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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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!!!

img_0545-1.jpg

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

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

Opening a Meeting

At the beginning of every Brownie meeting, girls and leaders stand in a large circle around the Brownie toadstool and flag. We begin by singing the opening song together:

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.

Then the girls skip around the centre set-up while singing their Circle songs (Fairies, then Pixies, etc). *songs at end of post if you need them

When every circle has taken their turn, everyone recites the Brownie Promise, Law and Motto together. This opening ceremony is something that the girls should all be striving to memorize.

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)

Circle Songs:

Fairies:

We’re the fairies shining bright,

Trying hard to do what’s right.

Sprites:

Sprightly sprites we’re on our way

Play and laugh and help today.

Leprechauns:

Happy leprechauns are we,

Helping friends and family.

Gnomes:

Here you see the laughing Gnomes,

Helping others in their homes.

Elves:

This is what we do as elves,

Think of others not ourselves.

Kelpies:

We’re the happy, friendly kelpies,

Smart and quick and ready helpers.

Dryads:

Playful Dryads strong and true,

Nature’s friend in all we do.

Lares:

Now you watch the Lares working,

Playful, singing, never shirking.

Nymphs:

Nymphs love water bright and blue,

Smiling, playing, helping too.

Pixies:

Look! We are the jolly pixies,

Helping others when in fixes.

xx

Brownie Circles

 

circle-color-colorful-2091

Need a little help setting up your group for next year? In Brownies, we use “Circles” to break the girls up into manageable teams. Circles can be used for activities and trips, but we mostly use them as a way to keep the girls busy at the start of each meeting, while waiting for everyone to arrive.

Each circle has a box of stickers, paper, colouring materials, etc. They are responsible for keeping their box orderly and putting it away each meeting. This is a good way to introduce responsibility and ownership of the unit to them. It also provides new and shy girls a way to make friends by providing them with time to meet with the same smaller group of girls each week, which is less overwhelming than facing the whole unit as one.

Every circle has a leader and a co-leader who are responsible for taking attendance for their group and then reporting that to the guider(s) for the night. We change leaders one or twice throughout the year. Everyone should get a chance over the course of the two years that they are in Brownies to serve in one of these roles. This gives you the opportunity to emphasize the qualities in a leader and remind them that they are not the boss of the other girls.

I favour circles that are 6 girls in size. There are a number of different circle names, each with their own emblem and song. You can pick your favourites and stick with them or rotate every year! Many of the badge emblems have been discontinued unfortunately, but I am hoping to find enough this year to give to the girls. I think it helps them to bond as a subgroup and helps assert their identifies.

 

 

**All copyright of the emblems belongs to GGC.

 

Fairies (example names – not real Brownies)

Circle Leader: Hannah

Co-Leader: Kandra

Members: Hannah, Kandra, Diane, Ewa, April, Jan

We’re the fairies shining bright,

Trying hard to do what’s right. 

(Each circle song is always repeated twice)

 

Sprites

Circle Leader:

Co-Leader:

Members:

Sprightly sprites we’re on our way

Play and laugh and help today.

 

Leprechauns

Circle Leader:

Co-Leader:

Members:

Happy leprechauns are we,

Helping friends and family.

 

Gnomes

Circle Leader:

Co-Leader:

Members:

Here you see the laughing Gnomes,

Helping others in their homes.

 

Elves

Circle Leader:

Co-Leader:

Members:

This is what we do as elves,

Think of others not ourselves.

 

Kelpies

Circle Leader:

Co-Leader:

Members:

We’re the happy, friendly kelpies,

Smart and quick and ready helpers.

 

Now, for other circles that I am not currently using:

Dryad

Circle Leader:

Co-Leader:

Members:

Playful Dryads strong and true,

Nature’s friend in all we do.

 

Lares

Circle Leader:

Co-Leader:

Members:

Now you watch the Lares working,

Playful, singing, never shirking.

 

Nymphs

Circle Leader:

Co-Leader:

Members:

Nymphs love water bright and blue,

Smiling, playing, helping too.

 

Pixies

Circle Leader:

Co-Leader:

Members:

Look! We are the jolly pixies,

Helping others when in fixes.

 

I assign girls to their circles BEFORE the first meeting so that I can organize them quickly and easily when they arrive. To do this, I first assign all the second years to the circle groups and choose a Leader and Co-leader for each circle, from the second years. Then I assign the first years to the circle as well. Ideally, each circle has an even mix in ages.

In each box, you should have thrown in colouring sheets, etc before the first meeting of the year, and also include a notebook that is for the girls to track attendance. Make sure you get boxes that have secure lids on them and pre-label them or have a colour code system so the girls can tell which boxes belong to which group.

xx