Guide Program

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Time Machines & Memes

This week we did our pre-Thinking Day activity and learned about memes with the Forget-Me-Not Patrol. 

We started with our usual opening ceremony, and then moved straight into our three activities for the evening. First up, each Patrol had to finalize their plans for their "meetings" (each Patrol will be running half a meeting or about 45-60 minutes of activities for the rest of the Unit). 

Our second activity was to make time machines for Thinking Day! Each girl has been given a cassette case and a template to make a mini-girl to put inside the case. We used sharpies to decorate the time machines. 
Finally, at 7.30pm, we turned the meeting over to the Forget-Me-Not Patrol and their Memes and Glow-in-the-Dark Meeting. The Patrol had planned four activities for their meeting, which filled up the second hour of the meeting. 
  1. Meme Tiles - Each Guide created her own meme using markers on a half-sheet of cardstock. 
  2. Manhunt - In their version, two players are it and the game is played with the lights off. (Basically a big game of tag as we were indoors, the game is usually played in a wooded area where there are lots of places to hide and outfox the players who are it.)
  3. Mama Bear - A game made up by the Patrol: One player is the bear and they hide in the dark. Everyone else waits for the bear to hide and then comes into the room and say "I'm not scared of bears tonight; my daddy got them all last night". They then try to find the bear in the dark and when someone finds her, they say "Beep" and run to the door. Play continues until most/all of the players have found the bear.
  4. Charades: Meme Edition - The Patrol came up with some different memes and the slips of paper were drawn by small groups and used to create a charade for the rest of the group to guess. 
Everyone had fun and the Forget-Me-Nots did a great job leading their activities!. We ended with reminders for next week (Pets/animals with the Thistles and Culture Night with the Daisies) and closed with Taps.  

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Art-tastic! Painting

From our planning session, we discovered that the group had lots of ideas for painting activities, so we devoted this week's meeting to painting! 

We started with set up and our usual opening ceremony. Once all the tables were set up and covered, we introduced the five activities for the evening:
  • Painting on Canvas - We provided stretched 5" x 7" canvases, acrylic paints and brushes or all different shapes and sizes. Canvases were 2 for $1 at the dollar store and paints and brushes were from our Unit supply.
  • Watercolours - We used the 3 watercolour paint sets in our paint box and provided blank card stock as a base. This is better able to handle the water than regular paper.
  • Splat Painting - Girls were provided with cardstock, cotton balls and small amounts of washable paints in small tart pans. Although the suggestion had been splat painting, most of the girls used the cotton balls to dab and smear paint when creating their designs.
  • Finger Painting - This was a request we hadn't expected, but were able to provide washable paints and glossy paper for this activity.
  • Tile Painting - We did this activity earlier in the year and it was popular. Tiles were from the Habitat Reuse Store and we used the same acrylic paints and brushes provided for painting on canvas.
Girls were able to choose what they wanted to work on and spend as much or as little time on each piece of art as they wished. Some did only one or two activities, while others tried out everything.
There was lots of clean-up from this meeting, but we had allowed 30 minutes for clean-up and closing - and it was needed! We ended with reminders for next week and closed with Taps.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Board Game Night

For our second meeting in January we didn't have access to our usual meeting space, so we held a board game night across two smaller rooms. The first and second year Guides stayed in one room and played King of Tokyo, Labrinth, and Clue. The third year Guides went with the Pathfinders and Rangers and played Settlers of Catan and Mexican Train Dominoes. Everyone had a good time. We ended the evening with reminders for next week and closed with Taps.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Program Planning & Active Games

Our first meeting of 2019 was spent brainstorming and making plans for our meetings until March Break - and also playing some active games!

As the girls arrived, they were asked to fill out a slip of paper with four questions for ideas for Guide activities:
  • Something I would like to do ...
  • Somewhere I would like to go ...
  • A topic I would like to learn more about ...
  • A theme I would like to explore ... 
This generated some really good ideas, and encouraged the Guides to come up with their own ideas rather than copying or agreeing with other people's. 

We had our usual opening ceremony, followed by an active game led by one of our Patrols. 

Each Patrol was then given two sheets of paper with four broad themes, based on their earlier suggestions:
  • Girl Guides Go Tropical
  • Girl Guides in Space
  • Art-tastic
  • Build. Create. Invent.
Patrols then brainstormed ideas for activities related to those themes. 

We then had a break for an active game, then sent the Patrols off to separate parts of the room to come up with a theme for a partial meeting to be run by the Patrol. Once their theme was checked out by the Guiders, the girls came up with activity ideas to fill 45 minutes of meeting time. Working back and forth, with Guider input as needed, each Patrol came up with a unique plan for their program time, including activity instructions and supply lists. In February, we will be exploring memes with the Forget-Me-Nots, pets and animals with the Thistles, and global cultures with the Daisies.

We finished with a final active game, reminders for next week, and closed with Taps.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Winter Camp: Survival Skills

We started 2019 off with a weekend of winter camp at Camp Teka in Paris, Ontario. This year, we were joined by the 1st Tillsonburg Pathfinders which meant we had almost equal numbers of Guides and Pathfinders! Our theme was Survival Skills and Winter Outdoors, with the majority of our program  based on two activities from the Girls First Platform - "Emergency Strikes-Trapped Indoors" and "Emergency Strikes-Lost Outdoors".

On Friday, we started out by dividing everyone up into mixed-age Patrols and did some getting-to-know you activities to get everyone talking. Our first program activity was making personal first aid kits. We used small square containers and filled them with gauze pads, bandages, tape and gloves. 

We then began "Emergency Strikes - Trapped Indoors" using the scripts and instructions on the platform. To start out, each Patrol had a list of supplies to divide up into those that should definitely be in an emergency preparedness kit and those that might be in one. They then had to choose 5 items from the maybe list to leave out of their kit. Each Patrol was then provided with an emergency kit, less any of the items they had decided to leave out. We did not provide every item on the list, just those that would be used during the scenarios. (Bottle of water, can opener, first aid kit, tea lights in cans, matches, toilet paper, knife, garbage bags, food for snack). Interestingly, 3 out of 4 Patrols decided that they didn't need a can opener in their kit...

The scenario uses an extreme weather emergency and all activities were done by flashlight (simulated power outage) as we worked through the following activities:
  • Preparing the Shelter - Learn how to set up a safe space to weather the storm.
  • Staying Calm - Practice techniques for staying calm during an emergency.
  • Food Preparation - Girls had to prepare and eat a snack of cheese, crackers and canned fruit salad using only the supplies they had in their kit. (Those Patrols without can openers were allowed to sing a song as a group to receive this important item!)
  • First Aid Skills - Find out how to bandage a cut and how to put on an arm sling and then practice on each other.
  • Contacting EMS - Find out ways to alert EMS that you need help when phone lines and cell reception is not available.
  • Relieving Boredom - Come up with, and practice, activities you can do in a small space with no equipment to keep your group positive and entertained.
After finishing the scenario, we cleaned up and then set up the mattresses for bed. Some time for quiet activities was planned, followed by lights out and sleep - for most of us!

Saturday morning started a bit later than expected, but we still enjoyed a breakfast of waffles, fruit, bacon and tater tots. After cleaning up and putting the mattresses and sleeping gear away, we headed outside for our second scenario - "Emergency Strikes - Lost Outdoors". Each Patrol was provided with a survival kit and a set of activity cards to work through. Their survival kits contained a bottle of water, duct tape, matches, fire starters, garbage bags, toilet paper, whistle, twine, tarp, rope, newspaper, compass, snack (granola bars), first aid kit, tin can and a magnifying glass.

  • Survival Kit List - Rank a list of items in order of importance in a first aid kit - Patrol members needed to agree on rankings.
  • Shelter Building - Build a shelter using tarp, rope and natural materials that your entire Patrol can fit inside.
  • Preparing for a Storm - Review survival priorities and what you can do to prepare.
  • Fire Building - Light a fire and boil water in a can.
  • Staying Calm - Practice techniques for staying calm during an emergency.
  • First Aid Skills - Find out how to treat a burn and how to bandage and splint a wrist and then practice on each other.
  • Breaking Camp - Pack up all of your supplies and return natural items to the bush.

After finishing these activities, we used some outdoor cooking skills to make lunch - grilled cheese on buddy burners, soup in large can on the fire, and box oven cupcakes. We ran into some challenges getting the burners lit, but everyone eventually was fed. After cleaning up, we went inside for some free time. Later, the Pathfinders set up tents and did a first aid scavenger hunt. 
For dinner we had taco salad made with doritoes, along with veggies and dip. Desert was the cupcakes from lunch, with frosting and sprinkles. 

Our evening program included make a hat craft - a girl in a sleeping bag, followed by a campfire. We then made and sampled the contents of an MRE - Cheese Tortellini in Marinara Sauce, with lemonade, oatmeal cookies, crackers, trail mix and candy. After cleaning up, we set up the mattresses for bed and the girls sleeping out in tents got ready to head outside. 

Sunday morning breakfast was left overs and toast, and nearly everything was eaten! After packing, cleaning up and doing a short camp evaluation, it was time to go home. 


Tuesday, 18 December 2018

What Have the Pathfinders & Rangers Been Up To?

Although they haven't featured much this year, we do have an active Pathfinder/Ranger Unit of 4 girls! Our Unit is unique in that their meetings are held without a Guider in constant attendance. The girls head off to a separate room from the Guides and run their own meetings with a Guider popping in occasionally to see that there are no problems. Meetings are planned by Guiders and girls, but are run by the girls themselves. Our Rangers make sure things go smoothly and takes on key leadership roles, while helping the Pathfinders to develop their own leadership skills. Although this arrangement was born of necessity due to a lack of Guiders, turning things over to the girls has been mostly successful!


Tuesday, September 11th - Welcome to Girls First!
For our first meeting of the year, everyone took part in sample activities for the new Girls First program. Afterwards, the Pathfinders and Rangers worked on planning and identifying activities that they would like to do this year. Read all about our meeting here - Welcome to Girls First!

Tuesday, September 18th - Program Planning
The Pathfinders and Rangers headed off armed with the Unit's Program Area Cards, the Idea Cards from last week and lots of planning materials to work on coming up with a plan for what they would like to do this year.

Thursday, September 20th - WE Day Toronto 2018
WE Day was AWESOME! This was the second time we attended, and though we were small in numbers we had a great time. Read all about the event here - WE Day Toronto 2018

Tuesday, September 25th - Program Planning
Program planning continued and a plan for October to December arranged.  


Tuesday, October 2nd - Community Scavenger Hunt
This year's annual scavenger hunt was "The Community Scavenger Hunt". The girls are sent out around town to find - and photograph - as many of the items on the list as they can, including their team members!

Tuesday, October 9th - Hamilton City Hall Campfire 2018
One Pathfinder joined the Guides for a Campfire and completed the Sing Ontario Sing 2018 Challenge! Read about the event here - Hamilton City Hall Campfire 2018

Tuesday, October 16th - International Day of the Girl
For the International Day of the Girl we worked on the WAGGGS #TeamGirl 2018 Challenge. This year, we learned about diversity, gender equality, gender power and being our own superheroes! Read all about our meeting here - International Day of the Girl 2018

Tuesday, October 23rd - Promise, Law & Planning
The Pathfinders joined the Guides for some Promise and Law activities, voting on options for the new uniform, finalizing the details of their Hallowe'en party and discussing The Shoebox Project for Shelters as a possible project for this fall. Read about this meeting here - Promise, Law & Planning.

Tuesday, October 30th - Hallowe'en Party
Hallowe'en was celebrated by dressing up in costumes, eating candy and watching a movie. 


Tuesday, November 6th - Social Time
This week we took a break and had a social session and clarified the details of some up-coming meetings as the Pathfinders and Rangers will be leading outdoor games for the Guides and having an arts meeting this month. 

Tuesday, November 13th - Leading Outdoor Games with Guides
Tonight we didn't have access to our regular meeting space, so we all headed off to the park and the Pathfinders and Rangers led a series of outdoor games and activities for the Guides. Read about our meeting here - Outdoor Games Night
Tuesday, November 21st - Art-Tastic
Tonight was all about creativity. The planned project was to melt crayons onto canvases, but instead the girls raided the cupboard and used up some of our excess craft supplies. They made floral headbands, decorative items, and some Christmas ornaments instead.

Tuesday, November 27th - Baking Brownies
We tried our first Build Skills activity tonight by baking brownies. We have done quite a bit of baking in the past, but this particular group of girls hasn't done as much and has run into problems following recipes in the past. They were also responsible for cleaning up the kitchen - something that is sometimes neglected, but was very well done this time. Tonight's recipe was a great success and the brownies were delicious!


Tuesday, December 4th - Food Bank Visit
As part of the Take Action program area, we visited the local Food Bank and learned about the services they offer and how they operated. We also assisted with two jobs - packing toiletry bags for the Christmas hampers and repackaging dry pet food into smaller bags. Read about our meeting here - Food Bank Visit.

Tuesday, December 11th - Chocolatiers
We all ended the hear with the Chocolatiers Instant Meeting from the Girls First Platform. Creating, designing, envisioning and tasting of chocolate were all involved. Read about our meeting here - Chocolatiers!
Tuesday, December 18th - Holiday Party
Tonight was our final activity of 2018. We ate enjoyed appetizers and desert, along with a gift game. Appetizers included pineapple-chicken-bacon skewers, garlic Parmesan rolls, spring rolls and plum sauce, honey garlic sausage bites, and mini mozzarella pizzas. Desert was personal apple pieces (apple, brown sugar and cinnamon in crescent rolls) with vanilla ice cream. Instead of a gift exchange, we played the 'parcel game'. Small treats and gifts are wrapped in many layers and newspaper liberally held in place with packing tape. Girls take turns rolling large dice and when they rolled a 7, they got to work on unpackaging as much as they could until someone else rolled a 7 and then the package was passed to the new person. Everyone received chocolate, crests, pins and pencils. It was quite a challenge to get into the parcel and it was funny to watch each other working on it!

Tuesday, 11 December 2018


For our final meeting of 2018, we decided to try the Chocolatiers Instant Meeting on the Girls First Platform. This challenge was a lot of fun - and very tasty!

We started with our usual opening, followed by an active game - Everybody's It Tag

Our first activity was Chocolate Transformations, where we learned about the chocolate making process. The group was divided into five groups and each group was given a slip of paper with the description of part of the process - harvesting, fermenting, roasting and winnowing, grinding, and tempering and moulding. Each group had to come up with a way to act out the process described and then the rest of the group tried to guess it. A print-out for this activity can be found on the Girls First Platform. 

We then moved on to If I Were A Chocolatier... and decorated our own chocolate "cakes". For the cakes, we used peanut and dairy-free chocolate brownies and provided icing, sprinkles, small candies, chocolates, and similar decorating supplies. Before starting, everyone was asked to think about what they wanted their "cake" to look like and which supplies they would need. The end results were very creative and we sent them home to be eaten later. 

As people finished their decorating, they moved on to Chocolate Redesign and envisioned their perfect chocolate bar. They were then asked to design a wrapper and explain why their chocolate bar was the perfect one. 

The final activity was Chocolate Taste Test, which was a bit of a challenge as we have a peanut allergy and finding unique peanut-free chocolate was harder than we thought. We ended up using Aero bars, Kit Kats and Smarties. All are peanut-free and the mini-bars came in packs of 10, so each person had their own personal bars to sample. we used the tasting sheet provided on the Girls First platform and had everyone work in Patrols to test each chocolate for look, snap, texture and taste. We all came back together at the end and voted on the best flavour - Kit Kats won and Smarties were surprisingly unpopular!

We ended our meeting with goodbyes for the holidays, reminders about camp in January and closed with Taps.