keeping track of my adventures in guiding!

Exploring in the rain

Fun, if somewhat wet night at Guides this week, as we took the Seniors girls out around the local streets to come up with a bit of a treasure hunt for a different patrol to follow next week.

It was dark and cold and raining, but that just made it all a bit more exciting and interesting, and you get a different perspective on an area you’ve seen many times.

It was quite nice just to be out with one patrol (other leaders took other patrols, yay for lots of adults!), and just being able to chat a bit to them in a relaxed way without having to keep an eye on 20+ kids at once! Nice too for the group to have some time to bond a little bit, and relaxed, quiet walking around made it a really low pressure evening. The purpose of the activity (which will be completed next week) was to observe the local area, and draw a map or create map-like instructions for another to follow – both elements of the World Explore A Challenge badge!

Meanwhile, the Juniors managed to squeeze 15 kids into the kitchen (lucky they’re little!) to make and decorate cupcakes to look like cats and dogs for their Pets badge (any cooking can be made relevant to the badge du jour with a bit of thinking!). Unfortunately the picture examples were forgotten, but luckily not needed as the super creative kids all just figured it out brilliantly themselves, yay 🙂

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Dinosaur adventure wide game

This wide game was played over a large area (several acres), but could easily be done in a small area. It took around 6 hours, but this included nearly two hours to cook lunch! There are 12 activities, but this could be trimmed depending on time easily enough.

The basic story was that a strange wrinkle in time had emerged, and a bunch of dinosaurs had come through – but the passage of time had made them tiny! Even tiny, you don’t want a bunch of dinosaurs wandering about, so patrols have been asked to search for the dinosaurs and retrieve them. (The dinosaurs were small plastic models from a toy shop!).  At various points, the activities were linked by ‘footprints’ to show the direction.

Have fun hunting for the dinosaurs!




A code was provided with the message to look for a three-horned dinosaur near [location]. The location chosen was the furthest point away from base – over the course of the wide game the patrols gradually made their way back to base.


Raptors are incredibly fast. So you’ll have to run quickly to find their location! But running at full speed is exhausting, so be sure to use fast Scouts Pace: 20 steps running, 20 steps jogging!

Get to [location] as quick as you can, and find a Raptor.


To find the parasaurolophus, you will need to carefully make your way through the Sauropod Swamp, being careful to stick to dry land. When you reach the River, use the ropes provided to build a bridge, and get your full patrol over the bridge.De-construct the bridge before moving further through the swamp to find where the dinosaurs are hiding.

Leader’s note: we used a series of hoops to indicate the path through the ‘swamp’, patrols had to jump carefully between them. The river was a long piece of fabric between several large trees, and patrols were provided with a big pile of ropes to build their bridges from.


To find the pliosaurus, you will need to carefully fill a bucket, using the cup running along the rope. You can only retrieve the dinosaur when the water is up to the edge of the bucket.

Leader’s note: the little pliosaurus dinosaurs were placed in the bottom of the buckets, which were at one end of a long rope. At the other end was a larger bucket of water (or you could do this near a tap or similar) – the aim was to fill the cup at one end of the rope, run the cup along the rope and gradually fill the bucket with the dinosaur, until the dinosaur floated to the top. The success of this one will depend on how buoyant your dinosaur is!!


The Maiasaura are hiding with their nest of eggs. Look for the tracking signs, and follow the instructions to locate the nest. Once you have found the nest, carefully retrieve one Maiasaura, and one egg per patrol member. Carry these with you to [COOKING LOCATION].

Note: The maiasaura ‘eggs’ were oranges, for cooking chocolate cake in oranges over the fire. But you could use actual eggs, watermelons… anything egg-shaped. If you didn’t want to do cooking, the eggs could be something crafty.



In [location] you will find a cache of stegosaurus back-plates (and a stegosaurus!). Follow the instructions to make your lunch.

Note: the stegosaurus ‘back plates’ were tortilla chips, which formed the base for over-the-campfire nachos, but you could make anything!


Using materials you can find (sticks, leaves, grasses etc), quickly make everyone in the patrol a ‘crown’ like the pachycephalosaurus. Once everyone is disguised, sneak up to the dinosaurs’ hiding place in the white reeds on the far end of the field.

Note: these dinosaurs had a helmet/crown shaped protrusion on their skull, hence the activity. The white reeds were a bunch of sticks painted white that we’d had from a previous activity, but you could use anything.


Tie your patrol together (at the ankles) in a long line, with one person at the end of the line tying on the tennis ball-stocking ‘club’. Travel together as a patrol across to the [next location], where you will find the ankylosaurus on top of a blue stick. Use your stocking/ball club to knock down a dinosaur – no hands until it’s on the ground!

Note: you’ll need to provide a bunch of fabric strips to tie the patrol together, plus a stocking or long sock or similar with a ball for your ‘club’.


Taking turns, play the memory match game to find out all about Allosaurus. When all the pairs have been matched successfully, you can hunt for the Allosaurus – it won’t be far away!

Note: to do this activity you’ll need to make a memory match game – ours had a bunch of facts and pictures about the allosaurus dinosaur.


Brachiosaurus are hugely heavy! To find the brachiosaurus, the whole patrol will need to work together to act like a brachiosaurus. You will need to form four huge legs, a long tail, a big body, and a long neck and tiny head. Each member of the patrol needs to be part of the brachiosaurus shape! When you’re in brachiosaurus formation, walk as a brachiosaurus would to the far end of the field and hunt for the dinosaurs.

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Use the long bandage provided to wrap (in turn) each patrol member’s arms to their body, at elbow height, to create ‘t-rex arms’. Using your t-rex arms, take all the puzzle pieces out and put them back in again. Once each patrol member has completed the puzzle, hunt around for the dino.

Note: we had the patrols put together a simple puzzle (aimed at a 2 year old!) but any challenge that needed them to use their hands while stuck in t-rex position would be fun!



Work your way as a patrol through the challenges of the [obstacle course] until you find the flying pterodactyls.When you locate the pterodactyl, you will have the full set of dinosaurs, and will be able to make your way to the finishing point. Hurry!

Note: this part was done in a obstacle course/ropes course area, with the pterodactyls tied high on a swinging rope (so they were ‘flying’).









Team guiding

Quiet night for me last night, as my two excellent co-leaders ran the main activities without me. Its lovely to occasionally take a back step 🙂

We also had two very excellent helpers – a Mum who offered to stick around and help out (and who is also happy to help next week when we’ll be down on numbers, yay!), and one of our Rangers who emailed me late in the day to ask if she could come and help, even though it wasn’t a Rangers night! Excellent stuff, looks like we may have a junior leader on our hands.

Awesome CoLeader took the Juniors upstairs for a night of “tv skits”, for the ‘lounge room’ portion of the Homes badge. Apparently the girls had a marvellous time playing with the dress ups several of them brought along, although I gather the intended ‘world guiding’ theme didn’t *quite* come through. Perhaps the younger ones just aren’t quite there in terms of their ‘world view’ yet – some of them seem to struggle even with the concept that there are other Guides in our district, never mind further afield! Ah well, a project for another day 🙂

Meanwhile, YoungCoLeader had the Seniors re-learning tracking signs, using glow sticks to make trails for each other to followin the dark. It worked brilliantly, and the girls had a great time, I think in a weird way enhanced by the fact that it was raining a little, so there was a slight element of  ‘ooh I don’t usually get to be out in the dark in the rain’ added to the activity.

While each of the patrols was laying trails, I chatted to the ‘other’ patrol about possible options for next term, and had a bit of a look through the badge books for things that interested them. Seems like the badge best aligned to their interests is the Explore A Challenge: The Arts, so I guess us leaders will need to take a closer look at that one in the next few weeks and see if its viable.

Finally, to round out the night we had an extra Promise ceremony for our teeniest Guide, who was ill at the start of term when she was due to make her Promise, and will be at a school event at our next scheduled ceremony! She’s such a littlie that to pin on her badge and shake hands properly, I had to kneel down 🙂

Next week – I’m not going to usual Guides, as I’m having a night focused on the Rangers, doing a wide game at our local IKEA – should be fun!

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Laying tracks


Tracks and trails last night, as the senior guides learnt about tracking, and a couple of different ways to lay trails, as part of a ‘tracking wide game’, although with less of an underlying story than usual!

Both patrols had instructions to follow their own trails, and had separate starting points, from where they were meant to follow a trail of arrows and similar signs, laid out in wooden skewers and toothpicks – one patrol did really well, the other, not so much as I’d foolishly placed a clue for a later stage of the trail broadly in sight of the signs, so of course they went straight to that!! Ah well.

After the arrows, they found a card with the trail sign for ’20 paces forward’, which lead to an envelope with a code, which when decoded said “follow the pink/green footprints” (drawn on the pavement with chalk) – the footprints lead to another envelope, which required the girls to find three flowers (made of pipecleaners) or three animals (little brightly coloured plastic ones) that they should have observed while following the trail so far. Once they’d found those, they proceeded to the foyer to make a vase for the flowers/pen for the animals, using lashing/knotting, gift ribbon (not exactly the traditional string, but it was handy!) and more wooden skewers.

Finally, they were directed into the courtyard to find another envelope, which told them to follow ‘these’ – a couple of brightly coloured beads. The beads were then about a meter or two apart around and about, finally ending in a ‘gone home’ symbol, with their new patrol badges in the middle 🙂

Only drama was – they all managed to get through the trail in about 40 minutes, not the 60-70 I’d planned for!! So, a quick change of plans – we regrouped, chatted about what they’d learnt so far – and then said, okay, each patrol is setting a trail for the other. And they ran straight to it! All in all, I think they had fun.

Meanwhile, AwesomeCoLeader continued the ‘Tents’ badge with the juniors, doing a just-complex-enough craft to make little cardboard circus tents – I walked in briefly and saw two tables full of little ones totally focused on what they were doing, and very happy. In other news, TinyNewbie is all signed up and uniformed, SisterNewbies showed up uniform, and FriendOfSisterNewbies turned up for a second go, so juniors looks pretty full!

Finally, we had a short parents information meeting for our upcoming camp, which seemed to go well – not sure if our current crop of parents are particularly low-stress, or if the notes I went through were super comprehensive, but either way, there were pretty much zero questions, so, yay, and bring on camp next weekend 🙂