International Day of the Girl

What does it mean to you to be a girl or a woman? How does being a girl in Canada differ from being a girl elsewhere in the world? What rights and responsibilities do we have? What privileges do we have? What challenges do we face?

October 11 is the International Day of the Girl!

This is an excellent time of the year for your unit to reflect on the questions above, as well as other issues related to girls and women, what it means to be part of an organization run by and supporting women and girls, and the female role models that they can look up to. There are a wealth of resources available to help you plan a meeting around the International Day of the Girl. Below, I’ve listed a few, but if you have other suggestions, please leave your suggestions in the comments!

First, why should we celebrate International Day of the Girl?

The International Day of the Girl lets us acknowledge and spread awareness of the inequalities that persist throughout Canada and the world, and work together to solve these issues. According to the Status of Women Canada, “Girls throughout the world face higher rates of violence, poverty, discrimination. In Canada, girls have higher rates of depression, sexual harassment and dating violence. There is a growing recognition around the world that support for girls and their basic human rights is key for healthy communities. Improving girls’ lives has a ripple effect. What is good for them is good for all of us. This international day promotes equal treatment and opportunities for girls around the world in areas such as law, nutrition, health care, education, training, and freedom from violence and abuse.”

How can your unit get involved? What activities can you do?

  • Girl Guides of Canada has excellent resources to help you celebrate the International Day of the Girl, including instant meetings and a crest that girls can earn. Visit their International Day of the Girl website for more information.
  • Units or Guiders who follow social media, or want to investigate Internet and social media issues (such as through the Pathfinders Web Surfin’ badge), may want to follow @GirlUp, @Canada_swc, or contribute to #GirlHero, #StrongGirls, #dayofthegirl, or #StrongGirlsStrongWorld
  • Show your unit the following video from Plan International to prompt your discussion about issues that girls face in Canada and around the world:
  • Share the story of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai with your girls, either through video or her book. Girl Up and the United Nations Foundations has an excellent toolkit and discussion guide that can be used to help guide your unit.
  • Have everyone in your unit take the pledge to support girls’ rights. For every pledge made in 2015, Sears Canada will donate $1 to Plan’s Because I Am A Girl campaign to help improve the lives of girls around the world. First name and city are all that’s needed to make a difference!
  • For Guides:
    • Have your unit brainstorm female role models that they have. Take time to celebrate these heroes by having your girls draw a picture of their role models, or describe them with a description, word map or poem. Share your artistic creations with the unit, including why the girls chose the role models that they did and why they consider these women role models, and then have the girls give their work to the role model they are celebrating. (You & Others – Learn About Leadership in a Group #4)
  • For Pathfinders:
    • The What’s Up Around the World badge #6,7,8 prompts girls to learn about the Rights of the Child, WAGGGS’s Our Rights, Our Reponsibilities initiative, and internationally recognized days, such as the International Day of the Girl and others.
    • You could use this opportunity to explore some of the “Girl Stuff” challenges in the Pathfinder program, for example:
      • For the Media and Image badge (#1,2,5,6,7,8), discuss body image and how women are portrayed in the media (including in girls’ favourite TV shows and movies), investigate changing attitudes regarding beauty and fashion throughout history, create a body image campaign or a body image magazine for youth, etc. Dove’s Self Esteem Project also has resources for Youth Leaders and Mentors that I have used to prompt discussions and support International Day of the Girl activities
    • You could tie this theme in with learning about what it means to be a Canadian citizen (e.g. Be A Model Citizen badge), particularly if you focus on the rights, responsibilities and privileges of Canadian girls and women compared with girls and women around the world.

Additional resources:

 

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Guiding Promise, Law & Motto

The Guiyou in guiding--promise and lawding Promise, Law & Motto are important for every new member of Guiding to learn. These words become so much more than just words as youth and adult members learn through our meetings, camps, community service, and other memories how to embody the values instilled in us by Guiding. We learn to do our best in everything that we do, even if that means taking small risks and learning through failure. Our sisters in Guiding accept us for the diverse and beautiful girls and women that we are, so that we can be true to our authentic selves and learn to love ourselves. We become fiercely loyal to our friends, family, unit and country, and show our pride by wearing our uniform in our communities, and the Canadian flag around the world. We pledge to take action for a better world and do so through our service work and small acts of kindness toward one another. We respect the Guiding Law and use it to remind ourselves of how to act toward ourselves, each other and our world. And we always strive to “Be Prepared!”

Here is a full meeting plan for Guides (although this could also be used and adapted for other branches) that teaches girls about the Promise, Law and Motto and gets them thinking about how these are applicable in their daily lives:

Promise, Law & Motto meeting plan – PDF, Word

How do you and your girls live the Promise, Law and Motto every day?

Tied Up in Knots!

Sheet BendKnot-tying is a great, practical skill for girls in all Guiding branches to learn!

Why learn knots?

  • To know how to tie the knots needed to participate in colour parties at Guiding ceremonies
  • To know knots that will be useful when camping, sailing, rock climbing, doing first aid or building shelters
  • To practice hand-eye coordination

Materials Needed:Clove Hitch

  • Knot Cards (see below)
  • Short lengths of rope (any size and length will do; sometimes having different diameters and/or different colours will help when trying to tie two different ropes together)
  • Sometimes it is useful to have sticks, flags, flagpoles or other similar props to use when practicing tying knots, especially when practicing for practical applications such as participating in a colour party

 

Knot Cards

When I was a youth member, my mum helped me and my unit learn knots by sharing with us Knot Cards created by Girl Guides of Canada. These Knot Cards provide step-by-step instructions with clear visuals, as well as the uses of the knots, for easy instruction.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the original book from which these came (or even the name of it), and I only have the cards themselves (click on the links below to download the cards). Please note that these cards are copyright Girl Guides of Canada (1991) and are provided here only for use in teaching girls in Guiding how to tie knots, as they were originally intended. (If you know of the original source, please comment below so that I can ensure the proper credit is given.)

Resources to Teach About the Uses of Knots:

Badges or Challenges Earned (or Partially Earned) by Learning Knots:

  • Girl Guides
    • You in Guiding – Understand the Promise and Law and Motto #5: Learn to tie a reef knot, used for tying your Guide tie
    • Beyond You – Explore the Outdoors and Nature #4: Practice your outdoor skills. Learn knots and make gadgets. Learn how to put up a ten.
    • Fun in the Outdoors – Sailing #7: Describe one use of a figure eight know and a bowline. Tie these knots.
  • Pathfinders
    • Knots, Knives & Outdoor Lore #3: Explore the different types of knots that you can make. What are they used for? Why does one knot work better than another in different situations? Make about 5 different knots, and show that you know their names and the activities for which they are best suited. Try to memorize at least two, choosing ones that are versatile and could work in almost any situation. Play games or make up a rhyme to help you remember and practice them.

 

 

Capture the Best of Guiding in a Time Capsule!

Time capsules are a fun way of capturing a moment or series of events in time for you or others to uncover later on. With the end of the Guiding year coming up, capturing the highlights of the last few months, especially at your year-end camp or advancement ceremony, and putting these along with other mementos in a time capsule will leave a legacy for your girls to open a few years from now as they are farther in their Guiding career.

A few years ago, my Guide/Pathfinder unit created a time capsule at the end of our Guiding year and included the following in it:

  • Patrol flags made at our spring campIMG_5932
  • A copy of the local newspaper from that week
  • Crests that were meaningful to us, with comments written on a piece of masking tape stuck to the back of each
  • A questionnaire out by every member, including our name, date, age, years in Guiding, branch of Guiding, our physical description, our likes and dislikes, challenges we overcame this year, our best memories of Guiding, etc.

We put these mementos into a large sealed plastic container, labelled the top with our unit, the date, and when the time capsule should be opened, and we put it away. Our opening date is coming up – June 2015! We’re excited now to have the Brownies, Guides and Pathfinders open this together this spring, during this year’s year-end celebrations, so that they can learn about the girls in the units then (some of whom are still with us), what they liked and disliked, what their memories of Guiding were, and hopefully contribute to a new time capsule.

Other items you could include in a time capsule could be:

  • Crafts, especially camp hat crafts
  • A DVD or CD with photos from throughout your year, or a single photo of your unit
  • A DVD or flash drive with a video message from your unit
  • An autograph book with messages from everyone
  • Photos of your community and/or meeting place
  • An interest badge you all especially enjoyed earning this year
  • Souvenirs from outings or special activities you did (you may want to collect these throughout the year in preparation)

What ideas do you have for making a time capsule with your unit? Share below to give others ideas that could enhance their time capsule!

Making a time capsule could earn your girls the following challenges and badges:

  • Guides:
    • Beyond You – Discover Your Community #5
    • You and Others – Learn How to Plan #3 (if you include a description of each girl’s life goals in the time capsule)
    • Fashion #6 (if you have the girls discuss today’s fashion, what they like and dislike, etc. to include in the time capsule)
    • Picture This #3 & 7 (if the girls take photos at camp, for example, and then make a collage and/or scrapbook to include in the time capsule)
    • Reporting #3 or 5 (if the girls write an account or a photojournal of an event they’ve attended, such as a community camp, unit camp, field trip to a local museum, municipal office, fire hall, etc.)
    • Career Awareness #1 (if the girls include a list of their skills, talents, hobbies and interests in the questionnaire they include in the time capsule)
  • Pathfinders:
    • Exploring a Theme – It’s About Time #5
    • Girl Stuff – Girls Just Want to Have Fun #4 (if you include art that allows the girls to express themselves in a fun & creative way)
    • Girl Stuff – Focus on Friendships #1 (if your girls include a list of what they consider positive and negative qualities about friendships; this could be interesting to look back on when they are older to see if they still agree with the statements their younger selves made)
    • Girl Stuff – Fashion Sense from Head to Toe #2 (if your girls include in their questionnaire answers about their favourite clothes and why they like them)
    • Girl Stuff – Fashion Sense from Head to Toe #3 (if you include photos of fashions today, and compare with the girls the images of fashions included in a time capsule from a previous year)
    • Living Well – Be Glad You’re You #2 & 3 (if you have the girls include descriptions about themselves in the time capsule, including their physical appearance and their non-physical attributes, what they like, what they wish they could change, what they think makes them unique, how their abilities help them in their everyday life, etc.)
    • Living Well – Be Glad You’re You #4 (if the girls make a personal statement that represents themselves to include in the time capsule)
    • My Music, My Movies, and More! – Join the Scrapbooking Craze! #4 & 5 (if you integrate scrapbooking into what the girls include in the time capsule)
    • My Music, My Movies, and More! – Camera Crazy #5 (if you have the girls capture your unit’s activities on camera throughout the year)
    • My Music, My Movies, and More! – Camera Crazy #6 (if the girls create an album or a scrapbook to include in the time capsule)

Get Ready for Campfire Sing-alongs!

With spring camping just around the corner, now is a great time to start practicing those campfire songs that you’ve been missing all winter. Our Brownies and Guides just had a sleepover during which they had an indoor campfire and practiced a ton of new songs, as well as learned the ins and outs of planning and leading a campfire.

To plan for this, Brown Owl found an amazing Guiding website with tons of song resources including guides on how to plan campfires and Guides Owns, and a remarkably well-organized database of songs (organized by Guiding branch and type of song). Best of all – most of the songs have a YouTube link of the song with lyrics, so you and your unit can sing along with the videos to learn the songs!

Check out Guider Amanda’s My Virtual Songbook here!

For some of OnTopOfIt Guider’s favourite campfire songs,

check out my blog post on Classic Campfire Songs here.

Do you have other great resources to share that have helped you plan campfires or learn Guiding songs? If so, share them below!

Dive In and Discover Water!

IMG_7211 calm of the lake w canoe

March 16-22, 2015 is Canadian Water Week, and in honour of that, here are some ideas of how you and your unit an explore water while earning program work and interest badges:

  • Brainstorm all of the ways in which your unit’s members use water every day (Learn About Our Environment #2 in the Girl Guide program book)
    • Learn what a “water footprint” is through a description and video produced by the World Wildlife Fund.
    • Learn about your water footprint through Canada Water Week’s Water Footprint Infographic. Click on each icon in the infogr aphic to learn more about how water is used. If you have an internet connection at your meeting place, exploring this infographic as a group could generate a lot of discussion. You could also use something like a relay game to keep the girls active and allow each one to pick the next topic to discover. (Our Environment #3 in the Pathfinder program book)
  • Brainstorm environmentally friendly practices that you and your unit can follow every day, and create ads to promote them (Learn About Our Environment #2 in the Girl Guide program book). Pledge to reduce your water consumption. Fill out and sign Canada Water Week’s Residential Water Commitment Pledge and share it with your unit before posting it in your home. (Water #3 in the Girl Guide program book or Our Environment #1 in the Pathfinder program book)
  • Visit a body of water in your community and observe the plants, insects, birds and animals that inhabit the water and its surroundings (Learn About Our Environment #2 and Water #6 & 7 in the Girl Guide program book or Up Close and Personal with Nature #2 in the Pathfinder program book)
    • Some animals, such as turtles, are highly susceptible to the condition of the water in which they live. Learn more about turtles and why they need healthy water to stay healthy themselves through this article on the World Wildlife Fund’s blog.
    • Visit a local pond, stream, tidal pool or marshland to explore the aquatic life. Record and identify what you find. (Up Close and Personal with Nature #3 in the Pathfinder program book)

IMG_4047

  • Find your local watershed using Canadian Geographic’s “Find Your Watershed” tool. Canadian Geographic also has resources on what watersheds are, and what characterizes each of Canada’s ocean watersheds.
  • Learn about organizations or people who work toward environmental protection – look in your community, province, country and internationally (Learn About Our Environment #2 in the Girl Guide program book)
  • Find out about water pollution and the pollution of shorelines. Brainstorm the sources and impacts of pollution on shorelines, and then learn about the sources of shoreline pollution and learn about the impacts of shoreline pollution to ecosystems, wildlife and people via the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup’s resources.
    • Find out about the main causes of water pollution in your local water sources and what the effects of this pollution may be (Water #1 in the Girl Guide program)
    • Organize and participate in a shoreline cleanup in your community (and use this to count toward your Green Connection environmental service project in the Girl Guides’ You In Guiding: Be Involved in Your Community #4 or toward your Pathfinder community service hours)
    • Suggest ways of improving the water quality in your community (Water #4 in the Girl Guide program or Our Environment #6 in the Pathfinder program)
  • Learn about water purification. How is your local water source purified? If possible, visit your local water filtration plant to learn more. (Water #2 in the Girl Guide program)

IMG_7140 hobbie catAnother way to celebrate water any time throughout the year is to take part in water-based activities such as boating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, ice skating, etc. There are plenty of interest badges in the Guide program (i.e. Boat Safety, Canoe Safety, Sailing, Skating, Swimming, etc.) that allow girls to earn badges while learning and pursuing their interests.

Don’t forget – any community service work that you do with your unit can contribute toward You In Guiding: Be Involved in Your Community #4 challenges for Guides (especially the Green Connection environmental service project) or the community service work required for Pathfinders to earn their Canada Cord. Refer to your program books for more details.

How else could you celebrate Water Week, enjoy our beautiful waterways, and learn about water conservation with your unit? Post any ideas you have below, as well as any feedback you have for the ideas above!

 

Happy Pi Day!

What better day to promote math to your unit than Pi Day?

What is Pi Day? Pi (π) is the mathematical constant for the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter: π =3.1415… and Pi Day is the day when the date, time, etc. align and match the value of Pi. For example, March 14, 2015 at 9:26 can also be known as 3/14/15 and 9:26, which is also Pi to the first 7 decimal places, or 3.1415926.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi

Pi: The ratio of a circle’s circumference, C, to its diameter, d. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi

For information about Pi, check out these resources:

What can you do to celebrate Pi Day with your unit?

  • Brainstorm ways in which math is used in everyday life. Encourage your unit to think through their daily routines: how do they use math? For example, math can be used in telling time and calculating how much more time you have until you have to go home or until your next activity. Math can be used to teach budgeting and saving skills, such as calculating how much money they can earn and save with their allowance, and determining how long it will take to save enough to make a purchase. Math can be used to calculate durations and distances during travels, how long it will take to get from Point A to Point B, what is the shortest route to a destination, etc. Math can be used to calculate change they deserve for items they pay for at the store, or for determining what the best deal is when making a choice between purchasing one of two choices. The uses are endless!
  • Learn about geometry while getting creative with tangrams
    • Visit Activity Village’s Tangrams site for free printable black-and-white and colour tangram templates, as well as patterns to challenge your unit’s creativity and problem-solving skills.
    • For Guides, refer to the You and Others: Build Skills in Communication #2 challenge in your Guide program book for a communication challenge using tangrams
  • Math puzzles are a great way to enhance math skills while also using logic and problem-solving skills:
    • Arithmagons are math puzzles that use simple addition and logic to solve puzzles. Visit Activity Village’s arithmagons site for free printable puzzles of various difficulty levels.
    • Visit Math is Fun’s website for a variety of math-related puzzles.
    • Math in English has a wide variety of free downloadable math puzzles of various difficulty levels.
    • Kakuro are math puzzles that use addition and/or multiplication. Visit Math in English’s website for free downloadable Kakuro puzzles of various difficulties.
    • Sudoku is another type of math puzzle that many people are familiar with. For Sudoku puzzles for kids, visit Math in English’s website for free downloadable puzzles.
    • Pathfinders can check out Everything Comes from STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math #3a in their program book for a mind-reading trick using math.
  • The Pathfinder program book’s Everything Comes from STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math #3b challenges youth to learn about Mobius strips
    • Visit Wikipedia’s page or Wolfram Mathworld’s page for information about Mobius strips
    • Watch this short (10min) Youtube video with your unit for a great interactive tutorial on Mobius strips that encourages your unit to follow along, engage in creative thinking and scientific inquiry, and make their own Mobius strip
  • Discover how math can be used in measurement. As suggested in the Guide program book’s Beyond You: Try New Things #4: “Measure yourself in five different ways. For example: the length of your arm, leg, head or hand. Convert the numbers from centimeters to inches, or inches to centimeters.”
    • Another source of activities about measurement can be found on Math is Fun’s website, including activities related to metric and Imperial measurement system, length, area, volume, mass, time & date, conversions, temperature, speed, direction, units and accuracy.
  • Budgeting, sales, making change and saving are ways that math can be used to deal with money in everyday life and especially during Girl Guide Cookie selling campaigns:
    • Brainstorm a list of activities that your unit would like to do throughout the year, estimate the costs of these activities, and calculate how many boxes or cases of cookies you would need to sell to fund these activities (see the following challenges in the Guide program book: You and Others: Learn How to Plan #4; in the Pathfinder program book: Choosing Your Own Direction #3 & #4, Cookies Rising #1)
    • Cookie selling is a great opportunity for girls to practice giving change to customers:
      • Role play making change during one of your meetings ahead of cookie selling to practice and build confidence.
      • Have older Guides or Pathfinders help younger girls and teach them how to make change as they sell cookies.
    • Lead your unit in creating personal monthly budgets, including all revenue and expenses, or a trip budget for a personal or unit trip (see You and Others: Learn How to Plan #4 in the Guide program book or Moneywise #5, #7 and #10 in the Pathfinder program book).
    • Invite a guest from a bank or go visit a bank to learn about personal banking, different types of bank accounts, debit & credit cards, and careers in banking and finance (see Moneywise #1, #2, #3, #4 in the Pathfinder program book).
    • Have girls rotate through being treasurer of the unit (with the guidance of a Guider) or involve the entire unit to learn how to record unit revenue and expenses (see Moneywise #8 in the Pathfinder program book). This is could be adapted for family finances instead of unit finances as well.
    • Have the girls brainstorm businesses they could start now, including where they would get the money to start their business, what they will charge for their products or services, etc. (see You and Others: Learn How to Plan #5 in the Guide program book or Moneywise #9 in the Pathfinder program book).
  • For other ideas of how to celebrate Pi Day, check out these Great Pi Day Activities for Teachers (or other educators such as Guiders).

How else could you have fun with math? Share your ideas below!

 

 

Happy International Women’s Day!

iwd_long

Happy International Women’s Day to all members of the Guiding Sisterhood!

According to the Official Website of International Women’s Day, March 8 is a day to celebrate “the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future”. This is a great opportunity to highlight the amazing achievements women have made throughout the ages in science, arts, technology, international affairs, engineering, politics, etc. It’s also a great opportunity to explore with your girls the evolution of women’s rights, and how these vary across the world even today. Discovering the way that girls and women live both at home and around the world, in different cultures and socio-economic statuses, can also be eye-opening for you and your unit.

There are so many ways you can celebrate International Women’s Day with the girls in your unit and with your fellow Guiders, today or any day of the year! Here are some resources and ideas:

Resources:

Tying International Women’s Day into the Guiding Program:

  • For Guides:
    • Help your unit find out about issues that concern girls of Guide age, and help them brainstorm ways that they can make a difference. For more information, refer to You In Guiding: Be Involved in Your Community #2 in your program book.
    • As a unit, identify and discuss female leaders, and then create a collage showcasing these women. Discuss what the girls think makes these women good leaders, and what qualities the girls have that make them good leaders. For more information, refer to You and Others: Learn About Leadership in a Group #4 in your program book.
    • Invite women to your unit to discuss with the girls their careers. Have the girls interview the women to learn more about how they chose their careers, what they like most and least, what education they need, any advice they would have for their younger self, etc. For more information, refer to Discover What’s Important to You: Discover What’s Important to You #4  and the Career Awareness badge in your program book.
    • Invite a woman from a different country or culture to your unit to share with the girls customs, games, crafts, songs, etc. from their heritage. Have the girls interview her about what it was like for her as a girl and a woman before she came to Canada, and the differences. For more information, refer to Beyond You: Discover Your Community #1 and the Cultural Awareness badge in your program book.
    • Invite female role models to your unit to complete any other badge work the girls would like to do, especially if the women have specialized knowledge (i.e. if they can teach a particular skill or sport, if they have experience in, for example, chemistry or engineering, baking or cooking, etc.).
    • Do some community service work, including baking, volunteering or collecting needed goods for a local women’s shelter
  • For Pathfinders:
    • Explore the gender gap and advances women have made throughout history. Use some of the resources above, and refer to the Follow That Woman badge in your program book for more information.
    • Learn about the conditions in which girls around the world live to work on the What’s Up Around the World badge. You can expand on this by learning about the International Day of the Girl.
    • Any of the above activities could also be relevant for Pathfinders as well.
      • If you do a careers-related activity, the girls can earn part or all of Your Dream Career badge. Refer to your program book for good ideas of how you can involve women in your community in career discussions.
      • Invite female role models to your unit to complete any other badge work the girls would like to do, especially if the women have specialized knowledge (i.e. if they can teach a particular skill or sport, if they have experience in, for example, chemistry or engineering, baking or cooking, etc.).

In what other ways would you celebrate International Women’s Day? Share your ideas below to inspire other Guiding units!

Community Service Projects

Community service projects are a great way to get girls involved in their communities and complete some program work. Recognizing and using your talents and abilities to help others, being wise in the use of resources, taking action for a better world and sharing in the sisterhood of Guiding are all fundamental to Guiding. Through community service you can instill these values in your Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders or Rangers.

Below are some examples of good community service ideas:

  • The 2015 World Thinking Day activity pack focuses on Millennium Development Goal 8: Developing a global partnership for development. In addition to the fun board game included in the pack, there are very clear guidelines to help you guide your girls in developing a plan to take action together to improve their community.
    • Have the girls map out their community on a large piece of paper, including the most important aspects for them
    • Have the girls brainstorm the best and worst things about their community, the changes they would like to see, and the important people who could help them make these changes happen
    • Follow the instructions in the World Thinking Day activity pack to guide the girls in acting on one of these changes
IMG_5788

Community Map created by our Pathfinders

  • Improve accessibility in your community through an accessibility audit of your community and then taking action to improve the situation
  • Help your local dog/cat rescue club find homes for their rescues
    • Girl and adult members can volunteer to help their local rescue club at open-houses or adoption fairs
    • Your unit could host a pet wash to fundraise for the rescue club or to help prepare pets for adoption
    • Your unit could bake dog-friendly cookies (or human-friendly cookies) and host a bake sale, with proceeds going to your local dog club; alternatively, if your local club has a table at a craft fair or similar, volunteer to provide baking that they can sell themselves
    • Volunteer to take dogs on walks in your community (in your uniforms, of course!) – girls will be exposed to the responsibilities involved in owning a pet, will engage in active living, and will promote Guiding and volunteerism in your community!
    • Host a photo session for rescue pets waiting for adoption. Have your girls practice their photography skills as they play and take photos with the rescue pets. Donate copies of good photos to the rescue club to help with advertizing pets – a good photo can go a long way toward finding a pet a good home!

(Note: Any time you are working with animals, be sure to understand if any of your girls have allergies, and be sure to work closely with the animals’ caregivers to understand if the animals are good with children. Be sure to teach your girls ahead of time how to safely approach an unfamiliar animal, what actions are OK and which are dangerous – i.e. not all dogs love being hugged – and follow all SafeGuide procedures at all times.)

  • Organize activities for younger branches of Guiding to provide activities that may not be offered in your community
    • Brainstorm activities as you did for the 2015 World Thinking Day action challenge, and use the World Thinking Day activity pack to guide you through implementation
    • Activities could include things such as a cooking and/or baking class, art or music classes, a book club or book exchange, a buddy system for walking home from school safely, a homework club, classes in sewing, woodworking, calligraphy, scrapbooking, etc., a school or unit newspaper or newsletter, a community garbage pick-up competition….the possibilities are only as endless as your unit’s creativity!

Do you have other suggestions? Post below!

Straw Flute – STEAM Craft

Straw Flute

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) activities are great ways of teaching youth to be well-rounded, inquisitive individuals! Check out the link below to a Straw Flute craft that is inexpensive and easy to do for any age group, especially young girls, as well as their links to a free online tuner and the physics behind flutes. This is a great introduction to music, musical instruments, physics, and scientific inquiry through a craft.

Link to STRAW FLUTE CRAFT courtesy of GoldieBlox and the Oakland Toy Lab

Do you have any other ways that you have used to introduce youth to music and science in combination? Share in the comments!