keeping track of my adventures in guiding!

Bringing friends, growing guiding… perhaps!

Two weeks of ‘bring a friend’ nights, which will hopefully (maybe?) grow our units. We’re not struggling for members (woohoo!), but the extra leaders, and a bit of time for us to get used to the current numbers, and we think we could comfortably go up an extra patrol worth in the Juniors, and an extra few in Seniors would be handy, as several are due to head up to Rangers in the next term or two.

We decided to split the  bring a friend activities over two weeks, as there is always added complexity when you have newbies around. Week one, the Juniors brought friends for a Swiss themed night (world guiding: tick!) – we started off with some newspaper skiing races and games, followed by three stations for the patrols + pals to move around. One was a raclette station – co-leader brought long her special tiny little raclette grill pans, and the girls chopped veggies and cheese for grilling. Properly Swiss, and something they certainly hadn’t done before! Another station was chocolate fondue – we had marshmallows and fruit for the girls to dip in the fondue, which of course went down a treat! The final station had three different crafty options – a tapestry-ish bookmark (sewn with wool), a little woven heart shape, and a papercut.

Finally, to bring them all back together and add a touch more ‘play’, we had several rounds of a giants treasure style game, with the object to catch being a small cow figure.

It all went well, I think. But no returns the following week, so who knows??

To be fair, the following week was a bit of a challenge – owing to our landlords letting us know only a few days in advance that they’d double-booked our hall (and had over 400 people coming!!), we had to do some quick work to move for the night. Luckily, we were able to move to another hall in the district, but we did have a drop off in numbers, as the location really wasn’t as convenient for many of our families.

Anyhoo, for the second bring-a-friend we had our Seniors girls inviting their mates for a zombie wide game. I’d done this years ago to some success, and decided to revamp and update it, adding in a de-coding element, which required the girls to travel as zombies (with the limping, lumbering walk, lolling heads and outstretched arms) to their next destination, which added probably an extra 10 minutes, which was enough. They all seemed to have fun, and luckily, although it was reasonably chilly, it was a dry night so we were able to have them all outside for the whole time, so, I’m counting that as a ‘tick’ in the “outdoors” fundamentals column!!

I suppose the next few weeks will show if these efforts lead to any extra friends joining us… but to some extent, I suppose it doesn’t matter: the two nights went well, and our existing members had a fun night to show off to their friends – nothing too earnest to be embarrassed about, but also proper showcases of guiding activities, the mix of cooking, crafting, outdoors, and fun that we try to aim for. So, we’ll see!


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A Visit To Our Chalet… kind of.

Apologies for the gap in posting – directly after leaving Guides the other week, I hopped on a plane to Africa! So naturally, updating Guideydiary was somewhat low on my priority list 🙂

Our final night of the term was a Swiss night, to complete our Guiding Traditions badge, and build a bit of world Guiding into the mix.

Our activities included:

* Doing a ‘beetle’ type game where the girls all had to roll various numbers on the dice to complete a puzzle – in this case, colouring in different parts of the world badge

* playing a variation of Dragon’s Treasure, where the girls had to creep up and try and steel a little mooing cow from the person who was ‘guarding the cows’ – lots of fun, although some of the girls were very resistant to the idea of not running!!

* learning Taps in French – we were also meant to do the Promise in German, but the co-leader meant to run that part was sent interstate for a conference, so it didn’t happen!! But Taps in French was good, and we closed the meeting singing just that, rather than our usual Brownie Bells + Taps.

* Making (and consuming!!) chocolate fondue.

The fondue worked fabulously – we had the older girls (who are the smaller group, about 8 when all there, but a couple were away) in the kitchen with co-leader, learning how to melt chocolate using a boiling pot of water and a dish above that with the chocolate, and the little ones (about 10 were there on the night) outside with me, cutting up the various bits to dip in the chocolate. We had hot cross buns, banana, and pear to cut up.

The cutting up worked really well – the girls LOVE IT when you give them perhaps more freedom than mum might usually! I split them up by age group (rather than patrol), and distributed the various bits and pieces accordingly. So the 9 year olds (and lone 10 year old) worked on the pear, the 8 year olds on the banana, and the 7 year olds on the hot cross buns (as these could, if need be, be torn by hand). And I pretty much gave them instructions, a chopping board, and a sharp knife or two and warned them to be SENSIBLE or they would ALL be in trouble… for some reason, reminding them of their group responsibilities tends to calm them and focus them better than their individual responsibilities! I then stepped back and watched from afar – helped if needed, but that wasn’t much. They were all so pleased to be allowed to get on with things, and perhaps to play with knives more substantial than they would be allowed to touch at home!

Of course, after all this, we had to then eat the fondue 🙂 Which was delicious! I suspect a Swiss night with chocolate fondue might become a reasonably fixed part of our annual calendar 🙂

One sad part to the night – one of our older girls had her last night. She’s a bit young for Rangers (although we did offer it), but at least she let us know she was leaving, so we could say farewell properly, and give her a little card. Nothing worse than a girl just leaving without letting you know! Hopefully in 6 months to a year she’ll come back for Rangers, or possibly we might get her little sister joining Guides. Regardless, hopefully she’s had a good time.

Next term: Be Prepared badge for the older girls, Food badge for the littlies, and Foot badge for everyone. Should be fun!!


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