Saturday, 28 June 2008

Good luck!

My district commissioner just popped round - she's like my Guiding boss though she is a volunteer too, and she is a Brownie leader too.

She's taking her Brownies away tonight to do her overnight licence, until now she has tagged on with other units, including ours to use other people's licences. She came with us on our sleepover this spring and decided she would take her licence too.

She's using the same venue we went to in spring. I'm not helping, because we have Brownie camp next weekend and there's a limit to how many nights I can abandon my kids (see, I can say no!) but she has enough adults anyway.

She's in such a tizzy this morning - I remember it well even though it's more than two years since I took my own licence. The Guide depot has let her down and she didn't get the sleepover badges she wanted, so she popped over to me to borrow a couple for two Brownies who are leaving after the sleepover so can't wait for their badges.

Wishing her luck - I know she'll be fine though.

Friday, 27 June 2008

It rained. We didn't care. Much.

We had 13 Brownies last night, nine were on the school trip to the seaside, one was on holiday and one had to visit her brother.
With 2 Guides and 2 Guider kids (my son and newbie Guider's daughter, who are great pals) we had a good number and they had a great time.
They finished off their Wildlife Explorer badges (minus the animal, insect and birdspotting which they've to do in their own time) by using crayons and paper to do bark rubbings and labelling them with the different trees. They worked those out by examining the leaves - I was quite proud of them (even though I had given them a sheet with common leaves)!
They also had a logbook which they partly filled in while we got ready for the promise ceremony.
We set up with yellow crepe paper ribbons for the girls to walk under, they made their promise (both word perfect) and when they finished, they ran back through bursting the ribbons.
We had cheese and jam sandwiches, chocolate rolls and squash, then they played parachute games (mostly under the parachute as it was getting flipping wet by then!) and finally they collected wood for a fire - which we didn't light as it wasn't actually allowed but it was good practice for a fortnight from now when we will be meeting at a campsite and will have a campfire circle.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Less than normal

I am quite looking forward to this Thursday's Brownie meeting, not that I don't always look forward to it!

We have a promise ceremony for two of our new girls, we're going to be outdoors and we will only have 16 girls instead of the usual 24.

I work hard to keep the unit as close to 24 as I can. It's the maximum we will take (since there is a ratio of 1 adult: 8 girls required whenever we go outside the meeting place, it means we only have to be sure 3 out of 4 of us adults will be there each week) and it makes our high rent more affordable because we have more subs left over to spend on resources.

But my ideal size of unit is actually 18-20. That size gives us more time to get to know the girls individually and help them more.

It's hard to say no to girls joining. And 24 is an absolute for us, the hall can't really take any more and there's the 1:8 thing. Having an absolute makes it easier to say no. If we tried to keep the numbers around 18-20, I would know I had said no to girls that could have been members.

Anyway, this week, the school where most of our girls go has a big trip arranged for the Year 3s. They make up 1/3 of our pack - they are the only year in the school that has two classes so there were more girls than usual wanting places at Brownies when they all turned 7. They won't be back from their trip till after our meeting starts and as we are meeting at a local abbey rather than the school anyway, they will all miss this week.

I didn't cancel our trip when I heard the date, the rest of the pack is in Year 5, 4 and 2 at the school and Years 3 and 4 at other nearby schools, so there was no reason why they should miss out because of the school trip.

I am particularly conscious of keeping things fair for the girls at other schools, we already time our terms around this school since it is a/ where most of the leaders' kids go and b/ as our meeting place, we can't get the hall at the end of term because of school shows and occasionally we will find our school is open and another one shut and vice versa.

So we are meeting, 2/3 our normal size, for lots of outdoor fun, food and a promise ceremony. Wish us luck with the weather please.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Kitted out

11 Brownies going to camp.

7 picked up their uniform after Brownies tonight.

1 missed Brownies because she was ill, her mum rang and let me know and we arranged another date for me to handover some uniform.

The other 3? I've heard nothing.

Does that mean they don't want any, they're happy to trash their own clothes? Guess so!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Good little painting girls

We painted this week.  And the girls were great! All took at least half an hour to paint their birdhouse carefully and beautifully, some took 45 minutes.

And our Guide helpers were brilliant with them too, spending 40 minutes with the new girls going over their promise and the rest of the evening with all the girls playing games while the leaders cleared up after painting and ran through the plans for the last four weeks of term.

  • Sent out forms for the abbey trip in two weeks
  • Collected in forms for camp - just three weeks away now, eek!
  • Gave out environment badges to 15 girls.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Wildlife Explorer

Here's our theme for the next three weeks: Wildlife Explorer.
Next week:
We will learn about common butterflies, birds and mammals in our area and the girls will each be expected to identify three of each. We'll also go to the nearby pond to look for insects, fish, amphibians and plants, and signs of pollution.
Week after:
Painting! The girls have tiny little bird boxes that need to be decorated, so we need the works: painting overalls, covers for the table etc. And lots of cleaning stuff for after! We've seen this lot paint before!
Week after:
Trip out to an abbey with beautiful grounds. Draw pictures or take photographs of at least four different types of tree. Make leaf and bark rubbings. Label them with the names of the trees.
They will also have to do one clause in their own time if they want to pass: Spend at least 15 minutes each day for a week watching the birds, animals and insects near where you live. Go with an adult you know to a local park, or watch what is happening in your garden or school grounds. Record what you see in a nature notebook.
I'm looking forward to being out and about with them, it's great to go beyond the confines of the hall where we meet.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Walk recycle walk

We walked to the recycling point at Brownies tonight and the girls recycled plastic, paper, cans and tins, a couple of glass bottles and even three pairs of shoes in the clothing bank.

Walking back, we talked about pesticides and how they get into water, and back at the meeting place, we had some food including pineapples from Costa Rica, raisins from California and yummy strawberries from Herefordshire.

So that's it, environment badge wrapped up, for the girls who returned their charts of what they did to save energy and water anyway.

We squeezed in a game of ladders, swim fishy swim, and that was it!
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