In the run-up to Pack Holiday, I helped at a couple of Brownie meetings to get to know the girls, as I’m not normally their leader.
This meeting ticked off a couple of boxes in my residential qualification book about making sure the girls know about food hygiene and staying healthy on holiday, and it also counts towards the Brownie Skills badge, which the girls are all working on whether they’re going on holiday or not. Oh, and these skills are generally useful in life…
We started by putting paint on the Brownies’ hands. First we did a role play of how paint (i.e. germs) can easily spread from one person to the next. Then they washed the paint off wearing blindfolds, to see if they were washing as thoroughly as they thought. The first few Brownies missed spots like their thumbs and wrists, but after that they got wise and actually most hands were pretty clean! It took a while to get through everyone, even with two handwashing bowls on the go, but a lovely leader did some songs and games with those who were waiting/had finished.
After that, we did tooth brushing! The Brownies stood round a table in Sixes. Everyone had a beaker of water, and each table had a spit bowl (nice, I know). First they chewed on disclosure tablets to see how plaquey their teeth were. They also noticed their tongues turned purple, which was a good opportunity to remind them to brush their tongues as well. Then they brushed their teeth, and they had to guess when 2 minutes was up and stop brushing. I was surprised how patient they were: the first Brownie stopped around 1:40, a couple were very close to the 2 minute mark, but most stopped at about 3 minutes. I called a halt at 4 minutes, when a few enthusiastic brushers were still going!
After we’d tidied the toothy things away, there was just time for a bit of drama. Each Six was given a pack holiday scenario, and they had to act out first what they thought would be the wrong thing to do in that situation, and then what they thought would be the right thing to do. I’d prepared 8 options, though we didn’t use all of them:
You are washing up and one Brownie accidentally breaks a plate.
It’s bedtime. Some Brownies want to sleep, but others want to stay up and play.
It’s bedtime and one Brownie in your bedroom feels ill.
One Brownie in your Six is teasing another because she thinks her slippers are silly.
You are helping in the kitchen. A leader is explaining what to do, but one Brownie is not listening.
You have been outside and your shoes are wet and muddy when you come in.
You have been doing crafts and now the room is in a mess with paper and pens everywhere.
Your Six can’t agree what to do for a performance. Some Brownies want to do a song and others want to do a dance.
We only gave them about a minute to prepare, and then whizzed through the performances, with a little bit of discussion about the situations. Generally they all seemed to understand and choose a sensible course of action!
That took us to the end. I did enjoy going to Brownies, as it’s been about 18 months since I was a Brownie leader in another town. It’s always interesting seeing what’s similar and different between packs – for example, this pack doesn’t sing “We’re Brownie Guides” at the beginning of meetings, but (like all Brownies I’ve met) they love wink murder and Chinese whispers. I’ve been able to put a few names to faces – maybe a third of the pack? – which is a start. Roll on pack holiday!