This week we finished working on the Invention badge. We’ve taken our ideas from the Meeting In A Box: Inventing from Quebec.
This week we split the girls up into two groups. Each group did a different activity at one end of the gym and then we switched. We have a large unit so this gave each girl more of an opportunity to participate.
At one end of the gym we ran Invention Jeopardy using the questions from the meeting in a box.
At the other end of the gym we ran Inventor Speed Improv.
This was an exciting night because for some of our third year girls this was the last challenge they needed to finish their squares. Just a few pieces of the Lady BP challenge to finish off for them now.
This week we started working on the Invention badge. I’ve been looking at this badge for a couple of years and I had difficulty figuring out how to make it fun. Luckily for me, other Guiders had more luck. We’re using the Meeting In A Box: Inventing as our guide. But I also found some great ideas from the Caladonia Girl Guides. We’re going to spread the badge out over two weeks so we don’t need to feel rushed.
This week we worked mostly in Patrols. We started with the intro activity and had each patrol discuss what inventors they knew, whether or not they thought they could be an inventor and what qualities you’d need to be an inventor. They shared their thoughts at horseshoe after our opening.
Then we went onto the second activity. Each patrol was give four current inventions to use as inspiration. They had to combine and two of them into a new invention. Then prepare a poster and a skit marketing their invention.
For Thinking Day this year we held a bring a parent night. We made all the parents honourary Guides for the night. They even marched into horseshoe with their girls.
We based the meeting around this years WAGGGS Thinking Day Challenge Grow.
After horseshoe we all played CABAÑA, GUEST, or VOLCANO to complete the roots section. Then we split into three groups for a round robin.
The first station was run by a Guider originally from Holland who taught them a party game where you eat snack bread off a string while blindfolded. Everyone also got to try the snack bread she’d made.
The second station was the Grow your collaboration game from the challenge pack. We ran that out in the hallway where we could set up a good maze of wool. The girls and parents went though the maze three times, once on their own. Once holding hands with a partner. And once holding hands with one partner blindfolded.
The final station was our seeds stop, were the girls made seed heads (instructions soon) with the help of their parents.
After the round robin we had a badge presentation for all the badges the girls have earned since enrollment. It was nice to have the parents there for that.
This week we worked on the National Service Project: Action on Poverty
For a month leading up to this meeting, we’ve been sending home requests for donations of small toiletries and items such as gloves and socks. Several of the Guiders hosted parties while we were gathering donations and suggested our guests bring a donation rather then a hostess gift. We received some very generous donations.
We started the meeting with a guest speaker from an organization that works with under housed and at risk women in the Toronto area. She spoke to girls about the work her organization does and the clients they work with.
Then the girls assembled make a difference bags from the donations. We used clear ziplock bags to hold the items but decorated them with stickers.
We ended the meeting with the Factors Leading To Poverty activity from the Action on Poverty Instant meeting. The activity was well received by the girls and lead to some thoughtful discussion.
We took our Guide unit on a Saturday evening adventure to the York University Astronomy Observatory. There they had a chance to learn about the solar system and some of the other objects in the night sky. They also had a chance to see some of the big scopes the department has. Since Toronto has grown a lot since the observatory was built in the 1960s, light pollution around the observatory have grown a lot so the scopes can no longer be used for deep sky observing but they can still be used for observing things in our own solar system or some stars. Sadly, the night we visited it was snowing out so they couldn’t open the dome for the girls to take a look.
To finish up the badge, the following meeting we started by having the girls do skits based on Constellation Legends. I printed a story for each patrol. They did a great job.
Then we broke the unit up into groups of 4 and gave each girl two oreo cookies so they could make oreo cookie moons (I’ll post those instructions soon). They had to show a Guider that they’d made each phase of the moon before they were allowed to eat the moon. The girls were very motivated and worked quickly.
Finally we went outside to see what stars we could see from the city. It had clouded over a little while we were inside but the Moon and Venus were still partially visible though the clouds. Several of the Guiders had star guide apps on their phones and showed the girls how to use them.
This week was our multi-unit advancement. We went with a campfire theme based on posts from Becky’s Guiding Resources and Brownie Meeting Ideas.
We started with each unit singing their opening songs. We welcomed the guests and laid down a symbolic campfire. Then each unit was given a chance to hold their advancement. Finally there was a chance for snacks and photos.
Laying down of campfire
Speaker 1: One of the most important things to remember when building a campfire is the foundation. Building your fire on the right site keeps the fire safe and guards it so that it may be enjoyed by all. The foundation of Guiding is its leadership: Guiders, Trefoil Guild members and Community Guiders.
Two Adults lay down the foundation pieces of the campfire
Speaker 2: If you want to make a permanent site for your campfire you need a ring of stones. The stones help outline your campfire area – and ensuring that you don’t burn or scorch anything outside this area. Our Sparks are the beginning of a Guiding campfire. Tonight they will lay a ring of stones.
Two or three sparks lay down a ring of “stones”
Speaker 3: Next we’ll need some tinder. We know that paper and dry grasses would be a good starter material for our campfire. Just like tinder in Brownies the Guiding fire really starts to burn.
Brownies lay down some pine cones or bits of paper for tinder
Speaker 4: To keep a fire going you need to add some larger pieces of wood. The Guides tonight will represent the kindling and fule logs for our fire.
Guides place the unlit candles and the larger pieces of wood.
Speaker 5: To make our campfire success, we always make sure we have safety equipment on hand. As girls grow, they take on more responsibility within Guiding. The Pathfinders will ensure our fire is safe before they light it.
Some Pathfinders will bring a bucket to the fire and then light the battery operated candles.
Everyone sing Fires Burning x 2 in a round
We tried out the kits from Engspire for their Crazy Contraption meeting. We lead it on our own as we planned this meeting too late to apply for a facilitator (maybe next year). The kit came with two activities.
Opening Game: The game contained a set of cards with different engineers on each card. The girls were suppose to read their card and then imagine what it would be like to be that kind of engineer. Then the Guiders asked questions like “Would your engineer use a computer?” and the girls were to move to one end of the gym if they though the answer was yes and the other if they thought the answer was no. The cards represented a good diversity of engineering fields but used some language that was difficult for some of our girls. Even the symbols were unfamiliar to some of the girls.
The Contraption Kits: We split the girls into groups of 5. Each group was given one contraption kit to start. They were given 15 mins to try and build that one kit. Most of the girls got the the kit built in the 15 min. Then they were given four more kits and told to figure out how to build the rest in 20 min. Some groups had one person assembling each kit. Some groups went with more of an assembly line method. Even so, the kits were tricky and the girls had trouble keeping them together even once they were built.
We might try a different Engspire meeting next year but I don’t think I’d want to do this one again.