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

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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

Niagara Falls

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** I have made few notes about badges throughout this post. I will update it when all the new badges and program materials have been released.

I went on a trip to Niagara Falls, Canada a few weeks ago and had an amazing time! It may be one of the biggest tourist destinations in our country, but it is one I always love to return to.

I went with another leader … and we had such a good time that we started wondering, what if we brought our Brownies here next spring for our big end of year trip ….

Something that makes Niagara Falls such a perfect experience, IMHO, is that it is a great blend of educational, adventure and nature tourism. A perfect combination for an organization like Girl Guides of Canada!

Based on my experiences, and a little bit of research, I am putting together a sample trip below. This will be my cheatsheet for next year if we decide to bring our unit, or it can form the basis for your unit’s trip. You can modify it based on your length of stay, unit age / interest, or fund-raising goals.

First off, I would HIGHLY recommend making this either a mother and daughter trip or at least having one adult to every 3-4 girls. This makes it easier for hotels (one adult and 3-4 girls per room) when you sleep over and fills a charter bus if you decide to take one down. Alternately, you could keep those same room assignments and have them double as car assignments.

Disclaimer: I have attempted to incorporate Safeguide levels within my description of each activity but I have not done this trip yet or verified anything with GGC, so you must do your own research to make sure everything you are doing is appropriate! If you charter a bus, that is green level, but if you decide to have the girls drive in cars and carpool, this is yellow! Overall, this is a yellow level trip, as long as it is less than 72 hours in length.

Day One:

For your first full day in Niagara Falls, I would recommend doing all of the “traditional” activities that normally highlight your trip. I would definitely recommend purchasing either the Classic Pass (for a shorter trip) or the Adventure Pass Plus (if you’re staying 2+ days). It saves you money, and you can book specific times for each attraction, which is important when in a large group. ** With the Classic Pass, you can opt to add-on 1-2 attractions for an additional cost. I would do this, choosing the Butterfly Conservatory and the Whirlpool Aero Car.

I recommend booking your first appointment for the White Water Walk. Book the Whirlpool Aero Car for one hour after this and the Butterfly Conservatory for another hour later. After a break for lunch, hit up some of the local gardens and let the girls either take a rest in the park, or play some great group games to keep them entertained during your “rest period”. If you prepare a nature scavenger hunt ahead of time for the gardens, this is a great opportunity to bring it out. There is a great gift shop a 5 minute walk from the White Water Walk, if you have extra time. You can also purchase snacks and drinks here and use washrooms.

In the afternoon: book the Journey Behind the Falls attraction for about three hours after the Butterfly Conservatory to allow for travel time and your lunch break, and an hour later schedule the Niagara’s Fury ride. This is both fun and educational! An hour afterwards, book your boat trip on Hornblower Niagara Cruises (formerly, the Maid of the Mist). Niagara’s Fury isn’t that long but there is a short walk between these two attractions. If you have the Adventure Pass, you can use the Incline Railway to get back to the top of Clifton Hill for supper. It saves you trying to drag a group of tired girls up a steep hill to get to restaurants and/or your hotel. Plus, there is a great view and it is a unique experience for many of them!

Sample Timeline:

10 am: White Water Walk (green level activity)

11 am: Whirlpool Aero Car (green level activity)

12 pm: Butterfly Conservatory (green level activity)

1pm: lunch and then explore the Floral Showhouse, and Garden Clock (green level activity)

3 pm: Journey Behind the Falls (green level activity)

4 pm: Niagara’s Fury (green level activity)

5 pm: Maid of the Mist / Hornblower Cruises (TPSP)

** Optional 5:45 pm: Falls Incline Railway (green level activity)

6 pm: Supper break and rest time

If you have time and energy before bedtime, the girls would probably love to do one of the following activities on Clifton Hill: Dinosaur Adventure Mini-Golf, Niagara Skywheel, or Ripley’s Museum (all green level activities).

Day 2:

This is more of a historical / cultural day than yesterday. It also really makes use of the Adventure Pass, so if your unit opted for a less expensive one, you might want to skip this part of the itinerary or just choose one or two things to do.

This route requires taking the WEGO bus all the way to the end of the line at Queenston Heights Park. Transfer to the Niagara-on-the-Lake busline and travel three more stops to historical McFarland House, where you will take a guided tour from costumed staff. Take the bus back towards the Falls for one stop, where you will get off at the Laura Secord Homestead. Costumed guides will give you a tour of her home and tell you about her life. This is a great opportunity to make a connection to Girls First programming and girl empowerment. You can purchase ice cream and souvenirs here, making it a great place for a small rest and snack.

The Mackenzie Printery is located at the next bus stop and it is a historical landmark, containing Canada’s oldest printing press, the Louis Roy Press. This is one of just seven wooden printing presses remaining in the entire world! It was used to print Canada’s first newspaper and some of our first laws, dating back to the 1700s. Girls will have an opportunity for hands-on learning with a couple of types of presses.

Brock’s Monument and Laura Secord’s Monument are located inside the Queenston Heights Park. The Six Nations and Native Allies Commemorative Memorial is also found in the park. At the top of the Niagara Escarpment, the scenery from this location is beautiful. The Park also has numerous gardens, a playground and a splashpad. If you are able to pack picnic lunches, this is a fantastic place to relax, eat and play for a couple of hours. There are also a snack bar and washrooms at this location.

10 am: McFarland House (green level activity)

11 am: Laura Secord Homestead (green level activity)

12 pm: Mackenzie Printery (green level activity)

1 pm: Queenston Heights and Brock Monument (green level activity)

Afternoon Option 1:

Take a charter bus to Old Fort Erie, a short drive away. Here, your unit will take a guided tour around the historic fort that was so pivotal during the War of 1812. Along the way, you will run across costumed staff portraying British, American and First Nation soldiers and see an exciting musket demonstration. Girls will see what life was like during this time period. In the on-site welcome centre, girls will view a short film introducing the sights of Old Fort Erie and visit an interactive exhibit. Washrooms and snacks are available at this location. Admission is included in the Adventure Pass Plus. (green level activity)

Afternoon Option 2:

Take a walk to the Fallsview Indoor Water Park, within walking distance of Clifton Hill and the Falls. Girls can spend a fun afternoon playing in the wave pool and riding a variety of water slides. Washrooms (including public showers), change-rooms and a restaurant are on-site and towels are provided. This water park has been TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award Winner for two years. The park also provides customized educational programming included with the admission, if you make arrangements at booking. Admission to the water park is not included in any of the Niagara passes I’ve mentioned above. (I think this is a green level activity [facility lifeguards present] but girls may NOT access the rooftop pool which has no lifeguards). *All swimmers must have passed the swim test.

6:30 pm: Supper break and rest time

If you have time and energy before bedtime, the girls would probably love to do one of the following activities on Clifton Hill: Dinosaur Adventure Mini-Golf, Niagara Skywheel, or Ripley’s Museum. (all green level activities)

Day 3:

Last day!

Start with an early morning visit to the Cham Shan Buddhist Temple. You will need to take the WEGO bus to this stop, but it is a short ride. There is an impressive collection of statues and architecture both inside and out. This is a functioning Buddhist monastery where tourists are welcome to join in worship services. During weekends, volunteers provide guided tours of the building, and share beliefs and practices involved in Buddhism.

Next, hop back on the bus and continue to the Niagara Glen Nature Centre and Trails. This is a fantastic opportunity to go back to guiding roots and take a gorgeous hike on trails that roughly follow the Niagara River. Guided tours can be arranged, where staff will happily educate your unit on the geological and biological history of the area. After watching the Niagara’s Fury film on day one, it should be easy for girls to understand and envision the world their tour guide paints. If possible, bring packed lunches and enjoy a picnic or hit up a restaurant on the way to the next destination.

After lunch, visit the Whirlpool Adventure Course, appropriate for ages 6+. You will climb high above the Niagara whirlpool to have fun on a series of ziplines, and climbing and jumping courses. No where else will you be able to experience this with such an epic backdrop. Afterwards, visit the Bird Kingdom, the world’s largest free-flying indoor aviary. You will travel through this indoor rainforest to meet exotic animals and it is a rare chance to take amazing photos of different species. This is another fantastic opportunity for a nature scavenger hunt in your unit. The aviary is within walking distance of Clifton Hill and the Falls.

Finish your trip by visiting Crock A Doodle pottery centre. Visit their studio for hands-on fun that can be arranged to match your itinerary or upcoming badge goals. This is a fun way to wind down the excitement of an adventurous trip and give all the girls a little something to remember their trip by. Who doesn’t love a good craft?! Especially when the guider doesn’t have to source materials or deal with the mess!!! Crock A Doodle is within walking distance of Clifton Hill and the Falls. This attraction is not included in any of the passes.

From here, catch your vehicles or charter bus back home, eating supper on the bus. I find it is super convenient to pre-arrange kids meals with a local subway or pizza joint. Parents can indicate their child’s meal /drink preference during the trip planning process and leaders call it in the day before to the chosen restaurant, and indicate the time they are picking it up. Super easy way to get through the meal, get on the bus and have everyone happily munching for the first part of the drive!

9 am: Cham Shan Buddhist Temple (green level activity)

10 am: Niagara Glen (green level activity)

12 pm: Lunch break!

1 pm: Whirlpool Adventure Course (TPSP)

3 pm: Bird Kingdom (green level activity)

5 pm: Crock A Doodle  (green level activity)

This is the last day! Time to head home.

 

FAQs:

Question: Why should you book passes?

Answer: You save a lot of money, they will help you plan out and book your attraction times and they very helpfully put your pass on a lanyard around your neck. This helps make sure passes don’t get lost, and you can use your one card for the bus and all the attractions you book. With a large group, this is super helpful!

When you purchase a pass you can ride the WEGO buses for 2 days. With a large group of children or adults, this is another huge benefit, plus you don’t end up having to pay for parking everywhere. The buses run regularly and we used them the whole time we were there. With the Adventure Pass, you also can ride the Niagara-on-the-Lake bus system, which is used in day two of my proposed itinerary.

Question: What Safeguide forms do we need?

Answer: IR.1, SG.1, SG.2, SG.3, SG.4, SG.5, SG.7, H.1, WA.1 third party’s waver (if required by third party), a list of all adults in attendance. H.3 is required if any girl will require medication to be administered during a trip. A Home Contact Person must be set up. Girls must be paired up in a buddy system. H.2 is required for adults.

Question: In addition to Safeguide forms, what other information should we provide parents?

Answer: Information on transportation, personal kit list, clothing for outdoor activities, contact information, location, meeting times, etc, details of activities taking place, cost.

Comment below if there is anything that I have missed or you think is inaccurate about the forms! I am new to that aspect of guiding 🙂

clouds-landscape-niagara-falls-149471

Planning a Guiding Year (1)

I’m am going to try to write a series of posts that are geared towards planning your guiding year. I have already written a couple, such as a sample letter to parents that can be found here, and tips on setting up your Brownie/Spark circles which can be found here.

I try to plan my guiding year around the seven main themes that are in guiding and major holidays, plus the seasons. For example, the beginning and end of the year have most of our outdoor activities because it just isn’t that fun to take a group of little girls outside in -30C weather. We still do the odd outdoor activity like tobogganing, but mostly try to schedule indoor activities when its cold outside.

My first unit meeting this year is Tuesday, September 11th. I have roughly charted out our first 3-5 meetings…

Week One:

The first meeting can be a rough one on kids, especially first year Brownies. Many are shy, some didn’t do Sparks, and it has been a long time since their last meeting in the spring. We mostly play icebreakers and review the Brownie Law, Promise and Motto. I encourage the girls to practice this at home so that they know it before the enrolment ceremony.

We have a group discussion on how a Brownie conducts herself… the purpose of this is to set out expectations of behaviour from the outset by having the girls share the qualities that they expect of themselves and their fellow Brownies. We play up being a good friend and teammate, respecting personal boundaries and limitations, listening when the Owls are speaking or a guest is visiting, and lending a hand.

I also have an activity I found online that I love to do at the beginning of the year. I’ll insert a photo below, but it basically encourages the girls to share their hopes and expectations of the year. They can draw a picture or write down what they want to say.

brownies

We are doing TWO crafts this week … something we may not do again this year!

The first craft is a canvas bag that they can decorate. At our location, there is no water fountain so we encourage water bottles and most of the year, they need a change of footwear as well. In addition, we usually send them home with a craft or something so making these in the first week is fun for children and a big help to leaders / parents.

The second craft is specifically for the first years. One of the leaders will do a game with the second years in another room while our littler ones make an invitation for their parents to their enrolment ceremony! Again, I want them to be able to guide the year so as leaders, we will come up with 3 or so themes that we like and feel are manageable and then let the girls vote on which one they would prefer.

Week Two:

I am hoping that we can go to one of the local baseball diamonds this week to play soccer baseball. I definitely feel that kids should be active, and there is limited opportunity for entertaining that many kids in a gymnasium when you don’t have a ton of equipment like schools do. Plus, I want to promote getting outside, being active, and using the resources in your community!

There are a few of these diamonds in my town that have playground equipment next door. So we will start our meeting with the traditional opening ceremony, playing up the Promise, Motto and Law to help the new Brownies practice it a bit, then do our main activity. Likely, it will be necessary to review being a good winner and a good loser.

After the game, snacks and water will be shared (provided by leaders) and then we can sing some songs, or go straight to the playground equipment for free play, depending on how much time is left. I will bring some of the (limited) play equipment we have with me to encourage them to be imaginative and play. We have a few balls and skipping ropes and hula hoops to share.

When we do a local activity like this, we have their parents pick up and drop off at our temporary location to keep it a green level activity. If you are concerned about it getting dark before the end of the meeting, pick up a few packages of glow stick bracelets and let the girls wear them.

Although the timing isn’t necessary perfect to do this on the second week, between weather restrictions, cookies, the enrolment ceremony, Thanksgiving and then Remembrance Day and the Santa Claus parade in November, it is one of the only chances we have to take the unit outside and play in the Autumn.

Week Three:

Week three is going to be CRAZY!!

This is enrolment ceremony week. Lots of extra work for leaders.

We will open as usual and practice saying the Promise, Motto and Law a bunch of times. Then we will review how we show respect to our guests (the parents) and our fellow Brownies by not talking during the ceremony, offering dessert to the parents first, etc.

We will do a dry-run of the enrolment ceremony as well (usually parents come 30 minutes early to pick up their kids to watch the ceremony but the first hour they are not there, as usual).

anticipate that cookies will be delivered by this time, so we will try to deal with parents and cookies at the same time, which is actually kinda convenient although chaotic. If we can find the time before the enrolment ceremony, the girls LOVED doing skits last year modelling good and bad behaviour when selling cookies (how to be polite, practising their spiel, memorizing the price, etc). This is sure to bring out lots of giggles but is also really useful and practical for them in learning these saleswoman’s skills.

Week Four:

This is our last meeting before Thanksgiving. I don’t know exactly what the plan is yet, but it will be related to the holiday. I would love to get the girls involved in something benefiting the food bank, whether we take 30 minutes to go door to door in groups surrounding the church we meet in, or just ask each family to bring a donation. Or both. I know our craft will be related to this as well, probably something that they can display on the Thanksgiving table.

This will be the first week that we give “homework” as well. IMHO, this meeting is a perfect time to bring up a badge that involves families a little bit, since most families gather together at this time. I am currently thinking of the women through the ages badge. I think it would be awesome to encourage our girls to talk to an older woman in their family or community and find out what her life was like growing up, and ask old family stories. It is also a great opportunity for girls to learn more about their ancestors.

Week Five (ish):

We live in Ontario and this year, October 22nd is municipal voting day. I have reached out to my local municipal offices to request an after-hours tour of the building, and have someone talk to us about what local government does, and how someone like a Mayor is elected. I have provided three dates leading up to and immediately after voting day and I am hoping they will accommodate us on one of those.

I want to tie this into empowering our kids in the local community and teaching them to recognize needs in the community and learning how they can address issues they feel are important. This can be tied into other badges throughout the year, such as encouraging them to write a letter to council on an issue that they identify, if our inquiries lead us in this direction.

Of course, it is entirely possible that nothing will come of it and our visit turns into a one-off, but I am hoping they will see something – for example, the fact that our local playgrounds don’t have any trees to provide shade – that they want to change and we can support them on their quest! We also have a grant next year to play trees in the spring, so this ties into my example well and would be something we have the finances to carry through if the township agrees to let us.

Whew! That was a lot … I kinda wonder if anyone even read this far. I will cover each week in a dedicated, more detailed post as we go, but hopefully this is helpful to some new leader to start the year strong with a framework in mind.

xx

Camp Fire Song List

Does anyone know other great campfire songs that I could teach to my Brownies? I want to try to learn 3 new songs a month with them because I think that music is so important. It helps create a bond between the girls and memories that will last forever. When I think back on my camp trips, songs are the part I remember most clearly.

 

music

And from a leader perspective, the more songs the girls know the better. It means you have more options to pull out of thin air to amuse everyone and keep them focused when you have 10 minutes to fill, or on a long hike or drive.

Brownies Song List

  1. Taps
  2. Fire’s burning
  3. On top of spaghetti
  4. I met a bear
  5. Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
  6. Land of the silver birch
  7. Home, home on the range
  8. Ging gang goolie
  9. Found a peanut
  10. Oh my darlin’ Clementine
  11. Black Socks
  12. Canada in my pocket
  13. This land is your land (Canadian)
  14. I’se the b’ye
  15. The more we get together
  16. The ants go marching
  17. There’s a hole at the bottom of the sea
  18. There’s a hole in my bucket
  19. Doin’ the Newfie stomp
  20. The cat came back
  21. Magdalena Hagdalena
  22. We’re all together again
  23. Oh! Susanna
  24. John Brown’s body
  25. Boogie woogie washing woman
  26. Thorn Rosa

Brownie Law, Promise and Motto

The Promise

I promise to do my best,

To be true to myself, my beliefs and Canada.

I will take action for a better world

And respect the Brownie Law

 

Brownie Law

As a Brownie

I am honest and kind;

I help take care

Of the world around me

 

The Motto

Lend a Hand!

(on hand, through your right hand up into the air)

**

Letter to Parents

Below, I have included a sample letter to parents that I have written for the 2018/2019 guiding year. Feel free to copy and paste although you will have to edit a couple of parts (mostly the introduction of the leaders). I also created a brief 3-5 question survey on surveymonkey to judge whether parents and Brownies were interested in certain activities.

Also, we used a wordpress blog to create a Brownie website that is just for our unit. You need a password to access this site which is given to parents at the beginning of each year. This is where we upload forms and communicate with parents.

 

Welcome Brownie Parents to the 2018/2019 Guiding Year!

Whether you are the parent of an experienced guide or this is your first foray into GGC, welcome to a fresh new year. We are SUPER excited to be guiding your daughters this year and have some big plans. First off, introductions!

Brown Owl (insert real name) – brief introduction on who I am

Tawny Owl – 

Snowy Owl – 

 

E-Forms:

Along with this email, you should have received an invitation to our Brownie website/ mailing list. This is how we communicate important details such as meeting time/location changes so please subscribe to these emails. We promise not to bombard you. You should have also received an invitation to a survey monkey webform. Please respond ASAP. It should take about 90 seconds but will help us to plan our upcoming meetings and trips! Most forms will be electronic this year to prevent unit money being spent on printing.

 

Important Details:

The first meeting will be held on (insert date). Meetings will normally be from 6:30-8:00. This could occasionally change for special events and we will notify you the week of in these cases. You must walk your daughter to our meeting place AND pick up her. We will NOT send her out unless you are in the building, for safety. Also, if someone else is picking her up, please inform us during the drop-off.

Meetings will be held at (insert name of building and street address), in the gymnasium. Parking is limited so we encourage families to carpool once they get to know each other. There is no water fountain at the church and we have found the girls always ask for water. Please send your daughter with a water bottle and indoor shoes (if rainy and in winter).

 

Changes to Girl Guides of Canada Curriculum:

You may have noticed that GGC has changed their logo and curriculum for this year, based on feedback over the past several years. We are excited about these changes, but there are a few differences that parents might notice. In particular, the Brownie book has changed. If you prefer to keep last year’s this is fine, but we are going to place a bulk order of new books, to save on shipping costs. Please send the attached form and cash or cheque made out to (INSERT NAME) with your daughter to the first meeting as we will be ordering these ASAP. Any badges and keys your daughter has earned in previous years are still valued and honoured and should remain on her sash.

If you haven’t found the uniform ordering page yet, it can be found here.

 

Cookies!

Cookie time is nigh upon us. Autumn cookies are the popular mint/chocolate kind and we ordered them for our unit back in August. The proceeds from our cookie sales benefit our unit and help us to do fun activities. When we raise enough, we even use the funds to help subsidize the costs of overnight trips! Please be prepared for the cookie campaign to start at just about the same time as unit meetings.

 

New Brownies and Anxiety:

A lot of kids struggle with anxiety, particularly in a new setting. We are totally aware of this and the first meeting is going to be all about ice breakers and meeting new friends. If you have a particular concern, please speak to one of the Owls and we would be happy to work with you to ensure your daughter has a strong start in our unit.

It might be helpful if your daughter knows what to expect in her very first meeting as a Brownie so here is a quick run-down of the songs we will be singing and the Brownie Promise/ Law.

 

Opening Song:

We’re the Brownies, here’s our aim,

Lend a hand and play the game.

We’re the Brownies, here’s our aim,

Lend a hand and play the game.

 

Promise / Law:

I Promise to do my best,

To be true to myself, my beliefs and Canada.

I will take action for a better world

And respect the Brownie Law.

 

As a Brownie I am honest and kind.

I help to take care of the world around me.

Lend a hand!

 

Closing Song:

Oh Lord our God,

Thy children call.

Grant us Thy peace.

And bless us all.

Good niiiiigggghhhhhtttt.

Now run along home and jump into bed,

Say your prayers and don’t cover your head.

The very same thing i say unto you

Is you dream of me and i’ll dream of you.

Goodnight Brownies, EVERYWHERE!

 

Hope this helps any new leaders to start their year off right!

xx