Ours2share's Blog

Hazelwood and Churchill (Victoria, Australia) local Girl Guide information noticeboard.

Tent and Gadget overnight stay


Over the last two months you, as parents and friends of our Guides may have been wondering how in the world are have we been preparing these Guides for an overnight stay!  When your daughters come to the meetings what do you see?  Yes your daughters have bonded together.  Even with the age range that is currently at the Tuesday afternoon meeting.  Guides from five years old not afraid to be with Guides who are fifteen years old.  All the Guides are given somethings to do.  The older Guides work with the younger Guides.  The younger with the older ones.

The Guides have been learning to communicate, have a voice, the  use of governance when planning fed by their decisions. A list of their suggestions for the program  and their menu has been drawn up.  The actual program is being worked on now.  Different aspects of the actual overnight stays planning have been emerging.  From the menu to the activities. From whether it is two tents or three.

Well the answer to preparation question is that there has been a set of objectives that the Leaders are having to cover .  The previous overnight stay and other activities have also been included in these objectives. At the last overnight stay one Guide reaffirmed her Promise and another three made theres.  Over the last term the Guides have been practicing there salute, hand shake and there Gude Laws.  Some of the Guides may be ready to either make of reaffirm their Promise.  Others will not be.  Some may choose to make their promise with their families present.  Either at this or another time.  The choice of when and if is up to each individual Guide.  The ceremonial aspect and responsibilities is known to those who have made their own Promise.  These Guides in turn work with other Guide who is ready to make her Promise.  The recognition of when a Guide is ready to make or reaffirm her Promise is an ongoing exercise that is entrusted to each Guide as part of their Guiding responsibilities. The combination of participating in someone elses Promise Ceremony, working with another Guide on her own readiness to make her Promise, being a primary part of organising her own  or a combined Promise Ceremony and then being able to help someone through this pathway towards making their own Promise enhances the value of what exactly a ceremony is.

As I have explained team work, being individually involved [and wanting to be involved and therefore participate], having fun and absorbing the learning at the same time [ effectively including  problem solving learning factors included in Arts and craftswhat ever is done] then capitalizing on what has been learned, practiced and put to use in all manner of activity [some of which were so spontaneous by the Guides the could not planned] . However previous lessons from other activities brings a sharing of knowledge as the Guides with the knowledge share with those that do not have current competencies and are learning things.  At times just being near someone showing someone else something is enough to bring to the Guides forefront of knowledge file the exclamation ” oh yes” or “is theat what it’s called” and off they go showing someone else.

To the casual observer these multi-tasking activities may have the laize-au-faire look.  The Leaders have a strict eye on what is happening.  Attitudes and negative behaviours are quickly uneducated and brought under control.  Through the life skills of Parent helpers however things on the Leaders behalf are made easier.  For instance when the Guides were making cubby houses all it took was for one Guide to wonder how to stop the material sliding off the chair.  The leader showed her, others and the Parent Helper as well.  Initial problem solved.  and the Guides went away tying stopper knots and Larks heads.  Then what do you do about the material sagging in the middle.  When the problem was spotted the leader asked the Guides what they could do about it.  Two different solutions began happening.  Both involved knots [ different knots] and one involved using old one and half meter cardboard poles.  The same one used for the Philippine skipping a few weeks back. During the cubby house creation use of the the basic knots will be reinforced activity the Guides were so busy playing they did not realise they were  absorbing these lessons and others.

Soon another aspect of using the knots….. erection of a flag pole, flag care and use of both the flagpoles and the flags will be introduced. So again the use of the basic knots will be reinforced in practical ways and also shown to other Guides.  What do the Guides know about emergency situations.  How to attract attention, how to use an emergency evacation situation and not forget anyone.  Can they put into practise what they have been shown with team work and some creativity?

Over several nights different parents have come in to pick up there Guide and the meeting room has been dark or the Guides have been outside in the dark.  The fear of the dark has been minimised.  One of the Guides a few years ago was so afraid of facing the dark she tried to put others off going outside and doing outside activities.  Given time in a situation that she was in control of the torch she was okay.  However then came the time to challenge herself to letting go of the torch to someone more in need.  Yes there were fear moods and behaviours.   This Guide could either sit out by herself near a Leaders in the Hazelwood South Halls light through the windows or she could participate.  She chose to sit. So too did another Guide  One evening the Hall lights were also turned off.  Now these Guides had to accompany the Leader where ever the leader went. The leader only had a very small torch which would only go on when the Leader had to go back into the game area to assist one Guide.   The game was such that  this occurred often.  Within a ten minute period both these Guides had chosen to abandon the Leader and be absorbed into the night game.   For the life of me I cannot remember the game.  How ever the effects of this choosing to face the fear and play on has had the desired effect.  The Guide currently in Guides took the little Guide who had the night fear and partnered up to her.  In fact in the Game of night tiggy no one could see them they hid so well.  Then when the mother came out the back the little Guide came skipping up, hovered about, got acknowledged that she had been seen and went back to playing.  Of her own accord.

Getting the Guides use to the dark is usually easier than waking them on the crack of dawn though.  So on overnight stays we let the younger Guides sleep.

Another aspect to look at are the Teddy Bears that are used as training tools and have been adopted by each Guide.  The Teddy Bears are meant to be returned each week.  On this we shall see what happens.  However if a Guide has the ability or the parent or family friend has the time making a camp Teddy Bear is a good idea.  The total height of this bear is the size of the Guides hand.  No more.

The next week towards the end of the evening when all the tent city [cubby houses] had been put away out came the camp fire.  An electric one.  The rules of attending a camp fire area were spoken about. Some of the lights went off. The camp fire was turned on.  The rest of the lights went off. Now each Guide has an understanding of the space around a fire.  The fact that burnt hair really stinks [ thank you a Guide for this imput]  At the next meeting we will be learning water buckets,  reinforcing flame safety, and that eating hot stuff burns.  Camp fire etiquette.

 Different songs from a few weeks ago will be included.  The we have the action songs and the Guides 100 years of Guiding Songs too. Some of the Songs from last years electric campfire session  as well are to be added as well. 

What food was going to be cooked over our camp fire coals was brought up.  The Guides brought their favourite ones from home, Guiding and school camps.

 At the last overnight stay we went on a Penny Hike. Which in itself mean that the Guides were taken around part of Churchill in the dark.  Yes the torches were well used.    The Guides want another chance at a night penny hike at this overnight stay too.  To accommodate both the campfire and the Penny hike the dinner will be moved to an earlier time. There is the evening program for the Tent and Gadget overnight stay.

However there has been a lot more things occurring in the lead up to this overnight stay.

Keeping the ‘camp’site safe and tidy has been focused on. The emu bob was explained and associated with the Rubbish Bin Song – which in turn is on our camp fire program The Guides from the last overnight stay will be showing others where the safety exits are. Where the emergency assembly area will be.  There will also be a ‘drop, and roll ‘ fire safety lesson included before the practice cooking on an open flame section to next weeks marshmallows. Which will be leading into the following weeks program…. what to bring on camp….and what to leave out!

 The older  Guides are now meeting on another night.  The idea is that these Guides are entitled to visit and participate with the younger meeting time below them.  As the numbers in both meeting times increase then so to will the separations.  Two of these Guides would like to become Junior Leaders with the younger Guides.

It is in this meeting time that the knots learned over the last few months will be utilised.  Someone has to make the camp tables and other gadgets for the Gadget and tent overnight stay. As the last one included setting up tents and learning tent terms, safety and  care the tents are the primary focus of this camp for the Guides.  As there are State camps coming up the participating Guides [thirteen and above] need to have a working knowledge to put into practice.

Keeping in mind that early next year in the Australia Day celebrations and the A.N.Z.A.C. march the Guides are gradually practicing their marching, horseshoe formations, flag pole construction and set up, flag etiquette, salute the flag and care of and carrying of the flag.  With the older Guides gradually moving into the Wednesday Evening meeting time the Guides discussed and chose which meeting time would use which of the Unit flag. There was also discussion as to Logo and Mascots.  So self identity and togetherness has been  a major thread of what has been happening behind the scenes.

What is still to be discussed are the items that are not taken to camp… hairdryer, radios, tv, the kitchen sink.

As explained the Leaders are constantly assessing the Guides Skill levels. One good way of doing this is by having those with a skill level or knowledge reinforce what they have learned.  Okay so the Guides from last overnight stay or past camps have different levels, associated activities and memories and experiences.  As this overnight stay happens different parts of the program will be handed over to various Guides to ‘run’.  Supervised by the adults near by.  One thing that will be used is the ‘Brickery’ and the shrubs both out the back and along the side of the Hazelwood South Hall and the reserve.  Different activities require hide and seek and sending of Morse Code messages / abbreviations will be included as an introduction to the next overnight stay on the September holidays.  Which is just before Jota/Joti of 2010 [October]

 There are various other major things to consider when organising and planning any overnight stay or camp. The first is the food intolerance, meal and menu planning and knowing that all the Guides, who will be assisting with meal preparations, are familiar with our standards of food safety. The second being how each guide cognitively coexists within the Working peer group.  Abuse in any form is not ON.  There are no good things about abuse situations.  Guides lives become intolerable and the Guides feel unsafe and unhappy.  Guides Leave.  No-one wins as those that remain are unable to ‘do anything’.  Look out for win-win situations.  Then everyone benefits and we all feel worthwhile and safe.

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June 10, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. […] a bonded group of participants the were willing to engage in other activities that complimented the Youth […]

    Pingback by A District Leaders View on the District Campfire 2010 « Ours2share's Blog | August 9, 2010 | Reply


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