Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Alberta Passport to Fun and Fitness Challenge

So this week we completed the Passport to Fun and Fitness Challenge.

We decided to tie this into our Being Healthy Keeper.  This was also my new coleaders first ever meeting that she planned all on her own!  I'm so proud of her.  She was never in girl guides, but her daughter has just started and loves the program!  Here's to many more years!

We started with the girls doing a bit of Yoga.  This is made a little easier for us, because the local Yogi is also an elementary school teacher, and did a unit with most of the school on Yoga last month.  We concentrated on the breathing, and relaxing, as having a healthy mind is also so important.

After Yoga, we learned a little bit of hip-hop.  We have a Brownie this year in Sparks, as the time conflicts with her dance classes, so she got to earn the Show Your Talent for Dance Badge while everyone else was learning a bit of hiphop.  She demonstrated a few moves, then helped the Sparks try them out.  We did something she called the reverse cowboy, as well as the Zombie Walk.  Before the Sparks started to dance we had them take the pulse and then take it again after dancing.  Then we told them a little about how the heart is a muscle and it has to exercise too!

Then we played tag.  Just plain old regular tag.  Then we had the girls give ideas of how to make it a new type of tag, and vote on which one we'd play.  It has to do with some markers, everyone carrying around some paper and a rubber chicken.  They loved it.  They called it Spark Tag, and I think that it might end up a regular kind of thing!

Finally we laid out supplies for parfait, and had they make up their own parfait.  Emerald brought yogurt, granola, and three different kinds of berries.  That being said, if we had to do it again, we would have bought more yogurt!

While eating, we sat in a circle and talked about breakfast, why it's important to eat a breakfast and what's in a healthy breakfast.

Sledding Outside

Wow - have I ever neglected this blog!

I'm going to start with our latest meeting, then work both backwards and forwards until I've caught up!

So this week we went sledding.  The big thing about sledding with Sparks is making sure they are dressed appropriately for spending an hour outside.  So the week before we reviewed with the girls what they'd need to wear, and it seemed to work.  Of the 10 girls who showed up, 9 were dressed appropriately, which is far better than our big bridging event that we had in October (more on that later).

Our kit list for sledding/fort building:  snowpants, winter jacket, warm boots, hat, two pairs of mittens and a scarf.

We sled at our local middle school.  There are two really great places to go sledding there, as well as a couple of large mountains of snow.

We started by sledding.  That also gave the girls something to do after their parents had dropped them off and we were waiting for a few stragglers.

After the sun went down we stopped for a circle picnic in the parking lot and drank down some hot chocolate, or Chai tea.  I made the hot chocolate extra strong and hot, so they filled their little cups up with clean snow, then the hot chocolate was poured overtop.  While they were drinking we talked to them about keeping their sleds at home, and how to clean them and store them so they would last a long time.

Then we headed to the big snow hill.  It's a hill that's created by plowing the school parking lot.  The girls made some tunnels through the center of the hill and had a great time.

Afterwards we split the girls up for the last ten minutes.  If they wanted to go sledding again, they went with me, and if they wanted to continue on with the fort, they stayed with Emerald.  They split evenly between the two groups (yay).  Please note for guiders - our snow hill and the sledding hill were less than 20 meters from each other, and were in full view to the other guider.

Parents started to arrive soon after to pick up their kids.  You know that it's gone well when the chorus is "do I have to go?"  "awww...." and "just one more run!!"

We did hand out badges on the way out.  They got our district and area badges, as I\d just picked them up from our area meeting, their Being Healthy Keeper and their Passport to Fun and Fitness Alberta (we completed it last week).

We decided this year to give out badges just once a month.  I staple them to a 3x5 index card with the girls' name on it, and write where each badge is supposed to go on the sash.  Very few of our parents were in Guiding when they were young, so they really appreciate it!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Well... we planned on going snowshoeing last night, but between the wind chill and the fact that it was snowing buckets, we cancelled and spent the time warm and cozy in our church basement!

We started with my coleader teaching the girls how to line dance to Achy Breaky Heart, as the last part of our Alberta Arts Challenge Crest.  The girls really got into it.  I'm glad that my coleader is a far better line dancer than I am!

Since they were still wound up like tops, we had them play tag for five minutes to get their wiggles out.

Instead of snowshoeing, I created a quick craft to have the girls weave their own snowshoes.

I took two pieces of construction paper, cut them into the shape of a snowshoe, then cut them into strips, leaving a few inches at the top of each paper.  Keeping that top makes it much easier for the girls to weave it together.  Then we had them paste them onto another piece of paper (so that they didn't come apart).  Then we had them slip around on the floor, keeping their snowshoes from touching each other.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Female Leader in the Community

As we invited our local elementary school vice-principal over to our meeting last Monday (yes, I know this post is late, but I've had some... computer issues).  We had her come as part of the Being Me Keeper.  We asked her to speak to the girls about leadership, how she was a leader, and how they can be a better leader in their own lives.

Our school does the Leader In Me Program, as well as the bucket filling program.  So she filled a cute little steel bucket with small objects to represent each habit, then other small objects to help them remember some of their own skills that they can use as leaders.  There was an elastic band, symbolizing the ability to stretch with a situation, and not break.  A band-aid to remind the girls to care for themselves.  A bookmark to remind them to take care of their mind as well.  The girls had a great time.  Our Sparks haven't spent a great deal of time in the principal's office, so being able to interact with her outside of school was a real thrill for them.

Since we're going to be visiting the Brownie unit soon, we practised the Grand Howl, the Brownie Song, the Brownie Dues Song and the Brownie Smile Song.  

Then, since we're also looking to complete the Going Outside Keeper, we  had the girls make insects.  They had free run of construction paper, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, glue and markers.  Here's my daughter's effort.

Then we got together in our circle again, introduced our insects, and closed the meeting.  

Next week we're going snowshoeing and tobogganing at our local middle school (they have the best sliding hill).

Sunday, February 23, 2014

World Thinking Day 2014

So we had World Thinking Day yesterday, and the girls seemed to really enjoy it.  We had all the Sparks, Brownies and Guides from our town, and we invited a town that is just a half hour away as well, so we invited their Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers as well.

We started off by decorating paper bags with their names in both Roman characters and hieroglyphics. 

We made an awesome cut and paste project so that the girls could see all five regions of WAGGGS on the map, as well as the phrase "Education is in our hands."
We also made a Benin Flag hat craft with a pipe cleaner and some pony beads.  Some girls couldn't get all five rows (you have to start perfectly to get that to happen) but were more than happy to get four!

We also had the girls make a box of wonder.  They put their wonderings on strips of paper, so they don't forget their questions.  The boxes are white wedding favour boxes I found at the dollar store.  We had them colour them, then put the boxes together.
While we were getting our Mendhi done (we bought cones from Edmonton - we only needed three of their pre-prepared cones of henna), we had the other girls create fairies out of clothespins, felt and sequins.

 For the Mendhi we gave all the girls the WAGGGS logo on their hands.  More embellishment was given to leaders, Pathfinders and the Rangers.

Se we earned the WAGGGS badge while we were at Thinking day. 
For WAGGGS badge activities we:
1. Made our box of wonderings and talked about continuing learning.
2. Had a Nurse (female STEM worker) come in an talk to the girls about continuing with
math and science, as well as other Nursing careers.
3. Talked about the difference between formal and non-formal education.
For this we also had the girls make up a game to teach something they'd ordinarily learn in school.
4. We made up two posters - what they would see in a Good school and then for Bad school.

All in all, it was pretty fun and the girls seemed to learn a lot and have a good time.  I'm stopping by the church this morning to find my first aid kit (accidentally left it behind) as well as take some pictures of the posters I made for the event.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lady Baden Powell

So this week we went for doing part of our Mouse Around the House Challenge, as well as part of the Brownies and Beyond Keeper and the Going Outside Keeper.  My coleader and I have promised ourselves to sort out which days get which keepers next year, but I've got to tell you, the hodge-podge is pretty darn fun!

We started off by having a kangaroo relay.  You make up some beanbags (I bought scrap fabric from my local shop - about a dollar, and the cheapest beans in the bulk section for the insides) and then separate teh girls into two groups.  They have to balance or clench the beanbag on themselves (between knees, on head) while they hop around obstacles and go back for the next girl to get a chance.  Since we have two Spark groups, the Glitterbugs raced on one side and the Sprinkles raced up the other.

I think we'll play some music for it next time, though.

Then we split off into two groups.

Sapphire took one group and started to make cute little rice hand warmers.  She made them up on her sewing machine and left one side open to add rice and for the girls to sew up.  She made sure that we pre-set the needles, with a knot in the bottom, so that they could start sewing after they got their rice in.

I took the other group and we made up a gluing project, with some of our Spark adventures.  We learned a little more about Lady Baden Powell as well.  Sapphire found a rhyme and had it printed out

Lady Baden Powell lived a long time ago
She was involved in Guiding as we all know.
She liked to help others, sing and play
Just as Sparks do today!

She also printed off a bunch of clipart Sparks (for those out-of-countryers, GGoC has clip art on our website that leaders can access) showing some of the awesome things we've done so far in Sparks.

Then we switched.

If girls had a little extra time we had them make some Valentines for Canadian troops abroad.

Here's the awesome LBP crest we gave the girls!

Here's the awesome project my coleader came up with:

We don't have Sparks next week because of Family Day (Alberta) - my next post should be just after Thinking Day - I'm planning a whole DAY of fun!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Africa Region WAGGGS Challenge

This week we decided to complete the Africa Region section of Alberta's 5 Region Challenge.  We've already completed Asia, Europe and Western Hemisphere at a camp last October.

We started off by looking at a map.  We identified for the girls where we were in Canada, then where Africa is, then I traced the outside of Africa Region.

Then we sang a song from Africa Region.  We sang "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".  The girls really liked it.  They remember the song from The Lion King, which is kind of interesting.  To complete the challenge we also had to play a game from Africa Region.  We originally wanted to play the snake game, which we'd played already on another day and the girls enjoyed.  However, there was no outdoor recess today and the girls were... a little bit wild.  So we played a skit game and had them run around pretending to be different types of African animals.  Giraffe, elephant, lion, antelope, hyena, meercat, wild boar, hippopotamus and crocodile.

My coleader found a colouring page with a South African Teddy on it (their level of guiding in South Africa) which also has their motto and promise on it.

Then we completed a craft.  I cut the centres out of paper plates, and we showed then a few pictures of Maori warriors with their beautiful necklaces.  They then got to colour in their necklace.  I think they had a little bit of trouble really understanding what the necklaces represent, since my daughter decided to cover hers with heart stickers, but I think they had fun!

We capped off our evening by eating some snacks from Africa.  I made a chickpea rattle in the oven.  Chickpeas tossed with curry powder and baked for an hour.  Then I also cut up some fruit that is originally from Africa - one of the girls' favourites - watermelon!

My coleader gave out the badges.  The Going Camping Keeper (they finished water safety last week) and the WAGGGS Africa Region badge.

At the end of next month we're doing the Arab region.  Should be awesome!

Here's my daughter's attempt at the necklace -

Here are the badges they've been earning - all together they make a flower if you put them together in a circle.  Arab region is in purple!