Healthy Living Camp

Theme:  This camp is based on the Colour Me Healthy Challenge and took place at a camp that provided many adventurous activities including horseback riding, archery, wall climbing etc.  The Guiders only needed to provide programming for Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday morning.

Guide Program Work:  This camp was designed to allow girls to work on their My Physical Self theme and also touches on the My Mighty Mind theme.

Patrols: You could name your patrols after different healthy foods (apples, carrots etc.) or different activities (swimming, hiking etc.)

Activities

Crafts

  1. water bottle counter
  2. peas in a pod hat craft
  3. Horse Finger Puppet

Games

Campfire

Collective Campfire with lots of action songs

Guides Own

Caring and Sharing

I am Unique

Freedom to Be

I am a unique person.
I must experience the world and express the person I am.
You are a unique person too.
You must experience and express yourself differently.
The experiencing and expressing of our total beings
Will find fulfillment in our appreciation of the differences and our mutual love
– Everet L. Shostrom

Go Well, and Safely
Say Why

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World Record Egg

This ad campaign might be a fun way to open up a discussion about social media pressure.  The plain brown egg appeared on Instagram and managed to snag the record for the most liked image.  The promoted link to https://www.talkingegg.info/ is just a list of organizations you can reach out to if you need help.  In Canada they recommend: Canadian Mental Health AssocCrisis Text LineCAMHTel-Jeunes orKids Help Phone

Mental Health First Aid Kits

Many of us have built basic first aid kits with our Guides but when I was at Connect 2018, one of the trainers had us build mini first aid kits for mental health.  I thought it was a clever idea and might be a great jumping off point for talking to the girls about things that make us feel better when our day is going down hill.  The kits can be assembled out of inexpensive items found at a dollar or discount store or for older girls, it might be appropriate to provide them with a list and ask them to make their own kit over the week and share what they choose the following meeting.  If you are providing items for the girls to assemble their own kits, I’d recommend providing some variation within each category (ie different flavours of tea or different smelling bath salts) so the girls can select one that speaks to them.

The idea is to provide things to stimulate the senses and give the user a chance to calm down and find their equilibrium.

Sight: photos, postcards, a smily sticker, a short story,  a list of reasons you will be ok, something shiny etc.

Smell: something that has a smell you find soothing such as candles, bath salts, moisturizer etc.

Touch: fuzzy socks, stress ball, worry stone, craft kit, adult colouring supplies, fidget toy, heat or cold pack etc.

Taste: chocolate, gum, tea, lip balm, candy etc.

Sound: Favourite song, poem, something that makes a pleasing sound, ear plugs etc.

Spirit: Favourite quote, note from someone who loves you, jokes or memes, a reminder to love yourself etc.

You may also want to include things like this self care checklist from Tumblr.

You can put it all in a plain ziplock bag, or decorate it to add to the effect.

It is worth noting that those with diagnosed mental illnesses may also want to include emergency medication or objects or papers that help their particular condition.

Mighty Mind Camp

A Residential Camp for Girl Guides

Theme:  This camp is based on the Mighty Minds Challenge. With additional ideas from Girl Scout Mental Health Awareness Challenge and the Mental Health Week Instant meeting

Guide Program Work:  This camp was designed to allow girls to work on their Feeling Good badge.

Patrols: Patrols could be named after different emotions

Activities

Crafts

  1. Stress Balls
  2. Beady Nerons
  3. Anti-stigma t-shirts
  4. Mighty Me Jars
  5. Worry Dolls

Games

Emotional Shuffle

Synaptic Tag

Invent a whole new game

Food

Emotion Cookies

Flavoured Water

Songs

If you are happy and you know it

Forest Bathing

This is an interesting article on the Japanese practice of Forest Bathing.

Forest bathing—basically just being in the presence of trees—became part of a national public health program in Japan in 1982 when the forestry ministry coined the phrase shinrin-yoku and promoted topiary as therapy. … Just be with trees. No hiking, no counting steps on a Fitbit. You can sit or meander, but the point is to relax rather than accomplish anything.

I don’t think it will be a surprise to anyone in Guiding that being outdoors in nature is good for Mental Health.  But this piece can serve as a good reminder that we don’t always need to be so goal driven when we are in nature.  I’ve given my Guides time to just be with trees while we were on hikes.  Just wonder among the trees.  Smell the forest.  Feel the bark.  Some of the girls really enjoyed it, some didn’t really know what to do.

Yoga

I know my limits as a Guider and one of them is that I’m no Yoga Instructor.  Yoga stretching can be a great form of self care and the Mighty Minds challenge includes instructions for some postures but if like me you don’t feel comfortable providing this instructions   The best option is to find a qualified instructor to come your your meeting.  But if that doesn’t work for you and you have some way to show video you may want to turn to YouTube.   There are lots of videos available but these were two I found that targeted Guide age kids.

Before doing anything like yoga it is worth mentioning to the girls that if they feel uncomfortable with any of the movements they can just sit quietly on their mat and work on their breathing.