End of the year wrap-up

With the holidays coming up I’m going to take a couple of weeks off blogging.  I’ll be back in the New Year with new Girl Guide Adventures.

So I’ll finish the year with a list of some of my favorite posts and some that have generated the most hits.  Did you miss any of these?

My favorite posts in 2014

Some of the most popular posts in 2014

 

 Have a Happy New Year everyone!

 

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Snow Snake

Snow snakes is a game traditional among the First Nations people of northern Midwest, including the Ojibwe, Sioux, Oneida and other Iroquois people.  It is played by forming a long trough in the snow.  Teams of four then take turns sliding a snake (stick) along the track.  Points are awarded for the longest through.

This video shows how to throw a snow snake.

This video shows how to make a traditional snow snake.

I’ve also seen demonstrations where the snow snake was made out of a broken wooden hockey stick.  The blade and handle were trimmed and the bottom was waxed with cross country ski wax.

I wonder

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Frog Hat Craft

These cute little 3D hat craft frogs are pretty easy to make but they do take some basic sewing skills.

Materials:

  • plastic canvas
  • green wool
  • wool needles
  • googlies eyes

frog

Cut three pieces of plastic canvas into 8 squares x 8 squares.  Cover each piece with green wool using long stitches that go from edge to edge. Put two of the pieces together and stitch along two adjoining sides.  Stitch two sides of the third piece to the other two sides of piece number two.  Leave the other two sides open to make the mouth but stitch along the edges of the mouth opening. Add a loop wool at the top so you can pin it to your hat. Glue on the eyes.

If you want to can add a tongue made from red felt and a little fly made out of clear plastic wings and black pipe cleaner.

Once assembled, if you squeeze the frogs cheeks, the mouth should open and close.

Firestarters

Homemade fire starters are a great “craft” to make before you go camping.  They will help get your campfire going a lot faster and with less frustration.  There are lots of different ways to make firestarters so you can use what you have readily available.

To make fire starters you will need:

  • A burnable cup
    • cardboard egg cartons
    • paper mini-cupcake liners
    • 3 oz paper cups
  • Fill
    • sawdust
    • dryer lint
    • dry pine needles
    • shredded paper
    • dried coffee grounds
  • Wick (optional)
    • matches
    • candle wick
  • wax
    • Commercial paraffin
    • old candles
  • Empty soup can to use as a double boiler
  1. Make sure your cups are on a solid surface.  If you are using cupcake liners, sent time in a cup cake pan.  You may want to cover the surface first in case of spilled wax.
  2. Put the fill in your cups.  You should fill them almost all the way to the top.
  3. If you are adding wicks or matches you want to put them in the center of the fill, sticking upwards.
  4. Always melt wax in a double boiler.  I like to use an old can as the inner pot for easier clean up.  You can squash the can a little before you start to make a pouring spout.
  5. Cover the fill in each cup with hot wax
  6. Wait for them to cool.  If you are using egg cartons you’ll want to cut them apart after cooling.

Surf Safe: Staying Safe Online

I blogged about Ontario’s Cybercitizen Challenge in May.  This WAGGGS challenge covers similar ground but in greater detail.  The challenge is divided into three categories: Connect, Protect and Respect plus a whole section of warm up activities.  I also like that there is a “Taking it further” section to many of the activities.

PDF – English

WAGGGS is offering the crest for free if your unit fills out a short survey about the challenge.  You can find the survey here.

Survival

This is a longer wide game and it takes a lot of set up but can be a fun way to learn about the interaction of animals.

Equipment needed:

tags can be made of bristol board or foam sheets.

  • 12 cans – 6 painted blue for water tags and 6 painted green for food tags. Number each can.
  • Life tags (green) and water tags (blue).  Label each tag with the can number and place in cans.
  • Life tags –  colour coded and marked with animal names.
  • Rabies tags – black
  • shower rings – to hold life tags, food and water tags.
  • Scarves or Headbands – to identify animals.  These can be any colour the ones used below is just an example.

Herbivores

2 each – beavers, rabbits, groundhogs, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, deer
Each gets 6 life tags and a yellow scarf
Each needs 4 food tags and 4 water tags
Must avoid Omnivores, Carnivores, disease and man

Omnivores

2 each – skunks and raccoon
Each gets 4 life tags and a blue scarf.
Each needs 2 food tags, 4 water tags and 4 life tags
Must avoid Carnivores, Disease and Man

Carnivores

2 wolves
Each gets 4 life tags and wears a pink scarf.
Each needs 4 water tags and 8 life tags
Must avoid Disease and Man.

Rabies

Get all the rabies tags and wears a green scarf.
Avoids nothing.
When Rabies tags a animal she takes 1/2 that animals remaining life tags and gives that animal a rabies tag.  When the animal is tagged by another animal they pass on the rabies tag.  If you end up with 2 rabies tags, you died of the disease.

Man

Gets nothing, wants everything, avoids nothing, wears a red scarf.
When Man tags an animal, she flips a coin.  If it is heads, then that time Man is a conserver of nature and the animal goes free.  If it is tails,then Man is a environmental destroyer and takes all the animal’s life tags.  Man catches an animal by calling their name when she sees them.
Man is typically played by a leader or a senior girl helping with the unit.

Set-up

This game is best played in and area with a lot of cover.  Scatter the food and water cans throughout the play area.  You may want to place the water cans near actual source of water like a stream.  Make sure all the players know the play boundaries, and the signal to return. Make sure the girls understand that they can not take more then one water or food tag from the same can.

Timing

Herbivores are released to begin gathering food and water.  After 5 minutes, the Omnivores are released.  After another 5 minutes, the Carnivores are release.  After 10 minutes Disease starts.  Man enters the game 5-10 minutes before the end.

Follow-up

  1. What animal were you?
  2. Were you Herbivore, Omnivore or Carnivore?
  3. Were you killed by other animals?
  4. Did you find enough food?
  5. Did you find enough water?
  6. Were you killed by Rabies?
  7. Which feeling did you experience most often? – fear, caution, frustration, happiness, secretiveness, excitement.
  8. What effect did Man have?  Was it easier to get food and water?  Harder to get food and water? Easier or harder to get around?
  9. What do you think it would be like to be an animal?
  10. What do you think people could do to help animals?

Variations

Some variations have an option for eliminated girls to earn new life tags.  They might have to return to the camp site and complete a chore for example.  This can help the game continue longer.

Some variations have a special rule for deer where they can’t be eaten by the omnivores because they are too big.  In this case they should be given a different colour scarf/headband.

If your unit has been talking about camouflages it can be worth while to let them know about the game ahead of time.  Then they can dress for the location.