The neuroscience of singing shows that when we sing our neurotransmitters connect in new and different ways. It fires up the right temporal lobe of our brain, releasing endorphins that make us smarter, healthier, happier and more creative. When we sing with other people this effect is amplified.
The Neuroscience of Singing
This fascinating article discussing the effects on the brain of singing in a group. The singing we do at our meetings or around a campfire really can contribute to long term mental health. Don’t forget to add some singing to your Mighty Minds program.
What: An introduction to the sport of curling. They played several active games with our girls to teach them the rules to curling and then they let the girls try the game using rocks with wheels on the bottom to give them the idea of the sport without the ice (brooms optional).
How many: They handled our group of 30 girls. They said that if we had more they could split the unit into two groups.
Where: They come to you. You have to have a gym available.
How Much: They charge our unit about $140
More information: http://rocksandrings.com/
Rocks and Rings was great. The communication before the evening was really great. Their staff member was fantastic with the girls. The girls were all really engaged with the program and they all got to try a sport they hadn’t tried before.
This is a new national challenge that replaces the NEDIC Love Yourself Challenge. It covers some similar ground having the girls examine how the media shapes their perception of what it means to be a girl and builds their self esteem to counteract some of the more negative images. The challenge starts with a backgrounder for Guiders that gives you word definitions and information on eating disorders, media etc. It also includes core program connections. Then there is a separate challenge document for each branch with age appropriate activities out lined in it. Looking though the Guide challenge I’d expect it to take 3 or 4 meetings to cover the challenge well. But it covers a lot of core program areas along the way. And could make for a really meaningful month of meetings.
The activities are divided into three themes:
- Media, Society and Me
- Accepting Myself
- My Balanced Life
Last year Girl Guides introduced Guidelines for Transgender Members. As one of the follow ups to this new policy, Quebec Girl Guides have produced meeting in a box on Gender and Sexuality issues. It is aimed at Guides and Pathfinders. The MiaB contains a great number of well thought out activities to get girls thinking about and talking about these issues. There is actually enough material for several meetings so you can pick and choose which ones to do. There is also a nice index showing what program areas are covered by each activity.
I’d defiantly present it as a meeting idea if I were working with a Pathfinder unit. For Guides I think it could work with a unit more mature then my current one.
Meeting-in-a-Box: Gender and Sexuality
Let’s Lace ‘EM Up!– is an Active living challenge from Nova Scotia. The activities are divided into three categories:
- Physical Activity
- Eating Healthy
- Mental Health
The activities would fit in with many meeting plans or camps and the challenges and there is an extensive list of program connections at the end of the challenge.
National has released the last of the promised instant meetings for the Make a Difference Days. This time it is for National Mental Health week May 2-8th. Activities include a worry wall, colouring, yoga, mindfulness etc.
National Mental Health Week Instant Meeting
There isn’t a specific crest for this Make a Difference Day. But if you are interested in exploring this topic deeper with your unit, I’d recommend taking a look at the Mental Health Awareness Challenge produced by the International Bipolar Association.
There are lots of versions of the story of Stone Soup. In each one a traveler comes to a village where no one is willing to share because they don’t have enough. The stranger starts to boil a pot of water and puts a stone (or other inedible object) in the pot. He or she tells each villager who comes by that they are making stone soup but it would be ever so much better with just a little bit of carrots/onions/herbs/etc. Each villager is convinced to contribute the “one thing” the soup is missing. In the end the stranger has a big pot of soup to share with the village.
A Guider I used to work with used this story to make a pot of collaborative soup each year. She’d read the story to the girls one week and tell them that at their next meeting (or sometimes it would be at winter camp) she’d be providing the soup pot and a clean stone. She’d ask each girl to bring something for the soup (vegetables, bullion, herbs etc. ). Whatever arrived at the next meeting was chopped up and put in the soup pot. Everyone would enjoy a mug of soup at the end of the meeting. Be aware of allergies or other dietary restrictions.