Posts Tagged ‘Bridging’

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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Brownies participated in a Guiding Campfire tonight.  There were events planned on Parliament Hill and at a local mall.  Since parking downtown is tough anyway and because you can always predict the temperature and weather inside, we went with the mall campfire – and it was great!

Here’s what we sang:

Thank you to Guider Judith and her team for a great campfire.

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Guider Janice has been a long-time commenter on this site and the other day she e-mailed to ask for my opinion on how to make a talky meeting more fun.  I was honoured to be asked (she is Guider Janice of “It Sticks” fame, after all) and I asked if she’d mind if we posted the final version here for you to see.

This meeting plan centres around the “Your Day” badge in Key to My Community.  Janice’s Brownies have invited a Sparks Unit to join their group as guests – and at the end, they’ll have earned their first Brownie badge too.  My question is, does your unit celebrate individual birthdays?  We don’t.  It is too tough to keep track of, and the summer birthdays are left out.  But we do try to do an “UnBirthday” to celebrate everyone’s big day together.  It is lots of fun!  And good filler for when you’ve run out of program or are transitioning from one key to the next.

6:00 Arrival

  • Attendance/Dues
  • Sparks join circle
  • Write words as to Why are we special?  (Guider will collect these from the Brownies for addition to their scrapbooks).

6:15 Circle Opening

  • Opening Circle
  • Brownie Song
  • Brownie Promise
  • Welcome Sparks
  • Talk about tradtion vs celebration.  Raise your hand if you have ever celebrated a birthday.  Can anyone tell me whether birthdays are a celebration or a tradition?  Celebration.  Give an example of a different celebration?  Canada Day.  What is an example of a tradition?  Remembrance Day.
  • The tradition of Birthday Parties
  • How do you celebrate your birthday?  How are birthdays celebrated in other countries? Let’s compare Canada and Mexico…
    • Mexico – Celebrate two birthdays.  Paper flower decorations.  Three wishes if the child blows out candles in one breath.  Coyote and Sheep Game.
    • Both – say happy birthday.  Cake and candles – Birthdays ‘spanks’ – Piniata – Gifts – Games – Friends and family celebrate – decorations.
    • Canada – Sing happy birthday.  Multicultural activities – one wish after blowing out candle – treat bags – balloons.

6:30 – Program – UnBirthday Celebration – Alice in Wonderland Fun!

7:00 – Game.  Caucus Race from: Caucus Race and other Alice in Wonderland Games and Activities.  Supplies: Music and player, six hula hoops.

7:15 – Campfire, closing, Squeeze, and announcements.  Question – what is the Squeeze?

Thanks Janice for sharing your meeting plan with me (and us!).  I hope the girls have fun with it tonight.

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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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This post is for Tonya from PEI.  She, like all of us, is looking ahead to Thinking Day.  In our area we have a planning meeting next week so I’ve been doing some preliminary work to prepare (I’m also a Community Guider – Ontario’s version of District Commissioner – so I’m chairing the meeting). Update – Here’s our plan.

  • World Thinking Day (WTD) is best if it is incorporated into the meeting plans in the weeks before February 22.  But, the reality is, sometimes stuff just sneaks up on you and you’re looking for a meeting plan that will do the trick. 
  • Hopefully your unit can participate in a district or community event.  Or join another unit.  Big or small, bridging is an important aspect of Guiding.  And it is fun too.  And you get to share the load for planning.  And if it takes place during your regularly scheduled time and in yours or someone else’s regular meeting space, it is probably a Green Safe Guide event (but check to be sure)
  • The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) http://www.worldthinkingday.org/ is the place to start.  The theme for this year is “we can save our planet” and the WTD Activity Pack is just that – an activity pack with program ideas that you can use to fulfill the program.  Go to page 21 to read the Advice for Leaders and then on to page 24 to read about group activities.  HINT – if you print the activity pack, pay attention to the Page Sizing and Handling section.  Select Fit so that the thing prints on one page.  I wasted quite a few pages figuring that out – which is ironic, considering the theme. 
  • You don’t HAVE to go with the WTD theme.  It is nice to do it, but you don’t have to.  Here are some ideas:

Update – here’s Our Plan for an International Fair.  And a Passport Template idea.  Do you have a great idea?  Please let us know what you’re doing in the comments so we can learn from you too.

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