Time Capsules

I’ve been looking for a way to make time capsules with my Guides.  I had trouble wrapping my mind around this one.  If we made one and opened it years later it wouldn’t really be very interesting for the girls who were then part of the unit.  So I wanted to make it personal.  Something the girls could take home and keep until it made sense to open them.  I came across this file for a similar project for Cub Scouts.

So I made up a written time capsule for my Guides.  Each girl was given an envelope to decorate.  We asked each girl to pick a date in the future she thought would be meaningful to open their envelope on.

Download Time Capsule 

Look up at the Stars

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” – Stephen Hawking

Earth Day Instant Meeting

The next Make a Difference Day on the schedule in Earth Day.   National has released an instant meeting for those looking to mark it with their unit.

You can find the instant meetings here.  There are separate meetings for each branch.  Each meeting has an opening and closing activity and activities under two themes: “Healthy Earth, Healthy Us” and “Share and Protect”.

3D Animal Tracks

This website contains 3D models of many Canadian Animal tracks.  They create the models by taking many (20 plus) photos of a track found in the wild from different angles.  In addition to the digital 3D models they also have created 3D printer STL files so if you have access to a 3D printer you can print out the models to show kids in the field.  The site also has instructions for taking your own photos of tracks you may come across to add to their database.  That might be a fun project for Pathfinders or Rangers.


The 3d animal tracks project

Famous Pairs

You will need a list of famous pairings such as salt and pepper, spaghetti and meatballs, Mickey and Minnie or hammer and nails.  In picking your pairs it is important to consider what the girls would have heard of.   Write each half of a piece of paper.  Shuffle the papers.  Then, without the girl seeing the paper, tape one paper to each girls back.  The girls have to then mingle, asking each other yes or no questions about the name on their back.  For example: “Am I a person?”, “Am I an object?”, “Am I blue?”.  When they think they know who or what they are, they seek out their partner and sit down.

Hand Signals

I was looking for something else in an online copy of Scouting for Boys, when I came across a section on hand signals that would be familar to most modern Guiders:

Hand or Flag held straight up over head, means “Stop”, “Halt”

The book also included several other hand signals which some modern units might find useful:

Hand or flag held high and waved very slowly from side to side, at full extent of the arm means “Close in”, “Rally”, “Come here”

Hand or flag held high and waved very slowly from side to side at full extent of arm means “Extend”, “Go farther out”, “Scatter”.

Hand waved several times across the face from side to side, or flag waved horizontally from side to side opposite the face means “No”, “Never mind”, “As you were”

When a leader is shouting an order or message to a Scout who is some way off, the Scout, if he hears what is being said, should hold his hand level with his head all the time, If he cannot hear, he should stand still making no sign.  The leader will then repeat louder or beckon to the Scout to come nearer.

The first three could easily be practiced as a running game.

Plaster Animal Tracks

You will need:

  • Plaster of Paris
  • Something to mix in suck as large plastic bags or old ice cream tubs
  • A stick or paint stir stick
  • tracks in mud or snow
  • Cardboard  strips (optional)
  • Vaseline (optional)


  1. Find or make tracks.  Ideally you locate tracks in nature that have been made by wild animals.  However, you can use an old cast to press new tracks.  This makes a handy backup plan if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to find good tracks or if you have a large unit.
  2. Clear away any brush or debris from around the track, so you have a clean work area.
  3. If you wish, create a cardboard collar around the track to limit the spread of the plaster.  Coat the inside of the collar in Vaseline so it can be removed later.
  4. Mix your Plaster of Paris.  Follow the instructions on the package but in general you are looking for two parts plaster to one part water.  You will need to work quickly to make you mold before the plaster starts to dry.
  5. Pour your plaster over the track.
  6. Allow at least 20 minutes to dry.  If it is cold or really wet this may take longer.
  7. Once the plaster is dry, pry it up off the ground and rinse off extra dirt in water.

Here is a video showing a similar technique: