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.


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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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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