Bringing the Outdoors In!

This fabulous set of activities is brought to you by Tiger (aka Dooreen) Rousseau, who is a Guider in Edmonton. Thanks!

Tiger writes:

I believe is going to camp prepared, and I include the girls in as much advance planning as I can. That way, when they arrive at camp they can test out their new skills, instead of just learning them. During the year I try to have at least one meeting a month (more if I can) that contains some activity teaching outdoor skills. I encourage everyone to plan now, and have fun later. Here are some activities I use during the year:

Board Game

On a piece of cardboard, draw a track divided into sections, each one about the size of a quarter. On each section draw a symbol which is used in legends on a map. Use dice and markers. Guides move along the track. If the player can tell the meaning of the symbol on which she lands, she may stay there. If not, she goes back three spaces. First player to reach the end, wins the game.

Budget Wise

Give each patrol a set amount of money to buy food for a single meal. They must plan, purchase and prepare a nutritious feast for all members.

Build a Model Campsite

Brainstorm with the girls for a list of everything they might find at camp. Write the list on a large sheet of paper. Include everything: tents, camp building, flag pole, waterfront, boats, campfire, trees, rocks, grass, raccoons, campers, etc. Next have the girls, either individually or by patrols, volunteer to make specific items on the list. Have available all you scraps of construction paper, fabric, popsicle sticks, cardboard, twigs, glue, play dough or plasticene, paint, yarn, scissors, and so on. The girls create the objects, then glue them on a piece of plywood (18x24 inches or 45x60 cm. is a good size). This makes a great display for an end of the year banquet. This activity could be done over two weeks....brainstorm one week, build the next.

Camp Gadget

Build a plate rack, mug tree, boot scraper, clothes hanger, sun dial, chopsticks, firewood rack, pot hook, fire tongs, or an above-ground wet pit. Use souvlaki sticks, pencils, twigs, thin dowels etc. You'll need some twine or wire twist ties for these projects.

Camp Terminology

On strips of paper print words such as: pitch, strike, guy ropes, runners, grommet, upright, ridge pole, tent pegs, lats, tinder, kindling, Liquid Disposal Unit (LDU), gadget, inspection, etc. Stick the papers around the room. Girls go in small groups to define the words. Call everyone together and have a quick group discussion to clear up and misinterpretations. (Also a good gathering activity.)

Candle Cooking

Give each patrol some oil, a candle, a coat hangar, some tin foil, an egg and two slices of bread. Challenge them to cook a fried egg sandwich.

Cat's tails

Cut 30 pieces of string of the same length. Hide all but three or four pieces. Divide the girls into three or four teams of equal size. Each team chooses a "cat" who is given one of the extra pieces of string. At a given signal, all players except the "cats" scatter to hunt for the hidden strings. As a girl finds one, she takes it back to her "cat", and uses a reef knot (or a knot of your choice) to tie it to the string tail the "cat" is holding. The team with the longest cat's tail wins.

Compass Kim's Game

Draw a large compass on a sheet of paper. Label the points. At each point place an object. Then play Kim's Game, asking such questions as, "Where was the flower?"

Cooking Competition

Give each patrol a package of food, a stove, pots and fuel to cook a small meal. Make sure each patrol includes both young and older Guides. Let them go and see what culinary treats they create. This can be accomplished (with permission) in the parking lot of a school or church.

Cut-up Compass

A cardboard circle cut into 16 "pie" pieces, each labeled with one of the compass points, can have many uses (e.g., individual competition between two Guides to see who can put it together first, relay games in patrols, etc.)


Gather a number of articles, such as a can-opener, tin of soup, dishcloth, flag, songbook, box of matches, stick of wood, scrub brush, ladle, scouring pad, pail, etc. Place all items in a pillow case. Write the names of camp duties (Cook, Clean-up, Colours, and Campfire, Wood and Water, Sanitation, or whatever is appropriate for your camp) on pieces of paper. Before starting the activity discuss the different duties that have to be done at camp. Girls then take turns reaching into the pillow case, pulling out one item, and telling which duty it goes with. Some items may be used by more than one duty patrol or six.

Gone Fishin'

The basic equipment consists of a magnet with a hole in the middle, a length of string, and pieces of cardboard with a paperclip attached to each. Cut the cardboard pieces into squares and write on a knot name or compass direction. In the knot game, players run up, fish for a marker, tie the knot named, and race back to give the fishing line to the next player. Add a paper plate to the equipment for the compass game. Players race up to fish for a marker naming a compass point, place the marker in correct position at the edge of the plate, and race back to pass the fish line to the next player.

Make a Map

Give the Guides a picture that includes trees, a lake, etc. and a beautiful sunset behind a hill far away. Ask them to reproduce the picture using mapping signs with the correct directions marked. Will they see the clue that the sun sets in the West?

Map Treasure Hunt

Each patrol draws a sketch map to show where they have hidden a treasure. Exchange maps with another patrol and look for their treasure.

Mystery Bags

Seal nature items in cloth bags. Pass them around the group. After everyone has had a chance to feel the objects, have the girls take turns telling what they think they felt. Let everyone have a look at what was in the bags and then search for similar items around your campsite or meeting place.

Round Robin

Set up 3 or 4 stations. Each station is monitored by a parent or Guider and limited to one patrol at each station. Stickers, stamped "passports", laminated cardboard depicting the stations can be earned and worn on the camp hat. Stations could include challenges in: knots, compass, gadgets, tracks, trails, environment, tents, etc.


Each patrol is given a set of cards. On each card a symbol used in legends is drawn. The patrol is in its corner with the cards spread out in front, face up. The Guider tells a story (e.g. The Robin Patrol is going on a hike. They first cross a bridge ......" Guider pauses). The first patrol to send up a Guide with the card showing the correct symbol for bridge gets a point and the story continues.

Enjoy the activities! Many can be adapted from Brownies to Senior Branches or used at trainings for adults. Even Sparks can recognize camp items that they "fish" for and then match up the item in a type of concentration game.

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