You could not prevent a thunderstorm, but you could use the electricity; you could not direct the wind, but you could trim your sail so as to propel your vessel as you pleased, no matter which way the wind blew.
-Cora L. V. Hatch
I always pick a theme for camp because among the myriad of activities you could do at camp, I find a theme helps me (and/or the girls) focus on what to do at this particular camp. I was recently discussing this with a fellow Guider and she was worried that themes sometimes take away from girls time to just enjoy nature. So I thought I’d put together this simple theme to show how you can do both.
This theme would also work really well for multi-branch unit camps or multi-unit camps as many of the ideas and activities could easily be done by Sparks or Brownies.
If you wanted you could easily add in activities from the Polar Challenge as well.
Theme: Ice and Snow
This outline is for an residential winter camp.
- Art Studio
- My Physical Self
- Science Lab
Opening and Closing
There is an often sited “fact” that the Inuit have 52 words for snow. That idea has been largely discredited by modern linguists as to find 52 different words you have to count the same word in multiple dialects. That said, both the Inuit and English speaking Canadians have a lot of words and phrases for ice and snow.
Put up a large blank sheet of paper at the beginning of camp and challenge the girls to write as many words for ice or snow as they know. At the end of camp, count up how many words they came up with. Did they get to 52? You can check this list or this one if you need to extra words to fill out the list or to get the girls going.
- make snow angels or snow moose (one boot print and two glove prints)
- snowflake identification
- Build snowmen and/or snow forts
- Discuss hypothermia and frost bite – prevention, symptoms and first aid
- Go for a hike though the snow and try and identify some animal tracks
- make “hot ice” hand warmers
- snow snake
- freeze tag
- Coloured Ice Scavenger Hunt (From Winter 2019 Canadian Guider)
Here is one more offline programming game from Canada Learning Code. Speed Stacker creates a 6 symbol program language for stacking cups. One girl acts as the programmer and writes the symbols on a piece of paper, while her partner (who does not know what the finished structure is suppose to look like) tries to follow the instructions to built it. There is even an extension for turning it into a competitive game once the girls have the hang of it.
You can’t get too much winter in the winter.
– Robert Frost
My mother used to make snowflakes very similar to these ones with her Guides. They are not hard if your Guides are confident knotters. But I’d suggest making a craft like Paracord Bracelets first before plunging into this one. Once they have the basic knot down they should be able to make the snowflakes with a little work.
Here are two cute short films about serious issues
The Plastic Free Challenge is a new Challenge from Nova Scotia. The focus is to teach girls about the problems associated with single use plastic items and get them to think about long term solutions. There is a separate list of activities for each branch but each branch has to do an opening and closing activity and then one activity from each activity area: At Home, In the Community and In Nature.
This challenge would pair well with a shoreline cleanup service project.
I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
―Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass