As the girls arrived they each made two Semaphore Flags using white cardstock, blue construction paper and straws. (Heritage Box). These were put aside for use later on. We then spent some time learning and practicing how to form a horseshoe and singing the Guide Marching Song. (I was prepared this year and had the words to the song written out on a sheet of Bristol board!)
Next up was a game from a 1922 issue of The Guide magazine called "Pork and Green Peas". This game is very similar to "Darling If You Love Me" - and can have hilarious results depending on the questions asked. Players sit in a circle and one person is 'It'. 'It' goes up to a player and asks her a question - any question she wishes. The questioned player must answer "pork and green peas", no matter what she has been asked, without smiling or laughing. If she is successful, 'It' moves on to another player. If she smiles or laughs, she trades places with 'It'.
We have been having some difficulty getting the girls attention, so we tried some of the hand and whistle signals from an older Guide Handbook (not that old - it was mine!). I don't particularly like using a whistle, but it was certainly effective! We tried signals for stop, look. listen; come here; scatter; form two lines; form a circle; and never mind.
Next up, we split into Patrols and did a round robin of three activities:
Name That Badge!
For this activity, girls explored a camp blanket (mine) containing Brownie, Guide and Pathfinder Badge Sashes, as well as numerous crests and patches from all over. They were challenged to identify some of the different badges and to find the crests from 1 Territory and 8 Provinces.
Be Prepared Card Game
Using the Memory Game Cards (Heritage Box) we had the girls play a game like "Go Fish". There were 28 cards in the deck, with two of each card. Each girl was dealt 4 cards to start and the remainder were placed face down in a pile in the centre. They played by taking turns asking another player if they had a matching card (i.e. compass, fire lighting, throwing a life line). If the asked player had the card, they gave it to the other player, who placed the pair on the floor in front of her. If the asked player didn't have the card, they said 'Be Prepared' and the asking player had to draw a card from the pile in the centre. The winner was the player with the most pairs.
Each girl used the semaphore flags she had made at the beginning of the meeting and the replica Semaphore cards from the 1950s (Heritage Box). They practiced signaling the alphabet, their names, and 'Be Prepared'.
After cleaning up, we played a team game - Bean Bag Toss (Heritage Box).
Our final activity involved skits and a potted history of Guiding. Each Patrol was assigned a theme for their skit and we interspersed them with bits of Guiding history. The skit themes were Cookies, Camping, and Helping Others.
Guiding began in Canada in 1910. Early groups formed in Toronto, St. Catharines, Moose Jaw, Sardis (BC), Vancouver, Winnipeg, and even Dawson City in the Yukon! Girls were excited to try new activities and learn about first aid, tracking, woodcraft, outdoor cooking and camping. The first Guides chose a uniform of a loose white blouse and long navy blue skirt. This changed into a dark blue dress in the 1920s and, with slight changes in shade and style, this would remain the uniform for nearly 80 years.
Did you know that Girl Guides have been selling cookies since 1927? That's 90 years! The first cookies were baked by Christina Riepsame of Regina and sold by the 4th Regina Guides.
We have been selling chocolate and vanilla cookies for over 60 years and chocolately mint cookies for over 20 years. One of the things cookies help pay for is camping. Guides have been camping since 1911 - over 100 years!
Every few years a National Camp is held with girls from across Canada and around the world. The last National Camp was Guiding Mosaic in 2016, which was held at Sandy Lake, Alberta. These large camps always involve a service project of some sort.
Helping Others Skit
Service and helping others has been a part of Guiding since the beginning. During the First World War, only 4 years after Guiding began, Canadian Guides gave service by working factories and government offices, volunteering in hospitals, knitting socks, making dressings and bandages, and collecting supplies and donations for the war effort. Today, Guides take part in service projects around the themes of Community, Environment and International.
We then ended with reminders for next week and closed with Taps.