Amazing Race Camp this weekend

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
Amazing Race Camp this weekend
7
Wed, 05-30-2012 - 2:23pm

The Service Unit (or group of local troops just north of our area) invited our Service Unit to a group camping event again this year.  My Service Unit is only taking 3 troops total (way down from last year, our first year).  Each leader has picked a country and is providing a challenge and some roadblocks (to take up extra time if you finish something before it's time to rotate) that relate to that country.  I'm doing Scotland and going to be having them do some highland games activities like caber toss.  One that I'm helping with is Tanzania... we are doing archery and the roadblocks are going to be spear throwing and stone throwing... which translates into sticks through a hulahoop (to kill a lion) and stones at tin cans (to scare away predators from their herds of animals).  I know it's a long stretch, but what kid doesn't like to throw stuff!  I'm also working on Sweden with an orienteering activity.  I don't know what all else is being planned except that we do have swimming time which also relates to some country.  I'm loving not being fully in charge of this event and having to know it all!  I have 9 girls and 1 mom and 1 adult sister attending with me for my troop.  Should be fun...

Only thing is, I have to quit procrastinating and actually get my country activities prepared and ready to go... Friday is fun day at school, so I will be there all day and tomorrow is my anniversary, so i'll want to spend some time with my husband after swim lessons are over for my littler son!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Re: Amazing Race Camp this weekend
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 10:35am
Well, Camporee was last weekend. We ended up with a Renn-Faire theme that was loosely followed. I had a total of 4 older troops (Cadettes mostly and my group of 3 Seniors) put on 6 activities geared for Daisies/Brownies and Juniors.

We grouped Brownies and Daisies together. They had 6 45-minute sessions that they rotated through. One troop taught Songs, one group made princess crowns and had "jousting" with stick horses. They also talked about Coats of Arms and had the girls pick one for their troops. We had another troop make aluminum foil shields and play a game for the Brownies/Daisies.

I had an adult volunteer decide to help them earn their Bug Badge. She had a craft for them and lined up two speakers. In the morning she had a butterfly expert come and talk about moths and butterflies. In the afternoon, Spider Guy came and had live and preserved spiders and lots of pictures. He also took them on a short hike to look for where spiders live. We gave all the leaders copies of the patch so they could supplement activities during free time, etc.

For Juniors, scheduling was trickier. We did Archery and I wanted to give them a good hour and 15 minutes for that (plus commute time since the Archery course is a decent hike away), but that would be too long for other activities. So instead of just having 45 minute sessions and then having each group rotate, each Junior group followed their own timelines.

So we did Archery (1 hr 15 minutes) My girls did two activities. My Seniors had them make braided duct tap circlets or crowns with curling ribbon that hung down the back. (45 minutes) My Cadettes had the girls to play three Renaissance games: Bocci, Badminton, and Pall Mall, which is like Croquet (1 hr 15 minutes) I had a group of Cadettes do swaps with them (45 minutes). And I had an adult teach knots (45 minutes.) We decided they could earn the Junior Camper Patch at this Camp, and we gave everyone 30 minutes to discuss as a troop what the patch is, what things they are doing at camp to earn it, what they need to think about when planning a camping trip, and any other things they might want to try. This helped balance out the time. They already were cooking on a fire, learning something new (knots), doing night time activities (we had a campfire, they could do a night hike, etc.)

We had two hours for lunch were we had at least on campfire certified adult lead the troops in fire safety and they cooked hot dogs and smores. We had a total of 7-8 fire circles going at lunch. We had pizza and salad at the lodge for dinner, followed by the traditional talent show. Then we did an all camp campfire and one of the Cadette troops lead songs. We had a lot of girls sleep in buildings and a few troops in tents. One Brownie troop decided at the last minute that they would give tents a try, which was awesome.

We had troops come out on Friday and stayed through Sunday morning. We had troops just come for the day on Saturday and some stayed Saturday night only.

I had a troop of Daisies with brand new leaders come. Apparently they formed last year, but didn't do much. This year they have new parents stepping up, but they were very nervous about what to do. They LOVED it! They were all so excited (Moms & Girls). The leaders said they were going to get their outdoor training and take the girls camping again on their own. I lead their fire circle and one mom was so excited because she had never built a campfire or cooked outdoors before.

All in all, we had between 145 - 150 girls there and about 50 adults. Now, I just need to order patches and finalize budget numbers for next year.

I might end up doing this again for next year and I'll keep your Amazing Race idea in mind. You know, if you'd just done it in February, it would have been an awesome Thinking Day event.
Community Leader
Registered: 05-28-2000
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 1:54pm
The Renn-Faire sounds like so much fun :smileyhappy:
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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2010
Re: Amazing Race Camp this weekend
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 4:14pm

Your event sounded great!  

I am going to try and think how we could adapt this for our Service Unit Thinking Day.  My troop of seniors volunteered to organize Thinking Day this year and want to do something different.  They've been going to them since they were brownies & it's been similar every year and they are bored with it (that's why they wanted to run it--they felt very strongly about this, lol) & wanted to come up with something new.  Of course it would be inside--but I bet they could come up with something.  

“Clearly," said Arthur,"you're an idiot- but you're our kind of idiot. Come on.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 11:08pm

The Ren- Fairre does sound fabulous.  We had Cub Scout Day Camp with a "Sword in the Stone" theme and for the swords, they had pieces of plastic pipe that the boys shoved up into half pieces of swimming noodles.  And an adult taped the one end that would be sticking out with silver tape before the boys got them to avoid cuts.  They made cardboard shields with a duct tape handle (and doubled the duct tape on the part they would hold so it's not sticky).

My girls are a little bugged by having to do babyish stuff at these camps because the rotations are for everyone.  I'm going to really push them to have a program for the older girls or for the older girls to lead small groups for part of their time at camp and still give them time for archery/swimming and hiking.

My troop also decided that out of all the things our SU does or should have- that they want to plan a Thinking Day event for our SU... somethign we haven't had as long as I've been in it (8 years).  So, this will be a new event for all involved!  It will also be good because so many of the leaders are very new (even in Brownies/Juniors) and they just don't know what to do or how to do stuff... they are all so tentative.  And there's only 1 other troop of 4 girls right now that  is 7th grade cadettes besides mine- and no older girl troops.  It's sad- we have nobody to look up to!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 12:20pm
I'll share what our Area (which is made up of 4 SU) has done for Thinking Day, just for ideas. We get a place, usually a Church Community Center. Last year, we used our Church's Gym which worked out really well. We are using it again this year. We are lucky in that our pastor is very supportive of scouting and since several troops involved are from our church/school, they consider it parishioner led and don't charge us anything! He loves the exposure the Church gets from it and we are very careful to leave things better than we found it.

Each troop picks a country. This year an enthusiastic mom is heading this up. I think she wanted her troop to get their country early. People just email her their top three choices and she lets them know what is still available. We are on the ball this year in that we've already emailed out Save-the-Date forms and we have an Area FB page and have talked about it on that. I hope troops have it on their calendars already. Last year we really didn't get things rolling until December.

So each troop has a table where they display things about their country - posters they've made, items they have to show, etc. Each table also usually has some food to sell and maybe a craft or other item to sell. We tell people not to charge more than 50 cents. So, we are talking dixie cup size things, not whole meals.

There is usually a swap too that girls can pick up, which might be as simple as the flag on a safety pin. We give the troops about 30-45 minutes to set up their tables. We then start with a parade of flags (flags can be real or posterboard). We then have a time when troops can do a song, skit or dance from their country. This is optional and takes about 45 minutes - hour. Then we give them an hour or so to visit tables, spend their quarters. All the money earned (less troop expense) goes to the Juliet Low Fund.

Last year we had about 300 girls there. Troops can choose just to come without doing a table, but most pick one. They can do as much or as little as they want. Some years we have taken 3-4 meetings to get stuff together. Other years we kept it simple and just learned about the country, made some posters, and found some simple food to sell.

The food ranges from cut up bananas and mangos from tropical countries, to tea and biscuits from England, to fortune cookies and mini egg rolls, to icees from Iceland. One year Ireland had potato soup.

Last year at the demonstration section, we had Irish Dancers, and girls doing skits about France and we ended with a Conga line. Some troops dress in costume. It really is whatever the troops want to do.

We had one older troop run it last year. They handled registrations before the event and assigning tables, ran the talent portion, and helped with clean-up.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 12:26pm

Here is the GSUSA official info on Thinking Day 2013. The theme is child mortality.

http://www.girlscouts.org/who_we_are/global/world_thinking_day/

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2010
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 1:05pm

Our thinking Day is something similar to this.  It is for our Service Unit and usually about 10 troops participate.  Each troop picks a country and they prepare a display about that country.  Each troop will bring a food from that country and sell small portions of each for 5 cents.  We tell everyone to bring lots of nickels and they all get donated to the Juliette Low Friendship fund.  Each troop also makes a flag of that country--either 1 big one or smaller ones that each girl can carry and we do the parade of countries also.  Some of the troops do something like a demonstration or teach the girls a game (at their table) from their country.  Some troops will make costumes for their troop to wear.  Some years we have made a passport for each girl to take around and get a stamp from, so that they will visit each table and not just whichever one has a food they like.  If they fill up the passport they get entered for door prizes.  

Also, like all our our service unit events, it is a family event--so you can't just drop off your girl scout (unless you have arranged with the leader or another adult to supervise your child).  Parents, siblings etc are invited to try the food, etc.

“Clearly," said Arthur,"you're an idiot- but you're our kind of idiot. Come on.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief