A-Z game

This week we had our first Guide meeting of term, and Queen’s Guide Buddy and I used it to present our exploration to the girls, to get that part of the Queen’s Guide Award signed off.

To make it a bit more interesting than sitting and listening and looking at our holiday snaps, we did it in the form of a game (QGB’s brainchild).  After a brief explanation of what the award is about and how this holiday we went on was connected to guiding, we laid out photos of the A-Z of activities we did on the exploration, without the letters showing, and gave them 5-10 minutes to look at them, in pairs or threes, and guess which letter each one represented without knowing what the letter stood for.

For example, a group might look at this picture…

Roast dinner

…and write down a few guesses like “R for Roast?  D for Dinner?  M for Meal?”

For the next round, we gave each group a list of the things that made up the A-Z, and using that as a guide, they went around the photos again and tried to match each one with the letter it represented.

So for the above picture, they could look on the A-Z list, find something that this picture could stand for, and write on their answer sheet “Y for Yorkshire pudding”…

Roast dinner with letter Y

…which, they would find out at the end when we revealed the answers, would be correct.

The Guides went along with the activity fairly gamely, although some of them were a bit confused by the large number of options to choose from.  There were also a few unknown A-Z words where they just had to guess what they meant and which picture they might mean…


This was not the picture they had to guess from – that would have been too obvious!

…like Shambles (a narrow old street in York – and also in some other British towns and cities – which now has lots of pretty gift shops.  The name comes from a Middle English word for market stalls)…


X for Xmas tree would have been cheating.

…and xerophyte, which is a plant that has adapted to living in very dry conditions.  Like a cactus or, as here, a spruce tree.

When everyone had done enough guessing, we went through the answers, explained what they were, and passed the photos round.  The York Tourist Board would have been proud of us.  The Guides marked how many they had got right, and added marks for the bonus observation test: which photos did NOT have a toy panda in Rainbow uniform somewhere in them?

City walls

Clearly not this one (W for city Walls)

In the remaining half-hour of the meeting, the Guides got into little groups and brainstormed things they would like to do this term, which we looked at in the leaders’ planning meeting at the end.  To finish off, we had an energetic game of “when your number is called, try to hit a fuzzy dice into a goal and stop your opponent from hitting it into the other goal”.  Snappy name, I know.

After the meeting, the leaders and our New Young Leader, who is really settling into her role after a term, stayed on to plan the term.  It’s a short one – 5 weeks before half term and 5 weeks after – and we quickly filled it up with fun and seasonal things and a bit of badgework and fundraising, before we realised that we hadn’t included many “guiding” things.  Er, like the Promise.  Or Thinking Day (other than an event on the day itself).  After some thought, we’ve managed to work it into the cooking activity next week…I’m looking forward to seeing how that goes!

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