North, South, East and West

We have a new LiT (Leader in Training), kind of, she’s called Timber and she’s a fully qualified leader with Brownies, who is doing her module 1 for Guides this term, and Rainbows next term, to allow her to mentor more people through the ALQ (Adult Leadership Qualification). She doesn’t have a permanent unit at the moment and is more interested in exploring mentoring. So she has to plan a few of the activities this term to fulfil some of the ALQ clauses.

Together we set out to organise an evening in the local chalk pit around the theme of direction and trails. Our original idea was the TV programme Taskmaster, but a lot of the tasks didn’t really lend themselves to a group of 24 Guides.

We set up 4 positions, labelled 1-4, and from each position there were two compass directions to follow until they found an unusual item, they were to leave the item alone and write down what it was. At the end, the first letter of each item, would make the phrase, “Well Done”.

We thought it would take them about half of the meeting to complete so had also given them a sheet explaining how to lay trails and another one with semaphore on it. However it actually took them the entire meeting.

None of them had seen a compass before, even after explaining how to use one, and demonstrating it, I still had one Guide hold it vertical and exclaim that it wasn’t pointing north. Several of them decided that the paper plates denoting the starting positions were the items they were supposed to find. *headdesk*

But after a lot of learning and fun, they figured it out and had a whale of a time. A very successful evening.2017-04-05 17.55.59


Harry Potter Night (Again)

Isn’t life great when your new unit wants a Harry Potter night 🙂

And even better when you can get your young leaders to plan and run the evening for you!

Everyone dressed up and I was impressed at the level of effort, all the leaders went for it and we all had a bit of a laugh. Celtic made an excellent Professor McGonagall!

I was in charge of the sorting hat, the young leaders were out in the corridor with an envelope full of house names, a walkie talkie and the sorting hat recordings for each of the houses. I had a sorting hat (in this case, it was a baseball cap cause we couldn’t get hold of a witch’s hat, and the other walkie talkie. It was very entertaining but our unit really don’t work well when they are mixed up, that worries me a little.

Merida ran the first activity, each house was given an envelope containing sheets with creature parts written on them. Each member had to draw one or two things without looking at anyone elses, then cut them out and put them together. They had to name and come up with a backstory about their creature. It was very entertaining.

Next we moved onto Mulan’s part of the evening, she had put together a capture the flag game with Harry Potter Trivia. I had to make up an extra person and ran about in my cloak quite happily.

Our Unit helper Windsor brought along the ingredients to make butterbeer, they all enjoyed the process but it tasted gross apparently. So she also brought green lemonade for potions.

All in all, a lovely and well run night.

Its a new dawn, its a new term!

We started back and my night was a busy one! One of the other Guide Units in the district has nine Guides who will be ready to move up to Senior Section in the next year and their leader asked me to come visit and talk to them about moving up. The only problem is that they meet on the same evening as us, starting half an hour before. So it was a quick drive over, enthuse them about Senior Section and a quick drive back before our unit started. They did seem interested though so hopefully the Senior Section will start to grow over the next year.

Back at my Guide Unit, we were doing the agility badge and had 5 new Guides who had moved up from Brownies. Our three oldest have decided to have their own patrol to give them a little space from the younger ones, which left one of our other patrols a little sparse. All five new Guides have joined this patrol with two older Guides as the PL and PS. We are a lower age majority unit, once we lose our three eldest to Senior Section after Christmas, the eldest will be only 12.

We had four stations, skipping, tennis ball and racket, yoga and throwing a ball. Myself and Merida were running the tennis ball and racket station and I was quite surprised at how difficult some of them found it.

They had to bounce the ball on the racket 20 times without dropping it and hit it off the ground 20 times without stopping. They all tried really hard but a couple of them really struggled.

They seemed to enjoy the yoga taught by Celtic and came in looking relaxed.

It was a very active night but they were still looking engaged and excited at the end.

Cooking with the Senior Section

Our second meeting dawned and we had four people attend, so we are slowly growing. They had decided they wanted to make spaghetti bolognese and I reckoned that that was a bit too easy so I decided to add a bit of a challenge.

I gave them a recipe to cook it from scratch, a jar of sauce and a ready meal. They had to make each of them, taste them, price them and decide which was best!

It was a good exercise, especially considering that many of them will be heading off to uni in the future, I just didn’t expect it to take so long! I tried to stay out of the way and let them get on with it but I did have to step in when I smelt burning. Thank goodness it was only a bit of sauce on the bottom of the pan.

Overall, they hated the ready meal, and had a toss up with the jar and from scratch. We also tried fresh spaghetti and dried, the dried was miles better.

It took them three hours to cook, eat and clear up, I have no idea how. It takes me half an hour. But they had fun and got chatting and that’s good 🙂

We finished up by doing an A-Z of activities that we might like to do. I’m not sure how to get them to step up and start planning things themselves but I’m willing to keep trying.


Easter Tea with the Senior Citizens

As our final night of last term, we held an Easter Tea with the Senior Citizens and it went really well. I was impressed that basically all of our Guides turned up and really interacted with the Seniors.

Celtic had written an Easter quiz with questions suitable for both younger and older team members, so they had to work together. There was lots of chatting and they all did pretty well in the quiz. Our young leaders did a good job running the quiz.

The Guides then served their guests tea and hot cross buns and did it very well. I think the Guiders were more stressed in the kitchen, listening to all the orders.

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We finished up with Campfire singing, which somehow I ended up leading. I have never lead singing before and I’m not sure I ever should again! It was a good laugh though. They introduced me to some new songs and I brought some new ones to them. My personal favourite was “A Pizza Hut” with the addition of the Guiding Verses:

A tall Girl Guide,

A tall Girl Guide,

A skinny little Brownie,

And a tall Girl Guide.


The leaders,

The leaders,

A skinny little Brownie,

And a tall Girl Guide.

For which the actions are to show tall, show skinny and show voluptuous breasts. I think I was a bit over enthusiastic with the action on the last one and I had a couple of the senior citizens in tears of laughter.

It was a very fun night!

Senior Section Grand Opening

In my eternal madness, I’ve decided to open a Senior Section in the District. I have a lot of free time these days since the leadership team in my new unit is so competent and I’ve given up Tae Kwon Do because of my joints.

My previous unit had a Senior Section attached and I’ve been doing most of the awards myself in the last few years so I have a pretty good knowledge of the programme and I think I connect pretty well with the age group, at least, I hope so. I am having to redo Module 1 of the ALQ, and apparently I will get a mentor for it! I didn’t have a mentor for my leadership so this will be interesting.

We have a lot of young leaders in the district but nothing joining them together, the idea behind this senior section is to get as many of them as possible to attend meetings but also to invite the those who can’t attend regularly on outings and camps to let them have some peer Guiding time.

The plan is to meet once a month, on a Saturday or Sunday, for 5 hours, roughly equivalent to meeting once a week for an hour and a half, once you get set up and going. By having it all at once, it should be easier for those who have a lot of homework and exams looming. They have also expressed an interest in having meetings during the summer holidays. It doesn’t make a difference to me, since I have to work anyway!

Our first meeting was on Saturday and we had two girls attending but another 5 on the books who couldn’t make the first meeting, which is more than enough to get started with.

The five hours went in pretty quickly and the 3 of us had a lot of fun. We started off by discussing the program and the awards available, starting to generate some ideas for meetings. Then moved onto baking cookies, I wasn’t completely sure about the facilities or what the level of their baking experience would be so I went for a mix which just needed butter and water added to it. I’m glad we started small, it took them an hour to make the two packets and they did forget to switch on the oven! It was fun though and tasty.

Next we played the card game “In a Bind”, a bit like twister but with cards instead of the mat. It was hilarious, very enjoyable and got everyone laughing and chatting.

Our last activity of the day was collages. The idea was mood boards or inspiration but it really turned into “Things we liked the look of”. I had collected all of the junk mail which had come through my door, there was a lot of funeral homes and life insurance leaflets, this entertained the Senior Section a lot.

All in all, a really good day and I think we are off to a good start!

Craft Badge – Fimo Charms

This week was our last Craft Badge Activity and we made charms from fimo clay. We used the bake in the oven kind, it takes about 30 mins to bake properly. We also had four Brownies who will be moving up next term visit with us for the first half hour.

Celtic, Merida and Mulan spent the first part of the meeting cutting up the fimo into small blocks so the Guides could choose four different colours each. The Brownies got to chose first so they would have time to make something.

While they were setting that up, Windsor and I ran a game, no idea what it is called but they wander around the room, you call out a number and an animal and they have to get into a group of that number and make the animal shape. Much laughter was heard and my favourite was the centipede!

The Guides then settled in natural groupings and chatted while making their charms. Trinity asked me to sit with our eldest grouping and have a chat. Two of them are fourteen and are moving onto my new Senior Section (More about this in the next post), but the other three have 6-12 months to go and are struggling with the very young 10 year olds in the unit. We have suggested them having their own senior patrol next term and it was really well received. They don’t want to do anything different from the rest of the unit, they just want to be able to do it in peace.

The charms were adorable, little penguins, beads, door number from Sherlock etc. The Guides liked the activity and it gave them a chance to gossip.


We finished up with a game of Rats and Rabbits and Wink Murder.