First Meeting of the Year

We treated our first meeting of the year as an introduction to the Girls First Program.  As the girls entered we had the Guide GF cheat sheet posted for the girls to take a look at while the parents questions were answered.  Then we gathered the girls around and had a discussion about the new program.  Some of our second and third year girls are a little distressed about the lack of interest badges.  I promised them an opportunity in a few months to express their thoughts on this to the Girls First program team and that seemed to settle them down.

We based our meeting around the following three activities: Why I’m a GuideWould you Rather: Ways to Explore and Stick to the Plan but each of them we varied a little.

I had pre-printed a survey sheet for Why I’m a Guide (on the blog next Monday).  One of the interesting results was that many of our girls first joined Guides because the saw a unit out in the community (selling cookies or on a trip) and thought it looked fun.  They also want to spend more time outside with nature.

Then we played Would you Rather but instead of dotmocracy we did it as a running game (with the two options being different sides of the room).

Finally I used some of the program resource cards stuck to large sheets of paper with green painting tape for the Stick to the Plan.  We didn’t use post-it notes, we just had the girls write on the paper but the resulting ideas were good and the girls seemed to enjoy it.

We ended the meeting but teaching the girls “Go Well and Safely” and Taps.


Sing Ontario Sing 2018-19

This years Sing Ontario Sing theme is Around the World in 80 Songs (although there are less then 80 songs on the list).  Girls must sing songs from all 5 WAGGGS regions (including at least one not in English) to complete the challenge.

New this year to the challenge, the unit that was chosen to write it, created a video for each song with the girls singing it.  This is a great opportunity for Guiders who don’t know a lot of campfire songs to teach some new material to their girls.

You can see all the details here.

Circular Braided Friendship Bracelets.

Friendship bracelets continue to be a popular craft in Guiding and it is easy to see why.  The materials are inexpensive.  The results are often satisfying.  And they are a great way to fill up time at camp or on a long bus trip.

The method of braiding them on a circle of cardboard was new to me (although clearly not new to the world).

There are lots of instructions online but I found the ones at Homemade Gifts Made Easy especially clear.


For older girls or ones who quickly master this easy plan you could introduce them to kumihimo braiding from Japan which takes this basic concept to a really spectacular level:  Braiding Plate Instructions from Weir Crafts

Girl Awards under Girls First

When I first told my Guides about the new Girls First program among the concerns they voiced was whether or not they’d still be able to earn their Lady BP award.  I was glad that I could assure that that they would be able to earn it but the requirements would change a little.  Now we know exactly what the new awards will look like.

My first impression of the changes to the Lady Baden Powell award are quite positive.  The changes are minor but I like them.

There are also documents outlining the equivalency to the current program for girls who are already underway with their challenge.

Girls First Equivalencies

If you are looking for more information on the new program, I highly recommend you start with this document:  A Guide to the Girl Program If you still have questions it is likely that the Girls First Champions are your best resource.

They have also release equivalency charts for each branch.  These chart require a little guess work by the Guiders to figure out where their current girls will sit in the new program.  But they should still give you a good idea.

I’ve used the equivalency charts to add new tags to many of my posts so that you can look up ideas based on the new program.  Some guess work was involved so I will likely update the tags again sometime in the fall.