Semaphore is a fun, historical communication activity.  It was once considered an core Girl Guide skill but girls still have fun trying to send messages with flags.

Semaphore flags are not hard to make if you have basic sewing skills and once made they will last for years.  I’d suggest making at least two sets.

To practice semaphore split the girls into two groups.  Each group will need a set of semaphore flags, a copy of semaphore signals, some paper and pencils.  Have them spread out as far as possible.  Each team chooses a simple message to try a broadcast.  Then one team at a time tries to signal while the other team writes down what they see.  Then switch.


Caesar Cipher

Ciphers and codes can be a fun way to discuss communications and mathematics.  This video discribes one of the simplist ciphers the Caesar Cipher.

To present this to my Guides I discussed the Caesar Cipher and then had each girl make her own decoding ring using this pattern. The girls could then practice coding and decoding messages for each other.


DeCode is a new National Challenge on digital literacy. It replaces the old Cybercitizen Challenge.  It is in the form of an instant meeting for each branch.  There is also a backgrounder document for Guiders.  Many of the activities can be done off line so don’t disregard this challenge if technology is not available to your unit.  No matter what branch meeting you uses the challenge involves and opening and closing activity plus activities from the following three themes: My Digital World, Safe and Positive Spaces, and Disconnect and Reconnect

If you are looking for more digital literacy ideas, don’t forget that WAGGGS also has the Surf Smart Challenge although the free trial period is now over.

Silent Orders

Patrols in their corners.  A girl from each patrol is called to the game leader and told to get her patrol into some given position without speaking to the girls.  Fore example: sitting cross-legged in a line facing a certain direction; facing the door with hands on hips; standing in a row facing one way with legs apart and arms over head; etc.  Points are given to the quickest.  When Patrols become more experienced , they may be given several positions so they will have to carry out a series of positions (first position, second position, etc.) without spoken orders.

Connect with West Coast Area

I wish I’d heard about this earlier, however, this sounds like a great initiative by the West Coast Area in British Columbia.  The idea is for units to make simple postcards out of white index cards.  Mail them to a volunteer in the WCA and she will send you back postcards from another unit.  There are also crests you can order to celebrate your participation (free for members of WCA and $1.50 for units else where in the country).

Connect with West Coast Area

Human Rights Day

National has released the instant meeting for the third Make a Difference Day for this Guiding year.  December 10 is Human Rights Day making the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The Instant Meeting focuses on Article 1: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

The Instant meeting can be found here.