Lost at Sea

Lost at Sea is a critical thinking/team work game.

First you read the senario:

  • You and your patrol have chartered a yacht in the South Pacific for a vacation.
  • None of you have any previous sailing experience, and you have hired an experienced skipper and two-person crew.
  • As you sail through the Southern Pacific Ocean a fire breaks out and much of the yacht and its contents are destroyed.
  • The yacht is slowly sinking.
  • Your location is unclear because vital navigational and radio equipment has been damaged.
  • The yacht skipper and crew have been lost whilst trying to fight the fire.
  • Your best guestimate is that you are approximately 1000 miles South West of the nearest landfall.

Your Patrol have managed to save 15 items, undamaged and intact after the fire. Place them in order from most useful to least useful.

Then distribute the worksheet to each patrol.  Give them 10-15 minutes to work out their priority for the items.  Let them ask questions if they aren’t sure what some of the words mean.

Lost at Sea worksheet

Then review the “official” answers.

According to the experts (US Coastguard), the basic supplies needed when a person is stranded mid-ocean are articles to attract attention and articles to aid survival until rescue arrives. Articles for navigation are of little importance since even if a small life raft were capable of reaching land, it would be impossible to store enough food and water to survive for the requisite amount of time. Without signaling devices, there is almost no chance of being spotted and ultimately rescued. Furthermore, most rescues occur within the first 36 hours and a person can survive with only a minimum of food and water during that period.

So, the following is the order of ranking the items in their importance to your survival:

  1. Shaving Mirror Critical for signaling
  2. 2 gallon can of oil/petrol mixture Critical for signaling. The mixture will float on water and could be ignited with a match. What the experts don’t say is how you get away from this conflagration or what to do if the wind should push the life raft into the flames!
  3. 5 gallon can of water Necessary to replenish fluids lost through perspiration (that’s sweat)
  4. One case of army rations Basic food intake
  5. 20 square feet of opaque plastic Can be utilized to collect rain water and provide shelter from the elements
  6. 2 boxes of chocolate bars Reserve food supply (what were you going to do with that much chocolate?)
  7. Fishing kit Ranked lower than the chocolate as ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ There is no guarantee you will catch any fish.
  8. 15ft of nylon rope Could be used to lash people or equipment together to prevent it being washed overboard.
  9. Floating seat cushion A life preserver if someone fell overboard
  10. Shark repellent Enough said
  11. One quart of 160 per cent proof rum Contains 80% alcohol, which is enough to be used as an antiseptic for any injuries, otherwise of little value – would cause dehydration if ingested (that’s drunk to you and me)
  12. Small transistor radio Of no use without a transmitter. You would also be out of range of any radio station.
  13. Maps of the Pacific Ocean Worthless without navigation equipment. It does not matter where you are but where the rescuers are!
  14. Mosquito netting There are NO mosquitos in the midpacific ocean. As for fishing with it? – stick to the fishing kit.
  15. Sextant Useless without the relevant tables and a chronometer

It is unlikely that any patrol will be exactly right. And they might quibble with the official answers depending on their skills and experience. That is fine. The point is to understand what is key to personal survival (water, food, shelter etc.) and to work together.

There are other similar scenarios available on line such as a plane crash in the arctic or lost on the moon.  I thought these were a little trickier so they might be better for a second play though or for Pathfinders or Rangers.

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Famous Five Meeting

This week to celebrate International Women’s Day we completed the Famous Five Challenge from Alberta.  While the girls were in their patrol corners we distributed copies of the Famous Five word search  (from the Famous Five Supplement) for them to work on as a group.  After horseshoe we talked a little about how January 2016 marked 100 years since the first women in Canada were legally allowed to vote. We introduced them to the Famous Five and the Persons Case.  Next we read the interactive story found in the Famous Five Supplement.

Then we moved out of horseshoe to a table we’d set up with a lace table cloth and a pretty pink centerpiece.  We had speakers set up so the girls could listen to the audio from Famous5.ca about the pink teas.  Then we let each girl help herself to can of pink grapefruit juice and told them to break up into groups of four or five and hold their own pink tea.   What women’s issues did they want to discuss and what changes did they want to see in the world?  We came back together as a group after they’d had time to discuss to find out what they’d been talking about.  A number of the girls talked about rights of women in other countries and how they didn’t have the same rights we have in Canada.  Other groups talked about how girls sports are often over looked and the absence of girls and women in many action figure and other toys.

We wrapped up the evening by learning  to sing Can a Women and If I were not a Girl Guide (we choose all career verses).

International Women’s Day Instant Meeting

Girl Guides of Canada has release an instant meeting to celebrate International Women’s Day on or near March 8th.  This year’s theme is Women Writing History.  The instant meeting includes activities such as making a timeline of important moments in Women’s history, variations on What time is it Mr. Wolf and Octopus to teach girls about women’s history and activities to get the girls thinking about their own history.

Halloween Team Building

This week was our annual unit Halloween party.  All the girls were invited to wear a costume instead of their uniform.  The girls always enjoy seeing the leaders in costume too.  For activities we ran a round robin of co-operative, team building games.

  1. Stack the cups with an elastic and string
  2. Pass the can
  3. Find your way though a maze while blindfolded
  4. Collective Sheet Ball
  5. Alligator Alley 

All the games when over well but the maze game took slightly longer then the others to play.

After the games one of the leaders had some Halloween trivia for the girls.  When a girl answered the question right her patrol got to go and line up for some Halloween treats.  We ended the evening with a group photo shoot.

Leadership and Patrol Leader Elections

This week was all about leadership.  We started the meeting with Learn about Leadership in a Group #4 by completing the Leadership Qualities activity from the Leadership Instant Meeting from the Saskatchewan Girl Guides.  We broke the girls into three groups, with an adult to facilitate each group and then had each group report back what leadership qualities they came up with.

Then we held our annual patrol leader elections.  We did this the same way as last year, with any second or third year Guide who wanted to run for patrol leader giving a short (1 min or less) speech and then the girls casting a ballot for the three girls they think will do the best job.  We ask the girls to put their names on their ballots and then we do our best to put each girl in the patrol of someone they voted for.

We ended the night by learning The Guide Marching song and some closing songs so that next week we can open with a horseshoe.

Plan an Outdoor Activity

For Learn about Leadership in a Group #3.

During patrol time, each patrol was given a chance to pick an activity from some of the cards found in Instant Activity Cards by Arizona Girl Scouts.  Once they picked an activity they think will be fun, they planed what they will need to run the activity and who would do what to run it.

The next week we went outside and gave each patrol time to run their activity.

International Day of the Girl

 Girl Guides of Canada introduced a new challenge in 2013 to mark the International Day of the Girl on October 11th.

The theme in 2013 was Girls Take the Lead and the challenge was in the form of an Instant Meeting that can be found HERE.  The meeting does require a guest speaker so it may take some weeks to set up.

EDITED TO ADD: The 2014 theme is Girl Heros.  It also takes the form of an Instant Meeting and can be found HERE.