GFI’s and Settling In

The next two weeks were GFI’s. Our four patrols chose: Parties; Communication; 5 Senses and Sports.

We run GFIs in two week blocks, I tend to find anything longer and they really struggle to keep their interest and engage. Two weeks seems to be the correct length of time, as long as it is well planned. They do need to occasionally be checked up on but mostly cope well the challenge of planning.

Highlights of the weeks:

Parties They made fortune cookies! They turned out a bit thick but they had fun trying and apparrently they tasted okay. The next week they were doing henna tattoos, they ordered the henna online and everything was going well till they discovered one Guide had brought hair dye henna instead!

Communication The first week they did really well, they sat quietly and wrote fairy tales in text speak. I was super impressed. The second week wasn’t quite as well planned but they played charades and blind drawing.

5 Senses Week 1 was fruit tasting, they brought in so many different fruits and tried them all. Watching them eat lemon slices was the highlight of my week, so much screaming! Week 2 was identifying foods by touch blindfolded. The previous week, each of them told Merida and I (in secret) what they were going to bring in, so they didn’t have repeats. Watching them touch raw egg was pretty funny.

Sports The first week they walked in with a lot of sports drinks, chocolate and crisps. I went over to ask what their plan was, in a “I’m not accusing you of not doing the GFI” way but I’m interested in how this relates to sport. Turns out the energy drinks were what they were looking at, comparing nutrients and energy (all good). The chocolate and crisps,they just wanted to eat them. Week two involved a lot of weird exercises with balls and hoops, they seemed to have fun.

All in all, it went pretty well and the guides enjoyed themselves.


5 thoughts on “GFI’s and Settling In

    1. Sadly not, I’ve been with two different units now and 4 weeks is just too much. The packs do say “4 patrol times”, which in theory may not be an entire meeting, so I think doing multiple activities each week for a full meeting kind of covers this. Have you found yours can do the full 4 weeks?


      1. Yes. They can’t get the badge if they haven’t. Week 1 they choose and plan, do a simple activity and the following weeks they do activities they’ve chosen and planned. The only issues we’ve had is patrols not accomplishing activities because they’ve not remembered to bring stuff they need for activity. Usually resolved with a discussion about the need to be organised and not being awarded badge and having incentive to get things accomplished next time. We will also have a leader more closely supervising them to help them stay on track and plan if it’s needed.


  1. I tried implementing 4 week GFIs in my last unit and by week three it was like getting blood from a stone. But it may have been they weren’t used to do their own planning (another thing I was trying to encourage and build up to). I remember doing them as a Guide myself (in the first couple of years of them being out) and I know we struggled to keep interested for more than a few weeks. I think the GFI packs are good and interesting but it depends how self motivated your Guides are.


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