Back to Guides after the Easter holidays!
We had almost a month off, and it was one of those meetings that was a bit hard to gear up to, but was great when it actually happened and we all got back into the routine. We had three new Guides so there was a bit of pressure to make it extra fun. I mean, I know every meeting should be enjoyable, but I think with new Guides coming straight from Brownies it’s important to bridge the gap with things that are familiar/guaranteed to be fun, rather than leap in with a more serious-going meeting where we don’t have time for games or jolly things.
We leaders had discussed a few things we needed to do this term, but hadn’t made a definite plan for this meeting, so I turned up with prep for a programme-planning activity and a few icebreaker games up my sleeve, and hoped someone else would come with ideas too. Unit Leader turned up with a plan and equipment, so we got the Guides to choose patrols, then did programme planning while Unit Leader got everything ready, then did her activity, and no extra games were needed, and it all worked out nicely.
For programme planning, I gave each patrol a bunch of post-its with activities we usually do in the summer (e.g. cooking out and playing water games) and blanks to write other suggestions, and something the patrol would like to lead for everyone. We leaders briefly explained each one, then each patrol arranged them on a piece of paper in order of preference, wrote their names, and we collected the pieces of paper. We’ll use them to plan the programme for this term.
Then the Guides started working on a challenge/competition set by the local Trefoil Guild: essentially, the idea is to plan your ideal (but realistic) camp. When we first read it, it was hard to know how to do this with the Guides, so Unit Leader thought she’d start to get them in the camp-planning zone by building mini camps. Each patrol had half an hour to produce the following:
- 5 watertight bedding rolls
- a gadget to keep them off the floor
- a flagpole with flag
- a plan of their ideal campsite
using the equipment we gave them: a bit of bin liner (groundsheet), cotton wool ball (pillow), sanitary towel (sleeping bag), string, garden canes, a selection of fabric, paper, pens, scissors, glue.
We tested their bedding rolls by dropping them in a bowl of water. Some were more watertight than others!
Then we gave them a selection of sweets and 10 minutes to build a campfire with them. They were not allowed to eat anything until we had taken a photo of them “toasting” mini marshmallows over the fire. We were very impressed by our youngest patrol, who had made a log pile of chocolate fingers to sit next to their fire.
The evening saw the Guides having a say in their programme, working together, facing a bit of a challenge, learning something about camp skills, and having a tasty snack: a good first impression of Guides for the newbies, I think.