Connect with West Coast Area

I wish I’d heard about this earlier, however, this sounds like a great initiative by the West Coast Area in British Columbia.  The idea is for units to make simple postcards out of white index cards.  Mail them to a volunteer in the WCA and she will send you back postcards from another unit.  There are also crests you can order to celebrate your participation (free for members of WCA and $1.50 for units else where in the country).

Connect with West Coast Area

National Mental Health Week Instant Meeting

National has released the last of the promised instant meetings for the Make a Difference Days. This time it is for National Mental Health week May 2-8th. Activities include a worry wall, colouring, yoga, mindfulness etc.

National Mental Health Week Instant Meeting

There isn’t a specific crest for this Make a Difference Day. But if you are interested in exploring this topic deeper with your unit, I’d recommend taking a look at the Mental Health Awareness Challenge produced by the International Bipolar Association.

Stress Balls

Two make a stress ball you will need:

  • flour
  • wide mouth plastic bottles (like the ones used for Gatorade)
  • latex balloons
  • metal teaspoons
  • Sharpie markers (optional)

This craft works well if the girls work in pairs.  I’d also recommend I high supervision ratio so you may want to make this part of a round robin of activities with one Guider supervising two or three pairs of girls at most.  You will need one bottle and one teaspoon per pair, but they can be reused by the next group.  Prepare the bottles by cutting off the bottoms so they form a wide mouth funnel.

stress ball

Each girl should pick three balloons of the same colour and cut the bottoms off them.

One girl should stretch one of her balloons over the mouth of the bottle.  It is important that the balloon be pulled up over the twist grooves as they will help it stay on.

Then carefully add flour to the funnel.  The first 1/4 cup or so will fall easily into the balloon.  After that it may be necessary to use the back of the spoon to pack the flour down.  This is wear the team work comes into play while one girls is holding the balloon firmly to the the mouth of the funnel and the other girl is packing the flour down.  Ultimately we found that 3/4 cup of flour made for a nice sized ball.

Carefully slide you ball off the funnel and have your partner stretch out another balloon to place over top of the hole.  Add a third balloon the other direction to make it even stronger.  Finally you can decorate your stress ball with permanent markers.

This video shows a slightly different technique for the same end product.  I think my system was slightly less messy but this one might be easier for the girls.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities Instant Meeting

December 3 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the second Make a Difference Day.  Girl Guides of Canada has put out an instant meeting for anyone who wishes to mark this day in their unit.  This year’s theme is Breaking Barriers: Accessibility for All.  Activities include an Accessibility Audit and activities to understand better what it might be like to have a different kinds of disability.

Micro-bead Alternatives

Micro-beads found in cosmetics are a growing environmental concern.  This short film from The Story of Stuff outlines the problems with them.

You can learn more at beatthemicrobead.org.

Making a home made scrub product using a natural alternative to micro-beads is one fun way girls can take action on this issue. (As an added bonus they will likely be cheaper then commercial products).  There are lots and lots of recipes available online and they can make great gifts or be part of a spa night.

I quite like the sound of this one…

  • contents of 5 chai tea bags
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Cut open tea bags and empty into a medium sized bowl. Add sugars and cinnamon and mix well. Add vanilla, honey, and coconut oil. Mash coconut oil in with a fork and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Transfer to jar, seal, and label.

It is always best to keep home made cosmetics in the fridge when you aren’t using them. And be sure to check for allergies in your unit before trying any cosmetic activities.

Preparing for Enrollment

We prepared for enrollment over two meetings.  Both meetings followed a similar format.

We started both weeks with a short patrol challenge from the Girls United challenge. One week they played broken telephone.  It was raining out an many girls were running a little late so it took them a while to settle in but I think they all enjoyed it.  Most patrols had one or fewer messages make it around the circle intact. The other week they wrote a recipe for friendship.  Each patrol read their recipe at horseshoe and they were really great.

For the rest of the meetings we split our unit up into three groups.

The first group were those girls who haven’t been enrolled yet.  They made Law Fortune Tellers.  And played a series of games to learn about the promise, reef knots etc.

The next group were those girls who were enrolled last year.  They are working on their Event Planner badge by planning enrollment.  The girls picked a Candyland Forest theme.  They have made props and invitations.  Planned the refreshments and campfire.

The final group were those girls who will be working on their Lady BP challenge this year.  We discussed what they needed to do for the challenge and went over their record sheets so they could see where they stand now.  Then they worked on part 2, reading about the life of Lady BP.  They wanted to create an illustrated time line of her life.  I gave them a long piece of paper and lots of photos printed from the internet.  We’ll put it on display for the enrollment.