A whistle-stop tour of Japan

Here’s a quick run-down of our Japanese-themed Guide meeting.  We did it in rotating stations, with each patrol spending about 10 minutes on each activity.

Sushi – one Leader brought her sushi-rolling mat and food supplies to go with it: rice in wine vinegar, seaweed leaves, salmon, cucumber.  It was a bit stressful for her cooking the rice just before the meeting, but definitely worth it, as the Guides loved making and eating their own sushi.

Tea ceremony – our Unit Helper set up a stunning tea parlour (she even made a wall hanging!) and took the Guides through a ceremony.  We used red bush tea: not exactly Japanese, but very tasty and healthy!

Set up for a tea ceremony, with cushions, bowls, flowers, and a wall hanging

Karaoke – we got out the karaoke machine (it was bought with Sainsbury’s Active Kids vouchers a few years ago and has since been really useful as a music player), brought along some CDs, and the Guides had a mess about singing and miming along.

Peg dolls – the Guides dressed up dolly pegs in “kimonos”.  They gave their pegs faces and hair (pens) and arms (half a long pipe cleaner twisted round the peg), drew round this kimono template

Paper template for a mini kimono

onto fabric, cut it out, draped it over the doll, and tied a ribbon round the waist to hold it all together – “a bit like a dressing gown”, I told them to give them a sense of the shape.  Some Guides stapled the sleeves to hold them together, but most were happy without.  They turned out quite sweet:

Two dolly pegs dressed in kimonos

Fans – your classic concertina fan, with string at the bottom.  I think someone may have brought some pictures for inspiration of what to draw on them.

Two green paper concertina fans

Origami boxes – the intention of these was for the Guides to use them as money boxes to collect coppers for a fundraising project.  I found a tutorial for a really good money holder on YouTube, but unfortunately I couldn’t find printable instructions, and in any case it was a bit complex for the amount of time we had.  Instead they made these square boxes – if you make two, you can slot one over the other as a lid.

Two origami square boxes

Origami square boxes slotted together to make a lid

So there you have it!  This was one of those nights where we wished the meeting was half an hour longer, as there wasn’t enough time for all the activities, and some groups didn’t get to have a go at everything.  But everyone got to do the big things, sushi and tea.  And at least no one was bored or milling around at any point.

Also, I made a boo-boo and kept calling one Guide by her older sister’s name.  It must have been really annoying…must try harder!


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