A Camp for Girl Guides
Theme: This camp is based on the Top Secret Challenge. Other ideas were taking from a training at Share The Fun – Guider Enrichment Day
Guide Program Work: This camp was designed to allow girls to work on their Naturalist badge. This is also a great topic for covering some Girl Guide history.
Patrols: Patrols could be named after famous fictional spies or spy agencies.
- Plaster Animal Tracks
- Finger print doodles
- Morse Code bracelets
- Hide and Seek Bottle
Hold a Menu Meal
Semaphore is a fun, historical communication activity. It was once considered an core Girl Guide skill but girls still have fun trying to send messages with flags.
Semaphore flags are not hard to make if you have basic sewing skills and once made they will last for years. I’d suggest making at least two sets.
To practice semaphore split the girls into two groups. Each group will need a set of semaphore flags, a copy of semaphore signals, some paper and pencils. Have them spread out as far as possible. Each team chooses a simple message to try a broadcast. Then one team at a time tries to signal while the other team writes down what they see. Then switch.
Before the hike along a short section of the trail place 10-20 items that don’t belong in nature. As you approach that part of the trail, tell the girls what you’ve done and tell them that they should count how many they can see without saying anything. After you pass though that part of the trail ask the girls to name as many as they can remember.
Vi Hart, my favorite YouTube mathematician, recently posted this video about going for a walk after a snow fall. She has some great ideas about things to look for in the snow.
This website contains 3D models of many Canadian Animal tracks. They create the models by taking many (20 plus) photos of a track found in the wild from different angles. In addition to the digital 3D models they also have created 3D printer STL files so if you have access to a 3D printer you can print out the models to show kids in the field. The site also has instructions for taking your own photos of tracks you may come across to add to their database. That might be a fun project for Pathfinders or Rangers.
The 3d animal tracks project
You will need:
- Plaster of Paris
- Something to mix in suck as large plastic bags or old ice cream tubs
- A stick or paint stir stick
- tracks in mud or snow
- Cardboard strips (optional)
- Vaseline (optional)
- Find or make tracks. Ideally you locate tracks in nature that have been made by wild animals. However, you can use an old cast to press new tracks. This makes a handy backup plan if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to find good tracks or if you have a large unit.
- Clear away any brush or debris from around the track, so you have a clean work area.
- If you wish, create a cardboard collar around the track to limit the spread of the plaster. Coat the inside of the collar in Vaseline so it can be removed later.
- Mix your Plaster of Paris. Follow the instructions on the package but in general you are looking for two parts plaster to one part water. You will need to work quickly to make you mold before the plaster starts to dry.
- Pour your plaster over the track.
- Allow at least 20 minutes to dry. If it is cold or really wet this may take longer.
- Once the plaster is dry, pry it up off the ground and rinse off extra dirt in water.
Here is a video showing a similar technique:
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.