Using Children’s Books in Meetings

We were going on an adventure – to the library! Our Brownies zipped up their coats, slipped on their boots and headed down the street singing our favourite songs. At the library, they scurried down the stairs to the children’s section and rushed to the colourful shelves to show each other their favourite books. After that, this visit was different from the average trip to the library (“It is an adventure!” the girls reminded us). We got to go behind the scenes with the librarian! The girls loved it. Visiting your local public library is a great outing for girls of all ages, but the children’s section isn’t just for Sparks, Brownies and Guides. It’s for Guiders, too.

Kids books are one of my favourite Guiding resources.

Books can inspire activities. Learning about community safety as part of Key to my Community? Read, Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman and write safety tips on stars like the kids in the story do.

Books can lead to crafts and meaningful discussions. Working on Key to the Arts or learning about peace? Read Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr and make some paper cranes yourselves. Talk about it. Why do they symbolize peace? What does peace mean?

The right book can help girls prepare for an outing. Visiting Parliament Hill or your provincial legislature? Find Parliamentary Alphabet A to Z  (Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, 2007) to learn some legislative vocabulary and go on a scavenger hunt for the things you read about when you are on your trip.

Some books can help you introduce elements of Guiding to your girls. The Last Badge by George McClements is a hilarious story of one Scout’s quest to earn the elusive Moon Frog badge, and a great introduction to interest badges. The search for the Moon Frog could also inspire an exciting obstacle course!

Books can even provide the structure for a whole meeting. Let your girls’ imaginations soar as they transform cardboard boxes into race cars and mountains with Not a Box by Antoinette Portis.

Next time you’re stuck for a meeting idea, dig through that pile of kids’ books or stop off at your public library and head straight for the section with the tiny chairs and polka-dot walls. There is a lot of inspiration hiding in those kid-sized shelves.

Guest blogger Melissa Moor

By guest blogger Melissa. Melissa is a Queen’s University student and a Guider with the  5th Ottawa Brownies, 17th Kingston Guides, 17th Kingston Pathfinders. Melissa has also written previous posts for Girl Guides of Canada’s blog: It’s Not a Box!, One Plus One Equals Brownie MathThe World Girls Want for the(ir) Future, Young Women’s World Forum 2011: Wrap-up from Switzerland, and was one of our reviewers for two books from our adult book club: Persuasion, and Everything We Ever Wanted.

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