Girl Scouts has developed a series of blog posts for parents on raising awesome girls.
I was particularly impressed with this one: Yes, Your Daughter Just Called Herself Fat Some of the advice would also be good for a leader who has a girl who uses the word “fat” to describe herself at a meeting. Our first inclination to to say something like “no your not” (whether or not she is) or to say “your beautiful” (as if the two are mutually exclusive). As Guide leaders we can emphasis that all bodies are good bodies no matter what their shape.
There are lots of versions of the story of Stone Soup. In each one a traveler comes to a village where no one is willing to share because they don’t have enough. The stranger starts to boil a pot of water and puts a stone (or other inedible object) in the pot. He or she tells each villager who comes by that they are making stone soup but it would be ever so much better with just a little bit of carrots/onions/herbs/etc. Each villager is convinced to contribute the “one thing” the soup is missing. In the end the stranger has a big pot of soup to share with the village.
A Guider I used to work with used this story to make a pot of collaborative soup each year. She’d read the story to the girls one week and tell them that at their next meeting (or sometimes it would be at winter camp) she’d be providing the soup pot and a clean stone. She’d ask each girl to bring something for the soup (vegetables, bullion, herbs etc. ). Whatever arrived at the next meeting was chopped up and put in the soup pot. Everyone would enjoy a mug of soup at the end of the meeting. Be aware of allergies or other dietary restrictions.
Guided meditation can be great way for girls to learn to deal with stress. I’ve heard about some units who invited a yoga instructor to come to their unit to teach girls about gentle exercise and relaxation. However, this resource might not be available to all units. Fragrant Heart has several guided meditations for children that could be an appropriate alternative. Their meditations are avalible for free if you can stream to your meeting place (such as over your phone) or can be downloaded as mp3s for a few dollars. Guided Relaxation for Children is a little over 7 minutes and focuses on general relaxation and reduction of anxiety.
This summer Ontario will host the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. The Ontario Government has put out a lot of material promoting this event including resources for children. The Activity Day Kit caught my eye. It contains ideas for running an activity day such as many schools put on in the spring, with a Pan Am theme. Even if you aren’t interested in running a Pan Am Games themed event, this one might be worth downloading as it contains a lot of games which would be great for any sports themed camp or picnic.
If you are interested in running a Pan Am Games themed event you may also want to check out the Kids ‘n Play program which contains a bunch of other activities that touch on the international and cultural aspects of the games.
This is a fairly simple challenge from New Brunswick and PEI but I adore the cute crests. The challenge is designed to be done over the course of several meetings (or the course of a year).
The challenge requirments can be found here.
Hot off the presses (so to speak) this is a new challenge from the Program team in British Columbia. There are four different crests for different levels of Guiding.
The challenges are packed full of great activities to get the girls moving, discuss body image and thinking about their health. Well worth looking at even if you don’t plan to complete the challenge.
Girls United aims to “highlight the negative impact of social aggression and bullying and create a sense of caring, belonging and mutual responsibility between all girls” This would be a good choice during Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week in November or on a Anti-Bullying Day.