Junior Birder Guide

This is a great resource from Nature Canada, if you are planning a bird-centric meeting or hike.

Junior Birder Guide (also available in French)

The booklet includes lots of activities to learn about birds without drowning the girls in dense text.

 

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Top Secret Camp

A Camp for Girl Guides

Theme:  This camp is based on the Top Secret Challenge.  Other ideas were taking from a training at Share The Fun – Guider Enrichment Day

Guide Program Work:  This camp was designed to allow girls to work on their Naturalist badge.  This is also a great topic for covering some Girl Guide history.

Patrols: Patrols could be named after famous fictional spies or spy agencies.

Activities

Crafts

  1. Plaster Animal Tracks
  2. Finger print doodles
  3. Morse Code bracelets 
  4. Hide and Seek Bottle

Games

Food

Hold a Menu Meal

3D Animal Tracks

This website contains 3D models of many Canadian Animal tracks.  They create the models by taking many (20 plus) photos of a track found in the wild from different angles.  In addition to the digital 3D models they also have created 3D printer STL files so if you have access to a 3D printer you can print out the models to show kids in the field.  The site also has instructions for taking your own photos of tracks you may come across to add to their database.  That might be a fun project for Pathfinders or Rangers.

 

The 3d animal tracks project

Plaster Animal Tracks

You will need:

  • Plaster of Paris
  • Something to mix in suck as large plastic bags or old ice cream tubs
  • A stick or paint stir stick
  • tracks in mud or snow
  • Cardboard  strips (optional)
  • Vaseline (optional)

Steps:

  1. Find or make tracks.  Ideally you locate tracks in nature that have been made by wild animals.  However, you can use an old cast to press new tracks.  This makes a handy backup plan if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to find good tracks or if you have a large unit.
  2. Clear away any brush or debris from around the track, so you have a clean work area.
  3. If you wish, create a cardboard collar around the track to limit the spread of the plaster.  Coat the inside of the collar in Vaseline so it can be removed later.
  4. Mix your Plaster of Paris.  Follow the instructions on the package but in general you are looking for two parts plaster to one part water.  You will need to work quickly to make you mold before the plaster starts to dry.
  5. Pour your plaster over the track.
  6. Allow at least 20 minutes to dry.  If it is cold or really wet this may take longer.
  7. Once the plaster is dry, pry it up off the ground and rinse off extra dirt in water.

Here is a video showing a similar technique:

Forest Bathing

This is an interesting article on the Japanese practice of Forest Bathing.

Forest bathing—basically just being in the presence of trees—became part of a national public health program in Japan in 1982 when the forestry ministry coined the phrase shinrin-yoku and promoted topiary as therapy. … Just be with trees. No hiking, no counting steps on a Fitbit. You can sit or meander, but the point is to relax rather than accomplish anything.

I don’t think it will be a surprise to anyone in Guiding that being outdoors in nature is good for Mental Health.  But this piece can serve as a good reminder that we don’t always need to be so goal driven when we are in nature.  I’ve given my Guides time to just be with trees while we were on hikes.  Just wonder among the trees.  Smell the forest.  Feel the bark.  Some of the girls really enjoyed it, some didn’t really know what to do.