Now I realise it’s not even September, but I like to be prepared and get as much of the admin and preparation for activities across the term done over the holidays. So what better plan than starting at the end of the next term… (maybe it’s because it’s my favourite time of the year).
We’re going to be working on a Festive Fun badge, and we’re having a ‘games’ week. During this week we’ll be having snowball fights, playing beetle and bingo and much more.
If you want to join in the fun, below you can find two resources that can be used within your own units.
As a unit we’re really lucky to have such a great team of leaders. Not only do they give their time each week, but they go above and beyond to provide extra activities and to find grants and funding opportunities to reduce the cost of these events. The majority of the fundraising we do goes to support all three rainbow units that Misty and Cloudy are involved with so all girls are able to experience fun and adventure.
Over the last two weeks we have been working on our Reflect Stage 1 skills builder. We’ve run this activity a few times with the unit, but it was our first time with our 4 year old Rainbows (some of whom aren’t yet at school) and were a little unsure how some of the activities would land. We shouldn’t have worried!! It was great. We had some really interesting conversations and by working in really small groups with a mix of ages we could spend a little longer.
First up we had What Matters Most; and thanks to Sunshine we had a set of bodies and parts with lots of different values written on them, this resource is great. We hid all of the body parts and gave each girl in the group a blank body, they hunted for the different parts and filled their body. Once every girl in the group had a complete body we read what was written on them, with some of the older Rainbows helping the younger Rainbows. We talked about how they are all values and they’re quite important. But which was most important to each of them. Most Rainbows chose something about being kind or helping others, which is great as it’s part of the Rainbow promise… we decided though that although not mentioned explicitly all of them were part of the promise and what we as Rainbows think is important.
Also on this evening we talked about Traditions with Tradition Teamwork – we worked in small teams to see if we could catch a season and then share as many different traditions that happen then. We loved the winter one – we’re good at all things Christmas :D. We also had a fifth ‘season’ but actually it was a trefoil to represent guiding, and had the chance to talk about what we do in guiding; from making our promise, to wearing a uniform, to going on camp. Lots of fun.
This week we completed the final 3 activities. We started with a game of ‘If your eyes are brown, turn around’. The girls loved seeing how sometimes we’re the same as someone else but a lot of the time we’re different.
We moved on to Big Questions, in our small groups we took turns to pass around the imaginary hat. When the hat stopped we answered a question; from what’s the tastiest thing you’ve ever had (most said chocolate or sweets) to what’s the softest thing you’ve ever touched. It was hard but we all had different opinions and actually some of us even changed our minds when we heard what others said.
Lastly we looked at growing together. It worked well being after the activities we’d done this evening as it consolidated everything together. We talked quickly about how we’re all unique from how we look to what we think and things we like. Every girl designed their own flower to represent them; we had butterfly flowers and leopard flowers, and flowers with lots of colours and petals. We finished by putting all of these together to show our garden of Rainbows!! Don’t you think they look beautiful!!
We’ve been spending the last few weeks migrating our online shop so that everything is in one place. We’ll keep the other shop open for now but will primarily operating through this unit website.
Our online shop sells our own challenge and fun badges plus a selection of other badges and fundraising options. All of these raise funds to support more than 120 girls in the area to have fun and adventure.
In 2019 the first future girl acts week happened and we acted on plastic (and had a special badge for this too). 2020 (covid) put a stop to the next ones (hoping we get one later this year). Girlguiding did however create a badge and resource about each of the 5 areas.
So… what did we do and how did we do it.
Each of our leaders took an area and delivered some activities for it. We met for 3 hours and in five groups we rotated around every half an hour.
We took the 5 areas and did activities in each:
Adventurer: soft archery. We got adventurous and had the chance to have a go or develop our skills further with the archery sets.
Planet protectors: we discussed animals that are close to extinction and made badges (also a UMA). Upcycled bottles into plant pots and cup and ball games.
Barrier breaker: we tried our DIY skills. Changing batteries and LEGO house building. We’ve got some fab play DIY woodwork sets that we’ve had for a while. This gave us the chance to practice our sawing skills and then either hammer and nail or using a screwdriver to attach them together. We’re looking for other alternatives once we’ve used this set up as the material isn’t particularly environmentally friendly.
Respect makers: we made friendship bracelets and gave them to someone we didn’t know, made chatterboxes and played a yes or no game with statements about friendship.
Self believers: we took time to care for ourselves, had a go at yoga, did some mindful colouring in (we were shocked that adults do colouring in too) and breathing stories to calm ourselves down.
We had such a fun afternoon and we’ve got a little bit of extra money to put towards our birthday trip out.
We’re half way through week 2 of the Autumn term and what a term it is turning out to be. Tuesday we had some more new Rainbows visit and we had so much fun pretending to be cars and learning about how cars signal to show where they want to go, we thought about who can help us if we’re stuck too.
On Wednesday I got to run an activity all about being brave and then also showcasing our talents. We have some very brave girls who sang and danced and acted too, all towards some of our badges. After this Misty introduced two visitors to the unit, Tina and Jan… much to my surprise they were there to see me and to present me with a Girlguiding Hero certificate and Thanks badge for the volunteering I did over the last 18 months to take all 5 of the units I am involved with online so that the girls didn’t miss out on their guiding experiences.
Today on my social media feeds I shared the following. It’s true – this certificate isn’t for me it is for every single girl, parent and leader who did what they could over the last 18 months. I’m not just ‘super proud’ about myself… but every single person I have come into contact with who has challenged themselves and taken a step out of their comfort zone.
Feeling super proud to not only have been nominated but to have been awarded a Girlguiding Hero certificate and thanks badge for something that not only gave the girls in my units some normality during COVID. But gave me normality too. It enabled me to use skills I’ve learned as a Girlguiding webinar trainer for my weekly unit meetings.
I got to set up a Ranger unit through lockdowns after the Guides got to 14. I saw a Guide achieve her Commonwealth Award, countless Rainbows achieved their Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. Most of all I saw over 100 girls every week developing online confidence. By our last online meeting they were helping one another to mute and unmute, suggesting activities we could do online and they still had their beautiful smiles no matter what was going on in the world. It also brought us closer with the families of girls in the units. Joining their daughters each week to take part in our activities and sometimes helping them with cooking or games or other activities.
COVID hasn’t been fun, but look at the benefits of girls developing all of these skills. We’d not have had this otherwise!!
This certificate therefore isn’t just for me… it’s for the girls, parents and leaders across all of Girlguiding who have learned new skills and developed during the last 18 months. Congratulations and Thank you!!
This week has been wonderful. Yesterday we received an Amazon delivery containing something from our wishlist. The folders we received will be very useful to store the resources we’ve created for some of our unit meeting activities. This means we can store them in our cupboard for the next time we want to do the activity.
Unfortunately we can’t thank the kind person who sent us the gift as there wasn’t a gift message in the parcel. But thank you; and thank you to everyone else has sent us something over the last year. Your generosity really does help the unit with providing activities and new challenges for the girls.
We found it really helpful to other units to share the activities we’re getting up to and how we’re fitting in programme activities as well as fun badges too.
You can see below two more term plans. I often get questions about how we fit it all in – but we have slightly longer meetings and we tend to work in small groups with a leader and rotate around different activities. By having smaller groups things don’t seem to take as long to complete as if we were to complete it as one unit together.