keeping track of my adventures in guiding!

Thinking about our sisters in guiding (and scouting!)


Postcards, poems, and politeness were some of our themes this week as we marked World Thinking Day. We started the evening off with going through the postcards we had received from the World Thinking Day Postcard Exchange. The girls seemed pretty excited to receive information about Guides/Scouts from America, the UK, Dubai, and South Africa. It definitely provided a more tangible way of talking about the international aspects of guiding than the usual “no, seriously, we’re everywhere!”.

We split the activity into two, with the Juniors going through the postcards while the Seniors voted on Patrol Leaders, followed by the Seniors reading postcards while the Juniors did a treasure hunt, looking for a Promise Badge and a World Badge which had been hidden in the building (surprisingly successful!).

We followed that up with a ‘serious’ interlude, with a short (about 10 minutes) Guides Own that I’d put together, which focused on what it means to be a Guide, what the various parts of the world badge symbolise, the meaning of the salute (the three-part promise), and a poem I found online about guiding sisters around the world, which I cut up into sections and had a couple of the older girls read a stanza each. We also sang ‘Make New Friends’ and ‘This Little Guiding Light’. A fairly successful little ceremony, I think, and the girls seemed engaged throughout, which is the main thing. We finished it quite nicely with “please close your eyes for a moment or two and think about your sisters in guiding across the world, and how they’re thinking about you too… when you’re ready, stand up, salute, and quietly go into the next room”. It was very sweet to see even the three newbies who’d joined us for the night attempting to properly salute, and being very solemn in their exit 🙂

Next, we went for a bit of international fun – learning how to say ‘hello’ in several languages so you could greet your interational sisters (we went with greetings in Mandarin, Arabic, German, French, Hindi, and Swahili), and played a game where everyone stood in a circle and threw the ball across the circle, and named a country where one of those languages were spoken (China, Egypt, Germany, France, India, Kenya), and the girl catching the ball had to say hello in the correct language or get out. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but they seemed to get into it pretty well.

Then to round it all out and add a bit of chaotic fun, NewLeader organised them all into a game of Cat and Mouse, with different rules to how we’ve usually done it (which is generally a version of Streets And Lanes), and this new version was MUCH more successful, so I think we’ll keep that one in the box of tricks! Finally finally we played their old favourite of Not-Fruit-Salad. This weekend – more Thinking Day!


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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