International Day of the Girl Meeting

This week we completed the WAGGGS #teamgirl challenge for International Day of the Girl.

We started the meeting by having each patrol look at cards with the  Need/Want items on them.  Each patrol separated the cards into two piles and then after horseshoe we asked how each patrol had categorized each item.  For some there was no debate (fizzy drinks are a want, clean water a need) but for others there was more debate.  I asked a few questions a long the way too to challenge their thinking.  For example, the girls all agreed that a garden was a want until I asked if their answer would change if the garden was a major source of food for the family.  Pretty flowers are a want but vegetables are a need they all agreed.

We followed that up with short discussion about barriers for girls attending school around the world.  I was impressed by how much our girls already knew about the subject.

Then we played the giant board game included in the package.  Some of the squares were pretty difficult for Guide age girls but the hardest one was staying quiet until your next turn.

We finished up by having each patrol draw posters of what they liked best about school and what they would miss if they couldn’t go to school any more.

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Leadership Meeting

This week was our annual patrol leader election.  We wanted to give the girls a little food for thought in picking their patrol leaders in hopes that it wouldn’t be a straight up popularity contest so we themed the whole meeting around leadership.  We used some of the activities from the leadership instant meeting from Saskatchewan

7:00 – 7:15 Announcements and teach the Guide Marching Song
7:15- 7:35 Leadership Qualities Activity
This one went really well.  The girls needed a little nudging at the beginning but all three groups got really into it once they got it idea.  I was also pleased that all three groups choice to draw their “leader” as a Guide even though that wasn’t part of the instructions we provided them with.
8:00- 8:15 While votes are counted play Group Draw
Not sure this one worked quite as well.  Even though we’d told the girls they had to be quite there was still some stage whispering going on.  I think if I was to run the activity again I would tape the papers to one wall and have the groups at the other end like a relay.
8:15-8:30 songs and taps

Inventing Badge meeting – Part 2

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.

Invention Badge Meeting – Part 1

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.

Thinking Day Meeting

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.

Action on Poverty Meeting

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.

Astronomy Badge Meeting

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.