Minion Mayhem with the Guides

At the start of term, after we did a couple  of weeks of ‘Getting to Know You’ and teamwork games, we asked the Guides if they wanted to go straight into doing a Go For It in their patrols, or if they’d like to do a badge as a unit. We had a few options of Challenge Badges created by Girlguiding units that we had noticed that had been posted on the Challenge Pack facebook page recently and asked the unit to vote on it.

We secretly hoped they’d vote for the Super Sock Challenge, but Minion Mayhem got the most votes.

The challenge is split into five sections: Teamwork, Warning, Goggle Eyes, Banana and Bright Ideas.

Over the next few weeks the girls learned about Hazards helping our Assistant Leader in training do a risk assessment of the meeting place for her LQ. And created some posters that at closer examination after the meeting had us cracking up with the giggles

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They created some ‘mocktails’, our new Young Leader set up an obstacle course which they led each other through while blindfolded (thank you Active Kids vouchers for the blindfolds!), did a teamwork game which she investigated and led all on her own

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and the finale was everyone dressing up as minions. The girls faces when we opened the door to the hall and they realised we had dressed up too was quite funny. Let me tell you finding adult sized blue denim dungarees was a challenge in itself. As was finding a yellow shirt to wear! Though on my search, I ended up doing some volunteer recruitment with a shop assistant.

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We didn’t just dress up ourselves that night either. No we were also dressing up bananas. It was meant to be a competition but we genuinely loved all of them so much. Why am I still so shocked by the girls’ creativity and imagination? You’d think that I wouldn’t be by now (especially after everything they did for their Free Being Me exhibition). But yep, these all made me smile in their different ways. Sorry you can’t see every single banana, but these are the only pics that don’t have the girls’ faces in them.

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All in all, we’ve had a blast doing the badge and with 9 new Guides to add to our 7 Guides that have been with us for 1-4 years it’s been a really fun first half of the term. After the Tattie Holidays (October Half-term to the non-Scottish folk!) the newbies will be spending a couple of weeks looking at the Guide promise, the oldies will be updating their patrol scrapbooks to document the past year (since we forgot to make time for it last year – oops!) and then they’ll be getting into work in their new Patrols and two of our oldest Guides will be getting stuck into their Baden Powell work.

Thanks Lesmahagow Guides for putting this badge pack together! 🙂

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Chinese Raffle

I love when other leaders blog details on the activities they do in their meetings. It is SO HELPFUL! Kelloggsville was the first ‘Girlguiding’ blogs I found,  and one of the few Senior Section ones (most seem to be Brownie ones). She had posted about doing a ‘Chinese Raffle’ a month or two ago which is something I had never heard of. The girls hadn’t really planned much of this term – they were too preoccupied with exams in April, so aside from telling me they wanted to start a blog, hula hoop and yes they’d like a campfire…there have been gaps to be filled.

I posted Jenny the link and we set off for B&M stores to find some random things to wrap one Sunday afternoon before some of the Guide leaders met at her house for a potluck tea and then we quickly wrapped them before the other leaders arrived!

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Our plan was to keep the idea as a surprise fun activity for the last meeting of term, because the girls have been exhausted lately from exams and also they’ve come so far this last year in all sorts of ways. We ended up with only a handful of the girls coming – three were away, but also had a visitor in the form of a Leader in training who is about to set up a Senior Section unit in another Division. Myself, Jenny and our Adult Leader in Training at Guides (also a member of Senior Section) had met her at First Response training back in April.

Our first 45 minutes of the meeting was spent being inundated with folders, record books and apologetically explaining the Leadership Qualification fiasco. We also had the leftovers from the Brownie Birthday tea party (we regularly end up being handed leftovers from Brownies, Guides and even Church elders meetings that meet just before or at the same time as us!) and popcorn to make. And I had laid out felt pens and a huge sheet of paper to get ideas from the girls about activities we can do next year as part of the Look Wider programme. Once we’d done that it was Chinese Raffle time!

The rules of Chinese Raffle are…no one knows what the gifts are. You sit in a circle and take turns rolling the dice. All the presents are put in the middle in a big pile. You can only have 3 wrapped gifts in your possession at any one time. Once you have unwrapped a gift you keep that gift and any remaining wrapped gifts in your possession go back in the centre pile and you stay out of the game until everyone else as unwrapped a gift as well. After everyone has wrapped one gift, everyone is back in play. You keep repeating this until you have no gifts left.

If you roll the dice and it lands on…

1 = put a gift back in the centre pile

2 = unwrap a gift you have in your possession

3 = steal an unwrapped gift from someone else

4 = pass one of your gifts to the right

5 = pass one of your gifts to the left

6 = take a gift from the centre pile

The girls had a laugh as sometimes they oohed at a gift someone unwrapped (like a cool journal or a nail art kit) and other times we were laughing (like a tin of Baked Beans or a Dolly the Princess washing up brush).

All in all, I think the girls enjoyed this activity (when the visiting Leader was asking them for suggestions about things she should do with her new group they said “things like this” and “popcorn*”).So it will likely be an activity we bring  back for a party or celebration in the future. I reckon it would also work well for Guides too. Especially as we’ve got our first member who has completed her Chief Guide Challenge! 🙂

*If you haven’t already worked out from previous posts about our Senior Section group, popcorn seems to have become an important factor of their meetings. When a couple of our girls visited a group of Guides to tell them about Senior Section and the Guides asked what Senior Section do, our girls replied “We eat popcorn”. It also seemed to be the main activity talked about to our newest member by two of our girls when they were encouraging her  to come along to our unit once she turned 14. If anyone from Girlguiding HQ or any parents are reading this, I promise you that we do more than just eat popcorn.

Cake night with a VIP guest

Last year, we decided to give the patrols a chance to test their teamwork and leadership skills. With the introduction of the patrol boxes and the GFI planning sheets, we really saw them begin to show us that they were capable of getting things done without us having to do everything for them. That was great because as they reach Guides, they are starting to test their independence more as they head towards high school. It was time for the next step: running guides for a night! In 2013, we designated a theme for them which included Chinese New Year, Burns Night and Easter. This year, we gave them more freedom to choose. And so this past week, the first patrol had their turn. And they had chosen the theme of ‘Cake Day‘. A couple of the girls had decorated their nails to match the theme…
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I’ll be honest, the girls would happily make and eat cake and sweets every week if we let them. So I said to this patrol when they told me their theme that if they could show me that they were going to do more than just eat cake and use a bit of creativity to do so…cake day was fine with us leaders.

The only thing I really knew was that last week the girls were preparing and seemed to be spending most of our meeting practising a game they invented called ‘Cake Tig’ and telling me they were doing the rest of their preparation at home, and could they plllllleeeeeasssseee come to Guides half an hour early to set up.

Did I mention that we had a special guest coming to our unit on this night?

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Julie arrived as the girls were setting up, and I was so relieved that she seemed very chilled and down to earth. If I’m honest, I had some anxiety that I’d be inspected in my capabilities as a leader and am so very aware that she follows me on twitter (Girlguiding tweets, commuting rant tweets, churchy tweets and all!). i was a little nervous when she asked me ‘So what’s happening tonight?’ and I had to honestly reply “I have no idea other than the theme is cake day, and the pandas are the organisers of the night”.

So after a game of cake tig (which is like Tunnel tig, only if you get tagged you put your arms above your head to look like a birthday candle, and people can let you back in the game by hugging you and saying ‘happy birthday’), half the girls decorated biscuits with strawberry laces and skooshy cream…

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While the other half made ‘cakes’ with sponges and copious amounts of shaving foam for a ‘cake competition’. I’m partly to blame as I think I helped inspire this idea by suggesting they got people to ‘make a cake’ with other things while telling them about the LaSER event where they had a cake made of LEGO for the Big Brownie Birthday. And you know that no one could resist trying to attack each other with the shaving foam in the process of making these marvellous creations:

There was a game of ‘pin the cherry on the cupcake’…

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And the night ended with a quiz which involved answering questions on ‘Who makes exceedingly good cakes?’ to teams having to collectively make themselves look like a cake.

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We were able to get a quick photo just as Julie’s taxi was arriving (at the wrong hall) to take her back to the hotel and as she left she told us that she was impressed on how clean the hall was after all the cake night carnage. We were too…until we discovered that the girls had left the plates of shaving foam cakes in the kitchen and that the girls toilets were a bit foamy too…

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Luckily, we have an amazing young leader who has serious foam removal skills.

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All in all, it was a fun night. Well done to the Pandas for excellent use of imagination and organisational skills and thank you Julie for taking the time to visit us and accepting all of us just as we are.

Shaving foam, chilly church halls and all. 🙂