Gateway To Our Past Challenge

The Gateway to Our Past challenge is a Guiding History challenge from Alberta.  It is designed to be used with heritage boxes available from the provincial office.  I know Ontario has similar boxes so it may work in many provinces.  To complete the challenge the girls must learn (and try on) old uniforms, learn heritage skills and talk to someone who was in Guiding in previous generation.

Crests are available from the Alberta provincial office.

Girl Guides Charades

I’ve posted the basic rules for charades before but I wanted to share a list of Girl Guide words I used with my girls.

  • Leader
  • Patrol
  • Guide Meeting
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Crafts
  • Campfire
  • Singing
  • Cooking
  • Selling Cookies
  • Roasting marshmallows
  • Sparks
  • Brownies
  • Pathfinders
  • Teamwork
  • Horseshoe
  • Thinking Day
  • Enrollment

We gave an envelope with the list on slips of paper to each patrol and let them play through them.

Reef knots and the History of Guiding

When the girls arrived at last weeks meeting we had the new patrol corners set up.  So as the girls arrived they could find out who won last weeks election and which patrol they were in this year.  Then we took a few minutes to go over horseshoe and hold our opening.  For a first attempt of the year, horseshoe went really well.

As a group we then worked on Promise, Law & Motto #5 by going over how to tie the reef knot in the scarf.  We figured the older girls could use a refresher.  I showed them how if you tug at one end of a proper reef knot the whole thin will slide off and they enjoyed that “magic trick”.  Then we divided them back into patrols and held the tie your scarves into a circle relay outlined in the program book.

For the rest of the meeting we work on Learn About Guiding #1 and World Guiding #1 by having each patrol practice and then perform a skit on the foundation of Girl Guides.  I divided the story of Guiding into 5 chapters, one for each patrol Robert Baden-Powell, The Crystal Palace Rally, How Guides got their Name, Agnes Baden-Powell and How Guides came to Canada.  I left Lady Baden-Powell out on purpose because the girls working on their Lady B-P Challenge will cover her in a few weeks.

Finally we had time for a really nice campfire at the end of the evening.  I taught the girls a couple of new campfire openings and then we had time for 5-6 additional songs before closing.

Flight Themed Muli-branch advancement

I first saw this back when Brownies still “flew” up to Guides, but it can still be used today.

All Sparks have a caterpillar made of construction paper.  The first year sparks wave good-buy to the second year Sparks as they go behind a blanket. (The cocoon )  They are given butterfly wings to wear on their way to Brownies.

The Brownies had a plane made from a large cardboard box.  They all sat in it together while they few up to Guides.

The Guides built rocket ships out of bristle board for their third year girls and they blasted off to Pathfinders with a count down.

The Pathfinders used coloured Christmas lights to create a “transport pad” like you’d find in Star Trek and beamed themselves to Rangers.

Patrol Leader Elections

We held our patrol leader elections this week.   After opening, I read part of the Patrol Leader section of Let’s Try It vol. 3 by Dorothy Crocker (1988). The girls then had a short discussion as to what qualities they wanted in a good patrol leader.  We also discussed the weekly patrol duties and what sort of things patrols will do together.

Our unit allows the girls in second and third year run for patrol leader.  After the discussions we made a list on the wall of all the girls interested in running.   Each girl then had a chance to give a quick speech about why they think they’d make a good patrol leader.  We gave them a minute each but most of the girls came in under 40 seconds.

On the ballot we had left room for each girl to write her name and the name of the three girls they thought would make the best patrol leader.  The five girls with the most votes became the patrol leaders and the girls with the second most votes because the patrol seconds. Once the ballots were counted, the girls were place in patrols at least partially based on who they had voted for.  We also took into consideration who we thought would work well together and trying to mix up the first, second and third year girls.

While the ballots were being counted, we worked on the Unit Code of Conduct.  We followed Bluenose Guiders’ suggestion to combine a unit code of conduct with the Guide level activity on the National Code of Conduct. We basically followed the activity as listed but after each key responsibility discussion, we asked the girls to come up with a couple of ideas for our own code of conduct based around the same responsibility.  The girls responded to this even better then I expected and it led to a really nice code of conduct for our unit.