Tidy Tent Award

When I was a girl I remember my Guiders had a small banner that read Tidy Tent Award that they hung outside the first tent at camp to be all cleaned up.  We re-institued this with our unit last spring but instead of a banner one of our Guiders bought a colourful dustpan and brush from the dollarstore and then went to town on it with a glue gun and a bag of gem stones.  The blinged up result was a big hit with our girls and they worked hard to be the tent (or room) that got to display the award for the day.

Finding North without a Compass

This article from wikihow nicely illustrates how several methods for finding north if you are without a compass (or materials to make one).  It is best to have several tricks up your sleeve as they are often dependent on factors like the sun or stars.  Some of the ideas covered include:

Stick Method

Put a stick into the ground and mark the end of the shadow with a pebble.  Wait 15 min and mark the new end of the shadow.  Stand with one foot on each pebble and the stick behind you.  You’ll now be facing north.


The star Polaris (or North Star) is approximately north and is visible throughout the Northern Hemisphere.  Find Polaris and then draw a mental line straight down to the horizon.

Observe Nature

Moss often (but not always) grows on the north side of trees where it is the most shaded.

Camp Magic

Camp Magic burns with the pattern of fire
Some years it burns like a bonfire
Stoked with fuel that’s aged and ready
And some years the flames die down
Because the fuel burns away
Down to the last ember
Its time spent – until so few flames are left
That their tiny blue presence is hard to detect
But the essence is there
It takes new fuel to rebuild a fire
And new staff is fuel
Too full of outside life, to blaze life fuel from the past
The new fuel needs time to dry itself out
Of all the world’s bigotry, hatred, negativity
But once it’s on the fire for awhile
Its dampness dissipates
And the new fuel begins to blaze
Different than before, but just as brilliant
The trick is to add the new fuel as the fire burns
Not to wait to rebuild from ashes
The fire will never remain the same
And some years it will burn more
Brightly than other
But all the essence will still be contained
In the bed of ashes underneath
Just like the Indians, at the end of every year
One small ember in a protective green leaf
And put it in a safe place in our hearts
That way next year all we have to do
Is find some teeny tiny tinder and put it
On out cherished ember and blow

Jamie Moe

International Day of the Girl Meeting

This week we completed the WAGGGS #teamgirl challenge for International Day of the Girl.

We started the meeting by having each patrol look at cards with the  Need/Want items on them.  Each patrol separated the cards into two piles and then after horseshoe we asked how each patrol had categorized each item.  For some there was no debate (fizzy drinks are a want, clean water a need) but for others there was more debate.  I asked a few questions a long the way too to challenge their thinking.  For example, the girls all agreed that a garden was a want until I asked if their answer would change if the garden was a major source of food for the family.  Pretty flowers are a want but vegetables are a need they all agreed.

We followed that up with short discussion about barriers for girls attending school around the world.  I was impressed by how much our girls already knew about the subject.

Then we played the giant board game included in the package.  Some of the squares were pretty difficult for Guide age girls but the hardest one was staying quiet until your next turn.

We finished up by having each patrol draw posters of what they liked best about school and what they would miss if they couldn’t go to school any more.

The Quiet Fire

by Sushana Vittaldev


Quiet is the fire,
Quiet are the dreams,
Quiet are the passions, the laughter and the streams.
Quiet is the fire that sooths the moment.
Quiet is the fire it’s like a snow bird in flight,
Lie still, lie still and take in the moment.
For we shall remember how to dream,
it’s like watching a Quiet is the fire…
For a quiet fire is like timeless echoes in the winds.
A quiet fire can soothe a lonely soul in passing.
Quiet is the fire…
A quiet fire can take you over in a moment, it is magic,
A quiet fire can burn deep within your soul for hope,
For peace and for love,
Quiet is the fire to hear a silent whisper and think of love.
Quiet is the fire.
Quiet is the moment
Quiet is the time for laughter
Quiet is the time for hope
Quiet is the time for passion

Paracord Bracelet

Paracord Bracelets are both attractive and useful.  In an emergency they can be un-knotted for 7 or 8 feet of rope.  Paracord comes in different weights and if you intend to use the rope for survival purposes go for a heavier gage.  I was able to buy a big bag of multi-coloured buckles from Amazon at a good price.  Other units bought kits at a dollar store but those clips were smaller and more fragile.

The knot will be familiar to anyone who has done macrame before.  We found it useful to have the girls mark one of their knoting ropes either with a small knot at the end or a piece of tape.  Then it was easy for them to remember that one rope always went over and one rope always went under no matter what side they started the knot on.

Lexique du Guides du Canada

This document is very useful for French speaking or Bilingual units.  However, if your English speaking unit is working on the Interpreting Badge you may also find this list of Guiding terms in French from the Quebec Provincial Council useful.  If could be great fun to uses some of these words in skits and it would give the girls a challenge they wouldn’t find in their school’s french class.

Lexique du Guides du Canada

Review: Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak

What:  A guided canoe trip around the Toronto Islands in a voyager canoe.  The afternoon stared with instructions for the girls on safe life jacket use, paddling technique and how to enter the canoe.  As we paddled the guide told us stories about the islands and pointed out wildlife.

It was great having the most of the unit in one canoe and a great way to introduce girls to paddling.

The guide was a veteran of the Harbourfront summer camp program so he was great with the age group of our Guides.

When: We went at the very end of September.  They open again for tours in the spring.

Cost:  We paid $25/girl plus $100 extra for the guide and canoe to meet us on the islands to comply with Safe Guide regulations regarding distance from shore for Guide age paddlers.  Older girls could start and finish at Harbourfront.

Booking: We booked though http://paddletoronto.com/.  They were really great about communication both at booking time and in a the few days leading up to our event.