The Free Being Me challenge from WAGGGS aims at “Empowering girls through improving body confidence and self-esteem”. It is similar in scope to the national Love Yourself Challenge. The challenge is structured around a five meeting outline. There are two outlines livable, one for girls from 7-10 and one for girls 11-14. There is also a leaders pack. The packs are beautifully produced with really nice looking hand outs. Most of the activities are only 10-15 minutes long so if you didn’t want to spend 5 whole meetings on this subject you could spread them out over the whole year.
Crests are available from the WAGGGS site in packs of 10.
Graces is a historical game popular in the 1800s. The game is played with a 9″ hoop and four 15″ rods. The hoop is wrapped with ribbons, which makes it both softer and colourful. The two players take two rods each and hold one in each hand. The aim is to pass the hoop back and forth between the players.
To throw the hoop, you cross your rods inside the hoop and raise your arms upwards while uncrossing the rods. The catcher attempts to catch the hoop on one (or both) her rods and then passes it back.
There are companies that make Graces sets. I’ve seen them for sale at some historical sites. But you can make your own but using the inside circle of an embroidery hoop and some dowel.
Letterboxing is the older cousin of geocashing. It got it’s start in Devon England in the 1850’s but only became popular in North America in the 1990’s. In Letterboxing, people hid weatherproof boxes containing a rubber stamp (often hand carved) and a log book. Generally, they are hidden in publicly accessible places that are either beautiful or significant in some way (such as parks, hiking trails etc.). They then publish clues as to where it is hidden. Sometimes these clues require a compass to work out. When someone finds a box they add their personal stamp to the log book and stamp the box’s stamp in their personal log book.
Some ideas on how to use letterboxing in your program:
- Check to see if there are letterboxes hidden on a hike or outing you are planning to take. Clues are often posted to websites such as Letterboxing.org or www.atlasquest.com. They are sorted geographically so you can figure out which ones are near you. You might have a unit stamp and log book that you can take with you.
- Older girls might enjoy carving their own personal stamps. Many letterboxing sites have instructions for this. But this one is aimed specifically at kids: Carving Your Own Rubber Stamps. For younger girls they also have a tutorial on making stamps from corn cushions.
- You could set up a small letterboxing challenge at a camp. Hide 4 or 5 boxes around the camp ground and give the girls booklets to stamp if they can solve the clues.
- Have a community/district/division letterboxing challenge where each unit hides a box or two and sends thier clues to the other units.
To prepare for this, put each clue on a piece of paper and post them around your meeting place. Each girl needs a piece of paper and pencil. On go the girls can wonder around trying to figure out the clues. Give them time to look at each clue and then gather them together to go over the answers.
“You are going on an international trip in this game. Unfortunately you won’t know what country you are visiting until you get there. There are 21 countries which you will visit. Figure out the name of the countries and write down the number of the clue and the country on your sheet.”
- Something you use for frying… Greece
- Used to celebration feasts such as Thanksgiving…. Turkey
- A type of hat….Panama
- A cold cube of terra ferma…. Iceland
- Spicy peppers…. Chili
- The Queen’s husband and trees that stay green…. Philippines
- Myself went quickly…. Iran
- Fishes fingers out of water…. Finland
- Long stick also…. Poland
- A hurt with the plural at the beginning….Spain
- Prickly seed with a parent…. Burma
- Angry Firmament…. Ireland
- Good dishes…. China
- A nut…. Brazil
- A place of numerous bacteria…. Germany
- Harbour second person girl…. Portugal
- Evergreen tree….Cyprus
- What sugar does to sour things…. Sweden
- Stands together and articulates…. United States
- Tin girl…. Canada
- Lair sign… Denmark
Alberta’s Find Your Voice Challenge teaches girls to be active citizens. It teaches the girls the basics of participating in democracy and shows them ways they can be involved in local issues. It also encourages girls to have opinions and to learn to express and spread them. It might be a very relevant challenge to do during or right after an election.
The girls form a long line around the walls of the room or around the outside of a large circle. Two girls at one end hold hands to form a bridge. When the game leader says “go” the girls run, passing under the bridge, and when the game leader blows her whistle, the bridge catches the girl who is passing under it. As soon as two girls are caught, they also form a bridge and catch when the whistle is blown. The game continues until everyone has been caught. The game should only pause for a second or two when the bridge comes down so everyone stays active.