Edible Soil

I find Guides are very motivated by food.  This activity from the Learning Resources Blog looks like a fun and tasty way to learn about soil composition.

Layer in a clear glass like a parfait. Discuss each layer as you go, then enjoy with a spoon.


  • Whole Oreos per person to represent the bedrock
  • Chocolate and butterscotch chips mixed together to represent the parent material
  • Chocolate pudding to represent subsoil
  • crushed Oreos and Gummy worms to represent topsoil and the creatures who live in it
  • Shredded coconut mixed with green food coloring to represent the organic material
  • Clear cups or glasses

We’re Going Camping! Worksheets

I created these worksheets to help Pathfinders work though the steps to planning a camp.  Some parts might also be helpful to Guides, Rangers or even leaders planning their first camp.

It includes planning sheets for:

  • basic information
  • theme brain storming
  • schedule
  • budget
  • personal kit list
  • group kit list
  • menu
  • shopping list
  • camp duties
  • camp fire
  • Guides’ Own
  • evaluation

We’re Going Camping!

Review: Reptilia Guide Program

What:  Reptilia is a reptile zoo, with two locations outside of Toronto.  We went to the Vaughan location but there is also a location in Whitby.  We participated in their Endangered Species program.  We started in one of their classrooms.  The staff brought in some different animals and used them to discuss why animals become endangered and what we can do about it.  Then we had a tour of the zoo with the staff member. We were lucky that our tour corresponded to an alligator feeding so we paused the tour so the girls could watch that.

I was a little concerned how my Guides would react to the lizards and snakes but they really enjoyed the day.  And at least two of them now want a pet snake.

When: Our program was in October 2018.

Cost:  The Girl Guide program was $15.25 per girl and include 1.5 hours of program and a crest.

Booking: Booking was very straight forward and was conducted by e-mail.  I did run into a slight problem when the second location opened and some of their e-mail addresses changed but I suspect this was a one time issues.

For more information see: https://reptilia.org/scouts-guides/ 

Reptilia also offered sleepovers and now that I’ve seen how the girls reacted to the animals I would consider that in the future.



Over and Under Relay

Patrols line up in a relay-race formations with the girls fairly close together.  Number 1 of each line has a ball or a bean bag which she passes over her head to Number 2, Number 2 passes it between her legs to Number 3, who passes it over her head to Number 4 etc.  As soon as the girl at the end of the line receives the all, she runs to the front of the line.  The first team whose Number 1 girl is back in position wins.

Review: Downsview Discover Center

What: Downsview Park is a former Air Force base that was decommissioned in 1995.  The base has been converted into a park that combines a number of land uses including an urban farming, indoor and outdoor play fields, storm water management, walking paths and natural areas.  There are also a number of former Air Force buildings rented to third party activities.

The Discover Center is the lower floor of a converted administration building, with two classrooms, washrooms and a cloak room.   The classrooms contain a large touch table and a number of nature related activities which the Guides were encouraged by the program facilitator to explore as they arrived and at lunch.  There is also a large aviation themed playground across the parking lot.

The Community Field Trips are 90 minutes in length and you have a choice of a half day program including one activity or a full day program including 2 activities and a lunch break.  They have a wide variety of activities to choose from some of which are limited by time of year and some would suit some age groups better then others. We selected Wonderful World of Trees and Compass Challenge.

In Wonderful World of Trees, the girls were taught tricks for identifying trees in the winter.  Then we went outside to one of the walking trails where the girls were split into small groups.  Each group was provided with a clip board, work sheet and tree guide and they were allowed to wonder though the paths at their own rate finding trees marked with numbers and trying to identify them.  Our Guides did great with most groups successfully identify most of the trees they found.

In Compass Challenge the girls were taught the basics of taking bearings with a compass and then played an outdoor game where they had to use their compass to solve codes.

With both programs we were really impressed both with the teaching methods used by the facilitator and at how absorbed our Guides were in the activities.

When: Our program was in April 2019.

Cost:  The Community Program was $10 per girl for a full day (2 activities) or $7 per girls for a half day (1 activity).

Booking: Booking was very straight forward and was conducted though an online form and follow up e-mails.

For more information see: https://en.downsviewpark.ca/educate/community-field-trips

Note: The road to get to the Discover Center is a little bit hard to find but all our parents reported no problem finding the place with the assistance of a GPS unit.  Also note that the area around the Discovery Center can be a bit windy.

Build Your Best Day

The Canadian 24 Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth, launched in June 2016, are guidelines that recommend the amount and intensity of physical activity, sleep, and limits to sedentary time for children and youth aged 5 to 17 within a 24-hour period.

A healthy 24 hours includes


Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity

An accumulation of at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity involving a variety of aerobic activities. Vigorous physical activities, and muscle and bone strengthening activities should each be incorporated at least 3 days per week;


Light physical activity

Several hours of a variety of structured and unstructured light physical activities;


Uninterrupted 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night for those aged 5–13 years and 8 to 10 hours per night for those aged 14–17 years, with consistent bed and wake-up times;


Sedentary behaviour

No more than 2 hours per day of recreational screen time; Limited sitting for extended periods.


The Build Your Best Day is a fun tool from Participation to introduce girls to these guidelines and discuss how to fit more activity into their day.

You can use an interactive online tool to explore these options at Build Your Best Day

Or you can print out handouts to do it off line at Resources for Educators.