Valentines for Vets

We incorporate the Valentines for Vets program (run through Veterans Affairs Canada) into our Key to my Community: Celebrations activities because it is a lovely way to do some crafty community outreach. The site offers lots of guidance on what to do (no sparkles, no floppy bits, avoid taking about death and guns and don’t put a year on it). The kids take it from there… as you can see below, they were very crafty. Note, the 2017 cards needed to be VAC by Feb 1 so add it to next year’s program.


Brownie Dance Party

Every now and then Brownies want to dance. This requires a kid suitable dance playlist on a player (usually a phone) and a speaker that is powerful enough to be heard over 24 laughing Brownies.

Finding a speaker –  if you do a Brownie Dance Party, make sure you have, borrow or buy a speaker that can be heard.

  • I bought one recently (Giant Tiger $45) for my own use (I’m willing to let the unit borrow it) and it happily can be heard over our noisy giggly goofy girls. If you are in the market for a speaker, this is what I got.
    Polaroid Bluetooth Wireless Speaker at Giant Tiger for $45.
  • I also considered the Sony Portable Bluetooth ($129 at Walmart).  I saw it for around $80 on sale but even this was more than I was willing to pay. I have heard the Sony speaker in action and it would do the job very well.

What to play – I defer to the Brownies Meet Facebook group for songs to play that the kids should like that probably won’t drive you crazy:

  • Pharrell Williams – Happy from Despicable Me 2 (this is MY favourite)
  • Great Big Sea – When I’m Up
  • Please don’t stop the music – Rhiana
  • Pink – Just like Fire (Alice through the looking glass)
  • Katy Perry – Firework
  • TobyMac – Lights Shine Bright
  • Taylor Swift – Shake it off
  • Shakira – Try everything
  • Justin Timberlake – Can’t stop the feeling
  • Check out The Best Music for a Kids Dance Party! Heck Ya! for more ideas

Dance on!

When the day is done, when the sun is gone, from the lakes, from the hills from the sky. When thanks to them, all is calm, and we can safely rest, We will remember them. (source: Girl Guides Can Blog – We will Remember Them Nov 11, 2014) 

I didn’t know this for a long time into my Guiding career, but Girl Guide members have the option to wear their uniform to school on Remembrance Day as long as the school is ok with it.

But wearing the uniform is only the first step. They need to know why they are doing it. And even if they don’t wear uniform to school, they need to know about how Girl Guides contributed to the war efforts we commemorate.

Soldiers wear uniforms to identify who they are, and to show their pride. We wear our uniform on Remembrance Day to show respect for the soldiers, and to show our pride to be Canadian Girl Guides. (Guiding with Jewels).

Did you know? During the First World War, Canadian Girl Guide members: 

  • worked in munitions factories
  • made surgical dressings and bandages
  • knitted socks for soldiers
  • assisted in the distribution of leaflets for war relief societies
  • collected waste paper for Red Cross funds
  • prepared khaki cloths and made shirts and other articles of soldiers’ clothing in factories

Depending on their age – you can add that Girl Guides around the world (from Girl Guides Can Blog)

  • often risked their lives in incredibly dangerous situations
  • stepped into the roles of homemakers, nurses and even messengers of top-secret information.
  • showed incredible ingenuity and bravery – some were refugees or interned in concentration camps. “These girls lived by the Guide Law and did everything in their power to do a Good Turn each day; even if their meetings had to be run in secret to avoid execution.”

Girl Guide contributions to war efforts were remarkable. I hope we never need to go to war again like that, but our Brownies will be the women of tomorrow and I’d like to think they will be able to do anything and face any adversity using the skills we teach, and the example of the Girl Guides of the past.

Need more resources?


Dress up meetings

This week we’re repeating the highly successful Literary Dress Up meeting from 2014. Halloween parties are great, but we are really bad at them. Focusing on books (or Science!) instead of killing ourselves to make another bad Halloween party has been great!

  • Tomorrow’s activities will complete most of the Hurrah for Reading badge requirements. To finish it off, they just need to have read six books – we’ve been promoting it for a few weeks so I expect we’ll have a few badges to hand out after tomorrow.
  • The school we meet in has a book drive going on now – girls have been invited to bring gently loved books that their family no longer needs in to donate to the school.
  • I’ll remember to take a group photo this year!

I wonder if there are other themed dress up meetings we could try another year?




Uniform Guidelines

Did you know that the Girl Guides of Canada uniform for Girls and Adults now seems to include blue jeans as an option? I heard about it last week, and just looked it up today.

Uniform Guidelines from The Girl Guide Store. 

Snowy Owl will be very pleased.


Last night we tried the 4 corners game from the Brownie Promise and Law meeting. It was a hit! And now I want to have a few more in my pocket.

  • Spot the Dot (30 Second Edition) looks very cool. (From Becky’s Guiding Resource)
  • Four Corners (also Becky) – the Promise and Law meeting used the Brownie Law with Honest, Kind, Help and World as the four corners. This was a huge hit. So simple.
  • Evolution is always fun!

Are there any games that you play that you think we should add to our repertoire?


Our first meeting of the year went pretty well. And we’re hoping that the trend continues for our second. We’re all about Promise and Law this week.browniepromisebookmark

We’re riffing from the Girl Guides Promise and Law Meeting a Box this week mixed in with what we usually do.

6:30 Arrival – Brownie Promise Bookmark: brownie-bookmark-promise-and-law (we often do the Door Hanger, but we’ve been doing that for a LONG time and wanted something slightly different). I like that the girls have something in their hand with the words since not everyone has a book just yet. These are in plain print (not script) and easy enough to read.

6:45 Opening

6:55 – Read Brownie Story together

7:05 – in Circle Groups – this year we have a full 24 girls and will be using the circle groups a lot more – especially for talky meetings like this one. It’ll allow the older girls to take a leadership role, and give the younger girls a chance to speak up in smaller groups. And we’ll hopefully keep control of the group… that’s the plan, anyway. A lot of you run large units and already do this. We’ve been able to get away with 18-20 girls…it is amazing how much impact another 2-4 girls has!

  • Talk about uniforms, tie tying, and circle groups
  • Talk about the Promise – what does a promise mean to you? What happens if you don’t keep a promise? Answers – consequences, you also feel bad. Should be proud of yourself when you keep a promise.
  • Go through each line of the promise – what do they mean to you? Example: Beliefs – each family has a different interpretation of that. Totally ok, but you should decide that yourself.
  • Go through the law – we’ll play the game from the meeting in the box together later in the meeting
  • Talk about the motto – what’s a motto? A favourite saying of a group – a phrase meant to formally describe the general motivation. Do the paper doll craft from the meeting in a box.
  • If there’s time, talk about enrollment, second year leadership roles, how to suggest games, how to teach games so everyone knows how to play and feels included, badges…

7:25ish – Play Law Game from Meeting in a Box

7:35ish – Play Brown Owl’s Rules – introduce Make New Friends (Shake Left Hand), and Grand Howl

7:45ish – Meeting Business: Talk about Cookies and then Campfire

7:55 – Close