Tubing with Scouts!!!

Just before Christmas, one of the local Boy Scout units invited GGC units to go snow tubing with them at a local ski “resort”. One of our leaders was interested so we opened it up to the girls and their families, and 8/20 families in our group decided to join in!

Scouts secured a great group rate for anyone booking through them for the evening, so our girls are excited to head out and have some fun in the snow this week.

Hopping in on other units’ activities is a great way to create access to more activities than you can generate on your own. Don’t forget that networking in your local community, and it doesn’t just have to be other GGC units!

We are fortunate enough that many of our girls can earn their winter activity badges many times over in the unit this year, but if there is someone who missed the previous events and attends on Thursday, we will definitely be awarding them their badge!

xx

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Lake St George Trip

We booked an Outdoor Experiences Trip for February 2019, at Lake St. George. We arrive on Friday evening, and parents pickup around lunchtime on Sunday. I wrote broadly about the Outdoor Experiences program in a recent post, but this one is more about our actual trip.

This camp weekend is for Sparks, Brownies and Guides so there may be other units there as well, although the ages won’t be too drastically different since my girls are the middle age group ūüôā

Activities Included:

  • Tubing
  • Broomball
  • Evening Hike
  • Mini-Olympics
  • Dry Print Art
  • Astronomy

Assuming that all these activities go ahead, my girls will earn the following badges for attending:

  • Winter Outside
  • Winter is Great
  • Team Together
  • Which Way (possibly)
  • Be Aware (possibly)

What’s Included?

  • Friday night snack
  • 3 meals on Saturday + snacks
  • Sunday breakfast
  • All equipment rental (example: tubes and art supplies)
  • Daytime facility staff who will lead activities
  • heated, dormitory-style sleeping quarters

What’s Not Included?

  • Transportation to and from

We prepared a Kit List to share with parents on this trip. I will upload this in a separate blog post this week since there is a lot of content.

In addition, as I mentioned in my previous blog post, the registration process provides you with the necessary SafeGuide forms, so I just needed to print out copies for each of my families and collect the completed forms and money!

The badges we expect our girls to earn from this trip are:0

I am a little nervous about this camp but also super excited. It should be lots of fun!!

Any tips to share?

xx

Christmas Badge Presentations

How do you award your badges?

We are awarding them periodically throughout the year. Personally, I really don’t like waiting until May. For many of our girls, receiving them – and watching friends receive them – is a motivating experience. Everyone wants to get every badge that they can. It is the reward for all of their hard work.

We handed out a few right after Halloween, although we hadn’t earned much by then. Most of the girls earned a fair number this time around though and they were So. Excited.¬†

Badge Presentation Idea

Sorry for the rough quality in this picture. I shot it really quick as I ran out the door to our meeting on Tuesday night.

I made the infographic using this free website. I place it in wordpress to play with the sizing a little and ended up with the following document, which you are welcome to download and use for yourself:

I printed out enough copies on plain white cardstock, and we cut them into rough Christmas tree shapes. Then we stapled brown ribbon to the bottom for our tree trunks and used safety pins to pin the badges onto the ribbon. 

This was a fairly simple process. All in all, it took about 2 hours to do everything and I had 19 Brownies to prep for.

I knew they were excited for the badges since they ask for them¬†every single week¬†but they were so happy with the presentation as well, which surprised me. We could overhear them saying to their parents, “Look what Skye Owl made for us” , “It is so pretty!”. This was lovely and reiterated the importance of making this a big deal every once in a while.

I am a stickler for only giving the girls the badges they have earned, so they didn’t all have the same ones. However, if someone is sick for an evening, I try to make sure I have a way for them to “make up” the badge work at home, if they want to.¬†

While handing out the badges, I also recognized three girls for outstanding Brownie work. Two of the girls went with their Mums in the fall to plant trees with a local community group. A third girl collected new, warm socks with her Mum to send to the far North of Canada, to communities with a lot of poverty. Each of these girls got a crest for her efforts (see pic below) and I explained how and why they earned them. We all clapped for them. Hopefully their actions will encourage the others to take action for a better world as well.


In retrospect, seeing what a big deal it was for the girls, I wish that we had invited the parents to pick up a little early so they could see the presentations. But I am positive they heard all about it on the way home.

xx

Fantasy of the Lights

Next week will be our last meeting before our month-long holiday break. Huzzah!

The local Optimist’s Club of Canada started hosted something called Fantasy of the Lights in the local park about a decade a go. Many of the different businesses, families and groups put in a light display to mark the holidays and it is beautiful. 

This has become the traditional end of year meeting activity for most of the Guides and Scouts. We suit up in warm winter gear and stroll through the park for an hour, often with parents and siblings in tow. Afterwards we play in the snow.

This is always a fun night. Beautiful, good exercise and FREE! Or close to. Usually a leader or parent volunteers to stay behind to prepare hot chocolate and a Christmas cookie or something for a warm treat at the end.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

xx

Family Heritage Badge – Genealogy!

Family Heritage Badge

We are challenging our Brownies to complete the Family Heritage badge at home this holiday season. There is a month off from regular meetings, so we are taking a few minutes at the end of our Christmas PJ party to talk about family heritage and earning this badge.

It would be really difficult for us to teach the girls without knowing their family information… so this badge seemed like the perfect Christmas holiday opportunity!

I teamed up with Emily from Growing Little Leaves to come up with a worksheet printable to send home with each of the girls. Emily created this family tree, which is available to download on her website. I have edited it slightly for use with my Brownies, and you can download this version here.

We broached the subject of ancestry during our Dias de los Meurtos celebration in November. Hopefully there isn’t a lot of discussion required during our Christmas party…

The official Brownie book contains these tips for earning the badge, and we will communicate this to parents:


Interview an older relative about life when she was young.  What games did she play?  What was school like for her?  What chores did she have at home?  If she was a Brownie, what activities did she do?  
Locate the places your parents or grandparents came from on a map.  Why did your family move from that place?  When did they come to where they are living now?
Share a special family treasure, such as a photo, a piece of jewelry, or a quilt.  Why is it special?  Tell its story.

The hope is for each girl to return in January ready to present her badge!

Growing Little Leaves has a bunch of other FREE printables on her website. I am also sending home with the girls this cute maternal/paternal snowman print-out which is perfect for December

Finally, I want to also try and do Emily’s Celebrating Female Ancestors worksheet since Guides is all about the girl.

Click the links above to find the exact documents I am referencing on Emily’s website. 

To help explain this activity and the meaning behind it, I am going to read My Family Tree and Me by Dusan Petricic. 

We also read Fancy Nancy: My Family History

Image result for fancy nancy my family history

How do you handle badges that are difficult to complete in-meeting? Do you have a better idea than worksheets?

xx

Oct 16 Meeting Plan ~ Voting Theme

Here is our plan for week 6, October 16th:

Game: Dodgeball

*We always start with an active game to try to run out some of the girls’ energy. It usually leads to better listening later in the evening.

Circles: 

  • Girls do attendance¬†
  • This week we have new circle bins (our old ones broke), so present those and let them switch out their goodies¬†
  • Give the girls books about service projects and tell them to pick one they would like to do this year (1 pick per circle)¬†

*We picked out two books for each circle to look at from the local library and were able to get two copies of most of the books. This is building on what we learned last week during our visit to the Municipal Office.

Book 1: The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects by Barbara A. Lewis

Book 2: Pay it Forward Kids by Nancy Runstedler

Book 3: Our Heroes by Janet Wilson

Book 4: Be the Change in Your Community by Megan Kopp

Opening Ceremony / Big Circle Time 

  • 3 presentations while in big circle (2 girls for girlfriends through the ages and 1 for be a chef)¬†¬†
  • Ask if anyone else has ‚Äúbadgework‚ÄĚ to turn in. Encourage them to bring back their girlfriends through the ages sheet next week¬†(we handed this out before Thanksgiving)
  • Circle Leader from each circle gives presentation on the service project their circle picked¬†
  • Hand out voter ballots and pens and have each girl vote. Winner to be announced at end of the¬†meeting¬†(we were lucky that the Township Office photocopied real voter ballots for use during this activity, free of charge!)
  • Tell¬†the girls that we sold 20 cases of cookies at our cookie sales on the weekend. Congratulate all the girls for¬†their hard work so far this year¬†
  • Read these books: Start Little: Think Big, Vote Little; Barbie: I Can Be President
  • Snowy Owl explains the craft and why we are making these invitations¬†¬†

Craft Time: We are making invitations for friends. Two weeks from now, at our October 30th meeting, we will be having a Halloween Party / Bring a friend to Brownies night. I will post this craft separately after our meeting. Right now, I don’t know what Snowy has dreamed up!

Games: Wheelbarrel race (pair up); Red Light Green Light 

Song: We are learning some songs from different regions as part of the Sing Ontario Sing Challenge of 2019-2020. This week we are going to learn an American Girl Scouts Song, Make New Friends.

Make New Friends 

Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold. 

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That’s how long,
I will be your friend. 

A fire burns bright,
it warms the heart.
We’ve been friends,
from the very start. 

You have one hand,
I have the other.
Put them together,
We have each other. 

Silver is precious,
Gold is too.
I am precious,
and so are you. 

You help me,
and I’ll help you
and together
we will see it through. 

The sky is blue
The Earth is green
I can help
to keep it clean 

Across the land
Across the sea
Friends forever
We will always be 

 xx

Voting, Elections and Girl Empowerment – Week 5 Itinerary

What are we doing at Brownies this week?!

Well, the municipal election is coming up later this month in Ontario so we are going to talk about local governments.

How they get elected … who is elected … what functions it fulfills …

And what better way to do this then by taking a tour of our local municipal office with the clerk’s department!

arnaud-jaegers-253360-unsplash

I love nights like this, because leaders basically just show up to supervise the girls. The clerks are going to be preparing all of the programming for our Brownies. We will carry this theme into next week to help the night to have more meaning, but basically – I get this week off!

Well timed, since we celebrated Thanksgiving at my house today.

I’m not sure exactly what badge this is going to contribute to yet. I need to sit down and really look at the book, but if you happen to know, comment below!

xx