Archive for the ‘Being a Guider’ Category

We struggle with going over the rules at camp… they’re really boring. So Snowy Owl made up a Camp Rules Mad Lib and she is willing to share. Customize it for your own rules or use ours. Write them out on big chart paper for presenting to the girls. And just call me Brown Cheetah. =) Mad Lib instructions.

For another rule option, look at our Brown Owl’s Rules game (played like Captain’s Coming).

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Snowy Owl had an idea a few weeks ago… “What if each circle group makes up their own board game? That sounds like fun, right?” Not only did it sound like fun, it WAS fun. 2017-02-07-19-45-44

Program Connections: 

  • Key to I Can Special Interest Badge – Design a game that would be fun for you and your friends to play. Include instructions, decide how to win the game, and identify what you are allowed (or not allowed) to do. Make the game using recycled materials. Teach the game to other friends.
  • Key to Living World – (5) Reduce, Reuse, Recycle / Terrific trash Interest Badge – make your board game with reusable materials.
  • Key to Me (7) Helping Others – what would you do if … a girl was left out of a game… This activity sets up a situation where someone might get left out. Opportunity to discuss what to do and offer resources for dealing with it.2017-02-07-19-46-10

Pre-meeting prep:

  • Assemble one kit per circle group with stickers, construction paper, fun foam, tape, glue sticks, a game timer, we had some dice-sized wooden blocks I got at the dollar store, markers, scissors, pencils, and blank paper. It all went into shoe boxes — but camp basins would work well for this too.
  • Have a sharing table of optional supplies – I’ve been collecting old bits of games so I had a variety of dice (letter, colour, regular dotty, and a couple of Scatergories dice), some buttons that could be used as game pieces, cardboard cereal boxes to be used as game bases and anything else they might need.
  • Give each circle a big zip bag to hold their game at the end. Games need to be flat and fit in the bag to go home with Brown Owl. They will probably come back out at camp. 2017-02-07-19-46-22


6:30 Arrival – Play a game like Streets and Alleys.

6:40 Circle Activities

6:50 Brownie Ring

7:00 Program (5 minutes)

  • Talk about Reduce Reuse Recycle – why should we reduce waste? What can we do to reduce waste? Discuss what goes in what bin (the girls know this better than the adults – let them tell you).
  • Reuse old material in a new way. Let’s make a board game out of reusable materials.
  • Talk about what to do if someone is being left out.

7:05 Create a game (20 minutes)

  • Each circle will make up a game out of leftovers and reusable materials.
  • Board games need to fit into the big zip lock bag and be flat.
  • Don’t make the game too complicated. You’re going to have to teach and explain the game in just a few minutes so make sure it is easy to explain and understand.
  • Think about the rules – what are you allowed to do (and not allowed to do) during the game?
  • How do you win the game? (Think of this part first and work backwards)

7:25 Teach and play the game.

  • Each girl will get to teach their game once and play someone else’s one time.
  • 7:30 First Round — At game play time, choose three girls from each group to STAY at their circle to teach the game. The other three girls will MOVE one circle clockwise in the gym.
  • 7:40ish After around 10-15 minutes, everyone moves back to their own circle, and the three girls who did NOT move last time, will move two circles clockwise and try out that game. 2017-02-07-19-46-39

7:55 – Wrap up and closing songs. 

How they did: Three of the four groups were very good. We got two games that were pretty standard… like chutes and ladders … and one that was very clever where they had to roll a letter die and come up with a bunch of words that matched the letter that came up. The last one was confusing and weird, but they had fun making it.

What to do with the games – I kept all four games (Brownie Mountain needs more stuff, right?) and will bring them out again at camp. With six people in on the game and some of my own stuff in the final product we won’t be sending the games home with one of the six.

Review – the girls loved this. They were engaged and interested. They really didn’t need us except to keep them moving for time. It was a great meeting.

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Uniform Guidelines

Did you know that the Girl Guides of Canada uniform for Girls and Adults now seems to include blue jeans as an option? I heard about it last week, and just looked it up today.

Uniform Guidelines from The Girl Guide Store. 

Snowy Owl will be very pleased.


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Have you tried the new Girl Guides of Canada app? I saw a few things about it on Facebook yesterday and had to try it myself when I got home. All reviews (mine and others) have been resoundingly positive. I have downloaded it on my iPhone and I’m told that there’s an Android version too.

  • For iPhone, go to the App Store – search Girl Guides of Canada.
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  • From there, you sign in with your iMIS number and password (good security!).
  • You can access your unit rosters.
  • If you go to Badge and Award Tracker and create a meeting, the app cross checks your roster and you can take attendance. (Is there an easier way to get to the meeting spot?)
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  • I’m wondering if there’s a way to download the info later? Is there a desktop app?
  • And am I the only one that sees this information? Does GGC? I’m good with that, but I wonder?
  • Edited with more thoughts…
    • Parents can get it too and track progress
    • It is showing the old rosters from last year – those should update at the end of August.
    • Love that we’ll have Safe Guide and Code of Conduct at our fingertips.

Great innovation. Love it.

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Recruitment tools

In a recent Ask Me Anything on the Facebook page, one reader asked about recruitment. Oh heavens, that’s tough. I’m having the same troubles here too. Here are some things I have found. If you have suggestions, I’m happy to add yours to this list (brownowlcara at gmail dot com).35

  • Familiarize yourself with the process. In Canada, potential members can go to www.girlguides.ca, click on Volunteers at the top, then the Interested in Volunteering link. Click on Apply Now. They’ll fill out the form and GGC takes it from there. If you know the drill, you can speak confidently about it to someone you want to recruit.
  • Take a look at the GGC site. They’re updating their volunteer campaigns all the time.
  • Communicate with your Guiding parents to let them know you’re looking for volunteers. Sometimes you have to use the “If you want your child in Guiding, we need [this many] people to step up.” The process isn’t hard to do. And as a backup plan, they could do the non-member volunteer process.
  • Let your Guiding reps know that you’re looking for leaders (in Ontario it is the ACL, but other areas have Commissioners). They have access to the potential member lists.
  • Put it out to your friends on social media – but be warned, if you often complain about Guiding, they’re going to think you’re nuts. As always, think carefully about what you put out on social media. The complaint you posted in February will get you skepticism in August.
  • Be very vocal with everyone that you’re looking for Guiders. I’m always surprised at who actually responds. The people I least think are going to accept are the ones who jump in and are extremely successful.
  • My very best recruitment successes have been in the grocery store line after a meeting (while in uniform).These conversations often start with “Do you still have Owls and a Toadstool?” Reminisce a bit and go from there but it helps if you have something to hand them.
  • If you get someone who is interested, you need to walk the line of not pestering them, but also making sure they feel communicated to. 

What works for you? I’d love to hear your suggestions.

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Have you read Dad Goes Round? The author is also a parent of one of our Brownies and today he wrote a great post called “Girl Guide Badges for Parents.”  Meant as a joke, but #3 does serve as a warning. We’ve sucked in our best leaders that way. Happy Friday.

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I’ve been asked to talk about Bridging Meetings – these are ones where the units below get to see what happens in the next branch up. They come in lots of forms (Thinking Day, moving up preparation, Enrollments, Advancements, etc.), but this post is about Moving up prep.

In our neighbourhood we coordinate this so that the second year Brownies can go to Guides (their space can’t handle our whole unit), and then the whole Sparks unit comes to visit the first year Brownies (which also elevates the firsts to the hostesses… and that’s cool for them).

This year the meeting kind of snuck up on us so for the Sparks go to Brownies meeting, we did an intro game of tag, then we split Sparks up in the Circle Groups (where Brownies taught Sparks the circle songs). Then we did our Brownie Circle, we played Brown Owl’s Rules, did a friendship craft, taught the closing songs, and we were done. Because there’s an element of teaching new stuff, things took longer than usual and that’s ok. Just be prepared for it.

Goals of a Bridging Meeting:

  1. Make your unit appealing for the girls who are likely to join in future.
    • Don’t go overboard – your meetings aren’t a perpetual birthday party, but, give them a taste of what they might see when they join you.
    • But try not to schedule it on a really talky meeting day either.
  2. Show them what happens in your unit – the unit could teach the unit opening and closing. This is the time to be flashy with flags. =)
  3. Show what the older girls get to do. What is expected of you as an older girl? Compare branches:
    • Sparks stay in one big group, but in Brownies we have Circle Groups, Guides have Patrols…
    • Sparks have Keepers, Brownies have Keys and Interest badges…
    • In Sparks and Brownies you likely sleep in cabins at camp, but in Guides and above you will probably sleep in tents and are expected to learn how to put them up.
    • Our unit loves camping, singing, crafts,…
    • Brownie badges usually have three or four parts to complete. But Guide badges are more complicated.
    • And so on for older units.
  4. Pay attention to ratio. Mixing units and putting girls in different spaces requires a glance at Safe Guide.

Some things that have worked for us:

  • Sparks visiting Brownies – this is a two-part meeting where Brownies choose what they’re going to present and puts them in the teacher role. Very cool.
  • Your Day with Spark Guests
  • Brownies Visiting Guides ideas:
    • Camp Skills demos – this was one of the best examples of Brownies go to Guides is one where I found out that most of the Brownies had NEVER lit a match.
    • Games night – The Guides prepared a number of games – one of them was a variation on the hungry hippo human game (or this one) –  but in this unit, they had to crab walk around with a tissue box on tied to their stomach and filling it up with ping pong balls. (super fun)
    • Badge night – they worked on a badge together for the meeting – the unit recorded the work and girls who joined were given credit in September.

Prep for moving up to the next unit is important. It needs to be special to entice girls to stay in Guiding, but not so over the top that they are disappointed when they arrive in September.

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