

Elimination option – Last one to the line to get set up is out.

The girls think it is a funny game and I think it is great to get them to run.

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Puppet Meeting/Sleepover

We do a sleepover in the fall every year somewhere in our neighbourhood but our usual spot wasn’t available. We were forced to think outside of the box and run our own program… and it was GREAT!

We chose a nearby community centre, It was really inexpensive, wonderfully close, and completely self contained. All we had to do was to come up with a program.

Our theme was Puppets and our goal was to have an easy, go-with-the-flow kind of evening.

  • 6:30PM  Arrival – We had a bucket of puppets for the girls to play with as they arrived – but the girls played with their stuffies on arrival and it was just as much fun.
  • 6:50 –  Opening and Program
  • The bucket of puppets came out and each girl got one that they had never met before. The girls had a “chat” with their puppet and then introduced their new friend to the group.
  • We talked about how to make puppets look happy, sad, and like they’re having fun. It is tougher than you’d think.
  • We did not go over how to make up a puppet story (we should have). Next time we’ll talk about making up stories with a beginning, middle and end.
  • 7:15 – Craft Time: We put a bunch of supplies in the middle of the room, set up a hot glue gun station, and sent them off to make puppets. And boy, did they make puppets. Really great ones. =)
    Our supplies included fabric samples, card stock, google eyes, tongue d2015-11-06 08.54.51epressors, paper, tape, clothes pins, fun foam, fun foam stickers, gloves, scissors…
    Hint – we set up mailboxes for each girl. It kept things tidier (These were Walmart Treat bags 6 for $2.)
  • 8:15 – After puppets were made, we set them to the task of making up a performance – again, I’d put a little more thought into this instruction next time.
  • 8:30 – We had a snack of apples, grapes, crackers and cheese to eat during the performances.
  • The girls enjoyed this – they had a lot of fun and did get carried away – some of them needed encouragement to find a conclusion.
  • By 9:15 the girls started making up their beds. We read them stories and turned off the lights. It wasn’t a perfect night, but most were asleep by 11.

In the morning we got up, packed, ate breakfast (apples, bananas, oranges, muffins and juice), and then went outside to play and close our sleepover.

Closing: We closed with a round the circle of Onion and two Apples (Onions are things you’d do differently next time, and Apples are things they loved). Onions: most girls had trouble sleeping, and a few didn’t want it to end. Apples: They loved making and playing with puppets. It was a simple program that worked. We’ll do it again.

Check out last year’s post: Sleepover ideas in Ottawa for some other ideas.

 2015-11-06 08.49.59 2015-11-06 08.59.11-1 2015-11-06 08.54.28  

Key to STEM: Caboosh

We repeated our Caboosh meeting this week and it was awesome as always.

The only small edit we recommend is to add a transition activity in between the sessions. Some of the four stations took longer than others so there was a bit of lag time with girls hanging around. Thankfully the new addition to our leader team Pirate Owl took over with games of Telephone and Stella Ella Ola. Maybe we’ll do a colouring sheet station or other independent work spot next time.


Acid and Base demo (Aka Volcano!)

The Brownie Story

I read a blog post today from the 23rd Guelph Brownies that asks good questions about the current Brownie Story. The author – prompted by a question from one of her own Brownies – wonders about the roles of the girls in the story and writes very thoughtfully about it. She has also written a new (but not official) version of the Brownie story that I also like very much.

Take a look at Storytelling, Brownies, and Beyond, by a Guider in the 23rd Guelph Brownie Unit.

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Enrollment Prep

Guiders do a lot of prep to get the girls ready for the Enrollment ceremony – first year girls have a lot to learn… and second year girls will probably plan the ceremony and have lines to say. With all of that, I often forget the stuff Guiders have to get together. Except this year…believe it or not, I’m ready on the Sunday before. Woot!

  • I won in the “Guide Shop Chicken” game – you know, the one where you order your pins and insignia late and then hope that the Guide Shop and Canada Post come through for you. Depending on what your unit does, we hand out Circle patches, Circle Leader designation (we switch ours through the year so it is a button with the patches), Title tape, Year Pin, Key to Brownies, and Brownie enrollment pin.
  • Snowy Owl prints electronic Certificates.
  • And then you have to check your records and divide up the pins correctly (that’s the tough part). I usually print a Brownie Badge Layout Card and attach the pins and things onto a personalized card.

We’ve been reusing this Traditional Stepping Stones ceremony, but I think we should maybe try something else next year. What do you do?


Giving Thanks

It is Thanksgiving day where I am and I am reminded that it is important to say Thank You before meals at camp in an inclusive kind of way.

My favourite thank you is this one:

Shawn’s Grace (from Susan Wichers’ site).
words: Shawn Bird ©2000 for free use within Guiding.
Tune: Fire’s Burning
We’re thankful, we’re thankful (*round starts here)
For friendships, for friendships
And for good food, and for good food.
And hands that prepared it.

Happy Thanksgiving.  =)


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