Winter Break

I’m going to take a few weeks off over Christmas and New Years.

As I did last year I’ll end 2015 by listing some of my favorite posts of the year and some that generated a lot of hits.

My favorite posts in 2015


Some of the most popular posts in 2015

Happy Holidays, and see you in 2016!

Last Summer I….

This game was designed to fulfill Build Skills in Communication #1

Set up:

Print out scenarios as to what girls could have been up to over the summer (see examples below).  May one copy of each scenario for each patrol and put them in an envelop so that each envelop contains one copy of each scenario.  You will need at least as many messages as you have girls in your largest patrol (but you can use more).

Arrange the girls around the room so that there is one member of each patrol in each clump of girls.  This game will act somewhat like a relay race with each patrol as a team (only speed doesn’t matter).  Give all the envelopes to one clump of girls.

To play:

The girls with the envelops will draw one scenario out of envelop and read it.  Then she will walk to the girl from her patrol in the next group and without showing her the paper, tell her what was on it. The second girl is allowed to ask questions or seek clarifications.  The first girl will keep the envelope and the paper and return to her starting position.  The second girl then goes and gives the information to the third girl and so on until the message travels around the room.   When the final girl in the patrol receives the message, she will take it to the girl who started it and tell her the message.  Then they can compare the message that traveled with the paper.  Finally, the first girl will give the last girl the envelop so once she returns to her position she can start a new message.

After the game:

Ask the girls how accurately the message traveled.  Were there ways they could make sure the message got though more clearly?

Example scenarios:

Last Summer I went to… the beach. I made sandcastles and searched for sea shells. I wore my favorite bathing suit that is purple with green strips on it. We went swimming in the ocean. Afterwards we ate fresh donuts with strawberry filling.

Last Summer I went to… the zoo. My favorite animals were the zebras and the monkeys. I wore my new saddles and they made my feet hurt. The lions roared when we went by their enclosure. We ate cheese pizza and apple juice.

Last Summer I went to… Girl Guide camp. We sang songs and played lots of games. I had to wear my camp hat all the time but it was covered in crafts so I didn’t mind. My favorite activity was the night hike. At campfire we made s’mores and banana boats.

Last Summer I went to… an amusement park. I rode on the Tilt A Whorl and the Ferris Wheel. The roller coasters looked scary but I rode on it anyways and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I wore blue shorts and a red shirt. We ate popcorn and cotton candy.

Last Summer I went to… the park for a picnic. We played on the swings and the climber. I was wearing my green shirt with flowers on it and a pair of jean shorts. For lunch we had sandwiches, cucumber slices and strawberries. After lunch we played tag among the trees.

Last Summer I went to… a pick your own farm. We picked our own potatoes, raspberries and peas. I wore a big straw hat to keep the sun off my face. It was hard work but the raspberries were delicious. After we were done we bought blueberry tarts from the farms store to eat on the way home.

Last Summer I went to… a cottage. There were woods to explore and a lake to swim in. At night I snuggled down under a old plaid wool blanket to sleep. I love to listen to the loons call to each other on the lake. We BBQ’d hot dogs and fish caught fresh from the lake.

Last Summer I went to… my cousin’s wedding. My cousin got married by a golf course and there was a big pond with a fountain in it. I wore a sundress dress that was pale blue with white trim. After the ceremony there was a lunch with fancy shaped sandwiches and cupcakes for dessert.

Flavoured Water

At camp last year we had difficulty keeping the girls hydrated.  The water at the camp is safe but it is from a well and has a lot of minerals in it so it tasted funny to our girls used to city water.  An inexpensive solution presented it’s self when one of the other Guiders chopped up some spare cucumbers and oranges and dumped them into the water jugs.

Fruit flavoured water is quite trendy right now.  You can use any kind of citrus fruit, cucumbers, berries or herbs like mint or basil.  Why not challenge your girls to experiment and come up with their favourites.

If you feeling less adventurous here are some recipes from Buzz Feed.

Patrol Flag meeting

This week we started the meeting with a short evaluation of the enrollment the week before.  I tried out a new idea for evaluation where each girl was suppose to list one thing she want to continue, one thing she want to stop doing and one thing she wanted to add.  It was clear after the first few girls that it wasn’t going to work.  At least not that night with those girls.  So we opened it up to a more free flowing conversation.  The girls generally enjoyed the enrollment but their ideas for things to change next year were good.

Our enrollment this year was on a camping theme.  We took our light up campfire and surrounded it with toasting sticks and sleeping bags. The parents pulled their chairs up around the outside.  It was lovely and cozy.

Then we had each patrol make a patrol flag.  We had them brain storm ideas based on the patrol flag template.  Then they created a rough copy.  And finally they created a good copy on a half sheet of Bristol board.  Most of the patrols worked well together and the flags looked great.  One patrol developed creative differences and a leader had to step in but even they ended up with a flag in the end.

Monashee Area Heart to Heart Challenge

This is another challenge from the Monashee Area in British Columbia.  The Heart to Heart Challenge is about getting out into the community and interact with the public.  There are six sections each of which have their own crest.

  • Help Our Guiding Sisters
  • Caring Community Service
  • Protect Our Environment
  • Helping Hands
  • Trash Clean Up
  • Reduce Hunger

Even if you aren’t interested in completing the challenge, it is a great list of ideas for ways to get out of our meeting rooms and into the community.

Build a water wheel

This is a simple water wheel you can build to learn about water power, either as the historic importance of water wheels or en-route to discussing modern hydro-electric stations.

The instructions are available at  You will need:

  • 4 Styrofoam plates
  • pencil
  • stiff plastic straw
  • 9 small plastic cups
  • masking tape, 1½ inch wide
  • string
  • hose or water container

This might be a great patrol challenge… especially at a warm camp where getting a little wet would be welcome.