Edible Snowballs

My Guides love cooking and baking.  Well really, I think my Guides like eating but are willing to bake or cook if that leads to the eating.  However, we don’t have ready access to a kitchen at our meeting place.  So I’m always looking for options that require little or no heat.  These No-bake Fudgy Snow Balls look like a great way to celebrate winter.  They are gluten free, dairy free, egg free and can be vegan so they are already a great choice for units with lots of food complications.  The comments suggest replacing the almonds with graham cracker crumbs.  I will have to try that as we have one girl who can’t have nuts.

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Dragon Camp

Theme: This camp was run for Rangers but I’m including some ideas that would work for for younger girls as well.

Program Connections:

  • Spirit of Guiding 
  • Art Studio 
  • World Stage 

Activities

  • Dragon’s Den – We had the girls pitch an idea for an activity they thought the unit should do
  • Dragon themed movie under the stars
  • Build a catapult to slay a dragon (for large dragons or small)
  • Practice your fire lighting skills

Crafts

  1. Dragon Eyes
  2. Dragon Eggs
  3. Dragon Themed adult colouring sheets

Games

  • Tsuro – is a simple board game for up to 8 players
  • Dungeons and Dragons
  • Dragon Tail
  • dragon egg hunt  (look for glow in the dark eggs to make this a more challenging night game)

Readings

Confidence is like a dragon were, for every head cut off, two more heads grow back.
― Criss Jami

No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith.
― R.A. Salvatore

Food

International Dishes from countries where dragons are important. For example:

  • Asian Dragons
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • Indonesia/Malaysia
  • European Dragons
    • France
    • Scandinavia
    • England
    • Wales
    • Hungary

Serve dragon fruit as a snack

Try decorating cupcakes as dragons

Try some very spicy food (have milk and bread available)

Campfire

Instead of singing, we challenged our Rangers to each bring a folk story about dragons (ideally from their own cultural background) to tell around the fire.  With younger girls a Guider could read stories between songs.

Other Birding Resources

These resources are from the Environment for the Americas.

  • Habitat Bingo – includes two grids one that would be good for Sparks or younger Brownies and another that would be more suitable for Guides
  • Keeping Birds Safe from Cats includes facts about why keeping pet cats inside is safer for both the birds and the cats and how to keep indoor cats happy.
  • Story Walk could make a great service project for Pathfinders or Rangers and could easily be adapted to other themes.
  • Shorebird Migration Games include several wide games about the benefits and risks associated with migration.
  • A pattern for making Owl Masks
  • Keep Bird Feeders Clean – provides instructions clean bird feeders and information on why it is important
  • Colouring Pages

Picking Patrols

When I was a Guide the role of patrol leaders was picked by the Guiders.  Almost always a third year girl who was thought to be responsible.  Like wise the seconders and the remainder of the patrol were also selected by the leaders.  I don’t remember ever questioning that even though I was never picked to be a patrol leader.

Since returning to Guiding our unit has run annual Patrol Leader Elections allowing the second and third year girls to run for patrol leader.  The runners up are named as seconders and we’ve organized the rest of the patrols.

But this year, following the suggestions from the Girls First program I asked the girls how they wanted to organize patrols this year.  They clearly still wanted to elect patrol leaders but they also said they wanted a say in who was in their patrol.  Some of the other Guiders were concerned that this would lead to cliques withing the unit, so we ended up with the following compromise.

  1. The girls voted on patrol leader like they have in previous years.
  2. The leaders counted up the votes and assigned the runners up as seconders to the five newly minted patrol leaders. (We actually assigned two seconders to one patrol because it seemed unfair to have just one girl left out of a position).
  3. Then we had the new patrol leaders and seconders line up.  All the girls who were new to the unit lined up opposite.  Then on “go” the patrol leaders were allowed to step forward (at a walking pace) an pick a new girl to be in her patrol.  We repeated this with the seconders.
  4. Then we added the remaining returning girls to the mix and had each patrol pick two more members using the same method.
  5. Each new patrol met, recorded the names of everyone in their patrol and picked an emblem.

It seems a little confusing writing it out but it actually ran really smoothly.  I’m sure the whole process took less time then when I’ve sat at home trying to sort it out myself.  Each patrol has a reasonable assortment of different ages and experience levels.  The girls seem happy and are working well in their patrols.

Very Chocolate Halloween Party

I always like to include a little “program” with my Halloween Parties.  A few years ago we did the Quebec Chocolate Challenge for our Halloween Party.  It was a crazy meeting.  In retrospect we bit off more then we could chew in one meeting.  This year we tried another Halloween Chocolate meeting this time using the Girls First Chocolatiers in Action instant meeting as a template.  It went a lot better.  The bulk of the meeting was spent in a four station round robin.

Station 1: Chocolate Taste Test – We tested dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate all from the same manufacturer.  We also looked at the ingredient lists and what the difference between these types of chocolate are.  One note of caution on this activity: we have a one girl who is allergic to tree nuts and finding pure chocolate bars without tree nut warnings is difficult.

Station 2: Follow that Bean – We didn’t like the instructions provided by Girls First because making a map on the floor out of wool sounded difficult and time consuming.  So instead the Guider running that station made place name signs and taped them to the wall roughly where they were in the world.  After discussing the geography of chocolate with the girls, she would call out a step and they would run up and put their hand on a country involved in that stage.  She also extended the activity using this document on Where a Snickers Bar Comes From.  Not only did this let them discuss where some other ingredients come from but let them talk about how the supply chains could be disrupted.

Station 3: Just Add Chocolate! – We have limited facilities for cooking at our meeting place but we still came up with two chocolate treats for the girls to make.  We made Witches Hats out of Chocolaty Mint Girl Guide cookies and Hersey’s Kisses and we made chocolate fondue by melting chocolate chips in a water bath set up in an electric fry pan and dipping fruit into it.

 

Station 4:  Chocolate Transformations – The girls weren’t very interested in acting out the steps to make chocolate.  But I had also printed these How Chocolate is Made cards.  So following the suggestion from that site, we cut them up and shuffled them and let the girls try and put them in the right order.  The Guider at that station also extended the activity with a discussion about the ethics of chocolate production (fair trade, child labour etc.)

It all went so smoothly that we would have had time for Chocolate Redesign but I hadn’t prepped for it so instead we just had a nice campfire to end the night.

Dragon Scout Challenge

The Dragon Scout Challenge is a challenge kit sponsored by the Girl Scouts of San Diego for introducing girls to playing role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons.   The challenge it’s self is quite simple: learn about role-playing games, make a character and try playing a game.  There are lots of resources on the website to help a leader run a game of D&D 5e including simplified character creation sheets and two simple scenarios.  The scenarios are designed to prompt conversations about the Guide Laws.

The challenge is more suitable for older girls in Pathfinders or Rangers.