Girlguiding in Bunwell 2019/20

This has been a strange and challenging time for Girlguiding. We started, as usual, in September meeting together each week, little suspecting that by Easter our weekly meetings would be suspended and all activities would be sent out by email to be completed at home.

1st Bunwell Rainbows

At our first meeting in September we held a fun evening playing games with a fair-ground theme to help everyone settle in.

This term we did the Rainforest Challenge badge. Some of the activities the girls had to complete included playing ‘sleeping lions’, trying some tropical fruits e.g. papaya and guava, singing an animal song, moving around the hall like different animals and building a den. Some of these activities are also Unit Meeting Activities (UMA’s) and are credited towards the theme awards the girls can earn.

With the darker evenings and Hallowe’en approaching we learnt about road safety and how to spot dangers when we are out for a walk and want to cross the road, another UMA, as were the peg people the girls made and the ‘dinosaur fossil’ excavating we did.

In May 2018 the Rainbows took part in a survey called ‘Future Girl’ to find out what concerns the girls most and how these should be tackled. One of the top concerns was the amount of single use plastic we generate every day and the affect this has. To high light the problem the girls all made an animal out of the plastic which would normally go in the recycling bin (UMA).

Skills for the Future was our skill builder theme for the term. We started by learning how to cut up fruit and how to recognise the different coins we have and how much they are worth. We also learnt how to do some mending and how to use some basic tools. We then drew an outfit for a party or for visiting a friend.

Before Christmas the girls enjoyed a trip to the Odeon cinema, who held a Girlguiding only showing of Frozen 2.

The following term our skill builder was Take Action and we learnt how our actions can make a change to the world around us. We started by discovering how changing one thing in a story, e.g. the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood to a pet dog, you can change the outcome, there is no wolf to create havoc or kill. We also learnt about the work charities do and then the girls sorted out some items they would like to give to charity. The charities they decided to support were those helping people with cancer and animals. To complete the skill builder the girls had to think about who would be the best person to seek help from in a variety of different circumstances.

Our UMA’s helped us with our Chinese New Year celebration, we made beautiful Chinese lanterns, and we celebrated Thinking Day by making lines of paper dolls and ‘clothing’ them in the uniforms of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers from this country.

Within weeks we went into lockdown and our regular meeting had to stop so the girls were sent a UMA each week via email.

The first of these was to identify food which is good for ducks to eat e.g. banana, grapes and peas, and food which is not e.g. nuts, bread and spinach. With the spring weather it was time to get outside and go for a walk to conduct a survey of their local area, noting down the number of times they saw things. They then had to decide which of the things they saw they would like to see more of and which you would like to see less of, and if there was anything they could do to help make the area better. The girls were asked to make a storytelling stick, you draw pictures of the main events in a story as prompts, and attach them to a stick. We asked the girls to make and send a thank you card to either the NHS or key workers.

The girls have been challenged to use some of the paper that would normally go in the recycling bin to make their own recycled paper and then use it to draw on. Continuing with the recycling theme, the girls have also made a mascot out of something that is old or broken. The girls were asked to look at the shoes in their home and think about when they are worn. Then to design their very own shoes and decide when they would wear them.

The girls have been off outside on a bug hunt round their gardens, and building dens. They have created their very own cave paintings, using only red and black paint and no paint brushes, and made crowns to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday, on 13th June, and then holding a Trooping the Colour parade.

The girls (and their families?) have had a go at curling, but not on ice! They could try using coins or counters on a table top version, or outside sliding frisbees on bin bags (with washing-up liquid and water added to help things along). Then we had a look at sports from the past. Did you know that between 1912 and 1948 both poetry and painting were international sports? The girls were asked to rhyme words and do a picture of something in their garden.

Then it was firing straw rockets in the air and exploring surface tension by making water bugs to float in a bowl. The last challenge of term was to ‘plait a mat’ using strips of material, which once plaited, could be coiled up to make a coaster or place setting.

During lock down two of the girls have completed their Helper interest badge, two have now completed their Take Action theme award and one Rainbow, due to move up to Brownies, has completed her Bronze Award. All of the badges will be presented when we return to our face to face meetings.


1st Bunwell Brownies

During the autumn term we did the Clever Cogs Challenge, the badge was suggested by Ellie our Brownie Helper. We started by listing all the different means of transport we had used over the summer holidays. We then made paper aeroplanes and helicopters and had great fun flying them. The girls then tried to make an earthquake proof tower using spaghetti and marshmallows. They also had to construct a railway line going by the most direct route they could around a variety of obstacles. We talked about the affects of oil pollution and then got rather damp trying to clean up an oil spill. We continued getting wet

by making ice cream in zip lock bags. We put ice and salt in a large bag and a milk mix, inside a smaller bag, in with the ice and gently bashed the bags against the table. The girls then added sprinkles and ate their ice cream.

A drier, and very challenging activity was Rainbow Fuel, mixing coloured water with varying amounts of sugar and then, using a syringe, transferring the water/sugar mixes into a glass one at a time, trying not to mix the layers which should result. We also made rockets and to complete the badge learnt to identify some of the brighter constellations.(Some of the activities are also Unit Meeting Activities, UMA’s, and are credited towards their theme awards)

During the half term break 9 of the Brownies and 2 leaders joined 2nd Salhouse and Hoveton Brownies on pack holiday. We stayed at the Jarman Centre in Newmarket and made lots of new friends. During our stay we worked on the World Centres Challenge badge. Each day we ‘travelled’ to a different world centre with activities and food from that country, so for Kusafiri in Africa we had a drum workshop, made beads from paper and learnt a traditional African board game. Being in Newmarket we walked to The Gallops and watched some horse being exercised before going to Palace House, and learning about horses and racing. The girls enjoyed comparing the ‘organs’ of the horse with examples of their own and had a go on the racing simulator. The girls also had to do chores and discovered the joys of cleaning the toilets, washing up and preparing the meals.

In May 2018 the Brownies took part in a survey called ‘Future Girl’ to find out what concerns the girls most and how these should be tackled. One of the top concerns was the amount of single use plastic we generate every day and the affect this has. To high light the problem the girls all made an animal out of the plastic which would normally go in the recycling bin (UMA).

On Sunday 10th November the Brownies, with the Guides and Rangers, joined the congregation of Bunwell Church for the Remembrance Service. The Brownie flag was paraded and a wreath laid.

The Brownies enjoyed a trip to the Odeon cinema, who were holding a Girlguiding only showing of Frozen 2. Many of the girls thought the film better than the first Frozen film.

In the new year we did the ‘Wonderland Challenge’. The challenges are all based on ideas from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll. We started by playing ‘Play Your Cards Right’, telling each other jokes or asking riddles, playing ‘Queeny Says’ and ‘Queens Keys’. To complete the badge the girls tried to build a house of cards, standing on one leg for 3 minutes and playing ‘find the dormouse’.

The girls did their First Aid skill builder, learning about treating burns, how to place someone in the recovery position and how to make use of items in the house, if a first aid kit is not available.

To celebrate Thinking Day by found out about the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). The girls played some games from the WAGGGS Thinking Day theme of ‘Diversity, Equity & Inclusion’.

A few weeks later we were unable to continue our weekly meetings as the country went into lockdown, so the girls were sent UMA’s via email to complete at home.

The girls started by thinking 50 years into the future, and deciding what sort of things Brownies might be doing and then to design a new uniform.

Their next task was to go for a walk and note the things that help people to get around e.g. cycle lanes or signposts and things that need changing or fixing e.g. potholes or broken signs. They had to take into consideration all members of the community and the various ways they may be travelling. They then had to think about what they would fix, change or add to make it easier or safer to get around.

The girls were then asked to make a room in a box, trying out their decorating and design skills. On a smaller scale the girl were also asked to make thank you cards to send to NHS staff and key workers, and to paint positive messages on pebbles. They have also had to think back to a happy memory and make a collage.

The girls have done some recycling by using old/odd socks to make puppets and making a fancy dress costume from things destined for the bin. Keeping on the environmental theme the girls had to make ‘wind turbines’ from straws. The girls have also launched their very own rockets, and gone back in time. Those of you who were a Brownie will remember the things you had a carry in your ‘Brownie Pocket’. The girls had to use these items, and only these items, to solve a set of problems e.g. how to get a set of keys out of a drain. The girls have also been finding out how Brownies used to keep the Brownie Guide Law and ‘Lend a Hand’. They were all asked to think of things they could do (and do them) to ‘Lend a Hand’. Then disaster struck and they were shipwrecked on an uninhabited desert island. They had 5 minutes to grab 5 items from the ship that could help them survive on the island until help arrived. Then it was off outside to play crazy golf, after they had made the golf clubs, holes and obstacles.

The girls have been finding out a little about the Afghan and Chinese traditions of kite flying before making and then flying their own kite. Then they headed even higher, by learning how astronauts learn to do everyday tasks in space. Wearing gardening gloves and working with their hands in a box accessed from opposite sides, they had to transfer soil from one container to another.

If you would like to know more about the Rainbows or Brownies please contact Imogen on 01953 788917.

If you or your daughter would like to become involved in Girlguiding please visit


Brown Owl