Which owl did I get?

At our recent Harry Potter camp the Guides who proved themselves worthy of further training received an owl as a graduating gift.  If you want to know which species of owl you got, you can check out the picture below.

Beautiful owls

Beautiful Owls awarded to successful participants at the Hogwarts Special Overnight Camp. Bookmarks by Sash-kash

Produced by Sash-kash – source: here

A big thanks to all the Guides and leaders who helped make this camp run smoothly.  Further details will be reported later, so watch this space!

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Check out who else is doing Free Being Me

We’re currently working through the Free Being Me badge from WAGGGS and Dove which promotes positive self-image through rejecting society’s view of the ‘perfect girl’ (a.k.a. the image myth).

This website shows Hong Kong commissioners getting a sneak preview and girls comments from around the world on the Free Being Me programme.  Check it out!

Free Being Me badge (Pack of 10)

Free Being Me badge – proud of how I look and who I am

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Brownies Taster + Link Passport

This article was written by Guider Heather Kikkert for the HKGGA Guider Magazine.  Hopefully this is helpful to other Guiders looking for ideas.

To help local Brownies ‘link up’ to Guides, the 64th East Kowloon Girl Guide Company held a taster night where Brownies eligible to move up in the next term could experience a Guide meeting. The taster meeting outline is detailed below, with special attention to the link elements activities to show the elements of Guides that might vary from a Brownie meeting. The end of the article explains the resources used so the reader may recreate these if they wish.

 Before the Taster Night

To build anticipation and reassure the Brownie visitors, a Guide Guider visited the Brownie unit the week before and handed out a ‘passport’ which would allow them to visit a Guide meeting. The passport contained a list of things to do that introduced them to Guides e.g. meet a Guide leader, find out what a patrol is, take part in an activity with Guides, etc. The passport was also a simple paper folding activity.

Link Passport showing Folding Instructions and words to Taps

Link Passport showing Folding Instructions and words to Taps

As they had met a Guide leader they could immediately get a stamp in the passports. The Link Passport was connected with the eight-point challenges, which the Brownie unit had been discussing at their meeting. For example ‘wide awake’ (‘thinking for your self’) was to remember to bring the passport to the Guides meeting. The Guide Leader briefly explained what would happen at the Taster Meeting and took questions from the girls to help them feel more at ease.

The Taster Night

A Brownie Guider accompanied the Brownie visitors to the taster night, so there was a familiar adult present to help girls who forgot their passport to prepare another one. A representative from each Guide patrol sat at a ‘passport control’ desk. These Guides stamped a ‘visitors visa stamp’ with the date into the passport and assigned the visitor to a patrol by gluing in a patrol symbol. Visitors were told to find the patrol leader who was wearing a badge with the same symbol. To make the girls feel more comfortable, we were in our usual outdoor uniform and had the Brownies come in their outdoor uniforms. Hence, the patrol leaders and seconds were wearing a simple cardboard badge with a safety pin on the back, showing the patrol symbol and leader stripes.

Patrol Emblems to assign Brownie visitors to patrols, plus badges for Patrol Leaders

Patrol Emblems to assign Brownie visitors to patrols, plus badges for Patrol Leaders


The meeting then opened officially with the horseshoe formation and into the regular meeting format: a game run by senior Guides, a patrol activity (this time chosen by Guiders to teach the Guide Promise and Laws), then a group activity. The night’s group activity was looking at colours and emotions (taken from the UK Girl Guiding ‘Aim High’ resource) then making bracelets from coloured beads. The bracelet activity was done sitting in patrols and the Brownies were encouraged to ask the Guides questions. The taster night finished with Taps (the words were provided in the Link Passport) and the Brownies left with smiles on their faces and a bracelet to show off.

Link Passport with the bead braclets we made with the Brownie Visitors

Link Passport with the bead bracelets we made with the Brownie Visitors


Make a Link Passport

To make the Link Passport a more ‘old fashioned’ method was used and is described here, though those with the technical skills and software could easily make the template entirely on a computer.

The template was a PocketMod – one sheet folded into an eight page ‘notebook’ – modified to fit A4 paper. Basic text was printed using the PocketMod options online (e.g. lists) and then cut and glued onto an A4 sheet. This allowed for a more attractive layout with simple pictures and, when photocopied onto white paper, made the passport template. The template was then photocopied onto blue paper for each girl (blue being the colour for Guides). Please refer to the photographs for more details.

Link Passport showing each development stage

Link Passport showing each development stage

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Welcome Back to a New Term

We are now back after the summer break.  We have some new girls who have flown up from Brownies and some familiar faces from last term.

Already we’ve had a party for Mid-Autumn Festival with games and food and viewed the moon through a telescope – very cool!

Plans for this term: bring a friend night, crafts, kayaking, Free Being Me WAGGGS badge, games, camp, sing at an old folks home, etc., etc.

Let's go camping!

Let’s go camping!

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Visions of Beauty

We are hoping to follow Dove and WAGGGS ‘Free Being Me‘ programme looking at body image.  These photos tell an interesting story – both by how much someone’s look can change with Photoshop and by what different countries think of as beautiful.

A woman (Esther Honig) sent her photo, with no make-up, to designers around the world with the instructions “make me beautiful”.  Check out the results from 22 countries here: ‘click me!‘ or for a summary look here :’click me!

It does raise the question – ‘so what is beautiful?’  Hopefully you can look in the mirror and honestly answer, ‘me’.

Original photo, Ukraine

Photoshop Before & After project

Bangladesh, Serbia, PakistanBefore & After: Bangladesh, Serbia and Pakistan


Before & After: Argentina

Link with Love – credit: Esther Honig

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WAGGGS 35th World Conference right here in Hong Kong!

That’s right, the World Conference of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) will be held in Hong Kong in 2 weeks!  Our unit has been busy making teddy bears in the HKGGA colours (red and purple) to give as gifts to delegates. [really must find a photo to share with you...]

An awesome opportunity to meet our Guiding sisters from around the world and learn from each other.  Watch this website for more information as it comes.

WAGGGS Conference Logo

WAGGGS 35th World Conference in Hong Kong – the logo says it all!

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Cleaning Pots in the Wild

While browsing the internet, I came across this excellent tip from a “freelance Viking” on how to clean your pots without polluting the environment (leave no trace camping).  This is taken directly from his website:

Cooking in the wild often brings with it the associated problem of washing up without a sink and running water. Biodegradable detergents are a solution some people choose but it’s not my approach.  …

If you have a fire, take some ash and  water and add them to your greasy pan.

A chemist could tell you that ash and water combine to make a mild alkali and a residue that contains gritty silica.  Now since alkali and fat are the principal ingredients of soap this concoction will break down the fat in your pan and the “soap” will help to shift other stuff, especially as the silica helps to scour the pan too. 

A handful of grass used to scrub this mixture around should clean your pan very effectively and quickly.

When you have washed the pan pour the water and residue into the edge of the fireplace, this area will already have been affected by the alkali in the ash. It also reduces the heat in the ground under the fire and makes it easier to extinguish in the end.  Rinse with water and again pour it into the fireplace.

What a good excuse to cook on a fire and an interesting way to clean up!  Can’t wait to try this at our next campfire cooking session!  Seeing as we did the Outdoor Cook badge at our last camp, perhaps it’s time to get the Backwoodsman badge. Will have to see what the Guides say…

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