Dues – First Meeting

Girl Guides of Canada units usually charge a due of $1.00 per girl per meeting. To make it easier, we usually count up the weeks we are meeting in a year and ask parents to pay all at once at the beginning of the year, by cash or cheque.

Our due this year is going to be $30.00 This helps leaders to plan programming and gives you some cash to get the year started. It funds activities and Enrolment night and can also form all or part of the downpayment for a Autumn overnight trip.

My advice is to print out a copy of the roster and bring a large bag or envelope that can be sealed, and mark off the money as soon as each parent pays. This keeps an accurate record of who has paid what. Money should exchange hands between parent and leader, not through a girl.

I use this same technique for cookie money, and trip money.

In fact, I already have a roster printed and an envelope ready for each thing, because inevitably, there will be overlap between this cash intake. It also makes life worlds easier for your Treasurer and Cookie Purchaser! the

Make sure it is clear to parents on the first night what the dues are for the year, who cheques are payable to, and when cookies are available for pickup. Bring extra pens with you!

xx

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Enrolment Ceremony Play

Something that we are planning to do this year at our Enrolment Ceremony is have our second year Brownies do a quick skit of the Brownie Story. One other second year will recite the Brownie Toadstool bit as well. This helps give the night a purpose for the second years, rather than them feeling like a meeting or two is wasted at the beginning of the year. It contributes to the girls earning their Key to the Arts Brownie Key.

We are hoping that this adds some meaning to the ceremony and helps the first years and their parents to understand some of the routines we have and the deeper meanings behind Brownies.

I have copied and pasted my script below. You might want to divide it into more or fewer parts depending on how many second years are in your Unit. This is based off of 8 girls. I created the following parts: Grandma, Owl, Brooke, Cindy, 3 narrators, and 1 girl reading the Brownie Toadstool.

Note: I do NOT own this story. It is property of GGC. I just copied it out into play format and divided it by girl.

 The Brownie Story Play 

Narrator 1: Brooke and her cousin Cindy were on their way to visit Grandma Ella in the country. Grandma Ella lived with her dog Scooter, her turtle Leo and her fish Goldilocks in a small brick house, surrounded by thick woods. 

Brooke loved visiting Grandma Ella. In the fall, they collected leaves and dried them between the pages of heavy books. In the winter, they snowshoed and skated on the frozen pond. In the spring, they ate pancakes with maple syrup they bought from a farmer down the road. And in the summer, they swam in the pond and had picnics on the grass. 

Brooke loved to do all these things, but most of all, she loved to hear Grandma Ella’s stories about Brownies. Grandma Ella said Brownies were little people who helped with chores when no one was watching.  

Brooke: “I wish a Brownie would help me with my chores”. 

Cindy: “So do I.” 

Brooke (facing Grandma): “Have you ever seen a Brownie?” 

Grandma: “No one ever sees Brownies. They lend a hand when no one is around, and they always know exactly when help is needed.” 

Brooke: “Do you think there are any Brownies in the woods behind your house?” 

Grandma: “Brownies could be anywhere. The only one who knows where they are is the wise old owl who lives in the great pine tree near the pond.” 

Cindy: “I’ve never seen an owl near the pine tree.” 

Brooke: “Neither have I.” 

Grandma: “People say she only appears when the moon is blue.” 

Cindy (giggles): “The moon is never blue!” 

Grandma: “Oh sometimes it is …. but not very often.” 

Narrator 2: That night in bed, Brooke and Cindy talked about how much fun it would be to meet the wise old owl and learn more about Brownies. 

Cindy: “If I met a Brownie, I’d ask that Brownie to clean up my room. That would make my mom very happy.” 

Brooke: “If I met a Brownie, I’d ask that Brownie to dry the dishes, take out the garbage and pull up the weeds. That would make my mom very happy. And you know what else Cindy?” 

Narrator 2: But Cindy didn’t answer. She was fast asleep. Brooke stretched. She was feeling sleepy herself. (“Brooke” should do this action) 

Brooke: “If only I could meet that wise old owl.” 

Owl: “Whoooo. Whooooo. I was waiting for you.” 

Brooke: “Cindy?” (peering around). 

Narrator 2: But it wasn’t Cindy. Cindy was gone. The bedroom was gone. Brook was standing outside, near the pond.  

Owl: “Whoooo Whoooo, I see you”. 

Narrator 2: Brooke looked up. (“Brooke” should do this action) 

Brooke: “Yikes!” 

Narrator 2: She saw an owl sitting on a branch of the pine tree. 

Brooke: “Are you the wise old owl?” 

Owl: “Whooo. Whoooo. That is true.” 

Brooke: “But you’re only supposed to appear when the moon is blue.” 

Owl: “Whoooo. Whoooo. The moon is blue”. 

Narrator 3: Brooke looked up at the sky. The moon was blue. It was as blue as a blueberry. 

Brooke: “Do you know where I can find a Brownie? I want to ask the Brownie something important.” 

Owl: “Whoooo. Whoooo. Don’t roam. Look in Grandma’s home.” 

Brooke: “I’ve never seen a Brownie at my Grandma’s. Where is it hiding?” 

Owl: “Whooooo Whoooo. A Brownie is there. Now listen with care. This is the rule. At the toad stool. Look in the pond. Don’t use a wand. Turn ‘round three times. And finish what rhymes.” 

Brooke: “What rhyme do I have to finish?” 

Owl: “Twist me and turn me and show me an elf. I look in the water and I see …” 

Narrator 3: Brooke ran to the toadstool beside the pond. She turned three times, repeated the rhyme and looked in the pond. But all she could see was her own reflection. Brooke ran back to the owl. 

Brooke: “All I see is myself.” 

Owl: “Whooo. Whoooo. That is true. A brownie is you.” 

Brooke: “I’m a Brownie? No I’m not.” 

Owl: “Whooo. Whoooo. You’re a Brownie at heart. Now hurry and start.” 

Narrator 3: And with that, the owl flapped her wings and flew away. (“Owl” should do this action) 

Narrator 3: As soon as she did, the blue moon vanished. Brooke looked up. The sun peeked through the window. She was back in her room. She was back in bed.  

Brooke: “Cindy! I can be a Brownie. All I have to do is …” 

Cindy: “You can be a what?” (Cindy rubs sleep from her eyes) 

Brooke: “A Brownie. And you can be one too.” 

Narrator 3: And she told Cindy everything that had happened with the owl. 

Brooke: “Why don’t we be Brownies together? It might be fun!” 

Cindy: “Why not? Wow, Grandma will be so surprised!” 

Narrator 3: So that day, Brooke and Cindy wiped all the dishes, weeded every bit of the garden and took out the garbage without being asked. They even baked cookies and took them over to some of Grandma’s friends at the seniors’ centre. Everyone was surprised and delighted, especially Grandma. 

Grandma: “There’s magic in this house. Two wonderful Brownies have somehow appeared to help me out, just when I needed it. Do you think those Brownies might like some warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream?” 

Brooke and Cindy together: “Yes, they would!”  

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The Brownie Toadstool 

Long ago, our Founder Lord Baden-Powell decided that Brownies should have something special in the centre of the Brownie Ring. He chose a toadstool. The toadstool stands on a carpet of grass, which represents the solid foundation that unites Brownies everywhere. Grass is strong and spreads out in all directions, just like Brownies do, who live in many countries around the world. 

The stem of the toadstool stands for the Brownie Promise and Law, and the cap stands for the crown of happiness. When a Brownies keeps her Promise, it makes her feel as if she’s wearing a crown of happiness. 

The wise old owl sits on top of the toadstool and teaches the Brownies how to “Lend a Hand” to help others. Nearby, there’s a magic pool. When a Brownies lends a hand and helps others, she can look into the magic pool and see herself and say: 

Look in the magic pool and you will see what a special person I can be! 

xx

GGC Swag

Did you know that you can order FREE swag from Girl Guides of Canada – Ontario provincial office?!!!

I didn’t!!!! A year into GGC, and I’m still learning new things. Grrr.

You can order on this website but you need your IMIS number handy to do so. This site only works for members in Ontario and Nunavut, but I’m sure the other regions also have their own provincial swag stores.

These items are usually given to the girls at their first meeting in a little sway bag to take home. Bracelets, stickers, buttons, bookmarks … it helps them to feel excited and it helps parents to feel like all the money they put into the program is coming back to their daughters.

They are also used for cookie sale events and for parade events, to be handed out to children and parents and promote the GGC brand.

I recommend that you order ASAP because a lot of things are out of stock already. Especially if you are looking for English-language items. It is also handy to have some of the girl and volunteer postcards at your cookie sale event booths, for potential new adult and girl members (remember, they can join at any point in the year!)

 

Handshake Murder

This is a FANTASTIC activity that I read about on the Brownies Meet blog. I highly recommend it and plan to implement it at our second brownie meeting, so the girls for sure know the handshake before the enrolment ceremony!

Brownie Meeting Ideas

I just saw this on a Facebook post on the Ontario Girl Guides – unofficial page. It is BRILLIANT and I need to remember.

The question was… how do you teach the Girl Guide Handshake?54a487a343de5279e847ff08b50e5143

Lisa G’s answer was: We do Handshake Murder. It’s like Wink Murder but with handshakes. The girls mingle and walk around shaking hands with everyone they meet (doing the sign and left hand shake). One girl is the murderer. When she shakes hands with someone she squeezes three times to show that she is killing them. The victim has to shake hands with at least two more people before dying (as dramatically as possible 😛 ). There’s also one girl who’s the detective and has to guess who the murderer is before everyone dies. (Monday, September 18, 2017, Lisa G)

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Cookie Event Days – Girl Guides of Canada

Well, we are getting pretty close to the Fall Cookie Extravaganza! Cookies are delivered in September, but the dates are staggered throughout the province. Hopefully you ordered just the right amount in May for what your unit size is shaping up to be!

cookies

Now is the time to get the jump on things and register your cookie sale events in your town or city. Call up local box stores and supermarkets, explain who you are and get ready to sell. The store shouldn’t have to provide you with anything except space.

You can register your cookie sale event on the national website’s cookie finder map on this webpage.

You should aim to have all your cases sold by the end of the campaign (Nov 5th-19th, depending on when you received your cookies). More information is available on this page from national.

You may also choose to order promotional material from Girl Guides or make your own with your unit ahead of time. Official materials are available in both English and French.

cookie

—                           —                           —

(Sample signup below… feel free to copy and paste!)

Cookie Selling Days in <town>

Please sign up your daughter to attend two of these local cookie selling dates, if possible. The proceeds from these sales are used to pay for programming and help subsidize overnight trip(s).

We request girls register for one time slot on the weekend of October 13/14 to get the “Cookie Days in Canada” badge, as well as another date.

Parents are required to drop off and pick their daughter up from the event. Guiders will supervise during the event (parents need not stay). Brownies should be in uniform for the event! Thank you parents for all your support!!!

Cookie Selling Signup:

October 6th 12-2 at <location> (name of guider supervising)

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October 13th, 12-2 at <location> (name of guider supervising)

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October 13th, 2-4 at <location> (name of guider supervising)

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October 14th, 12-2 at <location> (name of guider supervising)

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October 14th, 2-4 at <location> (name of guider supervising)

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November 3rd, 12-2 at Zehrs <location> (name of guider supervising)

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November 3rd, 2-4 at Zehrs <location> (name of guider supervising)

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xx

First Meeting

Well! It has been a hot minute since the last time that I posted. There isn’t too much going on in my guiding unit during summer breaks.

However, we had a leader meeting last week to map out our first four months, which takes us up until the end of 2018. Hard to believe.

If you are a new guider, like I was last year, I will explain more in a later blog post. If you haven’t already though, definitely start reaching out to the other leaders in your unit or your community and plan a meetup at someone’s house, or your local Timmies.

I want to write out a journal of sorts of my first year as “lead” guider, for reference in future years, for documenting on this blog, and to hopefully help someone else out.

Last year I was completely lost!!!

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In case it isn’t legible, here it is:

** Write the date and note girl’s absences at the top of the page. You will be so thankful you did this when you are trying to figure out who has earned what badges!

Activities:

  1. Brownie Circles (put girls into them) and have them use these groups to perform skits on the “dos and do nots” of selling cookies.
  2. What I want to do at Brownies (worksheet) (see below)
  3. Brownie Wordsearch (if time – you can pull this out at any time during the year when you need to buy yourself 10 quiet minutes, or use it on the overnight trip)

Ice Breakers:

  1. My name is Aaron and I like Aardvarks
    1. How to play: Have everyone (including leaders) stand or sit in a circle. Each person things of an object or activity that starts with the same letter as their name (younger kids may need to do the same sound instead of letter). You go around the circle, with each person repeating all of the previous responses. ie; Sarah likes Salamanders, Hannah likes handball, Phoebe likes Pirates of the Caribbean …
  2. Hula Hoop Pass
    1. How to play: Have the group form two long lines. The girls should be close enough to hold hands but not shoulder to shoulder. At the top of each line, hand the first girl a hula hoop. The goal is to move the hoola hoop over their bodies to the last girl at the other end, without ever breaking hands. If they do, the hoop goes back to the front of the line and they start over! It is great to do best 2 out of 3 on this game.
  3. Change Your Spot:
    1. How to play: “It” stands in the centre of the circle (start with a leader). She calls out “change spots if …” and everyone who that applies to has to switch spots with someone else it also applies to. The It person tries to steal someone’s spot in the circle, and whoever doesn’t get a spot is the next It. The goal of this game is to learn what you all have in common, move your bodies and have fun! examples; change spots if you had cereal for breakfast/ you have a sister / you like to wake up early / you are a Leprechaun, etc.

Active Game:

  1. PacTag: This is a tag game where the It person, and everyone else, has to stay on the lines (like in Pacman). We meet in a gymnasium so this is perfect, but you can substitute another other version of tag if you don’t have lined pathways in your meeting space.

Craft:

  1. Make Nametags … preferably ones that are sturdy enough to last all year on their uniforms, or at least several meetings…. are you sensing a theme to this meeting yet?!

Discussions:

  1. What do you want to get out of the guiding experience this year (can be used at the same time as “what I want to do at Brownies” worksheet)
  2. What qualities describe a Brownie? (good to do this at the beginning of the meeting, so that you can outline expectations like how to be a good sport, and not talking while the leaders are talking)
  3. Have first year Brownies vote on their Enrollment theme. We pre-choose 2-3 themes that are manageable for the leaders to arrange, and let the girls vote from those.

Learn:

  1. Brownie motto, law and promise
  2. Unit member names
  3. Brownie Smile song (see below)
  4. I Met a Bear song (see below)
  5. Guiding history (start working on this)

brownies

 

Brownie Smile song:


I’ve got something in my pocket, it belongs across my face.
I keep it very close at hand, in a most convienient place.
I’m sure you couldn’t guess it if you guessed a long, long while.
So I’ll take it out and put it on, it’s a Great Big Brownie Smile!

Here is a Youtube video I found of a little girl singing the song with the actions. I do not own the video!

 

 

I Met a Bear song:

The other day, I met a bear,
A great big bear, Oh way out there.

Chorus:
(Same lines in unison)

He looked at me, I looked at him,
He sized up me, I sized up him.

He said to me, “Why don’t you run?
I see you ain’t, Got any gun.”

I says to him, “That’s a good idea.”
“Now legs get going, get me out of here!”

And so I ran, Away from there,
But right behind me, Was that bear.

In front of me, There was a tree,
A great big tree, Oh glory be!

The lowest branch, Was ten feet up,
So I thought I’d jump, And trust my luck.

And so I jumped, Into the air,
But I missed that branch, A way up there.

Now don’t you fret, And don’t you frown,
I Caught that branch, On the way back down!

This is the end, There aint no more,
Unless I see, That bear once more.

Here is recording of this song, so you get the tune. It is a call and repeat song, which is great for nervous new Brownies! Again, I do not own this.

Good luck!

xx

Get To Know Me Tag

You see these 20 things about me lists on social media all the time and I thought it might be fun to do something like that on here. So here are 20 random facts about the author of this blog…

  1. If I could wish for any superpower, it would be the ability to breathe underwater (while still being able to breathe above as well!)
  2. I am the youngest of three girls
  3. I plan to homeschool my children, at least through their elementary years
  4. I have a ginger cat named Meow Meow. He has a temper
  5. I work in a public library – branch life for me!
  6. I have tattoos
  7. I am pretty old-fashioned I guess?
  8. I am almost always early to work and usually late to everything else
  9. Other than libraries, I have worked as a server, a nanny, a cashier, a groundskeeper and for an engineering company
  10. My favourite season is Autumn, spring is second
  11. The most difficult thing I have ever achieved is my undergraduate degree. I had to work through financial issues, the breakdown on my family and emotional disorders. I eventually completed it online, part-time. It took me 9 years but I persevered and earned that degree!
  12. I constantly dream about home renovation and what I would do if I won big in the lottery (which I don’t play…)
  13. The places I am most excited to travel to are NewFoundland, Iceland, Scotland, Ireland and New Zealand
  14. My next trip will be to Mexico in 2019 for my best friend’s wedding
  15. I want to have a larger family, at least 4 kids
  16. I cannot leave the house without some form of payment card, lipgloss/lipchap, my phone, and keys
  17. I have had two near death experiences
  18. I do not drink coffee or tea
  19. I prefer Youtube to TV. Currently, I mostly watch this gathered nest, this gathered schoolhouse, this is how we bingham, jesssfam, and joyful chaos
  20. I prefer to sleep with my closet doors shut and my room tidy, but leaving them open wouldn’t prevent me falling asleep either.

xx