Hand Signals

Covid-19 has made many old things new again.  Just look at the sudden popularity of Sour Dough bread.

One heritage idea we may want to revisit for outdoor meetings are hand signals.  Here are a couple of vintage images with some useful ones on them.

A fun way to teach the girls the signals is to turn it into a game.  Have the girls mill around the play area and then have a Guider make a signal.  Spread the Guiders out around the perimeter of the playing area so they have to watch in several directions to know what to do.

Hare and Hounds

This is a good game for both urban and rural units.  The hare is given 3 minutes start and some chalk.  As she goes she makes a chalk mark on the sidewalk or trees from time to time.  The hounds follow, all with chalk, (a different colour) and as they discover the trail they mark it off (make a cross or x) the hare tries to get back to the meeting place before she is caught.

This game was originally played with paper scrapes but playing with chalk (or something biodegradable like bird seed) is better.

New Uniform for Girl Guides of Canada

In case you missed the announcement from National today, here is the new uniform.  While you can’t ever please everyone, so far I’ve heard more positive feedback then negative.  I really like the darker colour and I think it will encourage girls to wear the tie and badge sash even if they are no longer mandatory as they really pop against the navy.

For more images including adults in the uniform see this Look Book. or the FAQ

The shirts are suppose to be in the Guide shop by the end of June.  Now I just have to decide if I want the t-shirt or the long sleeve tunic (maybe both).

More they Stay the Same

I wanted to create and activity for my Guides to give them a sense of how the Guide program has changed over the last 110 years.  When asking my Guides how they felt about the new Girls First program, I wanted to take the focus off a fear of change and concentrate on how they felt about the actual changes.

So I created a flip up question quiz.  These question on intended to be attached to a folded piece of paper with the question on the outside and the answer on the inside.  Similar to the format you often see an interpretive centers.  It worked really well.  I stuck the quiz up around the room and told the unit to check them out in small groups (2 or 3).  I’ve also created a version for Pathfinders/Rangers and one for Brownies.

You could also use a selection of these questions as a gathering activity for a multi-branch event (but there is some overlap so you’d want to just us a selection of them)

Top Secret Camp

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.



  1. Plaster Animal Tracks
  2. Finger print doodles
  3. Morse Code bracelets 
  4. 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.

Hand Signals

I was looking for something else in an online copy of Scouting for Boys, when I came across a section on hand signals that would be familar to most modern Guiders:

Hand or Flag held straight up over head, means “Stop”, “Halt”

The book also included several other hand signals which some modern units might find useful:

Hand or flag held high and waved very slowly from side to side, at full extent of the arm means “Close in”, “Rally”, “Come here”

Hand or flag held high and waved very slowly from side to side at full extent of arm means “Extend”, “Go farther out”, “Scatter”.

Hand waved several times across the face from side to side, or flag waved horizontally from side to side opposite the face means “No”, “Never mind”, “As you were”

When a leader is shouting an order or message to a Scout who is some way off, the Scout, if he hears what is being said, should hold his hand level with his head all the time, If he cannot hear, he should stand still making no sign.  The leader will then repeat louder or beckon to the Scout to come nearer.

The first three could easily be practiced as a running game.