At the end of last year I attended the Girl Engagement training session for Training week. I was left with lots of ideas I wished to put into action, so come start of January we opened up the New Year with a girls-own planning session. We got three big boards and wrote three themes down (Badges, Subject/topic ideas, and Activities). The girl’s responses were brilliant- they loved the fact that they were going to be part of the planning process. My aim was to take these ideas and see how I could work them into my goals for the rest of the Guiding year.
On every single board was cooking, and since we are doing the Key to Active Living, I thought this would be perfect. On the 21st January I brought in two children’s cookbooks (these are actually my daughters’ and have so many easy but healthy and interesting recipes in them). I gave them 15 minutes to look through them for healthy lunch ideas and to put tabs in on recipes they liked the look of. I was so impressed with the girls’ choices, they understood the idea of a healthy lunch and were discussing [what makes] particular meals healthy. We then went through each recipe they highlighted and voted on them. By the end we had all agreed to make Disney’s Bug Life Salad, Dora the Explorers Pirate Pizza Coins and Dora’s Backpack Trail Mix.
Now the girls had taken the lead in the unit by telling me they wanted to cook and exactly what they wanted to cook. With this in mind I then went shopping to get everything they had told me to get!
When I asked for help on our cooking day, me and Sunny Owl were joined by our District Ranger Alex and a Brownie Mom. Since we were cooking three items we set up three stations. I set everything up and washed all the vegetables before the session but I had my daughter’s special child safe plastic salad knife. The girls came in and helped prepare the surfaces while talking about germs, we then washed hands and spilt into three groups. We rotated around each station every 15 minutes. The girls worked as teams chopping vegetables and figuring out that they needed to share the ingredients and make sure there was enough for everyone else.
I was so impressed with them. They did everything themselves. They loved it. They were able to customize each recipe to what they wanted (to satisfy picky eaters). All the girls by the end of it were so excited that they had made their school lunch for the next day. They were all able to learn about healthy foods by actually planning a healthy meal and they were able to for the first time take the lead in cooking. They all discovered their potential in the kitchen!
The girls at the end even washed up all the dishes, cleaned the tables and swept the floor. What a perfect evening! A perfect Quebec Spin! Plus, a perfect way to start my new plans of getting the girls more engaged and involved with the planning!
Can 13 Brownies plan and cook together? Why, yes they can!
By Brown Owl, Jo Povall, 1st Northern Lights Brownies