Tag Archives: promise

Rainbow Promise party



Not my photo, but we made hand-shaped Christmas tree cards like these

At the end of November, we had a Promise party to welcome two Rainbows who joined this term (and one who’s been here for months but missed making her Promise before).

It’s taken me a while to remember what we actually did before the Promise bit at the end. Now it’s coming back to me: we played some games that the girls making their Promise chose, plus one about being kind and helpful. Then we made Christmas cards for people who were kind and helpful to us.

Then we had festive nibbles and the girls made their Promises. Looking back, I guess it wasn’t exactly a party: a few times, one of the Rainbows asked me when the party was starting! But since our next two meetings included a disco and a Christmas fun and games evening, I don’t feel too bad.

Potato people


Last week at Rainbows, we started Northop Brownies’ Vegetable Challenge badge. I’d planned to do Roundabout Healthy Eating, because according to the badges of my oldest Rainbows it was the only Roundabout they hadn’t done. (I’ve only been with this unit for a year, so some of the older girls were there before me .) But it was out of stock in the guiding shop, so I found a challenge badge on the same sort of topic.

Anyway, we made Potato People. My unit helper read a storybook called Potato People (I found a cheap second-hand copy of the book, and it was too perfect not to get), then the Rainbows made their own by rolling a dice to tell them which part to add.

  1. Googly eye
  2. Nose or mouth (draw with a felt-tip)
  3. Hair (wool, glued on)
  4. Arm (cocktail stick)
  5. Leg (cocktail stick)
  6. Button (push pin)

It’s a bit of a weird craft, and as my partner pointed out when I showed him the prototype, it ends up quite spiky with all the cocktail sticks poking out of the potato. The Rainbows enjoyed the game, and no one got stabbed. Most of the potatoes ended up looking similar-but-different, with the same number of features in slightly different places and styles. But my youngest Rainbow decided that four limbs were not enough, so she kept adding arms and legs until she had a sort of alien-octopus-potato. It was excellent.

After Rainbows, I led the Guides and older Brownies in an activity about being “true to myself and develop[ing] my beliefs”.

They stood in a line, one behind the other, I asked them a question with two options, and they had to jump one way if they agreed with the first option, and the other way for the second option. Then I asked another question, and they jumped one way or the other from where they were standing, so they soon ended up scattered around the room. Or that was the idea. We were in a small room so it wasn’t very scattered.

The idea was to get them thinking about how easy (or not) it was to go your own way and not be affected by other people’s choices.

The questions were a mixture of fun and serious ones (like “Do you prefer cats or dogs?” or “Which is more important to you, following fashion or being an individual?”).

Then they chose patrols and Go For Its, and planned their activities for the next couple of weeks.

The Guides are a tiny group, now that 3 of the girls are over 14 and are dipping between going Guides activities and being Young Leaders with the Brownies. We haven’t fully planned the term yet, but it looks like I’ll be leading a lot of their meetings although I’m not officially the unit leader (Brown Owl is, but she has a Brownie unit to run at the same time). I’m happy to, but I’ve been concentrating more on Rainbows, so I feel guiltily like the Guides aren’t getting anyone’s full attention. We can but do our best!


Rainbow Promise mobiles

promise mobile (1) - Copy.jpg

Artist’s impression of me keeping my Rainbow Promise

We managed to get to week 5 of term before doing any craft (well, apart from nature pictures and cake decorating), but finally it was time.

I like craft as much as the next person, as do my Rainbows, but I make a conscious effort not to just do it as a default every week – especially since reading this post by Leslie (it explains the role of craft in Guiding, which I’d never stopped to think about before).

These mobiles come from Roundabout All About Me, so we completed part of our Roundabout as well as reminding ourselves of the Promise – useful as we now have 2 new Rainbows who will be making it soon.

We started with the game where a leader calls out an action (like “sharing toys with my brother or sister”, or “calling my friend nasty names”) and the Rainbows run to one end of the room if they think it’s a way to keep their Promise, and the other end if they think it’s not.

Then we got on with the mobiles. The Rainbows enjoyed it, but it was a scramble for some people to finish them. There are a lot of bits to do: colouring, drawing, writing, threading beads on ribbons, tying ribbons on. Most people finished in the end, but next time I’d either allow more time, have more leaders, or maybe do something to make the beads and ribbons easier to handle.

The idea with the beads is that a Rainbow slides one up to the top every time she does something to keep her Promise. I forgot to ask the next week if anyone had been using theirs…must try to ask next time.

promise mobile (2).jpg

I promise that I will do my best…

Mermaids and Dragons

DSC_1146 (2)

…is a very cool fancy dress theme. For our last meeting of term, my Rainbows joined up with another nearby Rainbow unit for a Promise/Pot of Gold (= leaving Rainbows) party.

The other unit hosted us and chose the theme. Of course most people don’t have mermaid or dragon costumes (or so I thought), so we said the Rainbows could just wear something red or blue, or uniform (which is both red and blue). I was surprised by how many came in mermaid dresses, like the ones in the photo. I’m sure these weren’t around 20 years ago when I was a Rainbow. I’d definitely have wanted one.

We only had one dragon – you can see her snazzy dragon onesie in the photo.

Apart from the clothes, we didn’t actually do anything mermaid or dragon themed! It was quite a simple party. We:

  • played a few favourite games from each unit
  • ate party food – it’s not a party unless there are Party Rings
  • made Promises – 3 for me. Next time I’m kneeling on the floor, so I don’t have to either tower over the Rainbows or stoop down like I am in the photo
  • said goodbye to the Rainbows who are leaving – none of mine, as my three 7-year-olds have decided to stay for another term
  • gave everyone a little Easter egg on the way out

It was lovely to get together with the other unit. I found the other Unit Leader and I can lead things together quite happily. (I’d expected so, but it’s good to confirm it.) I met their Assistant Leader for the first time, and with three guiders around my mum helpers didn’t need to do much, so they got a break. I’ll definitely try to do it again next term.

Frozen party and Promises

Last week some of my Rainbows made their Promises, and we had a Frozen-themed party to celebrate.

We started with a snowball fight. Each Rainbow got a sheet of newspaper and ripped in half, and half, and half again so they had eight pieces (more or less!) to scrunch into balls. Then we had a free-for-all throwing paper at each other for a few minutes.

Next they made melted snowman biscuits (like the one above) with a digestive base, an icing puddle, a mashmallow head, a strawberry lace scarf, matchmaker arms, and a writing icing face. My Guides made them a couple of years ago, and I have to say there wasn’t much difference in artistic quality between the Rainbows and the Guides!

Then we played musical icebergs (like musical chairs, but dancing between bits of newspaper on the floor), which was good fun except a bit short because our Brownie helper didn’t always get the hang of taking away just one piece of paper each time!

After a round of that, we sat down for a drink and a Frozen cupcake, and parents started to arrive to watch the Promises. We had about 8 girls making their Promise, because a lot joined all together recently. We stood in a circle and the girls came up to get their certificates and badges, then we all said the Rainbow Promise together. I’ve only known them a couple of weeks, but it was still a warm fuzzy guiding moment to pin on the badges and say “Welcome to Rainbows.”

The other Leader and I had a little confused moment where we made the salute and realised the Rainbows were looking at us blankly because they’d never seen it before. It looks like the general consensus is that Rainbows are welcome to make the sign (or try to – some don’t have the co-ordination yet), so I’ll have a think about teaching it to them.

Finally, we gave all the Rainbows a little paper snowman (in the picture) to remind them of their Promise. I’m not sure where they came from, I think the other Leader just found them and thought they’d be nice keepsakes.

Promise pizza

So when we Leaders planned the term programme last week, we filled it up quickly with fun stuff, useful stuff, seasonal stuff, a bit of food, a bit of craft, and were quite pleased with it.  Then we realised that we didn’t have much guidey stuff in there.  Like, you know, the Promise.  And the Law, and Thinking Day, and general Guiding knowledge for our newer girls.  “Hmm,” we said to ourselves, “we’re not doing very well at working to a common standard.  How can we fit these things in?”

The solution was to combine them with a pizza-making night (a request from some of the Guides), which was what we did this week.

We brought in a variety of pizza toppings and tortilla wraps for bases, and divided them into the number of patrols.  The guides sat at tables in patrols, and we asked quiz questions about guiding.  Despite the catchy alliterative title, it wasn’t just the Promise; we also covered the Law, guiding history (e.g. when were we founded, who was the first Chief Guide, why is Thinking Day when it is), local knowledge (what is the name of our unit/county/region/District Commissioner), and current facts (how many Guide interest badges are there, which of the following is not a Go For It!, what is the name of the section of Guiding for girls and women aged 14-25).

We asked the question to everyone and chose a hand that went up.  If that Guide got it wrong, the question passed to the next patrol, and kept passing round until someone got it right.  Sometimes they needed heavy hints, especially with remembering the parts of the Law – to be fair, the other Leaders and I find it hard to remember as well, which is why we like trying new ways to teach it to the girls.

I was impressed with how much the younger Guides knew: either they’ve learned a lot by osmosis since joining Guides, or (more likely) their Brownie leaders trained them well.

Every time a girl got a question right, her patrol won a pizza ingredient.  We were on a tight schedule to cook them all, so we encouraged everyone to make up their pizzas as they went along.  Oh, and we encouraged them to make them look like trefoils.  I’d printed off some sheets about what the parts of the trefol symbolised, but I didn’t give them out in the end: it would have been information overkill, and we covered some of it in the quiz questions, anyway.

As you can see from the selection below, some of the trefoils were more obvious than others!

Promise Pizza night (8) Promise Pizza night (9) Promise Pizza night (5) Promise Pizza night (6)

When the quiz was over and the pizzas were made, we put them in the oven in batches.  Meanwhile, the girls played the “Christmas card game”, a favourite with us at the start of the year.  You have a pile of lots of Christmas cards (just the pictures, with the messages cut off) in the middle of the room.  Each member of the patrol has a number, and when a leader calls out “number two, find a robin”, all the number twos run to the middle and try to be the first to find a picture of a robin and thus win a point for her patrol.  It works well if you have a mixture of very common pictures, and unusual ones that are only on one or two cards (like a koala – on an Australian card, of course).

They played until the pizzas were cooked, then we sat and ate them (there were enough ingredients for the Leaders to have some!) for the last few minutes of the meeting, and very tasty they were too.  The whole smoosh of guiding values and constructing a tasty snack worked rather well – certainly something to try again.

Found over Christmas

While I was at my parents’ house over Christmas, I sorted and cleared out some of the piles of paperwork I’ve been keeping there.  Among them were some things left over from guiding activities.  I really don’t need them, but they brought back good memories and it would be a shame to forget them, so I took photos before throwing them to the recycling.  I found…

Promise decoration 1

Promise decoration 2

A hanging Promise decoration from a training weekend at Foxlease.

Llygoden deddf Brownis

Brownie law mouse

Brownie law mouse templatesA Brownie law mouse and its templates (tie a knot in the tail every time you do a good turn), which I did with my Welsh Brownies.  Amser da.


A picture of a hairdryer from those same Brownies: part of a game about what we do and don’t pack for travelling abroad.

Russia map

A map of Russia with the approximate locations I visited on GOLD in 2011.

Thoth neck ring

A neck-ring I made at an Ancient Egpyt-themed Brownie holiday.  That was the one and only time I’ve been a QM, and I enjoyed it very much.  I wouldn’t mind doing it again for an indoor weekend, though I wouldn’t be too keen to cater at camp, at this stage.


Finally, here are the cardboard reindeer from my Guides’ Christmas party.  They had races flapping them across the floor with newspaper.

Promise, Guidelines, Go For Its, and Twister

This week at Guides, our Young Leader ran an activity on the Promise, which counted towards her Leadership Qualification.  The Guides drew round their hands on green paper, wrote the Promise on one side and examples of how they could keep it on the other side, cut them out, and stuck them (like leaves) to a tree trunk that YL had drawn.

It was simple and good: the girls seemed quite happy sitting, writing, discussing the Promise (amongst other things!) and in some cases getting very decorative.  We looked at the Promise at the start of last term (along with most other units in the country, I expect), but it’s good to have a refresher, especially as we have a few new Guides who might be making their Promise this term.

Then we asked the patrols to come up with ideas for guidelines (unit rules, code of conduct, whatever you call them), as we realised we hadn’t renewed them for over a year.  The patrol leaders got together and made a final version – again, we haven’t had a patrol leaders’ council for well over a year, or official patrols for that matter!

While they did this with two leaders, another leader and I introduced a selection of Go For Its to the rest of the Guides, and they started looking through them and choosing what to work on.  After the patrol leaders returned, they only had about 10 minutes to plan activities for 2 weeks’ time.  It felt a bit rushed, but we were running out of time, and we could make some time to look at them again next week if necessary.

Looking through our collection of Go For Its, only the more obscure ones seemed to be there – we leaders wondered what had happened to Chocolate, Globalistic, Passion for Fashion, and others that we definitely used to have.  Maybe worn to pieces or borrowed by another unit?  Anyway, the ones we found still have lots of good activities (even if some show Guides in the old uniform, i.e. are at least 10 years old, i.e. are probably older than some of the Guides).

Guides' hands and feet playing Twister on a giant board

We finished with a game of Giant Twister, which was just what was needed after an evening sitting at tables.  One of the leaders has an amazing homemade mat, which is the size of about 6 normal mats and takes up most of our meeting space!  Some of the Guides are very agile, and in the end (after adding instructions like “nose on red” and “left ear on yellow”) we declared 3 winners.