Archive for the ‘Being a Guider’ Category

We’re almost through the getting started meetings. Tuesday will be Code of Conduct and an enrollment rehearsal. (I’m really looking forward to after enrollment when we get to more hands on stuff with Experiment and Create).

  • Girls First Theme: Guiding together
  • Program Area: Our Story, Spirit of Guiding
  • What the girls will earn: Unit’s Own Spirit of Guiding, and Code of Conduct, Know your Code Activity


Here’s the plan:

6:30 – Arrival Activity. The girls make Enrollment invitations.  (supplies: printed sheets, markers and pencils)

6:40 – Brownie Circle Activities – Last week on Facebook I asked for ideas about what the girls should do in their circles. There were some great ideas and we’re going to try them.

  • Idea 1 – Give the circles a task – set up the toadstool, pick a song, choose a game… we need a fourth task.
  • Idea 2 – Record a good turn to share with the circle.

6:50 Brownie Ring

7:00 – Meeting Business – we need to decide on a theme for sleepover. I’m hoping for puppets, but we’ll offer other ideas – Space was proposed or another challenge – possibly even the Quebec Chocolate Challenge. We’ll vote with our feet again.

7:10 –  Code Of Conduct: Know Your Code activity. We did it last year and it worked to convey the message at their level.

7:25 – Game – we need to practice a game that a big group can play.

7:40 – Rehearse Enrollment

7:50 – Sing songs and close.

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I predict that you’ll be seeing this for years to come… “The girls want to repeat the enrollment ceremony from last year. Look at the 2018 Meeting 3 – Enrollment Prep plan for details” of this year’s enrollment.

  • Girls First Program Area: Guide Together
  • Theme(s): Our Story
  • Activities to look up on the platform: We’ll give them Unit’s Own (these are ways to give girls credit for things that aren’t on the platform – remember to check the Show Previously Used box) and maybe Enrollment Ceremonies

6:30 – Arrival Game of the girls’ choosing (likely some sort of tag)

6:40 – Circle Groups for attendance – What do your girls do in their circles?

6:50 – Brownie ring.

7:00 Program – as in 2018

  •  First years go over new Brownie things (promise, law, motto, handshake, grand howl, reef knot) Unit‘s Own
  • Second years plan enrollment Enrollment Ceremonies

7:30 Game to work out the wiggles (Handshake Murder perhaps?)handhsake

7:40 Enrollment rehearsal – this will give the first years a glimpse of what will happen – and for the second years a chance to see their plan in action – and a chance to change elements as necessary.

7:55 – Campfire if there’s time and closing (Pick a game for next week)

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Have you started your year yet? Is this week your first meeting? We started last week with our getting to know you meeting.

Girls first program covered: Guide Together – some Our Story and some Spirit of Guiding

6:30 – Arrival Game while everyone gets checked in with health forms and parent goodbyes.

6:45 ish – first Brownie Circle of the year. Just the opening song and promise – say and sing a few times so new girls can hear it. Don’t worry though if you don’t know it, you will hear it a lot and will know it very soon.

Guider/Owl Intros and a few housekeeping things about our space.

7:00 – Intro game – My name is ___ and I like ___ (something with the same letter as your first name).  This is my friend __ and she likes ___. Girls do just the one following, but Brown Owl has to say everyone.

7:15 – Stand up and do a walking tour of the school – where are the bathrooms. Do buddy up (everyone gets a buddy and is assigned a number – when we go places, the Guider yells Buddy up, and the groups yell out their number in order — unless someone is missing)

7:25 – What’s your favourite? Mixer game/activity.

Leaders shout out questions. Girls have to find others with the same answer to get into groups. Must keep searching until everyone has a group. Each group will say their names and their common answer.

  1. Favourite season
  2. Favourite colour
  3. Favourite food
  4. Favourite animal
  5. Favourite sport

7:40 – What do you want to be called and what do you want to do at Brownies this year?  Abby is back this year (she’s nonverbal and needs assistance) so we had some collage bits specifically with her in mind, but some for everyone. She was able to convey her message.


7:50 – Demonstrate closing – and then close. It worked well. Our group is pretty chill.

Happy new year!

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Tonight was all about finishing off our enrollment preparation. And the girls are ready.

6:30 – Arrival – Girls had planned Lagoon with Chocolate Tag as the backup. Went well, I think.

6:40 – Brownie Circles and Decorate an Enrollment invite for families.


6:50 – Brownie Ring

7:00 – Girls First Program – Code of Conduct – Know your Code.
Review – this was a fantastic way to deliver important info to the girls. It was at their level and made very good sense to them. We liked it.

7:10 – Read the Brownie Toadstool Story

7:20 – Rehearse Brownie Enrollment Ceremony (see last week)

7:35 – Prepare arrival game for next week – we went with Huckle Buckle (call out two body parts and opposing lines approach each other and connect those parts… “Ear and knee” girls on opposite lines walk towards each other and when they meet, they put the two together). Abby Adaptation – I started with Romeo and Juliet, but Huckle Buckle had the same setup and was equally fun, but more suitable for Abby. 

Moved into Chocolate Tag

7:50 – practiced two songs for next week, then cleanup and close.

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I’ve been writing this blog since 2011 so I’ve struggled a bit to find new material. But, in addition to the Girls First program launch, our next two years will include a little girl with challenges and I’d like to share how we’re adapting our program to make sure that she can participate as much as she can, while still giving all of the girls in the unit options that challenge them too.

I have permission to give you a few details. Abby is a seven year old Brownie who has come to us from Sparks. She speaks with the aid of an iPad. She understands everything we say, but she is slower to react. She can move around with the aid of a walker or a chair and has an assistant at our meetings. Our goals this year are to avoid singling her out as much as possible. We’re going to do that by giving options that are available to all girls.


Here’s what we did for our first meeting.

6:30 – Arrival, get your name tag, meet the Owls, and go into the gym to play a game (probably tag – Abby can play tag). While that’s going on, I’m in the hall talking to parents. The idea is to send the girls in without their parents because things go better if separation goes quickly and they leap into fun.

6:45 – One of the Owls yells, Brownies Brownies Where are You? The girls respond with “Here we are, Here we are, how do you do?”

In the Brownie Circle – We’ll do the Brownie Song “We’re the Brownies, here’s our aim, lend a hand and play the game”, then a quick lesson on the Brownie sign (right hand, three fingers up), and we say the Promise – reassuring that they’ll hear this often and that if they don’t know it now, they will soon.

6:55 – Sit and play the name game we often do – First person starts and says, “My name is Brown Owl, and I like (an animal that starts with first letter of your name) Badgers.” The following person will say theirs “My name is A and I like Antelopes, this is my friend Brown Owl and she likes Badgers”.

Adaptation — we positioned her next to her helper (named Junebug) and pre-programmed what she would say in the iPad. My name is Abby and I like (she had three choices and chose Angelfish), This is my friend Junebug and she likes Jaguars.  

The girls only need to remember one back. But the last one (me) will need remember ALL of them. (I usually have a pencil).

7:10 Stand up and do Brown Owl’s Rules game.

7:20 On to the Getting to know you beaded bracelet. These are prepared and ready to go.

Adaptation – we gave girls the option to take their beads from a bowl instead of from the pipecleaner. 

7:35 – Guide Together Theme – What do you want to do this year? We are looking for as detailed a list as we possibly can get. Some theme’s I want on the list are enrollment, leadership, sleepover, camp. The leaders will review the list and see where these things fit in with Girls First. And we’ll start to lay out a bit of a plan for the year.

7:50 – One of our goals this year is to put our girls first and to give them options and spots to make decisions. At the end of each meeting we’re going to try to close our meeting by going over what we covered, letting them know what we’ll do next week, and asking for an opening game suggestion for next week.

7:55 – Closing



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I sat in on a training today and the group shared some really neat active games.

  1. Bob the Weasel (Video explains it all). This was hilarious. Great for small spaces.weasel Active without running. You need a small toy representing Bob; and someone who knows the song. Our only concern with this game is that the person in the middle might feel laughed at or frustrated. Limit guesses to three. And you’ll be singing Bob the weasel hours after the game ends.
  2. Body Parts (Huckle Buckle) – this was fun. You need a big space and to make sure the girls don’t run into each other. There is a big risk of heads getting banged so explain the game well and pay attention to what is going on.
  3. Tic Tac Toe (Video explains it all). This is a very active game. Needs some strategic thinking and fast running. The parts of the team who are waiting back in the group may get bored. You need a grid of some sort. Hula hoops is the suggestion, but I think masking tape would be good. You need six bean bags in two different colours.
  4. Minefield – not on the list of games today, but it showed up in a YouTube search and looks cool.
  5. Evolution (aka Transformation). The video has Egg, Chicken, Pterodactyl, Nerdy Human, Super cool human. I kind of object to the last two (as a nerd who will never be cool). We use egg, chicken, pterodactyl, and superhero.


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Tonight we used Rebecca Sadler’s AMAZING Who Stole the Wise Old Owl meeting (she’s also known as Brown Owl’s Adventures in Guiding). It is clever. It is smart. It is cool. The girls couldn’t stop exclaiming at how much fun they were having.

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Here’s what we did to make this amazing meeting happen:

First, I read through the blog post a few times and downloaded the handy documents. After some modifications to suit our unit we printed documents, assembled case file folders, collected supplies and got ready to go.

6:20 – we put a sign on the outside door asking everyone to stay out – plus a bucket of pencils and a word search. As suggested, there was some whispery “concern” among the Guiders.

6:35 – We let them in, exclaiming that Wise Old Owl was missing and we needed their help to find her. We couldn’t possibly do our regular opening until she was located. They were split into the four circle groups, they got their case files and we went immediately into our stations.

2017-10-24 18.36.57

6:45 – Station 1 Finger Prints – learn about fingerprints… info from BC Girl Guides CSI Challenge.

6:55 – Station 2 Ciphers and Codes (Where is Wise old Owl? She is on the stage) We used Rebecca’s code to make up messages like Applause, Audience, Performer, Curtain… This was in addition to her coded messages which were both pasted into their case file.

7:05 – Station 3 Invisible Ink (How was she taken? She was lured away with Girl Guide Cookies). We had invisible messages (white paper and white crayon painted over with water paint) already in the folders with words like: Vanilla, Mint, Chocolate, Girl Guide, and $5. Then they had a chance to make their own message for one of their circle friends with paper and white crayon.

7:10 – Station 4 Kim’s Game – (Who took her? The Fairies). The items we selected, if you look at the first letter of each, spelled out “The Fairies”. They played a Kim’s game as usual, then were guided to figure out what the letters spelled.

7:25 – Putting it all together. We went over the puzzle in the big circle. Who got her, how she was taken, and where she was.

7:30 –  Discovery! We opened the door to the stage and all of the girls went through a laser maze (love love love) made of birthday party streamers. At the end, they found four boxes – each one had a sticker with a different Circle Emblem. They knew that the Fairies had her so that’s the box they chose. Owl, as it turned out, also had our Halloween treats! GREAT excitement.

7:45 – we finally were able to do our opening. Then we sang a few songs, and then we closed our meeting as usual at 8. Phew.

This was a super fun meeting. Rebecca had a fantastic idea and did a great job of laying it out for us. It was also really nice to have her original documents so we could make modifications to suit our unit’s needs.

My tips, plan early, print early, assemble with help. And just do this meeting!

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Left handed Brownies are not (necessarily) bad scissor users… they may have been provided with the wrong scissors. I’m a right handed idiot and only just noticed that some of our Brownies were struggling, so I took a trip to Staples and the problem is fixed. Children’s left hand scissor options.



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I just saw this on a Facebook post on the Ontario Girl Guides – unofficial page. It is BRILLIANT and I need to remember.

The question was… how do you teach the Girl Guide Handshake?54a487a343de5279e847ff08b50e5143

Lisa G’s answer was: We do Handshake Murder. It’s like Wink Murder but with handshakes. The girls mingle and walk around shaking hands with everyone they meet (doing the sign and left hand shake). One girl is the murderer. When she shakes hands with someone she squeezes three times to show that she is killing them. The victim has to shake hands with at least two more people before dying (as dramatically as possible 😛 ). There’s also one girl who’s the detective and has to guess who the murderer is before everyone dies. (Monday, September 18, 2017, Lisa G)

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Things we should do this year:

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