Singing Taps – Plumbing and Bugles

Singing taps has everything to do with bugles and nothing to do with plumbing!  It originated during the American Civil War in 1862 as a new ‘lights out’ bugle call to signal that all was well and soldiers could rest easy as fighting was over for the day.  We use it at Guides to mark the end of our meeting.

The tune: File:Taps music notation.svg

 

The origin of the name comes from the Dutch term ‘taptoe’, referring to when a Sargent Major would take a drummer through the town at the end of the day, sounding the ‘taptoe’ to notify soldiers to return to camp and that the bartenders stop selling liquor to the soldiers and close the beer taps.  However other sources suggest that the original ‘lights out’ in military camps was sounded by three taps on a drum and was called ‘the drum taps’, which was shortened to ‘taps’.  When the call changed to a bugle call the name stayed.

The lyrics we use are different for daytime finishes and evening finishes. In Hong Kong we sing “seas” and not “lakes” as this reflects the Hong Kong landscape (the name Hong Kong means fragrant harbour).

Evening Taps (which we use at our meetings):

Day is done, gone the sun

From the seas, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh.

Daytime Taps:

Thanks and praise for our days
Neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky
As we go, this we know

God is nigh.

“nigh” is perhaps considered an old-fashioned term now, but it means “near”.  I have heard it sang as ‘nice’ and ‘night’, but you dear reader now know better!

 

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Free from the Image Myth – pictures

A quick summary of Free being Me in pictures – quotes from the more verbose girls!  T-shirt designs … on other computer – will come later

Another Guide's shout out to girls

Another Guide’s shout out to girls

A Guide's Shout Out to other girls

A Guide’s Shout Out to other girls

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Congrat’s and onto Food

Firstly, a big CONGRATULATIONS to Molly who got her World Guiding Knowledge Emblem!  This badge requires girls to work of a selection of 5 badges (2 of which are compulsory), which shows dedication and commitment.  Well done, Molly!

World Guiding Knowledge Emblem

World Guiding Knowledge Emblem

We’re now focussing on the Food and Nutrition badge.  Food is near and dear to every Guide’s heart (well, more eating food, like chocolate bananas in foil cooked over a campfire, s’mores, chips, etc.), so we’re looking at how to prepare balanced meals and how to plan meals to get enough energy each day.  All important life skills!

Pizza cooking in a box oven (foil-lined lid (box) removed) over a bed of charcoal at camp - yum

Pizza cooking in a box oven (foil-lined lid/box removed) over a bed of charcoal at campsite – yum

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Our Definition of the Image Myth

Here is our definition of the Perfect Looking Girl a.k.a. the Image Myth.

Even in our multi-cultural unit no one came close to the complete list.  For a starter, only one girl had blonde hair!

Our Definition of the Image Myth

Our Definition of the Image Myth

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Christmas Letter 2014 – Term Review and a Challenge!

Dear all,

It’s that time of year when we write letters telling loved ones what we’ve been up to through the year. I thought I’d write to you to let you know what we got up to this past term.  Scroll to the bottom for a challenge for the Guides.

This past term has been a bit different as we have worked through the global Guiding badge called Free Being Me that promotes positive body image – very important with the amount of advertising we are bombarded with every day.  We talked about the way people are ‘photoshopped’ in advertising and how it’s impossible to look like the ‘perfect girl’ without surgery. We discussed things to say when others at school make ‘body talk’ comments and how to focus on what people are good at rather than what they look like. The programme was very full-on and some sessions we did over 2 nights to allow more time for discussion e.g. when does a compliment become ‘body talk’ and what characteristics make people more likable (compared with those who make negative comments about others).  My favourite quote came from one of the Senior Guides: “If you don’t have a thigh gap, then you’re one step closer to being a mermaid.” – Love it – I might be a mermaid in the making!!

Credit where credit's due: photo source: http://www.wagggs-shop.org

Free Being Me badge for on the back of the uniform sash

 

We had a great Harry Potter themed camp at the invitation of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Hong Kong branch under [Guider in Charge] Headmistress Professor Mumblemoor. Guides were ‘pupils’ on a Hogwarts Special Overnight Camp where they made magical pouches, drew their Patronus, searched for Scabbers the rat that Ron lost on site, played quidditch, spotted magical creatures, and earned their wands. Highlights were searching for Scabbers and playing quidditch. Popular suggestions for next time – longer camp and more Scabbers to find!

Camp Scroll

The Hogwarts Special Overnight Camp scroll that was delivered by owl overnight. Also showing beaded charm (a reward for finding Scabbers) and my patronus badge

Our new patrol leaders have started to grow into their leadership roles and are starting to take care of the younger Guides and lead activities (such as the patrol cooking at camp). We had 3 Senior Guides (girls who’ve been in Guides at least one year and are 13 years or older – though the exact requirements change to suit the girls in the unit each term and depending on whether the older girls are patrol leaders or not). The Senior Guides have run games, helped prepare hot chocolate for the unit, instructed patrol leaders and lead the younger Guides through the Promise and Law. All great leadership roles that give them a little bit more responsibility and keep them engaged with Guiding. Sadly we have no Rangers in the English-speaking division, but new resources for Rangers are under development for Hong Kong and hopefully will also be printed in English to give us the option of English-speaking Rangers units.

New Guide ready for adventure! (source: Girl Guides of Canada)

New Guide ready for adventure! (image source: Girl Guides of Canada)

Earlier in the term we went kayaking at the HKGGA venue near Plover Cove.  A great day out paddling and playing games.  The Guide’s highlights were capsizing (!) and seeing a jellyfish.

... Hong Kong Aquarium Plaza (香港水族廣場) , Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

                                    Jellyfish similar to one spotted ‘swimming’ under our kayaks!                                                         [Must scan in and post our Guider’s watercolour ‘artist’s impression’ of the jellyfish]

As the school term finishes and we take a break for a month, I will leave the Guides with the following Christmas challenge:

Credit where credit's due: Source: http://iampastorswife.com/2012/01/30/call-of-duty-modern-warfare/

Your mission, should you choose to accept it…

 

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to select an interest badge to complete before Thinking Day (22nd Feb).  You may wish to complete the Hiker badge you started last year [hint: use these links!!], you may choose to approach your teacher to assess you for a badge such as Language, Computer, Singer, Piano, etc.  Or you may choose to complete your badge over the Christmas holiday break – good ones are: Traveller, Writer, and Reader.  Badge requirements may be found here: http://www.hkgga.org.hk under Girl Guide Members / Guide / Badges System. Good luck.  Finally, remember our motto, ‘Be Prepared’ and you will not self destruct in life.

Kind regards,

Guider in Charge

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Hogwarts Special Overnight Camp – Photos

HKGGA Pok Hong Campsite

HKGGA Pok Hong Campsite building at dusk, from behind (campfire circle in foreground)

Here are some selected photos (sorry no people or monkey photos yet!)

Special Overnight Camp Noticeboard

Hogwarts Special Overnight Camp Noticeboard

Camp Scroll

The Hogwarts Special Overnight Camp scroll that was delivered by owl overnight. Also showing beaded charm (a reward for finding Scabbers) and Professor Mumblemoor’s patronus badge

Ants on tree at Pok Hong campsite

The ants that give a painful bite – red ants perhaps?

HKGGA Pok Hong Campsite showing tents up

HKGGA Pok Hong Campsite showing tents up (Hogwarts Student Dormitories, with Staff Quarter to the rear)

HKGGA Pok Hong Campsite

HKGGA Pok Hong Campsite (from the Quidditch Pitch) showing campfire circle in foreground and new neighbouring towering tower blocks in the back (such a shame!)

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A Beautiful Doll that Laughs in the Face of the Image Myth, then goes on an Adventure

Had to share this doll with your all as she fits our ‘Free to Be Me‘ badge we’ve been working on this term.  The Lammily doll is based on the body proportions of a 19 year old American young woman and looks much more ‘normal’ than Barbie.  She can flex and move and has an international wardrobe ready for adventure, whether shopping, sightseeing, hiking or going to the movies with friends.  She is a much more ‘real’ looking doll.

doll_1_fixfashions_scotland_6

Here is a make over video clip – mimicking the photoshopping of real women.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2W_jGnw0JY

Here’s a kids focussed news clip on whether Barbie influences how girls feel about their bodies (note: this is NOT a Barbie hate story, it is a news story and asks the questions whether it matters to have a doll with a realistic body shape)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5fMTWlp3i8

Wikipedia reports the following on the reception of the doll: “The doll has received praise in various media arenas penning her as a healthier and normal role model for the youth of which sets more realistic beauty standards. Demi Lovato described the doll as “awesome” on Twitter. The doll however has also received some criticism. In promoting the ideal that everyone is beautiful, Lionel Shriver described it as “wishful claptrap” and did not think children would be attracted to the product. There were also concerns that the promotion of an “average” ideal may dampen aspirations for young people.”

What do you think?

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