Trip to Wycombe Museum

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The Brownies had a wonderful evening at Wycombe Museum.

It’s a fantastic resource in our town – and free to visit, although we donated £30 to cover staff costs – a bargain!

We explored the museum in small groups, learning about our home town and its chair-making history.

There were lots of activities – brass rubbing, dressing up, puzzles to solve, treasure hunts. There is also a lovely little shop and the girls bought a range of token gifts, supporting the museum.

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Mission Spectacular: Craft on the common

groupOne of our traditional end of term treats is a walk to a local common where we run wild, then scavenge to make wild art! This year we were able to build in a Mission Spectacular badge clause as our artwork was the badge logo! Honestly, it is – maybe if you squint and tip your head to the side.

We are lucky to have woodland very close to our meeting place – and although many of the girls are local, we often find some have never wandered on the common, let alone explored and scavenged for art materials.

It is a relatively simple event – we always start and end at the Church so we don’t have to do any paperwork! I carry a first aid kit, water and this time a bag of bags for them to collect their materials in. We do have to keep our eye out for dogs running lose – a couple of girls are nervous about them. It’s brilliant to get them outdoors.walking

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Grow wild

Grow Wild bring flowers to the people! Earlier this year they gave away millions of wildflower seeds to groups and organisations in an effort to get the UK sowing and growing. Grow Wild, funded by the Lottery and Kew Gardens, aims to reach 30 million people and including 4 million young people. We helped them by providing 24 7-10 year olds!

I applied for free seeds which duly arrived along with booklets about the project and vouchers for entry to Kew.

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Each girl got a seed tray, filled them with handfuls of seed compost and labelled the trays with their name and what they’d sown. We’re hoping to bring them back to show each other when they’ve done a bit a growing.

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It was a brilliant, cheap activity. Some of the girls had never sown their own seeds. One girl was excited to give them to relatives to keep safe in their garden where the girl didn’t have access to one herself.  There was a lot of fun had getting very dirty!

Update: Here are my seeds, just poking their shoots up. Girls are reporting similar events across HIgh Wycombe! IMAG0275

Outdoor games

003 (1 of 1)Spring has almost gone and we’re verging on Summer scarily enough! We try to spend a part of every meeting outside so I’m going to share some really simple games that might seem obvious but sometimes we overcomplicated our meetings.

I used to think the girls would have less energy after school, and that lots of the really simple things we like to do they would find boring and unchallenging. Howvere, I think the more demanding school is getting in the ‘academic’ subjects, the more the girls want to tear around like wild animals and then do simple, straight forward activities. I’m all for this. The resources provided by HQ and other leaders are brilliant and we love new badges and challenges. I wrote last year about how good the Big Brownie Birthday was for reinvigorating our leadership team. But we can’t come up with new, amazing things every week because we’d break ourselves and sometimes the oldies are indeed the goodies.

1. Use what you’ve got.

We are lucky to have a little garden attached to the church we meet in. There are also lovely flowerbeds and the contents of the garden change all year round. Barn Owl is a bit of a botanist so she often chats through the flowers with the girls.

2. Sounds

All the girls lie on the grass on their backs and have to close their eyes, and mouths for 2 minutes to count all the sounds they can hear. Can they tell the difference between birds, cars? How far away was the object they were hearing? What was loudest/quietest?

3. Shapes in clouds

Every single person should benefit from 5 minutes lying on their backs making shapes and stories out of clouds. Teach this to our girls young, the restoring effect of lying, being still and letting our imaginations go wild, and we’re setting up healthy minds for life.

IMAG01834. Rubbings

Piece of paper and a rubbing stick (or cheap crayons) each.  Girls can collect as many different textures as possible. How about trying to make a picture out of the different textures. Their names.

5. Natural collages004 (1 of 1)

Gather fallen material and make a face, make a self portrait, your six animal/creature.

6. Meet outside

Just being and end your meeting outside. Not only is it fresh air, a different experience, it is a great advert! We’ve had new Brownies tell us they only knew we met at the church because they saw us in the garden!

Some of these activities can count towards badges including Seasons, Craft and the Adventure series.

A-Z: A really simple game

This is a crackingly simple ice breaker, team game, brainstorm to start various badges or five minute filler.

001 (1 of 1)You need: large pieces of paper and pens.

Label each piece of paper with the entire alphabet and space to write words next to each letter. Write a theme at the top.

As teams, girls have a few minutes at each bit of paper to try and fill in every letter with a word to the theme.  You can rotate Sixes round the pieces of paper every few minutes.

We don’t really play to ‘win’ this game but it is fun and we gather round each piece of paper and go through the responses.  Spelling may well be atrocious but we never make fun 🙂

Theme suggestions: songs/bands, food & drink, countries, girls/boys names, words about Guiding,  famous women.

Variations: speed rounds, rather than one word for each letter – write as many words as you can think of, aliteration.