Brownie Holiday 2015!

Brownie Holiday is the highlight of the Guiding year for me, so much time and effort goes into the event that the period afterwards is very strange. I’ve had time to digest it, and moved on to continuing weekly Brownie meetings. But now I’ll retrace the memories of our Jungle Adventure 2015…

For this event I’d done more decorations prep than ever before, close to the effort I put in for our first holiday with Olympic posters and cutouts of athletes, but this time I’d been drawing lots of giant animals pictures, twisted brown bags into jungle vine and given every poster an animal print border. This was a great theme to get stuck into. And therefore I arrived at the venue two hours before the girls to get set up. This includes unloading the equipment, food and our own belongings too.

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Arrival went smoothly, the girls chose their beds, we took required items from the parents, and the Brownies were introduced to their holiday diary (a post on those to come!) Unfortunately, the balloons became a distraction and what should have been a quiet settle in became loud and energetic. Reminder for next year: do not put out balloons on arrival!

We had the house rules talk and the fire drill and then started our first activity, shadow puppets! We did this activity at a holiday two years ago when we also did Toymaker and it went down really well. In groups the Brownies cut out animal shaped puppets and made a theatre from cereal boxes and white tissue paper.

This was follows by our yummy hot dogs and then outside for the animal hunt. I’d bought reflective stickers and cut out eyes to put on the animal shapes. The Tigers managed to find all 24, but the Zebras were quickest at collecting them all up for us.

Back inside, the sixes put on their puppet shows in the dark and then we were all ready for bed. Unfortunately the Young Leaders’ bribe to the Brownies to go to sleep with reward of a ‘secret’ midnight feast the following night didn’t work overly well as the girls were up until the little hours. But we weren’t going to spoil their fun the next night.

Everyone was up early for breakfast and we quickly moved onto animal masks. The girls made their animal six name so they could blend in together.

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Next we headed outside for the water walkerz, didn’t quite live up the photos! The clear water and girls in a clear round ball were replaced with murky water and two long cylinders side by side! But the girls loved it so how can we judge? In fact, having two girls in a roller must’ve made it more fun for them.

Yummy jelly filled jungle juice was followed by lunch and then out we went again to the wobbly pole. Once we found the right pole (!) everyone was kitted out with helmets and asked to hold the rope to pull a fellow Brownie up the pole. Some struggled, others were quick to climb, but only one reached the top.

Saturday afternoon was a lot of fun, with the girls making worms in dirt dessert (Oreos, chocolate mousse and gummy worms, what is not to love!) and then our blind trail. This was an activity a lot of the girls asked to do when we chose the theme of jungle so wanted to get it right. We set up crawling under chair obstacles, following string, finding paper plate bananas in the trees and walking around cones. The final activity was to eat an alligator eyeball! Some guessed they were grapes but I would never confirm that! We had them imported from Australia, don’t you know!

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After fajita dinner we headed to the campfire circle for our first ever guide and scout campfire! We learned lots of new songs, one included individuals being picked on to stand up and dance and I was amazed when our quietest Brownie was picked on and happily took on the challenge! The Brownies were also the first group up to lead a song!

The Young Leaders then led their ‘secret midnight feast’. This worked even better than I’d hoped. Some of the Brownies had mentioned that it was nice for us that the young leaders had offered to patrol the rooms that night. The girls had a riot and all went to sleep much earlier following their deception.

The next morning though was fantastic. By pure mistake, some girls had left maoam wrappers on their beds and on the floor. Three Brownies sat in one room after packing their bags and I climbed around the bunkbeds checking for anything forgotten. I found three wrappers. Not even thinking about the feast I pretended to be shocked to find sweets in the bed. This led to the girls ganging together to hide their midnight secret. Later, as I helped a few Brownie volunteers to sweep the bedrooms more maoam wrappers were found. One Brownie in particular cannot lie! She couldn’t stop talking about the wrappers and the fact she knew nothing about them. Completely unprovoked she randomly told another leader of the incident that had nothing to do with her once we returned to the group. It is like having my own reality show, watching the fallout of the secret feast!

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After breakfast we headed to archery, this was good fun and most of the girls took part. There were jigsaws to make when we returned to the house before dinner and the big final clear up. We ended with some songs, which I later discovered had become a non-stop activity at home for some of the girls!

This was my favourite holiday yet! Loved the theme, all the activities were good and the girls were all well behaved. I also discovered my love for a midnight feast and how awesome a group campfire is! Roll on 2016!

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