keeping track of my adventures in guiding!

Unexpectedly traditional guiding!

Fun night, as our puppet show night somehow morphed into a night of very traditional guiding! We had patrols, guide laws, first aid, knotting, and guiding history!

We started out with the girls working in their patrols to refine their puppet plays from last week (which included reminding them that they had in fact chosen a guide law to focus on…) (and then reminding them which law…!) but they got going pretty quickly, and had fun rehearsing. After about 30 minutes rehearsal, they put on their plays to… varying levels of success! But they were cute, and all seemed to have fun, and may even have a fighting chance of remembering an extra guide law or two!

After that we decided to crack into the new guide handbooks, which we had finally managed to get a reasonable sub-group of the unit purchasing, as well as a decent set for the unit.

So we split the girls into various age groups, and gave them the relevant handbooks (if they had one they were also encouraged to get theirs out), and started by asking them all to find the first aid section of the book, and try out one of the techniques. We had some good ankle wrapping, recovery positions, treatment for bleeding, and they all seemed to have fun.

Next we asked them to find out “something about a person called Robert” in the book, which was kind of fun, as well as “what is special about 22 February?” and “Who else’s birthday was that?”. Quick and stealthy guiding history in less than 5 minutes!

Finally, we got the girls to find knotting in the books, and asked them to try something out – we had a bowline, lots of square lashing, a couple of reef knots, and a few other bits and pieces. Again, lovely focused and engaged guides!

Still not quite sure how we pulled an almost entirely traditional night out the hat, but it worked really well, and the girls loved it! I know we often avoid knotting and history bits and pieces in particular for fear of being “boring”, but perhaps this is the way – bite size pieces, rather than a whole night focused on the one thing.

This weekend, Cookout Sleepover – 8 girls are coming along to cook outdoors, go for a night scavenger hunt, and (hopefully!) have a lovely time.

And here’s one of the sets of puppets 🙂

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Puppetry of the Guide Laws


One of our really good nights tonight, as our plans worked, the girls all cooperated, the patrol system was properly functional, and four newbies returned again, three taking forms, and I suspect the fourth will do so next week 🙂

We started out by having the girls line up for our opening ceremony already in their patrols (we always split them by Juniors/Seniors these days, but not usually by patrols as well), which was very handy as they were then able to pretty much just turn to each other and already be in the relevant groups. Handy!

We then had each patrol draw out of the hat one of the Guide Laws, which they were then to come up with a short puppet play script, prior to puppet construction.

It was actually totally lovely how well all the patrols were working, and a real pleasure to see the new girls integrating into the patrols really well. Nicely, we had a newbie per patrol, which made things very well balanced!

After about 15 minutes of script and casting decisions, we split up the Juniors and Seniors – Juniors down one end of the hall doing felt finger puppets, Seniors down the other end making paper cup marionettes.

We haven’t done much craft this year, so it was quite nice to have a really crafty evening, giving a little bit of structure in terms of the base activity, but giving them all total freedom in terms of design. All the girls were all really engaged all night, even those I wouldn’t usually think of as crafty ones. Lets hope the lovely engaged functional patrols carries into next week when they have to put on their puppet plays!

Afterwards, I joined the Rangers (only four of them!) for some card games, and then some badge presenting, chats about the new handbooks, and talking about the revised Promise, as well as when they might get around to renewing their Promises – apparently each time it was planned during the year something came up, or plans changed etc.

Next week – puppet plays, and a bit more focus on the Guide laws.