Most weeks, we have our Brownie meeting in the church basement. Once a year, we have a Brownie sleepover at the community centre and a camp at the conservation area. Sometimes, we hold Brownies at our adopted park, at the local seniors’ residence or at the church down the road where the Sparks meet. This year, we had Brownies at the rink.
A few weeks ago, we didn’t meet at the church, or go through the Brownie opening in our uniforms and indoor shoes as usual. Instead, we met at the local rink down the road, bundled up and ready for the 2013 premiere of “Brownies on Ice”.
Holding a Brownie meeting on the rink allowed the girls to skate, play and have fun. It also allowed us to learn about winter safety and to try some things we do all the time, like the Brownie opening, in a new environment.
The week before Brownies traded the church basement for the skating rink, we got ready for our outdoor meeting.
Activities to Prepare for an Outdoor Winter Meeting (Key to Active Living, Interest Badge: Winter Outside):
- Dressing Up for Winter: One Guider walks in wearing summer clothes and tells the girls that she is going outside. The girls will tell her that she can’t go outside because she is not dressed properly. The Guiders asks them what would happen if she went outside like that. She puts on one piece of winter clothing and tells the girls she is going to leave again. They will stop her and give more instructions. The Guider continues putting on more winter items until the girls tell her she is ready to go outside safely.
- Safety Skits: Show what to do to prevent and take care of frostbite, skin on cold metal and hypothermia.
- Winter Outfits: In groups, girls trace one group member on a large piece of paper. Together, they design and draw a safe winter outfit on the paper.
- Skating Safety: Demonstrate how to safely carry skates, how to safely clean skates, how to dress safely for skating.
The next week, it was time to hit the ice! Bundled up against the cold, we met at the rink in the park and the skating began. Many of the games we play inside and the activities we do every week can be easily adapted for the ice.
Activities for a “Brownies On Ice” Meeting
- Brownie opening and closing on ice
- Play Skating Simon Says
- Play Skating Follow-the-Leader
- Play ultimate rock paper scissors on the ice
- In small groups, make a short skating routine
- Sing favourite songs on ice
When we were done skating and singing, we glided (okay, piled) into the shack. Hats flew off. Gloves hit the ground. We pried off skates and passed out hot chocolate. One cup each, with three marshmallows.
“Bright Owl,” one of the Brownies piped up as she held her warm cup close, “are we going to be inside next week, or can we have Brownies on the ice again?”
Sometimes a change of scenery is just what the girls need. Going to the rink is not always a possibility. But there are parks and community centres, libraries and museums. Once in a while, get your girls out of that church basement or the school gym. Take Brownies (or Sparks, Guides or Pathfinders) on the road. Maybe even on the ice.
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: Guiding Parliament, A Silent Meeting, Using Children’s Books in Meetings, It’s Not a Box!, One Plus One Equals Brownie Math, The World Girls Want for the(ir) Future, Young Women’s World Forum 2011: Wrap-up from Switzerland. She has also reviewed several books from our adult book club: Persuasion, Everything We Ever Wanted, and Flight Behaviour.
What’s new at Girl Guides? Returning girls who are either moving up or changing units can register for the 2013/2014 Guiding year starting 10am EDT Wednesday, May 1, 2013. Don’t forget to register!