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Archive for the ‘Key to Brownies’ Category

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.

newbatchbrownies2018

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.

Girls_First_mr

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Adapting

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.

song-clipart-girl-771761-4428205

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 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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Welcome back!

Hi Guiders! How have things been since I last posted in April!? I hope you made the most of your Brownie break and are ready to get back to your unit and into a new year. I’ll be honest, I’m almost there. I really did enjoy the break.

  • If you’re like me and this is old hat, I challenge you to look at the Brownie Book for some new/old ideas. I flipped through the leader book the other day and kept saying, oh, that’s where we got that idea. There’s a lot of good stuff in there.
  • And don’t get too comfy even if this is old hat … word is that the Canadian Brownie program (along with the other branches) will be changing for next year. We’ll all be new at this. To that end, make sure you are using up any badge inventories you may have. Don’t stockpile badges.
  • If you’re new to this, I encourage you to read What I would tell a new Guider. I know that it can be hard to join an established group. The biggest thing to insist on is some kind of written plan. You want to know what’s going on and how you fit. But, no matter what, have fun at this. The girls are our priority, of course, but it has to be fun for everyone.

What are your biggest questions? Email brownowlcara at gmail dot com if you want me to cover something.

 

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Together with Guider Amanda (a Community Guider and Sparks Leader in Ottawa), I led a session about Ceremonies at the recent January Thaw Event (see Guider Training Days!) and I think it went well. Here are some of our notes.

What is a Ceremony? What kinds of ceremonies do we have in Guiding?

As Becky says in her blog: A ceremony is something a group does to make an ordinary event special, or to add significance to a special occasion. Read on here for Becky’s tips and wisdom on ceremonies.

Guiding has a lot of ceremonies. Some of them are the everyday ones like our Openings and Closings. And others are special like enrollments, advancements and Thinking Day ceremonies.

Traditional vs. non-traditional ceremonies

We set up our presentation as sort of a debate, with me standing up for why we should be doing more traditional ceremonies, and Amanda standing up for innovation, imagination and forward thinking.

In defense of tradition

  • The definition of tradition is the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation (Google).
  • Guiding is memorable…I meet many women who, when they found out I am a Guider, remember fondly the “tu-whit, tu-whit, tu-whoo”; ask if we still “twist me and turn me with the pond and stepping stones?”; or tell me about their Guider who made them practice a flag ceremony over and over and about how, when they got it, they were so proud. I want to give the girls today that sort of memory.

    A Jamaican Brownie Pack Enrollment

  • Pro – When we do the traditional ceremonies, the girls see us waving our Guiding flag. Guiding does things just a bit little differently and in order to become a member you need to learn how we do things.
  • Pro – girls will hopefully hear my enthusiasm for the traditions that are important to me.
  • Pro – we keep the magic of Guiding alive by honouring the past and looking to the future.
  • Con – tradition can be stodgy and not with the times. You may hear “not again!”.
  • Con – doing the same old thing is not tradition if you’re doing it “just because.” Sticking with tradition isn’t right if you’re unwilling to do something different because it is hard to change or because it might not work.

In defense of non-traditional ceremonies

  • Non-traditional doesn’t mean that you’re abandoning the purpose of the ceremony.
  • It gives you flexibility in your planning. For example, this fall badge sashes and ties were back ordered in the GGC store and it was uncertain whether or not they’d ship in time for enrollment… so Amanda’s unit did a Halloween enrollment ceremony. Can you imagine a Darth Vader with a Sparks sash? Hilarious, memorable, flexible, and it fit the day.

    Imagine this with a Sparks Sash. =)

  • By going with a non-traditional ceremony, it acknowledges that Girl Guides of Canada is changing with the times.
  • Younger girls benefit from non-traditional ceremonies – they experience a ceremony that they’re interested/engaged in.
  • Older girls are given the opportunity to practice their leadership and organizational skills because they get input.
  • Pro – Planning flexibility.
  • Pro – Can incorporate other badge challenge work or special events.
  • Pro – Inclusive for those girls and leaders who are new to Guiding and who aren’t as familiar with tradition.
  • Pro – Avoids the “we do it this way because that’s the way it has always been done”.
  • Pro – Starts a new tradition.
  • Con – can give too much freedom so that GGC values are not represented or the importance of the moment is lost.

In the end though, there is no wrong way to do it. And why not mix the two?

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Hawk Owl Jen’s Mom has been surfing Pinterest and found this Paper Plate Owl Craft from HuppieMama.com.  Thanks Sharon for the idea.  =)

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