Mindful, Motivated and Mighty on Mondays!
One of the many hats that I wear every week is that of a Brownie leader. In a pre-Covid life, every Monday evening I would pack up the car and go to the church hall for 90 minutes of singing, discussion and badge work as well as lots of games, laughter and fun. Of course now, in our "new normal" life, I sit in the comfort of my study looking at a screen full of disembodied heads which doesn't really provide the same sense of togetherness!
For the first lockdown, during the summer term, we focussed on keeping the Brownies cheerful and trying to distract them from the shock and uncertainty of everything going on around them. We invited guest speakers to make things a bit different - a puppeteer who taught the girls how to make a simple puppet and move it to show different expressions and moods, a laughter expert who encouraged the girls to make all sorts of crazy expressions to lighten their mood, and a goat who told the girls all about her life on the farm!
In the autumn term, we took the Brownies on an adventure to visit the 5 Girl-guiding World Centres - we made God's Eyes in Mexico and djembe drums in Ghana, we travelled the London underground, went skiing in Switzerland, and celebrated Diwali in India. Finally, we challenged the Brownies to make a monument to represent something they had seen or experienced on their world tour.
Planning for the spring term, our third consecutive term with no face-to-face meetings, was really tough. Apart from the occasional glimpse when delivering resource packs every half-term none of the leaders have seen any of the Brownies for nearly a year. We have even welcomed 5 new girls who have never met us other than on screen! We felt it was really important to think of something that would lift all our spirits, and help us stay as cheerful as possible during another lockdown, this time in the cold and dark of the winter months!
So we started the term by making Mindfulness Jars so each Brownie had somewhere to keep her cheerful, positive thoughts. We demonstrated different Mindfulness Techniques and encouraged them to try these out every day for a week to see which worked best for them. We split them into two groups to create an exercise routine to teach the other group before creating Motivational Posters to encourage others to stay fit and healthy. We told them about several Mighty Women, including Malala Yousafzai and Irena Sendler, before letting them nominate and vote for their Nobel Peace Prize winner.
As half-term approaches we are preparing for World Thinking Day on 22 February. This date was the birthday of both Lord Robert and Lady Olave Baden-Powell, who started the Scouting and Guiding movements. Rainbows, Beavers, Brownies, Rosebuds, Cubs, Guides, Scouts and Girl Scouts, Rangers and Leaders all round the world are encouraged to think of others and celebrate their worldwide community. Many children also wear their Guiding and Scouting uniforms to school.
This year, Thinking Day is on a Monday so we are planning a very special Brownie meeting for that week, during which our 8 newest girls will make their Brownie Promise. Over half-term I will deliver a box to each Brownie (during my daily walk) containing her Promise badge, Promise certificate and a personalised keyring ready for presentation during the ceremony. Their Sixer won't be able to lead them to the toadstool, or "twist them and turn them and show them the elf" and they won't be able to "look into the water and see myself" but we will do our best to make it a really special occasion. Our Brownies may be apart for now, but we are determined to keep the Girl-guiding Light burning until we can be together again.
Junior School parent