Tuesday, 6 March 2018

International Women's Day 2018

In honour of International Women's Day, we worked on the Leading Ladies Challenge by the Costessey and Bowthorpe District Rangers in the UK.

To earn this challenge, we need to take part in a variety of activities inspired by notable women from around the world. Tonight, we used a set of cards so that girls could choose the women they learned more about and the activities they tried. Our inspiring women were:
  • Julie Payette - Canada's second woman in space, first Canadian onboard the International Space Station, and 29th Governor General
  • Katie Sarah - First woman to climb the highest mountain and volcano on all seven continents
  • Hedy Lamarr -  Co-creator of an encryption device using frequency hopping that is the basis of today's GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies
  • Elsie MacGill - First Canadian woman to receive a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, first woman in North America to receive an Masters degree in the same subject, oversaw the production of Hurricane aircraft during World War II
  • Agnes Baden-Powell - First President of the Girl Guides Association, organizers of the movement in its early days, co-author of the first Guide handbook
  • The Famous Five - Successfully changed the law to recognize women as persons
  • Carmen Cruz Soto - Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico and advocate for aid and support following Hurricane Maria
  • Roberta Jamieson - First indigenous woman to earn a law degree in Canada, first female ombudsman in Ontario, first female Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River
  • Clara Hughes - 6-time Olympic Medalist, first (and only) person to win multiple medals at both the Winter and Summer Games, Mental Health advocate
  • Man Kaur - Took up running at age 93, holds 17 Gold Medals
  • Augusta Fells Savage - Sculptor and equal rights activist, first African-American elected to the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors
  • Pauline Johnson - Poet and Author, celebrated her Mohawk heritage through her writing and public performances
Each card had two activities to choose from, and included creating a piece of wearable art, making up new ways to play well-known games, designing a Mars colony, promoting Girls Can Do Anything, coming up with a secret language or code, building paper airplanes or parachutes, and designing a Guide uniform for the future.

  • Inspiring Women Activity Cards 

Tuesday, 27 February 2018


Tonight we took part in our third Girls First activity by getting creative. The activities were all centered around visual arts and we were able to pick and choose which ones to take part in. Some of our feedback included the mess factor on certain activities, the cost of materials for others, and how much our girls enjoyed the activities they did take part in!

We opened with our usual ceremony followed by an active game. Three stations were set up, and the girls were able to choose which they wanted to work on, and the order they would try the activities. Most girls completed all three projects, while a few chose to focus on only one or two.

Activity A - Salty Art
Here the girls painted with watercolours, then sprinkled salt on top of the wet paint. When the paint dries, the salt is brushed off leaving unique patterns on the page. 

Activity B - Fabric Art
For this activity, each girl had a white canvas bag and free reign over a variety of craft supplies. We provided felt, pompoms, ribbon, cloth and felt flowers, feathers, twigs, and appliques

Activity C - Tape Painting
Each girl had a flat canvas to work with and a supply of masking tape and paint. First, they had to create a pattern or design on the canvas using the masking tape, then the areas of canvas still showing were painted. When the paint dried, the tape was removed to reveal a pattern in white amongst the colour.

We ended with evaluating the activities, reminders for next week and Taps. 

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

World Thinking Day 2018

On Tuesday, February 20th, the Caledonia Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers got together for our annual World Thinking Day Celebration! We earned the WAGGGS World Thinking Day 2018 "Impact" Challenge with activities planned and run by our 3rd Year Guide, Pathfinders and Ranger. 

Our Ranger ran the opening, welcoming everyone and asking each Unit to perform their opening ceremony.  This year, the girls decided to have everyone work on the same activity rather than dividing up into groups and using a round-robin format. We encountered some minor challenges with timing (i.e. filling the water basins for the first activity while the instructions were being given rather than waiting and having each group fill their basin), but managed everything for a great evening!

Flame - Impact on Others
For our first activity, we divided up into smaller groups and used basins of water and random objects to illustrate how people can have an impact on others. As each object was dropped in the water, the girls observed the ripples on the water and how each object made a unique ripple pattern. It ended with each person dropping a pebble in and suggesting a way that they can show kindness and compassion towards others.

Two Stars - Character Brings Impact
For this activity, we divided up into four groups and each group had to come up with a set of actions to represent a Swahili word or phrase:
"Tucheze" - "Let Us Dance"
 "Tesherehekehe" - "Let Us Celebrate"
"Tuungane" - "Let Us Unite" 
"Tufurahi" - "Let Us Be Happy"

Compass - Impact and the WWF
After a short explanation of how trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce oxygen, we played a tag game. We had 2-3 girls as Humans (producers of carbon dioxide), 2-3 girls as Trees, and everyone else as Oxygen atoms. When the Humans tagged the Oxygen atoms they turned in to Carbon Dioxide and had to sit down. The Trees went about tagging the Carbon Dioxide to turn them back into Oxygen atoms!

Trefoil Leaves - Impact Mural 
Our final activity was to make an impact mural. Although we weren't able to make a permanent display, we had a good time creating a display of all of our ideas about how we can have an impact on the world around us!


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

This & That

This week we spent some time planning, working on the latest Student's Rebuild Challenge, and playing active games. We started the meeting with our usual opening, followed by an active game. 

The first part of the night was spent working in Patrols to finish planning their meeting activities. In the coming weeks, we will be having a Dark Night, Unicorn Night and Starburst Night!

The next part of the meeting was spent working on self-portraits for the Student's Rebuild Facing Difference Challenge. This challenge asks participants to think about what makes them unique and create a self-portrait. For every portrait submitted, the Bezos Family Foundation will donate $3.00 to support peace-building programs in Nigeria, Sri Lanka and the South Caucasus region of Eastern Europe.

We finished the evening off with some active games and gathering ideas for upcoming meeting themes - CSI, Art, International Women's Day, World Food, and the 2nd Year Brownie Visit. We closed with reminders for next week and Taps.


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Sports & Games

After hearing about the sports that the Guides take part in, we decided to help them all earn their Sports Badge!

As the girls arrived, each Patrol was challenged to find a sport for every letter of the alphabet - we had to get a bit creative for some of the letters!

After our usual opening, we played "Rabbit Without A House", a game from Brazil. One player is It (the rabbit without a house) and one person is the caller. Other players form groups of three - two people to be the house and one to be the rabbit in the house. When the caller calls out 'Find a House', all the rabbits run to find a new house, including the rabbit without a house. The player left becomes the new rabbit without a house.

We started the program portion of the evening with a discussion about the different sports the Guides play or have played and about the importance of fair play and competition. The girls then split up into small groups or worked alone to create a sports poster. The posters were used to explain how to play their chosen sport, the basic rules, and how to stay safe (including safety equipment). 

After the posters were finished, we played "Big Snake", a game from Ghana. One player is the Big Snake and tries to tag others. Tagged players join hands to form a bigger snake and try to tag others players. the leader and the tail of the snake are the only ones who can tag free players. If the snake's body breaks, the snake must start again.

The final activity of the evening was to make up cheers and chants. The girls broke up into small groups and each group created a short cheer and routine about a real or made-up team, and then presented their creation to the rest of the group.

We ended with reminders for next week and closed with Taps.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Winter Camp 2018

On the first weekend of February the 2nd Caledonia Guides and the 1st New DundeeGuides, joined by 2 Pathfinders, 2 Rangers and 5 Guiders headed to Camp Teka for a weekend of winter fun. The theme for the weekend was Winter Olympics, and we also learned lots about guiding around the world! 

Friday night was spent getting to know each other, decorating name tags and making Patrol flags before heading outside for a game of Manhunt. Back inside, we had a Switzerland-themed snack of strawberries and bananas dipped in chocolate pudding and hot chocolate. The evening ended with a campfire, followed by putting out mattresses and getting ready for bed. 
Saturday started with breakfast from the UK (scrambled eggs, sausage, baked beans, fried ham and potatoes, and toast), followed by camp duties and free time. Later, each Patrol learned more about their World Centre and Guiding in that country and made a presentation. We chose Madagascar to represent Kusafiri as that is where the most recent event for that World Centre was held. Keeping with our Olympic theme, the girls were asked to suggest events that we could take part in, then each Patrol had to choose 3 events and suggest how we could run them at camp. More free time and free crafting followed - including some very elaborate hair-dos!

Lunch was brought to us by Mexico (tacos, followed by strawberries and cream). After lunch, we had camp duties and our fire drill. Most of the afternoon was spent outdoors taking part in our Olympic Games! We split the girls into two groups, with one group trying cross-country skiing, while the other went sledding and played games. Before switching, we played a game of snow soccer to get everyone warmed up. 
We came inside to a Korean snack of Hotteok (sweet pancakes) and hot chocolate. While dinner was being prepared, the girls had quiet and free time. Dinner was a feast from India (Rice, Stir-fried Vegetables, Chicken, Garlic Naan Bread). Dinner was also a monk's meal, where anyone who spoke lost their utensils and had to eat using a kitchen implement (i.e. spatula, potato masher, slotted spoon, chip clip, whisk).
The evening was spent with free time, cleaning up the craft area, playing games, and desert - chocolate cake iced as the World Flag!. Everyone was settled into bed earlier than Friday after a busy day.

Sunday morning went quickly, with breakfast, packing, clean-up and Guide's Own. 

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Teamwork & Communication Skills

As our Unit has ongoing challenges with listening - to Guiders and to each other - we decided to spend another night working on teamwork and communications skills.

As the girls arrived, they collected dues and marked their attendance books. We had our usual opening and then moved into our first activity, adapted from "Take A Vote" (in Right Now!, Girlguiding UK, 2007). 

We asked a few girls for suggestions of games we could play, and then had everyone vote for the one they wanted. Instead of playing the chosen game, we announced that we were going to play 'Duck, Duck, Goose' and had everyone sit down in a circle. We fussed over making the circle perfect and how everyone was to be careful and gentle while playing (playing up a bit as if we were talking to much younger girls). Once the girls were thoroughly bewildered, instead of starting the game we asked how they felt. It took a few minutes, but soon the girls were expressing their thoughts - they were confused, upset, angry and wanted to know why we bothered to have them vote if we weren't going to play the game they picked. We explained that was the point of the activity, and emphasized that when we make a decision as a group, it's important to respect that decision - even if it's not what you wanted. We then played their chosen game - Wax Museum.

Our next activity was adapted from "Gagged" (in Right Now!, Girlguiding UK, 2007). Each girl was given a number - 1 or 2. Those with a 2 were not allowed to speak as we had a discussion about ideas for activities to do with World Guiding for an upcoming meeting. After finishing the discussion with the #1s, we asked everyone how they felt - we got a variety of responses, frustration and anger from the 2s, and a bit of superiority but also feeling bad from the 1s. We talked about how this is something we see happening, when people aren't always being given a chance to give their input to group and Patrol discussions, and the importance of giving everyone a chance to share. Of course, we then asked the 2s for their input so everyone got to participate.

Next up was a fun activity called "Play Your Part" (in Right Now!, Girlguiding UK, 2007), where each Patrol has to invent a new machine. The machine is then made up of the bodies of the Patrol members - each person needing to have an action and a sound as part of the machine.

We the moved onto a planning activity, adapting "Token to Talk" (in Right Now!, Girlguiding UK, 2007), by asking each Patrol to come up with themes and then choose one to plan activities for a meeting. Each Patrol was given a dish with 3 beads for each person. Each girl took her beads and every time she spoke, she had to put a bead into the dish. Once everyone was out of beads, they could be redistributed. The point of the activity was to ensure that everyone had an equal chance to speak and be heard. It worked quite well and as the activity progressed, the girls stopped using the beads but continued giving everyone a turn.

The last activity for the evening was Girl Guide Taboo (adapted from "Stop! You Can't Say That!" (in Right Now!, Girlguiding UK, 2007)). The cards had Guiding-themed words and girls played the game in small groups, with players helping the asker when needed. To play, one person draws a card and tries to get the player on her right to guess the word without saying any of the 'do not say' words. We did not use a timer and used teamwork to help players guess the word or phrase they were being given hints about.

We closed with reminders for next week and Taps.

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