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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Be prepared to escape the zombies!

Tonight I put together a wide game for my senior guides to help them try out their ‘be prepared’ skills.

After much pondering around an underlying theme for the wide game, I finally asked my mister what my Guides might need to be prepared for… he suggested a zombie apocalypse! Genius!

So, the wide game!

They were given notice that zombies were on the loose, looking for brains. So they had to:

  1. Choose ten items from a pile of options that they thought would help them be prepared (in addition to the bag, torches, map, and matches they’d already been given). (Both patrols chose a tarp, and some occy straps. One patrol added to their pile with a sit-upon, a first aid kit, and an umbrella, while the other took two different bandages… amongst other bits and bobs!)
  2. Follow the map & open up challenges as they reached certain points
  3. Build a shelter using items they’d brought with them & found around (both patrols ended up partly using a large tree to support their shelter)
  4. Find their ‘cache’ – a bucket with biscuits, candles, and marshmallows
  5. Attend to an ‘injured knee’ on their second-oldest patrol member
  6. Cook s’mores in their shelter, and eat at least 2 each 🙂
  7. Find their way across the ‘river’ (made of flour) without getting wet or leaving footprints (word to the wise – make your flour river on dirt, not pavers… MUCH easier to clean up. Now I know!)
  8. Get back to the hall and ‘safety’.

My original idea had them being blocked from getting back to the hall by our rangers turning up dressed as zombies and chasing them about, but that didn’t happen… ah well.

They all finished much quicker than I expected (drat!!), so we did a bit of a ‘de brief’ about the activity (all agreed that next time they would READ THE MAP properly, as they took quite a few ‘short cuts’ and had to back track!). And then we had a bit of a chat about the upcoming camp – I think the remaining seniors who have not yet signed up will decide to come along :). Finally, we had a bit of a brainstorm about activities for next term.

Meanwhile, the juniors were in the kitchen with co-leader, cooking up a storm, as part of their “sumptuous savouries” evening – they made savoury tarts (with onion, cheese, tomato, egg, capsicum), and rice paper rolls. They all seemed to have a brilliant time, although in contrast to my under-programming, co-leader over-programmed and barely managed to fit everything in! Ah well, one day we’ll get the balance right!

Next week – off to trampoline for our feet badge!