I Opened a Book

I opened a book and in I strode
Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.

I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion.
I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.

I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.

I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.

by Julia Donaldson


Blind Date with a Book

There was recently a great discussion on Facebook about alternatives to Secret Santa at the holiday times.  This can be especially important if you have girls in your unit who don’t celebrate Christmas or who come from economically disadvantaged families.  Even if this is not the case, one friend of mine’s daughter was in 5 or 6 Secret Santas between school and club etc.

Blind Date with a Book

Each girl picks out a book they have read but are now done with.   They wrap it in plan paper or newsprint.  On the outside they write a short summery.  Ideally they do this in a way that says something about the book without giving away what the book is.  Girls can pick a book they like the looks of based on the description on the outside.  Hopefully everyone leaves with a book they haven’t read yet.

This could also make a great Valentine’s Day meeting

Beatrix Potter 150 Challenge

2016 also marks the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter. This is another opportunity to tie Words in Action to a literary themed camp or meeting. Girlguiding North West England has developed a challenge in co-operation with Penguin Random House and The National Trust. There are different activities for Rainbows, Brownies and Guides/Senior Section.

I don’t know if the Girlguiding North West England office will ship internationally.  But the ideas are valid no matter where fans of Beatrix Potter dwell.

Roald Dahl Challenge

2016 marks 100 years since Roald Dahl’s birth.  So this is a great year to use Roald Dahl’s stories as a theme for a camp or meeting.   The 1st Tinto Brownies in the UK have had a long running  Roald Dahl Challenge with activities from many different books including:

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Witches
  • The BFG
  • Matilda

The contact information for the 1st Tinto Brownies is in the back of the challenge pack.  Contact them well in advanced if you want to ensure the crests are still available and enquirer about international shipping.  Or you can just use the ideas contained in the challenge as part of at Words in Action experience.


Grand Prairie Literacy Challenge

The Grand Prairie Literacy challenge was developed by the Grand Prairie Area in Manitoba.  It is quite an extensive challenge that would take many weeks to complete.

It is divide into 6 sections:

  • Just Read – challenges girls to read a set number of books based on their branch
  • World of Reading – Encourages girls to explore different types of reading
  • Celebrate Reading – Have fun with stories and
  • Awareness – learn about illiteracy and the importance of reading
  • Service Project – A list of book related service projects
  • Adult Challenges – encourage Guiders to form book clubs with their Guiding friends.

There is a large appendix of additional material to help you run the challenge including  an instant meeting based around “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss and hand outs for reading logs, book reports etc.

Crests are available directly from Grand Prairie Area headquarters.

The themes in this challenge pair very nicely with Words in Action National Service Project.