Girls Count

After several years of testing the National Girls Count challenge is finally available to everyone.  It is intended to bring greater financial literacy to all levels of Guides.  The challenge is presented as a series of instant meetings with a different one for each branch.  All the outlines can be found on the Girls Count page.  There is also a background information sheet for the Guiders that includes a cross reference with the program.  The challenge is set up so that Guiders can run it themselves, but they are encourage to invite expert guests in to help.

All the of challenges are divided into three themes:

  • Currency Awareness
  • Purchasing Power
  • Money Management

Crests can be bought from the national shop.

Giant, Wizard, Elf

This game is similar to the Large Scale Rock, Paper, Scissors except it is played in teams.

To play you need four lines (on a gym floor or marked with rope), two lines about 2 m apart in the middle of the playing area and one line several meter behind each of these near the edges of the playing area.

The girls are divided into two teams.  They should practice each of the characters a couple of times before playing.

  • Giants stand on their tip toes with their hands in the air
  • Wizards crouch slightly with the wands pointed at the read
  • Elves duck down with their hands cupped at their ears to make their ears look pointy

To play, each team huddles together and decides on a character to be. Then line up facing each other on the inner lines

The game leader should dramatically count down “3..2..1..transform”, on transform all members of a team take on the character they agreed to

  • Giants squish Elves
  • Elves outwit Wizards
  • Wizards zap Giants

The winning team then chases the loosing team to their outer line. Any member of the loosing team who is tagged becomes a member of the winning team for the next round.  Play continues until everyone is on the same team.

Waterproofing a Sleeping bag

The goal when you are waterproofing a sleeping bag is to ensure that the bag does not get wet either during transportation or at camp. Dry and warm campers are happy campers.  I often find that parents are surprised that we really do expect our girls to carry their own bags.  And at some of the camp site sites we go to, the bus can’t get right to the site so it may be several hundred meters from the bus to the campsite.  So the bag must be waterproof and strong enough that it can take a couple of bounces as the girls take their bag to their campsite.  These are the three options I provide the girls…

Traditional Bedroll


  • ground sheet
  • rope (not the yellow plastic rope it doesn’t knot well)

This may be the most cost effective option and girls often need tarps and rope at camp anyways.  However, I find the parents are really intimidated by this method.

Lined Stuff Sack


  • Large stuff sack
  • Heavy duty plastic bag

If you are using a foam pad, make it into a tube with about a 1.5 foot hole in the middle.  Wrap plastic bag around that and the stuff sack around that.  Put the sleeping bag, pillow, PJs and stuffed bed friend inside the middle of the foam pad.  Twist the plastic bag  closed and stuff the end down the side (or seal it if it is a giant zip lock) and then seal stuff sack.  If you aren’t using foam pads (i.e. staying in cabins) then you can follow this video.

Dry Sack


  • One large dry sack

Make sure it is large enough for your bedding and still has enough room to be properly sealed.  Dry sacks can be the most expensive option but if the girls already have one or if the family does a lot of camping they can be a good option.

Invisible Ink

You will need:

  • Half a lemon
  • a few drops of water
  • q-tips
  • white paper
  • heat source – an high watt incandescent bulb, radiator, hot plate or even a campfire.
  1. Squeeze the lemon into a small bowl and then mix in a few drops of water.
  2. Use the q-tip to write a secret message on the paper.
  3. Wait for the paper to dry.
  4. If you want you can use a pencil to write a decoy message as well.
  5. Hold the paper over the heat source (be careful not to get so close you burn yourself or your message)
  6. The lemon juice will oxidize and the message can be read.

If you don’t have a heat source available you can use Homemade PH solution.  After the lemon juice is dry, paint the whole page with the cabbage juice.  The writing will be a different colour from the rest of the page.

As an extension to either method, you can try other acidic liquids (apple juice, orange juice, vinegar) to see if they will also work.