Monday, September 14, 2015

Make it Monday: Toque Hat Craft!

I had a request to do a tutorial on this toque camp hat craft and I thought I would share this super easy craft! All you need is yarn, a toilet paper roll, and some scissors. It can be difficult to collect a ton of toilet paper rolls so I keep my wrapping paper tubes from Christmas time to use for crafts like this. 

The first thing you want to do is cut the paper tube so it is about 3 cm long and cut the yarn into 15-20 cm pieces. One hat takes about 40 strands of yarn. 

The next step is simply looping the yarn around the tube kind of like a slip knot. Make sure you put the same end (either the looped end or the two edges) over the tube in the same direction to have a uniform look. Though it is much faster to loop a few pieces of yarn together at a time it looks much better when you do it one piece at a time. 

When you have tied the yarn all the way around the cardboard tube flip all of the yarn "inside out" so the knots are at the bottom of the tube. This will create a clean base for your toque.

Use one piece of yarn to tie the top of the hat together, make sure you leave enough yarn at the top to make a pom pom. 

The last step is to trim the top of the hat to make a neat pom pom. Stick your finger in the bottom of the hat to fluff it out and add a safety pin and you are done!

And voila! This craft is a quintessential activity for any age group and it is so cute! Thank you to Gwendolyn in BC for the request and if anyone else has a request for a blog post please let me know! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

5 Ways to Start off a Great Guiding Year!

With the Guiding year beginning in just a few weeks I thought it would be fun to come up with a short list of ideas to start off the year with other Guiders. We focus so much on getting our unit meetings and activities planned and ready for the girls sometimes we forget about the sisterhood we have with other Guiders. Here are some ways I would love to start off the Guiding year!

1. Have a campfire
Campfire is one of my absolute favourite parts of Guiding; there is nothing like sitting around a fire and singing songs with friends. If you are ever stumped for a campfire program check out Guiding with Guider Dusk Resources on Facebook. Dawn is an amazing Guider in my area that shares her passion for music by creating campfires and posting the plans online for other Guiders to use. The theme for the September 2015 campfire is "Sounds of Happiness" and it is posted on the Facebook page.

2. Craft Supplies Swap
Every Guider that I know has a TON of random craft supplies. Left over fun foam from a craft where you needed 10 sheets and the pack came with 12 sheets and if you want to do the craft again next year you need to buy more sheets anyways, extra pipe cleaners, the five bags of googly eyes you somehow have etc. etc. I know I have this problem and I also know I am not the only one. To have a craft supplies swap all you need to do is invite a bunch of Guiders, bring the craft supplies that you don't need but don't want to throw away and put them out on a table, walk around and take what you want for your unit. It is easy and a good way to use up the little bits of craft supplies. 

3. District Meeting Discussion Time
I went to a commissioners training a few years ago and one of the ideas that really stuck with me was having time at every district meeting for all of the leaders for each branch to have some time to talk with each other and share ideas about games, crafts, themes, camps, etc. I think it would be great to have all of the Sparks leaders talk, all of the Guide leaders talk and so on so that everyone gets some new ideas without spending a ton of time listening to things that might not be relevant to you and your unit. For example a Sparks leader might not care how to book a whitewater rafting trip, but all of the Pathfinder leaders might find that interesting. I am going to suggest it to my commissioner this year and see how it goes.  

4. Great Camping Cook-Off! 
This next idea might take a bit of time to plan, but it would be super fun to have a "cook-off" of different camping recipes to start off the year. Pick your favourite recipe, and either cook it up with your fellow Guiders or bring it and have a potluck of sorts with everyone's snacks. For bonus fun and resources have everyone bring copies of the recipe to put together into a district/community cookbook!  

5. Games, games, games! 
Everyone love a good game right? Playing games with your fellow Guiders is a good way to get to know each other and learn a few games to stick in your back pocket for when you are with your girls. I would highly recommend Becky's Guiding Resource for great game ideas.  

How will you be starting up the Guiding year in your districts, areas, and communities?