Origami Boomerang

I find video to be a useful tool for learning Origami and they can often achieve a better angel then I could demoing it on a table.  This one is pretty easy but takes some precision.


Gel Candles

 We made these candles at a recent camp with Pathfinders and Rangers but I think with a little more supervision Guides could easily make them. These are a nice option in place of other kinds of candle making as each one ends up very unique.

The wax is fairly expensive so it is important to keep the glass containers small and encourage the girls to fill their container at least 1/3 full of embedded material to ensure you don’t blow your budget.  We also discovered that it is important not to stir the wax while it is melting.  That added too much air to the wax and caused the candles to be a little cloudy.  I would also heat the wax straight on the heat rather then in a double boiler and unlike regular candle wax, the gel wax is easier to clean off the pot.


  • 1 clear glass or jar per candle
  • gel wax
  • gel wax wicks
  • stuff to embed in the candles such as sand, shells, glass pebbles, or flowers
  • gel candle dye (optional)


  • melt pot
  • heat source
  • glue gun
  • pencils or sticks
  1. Cut a piece of wick and secure it to the bottom of the container with hot glue.  Tie the other end to a stick to keep it from falling in the container.
  2. Decorate the bottom of the container with embedded objects.  While use of the gel candle should be stopped when it burns down near the embedded material it is still a good idea to use materials that will either not burn or will burn safely.  If necessary you can use another small drop of hot glue to secure the pieces in place but this is best avoided if possible.
  3. Melt the gel wax on the heat source.  Keep a close eye on it.  Once melted it can catch fire easily.  Keep a method to smoother fire close at hand.
  4. Pour gel wax into containers.
  5. Once the wax is cooled, trim the wick.


Hydration at Camp

Very little wrecks a fun day outside faster then dehydration. I can still picture a Pathfinder I worked with 20 years ago sitting in the shade, her head in her hands swearing to me that she would never not drink water when I told her too again if I’d just call her Dad and have him come and get her.

It won’t work well in an outhouse, but if you are using flush toilets then one of the easiest ways to help the girls to manage their hydration is to discuss the colour of their pee. (Yes, this may also lead to some giggling).

Another option is to make water counters like this as a camp craft.

Origami as Algorithms

Understanding algorithms is an important programming skill.  But it doesn’t have to be taught though programming.  Many of the base concepts for programming algorithms can be found in skills like baking, knitting or origami.  Knitting patterns are especially great because they include if statements (if making size small then cast on 30 stitches etc.), for loops (repeat for next 30 rows) and while loops (repeat until 20 cms long).

Origami doesn’t often have while loops but the concept of step by step directionless still stands.  If you have girls who get frustrated with the instructions, ask them how they would improve them.  Do they need better definitions of what the words mean?  Do more steps need to be added?  Did they accidentally skip a step? Or add one that isn’t there?

You might want to have one basic design for everyone to make and a more complex one for those girls who are really experienced or pick up the design quickly.