Monday, 23 July 2012

Busy Summer!

Hello all.

Exciting non-Brownie news is our ex Young Leader, Jodi, is a young mayor at the Olympic Village! She's blogging about it here.

Another blog we're following over the summer is NeverSeconds This blog was all over the news just before the summer holidays because the girl VEG (or Martha) was temporarily banned from taking photos of her school dinners because the media was going mad at the dinner ladies which upset some people. Social media is crazy though, as soon as it got around the news that it had been banned, literally millions (7 million and counting) of people started viewing the site about a Scottish Girl's school dinners! As bonkers as it all was, Martha set up a just giving site to put in her £50 she was given for a magazine using photos from her blog. Visitors to the site have then (so far) donated over £100,000 to a (Scottish) charity called Mary's Meals which provides school meals to children who really need them. Social media is scary and powerful but it can do good things! In this case they've donated enough to build a new School kitchen in Malawi.  She's on summer hols, like us, at the moment but other people are sending in their pictures of school meals.

We're well into our summer holiday here, and soon it will be time to go on camp! Kestrel is going on a camp with 100 Brownies and Guides from all over Scotland at the beginning of August, then our Brownies are going on Pack holiday at the very end of the school hols. Kestrel will be completing her pack holiday license there!

I'll post up some camp posts afterwards, don't want to spoil any of the activities for anyone who might happen to come across the blog before it happens. Let's just say Kestrel has been buying a lot of socks!

Hope you're all having a lovely summer! I'm having a good one despite all of the rain...


Saturday, 23 June 2012

Nearly end of term!

Hello everyone!

Not many posts over the last few weeks because we've not been doing anything unusual..! We have 6 girls being enrolled next week, so they've been working towards that. Older girls have been doing handbook work and pack holiday planning and we've been trying to learn some new songs :)

At our last meeting we had an infestation of ants in our hall!! There was surprisingly little screaming but it meant we couldn't sit on the floor all evening. I hope they've gone next week when we have the parents visiting for the enrollments!

More about enrollments and pack holiday planning next time :)


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Jubilee Beacon

Kestrel and some Brownies

getting started

11 of our Brownies, Brown Owl and Kestrel went with a bus full of other Brownies and Guides to the Jubilee Beacon last night. It was very exciting! We sang a lot of songs and learnt a few new ones. Our Brownies were still singing on the walk back to the bus!
My new favourite song is Alive, Alert, Awake

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Artist Badge

Three new Brownies last week!! We sent some postcards around the local schools to try and get some more. There will hopefully be another showing up next week too :)

Lately we've been working on the Artist badge
 We made Easter cards before the Easter hols, and coloured mandalas with only three colours (nice link to a page with lots of printable sheets here) and made a picture of our own choice.

Last week at our meeting we finished off our activities.
First, we split everone up into red, blue or yellow team. We don't have even sixes at the moment but there were 12 girls so we just mixed everyone up. Then we played Gypsy wants (Colour Version) I tried to find an online link to this game but it must be called something different, so I'll create a new post with both!

We then spent most of the rest of the meeting making collages of ourselves. We stuck with the colours we were given at the start of the meeting, so were only allowed to use that colour, black or white. Kestrel, Merlin and Brown owl were then mixed colours!

I especially like the hair of the one on the bottom right!! This worked out really well as an activity -  each colour at their own table so they couldn't try to use EVERYTHING in our craft box. Ended up with some really creative pictures to cover our notice board :)

Postcard Display

Here are most of our postcards from the exchange! We had a few more which didn't fit onto the map, and more strings, but Kestrel forgot to take a picture of the full display before taking it off the wall at the last meeting.

We printed the map from National Geographic's Education site. They have some tools to make massive poster maps, but what we did was make a '1 page printable map', saved it as pdf, then printed it using the 'poster' option of Adobe Reader, Scaling it up 250% so that it fit on 2 rows of 4 A4 portrait sheets. This was a good size for us!

We had a lovely time participating in the exchange, we all got to try out our reading skills (some of the place and people's names were difficult!) and see some lovely postcards from other units around the world :)

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Gypsy Wants

Gypsy Wants

minimum 2 teams of 3.
Equipment needed - some way to keep score (we give out counters), list of objects

Split into even teams and number each member.

A leader at the other end of the hall sits on a chair with a list of objects. She then calls a person and object. Eg. "Gypsy wants number 2 to bring her a hat". The first member down to Gypsy gets a point. The team with the most points at the end wins!

A list of things:
A pen/pencil
A watch (usually has to ask a leader for this)
A Brownie Sash/Handboook
A girl with... earrings, aged 7/8/9/10, with long hair, with a brother, blue eyes etc.
A shoe/sock (depending how we feel, we specify the sock has to be off the foot!)
The colour of Brown Owl's car
A jacket/scarf/hat
"Lucky" (one of our soft toy mascots)
Their whole six (holding hands to get the point)

I really advise having a list, it's hard to think of things on the spot!
If you know this game under another name, please let me know.


Gypsy wants (colour version)

Teams of 3 (can be adjusted depending on numbers)
in each team, have red, blue and yellow. It is useful to have stickers so Gypsy can check they're not cheating.

This time tell the teams that Gypsy is going to call out an item, and the person who is the same colour as that item has to run down. Same as above, first to Gypsy gets a point.
eg. if  'grass' was called, the green member would have to run down.
This opens up possibilities for mixing colours, as 2 team members have to run for green, orange and purple. And Brown was the last!

A list of things:
sky, sea, blueberries, blue bird, jeans, Brown Owl's car, strawberries, cherries, post box, lips, tomatoes, lemon, giraffe (actually there was some discussion about the colour of a giraffe), banana, butter, custard, sun, cheese, orange, fire (accepted r, y, or), pumpkin, cheese, fanta, tigers, nemo, green, grass, broccoli, crocodile, celery, lime, frog, purple, blackcurrants, plum, grapes, lavender

You could also have teams of 6 with each a different colour, or black and white. If you try this please let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Police Visit

Brown Owl arranged with the local police station that we went for a visit! The community officer doesn't normally work at the time we have Brownies, so thank you to him for rearranging for us :)

We had a tour of the station, got locked in the cells, learnt about interview rooms (and the big red panic button), tried on the heavy, heavy uniform and had a go in the police van! Both Kestrel and Merlin took some pictures, so here's a selection...

did you know the toilet only flushes from the outside?

these 2 asked about 40 questions each during the hour we were there!

this is everyone except Merlin

All of the equipment is heavy

usually only one person is in the back there, but we can take 6 Brownies away at once!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Quick activity

I'm not sure where on the internets I read this activity, but thank you whoever it was!

Kestrel is part of the Edinburgh county team for Together 2012 - a camp for Brownies and Guides aged 8-12. This camp is going to be a lot of fun, it's 2 nights indoors and 2 outdoors, we will get to meet Brownies and Guides from all over Scotland and get to visit Netherud.

6 Brownies and 6 Guides from across Edinburgh are getting to go, but most of them don't know us, or each other, so we had a get-to-know-you/information evening a few weeks ago. Everyone was squashed in a little room with all of the parents, coffee, tea and juice, name badges, a chocolate fountain which didn't work (Kestrel was in charge of that, oops) and 3 of the 4 Edinburgh leaders who are going on the camp!

It was lovely meeting everyone and the parents, let's hope they are all still happy about going! The meeting was only for an hour, but there was a little ice-breaker activity for the girls: a marshmallow tower building competition!

There are suggestions on the internet to do this with marshmallows and spaghetti, but this version used cocktail sticks. There were about 10 marshmallows and 20 cocktail sticks per group and they had about 10 minutes to make the tallest tower which stood up by itself!

One of the groups had an interesting technique of breakign up the marshmallows and having some sort of sticky goo tower, it came second inn the end (just!). It's more difficult than itt looks!

here is the winner

PS the chocolate fountain wasn't a total disaster, it turned into a chocolate fondue instead!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

World Guiding - International Camp

As part of our World Guiding badge, we had to
Talk with someone who has been abroad with Girlguiding UK

Our ex-young leader (now a Leader with Guides) went on an International camp to Hong Kong during the Christmas holidays, and she kindly agreed to come along and chat with us about it, and she brought loads of things to show us!

The postcard below is actually from Vietnam, it's one of our exchange swaps, we were talking about them at the same time :) We actually had a Hong Kong exchange, so we were able to see on the map (I'll post that some other time) where it was in the world!

Cool camp blanket! International camping sounds like a lot of fun, but they tried lots of strange food, not sure I could manage that. We each got given one of the tartan friendship pins, since there were some left over.

It was great having someone different to chat to during the meeting, and the Brownies all had lots of interesting questions and comments. Thank you!!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Odd Post

Merlin just sent me a bunch of photos, so here's a good one from the Christmas party! More posts to come soon :)

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Thinking Day

Happy World Thinking Day!

We had a lovely World Guiding meeting this week, photos to appear soon :)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Hello to our exchange friends!

If any of you are our postcard exchange friends, please leave a comment to say hello :)

In our last session at Brownies we started work on our World Guiding badge - we sang a song about Brownies around the world and started work on friendship circles (a ring of paper dolls). We also played Gypsy Wants and sang Who stole the cookie and finished off with Squeeze. Squeeze is our imaginary friend and stays with a different Brownie each week. He is small enough to fit in a pocket and enjoys chocolate and naps. The Seconder who took him home gets to keep Squeeze for two weeks since we have a week off due to school holidays!

I will put a picture up here of our postcard display once they have all arrived - we are still waiting for a few :)


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Postcard exhange: Into the post

 The international stamps had Roald Dahl's Matilda on them..
 The UK cards were the Olympic 2012 Logo
All went in this postbox on Saturday! It's a different part of town from where Brownies meet so it's safe to tell you! :)
 Look out for some of the cards we have received so far.... Kestrel has made us a big map to stick them all onto.


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Postcard Exchange

7 Postcards have arrived so far! It is very exciting wondering if there is going to be a postcard waiting for you when you arrive home...!

This week at Brownies we looked over our postcard design and the girls wrote their messages. The messages will be stuck to the postcards and sent out this week, to all over the world. We are exchanging with Girl Scouts from England, America, Canada, Japan, Australia and Vietnam.

We also played a couple of our favourite games - Mummy, Daddy, Baby and Pale Pink Pyjamas. We had a pow-wow to discuss what we wanted to do this term and mainly had suggestions for new games! A few people wanted to do the Artist badge and we'd like to visit places like the museum, the cinema and the Zoo.

I'd like to go to the Zoo to visit the new pandas!

I will scan our postcards soon so you can all see :)

Bye for now,


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Winter Seasons badge

This week was our second back, although last week we only had 2 Brownies! This week we were finishing up our Seasons badge, so we had lots to do. It was all very busy and messy so we had no chance to take photos!

First we played tig and a couple of games of Port and Starboard. After that we moved into 3 stations:
We made some bird seed cakes from the RSPB youth site although Kestrel and Merlin couldn't get the microwave to work properly so it took ages for the lard to soften (it was a very frosty day!).
We also planted bulbs in glass jars so we can watch the roots grow, and finally we decided what we wanted to write on our postcards for the Postcard Exchange.

After all that it was a rush to get finished in time for the parents waiting outside! Next week we're having a quieter one, writing postcards and doing a bit of handbook work. Hopefully the postcards will get scanned in and appear here soon....

Oh and some sad news, one of the ladies who helps out with the other Brownies (occassionally, she's quite old now) was mugged just up from our meeting place on Sunday evening. She was pushed to the ground and quite badly injured, but she should be okay. It makes you think when something like that happens to someone you know, near where you are.

That's all for now,


Saturday, 7 January 2012

Winter Snowglobes

It was very busy just before the Christmas holidays, so sorry for only updating now! In December we played a bunch of our favourite games, made some Christmas cards and had a party for our last night. We also tried making snowglobes!

Merlin was organising this craft and managed to rustle up lots of nutella jars with the snap-on lids so that our snowglobes all looked the same. Simple enough idea - stick a decoration to the lid of the jar, fill the jar with water and glitter and glue the lid on top.

1 tsp of glitter in a jar like this was a good amount. We had lots and lots of glitter so we all chose different colours. For our decorations, we decided to use a glittery pine-cone decoration to stick onto the lid.


When we turned them upside down the decoration came unstuck! Oh nooo. Never mind, the girls still liked them, When you shake the jar the decoration whirls around inside the glitter too. They'll just have to be a new craft called SNOWSTORM.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Safe in the dark

As part of our seasons badge, we were learning about the best clothes to wear for walking around the city on the early dark evenings. Here in Edinburgh it starts getting dark just after School is finished. 22nd December was the shortest day of the year in 2011 and the sun came up at 08:43 and set at 15:40, meaning we had less than 7 hours of daylight!

There are lots of good websites with online activities for road safety, I especially like Tales of the Road and there are some good printable worksheets here. We used the last couple of pages of the "Streetsense level C booklet - Activity 1" To design a jacket and a backpack with reflective and fluorescent materials.

Of course we also had a bit of fun with dressing up!

We discussed how best to be seen in the dark (wearing reflective things), how best to be seen when it's nearly dark or foggy (BRIGHT) and how not to dress (all in dark colours).  

It was a lot of fun. We have a few more things left to do to get our Winter Seasons badge because we have already learnt about different Winter festivals. We'll be finishing that off at the beginning of next term.