Archive for the ‘Girls First’ Category

If you’re a Brownie Guider, I’m going to guess that you already know that Brownies love drama. This meeting was a good mix of experimenting with creativity and a chance to play.

  • Program Area: Experiment and Create
  • Theme: Art Studio
  • Activities: Unit’s Own Art Studio and What is it? (we didn’t actually do What is it, but it is similar to what we did do and it fits the time).

6:30 – Arrival Game – Girl’s Choice (picked the week before) Line tag, I think.

6:40 – Brownie Circles – off to your corners for attendance. This time we also asked them to discuss How does a good audience behave? How does a bad audience behave?

6:50 – Brownie Ring

7:00 – Program – talk about being an audience. Think about: How do you respond if you are enjoying a performance (cheer, yay, bravo)? What about if you don’t like it (bad example – boo, hiss and good examples – polite applause – constructive criticism)? How do you watch a performance (bad manners, good manners).

7:05 – Warm up – let’s act like animals. Be a cat. Be a snake. Be an Owl.

7:15 – Puppet Play – I’ve got a bag of Ikea Finger Puppets and we gave each girl a puppet. (You could make your own puppets – stick puppets would be easiest – download a template or have the girls make their own). Sitting in a circle we went through some exercises:

  • Step 1 (2-3 minutes) Individual activity – ask the girls to spend some time getting to know their puppet. Introduce yourself to the puppet. Think about: what is its name? How old is it? Is the puppet fun to be with?
  • Step 2 As a group, girls think about how they could convey emotion, show activity and demonstrate feeling for the puppet? Happy? Sad? Dancing? Scared?
  • Step 3 – go around and introduce your puppet if you like.
  • The activity went a little faster than I thought so the girls played for about 8 minutes. At the end of the playtime, we reconvened and did the introductions again – They had had more time to make friends with the puppets so the intros were much more detailed.

7:35 – Tableau Vivant/Family Portrait Activity. This is from my sister who is a primary school teacher. This was very successful and man did they love it. We moved through Jill’s instruction – started with individual activities, and then quickly moved to groups where we gave them a phrase or topic to make into a scene. We were able to do two sessions and it was a joy to watch.

  • Have a list of activities on hand:
    Practicing Karate, Eating Spaghetti, Climbing a mountain, Flying a kite, Feeding a baby, Building a snowman, Feeding ducks, Making Pizza, Driving a race car, Walking on a tightrope, Rowing a boat, Lifting Weights, Raking leaves, At the zoo, Making a sandcastle, Swimming in the ocean, Playing on the computer, Making pancakes, Watching a scary movie, Washing dishes, Performing an operation, Opening an umbrella, Marching in a parade, Skiing, Putting up a tent

7:55 – Closing and Goodnight.

Review – this went very well and the girls loved having some time to just play. The Tableau Vivant activity had a bonus win for us – we’ve got three painfully shy/nonverbal girls in our unit. There was no talking and that suited our girls nicely. We’re probably going to do this through the year. They had a lot of fun (and everyone was present so we don’t have to explain it to anyone).

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Every November, Canadians focus on soldiers who made tremendous sacrifices and who did hard things protecting our freedoms. Tonight we turned the lens on how Girl Guides would have done their bit on the home front. We did this with the help of GGC Alberta’s Canadian Women of Valour challenge.

Photo Source: Edmonton Journal http://www.edmontonjournal.com/cms/binary/10371909.jpg
  • Girls First Theme – Connect and Question
  • Program Area – Canadian Connections
  • Look for Canadian Women of Valour on the Platform

6:30 – Game as chosen by the girls – Toilet Tag (yeesh – because that’s a dignified way to start a meeting about sacrifice – but the girls had fun and got out some wiggles)

6:40 – Brownie Circles

6:50 Brownie ring

6:55 Introduction – what is Remembrance Day (all outlined in the challenge document)

Then we split into our circle groups and did a round robin.

  • Group 1 – Learn about knitting – we had Lucets and a knitting project that girls could work on.
  • Group 2 – Learn about Childcare
  • Group 3 – Make a Valentine for a Veteran.
  • Group 4 – Learn about real Canadian women who served in WWI and WWII.

7:45 Wrap up – Talk about what we learned.

We closed with a suggestion that members of Girl Guides of Canada have the option to wear their Uniform to school on Remembrance Day. I got a little choked up when I told the girls that if they’re asked about their uniform, they should remember that they represent the girls who stepped up on the home front to knit warm things for soldiers and who took over the care of siblings in the household when their parents were called to the war effort. We stand in solidarity with our soldiers. We are forever thankful for their sacrifice.

This meeting is one of my favourites. We didn’t do enough to earn the crest, but we did learn a lot. And that’s what I wanted.

Oh! If you haven’t read it already, I recommend How the Girl Guides Won the War by Janie Hampton.

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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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This week’s meeting was our third. We divided into circle groups and learned about Brownie History and how it relates to where we are now.

  • Girls First – Guide Together – Our Story
  • Look for Brownie History Activity and Amount Mingle

6:30 – The girls chose Dr. Mixup and regular tag (they felt that with all the variations, Toilet, bandaid, freeze, chocolate, etc, that regular tag was getting lost. =)

6:40 – Circle Groups announced. We tend to get girls into circles by the third meeting. Check out the Brownie Circles activity in Girls First. For the first day, the circles will learn their new circle songs and take attendance.

6:50 – Brownie Ring

7:00 Program – We’re doing the Brownie History activity (Girls First platform – Guide Together – Our Story). Another day of stations – but since we’re in circles for the first time they learn to work together.

Together – Imagine you’re a time traveller – set the stage for how it was in 1920 and through history. Brownies are 100 years old!!!

Four stations with about 9 minutes each – it ran long so I’d say maximum 7 minutes with a 2 minute transfer.

7:05 -7:45

  • Station 1 – About Badges. (see Brownie History in Girls First)

Active Transfer – This was very successful last week. This time we called different Animal Moves to do between stations.

  • Station 2 – About Brownie Uniform (see Brownie History in Girls First)be538beb7c695440602819e7854127c0

Active Transfer

  • Station 3 – Learn an old skill – Semaphore. The girls each learned a letter and the Owls had to decipher it. I’d recommend that you leave lots of time for this. Or each group learns the same word.

Active Transfer

  • Station 4 – Cookie Selling (history and skills) Look up Amount Mingle on the Girls First Platform

7:50 – Semaphore Demonstration

7:55 -Close

It was another fun meeting. We changed the active transfer so the girls went directly to the next station to save time.



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It is tough to make some meetings fun. We struggle with the talky meetings like the promise and law ones tend to be. We need to convey the message while still being fun. Brownies isn’t school.

  • Girls First: Guide Together – Our Story
  • Look for: The Brownie Promise Relay and The Brownie Law in Action activities. Also look for the Brownie Story (Needs a password – look for it under All About Guiding > All about Brownies.)

6:30 – Gathering game – Tag – whatever the first girl to arrive decided

6:40 – Directly into Brownie Ring (we’ll announce Circles next week)

6:55 – Program – Read the Brownie Story 

7:00 – Four Stations with an Active Transfer (they have something fun to do that gets them moving between each station). The Beans Game should make the wiggles less of a problem. We’ll put the girls into the 4 groups that we think will be the circle groups next week.

7:05 Station 1 – I promise – everyone gets a copy of the Promise – we go through what it means to make a promise. What happens if you don’t keep your promise?

7:10 Beans to transfer to the next station.

7:12 Station 2 – Motto and Law – talk about what the two mean. Read through a couple of times. Then do a word scramble – have all the words on cards and the girls will organize them.

7:17 Beans to transfer to the next station.

7:20 Station 3 – Action Station! Silliness. Do the Animal Game – everyone has to silently be an animal (starfish, elephant, gorilla, snake, crab, dog, cat, bumblebee) and then we’ll talk about games at Brownies. What kinds of games do you want to play? How do we lead a game?

7:25 Beans to transfer to the next station.

7:30 Station 4 – Enrollment – Girls will be told about three different Enrollment themes from Becky’s Guiding Centre (Girls First wants girls to have choices). The Guiders are prepared to make them work. The girls will pick. (I personally hope for Toadstool or baking brownies – I HATE sparkles so much – my Owl team promises we can do the Wishing one without sparkles).

  1. A new batch of Brownies – we did this last year. The second-year girls will “mix up” the ingredients that are needed to be Brownies. The new Brownies will go into the OVEN to bake. Hopefully things will work out that they come out as real Brownies! ada97734-885f-4906-9c85-d3daa9aaddc6-8499140616_1b60f42dfe_b
  2. We could make our wishes come true with a Wishing Star Enrollment. We’ll transform the gym into a cloud and star-filled sky. The second-year girls will take the new Brownies from their cloud over to the magic mirror where we’ll find out if they have the stuff to be real Brownies.
  3. Or we’ll act out the Brownie Toadstool story. Second year girls will Twist and Turn the first years to find out if they are real Brownies.

7:35 Beans to get everyone back to the big circle.

7:40 – Everyone back together for the BIG VOTE. Baking, vs Toadstool, vs Wishing Star. Also we need to decide on a game for next week. Girls will vote with their feet (Go to Snowy Owl if you want Wishing Star, Go to Brown Owl if you want Toadstool, or go to Tawny Owl if you want to Bake Brownies) – Abby can participate best in this sort of vote. Result – Tawny Owl was very popular and we are baking a new batch of Brownies. (Score – no sparkles!)

7:45 – Try out some of the games the groups came up with and pick the game options for next week (Dr. Mix Up and regular tag – because plain old tag felt left out of the myriad of other tags – toilet, chocolate, unicorn, bandaid, freeze…). Kids are funny.

7:50 – Our first campfire – Fire’s Burning, Black Socks, Ricky the Rock, Yogi Bear, Chinese Fan, and then Closings

7:55 Close.

Review – this was a great meeting. Talking was necessary, but there was movement to keep the wiggles at bay. The word scramble was fun – they liked it and it was achievable. It also helps that we’ve got a chill group of girls. I hope your meetings go well.

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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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On with the show

Enrollment was last week and it went very well. The girls were prepared. We challenged everyone to be quick about it and boy, howdy were they ever. We were done with the ceremonies at 7:05. Which left time for a nice campfire and a group picture.

NEAT Trick alert for a group photo just after closing – With everyone in circle ready to do our closing, we called the Sparks to step to the centre to do their closing. Then we called the Brownies to step AROUND the Sparks to do their closing. And then we called the Guides and Guiders to step around the Brownies to do Taps. Since we were already clumped together, we had a photographer (parent with a good camera) ready to go. We had the girls nearest the photographer sit down. When he could see everyone, he snapped the photos. They look great!

Last night was our first night as fully enrolled Brownies.

6:30 – Huckle Buckle again

6:40 Circle Groups for attendance

6:50 Brownie Circle

7:00 Program

  • Talk about Girls First. Compare it to last year a bit. Talk about how we’ve already implemented it by asking them for their input. We did the Program Chain Activity (Found in Member zone – Girls First Planning Support Packages – the September Planning Document)untitled-design-16
  • Active Game – Thanks to a post on the Ottawa Guiders Facebook page, we used the kids 7 minute HIIT work out from Raising an extraordinary person as the basis of an active game that we played kind of like Beans.
    Abby adaptation – The girls have been very good at knowing that she can’t do what they can and they are always looking for ways she can participate. Starfish Jumps became Starfish on the floor for her (like Snow Angels). She was cheered on when she did her own version of a crab/bridge. It is nice to see.
  • More Talking – Brainstorming session with an eye to planning a sleepover. What theme would you like to have at a sleepover and/or what would you like to do at a sleepover? I overheard a lot of Animal notes, a bunch about Camping, we suggested superhero, there was a fairy theme. We promised the girls that we would take their ideas away and see what we can accomplish within our budget. Next week we’ll each pitch a theme and the girls will vote.
  • More Planning – next week is our Hurrah for Reading Dress Up meeting. We need the girls to prepare to lead a game and campfire so we split into two groups. Goal was to have them practice the thing they would teach, and to figure out how they would teach it to others.

And then it was 8:00. Yeesh, that was a quick meeting. =)

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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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Meeting two of Girls First went pretty well. Here’s what we did:

6:30 – Play Wax Museum (as suggested the previous week when we asked). Review – the girls did a good job leading the game. We only got one round in. I would like them to do a faster running game to start – to get out the sillies.

6:40 – Circle Group announcements – off to circles to learn the song.

6:50 – Brownie Circle for the first time with circle songs. Adaptation learning – Abby needs to be in her chair for the opening so she can participate. Junebug, her helper, will make notes for next time.  

7:00 – Read the Brownie Story, then the Guiders proposed three options for Enrollment Themes and the girls were to vote on what they would like to do. Most votes = our theme. Once decided, the Guiders will obtain props with an eye to helping the girls plan the ceremony next week.

  • Proposal 1 – Traditional Toadstool Ceremony – like we do every year. I made my case for getting the 2nd year girls involved in the twist me and turn me aspect. (in the end it got only two votes!)
  • Proposal 2 – Wishing Star Enrollment – Tawny Owl’s proposal got four votes!
  • Proposal 3 – A new batch of Brownies – Snowy Owl proposed this one and it was the clear winner.

7:20 – running game. Our backup arrival game was Bandaid tag and the girls needed to run. So they did!

7:25 – in groups – talk about promise, law, and motto. What does it mean to keep your promise. And the VOTE. There was supposed to be more in here, but other stuff went longer so we dropped (deferred) it till later. Oh well.

7:40 – attempt to play Four Corners to reinforce the Brownie Law that didn’t go so well (down to leaders not understanding the game), but we brought it around to “I tried my best” from the promise and the girls were very sweet and supportive when things didn’t go well.

7:50 – VOTE REVEAL. We are Baking a New Batch of Brownies (if anyone has done this, I’d appreciate any advice)! Big hurrah! So good time to learn the Grand Howl.

7:55 – Planning for next week – I think they decided on Freeze Tag as an arrival game. And Close.

My learning from implementing Girls First is that if I do the planning it goes quicker. But I already know how to plan, and they need to learn how. So things are going to take longer. And that’s ok.

We are not doing a great job of specifically tying this to the GF Guide Together theme, but we are trying, and that’s what a transition year is all about.


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