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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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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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Neighbourhood camp was this past weekend and we did a craftscravaganza that was targeted at all levels (Sparks, Brownies and Guides). A popular activity was the Lucet Station. Crafts fall in the Experiment and Create and How to sections of Girls First.

Check out this 2012 post about Teaching Girls To Knit for other ideas.

How to make a DIY Lucet.

Lucet knitting is like finger knitting but you can put it down. Do a search on Pinterest for videos and instructions. This one from Stitch Diva Studios does an excellent job explaining it.

 

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Busy

Ever get to a spot where you’ve procrastinated on a thing so that when you get around to it, it is both embarrassing and overwhelming. That is this post. I’m going to try to write about our Brownie experience with Girls First.

What we’ve been up to:

  • Enrollment – we presented three ideas for Enrollment themes and the girls chose to Bake a Batch of Brownies. (The other options were to do our regular Twist me enrollment, or a Cloud one). The Girls First challenge is to give them the reigns. We’re doing that by giving them options we can execute. Guide together – Our Story
  • Halloween – we did the Reading Party. Girls dressed up as a character from a book. It was great. Hit the old Hurrah for Reading badge and Girls first – Experiment and Create – Art Studio. We also threw in a Unit’s Own for Experiment and Create.
  • We did a lot of work on Explore Identities – Different Together. Partly because of Abby. Partly because the meetings were already online. We’ve more than earned that badge.
  • There was a leadership night with some Build Skills – Life Stuff activities. We used the ideas from the Leading with Confidence instant meeting.
  • January started with the Lego meeting. We did the mapping activity and they LOVED it.
  • We moved to First Aid Build Skills and Build Skills emergency preparedness. Both were good.
  • Now we’re off to camp for a weekend with a lot of snow days so things have been kind of disjointed.

Things I’ve learned about Girls First.

  • I like it.
  • It is different, but the same. Girls are enjoying the activities. But the ones we’ve tried tend towards too much talking.
  • The Girls first platform is an idea tool and a record keeping tool, but it is not a meeting planning spot. I still need to create my meeting plan – we do that in One Drive that is shared amongst the leadership team. It lists the equipment and who is bringing what. Some do this part on paper, some in Word or whatever works for you.

How’s that for a brief whirlwind update? How are you doing with Girls First?

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Our enrollment celebration is October 16. Other years (pre-Girls First), the leaders planned the ceremony, told the girls what to do, and they did it. It required one meeting to prepare and it usually was a pretty nice ceremony. But what did the girls learn?

This year we’ve jumped into Girls First by setting up points where the girls get to make decisions, plan what they’re doing, and figure out what it takes to get what they want to happen done. Enrollment prep is being done over three meetings this year (we’re covering the same content – promise, law, motto, ties, circles, get to know you), but it is better organized.

6:30 Freeze Tag as opening game (girls chose it the previous week)

6:40 Circle time – take attendance.

6:50 Brownie Ring

7:00 Program

  • Last week we talked about the Promise, Law and Motto. Around the ring… how did you keep your promise or help out this week? (we did not warn them that we’d do this, so there were a lot of “Pass” responses). Abby adaptation – The question was shared with her family in advance so the iPad was programmed with a few answers.
  • I reminded them about Enrollment – we decided on Batch of Brownies as the Enrollment theme. We talked about how this year we will be seeking their input more often.
  • Would you rather moment – the Guiders are considering a sleepover and asked Would you rather (1) do a sleepover at a museum? We would likely be put into a group with other Brownies; OR (2) do a sleepover at a community center where we’d figure out the program; OR (3) both sound like fun – I would be happy with either one. (I suppose we should have added – I don’t like this idea). Result: there was a pretty even split between community centre and both sound like fun. Only two really want to do a museum. Community centre wins.

7:15 – Split the group.

  • First year girls
    Brownie Promise review. I had pieces of the Brownie Promise on small slips of paper. Once we went through the promise out loud a couple of times, girls then took the pieces of the promise and then tried to unscramble it. Adaptation for all – I really need to remember that Grade 2 kids have a variety of different reading levels – and some who are in full French immersion, can only read French)
    Reef knot practice with their ties and my bag of spare ties.
    Brownie Law game 
    – play a game of four corners with the four main words taped to the wall. Kind, Honest, World, and Helps.
  • Second year girls – plan Enrollment – Bake some Brownies
    Original source is A New Batch of Brownies from Becky’s Site
    Snowy Owl adapted it on a worksheet for the girls. Printable worksheet: New Batch of Brownies
    Page one organizes the cast, props and setup. Following that, are potential things that could go in the recipe. Action for the girls – figure out what goes into the recipe on page 2.
    Adaptation for Abby – The original plan calls for a box that stands in for the oven. Kids are meant to crawl through the box. Abby can’t do that so we have chosen to fashion a “stove” by drawing one on a sheet. We’ll need two older girls (the Guides will be there) to hold it up, and when it comes time to open the oven, the stove front will be dropped to the floor and she’ll be able to roll right over it. 

7:40 Rehearsal number 1. It went pretty well.

7:50 Pick a game for next week. Result: Option 1 is Lagoon and Option 2 is Chocolate tag.

7:55 Cleanup and Close.

wp-grad-brownies-2

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