Girlfriends Through Time

The Brownie Program Book 2004

Some of the badges in the Brownie book are pretty difficult to do in a meeting. There are a few, like the Girlfriends Through Time Badge, that require a fair amount of parental involvement. I am taking advantage of holidays this year to try to encourage (read: strongarm) parents into helping their kids with these badges by supplying as much support as possible.

br_me_girlfriends

For example, I used the guidelines in our Brownie book to create a one page worksheet for parents and kids. I have typed it out below. Feel free to copy and paste into Word, just make sure to add the spaces back in to give kids a place to draw and answer questions.

*I also numbered the blank spaces after questions, so girls would name three things there grandmothers and mothers liked to do.

We handed these out to each girl roughly two weeks before Thanksgiving, so hopefully parents will use the holiday to talk to their daughters, and encourage conversations with grandparents as well! It also gives Mums and Dads lots of time to work on it, in between homework and extracurriculars and everything else a modern family has going on these days.

Handout:

 

Note to Parents:  If your family gathers together over Thanksgiving, please consider working through the first two badge points. We will do the last step in our meeting. 

 Girlfriends Through Time Badge 

Draw a picture of what your grandmother and mother wore when they were your age.

Draw a picture of what you wear on a typical day. How have clothes changed? 

What did your grandmother and mother like to do when they were your age? 

My Mom liked to:

My grandmother liked to: 

*In meeting: Read a story about another time. Tell your circle about your story. 

xx

Advertisements

Week 4 Meeting Plan

This is the meeting 4 plan, as of right now. Nothing ever seems to go exactly to plan but we like to have a foundation on which to start the craziness.

October 2nd meeting – Thanksgiving Theme

  1. Girls go to their circles and complete attendance. While in circles, Tawny Owl will take around the thank you cards and have the girls sign them. These cards are for upcoming events where we will be visiting or having a speaker in.
  2. Active Game: Dodgeball
  3. Opening Songs. While sitting in circle, bring up Thanksgiving
    1. When is Thanksgiving?
    2. How do we celebrate it?
    3. Why do we celebrate it?
    4. What was the first holiday like?
    5. What are you thankful for?
  4. Skye Owl will read the non-fiction book (Canadian Holidays: Thanksgiving) and Tawny will read the picture book (Thanksgiving Rules by Laurie Friedman)
  5. Explain and then start craft (details to come in separate post)
  6. Game: Handshake Murder
  7. Return to circle
  8. Game: Catch / Don’t Catch
  9. Sing: There was a bear, black socks, fire’s burning
  10. Talk about elections and how to vote
    1. Next week we will be going to the municipal offices to learn what our elected officials do. One meeting coming up we will have our own election where girls get to vote on something
    2. If time read a book about voting
  11. Closing

xx

Enrolment Ceremony Night

We did our Enrolment Ceremony this week. As I have mentioned in some of the other posts, we wanted to include the second year Brownies by having them perform a skit of the Brownie Story. We had a couple extra girls who read The ToadStool, in order to make up enough parts.

b7d21cf1a5e65322ad2bd17fc89a0fff

I feel like this was a great idea! This helped to explain some of the practices and ceremonial bits and pieces to our new Brownies and their families.

The girls were all so excited about it and their parents seemed receptive as well. We practised in two meetings but had the girls read out their lines from scripts. Hence, skit is deliberately used rather than “play”.

It was way too much to expect them to memorize that many lines, especially on short notice, and we also didn’t want to have to deal with creating costumes or a set.

We usually meet from 6:45-8:15.

We asked family members to return for 7:30 this night to watch the ceremony. Before they returned, we did a quick rehearsal, discussed etiquette and tried to impart some meaning behind the whole night. The girls did a wonderful job hosting their parents and helped us to set up the gym. They were SUPER enthusiastic about decorating for the space theme they chose and bringing up chairs for guests.

Almost too enthusiastic … we were literally tripping over girls like they were puppies.

shrug

For the actual ceremony part, we followed the tradition from last year of hiding all our Brownies in a small room off our main meeting room. They huddle inside while guests arrive and then I welcomed everyone as unofficial and impromptu MC. The girls came out and lined up in two rows facing each other, first years on one side and second years on the other.

One girl from each line walked to the centre space as a pair, and the second years supported our new Brownies as she said her lines and looked into the water / mirror. Then we gave our 1st year her pins and badge in a little gift bag and her welcome certificate and both girls sat down on the floor in front of the chairs, assembly style. And the next pair went, and so on.

At this point in the evening, the skit commenced.

After each girl had had her moment in the spotlight, we formed our Brownie Circle around the looking glass and toadstool to recite the Brownie Promise and Law. I explained the meaning of the Grand Howl, which we enthusiastically performed to honour our guests.

I’m pretty sure this was the girls’ favourite part of the night. It certainly was the loudest!

This flowed into our dessert and drink buffet – all space themed of course – and families celebrated and mingled while myself and another leader hustled to the door.

Most of our decor and tableware was purchased from the dollar store, Walmart or Party City. We forgot to take pictures at the event. ‘Cause we were, you know, busy. But I have some from store websites or pinterest of product we either used or were inspired by. See below!

Lucky, lucky us, this was also cookie night. It helped that the parents were all there, but it is also so much work to do both things on the same night. I will talk about that aspect in another post, so this one doesn’t turn into a novel.

If you are curious about the details of how to create an enrolment ceremony, let me know!

xx

Brownies = BUSY

Oh my sweet heavens, September is BUSY in the guiding community!

I had every intention of writing this blog post daily for the past three-ish weeks and clearly, those plans weren’t overly successful. I thought I was at least somewhat prepared but there is so much happening at once. I’m also super busy at school and work right now. Nonetheless, everything gets done somehow and here is a slew of new blog posts – I hope!

This is what we did for the second meeting of the new year.

Circles / attendance

Hula Hoop Game

Opening and Circle Songs

(While in our circle, we talk about something that needs to be addressed – like how to be a good team-player/ good sport) and the purpose of our meeting tonight / the meaning behind it, etc)

Talk about craft, explain and and then move to the craft tables. This week we did the invitation to parents for next week.

At this point we split the group in two. Two of my fabulous co-leaders took the 2nd years into another room. They practised a skit of the Brownie Story, which they will perform at the Enrolment Ceremony.

The second years stayed with me and we practised the Enrolment Ceremony phrase and talked about what would happen.

Twist me and turn me and show me an elf, I look in the water and I see myself!

We left time at the end to sing three songs. Because it has been hectic and the first years don’t know too many songs yet, we kept it basic with lyrics the leaders and older girls all know by heart… fire’s burning; black socks; there was a bear.

Closing ceremony and done! It is shocking how fast the 90 minutes fly by. I swear I blink and the parents are arriving. I guess that is what lots of energy and a fast pace will do for you.

xx

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

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!”  

 b7d21cf1a5e65322ad2bd17fc89a0fff.jpg

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!)