It was one of those perfect end-of-summer evenings – cool enough to hint at fall, but mild enough that a romp in the park that we are lucky to have across the way from our meeting hall was welcomed by all. Excited jitters were in the air at our Guide unit’s first meeting of the year. The Guiders leading the unit are a newly formed team – Des Montérégiennes District Commissioner Ingrid, her daughter and GGC-QC Leadership Ambassador Lorraine, and me – former Québec Council Staffer/Provincial PR Adviser. This is also my first year as a Guider, and everyone has told me that Guides (9-11 years) is a tough age. Gulp!
I wore a pair of pink stegosaurus earrings. I remember going through a serious Jurassic Park phase when I was 10 – which is what these earrings date back to! I thought, the girls are either going to think that’s awesome or seriously strange – either way we’re going to set the stage for being out there and unafraid to be ourselves. To my total delight, they all enthusiastically exclaimed that they LOVE dinosaurs (and turns out my fellow Guider Lorraine was wearing a dinosaur ring, too. OMG.)! Cool. I can do 9-11 year olds.
After a quick opening and squeals of “oh my gosh, we were in Brownies together, let’s sleep in the same tent at district camp” (eee! They are already excited about camp!), we hit the ground running (literally) with our first activity: The Amazing Race Saint-Bruno. In two teams, first roles were assigned: the List Mistress and the Hunters. The girls had to follow trail markers to find envelopes that we had pre-hidden in the park. The envelopes contained a list of scavenger hunt items that they needed to complete in the allotted time (only Hunters were allowed to hunt, the List Mistress kept a record of findings and kept the team on track in terms of time). Both teams had to be across the finish line with as many items as possible when time was up.
The gang of girls literally took off at a sprint (and I am proud to say that the Guiders kept up with them) to find their envelopes. Deciphering the scavenger hunt list required some teamwork (“what does deciduous mean?”) but in the end both teams raced for the finish line just in time. Back inside, after a heated discussion as to whether or not lichen counts as a fungus (fyi: lichens are composite organisms consisting of a fungus and a photosynthetic partner, typically algae, growing together in a symbiotic relationship. Source: Wikipedia), it appears that we finished in a draw.
If you are interested in doing this activity with your Guide unit, here are the program/badge elements that it could count towards:
Core Program Elements: Beyond You: Explore the Outdoors and Nature, Learn About Our Environment
Interest Badge Elements: Fun in the Outdoors: Naturalist, Outdoor Adventures
Key Competencies: Leadership within a group, teamwork, identification of items in nature, physical activity, learn to accurately identify and follow trail signs.
Download this activity: The Amazing Race – Girl Guide Style! Scavenger Hunt for Guides
I’m planning on wearing parrot earrings for the next unit meeting. THIS IS GONNA BE A GREAT YEAR!
By guest blogger Emily Koehler-Lemaire. Emily is a Guider with the 2nd Mount Bruno Guides, a former provincial staff member and former Provincial PR Adviser. If you are interested in guest blogging, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.