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Tonight is our last meeting before Advancement and, as always, we’re a mixture of sad that Brownies is ending, and ready for a break.  But we are going out with a bang (or a pop!) with a really fun Bubble Meeting.

6:30 Arrival Game – play your favourite game of the whole year.  They picked Captain’s Coming.

6:40 Circle Inspections

6:50 Circle Time

7:00 Program

All together (while the stations were setting up):

  • Talk about what an experiment is.  Listen to instructions, observe what’s there, predict the result, do the activity, and report the actual results.
  • Make Bubble Solution – Compare it to Commercial Bubble Solution.

Then split the girls into three groups.  Circulate through the stations (about 8 minutes per station)

  • Station 1 – Make individual wands in different shapes (circle, square, heart, triangle) and then blow bubbles to assess if the shape of the wand impacts the shape of the bubble.
    The answer: it always makes a sphere.  From Bubbleology.
    Supplies – Pipe cleaners/Chenille Sticks and a pan of bubble solution.
  • Station 2 – Make a rectangular frame (String with two straws threaded through to make a rectangle).  Also to assess whether or not the shape of the wand makes a different shaped bubble.
    Answer: It always makes a sphere.  From Bubbleology.
    Supplies – straws and string, with scissors. And a pan of bubbles.
  • Station 3 – Make Paper Cone bubble maker and Make a Bubble Snake.  Not an experiment – but super fun.

7:30 Bubble Party.  Have fun making bubbles.

7:45 Our favourite songs campfire (Tall Trees, Land of the Silver Birch, Littlest Worm) and Closing at 8.  Done!

Resources:

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You may have already seen Brownie Camping: Edible Campfire from two years ago.  I think that edible campfire is a valuable activity that should remain on our agendas but we’ve all had girls in our units with food allergies, intolerances, and religious restrictions – and we know that as role models, we should offer healthier “fun” food.  Candy and cheezies aren’t the only way… the time has come for an update.

Why Edible Campfire?  You may have answered “because it is tradition!” or “it is so much fun!” and both are right.  But edible campfire is also a great way to teach a real-world lesson safely (no matches involved).  Using food, we demonstrate how to set a real fire correctly, laying the groundwork for when the girls are old enough to do it themselves.  For me, I didn’t actually “get” how to start a fire until tinder was equated to the broken up hickory sticks we ate the night before.  It is silly, but marshmallows as stones; pretzels as kindling; hickory sticks as tinder …etc. made more sense to me.  And it was fun!

Updated Edible Campfire (with healthier options and notes on some alternatives for restrictive diets)

Text from Snowy Owl Christine’s bag of tricks – Thanks to Guiders Claudia, Jen and Christine for their input and expertise.

IMPORTANT: Always discuss your menu and plans with the parents of kids with restrictions to make sure that you’ve got food that is appropriate for their child. They are your best advocates and will be happy to hear from you.

Edible Campfire - Putting in the Kindling

Edible Campfire – Putting in the Kindling

  1. When we make a campfire, we need a clear area free of dried grass and sticks.
    Supplies: plate, paper plate, or dinner napkin
  2. And we like to use an established fire pit.  Make a fire pit ring with:
    Original Instructions:  Skittles, M&Ms, mini marshmallows, or chocolate rocks.
    Healthier: use dried fruit (ripped up apricots would do and should be gluten free too – check to make sure they’re packaged in a peanut free factory if applicable).
    Gluten Free – check the package to confirm, but marshmallows should be gluten free.
    Halal – marshmallows are not appropriate for a child who eats a Halal diet.  But you can buy suitable alternatives – in this case, have the child rip up a few to make rocks.
  3. Do we have the right safety equipment on hand?
    Supplies: cup of water (bucket) and a table fork or spoon (shovel).
  4. Pull back your hair, and make sure you’re not wearing anything that could hang into the fire.  (Find more about fire safety here too).
  5. A good campfire needs kindling – small sticks that will light easily but keep burning for a while.  Build an A frame or other structure.
    Original instructions: Hickory Sticks or small pretzels
    Healthier: whole dried banana chips (should be gluten free and possibly peanut free too) or fresh carrot sticks (matchstick cut).
    Gluten free: Glutino Pretzels (these are expensive!).
  6. Next we need a fire starter (crumpled up paper) – something that will keep burning long enough to catch the tinder on fire.
    Original instructions: Raisins (which should also be gluten free and are healthier)– sprinkle over the fire
  7. And then we need tinder – pieces of wood that are smaller than kindling will catch fire easilyBreak up and sprinkle over fire:
    Original instructions: Hickory Sticks
    Healthier and Gluten Free: Dried bananas would work.
  8. Now we can strike our match  (light imaginary match – be sure to strike it away from your body) to light the fire starter.
  9. Watch the fire start!
    Original Instruction: Place Red candies like Gummy Bears or Swedish berries over the fire
    Healthier: Dried cranberries would be perfect
    Gluten free: Spark Guider Claudia has Celiac and suggests that Swedish Berries, Fuzzy Peaches, Gummy Bears (generally any Manyards brand candies) are fine.  Many also appear to be peanut free (always read the label and check with the parent).
    Don’t use Licorice Nibs though…licorice has wheat.
  10. Now that the fire is going, you want to carefully add larger logs in a log cabin pattern or similar.
    Original Instruction: Breadsticks or bigger Pretzels make good logs
    Healthier and Gluten Free: try strips of dried apple or fresh carrot sticks cut up like logs (or baby carrots cut in half or quarters so they won’t roll around).
  11. Once the fire has been burning for a bit, you get coals – the best conditions for cooking food and roasting marshmallows. 
    Original instruction: Place another redish candy – Hot lips, or Fuzzy Peach and watch the fire burn.
    Other options: Use a different gluten free candy, or dried fruit (apricots or dried strawberries would be nice) from point 9 above.

Now your fire is done.  In our case, this is the last activity before Camp Close – parents are usually arriving.  Girls are instructed to pick up the four corners of the napkin and put the whole thing in a plastic zip bag for the trip home.  It is usually a good photo op for parents and the girls have a snack.

Camp on!

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My Mom found Pinterest a little while ago and she’s obsessed.  But she’s also got good taste (hi Mom!).

For STEM Caboosh, this Slime from Tot Treasures would be fun.   It might be a fun activity for camp too!

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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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I saw this idea from Whatever last week and thought it would be fun…. but not for Brownies.  (I’m an anti-mess kind of Brown Owl).  But it looks like so much fun that I’ll send it on anyway.  You decide if it is a Brownie thing… or maybe just a your family kind of thing. 

Take a look at Whatever’s idea for Shaving Cream Fights.   There are LOTS of great pictures on there too. 

Happy Summer!

 

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Tonight we repeat the very popular Brownies Swim meeting that is based on the retired Brownies Splash challenge from Ontario Council.

Safe Guide Activity Level: Green (as of May 2012)!  We are going during regular public swim, so the pool provides the lifeguards.  And we provide 1:5 supervision in the pool.  No fuss.  Fun.  Awesome.

NOTE – City of Ottawa Pools have rules against unauthorized lessons in the water and against people jumping in from the side of the pool so we got permission to follow this program.  Check with your pool in advance and I expect that they will be accommodating – as long as they know what you’re doing.   And you may qualify for a group rate too!

6:15 – Guider arrival and Girl Check in and change

6:30 – Public Swim opens

  • Group 1 – Swim Test – Girls who wish to swim without a lifejacket must pass a lifeguard supervised swim test (25 metre swim)
  • Group 2 – Lifejackets – everyone else go grab a lifejacket

In to the pool.

6:40 Do Brownie Opening Circle in the shallow end.  Then Break into three groups for Swimming Skills (3 groups).

  • Station 1 – Treading water and HELP position.
  • Station 2 – Swim 50 metres (and if there is time, practice getting in and out of a lifejacket in the water (demonstrates why you should be wearing it before you get into the water)
  • Station 3 – Forward roll into the water.

7:15 – Do Brownie Closing in the water (and the Grand Howl with lots of splashing!)- then games until the whistle blows.

7:30 – Whistle blows – we’re out of the water and begin change until parent pickup.

Believe it or not, this is an easy meeting to make happen.  The girls love it.  And it has some important lessons as girls will be in and around water for the summer.

This is our last regular meeting – next week is advancement!

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