Down Under Camp

Theme: I ran this camp for Pathfinders and Rangers but I will include some ideas for younger girls as well.  Ideas were generated from online sources, lived experience by my co-Guider and the Festivals and Celebration Challenges section on Australia.

Patrols: Patrols could be named after Australian animals.

Program Connections:

  • Spirit of Guiding 
  • Global Guiding
  • World Stage 
  • Commonwealth Award



Dot Art

Koala/Australian facts swaps

Boomerang swaps


Netball ( or Action Netball)

Try throwing a boomerang


My Country by Dorothea MacKellar


  • Corn Fritters
  • Baked Apples
  • Pancakes
  • chicken stew
  • Loaded baked Potatoes
  • damper and billy tea
  • pavlova


  • Australian Campfire Opening
  • Kookaburra
  • Cuddly Koala
  • Little Johnny English
  • Waltzing Matilda



Future Voter Challenge

This is a brand new challenge from Ontario developed for units who want to discuss democracy along side the current Federal Election.  The details of the challenge can be found here.  Basically the units have to finish the appropriate Voices to Vote 2019 Instant Meeting (Sparks and Brownies | Guides | Pathfinders and Rangers) and then complete a few other activities with your unit using democracy to plan your year.

Festivals and Celebration Challenges

The Festivals and Celebrations challenges are a challenge from the BC International Committee.  There is one challenge for each WAGGGS region.  Each regional challenge included three countries from that region, information about Guiding in that country and lots of activities from that country.  To earn the center crests girls are suppose to try at least one activity from all 15 countries.  You could also work on the sections individually, exploring one region at a greater level of detail.

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: 

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



Review: Scouts and Guides Program at the Legislature of Ontario

What: This is a tour of Queen’s Park designed especially for Guide and Scout groups. It is a 90-minute program consists of three segments: A visit to the Legislative Chamber; an exploration of the Legislative Building through a scavenger hunt; and a participatory mock debate. I was unable to attend with my unit but the feedback from the other Guiders and the girls was very positive.

When: The tour is offered several times a year.  For the rest of 2019 the dates are: April 6th (10:30 am to 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm), May 4th (1:30 pm to 3:00 pm), October 26th (10:30 am to 12:00 pm), November 16th (10:30 am to 12:00 pm). Large groups may request week day dates (during the day).

Cost:  Free

Booking: Booking was really straight forward.  You can call 416-325-0061, or email  You do have to provide a detailed list of attendees two weeks in advance (for security) so this isn’t a great last minute activity.

For more information see:




Crokinole recently posted a story and short history about the uniquely Canadian game of Crokinole.

Crokinole is a truly Canadian game: It borrows a bit from both the traditional British game squails and a game called carrom that’s popular in places like India and Sri Lanka.

Although not as popular as it once was if you have access to a Crokinole set, it might make a fun addition to a Canadian heritage night.

If you need to learn or review the rules, this video may help.

Or if the opportunity is available to you, take it outside and try Crokicurl, the combination of Crokinole and Curling.

Canadian Women of Valour Challenge

The Canadian Women of Valour Challenge was jointly developed by Girl Guides in Alberta and Valour Canada.  The purpose of this challenge is to learn about and appreciate the efforts of Canadian womens’ efforts during WWI and WWII.  There is a mandatory section on active Remembrance and then a collection of program ideas based on the wartime activities of Canadian Women.  The number of optional activities depends on branch. The challenge is supported by documents on Valour Canada’s website.

This is also the first challenge I’ve seen released where the program tie ins are all for the Girls First program.