Spring Trip Kit List

This is the Kit List that I have prepared for our trip to the Jungle Cat World Zoo. It will be taking place in early April – an unpredictable time to be outside in Ontario. Since I am handing out trip forms to parents in February, there are going to be a lot of items with “weather dependent” written beside them!

Outerwear

  • warm mittens or gloves
  • hat
  • snow suit / splash pants / wind breaker (depending on forecast)
  • warm boots or rubber boots with warm socks
  • sneakers or hard-soled slippers for inside
  • umbrella (depending on forecast)
  • sunglasses

Clothing

  • 1 tshirt
  • 1 long-sleeved shirt
  • 2 pairs underwear
  • 2 pairs socks
  • 1 warm sweater
  • 2 pairs of pants

Personal Items

  • toiletries (toothbrush/paste; hair brush and ties; sunscreen; kleenex; soap; wash cloth; lip balm; hand towel)
  • medication (please clearly label with name and instructions for leaders)
  • sleeping bag
  • pillow
  • extra blanket
  • foam roll (optional)
  • book (optional)
  • ear plugs (optional)

Mess Items

  • mesh bag to carry items in
  • bowl
  • cup
  • plate
  • fork and spoon
  • all items must be non-breakable
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Overnight Trip – Jungle Cat World

We are going to Jungle Cat World for our second (and final) overnight trip of the year!

This will be in April so we haven’t done too much work for it yet. We are keeping it a surprise from the girls until February or so. 

Jungle Cat World will hopefully be a great experience. It is a small zoo with big cats (surprise, surprise) as well as plenty of other animals. It is only about 30 minutes from home and was a cheap $50.00 per person. You can’t really beat that price! 

What is included?

Indoor, dormitory-style sleeping quarters

Supper the night we arrive

Private, after-hours tour of the zoo 

Watching the animals’ evening feeding

Bonfire (we will provide s’mores for the girls)

Classroom lesson on conservation and endangered species 

What’s NOT included?

Transportation (parents to arrange)

* Breakfast the next morning (guiders to provide)

We do have access to a full kitchen to prepare and serve breakfast to the girls.

Our group is able to stay at the zoo for the entire next day without paying another admission. We are going to have the girls picked up at 1:00 so that we don’t also have to organize and provide lunch. We will definitely let parents know ahead of time though, that if they want to bring their other children and spend the day, their Brownie won’t have to pay again.

For this trip, we prepared these forms: SG.1, SG.2, H.2. We already have IR.1 and H.1 for each girl. These forms are available on the GGC website, but you will need to login to view them.

We also prepared a Kit List for each family to know what to pack. Our trip is in early April, and we have to provide the forms in February so we basically told them to pack everything with a little “* weather dependent” note beside half of the items. Depending on the year, it could still be snowing or 20C!

I will post the Kit List in a separate post later today.

Pro Tip: After you print all the sheets and staple them together for each girl, write her name on the top of each packet. Then you know exactly who hasn’t received theirs yet when it is still sitting with your guiding things!

The badges we expect to earn this visit are:

  • Saving Plants and Animals
  • Cookout (for those who missed that meeting)
  • Help our planet

xx

Healthy Living Badges

Happy 2019!

We are starting our first meeting back from Christmas break on January 15th. We are attempting to cover two badges this week: Food Power and Go For It.

Go For It!

Luckily, one of the girls’ Mum is a fitness instructor and nutritionist and she volunteered to run this meeting. We have prepared a few things in order to help facilitate, just in case our speaker doesn’t have enough items to fill the meeting. She is really on the ball though and I doubt she will need our ideas!

So in our circles, we will catch up any badge presentations that need to happen after our month long break. We will also ask the girls to name their three favourite vegetables and three favourite fruits.

Food Power!

Throughout the evening, we will also ask the girls how physical activity keeps you strong and healthy, and it means to be healthy?

It is important at this age to encourage kids to play actively and to play outside. During Canadian winters, this can be tricky so it is really important for the girls to talk about their favourite ways to do so. We also want to talk about playground equipment: what types are there and what games you can play on the equipment.

Some games that we have thought up to actively play in our meeting (we meet in a gym, luckily) are tag (any variation), dodgeball, and the giant parachute. During any of our physical activities, we will take our “pulse” before and after and discuss whether it changed and why.

I am hoping to bring a healthy snack with me this week. Probably some clementines or carrots and humus. We purposely did not start our snack signup for the first meeting back because we didn’t want to spend the whole meeting talking about being healthy and then eat cookies, etc.

Finally, we are sending the girls home with this I Tried Something New page to encourage them to try new foods.

xx

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 🙂

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

Ontario Outdoor Experiences

New this guiding year, Ontario created a series of overnight weekends called Ontario Outdoor Experiences. This is a new way for leaders to bring their girls outdoors and work towards different badges, without the guiders have to arrange as much as they would during independent camping trips. girls All we have to do is register, fill out the normal paperwork, and show up with the girls to supervise!

The provincial council has partnered with third party outdoor experience providers to arrange dedicated GGC weekends, with each weekend being dedicated to a specific branch.

We have booked our first outdoor experience for February 2019. This is a pretty big trip for us – two nights – which is the most I would feel comfortable arranging at the Brownie level.

While searching for a camp to book, our main requirements were less than 1 hour’s distance from home (one-way) and the correct branch on a weekend Guiders were free. So that pretty well narrowed it down to the camp we are doing!

The benefits to booking this type of trip:

  1. With Outdoor Experiences, you have to cover 10% of the total cost for the unit in the deposit. Leaders are free within the Safeguide Ratios. We were able to cover this, so that is the amount that we are subsidizing for our unit. The remainder, the parents are expected to pay for. The province automatically transfers the deposit amount from our account to the providers, so I didn’t have to deal with credit card limits and submitting receipts!! As treasurer, I definitely appreciated this!
  2. Every girl member in your unit is automatically applied for a campership (subsidy), based off the information parents submit when they register their child each year. This means that the province will subsidize a portion of that girl’s cost due to financial hardship. The lead guider for the trip and the parent are both notified by email. In our unit, two girls qualified and the Province deposited the amount of each girl’s campership subsidy directly into our account within one week.
  3. When you register your unit, the process prompts you along and tells you exactly which forms you need to prepare for SafeGuide. More, it actually fills out most of the form for you! For me, the margins weren’t lining up properly so I printed blank forms and wrote it out anyway, but I was able to copy out their answers directly which still made the process easier!
  4. Girl receive a special crest for participating in this type of program.

The main drawbacks to these programs that I have discovered so far are:

  1. The unit has to be able to afford the 10% deposit before collecting money from parents for the trip to book it. In the fall, our unit couldn’t afford this and so missed out on the opportunity to do a fall overnight trip.
  2. When you are booking, you have to upload each person’s information, including name, IMIS number, medical concerns and food allergies to be able to submit the form. For a large unit like mine, this meant that registering took about 90 minutes. It also means you have to input everyone’s information since you don’t know yet who isn’t attending.
  3. The cost. The amount our girls are paying is ~$140.00. This isn’t extreme considering that it is two nights, all our meals are included and so is equipment rental. But for some families, that is a lot to shell out. I really hope that the trip proves worth the expense!

I am going to write a separate post about our actual trip later this week 🙂

xx

Your Day Badge

The Your Day brownie badge is all about the girl and how she celebrates her birthday. I also refer to it as the birthday badge.

I created a brief sheet to send home with the girls so they could work on this with their parents. I really want to get away from worksheets, but I have yet to find a creative way to have girls work on badges away from our meetings and actually have them get done… 

Please! Send me some ideas!

Feel free to download or share this worksheet.

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