Archive for the ‘Key to Active Living’ Category

In Week one of the Emergency Prep challenge we need to find stories about weather and emergencies. I didn’t want to scare our Brownies with tales of doom and gloom and I was pleased to find the Kids Crossing Weather Stories page – including weather stories that don’t minimize the impact of weather events, but shouldn’t freak everyone out either.  =)

I’ll be printing Adventures in Snow! and Tornadoes in the Soccer Field! for tomorrow’s meeting.

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emergency_preparedness_2013We are starting the new year with the Girl Guides Ontario Emergency Preparedness Challenge. It is a pretty involved challenge (three weeks of programming!) but we’ve been wanting to do it for a while.

Sometimes when you approach a challenge, you kind of take bits and pieces from it and make it suit your own group. This time we’re doing it pretty much as programmed (but three weeks is a lot and you might not be ready for that…I encourage you to read over the challenge for some really great ideas). And, in a pure coincidence, we booked a visit to our local Police station in the middle of the month too.

  • In week one, we’ll learn what is an emergency, week 2 is about planning ahead (Be Prepared!), and week 3 is about safety skills.
  • The program linked here is for Brownies, but the program is available for all levels.
  • Don’t forget to order the challenge crest from the GGC Ontario office.

Happy New Year everyone.

Yours in Guiding,


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We’ve had a blast this year – fantastic girls, super-supportive parents, excellent activities, a Guiding team that works so well together, two terrific camps, and (superstitious Cara is reluctant to say it) no disasters.  And we only have three more meetings (including Advancement).

Here’s what we’re up to:

  • We’re almost full for next year. Online Registration is awesome as far as we’re concerned. It is a little stressful for girls who are moving units (we’re in a bit of a competitive area) and I don’t know if there’s much we can do about that, but it is nice to know we’ll be full and to have a good estimate of Fall Cookie orders to get.
  • Two weeks ago we tried out a pilot for a water safety program. I’ll share more if it gets picked up. If it doesn’t, I’ll share what I can as a meeting in a box (but I think it will get picked up). It was great.
  • Last week we were at the pool to do our annual modified Brownie Splash meeting. Seriously fun. If you can swing it, go during public swim at your pool. You can’t go wrong.

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    My fake-out camp blanket – only 5% of crests are sewn on.

  • Tonight we’re doing Brownie Memories – with a friendship bracelet craft.
  • Next week will be our last meeting for the year in our space … we’re going to do bubble experiments and play with bubbles outside. Not sure what the plan is yet, but I’ll share the results with you (pray for sun!)
  • And then it’ll be Advancement.
  • And then Brownie Free Tuesdays (15 of them – but I’m not counting).

Being Brown Owl is one of my favourite things…but even I am running out of steam. Three more weeks. We can do this.

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Last week our second year Brownies went to visit Guides and the first year girls invited Sparks to be honourary Brownies.  The split is necessary in our neighbourhood because the Guide unit here is huge and their space isn’t big enough for all of the Brownies to go to Guides.  We also like that it gives our younger girls a chance to be the leaders.

Here is a two meeting plan for a really nice Sparks visit Brownies bridging meeting:

Meeting One (Key to Active Living – Say No, Key to Guides – Moving up (2nd year girls), Key to Guides (1st year girls) – Helping Sparks)

One week before the bridging meeting we all had  a lesson on teaching.  The idea is that the first year girls would hone their knowledge on an activity, and then work out how to teach it.

6:30 – arrival game

6:40 – Brownie opening activities

6:55 – Program

  • Say No discussion – how can you say no to someone who suggests you do something that is wrong  or that you don’t want to do?  Girls into 4 groups 6 each. Each group gets a skit to act out. Practice. Remember to face the audience and speak clearly and loudly.  We did this as “on the spot” no practice skits.
    • Some kids are playing at the playground. Your friend tells you that you should go and push one of the kids off the monkey bars. What do you do?
    • You and your friends are getting popsicles at the store. One of your friends tells you to steal a chocolate bar. What do you do?
    • You and your friends are playing outside. Everyone decides to go into one friend’s house, but you don’t have permission. What do you do?
    • You and your friends are selling cookies in the neighbourhood. Someone you don’t know asks you to come inside to wait while they get some money to buy some cookies. What should you do?
  • 2nd Year Program – go through the Moving up bit of the book – when you’re done, join the first year girls as stand-in Sparks.
  • 1st Year Program
    Group 1 – Teach a Game (they picked Ladders– even though the Brownie teachers did a good job, the wiggly Sparks had trouble sitting still while they explained it)
    Group 2 – Teach a craft – Hawk Owl provided an option for a paper weaving craft and a glue and drawing craft.  The paper weaving won.  (I’ll have to ask her for instructions)
    Group 3 – Teach a song – My group chose to teach Sparks Quartermaster Store.
    The girls explained the song “This is a song about a man who goes into a store without his glasses – spectacles are what glasses used to be called – and he sees some strange things”
    Then then sang the verse – sang it line-by-line, then invited everyone to give it a try.

7:40 – Everyone plays the game – finish with the song.  Campfire.

7:55 – closing

Meeting Two

6:30 – Arrival game – once everyone was there, we did a round of Brown Owl’s Rules.

6:40 – Brownie Circle activities – split Sparks into the circles.  Have the first year girls teach the Sparks their circle songs.

6:55 – Program – Learn a Song and Learn a Craft (we’ll do the game for everyone at the end). Sparks are split into two groups.  They’ll get to do both activities – 15 minutes per activity.  Craft and Song teachers split up, game teachers join a group of Sparks.

7:30 – Learn a game – As I said above, Ladders was a little tough for the Sparks to sit still and learn.  But there are always lessons in failure – and our girls know that sometimes it doesn’t work.

7:50 – Short campfire – everyone sings Quartermaster Store together.  “Owls…eating paper towels” is our favourite one.

7:55 – Closing with Grand Howl for the Sparks.

And that’s it.  It is a simple program, but it really works!

Our neighbourhood Campfire last year.  (because it was a shame to not have a photo with this post).

Our neighbourhood Campfire last year. (because it was a shame to not have a photo with this post).

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If you live in Ottawa you can contact City Wide Sports through the City of Ottawa to get them to come to you to offer a sport clinic.  The cost sounds very reasonable.  The site says it is geared towards birthday parties and Guide and Scout meetings, etc.  Fantastic.  (Thanks to the Guiding Communities of Eastern Ontario Facebook Group for this awesome tip!!!)

Go to http://www.citywidesportsottawa.ca/Home/DisplayPage?PageID=4&TopMenuID=4


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I just saw this Printable Kid’s Colouring Cookbook from Taste of Home Kids (from Mrs. January).  It looks like one-pagers of recipes that kids can make and that they’ll like.  It may turn up this year as part of Key to Active Living: Fabulous Food.

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I just saw a neat activity/drama idea that has no equipment necessary but would get kids active while having fun. Move like an animal. That’s it. Get the kids deciding how the animal moves. Crab walk, snake slither, elephant trunk… Fun! Saw it Marilyn Denis Show.

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We had a planning meeting on Sunday – only 13 more meetings to go for the year. So strange.  And I’ll say it again… I work with a great team.  Thanks to Snowy Owl Christine, Starry Owl Chan, and Tawny Owl Tracy for getting together Sunday, and to Spotty Owl Carolyn for letting us assign her stuff as usual (we are really going to miss you next year).  Meetings are so much better with a plan – every time.   Here’s the one for tonight…

Our major fundraiser as a Canadian Brownie Unit is selling Girl Guide cookies and, if you combine a Cookie Selling meeting with Key to Active Living: Saying No, it can work.  In the past we’ve done Safe Cookie Selling skits that kind of relate to Saying No – this time it is a bit more separated, but it should work.

6:30 Arrival – running game.

6:35 Circle time

6:40 Brownie Ring

6:45 Program: Cookies Yum – find out how to be a safe cookie seller.  Learn how much each box costs, how to keep records, and how to make change.

GAME – Safe Cookie Selling – Girls gather in the centre of the room.  One leader calls out Yes & No Questions.  Girls run to one side of the room or the other, depending on their answers.

Cookie Selling Game Questions

Girl Guide cookies cost $5.  Yes
Girl Guide cookies cost $20. No
Girl Guide cookies cost $1. No
If someone gives you $20 for one box of cookies, you give them $17 in change. No
If someone gives you $5 for one box of cookies you give them $10 in change. No
If someone gives you $20 for one box of cookies, you give them $15 in change. Yes
When selling cookies, you should say “HEY! Buy my cookies!” No
When selling cookies, you should say “Would you like to support Brownies?” Yes
When selling cookies, you should say “Would you like to support Girl Guides?” Yes
Should you go cookie selling alone? No
Should you go cookie selling with a buddy? Yes
Should you go cookie selling with your parents? Yes
Should you be rude when you are selling cookies? No
Should you be polite when you are selling cookies? Yes
Should you go into a stranger’s house when you are selling cookies? No
If someone decides NOT to buy cookies, should you be rude to them? No
If someone decides NOT to buy cookies, should you say thank you anyway? Yes
If someone decides NOT to buy cookies, should you get upset? No
Should you wear your uniform when you are selling cookies? Yes
Should you wear your bathing suit when you are selling cookies? No

Program: Say No Discussion how can you say no to someone who suggests you do something that is wrong or that you don’t want to do?

Say no skits- Girls into 4 groups – each group gets a skit to act out.  Practice.  Remember to face the audience and speak clearly and loudly.  Note – if there is time, the girls love (love love love) to do two skits – a wrong way and a right way.   It is fun to watch.

Skit 1 – Some kids are playing in the playground.  Your friend tells you that you should go and push one of the kids off the monkey bars.  What do you do?

Skit 2 – You and your friends are getting popsicles at the store.  One of your friends tells you to steal a chocolate bar.  What do you do?

Skit 3 – You and your friends are playing outside.  Everyone decides to go into one friend’s house, but you don’t have permission.  What do you do?

Skit 4 – You and your friends are selling cookies in the neighbourhood.  Someone you don’t know asks you to come inside to wait while they get some money for the cookies.  What do you do?

7:20 – Cookie Poster Craft – Design a cookie selling poster – Girls each design a poster to hang up at Sears Cookie Day table.  Include: Who you are (Brownie Unit Number), Price of Cookies, GGC Trefoil – or toadstool, or owls…

7:35 – Skit presentations – remember where your audience is.  Be a good audience.

7:45 Campfire

7:55 Closing and Goodnight.

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This week we’re starting off Key to Active Living with Germ Buster, ZZZZ and Good Health. The three sections fit together nicely. And we’ve done this before and Snowy Owl brilliantly kept it, so there isn’t much work to do to prepare. (To give proper credit, I think Snowy Owl Christine and Grey Owl Kelly were the original meeting organizers… I am just the typist today – and I like it that way)

6:30 Arrival in two parts:

Part 1 – Guider gets secretly “germed”. We want to demonstrate how germs get spread and one person in the group will have their hands covered in sparkles. At the end of the meeting, it is likely that everyone will have a bit of sparkle on them – these represent germs and will hopefully encourage girls to wash their hands.  Note to future meeting organizers… this part only works if you BRING sparkles (we forgot).

Part 2 – Bandaid Tag. Fits nicely with the theme and is an easy game that will spread germs around well.

6:45 – Brownie Circles

6:55 – Brownie Ring

7:00 – Program

Germ Buster

  • How can you avoid germs – hand washing
  • When should you wash your hands? Before eating, before handling food, when you cough or sneeze, after you handle something dirty or dusting, after the bathroom.
  • Teach Brownie Clean hands song (?) (I think you need to wash your hands for 15 seconds – about the same amount of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday)
  • Practice washing hands (pretend) in circle while singing

Good Health

  • Why is taking care of your health important? Who in our community helps us stay healthy? doctors, pharmacists, dentists, nurses What are some important ways to keep healthy? (eat well, stay active).

ZZZZZ Good Night

  • Why is sleep important?
  • How much sleep do people need each day? (Kids need 10-15 hours)
  • Talk about dreams and dreaming.

7:15 – Stations – we have an Occupational therapist as an Owl and have invited a Nurse and a Pharmacist student in tonight. These are people who help you stay healthy. Show the girls different medical professionals and talk about being healthy in general.

Station 1 Doctor or Nurse – We had a med student last time we did this. Kelly brought in tongue depressers and a stethoscope. She talked about her job, what it’s like to be a doctor and how to become one.

UPDATE: We were unable to get a nurse to come in (I knew that when I typed it on Monday, but didn’t have an alternative) so I ran a station where we made old fashioned toothpaste (or really, toothpowder).  Kind of along these lines…http://naturallycheerful.blogspot.ca/2011/09/homemade-toothpaste.html.  Then we offered a wordsearch about teeth.

Station 2 – Occupational Therapist – She’ll have some splints, usually brings some neat helper things (her clients have neat aids that help them do simple tasks), what she does, and how to become an OT.

Station 3 – Pharmacist to talk about what a pharmacist does, how they help us, and how to become one. (No drug demos – although they did one another year where they had to pick out the pill vs candy)

7:30 – Sleep – figure out how much sleep you need. Figure out when you should go to bed in order to get that amount of sleep.

www.sleepforkids.org is a great resource for this part. Their calcluator is here http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/calcs.html

Remembering Game – Snowy Owl has a list of animals and how much they sleep. She tells the girls, assigns an animal to each, then asks them to line up in order of who needs the most sleep. This isn’t the same one, but the list works: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/chasleep.html

7:40 – Sports Charades – One way to stay healthy and active is by playing sports – individually or in pairs, the girls will act out their favourite sports and the others will guess what they’re playing.

7:50 – End of Germ Game – reveal what the sparkles are…how many “germs” do you have on you?

7:55 – Close

It is a busy meeting. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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We had an awesome meeting planned tonight. We were going to go to Loblaws Cooking School. Unfortunately, there was a power failure and we’ve had to come up with a whole new plan on the fly. How do you communicate with your parents? What would you have done?

When Snowy Owl called me with the news at around 1:30 today, my first instinct was to cancel. There’s nothing else planned. We can’t pull a meeting out of the air. We don’t have a space (we are in a rented gym that we’d cancelled already). There’s no way to hold a meeting.

But after a panicked call to the the person who does our booking, and a confirmation that we can’t get a new permit in three hours, and a look at the weather (it is just below freezing – it was -15C the other day so -2C is gorgeous!), we had a brainwave…we’ll go for a walk! If the girls are dressed well it should be no problem. We’ll play outside in the park. No problem!

At around 2PM I e-mailed parents (I’ll include the text here because having a template can be helpful). HINT – for emergency communication, always include the line “please reply to this e-mail to confirm that you got this message – otherwise I’ll be phoning you after 4PM” to save a lot of extra phone call time.

Hi Brownie Families,

There’s a power failure at Loblaws and the store is closed. Cooking School is cancelled… please reply to this e-mail to confirm that you got the message. I will call anyone I don’t hear from after 4PM. Keep reading for our …
New Plan – we have already released our permit for the gym so we can’t get that back… but that doesn’t mean that we can’t go for a walk in the neighbourhood. The weather is supposed to be quite nice.
If you can join us, please go to the School as usual prepared to spend the entire meeting OUTSIDE. Snowpants, hats, mits, neckwarmers, etc. (don’t be fooled by the warm sunshine this afternoon – it’ll get cold in the evening). Bring a flashlight. We’ll have games – we might (no promises) stop at Tim Horton’s (we’ll let you know when you drop off – the plan is a bit fluid at the moment).
We could use one or two adults to help with supervision… please let me know if you’re available.
Thanks for your patience as we figure this out.

At 4PM there were about 5 people I hadn’t heard from so I called them. It should be a fun meeting. Not quite what we had planned. But it will do.

Happy Tuesday – next week is March Break!!!

Update Post Meeting – this was a fun meeting. Our Ranger volunteer lives in the area and knew of a walking path we had never seen (she is a blessing and we are going to miss her next year when she goes to University). We ended up in a park to do a relay (make a snowball and throw it, then make 5 snow angels, then do a front roll/somersault and run back to your group), then we played Sardines (a favourite camp game). Then it was time to walk back, sing our closing and go home. The temperature was around -2C (2 degrees below freezing – I can only imagine what some of you think of THAT) and perfect … No slush. Nice and crisp, but not so painfully cold that we were struggling. We have to do this meeting again – but we will plan it next time. 🙂

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