This is another historical observation game. The girls stand in a circle with their hands behind their back, they are the cobblers. One girl is selected to go in the middle, she is the customer. She takes off one shoe and hands it to a cobbler and says “Cobbler, cobbler, mend my shoe, Get it done by half past two.” The customer then closes her eyes. The cobblers pass the shoe around the circle until someone hides it behind her back. The then cobbler who started with the shoe says “The shoe is lost!” Then the customer opens her eyes and tries to figure out who has the shoe. If the cobblers think she is getting close they can try to pass the shoe behind their backs.
A more modern take on this would be Bob the Weasel
This is a camp activity that is a lot of fun. On Friday night give each girl a secret mission she needs to complete over the course of the weekend (we told them to start Saturday morning). Examples would include, “find out the birth date of everyone in your patrol”, “Pretend to caught until you can get someone to get you a glass of water”, “Get everyone in your patrol to sing ______ song.” etc. They can be a silly as you’d like but they should be respectful. Tell the girls that even once they are finished their mission they aren’t to tell anyone. Then on Sunday at closing as all the girls who completed their mission to stand up and say what their mission was.
I have found that Guides’ Own can be a hard concept to explain to someone who hasn’t participated in one. And it can be hard to understand how to put one together. I developed this planning guide to help my Guides (and Rangers) put together a Guides’ Own.
Guides’ Own Planner
This game is a variation of one that appears in Scouting for Boys. BP’s original instructions are:
Send the Patrol out of the room.
Take a thimble, ring, coin, bit of paper or any small article, and place it where it is perfectly visible, but in a spot where it is not likely to be noticed. Let the Patrol come in and look for it. When one of the Scouts sees it, he should go and quietly sit down without indicating to the others where it is.
After a fair time he should be told to point it out to those who have not succeeded in finding it.
We used buttons and instead of hiding just one, we hide 15. The girls spread out looking for the buttons. None of the buttons were hidden in such a way that anything had to be moved to see them but some were more hidden they others. When a girls thought she knew where all 15 were, she sat down. Once half the unit was sitting we called the game to a halt and had the girls who sat first go one by one to bring a button back.
Plans for the new Girls First program are steaming ahead. My Guide unit was a test unit. The feedback we got from the girls on the test meetings was very positive and it has made me really excited to see the complete program. The Girls First Champions have completed their training and hopefully Canadian units will hear from their champions soon.
For anyone who hasn’t been keeping up on all the latest I’d recommend checking out the Girls First website. Or you can look a these highlights
Ciphers and codes can be a fun way to discuss communications and mathematics. This video discribes one of the simplist ciphers the Caesar Cipher.
To present this to my Guides I discussed the Caesar Cipher and then had each girl make her own decoding ring using this pattern. The girls could then practice coding and decoding messages for each other.
I learned this game from the 2018 Thinking Day challenge from WAGGGS. Our girls had a great time playing. We ended up splitting the group into four teams and had them play at opposite ends of the room. Then after a few rounds we swapped which teams were playing against each other so they could try their strategies on different opponents.
This game requires concentration, communication, strategy and powers of observation. Split your group into two teams. Have the teams sit in two parallel lines facing each other about a metre apart.
Each line receives a coin which is passed or appears to be passed down the line. Each person can pass the coin or just appear to pass it on. Hands must be kept in front of the body.
Both lines pass at the same time. The participants should be watching the other team, not their own, to see if they can figure out where the coin stops.
When the passing reaches the ends of the lines, each group huddles to choose who on the other team has the coin. Then ask the teams to come back and sit in their original lines. The head of the line gets up and goes to the end of the line and this repeats until everyone has a chance to lead the line.