The opening meetings for both of our Guide and Pathfinder units were very similar this year.
We started with making name tags and a get-to-know you game for the Guides since we have a bunch of new girls from a different school moving up from brownies (Hi, My name is Holly and I like Hiking. Courtney likes Crafts, Maddi likes Monkeys, etc…). All of our Pathfinders were returning girls that we knew well, so we caught up on all the summer news!
We did a quick introduction to the program and their program books, before jumping into our brainstorming sessions!
I got this idea from a Guiding friend and I really like how it went! We posted topics on the walls around the gym and gave each girl a pad of post-it notes and a pencil. The girls got a couple of minutes at each station to write down activities they’d like to do in each theme on their post its and stick them to the wall.
For Guides we used the following topics:
- “What would you like to learn about?”
- “How could we help people in the community?”
- “What crafts would you like to do?”
- “What have you always wanted to try?”
- “What badges would you like to earn?”
- “What would you like to do outdoors?”
- “What games/sports would you like to play?”
- “Who would you like to come visit our unit?”
- “What songs do you like to play?”
- “What special events would you like to do?”
- “What outings would you like to do?”
The question format worked well for the Guides! For the Pathfinders, we went even simpler and just posted:
- “Service Projects”
- “Special Events”
After they had each been to every station, we collected the signs and stuck all the post-it notes to them. After the meeting, we typed up all of their ideas and now we have a whole sheet of activities they want to do this year! For the Guides, it will help us plan our meetings and they came up with some great ideas! For the Pathfinders, we’ll keep the list with us for their planning meetings, in case they need some prompting or ideas for their next self-planned meeting (more about our Pathfinder meeting structure later)
At the end of the meetings, we set aside some time for games. The guides played Pac-man Tag and the Pathfinders played the hand game – both by request! They were the most popular games last year.
Pac-man Tag: The girls are only allowed to run along the gym floor lines, away from the girl who’s “it”. They can’t pass each other on the lines, and if they get caught, they have to sit down on the line and block it so that no one can get through. Once most of the girls are caught and sitting on the lines, we start the game again with a new “it”
Hand game: All the girls sit in a close circle, facing in, with both hands flat on the floor in front of them. Everyone takes their right hand and moves it between the person on their right’s hands, so that everyone’s hands are alternating. Whoever starts chooses a direction and slaps one of their hands. Then the hand next to the starting one, in the chosen direction, slaps. The “slap” continues around the circle until someone double slaps, which switches the direction back the other way. If anyone slaps out of turn, they remove that hand from the circle. The last two girls in the game, win!