Newspaper and The Flicks

Coming up to the end of the year and we wanted a filler evening that wouldn’t cost us too much and we decided to challenge our Guides to a creative evening with newspaper. We had a blast!

They started with a cut up sheet of newspaper as a jigsaw and challenged them to put it back together, they worked as a team and achieved the goal.

We moved onto a logic and teamwork puzzle, they were divided into teams and given half the number of sheets of paper as team members and told that the paper was the only thing that was allowed to touch the floor. They had to get from one end of the hall to the other. I thought this would be interesting and work well but I forgot to specify that they weren’t allowed to rip the paper!

Newspaper flew everywhere, they all had little newspaper shoes and slid themselves down the hall. It was funny though!

Next we asked them to build a self standing tower, the tallest would win. They worked very hard at this one and competed a lot.2015-06-09 19.40.46 - Copy

We then played a game were they had to try and steal a set of keys from under the chair of a blind folded person who had a rolled up newspaper to hit thieves with. Everyone had a go and got to hit and be hit with the newspaper.

The next challenge was to build something to do with Guiding. Some groups made little camp sites and others made giant trefoils but they all had fun.

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We ended with a newspaper snowball war and then presented badges and the patrol prize, which went to the Poppies.

Our final meeting of the year was a trip to the cinema to see Pitch Perfect 2. It was a very entertaining evening and all of our Guides turned up and I was so happy to see them all.


Guides of Nepal

After getting back into Guiding I joined GirlGuiding UK’s Facebook page and started to discover things about Guiding that I never knew, for instance, I had never heard of WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) and I’m a little ashamed that I didn’t know about it before. I quickly added them on Facebook as well and explored the world of Guiding.

On the 25th April 2015, Nepal was struck with an earthquake and multiple aftershocks. Over 8000 people were killed and 21000 injured. The world looked on in horror and tried to help where they could.

The Guides and Scouts of Nepal stepped up right away, some of these people were the same age as my Guides and I stood in shock at what they were doing. They set up First Aid centres, they rescued people and belongings from unsteady buildings. They set up food kitchens and provided essential supplies.

I would hope that Guides in the UK would be able to step up just as well in the case of a national emergency but I’m not sure my Guides would have the skills. However, Guiding gives you sisters all over the world and our sisters needed our help. The Nepal Scouts and Guides were asking for donations for them to be able to keep helping people.

I asked my Guides if they wanted to help and each of them stepped up to the mark and I was very proud of them. We held a coffee evening and invited church members, other Guide packs and the Beavers parents (They run at the same time as us), The Brownie Packs raised some money to donate as well.

To help us raise a little more, we ran a name the teddy bear competition and sent the Guides around school and family. I wanted to help, but I work with a pile of men, so I put together a “Guess the number of Sweets in the Jar” competition.

Through a lot of hard work, we raised £460 to help the Guides and Scouts of Nepal and I hope that they used the money well and I hope it helped, even in a small way.

I always feel awkward asking for money but to be honest, this was one time when I felt I was so close to the cause that I didn’t feel awkward.

Brownie Meeting

When I was a Brownie, I was invited to visit the Guide pack at the end of my final year, it was a chance to meet the leaders and talk to some of the Guides, to make moving up a little less daunting.

I decided to bring the tradition to this Guide pack and got the Guides to draw up lovely individual invitations and invite the Brownies to a Bake Off Evening.

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Only 2 came to visit us and were adopted into our patrols. Each patrol was given a swiss roll, a flan and 5 cupcakes. They were given a selection of sprinkles and icing and then had a chance to chose some other ingredients.

There were 3 choices to be made, and 3 patrols, so each patrol got to chose 1st once.

  • The first bag contained cream, jelly or jam.
  • The second bag contained fresh fruits
  • And the third canned fruits

So the teams had to chose carefully to get the best use of the ingredients.

They worked well together and produced some lovely creations. We had two judges, the mother of one of our leaders, a keen baker, and our church youth worker. They judged well and the prizes were awarded accordingly. The Brownies really enjoyed themselves.2015-06-02 20.07.20.jpg

Selfie’s and Planning

I’m sure it isn’t just our Guides who think they can’t live without their phones. We ask them to leave mobiles to the side at the start of Guides and you’d think we were asking them to remove limbs.

After one too many requests I decided to plan a meeting around mobiles and the internet and very handily, 280th Liverpool Rangers have a #Selfie Challenge Badge

There are 3 main types of badge that a Guide can earn. Interest Badges are generally earned by individuals about a subject they are interested in. GFI’s (Go For Its) are earned by a patrol working together on a theme. Both of these badges are written and provided by GirlGuiding UK, however Guiding Groups and individuals are allowed to design Challenge Badges around a theme and use them as fundraising packs.

We started the evening with a scavenger hunt around the meeting place, instead of finding items, they had to take pictures of them, preferably with one of them in as a selfie. We gave them the words GUIDE, BROWNIE and RAINBOW and they had to find items which spelt out the words. They ran around so happily taking selfies and really enjoyed themselves.

Then they made pasta selfies on cardboard with glue and different pasta shapes. they enjoyed getting back to their childhood and making a lot of mess.

While they were making their pasta selfies, we had a discussion around the table about internet selfies and safety. It was interesting to see what they thought about selfie fads and how much they knew about keeping themselves safe.

Finally we asked them to make and print a disguised selfie for the following week and had great fun trying to guess who was who.

Halter and I had been so new this year and every thing had been a bit haphazard, so we decided to have a sit down with the Guides and ask them how they wanted things to be run in the next year.

  1. Do you want your patrols to change? If so, how? How many patrols do you want?
  1. How do you want to decide on Patrol Leaders/Seconders?
  1. Do you still want to run a night as a patrol? Plan evening, discuss with leaders and then run the whole night from start to finish.
  1. How do you want the meetings to start and end?
  1. We need Guidelines for the unit – relating to behaviour, mobile phones, uniform, expectations, attendance – have a go at writing some
  1. Do you still want to do the reward chart? What should you be able to get stickers for – write a list. And what sort of prize should the winning patrol get at the end of the year?
  1. What would you like to do around Christmas? Do you want to go shopping again or maybe do some other activity?
  1. If the church is doing the Christmas tree decorating again, do we want to join? What would you like to do for it if yes?
  1. Do you want to have more time as a patrol? We should be doing 2 GFI’s completely as patrols but would you like 20 mins each week (or most weeks) to do stuff as a patrol such as games, knot/sewing ribbons at the start of the meeting.

and many other questions along those lines. It was good to get the feedback from them and they made a lot of suggestions. Surprisingly they didn’t want to chose their own PL and PS’s as they thought it would turn into a popularity contest. Its something I check with them regularly but since we are girl lead, its important to listen to them.

First Aid and Valentines

As a leadership team we chose to do the First Aid badge. First Aid is always useful and a good traditional Guiding skill. We were lucky to be able to get in touch with St John’s Ambulance and have a volunteer come to us for two weeks and teach us all the skills the Guides need.

To be honest I think some of our Guides struggled with this badge, not that they couldn’t understand and learn but that they found the material hard to concentrate on and the guy delivering it was a bit shy and awkward. I think if I were to do this in the future I would make it more interactive and fun.

We asked the Guides what they wanted to do for Valentine’s and they asked if they could bake. I left this one up to Halter and she decided they could make Shortbread, and Barrel also suggested a Valentine’s craft while it was baking.

Halter was really prepared and had the recipe printed out, we had scales and baking equipment and each patrol was tasked with following the recipe, with various levels of success. Halter hadn’t left the butter out for long enough, and it was still rather hard, this lead to some creativity amongst the Guides. Lots of them were stabbing at it, one patrol softened theirs in the microwave and another patrol managed to melt theirs completely. I explained the chemistry behind baking at that point but they bulled on ahead regardless.

We put them in the oven to bake, tidied up and then set about making adorable heart shaped bags to put the shortbread into. That wasn’t too difficult for them and gave them a bit of a rest.

I was sent in to check the shortbread and it was a disaster! Half of them seemed to have melted and spread across the baking tray. However, the great thing about Guides is, they will eat them anyway!


Take Your Toothbrush GFI

We needed to do another GFI to ensure that all of our Guides had a chance to achieve their Challenge Badge for the year and we were also going to be heading off to camp soon. None of our Guides had been camping before and we were starting to get anxious that we would arrive at camp and it would be a disaster. The Take Your Toothbrush GFI allowed us to run some activities that got the Guides more familiar with some camping skills.

We started by making gadgets from cake pop sticks and string. This wasn’t something I had ever done as a guide, I’d never even really learnt how to tie knots, but I’d developed an interest as an adult and find knot tying relaxing. I reckoned it wouldn’t be too hard to teach the Guides and sure I had 3 other Guide Leaders to help. Well it really didn’t turn out that way!

None of the other leaders had any clue how to even do a clove hitch knot. I had printed lots of instructions and ideas for what the Guides could make and they had a good try but struggled with the knots. I ended up running from table to table, some of the Guides were very interested though, one even took some supplies home to finish their creations!

Even more exciting for me, when we arrived at camp, within a few minutes of having the tents up, I had a few Guides crowded around me, asking if I had brought string for them to make a gadget bin. They did ask me where to find sticks, whereby I pointed to the woods!

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It proudly stood outside their tent all weekend.

We had a competition to see which patrol could put up a tent the fastest, although we had to put them up inside since the heavens had opened. Obviously the Guides need to know how to put up tents in the rain but I did not want to have to dry out 3 tents!

The following week we moved onto cooking skills. We asked the Guides to come up with some camp recipes and meal plans and then taught them how to cook on trangias. None of them had ever experienced one before and we decided to cook sausages and then have s’mores. It went down very well, nothing went on fire that wasn’t supposed to be on fire but none of them enjoyed having to scrub the pans at the end!

My Journey – Buddy Burner

For Phase 2 of the Outdoors octant, I decided to try my hand at cooking outdoors. I’ve cooked on an open fire, a flatstone, a bbq and tried cooking a banana in a juice carton. Tonight I tried to finish the phase by cooking on a buddy burner.

Making the burner went pretty well actually, I managed to melt the wax in a container over a saucepan of boiling water and poured it over the cardboard in the tin and let it cool. I thought everything was going brilliantly.


Next step was to make the cover can. I brought the tin into work to use the tin snips in there and I ended up having to get one of my colleagues to help, as I wasn’t strong enough to cut through the lip. We got the door cut in and the holes on the other side of the can and I thought everything was going well.


However when I tried to light it, the match kept blowing out, as you can see from my little pile behind the can. Eventually got it lit and was happy, put the cover over it and discovered the door wasn’t big enough to let enough air in to keep it lit!

I tried to prop the can up with matchsticks but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.

So I made pancakes indoors instead. They did contain some grass.

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I will bring the can back into work tomorrow and cut a bigger hole in it and see if that helps!