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.
The Sing for All to Hear challenge is a music challenge is from Manitoba. It contains three parts Sing for Manitoba, Sing for Canada and Sing for the Whole World. Different branches must learn a different number of songs from each section. Plus for older girls there are additional challenges with some songs such as learning to sing in harmony or as a round. The crests are available from the Manitoba provincial office.
Monashee Area in British Columbia has created to “top ten” lists of songs for your unit to learn. One list is aimed at Sparks and Brownies and the other is aimed a Guides/Pathfinders and Rangers. Crests can be ordered by filling out this crest order form.
This year’s Sing Ontario Sing Challenge has been released. This years list is “Lend a Voice” by the 3rd Uxbridge Brownies.
There are five categories of songs:
- Fire starters
- Warming up
- Leaping flames
- Marshmallow time
- Glowing embers
The complete song list can be found here and crests can be ordered from the Ontario Girl Guide office.
This years crest is really lovely.
A Winter Camp theme for Guides
Depending on which activities you ran this theme could work well for the Performing Arts, Picture This and/or Singing badges.
You can decorate with Movie posters or some of the posters from Lights, Camera, Action. Make a marquee for each door with the names of the girls sleeping there.
Go on a photo hike – Have each girl bring a camera with her to camp. Take a hike around your site stopping where there are interesting things to take photos of. You can give the girls tips on taking the best photos. Don’t forget to include: natural, landscape, action and portrait shots.
- Watch a film: You could show an old silent film like The Golden Eaglet or a newer popular film
- Have a karaoke party
- Skits or puppet shows
Thoughts for the Day
“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
― Ansel Adams
“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.”
― Abraham Lincoln
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” ~ Steven Furtick
This game might work better with older girls (Pathfinders or Rangers) unless your Guides sing a lot. It could also work well as a bridging game or as an ice breaker for Guiders.
Divide the players into two teams.
Provide a single word or idea (examples: fire, the name of a flower, friend, peace etc)
Each team has 5 minutes to brainstorm a list of Guide songs they know that contain that word or idea.
After the 5 minutes each team takes turns singing a song from their list. They don’t have to sing the whole song but they must sing at least one verse and it must be the one with the word or idea in it.
A team can not repeat a song that has already been sung, even if they had it on their list. They can add additional songs to the list if they think of them during the singing.
The team that runs out of songs first looses the round.
A karaoke parties are fun. Girls may choose to perform by themselves or in groups.
You may be able to borrow a karaoke machine from a parent. Hopefully they will have some karaoke cds to go with it that are age appropriate. Some karaoke machines are designed to be stand alone (with a screen that displays the lyrics) and others require a TV to be connected. Or you may be able to use a game system (like a wii or xbox) with a music related game like Rockband or SingStar.
Another cost effective option if you have internet access at your meeting or camp is to use a laptop with YouTube karaoke songs. If you search on YouTube you can find many lists of karaoke songs such as this one or this one.