Posts Tagged ‘Stargazing’

This is another rushed post, but tonight we’re going to the rural home of a Guiding family to go for a walk in the woods to try to look at some stars.  This sounds like a fairly simple meeting, but the truth is, I’ll bet some of our city kids may not have seen “proper” stars.  Tonight we’re going to do an arrival game, then take a walk for 30 minutes or so with an eye to identify some stars, and then return to their yard for a real (with fire!) campfire.  All very exciting novelties.

If you’re planning your own Stargazing meeting, one of my first posts on this blog included a link to a Planisphere and some information about Constellations. Both are extremely useful if you’re able to incorporate them into the meeting.

Post Meeting Update: It was cloudy.  But we made the most of it.  Our hosts Owen and Emma improvised, and, rather than a walk under the stars, we had a walk in the woods – WITHOUT FLASHLIGHTS.  Yes.  We developed our night vision and girls got to “see” that we don’t need light to see.  We had a great discussion about the creatures in the woods at night – how a deer could practically run through the forest, while humans are required to tippy toe and feel our way a bit. It turned out that we could see better in the woods at night with good night vision and the reflected light of the city on the clouds.  But the clouds broke for a brief second so we did see one star.  It was pretty cool.

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One of my favourite non-Guidey blogs is by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot (it is a knitting blog).  When she gets overloaded to a point where she can’t write up a proper post, she’ll write up a “Randomly” one.  And that’s what you get today.

  1. Key to STEM is one of my very favourite keys.  We did Building Up and People in Science (mostly as a copy of the one we did two years ago).
    Building Up Spaghetti and Marshmallows
  2. Tonight we’re bucking the trend of a Halloween Party.  None of the Owls are big fans of the spooky holiday – but here’s what we did in 2012 in case you’re interested.  Instead, tonight we’re holding a Science and Sleuth night.  We’re mostly using the free Mystery Themed meeting kit found on http://www.e-patchesandcrests.com.  We suggested that the girls could wear Scientist or Detective Type costumes (or as a minimum – wear play clothes and have a man’s shirt over the top).  And instead of doing the last item on the list, we’re going to do Blue Goo in honour of Caboosh next week.
  3. If you’re going to do Blue Goo (and oh, please do), make sure you have a source for Borax in advance.  Loblaws and Walmart (in South Ottawa) did not carry it (update – found it in Loblaws Elmvale).  I’ve heard Sobey’s and Metro are good places to go.  It turns out that I had some in Brownie Mountain.  Phew.   I did a test “Goo” and have been playing with it at work all day.  Totally fun.
  4. If you’re on centralized banking in Ontario, a good way to frustrate your treasurer is to lose your mind mix up your Brownie card with your personal Visa. I’m going to write a cheque for the personal groceries I accidentally bought with the Brownie Card, and expense the Brownie groceries I paid for on my personal card.  Yeesh.  Not my shining moment.
  5. Next week we’re hoping to do STEM: Stargazing at the rural home of one of our past Guiders – but if it is rainy or cloudy, our backup plan is to do STEM: Caboosh.  The links are to our previous meetings.

And there you are.  =)

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Our original plan was to meet at the home of a Guiding and outdoorsy family who lives south of the city so that our urbanite girls could get a real look at the stars.  Because of cloud last week, and now rain this week, we weren’t able to go.  Darn!  The “Be Prepared” backup plan had the Brett family coming to us instead.  The meeting turned out really well.  Here’s what we did:

6:30 – Arrival Game: we played Mouse Trap 
Because we’ve got so many girls it is clear that we must run out the sillies before meetings.  Especially becuase we had guests.   This was a perfect new game for the girls.  They had fun.  And it tired them out.  
Running Games: Do you have any to suggest?  We’re going to try: Old WitchScatterballSnowball fight (we’ve used this as a Canada game too – really funny); The Yell (Scream Race); Time Bomb (we’ve used this before – so much fun.  And funny for the Guiders to watch too); What Time is it Mr. Wolf? ; Wolf Tag; and Streets and Alleys .

6:40 – Circle Time

6:50 – Brownie circle

7:00 Program: Reach for the stars.  The Bretts lead the girls through the different types of stars, then they showed them constellations.   And then we looked at Planispheres. 
We didn’t need this, but we had some constellation stories ready

7:15 Make your own planisphere   Review: Huge Hit

Big thank you to Owen, Megan, Katherine and Emma!  You guys rock!

7:40 Campfire!  Finally.  We did one!  Fire’s burning.  Tall Trees.  Moose Song.  Littlest Worm.  On My Honour.

Option for next time:

Measure out your own to scale Solar System. 
I made this up converting the distances between planets using my limited math skills.  It may not be exactly to scale, but who is going to know?
You need: a LONG hall (total space covered is 19 Meters/62 feet), measuring tapes.
Option 1: Use a long rope (19 meters) and some coloured string or tape to mark out the  different planets.  
Option 2: Make the girls be the planets – but the first few are going to have to squish in (and they’ll think that’s fun, I bet).

Girl 1 = the Sun.  She is the starting point.
Girl 2 = Mercury.  She stands 25 cm (10 inches) from the Sun. (Very close to the sun – too hot to live on)
Girl 3 = Venus.  She stands 25 cm (10 inches) from Mercury. (Still too close to the sun)
Girl 4 = Earth.  15 cm (6 inches) from Mercury.  (Just right)
Girl 5 = Mars.  Another 30 cm (12 inches) from Earth.  In reality it will take the Curiosity Rover until next August (sent out Nov 2011) to get there!
Girl 6 = Jupiter.  2.3 Meters (7 feet, 6.5 inches) from Mars.
Girl 7 = Saturn.  2.8 Meters (9 feet, 2 inches) from Jupiter (could have girls make a ring around Saturn!)
Girl 8 = Uranus.  6.5 Meters (21 feet, 3 inches) from Saturn.
Girl 9 = Neptune.  7 Meters (22 feet, 11 inches) from Uranus. 
How big is that?  It would actually take you 10 years to travel from the sun to Uranus.

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STEM – Stargazing

Here is a link to a Planisphere which is a guide to what you’re looking at in the night sky.

And this is a link to information about Constellations


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