Sunday, December 11, 2016

Francophone Books

We have a Francophone pair of sisters in our units this year.  I was talking to mum and dad at the end of October and realized that while they may speak ok English, they have a hard time reading in English, and the English books they'd gotten for their daughters were just kinda sitting around their house, not being read at all.  Let's face it - definitely at Spark age, and mostly at Brownie age, parents need to at least help their child read the books.

So how do we fix this problem?

I remembered reading (I can't remember where, might have been ANY Guide News, our Area Newsletter, The Guidepost or Canadian Guider) somewhere that there was a special printing of the Guide books (all of them, not just Sparks and Brownies) and that you could purchase them.

So I checked with Quebec - follow the link under the picture - you fill out their form, and (for a much higher fee) will send you the books that are in French!  I can't wait to see the smiles on their little faces!

As a warning, though, the books are expensive, as is the shipping fee.  I'll be contacting our provincial office on Monday to see if they'll subsidize the fee at all.  As leaders, however, we have decided that we will make sure the parents don't have to pay more than other parents do for the book.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Guider Meeting

For our Guider Meeting this year our Commissioner had a few cool ideas.

The first is that we were going to train right before the meeting.  Our training adviser spent the first half hour doing a SafeGuide training.  It's a great idea to put training in a Guider Meeting - first of all we are all there to begin with, and secondly - it's always important to do the training.  Makes it a bit easier to do the leading that we're trying to do!

Then we had our meeting.

Then we had a gift exchange.  For the gifts our challenge was that the gift we brought for exchange had to be handmade by us.  I made a scarf, and others bought homemade jams, chocolates, bubble bath, Christmas decorations, and a decorated planter with plant!

One of the other leaders made up a pass left/right game using all of our names and it was a blast!


This week we went to our local senior's centre to volunteer.

The girls made a simple craft, sang a few standard Christmas songs (we have a few Francophone girls so we also sang a verse of Petit Papa Noel).

Then the lodge gave the girls a small snack and then we went home.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Tonight we did the Super Crafts badge.  We originally thought about doing the Famous Five Challenge - but we want to do that in the spring as a tea party outside, so we did Super Crafts.  This is a badge that we try to do every year, because it's always a big crowd pleaser!

So for a woven craft, the girls created this heart.  I chopped construction paper in half, and then made the upward cuts for the girls.  They got to choose two contrasting colours and weave them together,

Brown Owl's group used playdoh to create an animal.

Sunshine Owl's group wrapped themselves in toilet paper as quickly as they could.

Finally we had the girls practice some songs that we are going to perform next week.  We are heading into our local senior's lodge to make crafts with the residents and sing to them.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Showshoeing with Brownies

The joy of snowshoeing across a frozen landscape was ours this week.  That being said, did you know that you can practice snowshoeing on grass?  You have to be careful to make sure that they don't start running over gravel, but if you have a meadow at your Guide camp like we do, a little no-snow snowshoeing can be had!

First we talked a little bit about the history of snowshoeing, how to take care of your snowshoes and a quick tutorial in how to walk in snowshoes.  Then two of our three circles went off with Brown Owl to one side of the meadow to build snowmen and have hot chocolate and the other pone came to the other three leaders, who started putting on snowshoes and getting them to play follow the leader with a Guide that came along to help out.

After follow the leader there was a little time for snowshoe ball.  You take a small ball and they try to put it on their snowshoe to move it about and get it through the other team's net.

The girls earned their Active Living Special Interest Badge for this.  You could also do the Winter Is Fun badge - we gave those girls who hadn't earned it Winter is Fun and the others the Special Interest Badge.

If you have a Guide camp near your meeting place, do check out and see if they have snowshoes.  Ours has the old style ones, but the girls still had a blast and it's something that many don't get a chance to do with their families or on their own!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Je Me Souviens

We went to our community Remembrance Day today.  The girls were able to help others to their seats, place a wreath and before we left an active service member came over and told us that she used to be in Guides and answered the girls' questions.

All in all, a day full of remembrances.

Brownie Stomp

Since our Brownies have a long weekend over Remembrance Day, we decided to hold a sleepover Wednesday/Thursday for the girls.  We had a great turnout - I put that on us having told the parents about the date of the sleepover when they first registered with us in September.

Our Brown Owl calls a sleepover like this a stomp - because we get all over town :-)

Brown Owl also is a bus driver, so we got a really sweet deal on our bus to get to all the stops.

We asked our parents to make sure the girls had eaten before they arrived.  They arrived at 630 - set up their beds, and then we were on the road at 7.  First stop?  Our local vet.  They took the girls on a tour of the clinic, then showed them all the surgical equipment they use, and the wall of things they've pulled out of dogs and cats' stomachs.

Second stop - RCMP

The girls got to take home a pack of RCMP stickers, a Safety Bear Activity Book, and a paper hat.  They got a tour of the RCMP detachment, they got to interview a female RCMP member who was there, and they got to go back into cells and see the jailer.

Then we went bowling.  Some girls loved it, some hated it, but they all had a fun time.  The girls were getting hungry by this point -

So then we went to our local pizza place, made our own individual pizzas and took them back to the church to eat.

Then we got the girls to bed.  The whispering didn't stop until after midnight, and the girls were up at 630 the next morning.  After making sure the leaders had their coffee, we laid out breakfast while the girls packed up their things and put them down by the front door for easier pickup by parents.

Our church charges a small fee for overnights, but more if we use their kitchen.  Because we ate pizza the night before and had a cold breakfast in the morning, our costs were lowered by about 50%.  Huzzah!  We had apple juice boxes, muffins, yogurt and a couple of fruit platters for the girls to dig into.

If you're planning a night like this yourself, this is how we kept costs down.
-most places will give tours for free.  RCMP and Vet Clinic were free.
-ask your parents if any of them drive bus.  Our Brown Owl is able to use a community bus, but a school bus driver may be able to ask about borrowing the bus to their bus line, or be able to drive a bus that you rent yourself, saving you money that you'd have to pay the driver.
-ask about the place you're staying over giving you a discount if you don't use all the facilities.  (ie kitchen).  It's great to cook with the girls, but we will be doing that at our spring camp out, and they still got to make their own pizza.
-the bowling alley has a discount for schools or groups.  You could always ask if they have a special discount, or are able to give you a discount because Guides is a non-profit.