All the players line up at one side of the room except the “octopus” who stands in the middle with a ball. On a signal, the players run from one side of the room to the other. The octopus tries to hit one with the ball. If a player is hit, she sits down where she was hit and stretches her arms out to either side. The next time the players run thought the field, the sitting players can also tag girls who run past but the must stay sitting where they were tagged. The winner is the last girl remaining uncaught.


“Man has always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much…the wheel, New York, wars and so on…while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man…for precisely the same reason.”

– Douglas Adams

Tin Foil Boat Challenge

This is a simple engineering challenge you can do as a patrol challenge.


  • a piece of heavy duty tin foil per patrol (make sure they are all the same size)
  • some weights such as nickles, washers etc.  Just make sure you have a lot of them and they are a consistent weight
  • a tub of water.


Each patrol will use their foil to make a boat. The purpose of the boat is to hold up as much weight as possible without sinking. They should be given the opportunity to test their boats out in the water at iterate their design.  You might want to make additional pieces of foil available for subsequent designs.  At the end, test each patrols best boat with the weights and declare a winner.

Follow up:

Discuss some of the design choices they had to make such as bottom surface area vs height of the sides.  You can also see how well the best boats do if you add wind (a hair dryer should do the job) or other conditions.

Plan an Outdoor Activity

For Learn about Leadership in a Group #3.

During patrol time, each patrol was given a chance to pick an activity from some of the cards found in Instant Activity Cards by Arizona Girl Scouts.  Once they picked an activity they think will be fun, they planed what they will need to run the activity and who would do what to run it.

The next week we went outside and gave each patrol time to run their activity.

DIY Challenge

This is a fundraising challenge from the 1st Penparcau Brownies in the UK.  As with any UK challenge run by a unit, check that the crests are still available and discuss with them the trans-Atlantic shipping costs before starting the challenge.   Whether you order the crests or not the challenge has a lot of great activities to get girls using tools.  The activities are divided up into three stages of difficulty, so Sparks might want to do stage one activities and Pathfinders might want to try stage 3 activities. Details on the challenge requirements and ordering can be found on the 1st Penparcau Brownies Website

Sticky Popcorn Tag

This version of tag similar to any other. Before you begin you should set boundaries, declair someone to be it and let everyone else spread out. In this game all the players must jump or hop as they move around. When It tags someone, they stick to It and are now both It. Once the It clump has reached it’s forth member they break into two clumps of two. So there should never be clumps of more then 3 moving together. When there is only one remaining person not tagged, they win and can be it for the next round.


Dotmocracy is a process where by girls vote on ideas with dot stickers.

  1. Discuss the nature of the problem or idea
  2. Have the girls brain storm (as a group or in patrols) and write each idea on a different piece of paper.
  3. The papers are then posted on a wall.  If different patrols came up with the same idea those papers can be posted together.
  4. Each girl is given the same number of stickers.  They don’t have to be dots.  Especially if you are doing this with Sparks they might enjoy something else.
  5. Each girl can stick her dots on whatever idea she likes the best.  She is allowed to stick more then one sticker on an idea so that if she feels really passionate about one idea she can stick more stickers on that.
  6. You can iterate steps 3-5 several times if you need to reach a conscience.

We used this for Discover What’s Important to You #1 but there are lots of other applications. For older girls or for more complex problems you might want to consider using Idea Rating Sheets instead.

Do or Don’t Clothes Pin game

I got this idea from Bluenose Guider’s blog where she used it to talk about etiquette when selling cookies at a Cookie Rising Meeting.  I immediately used the idea for a discussion on netiquette during a meeting about being responsible online.  But the game could be used for many occasions when there is a list of dos and don’ts.


  • list of dos and don’ts
  • wooden clothes pins (1 per item on the list per patrol)
  • fine tip markers
  • “Do | Don’t” signs

To prepare:

  1. For each item on the list of dos and don’ts write it on a clothes pin but leave off the Do or Don’t.  For example: If you want to say “Do say please and thank you” then on the clothes pin you write “say please and thank you”.
  2. You need to make one set for each patrol so if you have 4 patrols you will need four clothes pins with “say please and thank you” on them.
  3. To make set up easier, assign a colour to each patrol set and flip the clothes peg over and put a coloured dot or line on each one.  Then you can easily sort out each patrols set.
  4. Finally, make one sign per patrol that says Do on one side and Don’t on the other.

To run the activity:

  1. Have the girls line up in relay race lines at one end of the room.
  2. Put each patrols pile of clothes pins on the floor half way across the room
  3. Put the”Do | Don’t” signs at the far end of the room
  4. On “go” the first girl from each patrol will run to the pile of clothes pins and pick one up.  She will then run to the end of the room and read her clothes peg.  If she thinks it is a “do” she will clip it to the “Do” side of the sign.  If she thinks it is a “Don’t” then she clips it to the “Don’t” side of the sign.
  5. Then she runs back to her patrol and tags the next girl.
  6. Once all the teams have pinned all their clothes pins to the signs, have them discuss their choices.

Be Prepared Not Scared

Be Prepared Not Scared is an emergency preparedness challenge from Alberta. It has two mandatory sections (Learn and Do) and a third optional section (Safe Guide).

This challenge is less structured then the Emergency Preparedness Challenge from Ontario.

While looking for information on the challenge I came across a similarly title booklet from the Red Cross and Federal Government that would provide a useful resource for the challenge:  Be Prepared Not Scared: Emergency Preparedness Starts with You.  And I also found this similarly useful resource from Alberta Health Services: Personal and Family Disaster Preparedness Guide.