Archive for the ‘Challenges’ Category

Things we should do this year:

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The GirlGuidesCANBlog posted some great meeting ideas for the GGC Ontario Council Emergency Preparedness Challenge.

Check out: Being [Emergency] Prepared – Brownie Style!


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Today’s post on Zakka Life is called Kid Craft: Packing Peanut Igloo

The post itself is very neat – it shows you how to make a Packing Peanut Igloo – great for a meeting about the Arctic or Canada’s North (check out MyGuideStuff.com for an excellent resource on the Arctic – including crafts, games, and instant meetings), or STEM Building up.   But the added bonus is the revelation that water soluble packing peanuts stick together and can be used to make things.  Who knew?

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Brownies participated in a Guiding Campfire tonight.  There were events planned on Parliament Hill and at a local mall.  Since parking downtown is tough anyway and because you can always predict the temperature and weather inside, we went with the mall campfire – and it was great!

Here’s what we sang:

Thank you to Guider Judith and her team for a great campfire.

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Snowy Owl Christine is responsible for badges in our unit, and, let me tell you, I’m so glad to have her.  She manages our badge stock, does most of the badge testing, and is always on the lookout for “if we did this one thing more, the girls would get this badge” opportunities.

Where to get badges, emblems, crests and pins:

  • Budgeting: Badges, emblems, crests and pins are not cheap.  It is important to browse through the online catalogue at the beginning of the year, take note of what you’ll need, and budget accordingly.  Think about keys, year pins, enrollment pins, and circle emblems.  All are available from the Online Guide Store.  There are also title tapes, and crests to consider.
  • Crests: On the subject of crests, have you been to e-patches & crests?  (this is an unpaid endorsement from a happy customer).  They’ve got a great selection of imaginative crests that you can make your own challenge around.  They have fast delivery and, if you sign up as a member (click the green shopping icon at the top of their page) you receive one free crest and 15% off your first order.  Crests go on the Camp Blanket – not on the badge sash.
  • Challenges: There are lots of neat challenges around – Guides Ontario has some good ones.  I’m sorry to say that we didn’t do the Queen’s Jubilee one.  We love Brownies Splash (no crest), Sing Ontario Sing, and Emergency Preparedness.  Are there others you like?

Earning badges and crests and how to arrange a badge sash:

  • Snowy Owl Christine’s Badge Testing Tips:
    • Introducing Badges at Meetings: I like to give a general overview of badges to the full group during our second or third meeting of the year, but I also make a huge effort to meet with each girl individually within the first six weeks.  This gives me a chance to determine each girl’s interest level, explain things and make sure she understands what is required to actually earn a badge.  I try to point out some specific badges she might be interested in working on.  Some girls are VERY keen and will have badge testing at every opportunity; others only earn the badges that we do as a group.  Either option is fine, as long as they’re having fun.
    • Earning Badges:
      • On badge testing days (it isn’t really a test – just a conversation with the girl where she talks about the badge one-on-one with the tester) we ask who has badge testing at the beginning of the meeting  and do our best to take five minutes out of an activity to cover it.  Some units do badge testing once a month – we do it during any meeting in our own space.
      • Write it down: Each girl is expected to show up with a record of how she earned the badge.  I ask them to keep a special Brownie notebook to write down the page number, key and badge that she’s working on, as well as notes about what she did for each of the badge’s requirements.  Having the details written down (even if the requirement says “Think about…”) means that the girl more easily remembers what she did to earn the badge, makes it easier for her to talk about it, and saves us from spending five minutes searching the Brownie book for “that badge that has a hammer on it…”
      • I’m pretty lenient, but if a girl hasn’t completed all the components of a badge, I’ll help her figure out ways to complete it and redo the badge testing after she’s finished.
    • Showing the group: If there is time at the end of the meeting, we try to let the girls who have earned badges show and tell to the rest of the group.
    • How parents can help: I encourage parents to email me ahead of time with the badges that their girls are working on so that I can make sure I have the badges in stock.  Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t.  I’ve never had a girl complain about having to wait a few weeks before she gets her badge, and I’m pretty good at following up to make sure everyone has all their badges at the end of the year.
  • Once the girls get their badges, many will ask where to put them on the badge sash.
    • Handout: Since I’m kind of particular about where things go, I’ve created a printable handout explaining (suggesting) how to lay out the badges (badge sash instructions 2 – file updated Aug 24 after some problems uploading)  (PDF from Dropbox).  Honestly, I’m fine as long as the sash is worn on the correct side (right shoulder) and the tape, pin and circle emblems are in the right spot.  But parents of badge crazy girls want to know what to save room for.
    • What to put on the badge sash: We say, if it is not in the book, it does not belong on the badge sash. But if you must put crests on, put them on the bottom of the sash.  Make sure you save room for your keys and interest badges.

Do you have a Badge Guider in your Unit?  (Ours is Awesome)

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Tonight we repeat the very popular Brownies Swim meeting that is based on the retired Brownies Splash challenge from Ontario Council.

Safe Guide Activity Level: Green (as of May 2012)!  We are going during regular public swim, so the pool provides the lifeguards.  And we provide 1:5 supervision in the pool.  No fuss.  Fun.  Awesome.

NOTE – City of Ottawa Pools have rules against unauthorized lessons in the water and against people jumping in from the side of the pool so we got permission to follow this program.  Check with your pool in advance and I expect that they will be accommodating – as long as they know what you’re doing.   And you may qualify for a group rate too!

6:15 – Guider arrival and Girl Check in and change

6:30 – Public Swim opens

  • Group 1 – Swim Test – Girls who wish to swim without a lifejacket must pass a lifeguard supervised swim test (25 metre swim)
  • Group 2 – Lifejackets – everyone else go grab a lifejacket

In to the pool.

6:40 Do Brownie Opening Circle in the shallow end.  Then Break into three groups for Swimming Skills (3 groups).

  • Station 1 – Treading water and HELP position.
  • Station 2 – Swim 50 metres (and if there is time, practice getting in and out of a lifejacket in the water (demonstrates why you should be wearing it before you get into the water)
  • Station 3 – Forward roll into the water.

7:15 – Do Brownie Closing in the water (and the Grand Howl with lots of splashing!)- then games until the whistle blows.

7:30 – Whistle blows – we’re out of the water and begin change until parent pickup.

Believe it or not, this is an easy meeting to make happen.  The girls love it.  And it has some important lessons as girls will be in and around water for the summer.

This is our last regular meeting – next week is advancement!

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Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you had a lovely holiday.  Our first meeting of the year is here and, because we had a planning meeting in December (i.e. we’re not scrambling to figure out what we’re doing), I think we’ve got a neat one.

We are combining Key to the Arts with Ontario Girl Guides Five Region Challenge.  Two years ago we did Africa.  This year we’re doing Europe.  The challenge fits beautifully with Key to the Arts and we really recommend it.

6:30 Arrival Game (Starry Owl has something ready but I don’t know what it is).

6:40 Inspection

6:50 Brownie Circle

7:00 Program – Brown Owl to discuss Key to the Arts and Europe Challenge.  We’re doing Drama tonight.  It is important to know how to be a good audience.

7:10 – Act it Out – play practice.  Based on Europe Challenge.  In 3 or 4 groups…

Fables are short stories which illustrate a particular moral and teach a lesson to children and kids. The theme and characters appeal to children and the stories are often humorous and entertaining for kids of all ages. Fables can also be described as tales or yarns which have a message in their narrative such as a parable might have. Fables can often pass into our culture as myths and legends and used to teach about morals to children and kids.   In our groups, we’re going to each read a story, and then make up a skit based on it.  This will be presented at the parent night in early February – so you’ll have time to work on it – any notes should be handed in so we know where to find them next week.

Group 1 – The Ant and the Grasshopper

Group 2 – The Dog and the Shadow

Group 3 – The Crow and the Pitcher

Looking for other Fables?  Try http://www.bartleby.com/17/1/.  Please read them before you present to your Unit.  Fables can be pretty scary. 

7:30 Charades – We’ve prepped photos of European animals.

7:35 – Play practice one more time.

7:45 – Sing Ontario Sing campfire.

7:55 – Close and goodnight.

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Have you done the Sing Ontario Sing (Updated Feb 2012 after GGC Ontario Website change) challenge?  Ontario Girl Guides sets this challenge annually with a whole new set of songs on the list.  The idea is that girls are exposed to different songs (not the five or so that they hear and request each week).  The first year, participants earn the big crest, and the following years, girls earn the little pieces – they kind of extend the bar of music.  Quite cool. 

And yes, I do note the irony of me (whose most useful musical talent is listening) promoting a singing challenge. 

Sing Ontario Sing Crest

The number of songs in the challenge depends on your age… Brownies need to learn seven of the songs.  Last night was our first practice and we’ve found a new camp song we really love. 
Have you sung “The Twelve Days of Guide Camp?”  It is to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.
Source for the words is Becky’s Guiding Resource Centre (as always). 
The Twelve Days of Guide Camp (to the tune of “The 12 Days of Christmas”) 
Original song submitted to Becky by Linda Grant, PR Advisor, Da Hon Neh Area, Moira Division.
On the first day of Guide Camp, my leader said to me….
Be careful of poison ivy
On the second day of Guide Camp my leader said to me…
Clean out the lats and Be careful of poison ivy.
etc etc…
1st day ” Be careful of poison ivy”
2nd day “Clean out the lats”
3rd day “Don’t chew gum”
4th “Don’t throw up!”
5th “Where is your hat?”
6th “Time for inspection.”
7th “Take out the garbage.”
8th “Eat your oatmeal.”
9th “Where is my repellant?”
10th “Drop that snake.”
11th “Not another séance.”
12th “Where are your parents?”

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