Pre-camp Meeting

Our meeting this week was to get the girls ready for an upcoming camp.

After horseshoe our quartermaster presented options for each meal and let the girls vote on what they wanted.

We then had the girls fill out pre-camp surveys.   I’ll put up a post on these next week.

Next we had the girls do skits about being Prepared at Camp and used that to discuss what should be on our kit list.

We were going to finish the evening with a campfire but we have a lot of girls who haven’t been to Guide camp before and some of them have a lot of questions. So instead we just sat in a circle and I answered as many questions as I could.

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Be Prepared at Camp

These are a series of skits intended to help get the girls to discuss what should be on a camp kit list and why.  These were for a residential camp in November so if you are using this idea at another time of year you may need to adjust the scenarios.  Each scenario was given to a different patrol.

Pretend it is time to go to bed at camp. Create two short skits (no more then 2 minutes each) showing what will happen if you have brought what you need to be prepared for bedtime and if you aren’t prepared for bedtime. What items should be on our kit list to ensure we are prepared to sleep?

Pretend it is time to go to get dressed in the morning at camp. Create two short skits (no more then 2 minutes each) showing what will happen if you have brought what you need to be prepared for the day and if you aren’t prepared for the day. What items should be on our kit list to ensure we are prepared to for the day?

Pretend it is time to go to go for a hike at camp. It is a cold fall afternoon. Light snow is falling from the sky. Create two short skits (no more then 2 minutes each) showing what will happen if you have brought what you need to be prepared for hiking in the cold and if you aren’t prepared for hiking in the cold. What items should be on our kit list to ensure we are prepared to be outside in cold weather?

Pretend it is time to go to play active games outside at camp. It is raining lightly outside. Create two short skits (no more then 2 minutes each) showing what will happen if you have brought what you need to be prepared to be outside in wet weather and if you aren’t prepared to be outside in wet weather. What items should be on our kit list to ensure we are prepared to outside in wet weather?

Pretend it is time to go outside and roast hot dogs. It is unseasonably warm. Create two short skits (no more then 2 minutes each) showing what will happen if you brought what you need to be prepared to roast hot dogs in warm weather and what will happen if you are not prepared. What items should be on our kit list to ensure we are prepared for warm weather and fires?

Girls First and Clove Hitches

Our unit was chosen to run a focus group as part of the Girls First program review. Our unit was assigned a focus group on ceremonies where the girls had to say what they liked or didn’t like about enrollment, campfire, Guides Own, horseshoe and Thinking Day. For the most part our girls seem to enjoy the ceremonial parts of Girl Guides, except possibly Guides Own which got a mixed review.

I learned a few new things about how our girls view ceremonies though.  One, then want us to get out the fake campfire more often.  Two, they’d like us to fix the flag stands so we can do colour party more often.  And finally, they are highly motivated by snacks.  Pretty much anytime food is involved they thought it was the best part of the ceremony.

National only wanted the opinions of girls who’d completed a full year or more of Guides. So while the focus group was running, our first year Guides worked on understanding their promise and law in preparation for enrollment in a few weeks time.

Then we came back together as a unit for our “knot of the week”. This week we did the clove hitch. I had the girls pair up with a rope each and they tried to tie clove hitches around each others thumbs. Once a pair was sure they had it, they went to find a pair that didn’t and helped them. Within 10 min all the girls could tie one.

We ended the night with some singing. I’ve been teaching the girls a few songs each week, trying to keep the songs within the same family of campfire songs (campfire openings, closings etc) with an aim to help them write their own campfires later in the year. This week we learned some yells. We did There an’t no flies on Us, Porridge in a Pot and Thunderation.

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.

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.

Mission: Promise

I often hear people wishing for new and innovated ideas for teaching Promise and Law. The 5th Worksop Methodist Brownies in the UK have got some great ones in their Mission: Promise Challenges. I gather they have been surprised by how popular this challenge has become. It started as a Brownie only challenge but they have expanded it to all levels. Even though our promise in Canada is a a little different then the one used in the UK there are some great ideas that can be easily adapted.

Rainbows (Sparks)
Brownies
Guides (and maybe Pathfinders too)
Senior Section (Rangers) – coming soon

Crests are available from the 5th Woksop Methodist Brownies.  Be sure to check with them on availability and shipping costs.