Archive for the ‘Thinking Day’ Category

Our Pathfinder unit planned an amazing Thinking Day fair for Sparks and Brownies. It was a very good plan and they’ve agreed to let me share it. Thanks to Guiders Jessica, Anna and Louise and the girls from the 119th Ottawa Pathfinders.

I’m going to set out the time for a 90 minute meeting (we were rushed to do it in the 60 minute timeline of a Sparks meeting and didn’t get to everything).1200px-pax_lodge-svg

6:00 (30 minutes before meeting): Guiders arrive to set up snack and crafts.

6:30: Arrival Game London Bridge. Girls join as they arrive. Two leaders form a bridge with their arms and girls form a long chain by touching each other’s shoulders … they will run under the bridge. At the end of each verse, two girls are caught as the bridge falls. They add to the bridge and the game ends when the last girls are caught.

Explain that we’re playing London Bridge because London is home to one of the five world centres (Pax Lodge) and it is where Guiding and Scouting began.

6:40 Openings (quickly – they help girls get settled into the event)our_chalet

6:45 Program: Thinking Day and the History of Guiding Participation Story

  • Explain that we are gathered to celebrate Thinking Day and this story will tell you about the history of Guiding.
  • This is an action story and the girls will have to help tell the story by doing the actions.
  • Show the actions and have the girls practice them before starting. (Options – you can teach all actions to all girls – or split the group up and give each group of girls one action)
  • Read the story – emphasizing the action words


7:00 – Mexican Traffic Police Game (great fun!)58794585a0032ac712f512ca7edccdaf
Explain: we chose this game from Mexico because the country is home to another one of the five world centres: Our Cabana in Cuernavaca.

7:10 Snacks (we didn’t actually do the snack because of our meeting space rules).
If you omit this section, run the two games a little longer and take your time in the craft.

  • What we’ll eat: Tropical Fruits, Swiss Cheese and Poppadoms
  • Explanation: Poppadoms are from India – home to another WAGGGS World Centre – Sangham – on the banks of the Mua River in Pune India. Swiss Cheese – Our Chalet is in Switzerland.
  • Other WAGGS Countries:
    • Costa Rica produces the most pineapples in the world (followed by the Philippines, Brazil, Thailand and India).
    • Prickly pears are grown in different WAGGGS regions (South America, Europe, and the Middle East)
    • Starfruit is popular in other WAGGGS regions such as Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, East Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the United States).
  • Materials / Ingredients: Mix of tropical fruits (pineapple, starfruit, prickly pears), knives, Indian Poppadoms, cups, jug of water, plates, napkins, paper towels, toothpicks.sangam_world_centre

7:20 – Madame Tussaude’s Wax Museum Game (Britain and Pax Lodge)- girls start at one end of the gym. The museum security guard (leader) has her back to them. Girls start to move toward the security guard, but must freeze when she turns around. If she catches them moving, they have to go back to the starting wall. The first girl to touch the security guard wins the game.

7:30 – Lantern Craft (Based on the mighty minds lantern craft)

  • Materials: clear cups and LED tea lights (1 each per girl); and tissue paper cut up into small squares, stickers, and glue sticks (minimum – 1 per two girls)
  • Explain: we chose lanterns because they are very popular in the Asia WAGGGS region
  • Instructions: girls put glue on outside of the plastic cups to and put tissue paper and stickers on them. Put an LED candle in each cup.c54b4ee8b69b9de364afed55b5a749d5

7:40ish Campfire

  • Gathering Song – Ging Gang Goolie  – explain that this is a gibberish song for Scouts and Girl Guides around the world. Lord Baden-Powell wrote the lyrics for the first World Scout Jamboree in 1920, as scouts were coming from all over the world and didn’t understand each other’s languages.
  • Building song – Our Chalet Song (Switzerland)
  • Building song – Zulu Warrior – we chose this one from South Africa, where the Kusafiri World Centre is located. Kusafiri has no fixed site, but changes location at every event, creating international experiences for girls in different African countries. This song is about strong warrior that wrestled a lion (Zimba means lion).
  • Slower Song – Frere Jacques – a french nursery song about a friar who has overselpt and is urged to wake up by the sound of the bells for matins (midnight or very early morning prayers monks are expected to wake up for)
  • Ending song – This little Guiding light of mine – let the girls light their candles.
  • 7:55 Unit Closing Songs

As I said, we omitted the snack portion – even still we were pressed for time in 60 minutes, but 90 would be perfect. Be prepared in advance and you’ll have a great meeting.

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Brownies are going camping in the next couple of weeks and we’ve been quietly covering most of the Key to Camping requirements.  But there have been a few gaps and this meeting should fill those… but it won’t be very comprehensive for those of you covering this key (sorry about that).


6:30 Arrival Game – girls choice (the girls love making games up so it works).

6:40 Circle Inspections

6:50 Brownie Circle

7:00 Key to Camping

  • Discussion – Camping know how – Organize the food and cooking plans with your unit, so that everyone has a job. How do we organize ourselves at camp? (Patrols). what kind of chores do we do? What should our patrol names be this time?
  • Discussion – Lost & found in the outdoors Hug a Tree Program 
  • Teach (Which Way badge) – what are compasses? What are cardinal points?  An instrument containing a magnetized pointer that shows the direction of magnetic north and bearings from it. (Google)

7:15 – Game – Cardinal Points game from Becky’s site

7:25 – Activity – Compass Drawings from Becky’s site.  You need dots pages or graph paper, pencils.

7:35 – Introduce Thinking day – Guiding with Jewels has a great intro.  (we’ll do the first part of the discussion)

7:45 – Songs – featuring Hey Hey Hey, it’s Thinking Day and Twelve Days of Girl Guide Camp and a few other songs.

7:55 Close and wrap up.

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Last night we had a Thinking Day prep meeting – we used the “History of Guiding” Instant Meeting from e-patches and crests as the outline.  I love instant meetings – check out the e-Patches & Crests site for lots of other neat ideas.

6:30 – arrival game – Evolution.

6:40-6:55 – Brownie inspections and Opening Circle

7:00 – Program

  • Read part 1 of the story from the e-Patches and crests History of Guiding Instant Meeting (We skipped the paper hats thing – our local schools have a lice problem and we’re doing our very best to stop the spread.  Blech).  Instead we suggested girls should imagine that they’re pretending to get dressed to join a Scout meeting.
  • Game – Strega Comanda Color from the instant meeting.  Our review: it was a neat game.  The girls loved it.
  • Part 2 of the story
  • Game – Bowitgee (from the instant meeting) – we didn’t have a ball on hand so I used a rubber chicken instead.  The girls also loved this game (possibly more so because of the rubber chicken factor).  I liked it because of its positive message.
  • Part 3 of the story.
  • Discussion about the story … which is rather old fashioned and talks about girls not being able to do things that our girls think of as commonplace.  And about the World Friendship Fund collection… we distributed labeled water bottles as Coin Savers for Thinking Day.

7:30 – Leftover craft from Lunar New Year celebration.  Tissue Paper flowers.

7:55 – Closing.

At the end of every new game we’ve started to ask the girls for a review.  Did they like the game?  What did they like best?  What didn’t they like?  Were the instruction clear?  The questions give us a good idea of what they like (and don’t), and where our weak points are in the explanations of games.

Why there’s a photo of glue on this Thinking Day post.  We’ve known for a while that white glue turns into a gloppy mess if it freezes.  What I didn’t know is that clear glue seems to hold its consistency well if it freezes and defrosts.  Canadian Guiders should consider this if they need to leave glue in a car for any length of time in the winter.  Cool!

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Happy Thinking Day

This is the reason I am a Guider … Meg and I posed for this photo when she was a second year Brownie. Now she’s a second year Pathfinder and volunteering in our unit. I love seeing “my” girls become strong, independent, happy young women.

Happy Thinking Day.

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Last night we held a low key, but fun Thinking Day event for Sparks and Brownies (these things don’t have to be fancy to be fun and effective).chopsticks

Our local Ranger unit talked about it and thought they’d like to lead a Brownie/Spark Thinking Day meeting highlighting Chinese New Year (China is not a WAGGGS country, but there is a Hong Kong Girl Guides Association and Taiwan and a number of other WAGGGS countries celebrate).

Here’s the plan (with some modifications because of a snowstorm and a suspicious package call that made our leaders a little late and kept the Rangers at home):

6:30 Sparks and Brownies play a game – girls choice (They picked Line Tag – not a big surprise).

6:40 (at this point we were contemplating what to do if Rangers didn’t appear.  We had no backup plan in the room – I always have a backup plan!) Brownie Circles – let’s show our Spark Friends what Brownie Circles are all about – teach them your circle song, teach them the Brownie Song, and talk about inspection (show off your stars!)spark chopsticks.  Take your time.  =)

6:55 (still no Rangers) Openings – We spent a bit of time with penny collections for the CWFF, then Spark and Brownie Openings.  Guiders Stephanie and Vicky (of Camp Woolsey fame!) came in in a flurry of snow and concern just as we were almost done with the “We’re the Brownies” song. (relief!).

7:05 – Stations We split the girls into two groups and flipped them halfway through.

Station 1 Learn how to use chopsticks.  They passed marshmallows and cut up carrots around.  Simple but very effective.  A tough skill for the newbies, but lots of fun.

Station 2 Decorate and make paper fans. (fold paper into an accordion and staple one end).

7:30 Learn a fan dance

fan dance7:40 Campfire.  Guider Vicky taught us Today is Monday, then a neat round with one group singing Twinkle Twinkle, another group singing ABC song, and a third singing Bah Bah Black Sheep (all the same tune – how did I not know that??) and we closed with This little Guiding Light of Mine.

And that’s it.  Thank you very much Stephanie and Vicky.  We are so glad you braved the elements and made it to our meeting.

Happy Thinking Day everyone!

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Today’s post from Shift Mama (and reposted on the GGCBlog) has a great suggestion… let’s start saving World Friendship Fund Pennies NOW.  Go to A challenge to all my Girl Guide Friends, make a penny saver, and be ready with a CWFF donation in February.

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Siobhan posted a lovley reflection on Thinking Day and the Promise we take.  Take a look if you get a chance… http://siobhansqueensguide.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/thinking-day/

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Last night we held an International Fair for Thinking Day.  We had about 70 Spark, Brownie, Guide, Ranger and Guider participants from our area; it was completely a girl driven event – there wasn’t much the adults needed to do; and it went really well – we were afraid that there’d be some losing interest, but it didn’t happen!  If you get a chance to try a fair like this, please do. 

It is really difficult to show  you photos without showing all of the happy faces but here are two anonymous ones – and Snowy Owl. 

OH!  The giveaway winner is Siobhan Coulter.  Please e-mail me: brownowlcara <at> gmail <dot> com to tell me where to send it.  Happy Thinking Day everyone.

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We’re always talking about creating a passport for some event or other and there are a few templates on the web.  When I say passport, I’m thinking of something that the girls get as they arrive at an event, then run around getting stamps or stickers or something on, and then have for later in their memory books – or maybe to put in a big bowl for a draw.

Here are a few of mine that are created for an as yet unknown number of stations at our Thinking Day International Fair (I’ll finalize the actual cards as it gets closer).  Tables will be numbered and that number will correspond to the number on the passport.

  • NEW -I had a re-think about our International Fair passport and I like this one instead.  It is a 3 panel print on two sides brochure.  The girls will just wander around to the different stations and need to find the  country of the table they’re visiting.  So simple.   PDF Final (edited without year) MS Publisher Source file you can edit.  No cutting required.  Just print what you need and do a bit of folding.
  • 32 Station Passport that I created based on a Pocket Mod (the concept is great, but the template does not work for what I want it to.  It is easy to figure out, so I created my own using PowerPoint).  There is an instruction page included (second page – be careful not to print it).  I put in numbers using PowerPoint Table but it wouldn’t let me flip it upside down so I used a screen shot for the number boxes.  If you know what I just said you can probably modify my template.   If you don’t, try the circles passport template next:
  • Circles Passport is also based on a Pocket Mod.  This one is a lot more “fiddly” (my word) but you don’t need to get into screen shots for it and if you play with it you can figure it out.
  • Some existing passports

I’m off to a Brownie Sleepover at the Museum of Science and Tech in Ottawa (or as Darlene says – a Sleep Not).  Wish us luck!

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In my area we have Sparks, Brownies, Guides, and Rangers.  The SBG group met last night to talk about Thinking Day and the Guide Unit proposed a neat idea for our event.  We’re going to hold an International Fair.  (This event will be based on one that a Guide Guider participated in years ago in another district.  Thanks Agnes.)  We’ll invite Rangers too.  I hope they’ll come.

The Idea: We’ll hold an International Fair where girls from all units (in pairs and groups) will be challenged to set up a table.  In addition, units will be asked to present/lead an international song at the closing campfire.

Basic Schedule:

6:00 – Guiders arrive to set up tables

6:15 – Doors open for girls to start setting up tables

6:30 – Gathering game – something in the centre of the room – like Stella Ella Ola / Setup continues

6:40 – Opening

  • Unit Openings
  • Talk about Thinking Day
  • Introduction of Theme and Instructions.

6:50 – Fair Opens

  • We tend to do this sort of event in a round robin but this time we’re doing it as a true fair. Girls will be able to walk around and visit each other’s tables.  We’ll have a passport that each table can stamp. 
  • World Friendship Fund Collection – We’ll set up a Wishing Well (I got the idea from a Girl Scout Planning template I listed in the last post)
  • Ideas for International tables: The goal is to not make this too much work for the girls.  They’ll be encouraged to bring in something they’ve already done for school, or to bring souvenirs from a trip they’ve made.  Food or drink is possible – although we do have a peanut allergy.   Since Brownies are working on the Europe Region, I expect we’ll do that as a unit and give girls the option of making up their own tables. 
  • Ideas from the original event.  Pathfinders completed a cooking badge by making Pierogi for the fair (she said the entire kitchen was covered in flour, but it was very enjoyable.  We all said we’d buy frozen ones before we’d go to so much work).   One table was about Switzerland and had Toblerone chocolates for everyone.  The girls each had to make a sign for their table.  She suggested that a table could teach a game, a song, or dance from a country.  You can display souvenirs from your travels.  Or have a craft that girls can make.  Good idea – a game or activity that people can come and go from.  Bad idea – a piñata.  Once it is broken, you’re done. 

7:45 – Fair Closes.  Gather for Campfire

  • Sing a gathering song, then each unit will lead their International Song, then Spark and Brownie closings – and Taps. 

Finish at 8PM.

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